Tuesday July 09, 2002

Today’s Highlight in History: 

On July 8, 1950, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. 

On this date: 

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to Rhode Island. 

In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia. 

In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was first published. 

In 1919, President Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France. 

In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations. 

In 1975, President Ford announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976. 

Ten years ago: Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with Group of Seven leaders holding their economic summit in Munich, Germany, where he offered a startling proposal to swap factories, energy resources and other properties for Russian debt. 

Five years ago: The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee opened politically charged hearings into fund-raising abuses, with chairman Fred Thompson accusing China of trying to influence the 1996 U.S. elections. NATO extended membership invitations to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Mayo Clinic and the government warned the diet-drug combination known as “fen-phen” could cause serious heart and lung damage. 

One year ago: Cable operator Comcast mounted a $41 billion hostile bid to merge with AT&T Broadband. (Although AT&T spurned that offer, the company’s board ultimately agreed to merge the cable unit with Comcast, subject to approval by federal regulators.) Venus Williams won her second consecutive Wimbledon title by beating Belgian Justine Henin.  

Today’s Birthdays: Blues musician Johnnie Johnson is 78. ABC News Chairman Roone Arledge is 71. Actress Kim Darby is 54. Children’s performer Raffi is 54. Actor Kevin Bacon is 44. Rock musician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) is 41. Rock singer Joan Osborne is 40. Writer-producer Rob Burnett (“Ed”) is 40. Actor Corey Parker is 37. Singer Beck is 32.