Today in History, June 22

AAP and agencies
2011 - President Barack Obama announces plans to withdraw more than 30,000 troops from Afghanistan


1535 - A month after the Pope made him a cardinal, John Fisher is executed at Tower Hill in London after refusing to recognise King Henry VIII as supreme head of the English Church.

1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates for the second and last time after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

1826 - A Pan-American Congress meets in Panama under the influence of Simon Bolivar in an effort to unite American republics.

1863 - First gaslights come on in Adelaide.

1911 - Britain's King George V is crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1922 - Sir Henry Wilson, field marshal and former chief of the British Imperial General Staff, dies after being shot at his house in London's Belgravia by the Irish Republican Army.

1940 - After being overrun in a few weeks, France signs an armistice with Germany at Compiegne, in the same railway car used for the German armistice of 1918.

1941 - Germany invades Soviet Union in World War II. More than 150 German army divisions invade along a 3000km front between the Baltic and the Black Sea.

1969 - Death of Judy Garland, US film star and singer.

1970 - President Richard Nixon signs a measure lowering the US voting age to 18.

1977 - John Mitchell becomes the first former US Attorney-General to go to jail as he begins a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up; he was released after 19 months.

1981 - Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing rock star John Lennon in New York City.

1982 - The Perth Mint is swindled out of $650,000 of gold bullion when robbers drive armoured security vans into the Mint and pay for the bullion with dud cheques.

1987 - Death of Fred Astaire, US actor, dancer and singer.

1995 - A blast destroys a Sydney Serbian community centre ahead of visit by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman.

2001 - The British government announces that Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who were 10 years old when they kidnapped and killed toddler James Bulger, have been granted parole.

2004 - The United States announces it will transfer legal custody of Saddam Hussein and other top prisoners to Iraqi authorities as soon as Iraqi courts issue the necessary warrants.

2006 - Pluto's two newly discovered moons are officially named Nix and Hydra.

2008 - Jane McGrath, wife of former Australian Test cricketer Glenn McGrath, dies at their home south of Sydney after an 11-year battle with cancer.

2010 - Twenty-first century laser technology opens a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank, musty catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the apostles Peter and Paul.

2011 - President Barack Obama announces the withdrawal of more than 30,000 troops from Afghanistan in a year's time, hastening the end of the long conflict that has been more costly than ever envisioned when launched in response to the 2001 terror attacks on the US.

2012 - Turkey says its air force jet that disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea was shot down by Syria in an action likely to worsen already strained relations between the neighbouring countries.

2013 - Stewart Baird, 32, of Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment, is killed in Afghanistan, becoming the 40th Australian soldier to die in the war.

2014 - President Vladimir Putin expresses support for Ukraine's declaration of a ceasefire in its battle against pro-Russian separatists and calls on both sides to negotiate a compromise.

2015 - Zaky Mallah, an Australian acquitted of terrorism charges but who pleaded guilty to threatening violence against Commonwealth officials, asks a question on Q&A. Prime Minister Tony Abbott later asks: "Which side is the ABC on?"

2017 - Islamic State destroys Mosul's al-Nuri mosque and its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba, which had towered over the city for 850 years.

2018 - A court in Jakarta convicts cleric Aman Abdurrahman of inciting others to commit terror attacks in support of ISIS and sentence him to death.

2019 - Four children aged between 11 and 15 years old are charged with arson after they allegedly burned down the former Big Brother house on the Gold Coast.

Today's Birthdays:

George Vancouver, British explorer (1757-1798); Giuseppe Mazzini, Italian nationalist (1805-1872); H Rider Haggard, English writer (1856-1925); Billy Wilder, Austrian-born film director (1906-2002); June Salter, Australian actor (1932-2001); Kris Kristofferson, US singer-actor (1936-); Klaus Maria Brandauer, German actor (1944-); Todd Rundgren, US singer-musician (1948-); Meryl Streep, US actor (1949-); Lindsay Wagner, US actor (1949-); Todd Hunter, NZ-born musician of Dragon fame (1951-); Bruce McAvaney, Australian sports broadcaster (1953-); Cyndi Lauper, US singer (1953-); Garry Beers, Australian musician of INXS fame (1957-); Erin Brockovich, American legal clerk (1960-); Jimmy Somerville, British singer (1961-); Dan Brown, US author (1964-); Lara Bingle, Australian model (1987-).

Thought For Today:

He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave - William Drummond, British writer (1585-1649).