Friday, June 20
Today is Friday, June 20, the 171st day of 2014. There are 194 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1605 - Russia's Czar Theodore II is assassinated in a palace revolution.
1625 - France and United Provinces sign nonaggression treaty.
1756 - Scores of British prisoners (146, by British accounts) are shut in a cell known as the "Black Hole of Calcutta" by the nawab of Bengal, and only 21 escape suffocation during the night.
1789 - French assemblymen representing the common people vow not to leave the tennis court where they are meeting until a constitution is drawn up, signaling start of French Revolution.
1837 - Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne upon the death of her uncle, King William IV; Natal Republic is founded by Dutch settlers in southern Africa and a constitution is proclaimed.
1867 - U.S. President Andrew Jackson proclaims treaty for purchase of Alaska from Russia.
1891 - Britain and the Netherlands define their boundaries in Borneo.
1927 - Druse revolt against French in Syria ends.
1933 - Army stages coup in Siam, now Thailand.
1934 - Agreement is reached on frontier between Sudan and Libya.
1961 - Kuwait, newly independent, is admitted to Arab League, but admission to United Nations is blocked by Soviet Union.
1973 - Juan Peron returns to Argentina after 18-year exile.
1988 - Lt. Gen. Henry Namphy declares himself president of Haiti after troops storm national palace and depose civilian President Leslie Manigat.
1990 - Ion Iliescu is sworn in as president of Romania. The United States boycotts the inauguration to protest his role in violent repression of opposition figures.
1991 - German lawmakers narrowly vote to return Germany's seat of power to Berlin.
1991 - P.V. Narasimha Rao becomes India's ninth prime minister since it became independent in 1947. He begins reforms that start to open India's closed and socialist economy.
1992 - Czech leader Vaclav Klaus and Slovak leader Vladimir Meciar agree to split Czechoslovakia in two.
1993 - The European Community authorizes its mediator to negotiate the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1994 - U.S. athlete O.J. Simpson pleads innocent to murdering his ex-wife and her friend.
1995 - Chechen rebels who stormed Budyonnovsk, Russia, return to their battered republic and release some 150 human shields who accompanied them.
1996 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires three of the most powerful members of his administration amid charges they want to cancel presidential elections and use force to retain their positions and power.
1997 - Turkey's Islamic-influenced government falls when the president asks conservative politician Mesut Yilmaz to form a government, after the leader of the Islamic Welfare Party resigned as premier.
1998 - Fighting rages through the northern suburbs of Guinea-Bissau's capital as rebel soldiers hold off advancing Senegalese troops near the airport.
1999 - While in Germany for a summit Russian President Boris Yeltsin presents U.S. President Bill Clinton with the recently declassified Russian reports relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
2000 - A French court dismisses criminal charges against former German doctor Hans Muench who worked at the Auschwitz death camp, ruling that at age 89, he is too old for a trial on inciting racial hatred.
2001- American Lori Berenson is convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Peruvian court for collaborating with leftist guerrillas in a thwarted plot to seize Peru's congress.
2002 - The U.S. shuts down its embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, after a terrorist threat. The new embassy building opened March 3, four and a half years after a bomb destroyed the original structure, killing 219 people and injuring more than 5,000 others in August 1998.
2003 - Experts from the U.N. atomic agency say they have accounted for tons of natural and low-enriched uranium feared looted from Iraq's largest nuclear research facility, diplomats reveal on condition of anonymity.
2004 - Iraq's interim prime minister announces a restructuring of the country's security forces, grouping all Iraqi troops under a central command whose chief duty is tackling insurgents plaguing the country.
2005 - Afghan intelligence agents scuttle a plot to assassinate outspoken U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, arresting three Pakistanis armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades.
2006 - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's U.N.-chartered plane arrives in the Netherlands for a war crimes trial on charges accusing him in the death, rape or mutilation of hundreds of thousands of people in West Africa.
2007 - Three former Sierra Leonean military leaders are found guilty of war crimes by a U.N.-backed court — the first verdicts from the country's civil war and the first convictions in an international court for using child soldiers.
2008 - A suicide bomber attacks a military convoy as it drives through a town in southern Afghanistan, killing five civilians and one soldier from the U.S.-led coalition.
2009 - Thousands of protesters defy Iran's highest authority and march on waiting security forces that fight back with batons and tear gas in a deepening crisis over a disputed presidential election.
2010 - Israel pledges it will immediately allow all goods into Gaza except weapons and items deemed to have a military use under its decision to ease its three-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory.
2011 - Tunisia's former ruler and his wife are convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges after $27 million (euro18.97 million) in jewels and public funds were found in one of his palaces.
2012 — Greece moves to end its protracted impasse, swearing in a new prime minister to lead a largely pro-bailout coalition tasked with saving the country's place in the eurozone and easing a European financial crisis with global repercussions.
2013 — The Taliban proposes a deal in which they would free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jacques Offenbach, German-born composer (1819-1880); Errol Flynn, Australian actor (1909-1959); Chet Atkins, country guitarist (1924-2001); Olympia Dukakis, actress (1931--); Lionel Richie, R&B singer (1949--); John Goodman, U.S. actor (1952--); Nicole Kidman, actress (1967--); Josh Lucas, U.S. actor (1971--); Brian Wilson, U.S. singer/songwriter (1942--).
Thought For Today:
You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it — Samuel Butler, English satirist (1835-1902).