Today is Thursday, June 21, the 173rd day of 2012. There are 193 days left in the year.
Today's Highlights in History:
On June 21, 1942, German forces led by Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erwin Rommel captured the Libyan city of Tobruk during World War II. (Following his victory, Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal; Tobruk was retaken by the Allies in November 1942.) An Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.
On this date:
In 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.
In 1912, author and critic Mary McCarthy was born in Seattle.
In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling's manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: "We was robbed!"
In 1948, the Republican national convention opened in Philadelphia. (The delegates ended up choosing Thomas E. Dewey to be their presidential nominee.)
In 1963, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was chosen to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope took the name Paul VI.
In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later.
In 1970, former Indonesian President Sukarno died at 69.
In 1982, a jury in Washington D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.
In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
In 1997, the WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.
In 2005, 41 years to the day after three civil rights workers were beaten and shot to death, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter in a Mississippi court. (Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison.)
Ten years ago: One of the worst wildfires in Arizona history grew to 128,000 acres, forcing thousands of homeowners near the community of Show Low to flee. The United States team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Korea, losing 1-0 to Germany.
Five years ago: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. nuclear envoy, made a rare trip to North Korea in a surprise bid to accelerate international efforts to press the communist government to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Bob Evans, creator of his namesake restaurant chain, died in Cleveland at age 89.
One year ago: Amid street protests, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survived a confidence vote. Defending national champion South Carolina tied the record for consecutive NCAA tournament wins with a 7-1 victory over Virginia at the College World Series.
Today's Birthdays: Composer Lalo Schifrin is 80. Actor Bernie Kopell is 79. Actor Monte Markham is 77. Songwriter Don Black is 74. Actress Mariette Hartley is 72. Comedian Joe Flaherty is 71. Rock singer-musician Ray Davies (The Kinks) is 68. Actress Meredith Baxter is 65. Actor Michael Gross is 65. Rock musician Joe Molland (Badfinger) is 65. Rock musician Don Airey (Deep Purple) is 64. Country singer Leon Everette is 64. Rock musician Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) is 62. Rock musician Nils Lofgren is 61. Actress Robyn Douglass is 59. Actor Leigh McCloskey is 57. Cartoonist Berke Breathed is 55. Country singer Kathy Mattea is 53. Actor Marc Copage is 50. Actress Sammi Davis is 48. Actor Doug Savant is 48. Country musician Porter Howell is 48. Actor Michael Dolan is 47. Writer-director Larry Wachowski is 47. Actress Paula Irvine is 44. Rapper/producer Pete Rock is 42. Country singer Allison Moorer is 40. Actress Juliette Lewis is 39. Musician Justin Cary is 37. Rock musician Mike Einziger (Incubus) is 36. Actor Chris Pratt is 33. Rock singer Brandon Flowers is 31. Britain's Prince William is 30. Pop singer Kris Allen ("American Idol") is 27. Actor Jascha Washington is 23. Pop singer Rebecca Black is 15.
Thought for Today: "He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave." -- William Drummond, Scottish writer (1585-1649).