Today is the 176th day of 2012 and the fifth day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1821, Venezuelan revolutionaries under Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Carabobo and secured the nation's independence.
In 1901, the first major exhibition of Pablo Picasso's work opened in Paris.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Selective Service Act, requiring all men between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for military service.
In 2011, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that legalized same-sex marriage.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: John Ross (1777-1856), Arctic explorer; Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), clergyman/abolitionist; Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), writer/satirist; Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964), architect; Jack Dempsey (1895-1983), boxer; Mick Fleetwood (1947- ), musician; Sherry Stringfield (1967- ), actress; Mindy Kaling (1979- ), actress/producer; Minka Kelly (1980- ), actress; Lionel Messi (1987- ), soccer player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1995, South Africa defeated New Zealand in the finals of the Rugby World Cup as Nelson Mandela looked on. The event was dramatized in the 2009 film "Invictus."
TODAY'S FACT: Pablo Picasso was honored on his 90th birthday with an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris in 1971. It was the first time the Louvre had exhibited the work of a living artist.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." -- Nelson Mandela
TODAY'S NUMBER: 16.5 million -- living U.S. wartime veterans, as of late 2011.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (June 19) and first quarter moon (June 26).