Today is Wednesday, June 6, the 158th day of 2012. There are 208 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On June 6, 1944, during World War II, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on "D-Day," beginning the liberation of German-occupied western Europe.
On this date:
In 1799, American politician and orator Patrick Henry died at Red Hill Plantation in Virginia.
In 1844, the Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London.
In 1862, the (first) Battle of Memphis took place during the Civil War as Union naval forces annihilated a Confederate fleet and captured the Tennessee city.
In 1912, the greatest volcanic eruption of the 20th century took place as Novarupta in Alaska began a series of explosive episodes over a 60-hour period.
In 1925, Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corp.
In 1932, the Senate approved, and President Herbert Hoover signed, a Revenue Act containing the first federal gasoline tax, which was one cent per gallon.
In 1933, the first drive-in movie theater was opened by Richard Hollingshead in Camden County, N.J. (The movie shown was "Wives Beware," starring Adolphe Menjou.)
In 1934, the Securities and Exchange Commission was established.
In 1966, black activist James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked along a Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
In 1978, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, a primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
In 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon to drive Palestine Liberation Organization fighters out of the country. (The Israelis withdrew in June 1985.)
In 1985, authorities in Brazil exhumed a body later identified as the remains of Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious "Angel of Death" of the Nazi Holocaust.
Ten years ago: Stung by intelligence failures, President George W. Bush called on Congress in a nationally broadcast address to remake the government with a terrorist-fighting Department of Homeland Security. Israeli troops stormed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters in response to a Palestinian suicide attack on a bus that killed 17 Israelis.
Five years ago: The Group of Eight summit opened in Heiligendamm, Germany. Police arrested a suspect in the abduction and death of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, whose body was found in a Missouri park four days after she'd disappeared from a Kansas store's parking lot. (Edwin R. Hall later pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison.) Police in Connecticut looking for clues in the yearlong disappearance of a 15-year-old Bloomfield girl found her locked in a hidden room in a West Hartford home owned by an acquaintance of her parents. (Adam Gault later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault.) The Anaheim Ducks captured the Stanley Cup with a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5. Bob Barker taped his last episode of CBS' "The Price Is Right."
One year ago: After days of denials, New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed that he had tweeted a photo of his bulging underpants to a woman and admitted to "inappropriate" exchanges with six women before and after getting married; Weiner apologized for lying but said he would not resign (which he ended up doing). Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, popular among social conservatives, plunged into the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes. (Santorum suspended his campaign in April 2012.) The Bowl Championship Series stripped Southern California of its 2004 title after the Trojans were hit with heavy NCAA sanctions for rules violations committed during the 2004 and '05 seasons.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Billie Whitelaw is 80. Civil rights activist Roy Innis is 78. Singer-songwriter Gary "U.S." Bonds is 73. Country singer Joe Stampley is 69. Actor Robert Englund is 65. Folk singer Holly Near is 63. Singer Dwight Twilley is 61. Playwright-actor Harvey Fierstein is 60. Comedian Sandra Bernhard is 57. International Tennis Hall of Famer Bjorn Borg is 56. Actress Amanda Pays is 53. Comedian Colin Quinn is 53. Record producer Jimmy Jam is 53. Rock musician Steve Vai is 52. Rock singer-musician Tom Araya (Slayer) is 51. Actor Jason Isaacs is 49. Rock musician Sean Yseult (White Zombie) is 46. Actor Max Casella is 45. Actor Paul Giamatti is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Damion Hall (Guy) is 44. Rock musician Bardi Martin is 43. Rock musician James "Munky" Shaffer (Korn) is 42. TV correspondent Natalie Morales is 40. Country singer Lisa Brokop is 39. Rapper-rocker Uncle Kracker is 38. Actress Sonya Walger is 38. Actress Staci Keanan is 37. Actress Amber Borycki is 29.
Thought for Today: "A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone." -- Paul Valery, French poet and essayist (1871-1945).