IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History — June 26

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, June 26, the 177th day of 2007. There are 188 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).

On this date:
In 1870, the first section of the boardwalk at Atlantic City, N.J., was opened to the public.

In 1925, Charlie Chaplin’s classic comedy “The Gold Rush” premiered at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.

In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.

In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

In 1950, President Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.

In 1959, President Eisenhower joined Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1968, Chief U.S. Justice Earl Warren announced he was resigning.

In 1973, former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” kept by the Nixon White House.

In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tenn.

In 1987, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. announced his retirement, leaving a vacancy that was filled by Anthony M. Kennedy.

Ten years ago: In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that terminally ill Americans had no constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide, but did nothing to bar states from legalizing the process; struck down a congressional attempt to keep pornography off the Internet, saying it violated the First Amendment; let stand the president’s line-item veto authority without addressing its constitutionality.

Five years ago: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because the words “under God” had been inserted by Congress in 1954. (The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2004 on a technicality.) The Group of Eight nations, meeting in Canada, announced that Russia would be made a full-fledged member of the elite group. Chinese basketball star Yao Ming was selected first overall by the Houston Rockets in the NBA draft.

One year ago: President Bush said it was “disgraceful” that newspapers had disclosed a secret CIA-Treasury program to track millions of financial records in search of terrorist suspects. More than a foot of rain inundated Washington, toppling a 100-year-old elm tree on the White House lawn and causing flooding that closed major government departments.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Eleanor Parker is 85. Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 73. Actor Josef Sommer is 73. Singer Billy Davis Jr. (The Fifth Dimension) is 67. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 64. Actor Clive Francis is 61. Actor Robert Davi is 53. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 52. Actor Gedde Watanabe is 52. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 51. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 50. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 46. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 44. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 38. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 37. Actor Sean Hayes is 37. Actor Matt Letscher is 37. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 37. Actress Rebecca Budig is 34. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 33. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 27. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 21.

Thought for Today: “One is easily fooled by that which one loves.” — Moliere, French actor-playwright (1622-1673).