Wednesday, June 17, 2009

17 June: Limey Court: Liberace Not Homosexual(!)

By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, June 17, the 168th day of 2009. There are 197 days left in the year. From the AP, also. A/V. UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History: On June 17, 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston. The battle (which actually occurred on Breed's Hill) was a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses while dislodging the rebels. On this date: In 1789, the Third Estate in France declared itself a national assembly and undertook to frame a constitution. ["Revolution has come!/(Off the pig!)/Time to pick up the gun!/(Off the pig!)" — Ed.] In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere.In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to make the trip as a passenger. [Pointless aside: One of the helicopter traffic reporters for CBS2 here in Southern Hell bills herself as "Amelia Earhart." We hope she doesn't follow the example of Francis Gary Powers, who lived through his U-2 spy plane being shot down by the Commies in 1960, but died when his NBC4 (they called it KNBC-TV then) telecopter crashed in 1977. CBS2 has another pilot named "Larry Welk;" we've a sneaking suspicion he's Lawrence Welk's grandson. Perhaps Ms. Earhart is related to her namesake as well. Still. — Ed.] In 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II. In 1944, the republic of Iceland was established. In 1957, mob underboss Frank Scalice was shot to death at a produce market in the Bronx, N.Y. In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris. In 1967, China announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. In 1971, the United States and Japan signed a treaty under which Okinawa would revert to Japanese control. [Any idea when? — Ed.] In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon's eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced the retirement of Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was succeeded by William Rehnquist. Fifteen years ago, in 1994, after leading police on a chase through Southern California, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman. Ten years ago: The Republican-controlled House narrowly voted to loosen restrictions on sales at gun shows, marking a victory for the National Rifle Association. Joseph Stanley Faulder, a former auto mechanic who'd killed a woman during a 1975 burglary, became the first Canadian to be executed in the United States in almost half a century as he was lethally injected in Huntsville, Texas. [Die, Canuck vermin, die!!! — Ed.] Five years ago: A bipartisan report found that officials, blindsided by terrorists and beset by poor communications, were so slow to react on Sept. 11, 2001, that the last of four hijacked planes had crashed by the time Vice President Dick Cheney ordered hostile aircraft shot down. President George W. Bush disputed the Sept. 11 commission's finding that Saddam Hussein had no strong ties to al-Qaida. A sport utility vehicle packed with artillery shells slammed into a crowd waiting to volunteer for the Iraqi military, killing 35 people. One year ago: Hundreds of same-sex couples got married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state's highest court. (However, California voters later approved Proposition 8, which restricted nuptials to a union between a man and a woman.) A truck bombing in Baghdad killed 63 people. Four British soldiers were killed by an explosive in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA title with a stunning 131-92 blowout over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6. [That was last year. Where those Celtics now, huh? — Ed.] Igor Larionov and Glenn Anderson were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame along with former linesman Ray Scapinello and junior hockey builder Ed Chynoweth. Today's Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 77. Jerk, loser, moron, religious phony & asshole Newton Leroy Gingrich is 66. [It is our sincere hope that he doesn't make it to 67. Or even 66.5. — Ed.] Singer Barry Manilow is 63. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 58. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 55. Musician Philip Chevron (The Pogues) is 52. Actor Jon Gries is 52. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 51. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 48. Actor Greg Kinnear is 46. Actress Kami Cotler ("The Waltons") is 44. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 44. Actor Jason Patric is 43. R&B singer Kevin Thornton is 40. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 39. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 38. Tennis player Venus Williams is 29. Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth is 28. Actor-rapper Herculeez (Herculeez and Big Tyme) is 26. Today In Entertainment History -- Fifty years ago, in 1959, a British court awarded American entertainer Liberace £8,000 (the equivalent of $22,400) [When a fookin' quid meant summat! — Ed.] in his libel suit against the Daily Mirror over an article that Liberace charged implied he was a homosexual. In 1965, The Kinks arrived in New York for their first American tour. In 1967, Moby Grape released five singles simultaneously in their debut with the CBS label. ["The Man can't bust our music." — Ed.] In 1968, the Ohio Express got their first gold single with "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy." ["I've got love in my tummy." A paean to swallowing? — Ed.] Forty years ago, in 1969, the raunchy musical review "Oh! Calcutta!" opened in New York. In 1978, Jefferson Starship failed to perform at a festival in Germany because singer Grace Slick was unable to go onstage. Angry fans started a riot and caused over a million dollars in damage. Twenty years ago, in 1989, Ringo Starr announced he would tour again for the first time in several years. His first All-Starr Band included Clarence Clemons, Joe Walsh, Billy Preston, and Nils Lofgren. In 2000, Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson married Kristin Willits in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2005, Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller died of throat cancer in Minneapolis. He was 41. In 2008, Actress-dancer Cyd Charisse died in Los Angeles at age 86. Thought for Today: "Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it." — John Hersey, American author (born this date in 1914, died 1993).

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