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Today in History — June 29

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

Today is Friday, June 29, the 180th day of 2007. There are 185 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 29, 1776, the Virginia state constitution was adopted, and Patrick Henry made governor.

On this date:
In 1767, the British Parliament approved the Townshend Acts, which imposed import duties on certain goods shipped to America. (Colonists bitterly protested, prompting Parliament in 1770 to repeal the duties on all goods — except tea.)

In 1941, Polish statesman, pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski died in New York at age 80.

In 1946, authorities in the British Mandate of Palestine arrested more than 2,700 Jews in an attempt to stamp out extremists.

In 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s access to classified information.

In 1966, the United States bombed fuel storage facilities near the North Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.

In 1967, Jerusalem was reunified as Israel removed barricades separating the Old City from the Israeli sector.

In 1970, the United States ended a two-month military offensive into Cambodia.

In 1972, the Supreme Court, in Furman v. Georgia, ruled the death penalty, as it was being meted out, could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” (The ruling prompted states to revise their capital punishment laws.)

In 1981, Hu Yaobang, a protege of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was elected Communist Party chairman, replacing Mao Zedong’s hand-picked successor, Hua Guofeng.

In 1995, the shuttle Atlantis and the space station Mir docked in orbit.

Ten years ago: In Albania, gunmen menaced voters, burned ballots and pressured polling officials, marring parliamentary elections meant to steer the country toward recovery after months of chaos.

Five years ago: President Bush transferred his presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney for more than two hours during a routine colon screening that ended in a clean bill of health. Singer Rosemary Clooney died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 74.

One year ago: The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that President Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated U.S. and international law. The government announced it had recovered a stolen laptop computer and hard drive with sensitive data on up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie producer Robert Evans is 77. Songwriter L. Russell Brown is 67. Actor Gary Busey is 63. Comedian Richard Lewis is 60. Actor-turned-radio personality Fred Grandy is 59. Rock musician Ian Paice (Deep Purple) is 59. Singer Don Dokken (Dokken) is 54. Rock singer Colin Hay (Men At Work) is 54. Actress Maria Conchita Alonso is 50. Singer Evelyn “Champagne” King is 47. Actress Sharon Lawrence is 46. Actress Amanda Donohoe is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Stedman Pearson (Five Star) is 43. Actress Kathleen Wilhoite is 43. Musician Dale Baker is 41. Actress Melora Hardin is 40. Rap DJ Shadow is 35. Country musician Todd Sansom (Marshall Dyllon) is 29. Singer Nicole Scherzinger is 29.

Thought for Today: “He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.” — James Russell Lowell, American essayist (1819-1891).