The World Almanac E-Newsletter
Volume 3, Number 7 - July 2003
What's in this issue?
July 1-6 - Boston Harborfest; Friendship Festival, Fort Erie, ON, and Buffalo, NY
July 1 - Canada Day; Half-Year Day, China; Midyear Day, Thailand
This Day in History - July
Location: Capital of Arkansas and seat of Pulaski County, a port of entry on the Arkansas River opposite North Little Rock, in the central part of the state; incorporated 1836.
Population (2000 Census): 183,133
Mayor: Jim Dailey (Non-Partisan)
July Temperatures: Normal high of 92.4 degrees Fahrenheit; Normal low of 71.5 degrees Fahrenheit
Colleges & Universities: Arkansas Baptist College, Philander Smith College, Pulaski Technical College, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Webster University
Events: Annual Lights on the Lake Fourthfest, Maumelle Lake (July 4); Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Pops on the River, Riverfest Amphitheatre (July 4); Frontier Fourth of July Festivities, Historic Arkansas Museum (July 4); 17th Annual Arkansas Minority Business Opportunity Fair, Statehouse Convention Center (July 9); Christmas in July Arts & Crafts Sale, Dunbar Community Center (July 11); Moonlight Canoe Float, Pinnacle Mountain State Park (July 12); Memphis Flea Market, Little Rock Expo Center (July 12-13); Kids Fishing Derby, MacArthur Park (July 17); One Love Bob Marley Festival/Reggae Concert, North Shore Riverwalk (July 19); Kids Fair, Clear Channel Metroplex (July 26)
Museums: Arkansas Arts Center; EMOBA-The Museum of Black Arkansans; Historic Arkansas Museum; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; Museum of Discovery; Old State House Museum
Places to visit: Aerospace Education Center; Allsopp Park; Burns Park; Arkansas State Capital; Central High School National Historic Site; Curran Hall (an antebellum home); Emerald Park; Gator Park (family fun park); Interstate Park; Little Rock Zoo; MacArthur Park, including the scenic Contemplation Gardens; MacArthur Park Historic District (Little Rock's oldest surviving neighborhood); Mount Holly Cemetery; Murray Park; Riverfront Park, including the River Market Pavilions, the Riverfest Amphitheatre, and The "Little Rock" (an outcropping of rock along the south bank of the Arkansas River for which Little Rock was named); War Memorial Park; Wild River Country (water park); William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Center (to be completed in 2004); Willow Springs water park
Tallest Building: TCBY Tower (546 feet, 40 stories)
History: The Little Rock region, then occupied by Quapaw Indians, was visited by the French explorer Benard de la Harpe in 1722. He built a trading post on the Arkansas River near the smaller of two rock outcroppings (from which the city's name is derived). In 1812, William Lewis, a fur trapper, built a home near the "little rock." A community developed, and in 1821 it became the capital of Arkansas Territory; it continued as the state capital when Arkansas was admitted to the Union in 1836. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, the inhabitants of Little Rock strongly supported the Confederacy, but in September 1863, Union forces under Gen. Frederick Steele captured the city. It became an important transportation center in the 1880s, and its chief growth as a manufacturing hub began in the 1940s. In 1957 it was embroiled in a crisis over a federal court order to admit nine black students to its all-white Central High School. The state governor attempted to prevent their entry, but the students were admitted after the federal government intervened. During the 1960s and '70s the city enjoyed considerable growth and urban renewal.
Birthplace of: former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton (1980); General Douglas MacArthur (1880)
Axelrod, George, 81, author of such caustic, risqué plays as The Seven Year Itch (1952) and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1955) who later wrote screenplays for such memorable films as Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962); Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 2003.
Brinkley, David, 82, veteran television newscaster and commentator, known for his understated, somewhat sardonic manner, who earlier in his career co-anchored the nightly news on the NBC network with Chet Huntley and who subsequently hosted a highly influential Sunday talk show on ABC; Houston, TX, June 11, 2003.
Chaikin, Joseph, 67, actor and director who helped revitalize American theater with his experimental, New York City-based Open Theater in the 1960s and early 1970s; New York, NY, June 22, 2003.
Cooper, Art, 65, men's magazine editor who during his two decades as editor in chief of GQ was credited with greatly expanding the reach of such magazines; New York, NY, June 9, 2003.
Cronyn, Hume, 91, Canadian-born actor who, with his British-born wife, Jessica Tandy, to whom he was married from 1942 until her death in 1994, made up one of the most celebrated acting teams in the English-speaking world; Fairfield, CT, June 15, 2003.
De Weldon, Felix, 96, monumental sculptor whose best-known work was his Marine Corps War Memorial, in Arlington, VA, dedicated in 1954; Woodstock, VA, June 2, 2003.
Doby, Larry, 79, baseball Hall of Famer who in July 1947 became only the second black in Major League Baseball, when he joined the American League's Cleveland Indians as an outfielder, three months after Jackie Robinson joined the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers; Montclair, NJ, June 18, 2003.
Good, Dr. Robert A., 81, immunologist who in 1968 performed the world's first successful human bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota Medical school in Minneapolis; St. Petersburg, Fla., June 13, 2003.
Hackett, Buddy, 78, comedian who performed in nightclubs, film, television and theatre, known for his film roles in The Love Bug and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; Malibu, CA, June 30, 2003.
Hepburn, Katharine, 96, legendary stage and screen actress who, in a career that spanned more than five decades, won four Academy Awards for acting, more than anyone, else, including one for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), the last of nine films in which she costarred with Spencer Tracy, her lover for many years, until his death in 1967; Old Saybrook, CT, June 29, 2003.
Jackson, Maynard H., 65, three-term Democratic mayor of Atlanta, GA (1973-81, 1989-93), whose 1973 election to the post made him the first black mayor of a major city in the U.S. South; Arlington, VA, June 23, 2003.
Maddox, Lester G., 87, Georgia restaurateur turned Democratic politician who after being elected governor of Georgia as a segregationist in 1967 softened his racial stance while serving four years as governor and four years (1971-75) as lieutenant governor; Atlanta, GA, June 25, 2003.
Marshall, Burke, 80, U.S. Justice Department lawyer instrumental in enforcing early 1960s civil rights legislation; Newtown, CT, June 2, 2003.
Neilson, Roger, 69, peripatetic National Hockey League coach nicknamed Captain Video for pioneering the use of videotape in analyzing hockey; Peterborough, Canada, June 22, 2003.
Peck, Gregory, 87, leading actor in many Hollywood films who brought an air of quiet dignity to the screen, perhaps most notably in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), for which he won an Academy Award; Los Angeles, CA, June 12, 2003.
Regan, Donald T., 84, top Wall Street executive who during the Reagan administration served as Treasury secretary (1981-85) and White House chief of staff (1985-87); Williamsburg, VA, June 10, 2003.
Scribner, Dr. Belding H., 82, kidney specialist who in 1960 invented the Scribner shunt, a device that would allow millions of people to live on long-term dialysis; Seattle, WA, June 19, 2003.
Thatcher, Sir Denis, 88, British oil executive married since 1951 to Margaret Thatcher, who in 1979 became Britain's first female prime minister; London, England, June 26, 2003.
Thurmond, Strom, 100, South Carolina governor (1947-51), segregationist presidential candidate (1948), and the longest-serving senator (1954-56, 1957-2003) in U.S. history, mostly (since 1964) as a conservative Republican; Edgefield, SC, June 26, 2003.
Uris, Leon, 78, best-selling author of Exodus (1958) and other sweeping historical novels; Shelter Island, NY, June 21, 2003.
Williams, Sir Bernard, 73, British philosopher credited with reviving interest in the field of moral philosophy; Rome, Italy, June 10, 2003.
By Joe Gustaitis
Fifty years ago, after 37 months of grim warfare in which more than 36,000 U.S. troops were killed, an anxious peace finally settled over the Korean peninsula. The date was July 27, 1953, and the Korean War was no longer being fought, though no official peace treaty was signed. A demilitarized zone 2.5 miles wide was established roughly at the 38th parallel running from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea. It separated Communist-controlled North Korea from pro-Western South Korea, ostensibly a democracy. In addition to the U.S. death toll, South Korea had lost 415,004 troops in the war, and other nations siding with it, 3,094. Estimated combat losses on the Communist side were 2 million.
Background and War
After World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and Western spheres of influence, with the dividing line between them at the 38th parallel. North Korea, officially founded as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in September 1948, became a Stalinist-type dictatorship headed by Kim Il Sung ("The Great Leader"). South Korea came into existence as the Republic of Korea on April 15, 1948. Its president was Syngman Rhee. Both countries claimed to be the sole legitimate authority for the entire peninsula and in the first years of their existence, tensions between them rose.
Hostilities commenced when North Korea invaded the south on June 25, 1950. Since these were the beginning years of the Cold War, an era in which the Soviet-led Communist bloc and the Western powers were embarking upon a worldwide struggle for power and influence, the West naturally viewed the Korean conflict as a power grab orchestrated by Moscow. It appears, however, that North Korea invaded without the prior knowledge of either the Soviet Union or China (where a Communist government had recently taken over). Kim Il Sung, noting the dissatisfaction in the south with the Rhee government, seems to have miscalculated that his forces would be greeted as liberators. At the time, the Soviets were boycotting the United Nations; their absence rendered them unable to veto a Security Council resolution that authorized troops to repel the attack. Within three days of the invasion, U.S. President Harry S. Truman approved the use of U.S. air and naval support for South Korean troops.
North Korea's advance proved unexpectedly quick. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, fell within days, and Truman, realizing that U.S. air and naval power would be insufficient to stem the advance, sent U.S. ground troops, which joined in the fighting on July 5. The troops of the U.S. and South Korea were joined by combat forces from 15 other nations, and on July 8, the combined forces were put under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, a flamboyant commander whose ingenious and daring tactics had been instrumental in securing victory over the Japanese in the Pacific theater in World War II. North Korean forces, however, continued their progress, and by September Communist troops had swept through nearly the entire peninsula, until the UN forces were finally able to establish a defensive perimeter around the southern coastal city of Pusan.
The situation looked bleak for the UN forces until, in a characteristically bold and inventive action, MacArthur launched an amphibious invasion of Inch'on (Inchon), Seoul's closest port city. MacArthur quickly retook Seoul, captured some 100,000 North Korean soldiers, and presented North Korea with a surrender ultimatum, which was turned down. The general continued his pursuit into North Korea, captured the capital, P'yongyang (Pyongyang), and pushed all the way to the Yalu river, which marked the border with China.
UN victory now appeared imminent. However, in late November, China entered the conflict, sending some 200,000 "volunteer" soldiers across the river. The momentum shifted yet again, and now UN forces were in flight. They managed to dig in, however, and by the end of January 1951 the Communist advance had been checked. A UN counteroffensive followed, and MacArthur unsuccessfully pressed Truman for permission to bomb bases within China. MacArthur made his criticism of the president publicly known, and Truman relieved him in April, replacing him with Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway.
The front then stabilized roughly along the 38th parallel, in what became known as the "Battle of the Hills" or the "meat grinder" war, as Communist and UN forces struggled along a 150-mile front with neither side being able to prevail. Truce discussions began as early as July 1951, but the talks deadlocked over a host of issues, especially the repatriation of prisoners of war. The Communists refused to accept the premise that a prisoner should not be forced to return to his army against his will. Discussions were not successfully concluded until July 1953, by which time both Koreas had suffered enormous losses in lives and property.
Postwar Tensions and Thaw
After the war the paths of the two Koreas diverged widely. At the time of the separation, the north was the more industrial part of the country, and in the 1950s it embarked upon a rebuilding program. Several ambitious development plans, however, fell short of expectations, and the economy was seriously slumping by the 1970s. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left North Korea with China as virtually its sole global supporter. Kim Il Sung died in 1994 and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong Il. North Korea's food production system was already notoriously inefficient, and a series of floods in 1995, followed by drought, plunged the nation into famine, in which as many as 3 million people are believed to have died.
In South Korea, Rhee was re-elected in 1952, 1956, and 1960. However, popular discontent built steadily as his authoritarian government proved unable to cope with inflation and high unemployment. He was driven out in 1960, shortly after the election. Economic reforms were then put into place, and by the 1970s the nation had entered a period of extensive economic growth, led primarily by a rapid rise in exports. From 1980 to 1986, South Korea's real national income increased 55 percent. At the same time, demonstrations and strikes were putting pressure on the government to establish democratic reforms, and the elections of 1987, along with a new constitution that took effect in 1988, ushered in the beginnings of true multiparty democracy.
In 1988 the U.S. added North Korea to its list of nations supporting international terrorism. There were also concerns that North Korea was developing nuclear weapons. In March 1993, North Korea said it would withdraw from the 1970 Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (which it had signed in 1985), prompting a flurry of intense negotiations. In December 1994, it signed a $4.5 billion agreement with the U.S. for construction of two light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for halting its suspected nuclear arms program. North Korea would also receive crude oil for its energy needs during construction of the reactors. Nevertheless, to the detriment of its economy, North Korea continued to pour money into the military. In 1998 it fired a medium-range missile over Japan.
Between the two Koreas, relations seemed to improve around the turn of 21st century, culminating in the first-ever summit meeting between South Korean president Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il. This was partly the result of changes in leadership in both nations. The two, meeting in P'yongyang in June 2000, signed a nonspecific pledge to cooperate toward reunification and agreed to let separated family members visit one another. The issues of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea were not addressed in the agreement. Later that year some divided families were indeed reunited, and athletes of the two nations marched under a Korean peninsula flag at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics (though they did not compete jointly).
New Tensions Cloud Outlook
In October 2002, after being confronted with evidence of a clandestine weapons program, North Korea admitted that it had been developing nuclear weapons for years North Korea then reopened its nuclear power plant, expelled international nuclear monitors, and withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It even threatened to withdraw from the 1953 armistice. The critical question of how to deal with this new level of threat divided South Korean and Western analysts into two camps: those who favored dialogue as the best way to bring North Korea into the international community, and those who contended that engagement and patient diplomacy amounted to a form of appeasement that only rewarded North Korea for its hazardous behavior.
In May 2003, newly inaugurated South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun met for the first time with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., at which time the two leaders said that they would "not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea," although they maintained "that a peaceful resolution can be achieved." In South Korea itself, public opinion was divided on the continuing presence of U.S. troops and on the best method to deal with North Korea. Many South Koreans, who had inaccessible relatives in the north, favored strengthening ties with North Korea, while others expressed concern that a lessening of the U.S. presence would put their country under greater threat from the north. The U.S. Army's command garrison in Seoul became the focus of demonstrations against the U.S. military presence, and in April 2003 the U.S. and South Korea announced that the U.S. Army would move its command headquarters out of Seoul as soon as possible. In June the U.S. and South Korea agreed to move U.S. forces away from the Demilitarized Zone -- the first redeployment of U.S. troops away from the front line since the end of the Korean War, to take place in two phases over several years. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that, in addition to moving U.S. forces south, troops could be moved to other countries in the region or returned to the U.S.
As the nuclear standoff remained unresolved, Roh Moo Hyun continued to favor the "sunshine policy" toward North Korea of his predecessor, Kim Dae Jung. This called for peaceful dialogue and outreach policies. Some U.S. policymakers, by contrast, had begun to speak of "regime change" in North Korea as the best hope for the future. The Bush administration took the position that other powers in the region -- notably China, Japan, and Russia -- should play a major role in putting pressure on North Korea; North Korea was pressing for direct bilateral talks with the United States. The U.S., North Korea and China met for talks in Beijing, China, in late April 2003.
Many analysts believe that the two Koreas, like the two Germanys, will eventually be reunited (at considerable cost to the south). The thinking is that in North Korea the economy is so ailing and the populace so discontented that although Kim Jong Il will survive in the short term, the long-term prospects for his regime are poor, portending a sudden collapse from within. Pessimists fear that Kim Jong Il will cynically accept South Korean aid solely to prop up his economy and then attempt to survive by provoking a military crisis on the peninsula. Those with a more favorable appraisal of the situation hope that North Korea will go down the road traveled by China, gradually adopting a market economy and moving into the international community. In that scenario, North and South Korea could achieve peaceful coexistence, construct a dual community, and eventually reach unification.
New Mars Mission
On June 10, 2003, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its latest mission to Mars: a spacecraft carrying one of two robot rovers that seek evidence of water on the red planet. The second rover will be launched later in the month and both are expected to land on Mars within weeks of each other in January 2004.
The two rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, are larger versions of Sojourner, the 11.3 kg (25 pounds) rover that explored a small patch of the planet in 1997. The identical Spirit and Opportunity are each approximately 180 kg (400 pounds) and about the size of a golf cart. They carry Rock Abrasion Tools (RAT), to grind away the outside of rocks so they can examine the inside, and five scientific instruments-a panoramic camera, an infrared camera, a microscope to examine rocks close-up, and two different spectrometers. A spectrometer can identify the composition of rocks.
The six-wheeled rovers, powered by large solar panels, can travel about 40 meters (44 yards) each day. In the three-months they are expected to operate, they will be able to explore six to 10 times farther than Sojourner, which only traveled the length of a football field. Each rover will explore a different area of the planet. Spirit is headed for Gusev Crater, which may have been a crater lake. Opportunity will land at Meridiani Planum, which has a large deposit of gray hematite, a mineral that most often forms in the presence of water.
"The instrumentation onboard these rovers, combined with their great mobility, will offer a totally new view of Mars, including a microscopic view inside rocks for the first time," said NASA's Ed Weiler, an associate administrator for space science.
After landing, using a parachute and airbag method similar to the one used by Pathfinder and its rover Sojourner, the rovers will spend several days doing reconnaissance, taking 360-degree pictures with its two cameras. Scientists on Earth will then send the rovers to investigate interesting rocks with its RAT and other tools."We will be using the rovers to find rocks and soils that could hold clues about wet environments of Mars' past," explained NASA's Cathy Weitz, a Mars Exploration Rover program scientist. "We'll analyze the clues to assess whether those environments may have been conducive to life."
The possibility exists, however, that the rovers may never make it to the red planet. Only one in three past Mars missions have been successful.
FCC Eases Rules on Media Ownership - In a controversial decision, Jun 2, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to eliminate a rule barring a media company from owning both a TV station and a newspaper in the same market. A revised FCC rule barred any one company from owning TV stations reaching more than 45% of TV households nationwide (up from 35%).
Defendants Found Guilty of Aiding Terrorists - Two defendants in a U.S. district court in Detroit were found guilty Jun 3 of conspiring to provide support to terrorists. A 3rd was convicted of document fraud. All were Moroccans. A 4th defendant was acquitted. Prosecutors said the defendants, seized shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, had conspired to assist in attacks on U.S. tourist sites and U.S. military sites abroad.
Martha Stewart Indicted on Stock-Sale Charges - Martha Stewart, founder of a highly successful media and home furnishings company, was indicted in a U.S. district court in New York City Jun 4 on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and securities fraud. The charges related to what prosecutors contended were attempts to cover up circumstances of her sale of ImClone stock after she had allegedly received inside information unfavorable to the company. Stewart pleaded not guilty Jun 4, and stepped down as chair and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Her former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, was also indicted Jun 4. Samuel Waksal, founder and former CEO of ImClone, had pleaded guilty to 6 criminal charges filed in connection with the sale; on June 11 he was sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison and fined $4.3 mil for securities fraud, perjury, and obstruction of justice.
Congress Takes 2nd Look at New Tax Cut Law - Soon after Pres. George W. Bush signed new tax cuts into law, Congress began to consider changes. At the last minute, Republicans had deleted a child tax credit that would have benefited 6.5 million low-income families, and reports indicated that 8 million taxpayers, mostly low income, would receive no benefits from the cuts. On Jun 5, the Senate voted, 94-2, to restore the child tax credit to low-income families. Meanwhile, House Republican leaders June 10 unveiled a broader $82 bil bill that provided new tax credits to couples making up to $200,000 a year.
Unemployment Hits 9-Year High - The Labor Dept. reported Jun 6 that the May unemployment rate stood at 6.1%, the highest since 1994. Almost 2.5 million jobs had disappeared since February 2001. On Jun 25, the Federal Reserve Board lowered the key federal funds rate, the overnight loan rate between banks, to 1.0%, its lowest since 1958. In the early 1980s, the rate had hit 20%.
Head of Catholic Sex Abuse Oversight Board Resigns: Phoenix Bishop Resigns - Frank Keating, a former governor of Oklahoma, resigned Jun 16 as head of a board set up by Roman Catholic bishops to oversee their compliance with sexual abuse policies adopted by the bishops in 2002. Keating, in comments published in the Los Angeles Times Jun 12, had compared the behavior of some bishops to members of the Mafia, saying they listened too much to their lawyers and not enough to their hearts. Some board members viewed his comments as exaggerated or abrasive. In his resignation letter, Keating denounced some bishops for resisting grand jury subpoenas and suppressing names of abusing priests.
Bishop Thomas O'Brien resigned Jun 18 as head of the Phoenix, AZ, diocese, 2 days after being charged with leaving the scene of a Jun 14 accident in which his car struck a pedestrian, who was killed. Earlier, on May 3, he had signed agreements with Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley admitting that he had concealed cases of sexual abuse by priests and agreeing to outside oversight of diocesan actions dealing with alleged sex abuse by priests; in return he was granted immunity from prosecution.
Plot to Destroy Brooklyn Bridge Foiled - Federal officials Jun 19 announced the arrest 3 months earlier of a Columbus (OH) cab driver who, they said, was involved in a terrorist plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. The driver, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, had allegedly met with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors said he had examined the bridge, and sent messages to al-Qaeda officials discussing how to sever the suspension cables with blowtorches. He had agreed to plead guilty in May to charges of providing support to terrorists.
Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action - In a historic decision Jun 23, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin, upheld an affirmative action program at the University of Michigan providing preference to minorities for admission to the law school. At the same time, the Court, 6-3, struck down an affirmative action program for Michigan's undergraduate college which had provided preference to minorities according to a strict numerical formula. Writing for the majority in the law school decision, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said, "It is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity." In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, "Every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all." Under the undergraduate program, all black, Hispanic, and Native American applicants were automatically awarded 20 points (on a scale of 150), which meant that almost all qualified minority members were admitted, while many qualified whites were not. The Bush administration had advocated the invalidation of both Michigan programs as thinly disguised quota systems.
Citing Privacy, High Court Protects Gay Sex - The Supreme Court Jun 26 gave a major boost to the gay rights movement when it struck down a Texas state law that forbade sexual activity between same-sex partners. In Lawrence v. Texas the court, 6-3, overturned the law that made it illegal for people of the same sex (though not of opposite sexes) to engage in sodomy. Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma had similar laws. Nine other states had anti-sodomy laws applying to both same-sex and opposite-sex partners. All these laws were now defunct. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that homosexuals were entitled to respect and that the state "cannot demean their existence . . . by making their private sexual conduct a crime." In dissent, Justice Scalia objected that all morals legislation, related to sexual conduct was now "called into question" and that allowing same-sex marriage would be a logical next step. Prof. Suzanne Goldberg of Rutgers University, who had represented the 2 convicted men in state court, said the ruling "removes the reflexive assumption of gay people's inferiority." The ruling overturned the court's 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, which had upheld a Georgia law against sodomy. In the present case, John Lawrence and John Garner had been arrested, and convicted in state court, after police entered their home based on an erroneous report of another crime. The 2 men had been convicted of sodomy, and their state-court appeal had been rejected.
War, Terror on Agenda of Industrial Nations' Leaders - Presidents and prime ministers of the world's 8 leading industrial nations held their annual summit meeting in Evian, France, Jun 1-3. Presidents George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac of France, who had differed sharply on the Iraq war, greeted each other coldly, but said Jun 2 that they were prepared to move ahead together. A summit communiqué Jun 2 called terrorism and weapons of mass destruction the "pre-eminent threat to international security." A communiqué Jun 3 expressed optimism about the world economy.
Saudis Arrest Top al-Qaeda Figure - Saudi officials Jun 26 announced that they had arrested Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi al-Ghamdi, also known as Abu Bakr al-Azdi, suspected of overseeing the May bombing in Riyadh that killed 34 people. Ghamdi was believed to be a senior al-Qaeda figure, and to have been plotting further attacks.
Coalition Forces in Iraq Come Under Attack - Although Pres. Bush had declared the combat phase of the war essentially ended, ambushes and other hit-and-run attacks continued to cause casualties among U.S. and British troops. American deaths were running at about one per day during much of June, with many more wounded. On Jun 24, 6 British soldiers were killed after being ambushed north of Basra.
Against that backdrop, the allies struggled to establish self-government in Iraq. On Jun 1, abandoning a plan to soon create a large national assembly, they announced that they would appoint an advisory council of 25 to 30 Iraqis.
U.S. forces raided private homes in Thuluya, 45 miles north of Baghdad, Jun 9-10, and held 400 residents for questioning. Another strike was launched at a site 90 miles northwest of Baghdad, Jun 12, described as a terrorist training camp. In a battle, 68 Iraqis were killed, and U.S. officials said Jun 13 that 70 surface-to-air missiles had been found. Raids in and near Baghdad continued Jun 16-17, and another raid near Tikrit June 18 turned up 50 of former Pres. Saddam Hussein's security personnel, as well as $8.5 mil in cash. An explosion along an oil pipeline in north-central Iraq, Jun 12, was attributed to sabotage. There were later reports of the destruction of electrical transformers and high-tension cables. A 2nd oil pipeline explosion occurred Jun 21; 2 more occurred within days.
U.S. forces Jun 18 announced the capture of Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti, Hussein's secretary and a key adviser. Defense Dept. officials said Jun 20 that he had told interrogators that Hussein and his 2 sons survived the war, and that the sons had fled to Syria. In a firefight along the Iraq-Syria border, Jun 18, U.S. Special Operations forces wounded 5 Syrian guards. At least one Iraqi vehicle under attack by U.S. forces was struck inside Syria.
Missing Weapons in Iraq Provoke Heated Debate - The search for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq remained inconclusive, provoking debate. UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said in a Jun 2 report that inspectors prior to the war had been unable to prove or disprove the presence of WMDs. Under strong criticism in Parliament, Prime Min. Tony Blair of Britain said the same day he remained "100 percent behind the evidence" of Iraq's weapons. On Jun 3, a House of Commons committee began an investigation into how British intelligence information was used to justify the war. Blix said Jun 6 that information from British and U.S. intelligence had failed to lead to any weapons. A declassified Sept. 2002 report by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, released that day, said there was "no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons."
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Jun 8 that Bush's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger was based on documents discovered to have been forged.
Mideast Peace Effort Advances Despite Violence - The so-called road map to peace, endorsed by both Israeli and Palestinian leaders but threatened by continuing violence in the region, apparently gained momentum in late June when Palestinian militant groups announced a truce and Israeli forces pulled out of much of the Gaza strip. On Jun 29, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two groups responsible for many bombings and other incidents, said they would suspend attacks for 3 months; the Fatah organization, linked to President leader Yasir Arafat, also endorsed the truce Jun 29, but on Jun 30 a Romanian worker on an Israeli project in the West Bank was killed in an attack by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a group linked to Fatah but not recognizing its authority. Meanwhile, Israeli forces pulled out of most of the Gaza Strip Jun 30, ending a blockade of the key highway that had started in 2000. The steps by the two sides followed lobbying by U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Pres. Bush had met Jun 3 in Egypt with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Prime Min. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the kings of Bahrain and Jordan, and Palestinian Prime Min. Mahmoud Abbas. Bush reaffirmed his commitment to an independent Palestine. On Jun 4, Bush met with Abbas and Prime Min. Ariel Sharon in Jordan. Abbas declared that the uprising by Muslim militants "must end," and Sharon vowed to remove unauthorized outposts of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Events in much of June had not looked positive for the peace effort. Tens of thousands of Israelis opposed to the plan demonstrated in Jerusalem Jun 4. The militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad declared the same day that they would not cease attacks on Israelis; Hamas broke off talks with Abbas Jun 6. At a Gaza border crossing, Jun 8, 3 Palestinians killed 4 Israeli soldiers and wounded 4 before they were killed. A 5th Israeli soldier was killed in Hebron Jun 8. On Jun 10, Israeli helicopters fired missiles into a car in Gaza occupied by Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, 2nd-ranking leader of Hamas; he was injured and a bodyguard and bystander killed. In other military action Jun 10, Israeli forces killed 5 Palestinians and wounded 30. A suicide bomber killed himself and 17 Israeli civilians in an explosion on a Jerusalem bus, Jun 11. Israeli helicopters killed 4 Hamas members in Gaza Jun 11; 5 bystanders were also killed. Missiles from Israeli gunships Jun 12 killed a suspected Hamas militant along with 2 family members and 4 bystanders.
Israeli soldiers dismantled a settlement at Mitzpeh Yitzhar Jun 19, as settlers protested.
Liberian President Indicted for War Crimes - A war crimes tribunal announced Jun 4 that it had indicted Pres. Charles Taylor of Liberia. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was a joint UN-Sierra Leone tribunal established to try people accused of war crimes in connection with the civil war that ended there in 2002. Taylor was accused of "bearing the greatest responsibility" for the war, which cost as many as 200,000 lives; he was charged with having founded the Revolutionary United Front, a major perpetrator of atrocities. His goal, it was charged, was to gain access to Sierra Leone's diamond mines. Taylor, in Ghana when the indictment was announced, returned to Liberia before he could be arrested. Civil war also gripped Liberia, with 2 rebel groups menacing the capital, Monrovia.
On Jun 9, French special forces transported 535 foreign nationals by helicopter to a ship offshore. On Jun 17, the rebel groups agreed to stop fighting, but the cease-fire was soon broken. On Jun 25, U.S. officials allowed thousands of refugees to enter the U.S. diplomatic compound in Monrovia, but shells from the attacking rebel forces exploded in the compound, causing an undetermined number of injuries.
18 Killed in Terror Bombing Near Chechnya - In Russia's North Ossetia-Alania republic, near Chechnya, a suicide bomber killed herself and at least 17 others at a bus stop, Jun 5. Many of the dead were service personnel.
Bomb Kills 4 German Peacekeepers in Kabul - On Jun 7, an explosion in a vehicle next to a bus killed 4 German peacekeeping soldiers and one Afghan bystander, and wounded 31 others.
North Korea Explains Need for Nuclear Weapons - North Korea said Jun 9 that it needed to develop nuclear weapons because it could then save money by decreasing the size of its conventional forces. The regime said it did not intend to use nuclear blackmail.
The United States and South Korea agreed Jun 5 that U.S. forces (14,000 of 37,000 troops in the country) would be pulled back from the demilitarized zone along the North-South border and redeployed south of Seoul, the capital. U.S. troops had been at the DMZ since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
New Respiratory Epidemic Appears to Fade - The World Health Organization said June 5 that the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic was apparently beginning to wane. In China, where about 150 new cases had been reported daily in early May, only 7 cases were reported between June 1 and 12. The WHO said Jun 12 that the world total of SARS cases stood at 8,445, with 790 deaths, in 30 countries and Hong Kong. On Jun 24, the WHO said that China had essentially defeated the epidemic.
2 Top New York Times Editors Resign - A scandal involving an errant reporter resulted in the resignation, Jun 5, of the 2 top editors of the New York Times. Howell Raines, the executive editor, and Gerald Boyd, the managing editor, quit Jun 5, about a month after Jayson Blair had resigned leaving a trail of fabricated reporting. Many Times staff members thought that Raines and Boyd had shown favoritism toward Blair and had failed to act quickly in the face of obvious problems. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. announced Jun 5 that Joseph Lelyveld, Raines's predecessor, would return as executive editor on an interim basis.
Chicago Porch Collapse Kills 12 - 12 people were killed and over 50 injured, some critically, when a 3rd-floor porch collapsed under the weight of dozens of people at a party in an apartment in Chicago the night of Jun 28-29. The disaster cascaded, as the porch dropped on inhabited porches directly beneath, which collapsed in turn.
2 Blockbusters Hit the Stands - The publishing industry got a lift in June with 2 blockbuster best-sellers. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY) brought out her memoir, Living History, Jun 9, and it sold 200,000 copies the first day, beginning at midnight at many bookstores. Most interest focused on her reaction to the news that her husband, Pres. Bill Clinton, had lied to her about his relationship with an intern, Monica Lewinsky. The former first lady had received an $8 mil advance from Simon & Schuster.
The 5th book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, hit mobbed bookstores Jun 21, again beginning at midnight. The book, which continued the adventures of the young wizard, now 15 years old, sold some 5 mil copies the first day alone.
On Jun 7, the Triple Crown bid of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide (an even-money favorite) came to an end at the 135th Belmont Stakes, in Elmont, NY. Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker (2-1) won the 1.5-mile race on a muddy track by three-quarters of a length in a time of 2 minutes, 28.26 seconds. Ten Most Wanted (9-1) finished 2nd, followed by Funny Cide 4.75 lengths back. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.
Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, 6-0, 6-4, to win the French Open women's singles title on Jun 7. It was the 1st Grand Slam title for Henin-Hardenne, who defeated the world's #1 player and defending champion Serena Williams, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, in their semifinal match on Jun 5. The loss ended Williams's 33-match Grand Slam winning streak, which included the French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open in 2002, and the 2003 Australian Open. In the men's French Open final on June 8, Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain) took just more than 2 hours to defeat Holland's Martin Verkerk, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. It was the 1st Grand Slam win for Ferrero and the most lopsided men's final in 25 years.
Sweden's Annika Sorenstam parred the 1st hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the LPGA Championship at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, DE, on Jun 8. Grace Park (South Korea) shot the lowest score of the final round, a 4-under 67, to force the playoff with Sorenstam. It was Sorenstam's 1st LPGA win and the 5th major victory of her career.
The New Jersey Devils defeated the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 3-0, in the deciding Game 7 of the NHL's Stanley Cup finals Jun 9 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. It was New Jersey's 3rd Stanley Cup in 9 seasons (previous wins were in 1995 and 2000). Anaheim's playoff run-in which they swept defending champion Detroit in the 1st round-was fueled by the sharp goaltending of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP in the playoffs). Giguere is only the 5th player on a losing team to win the award and the 1st since Ron Hextall (Philadelphia) in 1987.
The San Antonio Spurs won their 2nd NBA Championship in 5 years (1999), defeating the New Jersey Nets, 88-77, in the 6th and deciding game at the SBC Center in San Antonio on Jun 15. San Antonio's Tim Duncan had 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocked shots in the game. Three of Duncan's blocks came in a 5:30 stretch of the 4th quarter in which San Antonio outscored New Jersey, 19-0, to take control of the game. Duncan, the regular season MVP, was also named MVP of the Finals.
On Jun 15, Jim Furyk won the U.S. Open, held at the Olympia Fields CC in Olympia Fields, IL. Australian Stephen Leaney finished 3 strokes back. Furyk's final score of 272 (-8) tied him with Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Lee Janzen for the lowest 72-hole score in the Open's 103-year history. It was the 1st major for Furyk, who has 8 wins on the PGA tour. Defending champion Tiger Woods finished tied for 20th with 283, 3 strokes over par.
Lennox Lewis (41-2-1) successfully defended his WBC heavyweight crown with a 6th round TKO against Vitaly Klitschko (32-2) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jun 21. The fight was stopped because of to an inch-deep cut over Klitschko's left eye. Klitschko was ahead 58-56 on all 3 judges' scorecards. Lewis had originally been scheduled to fight Canadian Kirk Johnson, who withdrew with an injury 12 days before the bout. Klitschko, a 6-foot-7 Ukrainian, and the 6-foot-5 Lewis (UK) weighed a combined 504.5 pounds, making the event the heaviest title fight in history.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Ohio high school star LeBron James as the 1st pick in the NBA draft on Jun 26. The 6-foot-8, 240 pound James is the 2nd prep player to be taken as the top pick (Kwame Brown was the 1st, in 2001). Seventeen-year-old Siberian 7-footer Darko Milicic was the 2nd pick, taken by Detroit. Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA championship as a freshman, was picked 3rd by Denver. A record 20 international players-7 in the 1st round-were selected.
- Kevin Seabrooke
Highway Woes: An apple tree and 25 million bees. Just as summer officially got underway, drivers in Maine and Missouri were subjected to some unusual traffic snarls.
On Maine's Mt. Desert Island, a single tree caused an enormous traffic jam on June 19. The 50-year old apple tree was bound for the Northeast Harbor waterfront estate of Texas grocery magnate Charles Butt. Moving at 2 miles per hour, the 20-foot-tall tree required telephone, electrical, and TV cable company crews to lift wires along the route so it could pass. The 30-foot-wide tree was escorted by two state police vehicles, four private vehicles, and nine utility trucks. The whole caravan not only stopped traffic in both directions on the two-lane highway, but often blocked the shoulders as well. The tree's 20-mile trip from Ellsworth on the mainland took 10 hours. Throughout the area, workers and deliveries were late, and businesses failed to open on time. Though the contractor had a permit to move it (estimated cost for tree and its transport, $60,000), no warnings or public notice was given. Butts, a long-time summer resident of the island, expressed regrets and said he would take out ads in four local papers apologizing for the incident.
A flatbed trailer carrying some 25 million honeybees overturned on a highway entrance ramp on June 22, in the Kansas City suburb of Claycomo, MO. The truck was loaded with 520 hives-each holding up to 50,000 bees- which broke open when they were dumped alongside the highway. The northbound ramp between Interstates 435 and 35 was closed for about a day while bee handlers worked around the clock to round up the insects by hand and put them back in hives weighing 60 to 100 pounds each. About 80-90 % of the bees were put back. The rest flew away or were sprayed. Laboring in the summer heat in protective suits, workers at times walked on a layer of bees 2 inches thick amid piles of bees numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Even with protection, most workers were stung 15-20 times. The truck's driver, as well as emergency personnel and tow truck operators, were also stung repeatedly. Curious motorists approached the scene, but quickly turned back when they encountered the bees. Most residents of the Northgate Mobil Homes Estates, only 100 yards from the accident, prudently stayed indoors or left for the day. The bees were coming from Oklahoma, on their way to Wisconsin to pollinate cranberry fields.
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief
"I'll get you, my pretty - and your little dog, too! Ah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah!" Does this quote conjure up an image of Dorothy Gale being ominously warned by the Wicked Witch of the West? The 1939 Warner Brothers movie "The Wizard of Oz" (based on the 1900 fairy-tale written by L. Frank Baum) is a film classic that has been enjoyed by generations of children and adults alike. A Google search showed that there were 648,000 pages to hit, but I'll supply you with just a few. The Library of Congress did an exhibition in the year 2000 about "The Wizard of Oz,"http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/oz/, Warner Brothers has a site: http://thewizardofoz.warnerbros.com/; and you can listen to sound clips from the movie at Movie Sounds http://www.moviesounds.com/oz.html.
How does Harry pronounce the word "quidditch"? Harry, Harry who? Harry Potter of course! With over 5 million copies of the latest book sold the first day alone, one needs to be up on the pronunciation of words, and you can find an audio guide as well as a glossary of words at Scholastic http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/reference/.
"I'm Just Wild About Harry," the ragtime song by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle (which predates this Potter fella) was introduced in the 1921 show "Shuffle Along." Considered the first musical written, produced, directed, and performed by African-Americans, it become a box office hit on Broadway, and broke barriers, by presenting romantic love between African-American characters, as well as allowing African-Americans to sit in sections that had previously been segregated for whites only. Blake (1883-1983), the son of slaves, wrote other hits such as "The Charleston Rag," and "Memories of You." He teamed with Sissle (1889-1975) in 1915. To learn more about Sissle & Blake, visit http://www.jass.com/sissle.html and http://www.geocities.com/hamo_2000/eb.htm. To listen to their music, visit:http://www.redhotjazz.com/sissleandblake.html
We're havin a heat wave.....well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but today (06/26) we are expecting the temperature in New York City to reach 96 degrees F (36 degrees Celsius). Too much heat can affect the body in harmful ways, and so The National Weather Service has a Heat Wave site http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/hwave.html#Preventing%20Heat-Related, that describes different conditions that can result from overexposure to heat, and what procedures should be followed to provide first aid. While I'm up on my soapbox, let me remind you to wear sunscreen and sunglasses whenever you are outdoors, on sunny and cloudy days. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause premature aging and at its worst, skin cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers information on staying healthy in the sun at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/stayheal.html.
Anyone who has ever attended a group meeting knows it's important to follow rules and regulations, so as to keep things running in an orderly manner. In 1862, Henry M. Robert (1837-1923), an American military engineer, was asked to preside over a turbulent church meeting. Never having run a meeting before, he devised a set of rules, based on parliamentary procedure law, and published Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies, in 1876. This work has become the authority on procedure for clubs, corporate boards, and lawmaking bodies. To view the 1915 version online, visit:http://www.bartleby.com/176/.
You can't use your remote control on television these days without running across some type of reality show. Who would have ever thought that we could sit in our living rooms and watch people eat live roaches, marry a millionaire, or get an extreme makeover? At the Reality Television Show Directoryhttp://www.realitytvlinks.com/ you'll be able to check out hundreds of websites about reality TV shows, from your personal favorite (mine is "Trading Spaces"), to the one that puzzles you the most (for me, it's "The Osbournes").
The Oddest Website of the month: Check out the experiments and poetry written about Twinkies: http://www.twinkiesproject.com/
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