Today is Wednesday, June 22, the 173rd day of 2005. There are 192 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 22, 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa officially ended; 12,520 Americans and 110,000 Japanese were killed in the 81-day campaign.

On this date:

In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers.

In 1870, Congress created the Department of Justice.

In 1911, Britain's King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

In 1938, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium.

In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

In 1944, President Roosevelt signed the Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the "GI Bill of Rights."

In 1969, singer-actress Judy Garland died in London at age 47.

In 1970, President Nixon signed a measure lowering the voting age to 18.

In 1987, actor-dancer Fred Astaire died in Los Angeles at age 88.

In 1993, former first lady Pat Nixon died in Park Ridge, N.J., at age 81.

Ten years ago: House and Senate Republicans announced agreement on a compromise seven-year budget-balancing plan that would cut taxes by $245 billion and slow spending for Medicare, Medicaid and dozens of other programs. Riot police stormed a hijacked jumbo jet in Hakodate, Japan, freeing all 364 people on board and capturing a lone hijacker.

Five years ago: The state of Texas executed Gary Graham for the 1981 killing of a man in a holdup outside a Houston supermarket; Graham insisted to the end that he was innocent. Independent Counsel Robert Ray ended his investigation of the 1993 firings in the White House travel office, issuing no indictments but saying he'd found "substantial evidence" that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton played a role in the dismissals.

One year ago: Islamic militants beheaded Kim Sun-il, a South Korean hostage who'd pleaded for his life in a heart-wrenching videotape; he was the third foreign hostage decapitated in the Middle East in little over a month. A federal judge approved a class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit representing 1.6 million female workers against Wal-Mart. Mexican newspaper editor Francisco Ortiz Franco was shot to death in Tijuana. Former President Clinton's memoir, "My Life," was officially released. Child poet Mattie Stepanek, a prominent voice for muscular dystrophy sufferers, died in Washington, D.C., at age 13.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Ralph Waite is 77. Singer-actor Kris Kristofferson is 69. CBS News correspondent Ed Bradley is 64. Actor Michael Lerner is 64. Fox News correspondent Brit Hume is 62. Actor Klaus Maria Brandauer is 61. Singer Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon) is 61. Actor Andrew Rubin is 59. Actor David L. Lander is 58. Singer Howard "Eddie" Kaylan is 58. Singer-musician Todd Rundgren is 57. Actress Meryl Streep is 56. Actress Lindsay Wagner is 56. Singer Alan Osmond is 56. Actor Murphy Cross is 55. Actor Graham Greene is 53. Actor Chris Lemmon is 51. Actor Tim Russ is 49. Rock musician Garry Beers (INXS) is 48. Actor-producer-writer Bruce Campbell is 47. Rock musician Alan Anton (Cowboy Junkies) is 46. Actress Tracy Pollan is 45. Rock singer-musician Jimmy Somerville is 44. Rock singer-musician Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) is 41. Actress Amy Brenneman is 41. Actress Paula Irvine is 37. Rock singer Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies) is 35. TV personality Carson Daly is 32. Rock musician Chris Traynor (Helmet) is 32. Actor Donald Faison is 31. TV personality/actor Jai Rodriguez is 26. Actress Lindsay Ridgeway is 20.

Thought for Today: "To understand is hard. Once one understands, action is easy." - Sun Yat-sen, Chinese statesman (1866-1925).


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