Today in history
Today is June 19, the 170th day of 2021. There are 195 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free — an event celebrated to this day as “Juneteenth.”
On this date:
In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.
In 1911, Pennsylvania became the first state to establish a motion picture censorship board.
In 1917, during World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames; the family took the name “Windsor.”
In 1944, during World War II, the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea began, resulting in a decisive victory for the Americans over the Japanese.
In 1945, millions of New Yorkers turned out to cheer Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was honored with a parade.
In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the U.S. Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.
In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Ill.; the killing has never been solved.
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.
In 2009, Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford was indicted and jailed on charges his international banking empire was really just a Ponzi scheme built on lies, bluster and bribery. (Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted of bilking investors in a $7.2 billion scheme that involved the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposits.)
In 2013, actor James Gandolfini, 51, died while vacationing in Rome.
In 2014, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California won election as House majority leader as Republicans shuffled their leadership in the wake of Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia.
Ten years ago: Rory McIlroy ran away with the U.S. Open title, winning by eight shots and breaking the tournament scoring record by a whopping four strokes. (McIlroy shot 2-under 69 to close the four days at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland, at 16-under 268.)
Five years ago: LeBron James and his relentless Cavaliers pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback to give the city of Cleveland its first title since 1964 as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 finals deficit by beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89. Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films, was killed by his own car as it rolled down his driveway in Los Angeles; he was 27.
One year ago: Americans marked Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, with new urgency and protests demanding racial justice. Demonstrators across the country defaced and toppled statues and busts of former U.S. presidents, a Spanish missionary and Confederate figures. The mayor of Louisville, Ky., said Brett Hankison, one of the three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, would be fired. The top U.S. Navy officer concluded that the two senior commanders on the USS Theodore Roosevelt didn’t “do enough, soon enough” to stem the coronavirus outbreak on the aircraft carrier; the finding upheld the firing of the ship’s captain, Brett Crozier, over his plea for faster action to protect the crew.
June 19 Birthdays: Actor Gena Rowlands is 91. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 81. Singer Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 79. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 76. Author Sir Salman Rushdie is 74. Actor Phylicia Rashad is 73. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 71. Musician Larry Dunn is 68. Actor Kathleen Turner is 67. Country singer Doug Stone is 65. Singer Mark DeBarge is 62. Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 59. Actor Andy Lauer is 58. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is 57. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 57. Actor Samuel West is 55. Actor Mia Sara is 54. TV personality Lara Spencer is 52. Rock musician Brian “Head” Welch is 51. Actor Jean Dujardin is 49. Actor Robin Tunney is 49. Actor Bumper Robinson is 47. Actor Poppy Montgomery is 46. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers) is 45. Actor Ryan Hurst is 45. Actor Zoe Saldana is 43. Former NBA star Dirk Nowitzki is 43. Actor Neil Brown Jr. is 41. Actor Lauren Lee Smith is 41. Rapper Macklemore (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) is 39. Actor Paul Dano is 37. New York Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom is 33. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti is 32. Actor Chuku Modu (TV: “The Good Doctor”) is 31. Actor Atticus Shaffer is 23.
Today is June 20, the 171st day of 2021. There are 194 days left in the year. This is Father’s Day. Summer begins at 11:32 p.m. EDT.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 20, 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).
On this date:
In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.
In 1791, King Louis XVI of France and his family attempted to flee in the so-called “Flight to Varennes,” but were caught.
In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Mass., found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
In 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.
In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
In 1944, during World War II, Japanese naval forces retreated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea after suffering heavy losses to the victorious American fleet.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act, which was designed to restrict the power of labor unions, but had his veto overriden by Congress. Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.
In 1972, three days after the arrest of the Watergate burglars, President Richard Nixon met at the White House with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman; the secretly made tape recording of this meeting ended up with the notorious 18¢-minute gap.
In 1990, South African Black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they began an eight-city U.S. tour.
In 2014, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits to same-sex couples, including those living in states where gay marriage was against the law; the new measures ranged from Social Security and veterans benefits to work leave for caring for sick spouses.
In 2019, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz; it was the first time the Islamic Republic had directly attacked the U.S. military amid tensions over the unraveling nuclear deal. A U.S. official said preparations had been made for a military strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of the drone, but that the operation was called off with just hours to go.
Ten years ago: Syrian President Bashar Assad promised a national dialogue to consider political reforms, but his vague overtures to a pro-democracy uprising fell flat as protesters took to the streets shouting “Liar!” and demanding his ouster. “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn was killed in a fiery car crash near Philadelphia; he was 34. The erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James was published by Vintage Books.
Five years ago: Donald Trump abruptly fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a dramatic shake-up designed to calm panicked Republican leaders and end an internal power struggle plaguing Trump’s White House bid. A divided U.S. Supreme Court bolstered police powers, ruling 5-3 that evidence of a crime in some cases may be used against a defendant even if the police did something wrong or illegal in obtaining it.
One year ago: A federal judge ruled that former national security adviser John Bolton could move forward with his tell-all book, despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release. In front of an empty grandstand, Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes in New York; the race normally marks the end of the Triple Crown series, but all three races were postponed due to the pandemic and the Belmont was run first.
June 20 Birthdays: Actor Bonnie Bartlett is 92. Actor James Tolkan is 90. Movie director Stephen Frears is 80. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 79. Actor John McCook is 77. Singer Anne Murray is 76. TV personality Bob Vila is 75. Musician Andre Watts is 75. Actor Candy Clark is 74. Producer Tina Sinatra is 73. R&B singer Lionel Richie is 72. Actor John Goodman is 69. Rock musician Michael Anthony is 67. Pop musician John Taylor is 61. Rock musician Mark degli Antoni is 59. Christian rock musician Jerome Fontamillas (Switchfoot) is 54. Actor Nicole Kidman is 54. Country/bluegrass singer-musician Dan Tyminski is 54. Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 53. Actor Peter Paige is 52. Rock singer Chino Moreno (Deftones) is 48. Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 44. Country singer Chuck Wicks is 42. Actor Tika Sumpter is 41. Country musician Chris Thompson (The Eli Young Band) is 41. Actor-singer Alisan Porter is 40. Christian rock musician Chris Dudley (Underoath) is 38. Rock singer Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) is 38. Actor Mark Saul is 36. Actor Dreama Walker is 35. Actor Maria Lark is 24.