Wednesday June 26, 2002

Today’s Highlight in History: 

On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner). 

On this date: 

In 1870, the first section of the Atlantic City, N.J., boardwalk was opened to the public. 

In 1900, a commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever. 

In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France during World War I. 

In 1925, Charlie Chaplin’s classic comedy, “The Gold Rush,” premiered at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. 

In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco. 

In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin. 

In 1959, President Eisenhower joined Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

In 1968, U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren announced his intention to resign. 

In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tenn. 

In 1987, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. announced his retirement, leaving a vacancy that was filled by Anthony M. Kennedy. 

Ten years ago: Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III resigned, accepting responsibility for a “leadership failure” that resulted in the Tailhook sex-abuse scandal. Willie L. Williams was sworn in as Los Angeles police chief, succeeding the outgoing Daryl Gates. 

Five years ago: In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that terminally ill Americans had no constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide, but did nothing to bar states from legalizing the process; struck down a congressional attempt to keep pornography off the Internet, saying it violated the First Amendment; let stand the president’s line-item veto authority without addressing its constitutionality. 

One year ago: President George W. Bush urged Ariel Sharon during a White House meeting to take the next step toward Middle East peace talks, but the Israeli prime minister said violence had to end first. George Trofimoff, a retired Army officer, was convicted in Tampa, Fla., of selling Cold War secrets to Moscow over two decades. (Trofimoff, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced to life in prison.) 

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Eleanor Parker is 80. Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 68. Actor Josef Sommer is 68. Singer Billy Davis Junior (The Fifth Dimension) is 62. Singer Georgie Fame is 59. Actor Clive Francis is 56. Actor Robert Davi is 48. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 47. Actor Gedde Watanabe is 47. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 46. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 45. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 41. Actor Mark McKinney is 40. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 39. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 33. Actor Sean Hayes is 32. Actor Matt Letscher is 32. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 32. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 22. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 16.