Today is Wednesday, June 9, the 161st day of 2004. There are 205 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on June 9, 1954, in one of the most dramatic confrontations of the Senate-Army Hearings, Army special counsel Joseph N. Welch denounced Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's attack on a member of Welch's law firm, Frederick G. Fisher. Said Welch to McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

On this date:

In A.D. 68, the Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide.

In 1870, author Charles Dickens died in Godshill, England.

In 1940, Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II.

In 1953, about 100 people died when a tornado struck Worcester, Mass.

In 1969, the U.S. Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be the new chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.

In 1973, Secretariat became horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning the Belmont Stakes.

In 1978, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.

In 1980, comedian Richard Pryor suffered almost fatal burns at his San Fernando Valley, Calif., home when a mixture of "free-base" cocaine exploded.

In 1985, American educator Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon; he was released in November 1991 along with fellow hostage Terry Waite.

In 1993, as millions of Japanese watched on television, Crown Prince Naruhito wed commoner Masako Owada in an elaborate Shinto religious ceremony.

Ten years ago: In a bipartisan slap at President Clinton, the House of Representatives voted 244-178 in favor of having the United States defy the international arms embargo on Bosnia.

Five years ago: After 78 days of intense NATO airstrikes, Yugoslav and Western generals signed a pact clearing the way for a Kosovo peace plan. President Clinton instructed federal law agencies to collect race and gender data on people they stop or arrest, in a move to end racial profiling by police.

One year ago: As rebels bore down on the capital of Liberia, French helicopters rescued more than 500 Americans, Europeans and other foreigners. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-0 in Game 7.

Today's Birthdays: Guitarist Les Paul is 89. Former World Bank president and former defense secretary Robert S. McNamara is 88. Actress Mona Freeman is 78. Media analyst Marvin Kalb is 74. Comedian Jackie Mason is 68. Actor Joe Santos is 68. Author Letty Cottin Pogrebin is 65. Rock musician Jon Lord is 63. Actor Michael J. Fox is 43. Writer-producer Aaron Sorkin is 43. Actor Johnny Depp is 41. Jazz musician Wayman Tisdale is 40. Actress Gloria Reuben is 40. Rock musician Dean Felber (Hootie & the Blowfish) is 37. Rock musician Dean Dinning is 37. Musician Ed Simons is 34. Actress Natalie Portman is 23. Actress Mae Whitman is 16.

Thought for Today: "History is a romance that is believed; romance, a history that is not believed." - Horace Walpole, English author (1717-1797).


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