Today is Wednesday, June 30, the 182nd day of 2004. There are 184 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 30, 1963, Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.

On this date:

In 1859, French acrobat Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.

In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act became law.

In 1921, President Harding appointed former President Taft chief justice of the United States.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler began his "blood purge" of political and military leaders in Germany.

In 1936, the novel "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell was published in New York.

In 1952, "The Guiding Light," a popular radio program, made its T.V. debut on CBS.

In 1971, a Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz Eleven were found dead inside their spacecraft after it had returned to Earth.

In 1971, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18, was ratified as Ohio became the 38th state to approve it.

In 1984, John Turner was sworn in as Canada's 17th prime minister, succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan. The Supreme Court ruled that judges can bar even peaceful demonstrators from getting too close to abortion clinics.

Five years ago: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in two years, boosting the target for the funds rate a 1/4 point to 5 percent. On the day the independent counsel law expired, Kenneth Starr wrapped up the Whitewater phase of his investigation as presidential friend Webster Hubbell pleaded guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor.

One year ago: Israeli and Palestinian commanders shook hands as bulldozers dismantled checkpoints and Palestinian traffic flowed freely in the Gaza Strip. American troops detained the U.S.-appointed mayor of Najaf, Iraq, accusing him of kidnapping and corruption. Comedian Buddy Hackett died in Malibu, Calif., at age 79.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Lena Horne is 87. Actor Tony Musante is 68. Actress Nancy Dussault is 68. Singer Glenn Shorrock is 60. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 53. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 51. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 49. Actor Vincent D'Onofrio is 45. Actor Rupert Graves is 41. Boxer Mike Tyson is 38. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 35. Actor Brian Bloom is 34. Actor Brian Vincent is 34. Actress Monica Potter is 33.

Thought for Today: "Many a man thinks he is patient when, in reality, he is indifferent." - B.C. Forbes, Scottish journalist (1880-1954).

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