Today's Highlights in History:
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution stating "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown."
On this date:
In 1654, King Louis XIV, age 15, was crowned in Rheims, 11 years after the start of his reign.
In 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first began to explore present-day Kentucky.
In 1862, William Bruce Mumford, a Confederate loyalist, was hanged at the order of Union military authorities for tearing down a U.S. flag that had been flying over the New Orleans mint shortly before the city was occupied by the North.
In 1863, French forces occupied Mexico City during the Franco-Mexican War.
In 1892, Homer Plessy, a "Creole of color," was fined for refusing to leave a whites-only car of the East Louisiana Railroad. (Ruling on his case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld "separate but equal" racial segregation, which it overturned in 1954.)
In 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.
In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway ended in a decisive victory for American forces over the Imperial Japanese.
In 1967, the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened in San Francisco.
In 1972, the musical "Grease" opened on Broadway, having already been performed in lower Manhattan.
In 1981, Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons.
In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious groups can sometimes meet on school property after hours.
In 1998, in a crime that shocked the nation, James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, was hooked by a chain to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. (Two white men were later sentenced to death for the crime; a third received life with the possibility of parole.)
Ten years ago: In a national first, New Hampshire Episcopalians elected the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, their next bishop. A suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed four German peacekeepers; the blast also killed a teenage Afghan bystander. Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Kim Clijsters 6-0, 6-4 at the French Open, in the first all-Belgian Grand Slam final. Empire Maker beat Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner Funny Cide in the Belmont Stakes.
Five years ago: Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her pioneering campaign for the presidency and endorsed fellow Democrat Barack Obama. Longshot Da' Tara spoiled Big Brown's bid for a Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes. Ana Ivanovic won her first Grand Slam title by beating Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 in the French Open. Veteran sportscaster Jim McKay died in Monkton, Md., at age 86.
One year ago: Attorney General Eric Holder clashed with Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee seeking more information about a flawed gun-trafficking investigation in Arizona known as "Operation Fast and Furious." Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac who went on to write songs and record several hits during a solo career, died in Nashville; he was 65.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director James Ivory is 85. Actress Virginia McKenna is 82. Singer Tom Jones is 73. Poet Nikki Giovanni is 70. Actor Ken Osmond ("Leave It to Beaver") is 70. Former talk show host Jenny Jones is 67. Actress Anne Twomey is 62. Actor Liam Neeson is 61. Actress Colleen Camp is 60. Singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg is 60. Author Louise Erdrich is 59. Actor William Forsythe is 58. Record producer L.A. Reid is 57. Latin pop singer Juan Luis Guerra is 56. Singer-songwriter Prince is 55. Rock singer-musician Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes) is 50. Rapper Ecstasy (Whodini) is 49. Rock musician Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 47. Rock musician Dave Navarro is 46. Actress Helen Baxendale is 43. Actor Karl Urban is 41. TV personality Bear Grylls is 39. Rock musician Eric Johnson (The Shins) is 37. Actress Adrienne Frantz is 35. Actor-comedian Bill Hader is 35. Actress Anna Torv is 34. Actress Larisa Oleynik is 32. Tennis player Anna Kournikova is 32. Actor Michael Cera is 25. Actress Shelley Buckner is 24.
Thought for Today: "The slight that can be conveyed in a glance, in a gracious smile, in a wave of the hand, is often the ne plus ultra of art. What insult is so keen or so keenly felt, as the polite insult which it is impossible to resent?" — Julia Kavanagh, Irish novelist (1824-1877).