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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 156th day of 2020. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On June 4, 1998, a federal judge sentenced Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

On this date:

In 1812, the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory, to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana. The U.S. House of Representatives approved, 79-49, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1919, Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sent it to the states for ratification.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan.

In 1944, U-505, a German submarine, was captured by a U.S. Navy task group in the Atlantic.

In 1972, a jury in San Jose, Calif., acquitted radical activist Angela Davis of murder and kidnapping.

In 1985, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law providing for a daily minute of silence in public schools.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel.

In 1989, a gas explosion in the Soviet Union engulfed two passing trains, killing 575.

In 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian carried out his first publicly assisted suicide, helping Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Alzheimer’s patient from Portland, Ore., end her life in Oakland County, Mich.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of 12 million U.S.-made “Shrek” drinking glasses sold by McDonald’s which were found to be tainted with cadmium. Fourteen-year-old Anamika Veeramani of North Royalton, Ohio, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., correctly spelling the medical term “stromuhr.” Death claimed legendary basketball coach John Wooden, 99; and Jack Harrison, 97, survivor of the Great Escape plot by Allied prisoners in World War II.

Five years ago: The Department of Homeland Security announced that hackers had broken into the U.S. government personnel office and stolen identifying information of at least 4 million federal workers. (The breach was later said to have totaled 21.5 million; Chinese hackers were suspected of being behind the cyberattack.)

One year ago: Thousands of protesters crowded London’s government district while President Donald Trump met Prime Minister Theresa May nearby. The White House instructed former aides Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to defy subpoenas and refuse to provide documents to the House Judiciary Committee. Florida deputy Scot Peterson, who knew a gunman was loose at a high school in Parkland in February, 2018, but failed to go inside to confront the assailant, was arrested on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction during the massacre that killed 17 people. The Trump administration ended the most popular forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and educational travel.

Today’s Birthdays: Sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 92. Actor Bruce Dern is 84. Musician Roger Ball is 76. Actress-singer Michelle Phillips is 76. JRock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 69. Actor Parker Stevenson is 68. Actor Keith David is 64. Actress Julie Gholson is 62. Actor Eddie Velez is 62. Actress Julie White is 59. Actress Lindsay Frost is 58. Actor Sean Pertwee is 56. Rhythm and blues singer Al B. Sure! is 52. Actor Scott Wolf is 52. Actor James Callis is 49. Actor Noah Wyle is 49. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 46. Actress Angelina Jolie is 45. Actor Theo Rossi is 45. Actor Robin Lord Taylor is 42. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 40. Country musician Dean Berner (Edens Edge) is 39.

Thought for Today: “If America forgets where she came from, if the people lose sight of what brought them along, if she listens to the deniers and mockers, then will begin the rot and dissolution.” — Carl Sandburg, American writer (1878-1967).

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