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Birthday - Founder
of Utah and patriarch of the Mormon church Brigham Young (1801-1877)
was born in Whittingham, Vermont. Called the "American Moses,"
he led thousands of religious followers across
the wilderness to settle over
300 towns in the West, including Salt Lake City, Utah.
Birthday - Marilyn
Monroe (1926-1962) was born in Los Angeles (as Norma Jean Mortensen).
Following an unstable childhood spent in foster homes and orphanages,
she landed a job as a photographer's model which led to a movie career.
She later married baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. Beneath her glamorous
movie star looks she was fragile and insecure and eventually succumbed
to the pressures of Hollywood life. She died in Los Angeles from an
overdose of sleeping pills on August 5, 1962. Best known for Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus
Stop (1956), Some Like It Hot (1959), and The Misfits (1961).
Birthday - Marquis
de Sade (1740-1814) was born in Paris. He was a military leader, governor-general,
and author, whose acts of extreme cruelty and violence resulted in the
term sadism being created from his name to describe gratification
in inflicting pain.
June 3, 1937 - The
Duke of Windsor married Wallis Warfield Simpson in Monts, France. As
King Edward VIII, he had abdicated the British throne in December of
1936 amid tremendous controversy to marry Simpson, an American who had
been divorced. Following the wedding, the couple lived in France and
had minimal contact with the British Royal family. The Duke died in
Paris on May 28, 1972, and was buried near Windsor Castle in England.
June 3, 1972 - Sally
Jan Priesand was ordained a rabbi thus becoming the first woman rabbi
in the U.S. She then became an assistant rabbi at the Stephen Wise Free
Synagogue in New York City.
June 3, 1989 - Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, died. On
February 1, 1979, after 15 years in exile, he had staged a triumphant
return to Iran which led to the downfall of the Shah. Khomeini then
reorganized the government on Islamic principles. On November 11, 1979,
a group of students loyal to Khomeini seized 66 hostages in the American
Embassy in Teheran after the former Shah had entered the U.S. for medical
treatment. Thus began an international political crisis lasting until
January 20, 1981, when they were released.
Birthday - Confederate
Davis (1808-1889) was born at Todd County, Kentucky. After the Southern
states formed the Confederacy in 1861, he hoped to be named commander
of the Confederate military forces but was instead chosen to be president,
serving until 1865. Following the Civil War, he was imprisoned but never
brought to trial. He died at age 81 in New Orleans.
June 4, 1944 - During World War II in Europe,
Rome was liberated by the U.S. 5th Army, led by General Mark Clark.
Rome had been declared an open city by German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring
amid Allied concerns the Germans might stage a Stalingrad-style defense
that would devastate the historic 'Eternal' city.
June 4, 1972 - An
express train packed with more than 600 people rammed into a stalled
train at full speed in the main station of Jessore, Bangladesh, killing
76 and injuring over 500 persons.
June 4, 1989 - The Chinese government ordered its troops to open fire on unarmed
protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The protest had started on
April 16 as about 1,000 students marched to mourn the death of Hu Yaobang,
a pro-reform leader within the Chinese government. Despite government
warnings, pro-reform and pro-democracy demonstrations continued for
a month drawing ever-larger crowds of young people, eventually totaling
over a million persons. On May 13, three thousand students began an eight-day
hunger strike. The government imposed martial law on May 20 and brought
in troops. On June 2, in their first clash with the People's Army, demonstrators
turned back an advance of unarmed troops. However, in the pre-dawn hours
of June 4, the People's Army, using tanks, machine-guns, clubs and tear
gas, opened fire on the unarmed protesters. Armored personnel carriers
then rolled into the square crushing students still sleeping in their
tents. The Chinese government later claimed only 300 died in the attack.
U.S. estimates put the toll at over 3,000. Following the massacre, over
1,600 demonstrators were rounded up and jailed, with 27 being executed.
Birthday - King
George III (1738-1820) was born. He ruled England for 60 years from
1760 to 1820 and was the British King against whom the American
Revolution was directed.
June 5 Return
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June 5, 1783 - The
first sustained flight occurred as a hot-air balloon was launched at
Annonay, France, by brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier. Their 33-foot-diameter
globe aerostatique ascended about 6,000 feet. In September, they repeated
the experiment for King Louis XVI, using a sheep, rooster and duck as
the balloon's passengers.
June 5, 1968 - Robert F. Kennedy was shot and
mortally wounded while leaving the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles.
The shooting occurred after a celebration of Kennedy's victory in the
California presidential primary. He died at 1:44 a.m., June 6, at age
42, leaving behind his wife Ethel and eleven children, the last one
born after his death. President John
F. Kennedy had named his brother and campaign manager, Robert Francis
Kennedy, to the post of U.S. Attorney General in 1961. Robert served
as the president's closest confidant. After the assassination of JFK,
Robert remained as Attorney General until 1964, when he resigned to
make a successful run for the U.S. Senate from New York. Allied with
the plight of the poor and disadvantaged in America, he spoke out against
racial discrimination, economic injustice and the Vietnam War. In March
of 1968, he had announced his candidacy for the presidency. And with the win in California, appeared headed
for the nomination.
Birthday - Scottish
economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) was born in Kirkcaldy,
Scotland. He wrote An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth
of Nations, published in 1776. The book described the workings of
a market economy and established him as one of the most influential
figures in the development of modern economic theory.
Birthday - British
economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was born in Cambridge, England.
He wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in 1936, stating his ideas about government responsibility and commitment
to maintaining high employment. He claimed that business investors and
governments, not consumers, were the source of business cycle shifts.
June 6, 1872 - Pioneering feminist Susan B. Anthony was fined for voting in a presidential election at Rochester, New York.
After voting rights had been granted to African American males by the
15th Amendment, she attempted
to extend the same rights to women. She led a group of women that voted
illegally, to test their status as citizens. She was arrested, tried
and sentenced to pay $100, which she refused.
Following her death in 1906 after five decades of tireless work, the
Democratic and Republican parties both endorsed women's right to vote.
In August of 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was finally ratified, allowing women to
June 6, 1944 - D-Day,
the largest amphibious landing in history, began in the early-morning
hours as Allied forces landed in Normandy on the northern coast of France.
Operation Overlord took months of planning and involved 1,527,000 soldiers
in 47 Allied divisions along with 4,400 ships and landing craft, and
11,000 aircraft. The Germans had about 60 divisions spread along France
and the Low Countries. American forces landed on two western beaches,
Utah and Omaha, while British and Canadian troops landed farther east
on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. By the end of the day 150,000 Allied
soldiers and their accompanying vehicles had landed with 15,000 killed
June 6, 1978 - By
a vote of almost two to one, California voters approved Proposition
13, an amendment to the state constitution severely limiting property
Birthday - American
patriot Nathan Hale (1755-1776) was born in Coventry, Connecticut. During
the American Revolution,
he volunteered for a dangerous spy mission in Long Island and was captured
by the British on the night of September 21, 1776. Brought before British
General William Howe, Hale admitted he was an American officer. Howe ordered
him to be hanged the following morning. As Hale mounted the gallows
he uttered, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for
June 7, 1965 - The
U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law banning contraception.
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court guaranteed the
right to privacy, including freedom from government intrusion into matters
of birth control.
Birthday - French
painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was born in Paris. He worked as a stockbroker,
then became a painter in middle age. He left Paris and moved to Tahiti
where he developed an interest in primitive art. Among his best known
paintings; Vision After the Sermon (1888), When Shall We Be
Married? (1892), Holiday (1896), and Two Tahitian Women (1899). His style using broad, flat tones and bold colors, inspired
artists such as Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, and the young Pablo Picasso.
June 8, 1874 - Apache
leader Cochise died on the Chiricahua Reservation in southeastern Arizona.
After a peace treaty had been broken by the U.S. Army in 1861, he waged
war against settlers and soldiers, forcing them to withdraw from southern
Arizona. In 1862, he became principal chief of the Apaches. He and 200
followers avoided capture by hiding in the Dragoon Mountains. In June
of 1871, Army General George Crook assumed command in Arizona and managed
to win the allegiance of many Apaches. Cochise then surrendered. He
disappeared briefly in the spring of 1872, but returned and settled
on the reservation where he died.
Birthday - American
architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was born in Richland Center,
Wisconsin. He designed about 1,000 structures and is considered the
most influential architect of his time. He became the leader of a style
known as the Prairie School featuring houses with low-pitched
roofs and extended lines that blend into the landscape. He once wrote,
"No house should ever be on any hill or on anything. It should
be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together
each the happier for the other."
June 9, 1898 - The
British signed a 99-year lease for Hong Kong, located on the southeastern
coast of China. Hong Kong, consisting of an area measuring 400 square
miles, was administered as a British Crown Colony until July 1, 1997,
when its sovereignty reverted to the People's Republic of China.
Birthday - Composer
and lyricist Cole Porter (1893-1964) was born in Peru, Indiana. He published
his first song The Bobolink Waltz at the age of ten. His Broadway
career was launched in 1928 when five of his songs were used in the
musical play Let's Do It. Among his many contributions to the
Broadway stage; Fifty Million Frenchmen, The Gay Divorcee, Anything
Goes, Leave It to Me, Du Barry Was a Lady, Something for the Boys, Kiss
Me Kate, Can Can and Silk Stockings.
June 10 Return
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June 10, 1652 -
In Massachusetts, silversmith John Hull opened the first mint in America,
in defiance of English colonial law. The first coin issued was the Pine
Tree Shilling, designed by Hull.
June 10, 1942 -
In one of the most infamous
single acts of World
War II in Europe, all 172 men and boys over age 16 in the Czech village of
Lidice were shot by Nazis in reprisal for the assassination of SS leader
Reinhard Heydrich. The women were deported to Ravensbrück concentration
camp where most died. Ninety young children were sent to the concentration
camp at Gneisenau, with some later taken to Nazi orphanages if they
were German looking. The village was then completely leveled until not
a trace remained.
Birthday - African
American actress Hattie McDaniel (1889-1952) was born in Wichita, Kansas.
She won an Academy Award in 1940 for her role as 'Mammy' in Gone
with the Wind.
Birthday - Judy
Garland (1922-1969) was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (as Frances
Gumm). She is best remembered for her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in The
Wizard of Oz (1939) and other films including Meet Me
in St. Louis (1944) and Easter Parade (1948). She became
one of the most popular concert performers of the 1950s and '60s and
broke box-office records in New York City and London. She was found
dead of an overdose of sleeping pills in London on June 22, 1969.
June 11, 1991 -
Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted, spewing ash into the air,
visible over 60 miles. The surrounding areas were covered with ash and
mud created by rainstorms. Nearby U.S. military bases were also damaged.
June 11, 1994 -
After 49 years, the Soviet military occupation of East Germany ended.
At one time there had been 337,800 Soviet troops stationed in Germany.
Over 300,000 Russians died during World
War II in the Battle for Berlin.
Birthday - German
composer Georg Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was born in Munich. His best
known works include; Till Eulenspiegel (1895), Also Sprach
Zarathustra (1896) and Don Quixote (1898).
Birthday - American
feminist and politician Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was born in Missoula,
Montana. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She was
a reformer and a pacifist and was the only member of Congress to vote
against a declaration of war against Japan following the attack on Pearl
Harbor in December of 1941.
Birthday - Undersea
explorer Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) was born in Ste-Andre-de-Cubzac,
France. In 1943, he helped invent the first underwater breathing apparatus,
called the Aqualung. He is best known for his Emmy Award winning television
series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, which premiered
in the U.S. in 1968.
Birthday - American
football coach Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) was born in Brooklyn, New
York. In 1959, he became head coach of the Green Bay Packers, winning
five NFL titles and two Super Bowls in nine seasons. He is generally
regarded as the greatest coach and the finest motivator in football
history. He retired in 1968, but was lured back to coach the Washington
Redskins. He contracted cancer after coaching the Redskins for just
one season and died September 3, 1970, in Washington, D.C.
June 12, 1898 -
The Philippines declared their independence from Spain. The islands
were named after King Philip II. Once freed from Spain, the islands
were then invaded and occupied
by U.S. forces. They became an American colony and remained so until
after World War II.
June 12, 1963 -
Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi,
by a rifle bullet from an ambush. He had been active in seeking integration
of schools and voter registration for African Americans in the South.
Widespread public outrage following his death led President John
F. Kennedy to propose a comprehensive Civil Rights law. Evers was buried
in Arlington National Cemetery.
Birthday - George Bush, the 41st U.S. President,
was born in Milton, Massachusetts, June 12, 1924. During World War II,
he became the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy. Following the war, he co-founded a Texas oil equipment
manufacturing company. He then entered politics, serving in a variety
of roles including in the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, as U.S.
liaison to China, C.I.A. director, and two terms as vice-president
under Ronald Reagan. Elected to the
presidency in 1988, President Bush is best remembered for forging a
successful multinational military alliance following the invasion of
Kuwait on August 2, 1990, by Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army. However, following
the defeat of Iraq, Bush was beset by domestic problems in the U.S.
which resulted in a significant drop in popularity and his loss in the
1992 election to Bill Clinton.
Birthday - Anne
Frank (1929-1945) was born in Frankfurt, Germany. She is perhaps the
best known victim of the Nazi
Holocaust. Anne and her family moved from Germany to Amsterdam to
flee Nazi persecution, then went into hiding in a small attic after
Holland was invaded by Nazis. Anne, a girl on the verge of womanhood,
was unable to go outside for any reason. In 1942, she began a diary
to cope with the boredom, fear, annoyances, and loneliness of captivity.
Her family's hiding place was eventually discovered and Anne and her
family were deported to Nazi concentration camps. She contracted typhus
and died at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. After the war, her father published
her diary, which inspired the world, revealing a young woman who had
managed to remain hopeful, despite it all.
June 13, 1971 -
The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a collection
of top secret documents exposing U.S. strategy in the Vietnam War.
June 13, 1966 -
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) in the case of Miranda v. Arizona that an accused person must be apprised of certain rights before police questioning
including the right to remain silent, the right to know that anything
said can be used against the individual in court, and the right to have
a defense attorney present during interrogation. American police officers
now routinely read prisoners their 'Miranda' (constitutional) rights
Birthday - Nobel
Prize-winning Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
was born in Dublin, Ireland. Among his plays; The Countess Cathleen (1892) and Cathleen ni Houlihan (1902).
Birthday - American
Army General Winfield Scott (1786-1866)
was born in Petersburg, Virginia. Nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers"
because of his formality, he served in three wars; the War of 1812,
the Mexican War, and the American Civil War. He was also nominated for the
presidency by the Whig party in 1852 but was defeated by Franklin
June 14, 1775 - The first U.S. Military service, the Continental Army consisting of
six companies of riflemen, was established by the Second Continental
Congress. The next day, George
Washington was appointed by a unanimous vote to command the army.
June 14, 1777 - John Adams introduced a resolution before Congress mandating a United States flag,
stating, "...that the flag of the thirteen United States shall
be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen
stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."
This anniversary is celebrated each year in the U.S. as Flag Day.
June 14, 1922 - Warren G. Harding became the
first U.S. President to broadcast a message over the radio. The event
was the dedication of the Francis Scott Key Memorial in Baltimore.
June 14, 1951 -
Univac 1, the world's first commercial electronic computer was unveiled
in Philadelphia. It was installed at the Census Bureau and utilized
a magnetic tape unit as a buffer memory.
Birthday - Photojournalist
Margaret Bourke-White (1906-1971) was born in New York City. In 1936,
she became one of four original staff photographers for Life Magazine.
She was the first woman to become an accredited war correspondent during
World War II. She covered the Italian campaign, the siege of Moscow
and the American crossing of the Rhine into Germany. Her photographs
of Nazi concentration camps stunned the world. She later photographed
Mahatma Gandhi and covered the migration of millions of people after
the Indian subcontinent was subdivided. She also served as a war correspondent
during the Korean War. Her best known book was a study of rural poverty
in the American South, You Have Seen Their Faces (1937).
Birthday - American
writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was born in Litchfield, Connecticut.
She wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, an anti-slavery novel containing
vivid descriptions of the sufferings and oppression of African Americans.
The book provoked a storm of protest and inflamed people in the North
against slavery in the South. The names of two characters from the novel
have become part of the English language - the slave, Uncle Tom, and
the villainous slave owner, Simon Legree. During the Civil War,
as Harriet Beecher Stowe was introduced to President Abraham Lincoln,
he reportedly said, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book
that made this great war."
Birthday - American
editor and compiler John Bartlett (1820-1905) was born in Plymouth,
Massachusetts. Although he had little formal education, he created Bartlett's
Familiar Quotations, one of the most-used reference works of the
English language, which today contains 22,000 entries.
Birthday - German
psychiatrist and pathologist Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915) was born in
Markbreit am Mainz, Germany. In 1907, he published an article first
describing 'Alzheimers,' a degenerative disease, usually beginning at
age 40-60, affecting nerve cells of the brain and leading to severe
memory impairment and progressive loss of mental faculties.
June 15 Return
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June 15, 1215 -
King John set his seal to Magna
Carta, the first charter of British liberties, guaranteeing basic
rights that have since become the foundation of modern democracies around
Birthday - Pianist
and composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was born in Bergen, Norway. He
incorporated the rhythms and melodies of Norwegian folk music into his
songs and instrumentals including Piano Concerto in A Minor, Peer
Gynt Suite, Norwegian Peasant Dance, and Ich liebe Dich.
June 16, 1963 -
Valentina Tereshkova, 26, became the first woman in space as her Soviet
spacecraft, Vostok 6, took off from the Tyuratam launch site. She manually
controlled the spacecraft completing 48 orbits in 71 hours before landing
Birthday - Film
comedian Stan Laurel (1890-1965) was born in Ulverston, England. He
teamed up with Oliver Hardy as Laurel & Hardy delighting audiences
for more than 30 years.
Birthday - American
author and photographer John Griffin (1920-1980) was born in Dallas,
Texas. He darkened his white skin using chemicals and ultraviolet light,
then kept a journal on his experiences while posing as an African American traveling
through the deep South. The journal was published as the book, Black
June 17, 1972 - Following a seemingly routine burglary, five men were arrested at
the National Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington,
D.C. However, subsequent investigations revealed the burglars were actually
agents hired by the Committee for the Re-election of President Richard
Nixon. A long chain of events then followed in which the president
and top aides became involved in an extensive cover-up of this and other
White House sanctioned illegal activities, eventually leading to the
resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974.
Birthday - Russian
composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was born near St. Petersburg. Among
his best known works, the ballets The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913), and the choral work Symphony
of Psalms (1930).
June 18, 1812 - After much debate, the U.S. Senate voted 19 to 13 in favor of a declaration
of war against Great Britain, prompted by Britain's violation of America's
rights on the high seas and British incitement of Indian warfare on
the Western frontier. The next day, President James
Madison officially proclaimed the U.S. to be in a state of war.
The War of 1812 lasted over two years and ended with the signing of
the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium on December 24, 1814.
June 18, 1815 -
On the fields near Waterloo in central Belgium, 72,000 French troops,
led by Napoleon, suffered a crushing military defeat from a combined
Allied army of 113,000 British, Dutch, Belgian, and Prussian troops.
Thus ended 23 years of warfare between France and the other powers of
Europe. Napoleon was then sent into exile on the island of St. Helena
off the coast of Africa. On May 5, 1821, the former vain-glorious Emperor
died alone on the tiny island, abandoned by everyone.
June 18, 1983 -
Dr. Sally Ride, a 32-year-old
physicist and pilot, became the first American woman in space, beginning
a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger, launched
from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Birthday - British explorer George Mallory (1886-1924) was born in Mobberley,
Cheshire, England. When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest,
the highest mountain in the world, he simply answered, "Because
it is there." He disappeared while climbing through the mists toward
its summit on the morning of June 8, 1924. His body, perfectly preserved
due to the cold conditions, was discovered by climbers in 1999, just
600 meters (2,030 feet) from the summit.
June 19, 1953 -
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electrocution at Sing Sing
Prison in New York. They had been found guilty of providing vital information
on the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union during 1944-45. They were the
first U.S. civilians to be sentenced to death for espionage and were
also the only married couple ever executed together in the U.S.
Birthday - Baseball
great Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) was born in New York City. He played in
2,130 consecutive games and seven World Series for the New York Yankees
and had a lifetime batting average of .340. He contracted the degenerative
muscle disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now called 'Lou Gehrig's
disease,' and died on June 2, 1941.
June 20 Return
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June 20, 1782 -
The U.S. Congress officially adopted the Great Seal of the United States
Birthday - American
military hero and actor Audie Murphy (1924-1971) was born in Kingston,
Texas. He was the most decorated American soldier of World War II, awarded
37 medals and decorations, including the Medal
of Honor for single-handedly turning back a German infantry company
by climbing on a burning U.S. tank destroyer and firing its .50-cal.
machine gun, killing 50 Germans. He later became an actor in western
and war movies and made 45 films including; The Red Badge of Courage (1951), Destry (1954), and To Hell and Back (1955), based
on his autobiography. He died May 28, 1971, in a plane crash near Roanoke,
June 21, 1964 -
Three white civil rights workers - James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and
Michael Schwerner - left Meridian, Mississippi, at 9 a.m. to investigate
a church burning. They were expected back by 4 p.m. When they failed
to return, a search was begun. Their murdered bodies were discovered
on August 4th.
Birthday - French
philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was born in Paris. Dubbed the
"father of existentialism," in 1964, he rejected the Nobel
Prize for Literature when it was awarded to him.
Birthday - Britain's
Prince William (William Arthur Philip Louis) was born in London, June
June 22, 1918 -
A Michigan Central Railroad troop train struck the rear of the Hagenbeck-Wallace
Circus train in Ivanhoe, Indiana. Fifty-three circus performers
were killed. Of the circus animals not killed, most were maimed and
had to be destroyed. The performers, of whom only three could be identified,
were buried in a mass grave.
June 22, 1941 - Starting at 3:15 am, some 3.2 million German soldiers plunged headlong into Russia across an 1800-mile front, in a major turing point of World War II. At 7 am that morning, a proclamation from Hitler to the German people announced, "At this moment a march is taking place that, for its extent, compares with the greatest the world has ever seen..."
June 23, 1865 -
The last formal surrender of Confederate troops occurred as Cherokee
leader and Confederate Brigadier General Watie surrendered his battalion
comprised of American Indians in the Oklahoma Territory.
June 24, 1948 -
Soviet Russia began a blockade of Berlin. Two days later the Allies
responded with an emergency airlift to relieve two million isolated
West Berliners. During the Berlin Airlift, American and British planes
flew about 278,000 flights, delivering 2.3 million tons of food, coal
and medical supplies. A plane landed in Berlin every minute from eleven
Allied staging areas in West Germany. The Russians lifted their blockade
of Berlin on May 12, 1949, however the airlift continued until September
June 24, 2010 -
Labor Party deputy Julia Gillard became Australia's first female Prime Minister. She was born in Wales and had moved to Australia as a child. She worked as a lawyer before entering politics.
Birthday - Boxing
champ Jack Dempsey (1895-1983) was born in Manassa, Colorado. Dubbed
"The Manassa Mauler," he reigned as world heavyweight champion
from 1919 to 1926. Following his boxing career, he became a successful
New York restaurant operator.
June 25 Return
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June 25, 1862 -
During the American Civil War, the
Seven Days Campaign began as Confederate General Robert
E. Lee launched a series of assaults to prevent a Union attack on
Richmond, Virginia. The Campaign included battles at Oak Grove, Gaine's
Mills, Garnett's Farm, Golding's Farm, Savage's Station, White Oak Swamp
and Malvern Hill, resulting in over 36,000 casualties on both sides.
Despite losing the final assault at Malvern Hill, the Confederates succeeded
in preventing the Union Army from taking Richmond.
June 25, 1876 -
General George A. Custer,
leading 250 men, attacked an encampment of Sioux Indians near Little
Bighorn River in Montana. Custer and his men were then attacked by 2000-4000
Indian braves. Only one scout and a single horse survived 'Custer's
Last Stand' on the Little Bighorn
Battlefield. News of the humiliating defeat infuriated Americans
and led to all out war. Within a year, the Sioux Indians were a broken
and defeated nation.
June 25, 1950 -
The Korean War began as North Korean troops, led by Russian-built tanks,
crossed the 38th parallel and launched a full scale invasion of South
Korea. Five days later, U.S. ground forces entered the conflict, which
lasted until July 27, 1953, when an armistice was signed at Panmunjom,
formally dividing the country at the 38th parallel into North and South
June 25, 1990 -
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that it was unconstitutional for
any state to require, without providing other options, a minor to notify
both parents before obtaining an abortion.
June 25, 1991 -
Following the collapse of Soviet rule in Eastern Europe, the republics
of Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.
Ethnic rivalries between Serbians and Croatians soon erupted. In 1992,
fighting erupted in Bosnia-Herzegovina between Serbians and ethnic Muslims.
A campaign of terrorism and genocide, termed 'ethnic cleansing,' was
started by the Serbs against the Muslims. At least two million people
became refugees, and about 200,000 were missing and presumed dead. Violence
in the region raged on through 1995 despite economic sanctions and the
efforts of U.N. peacekeeping forces in the area.
Birthday - British
satirist George Orwell (1903-1950) was born at Montihari in Bengal (as
Eric Arthur Blair). He is best known for two works of fiction Animal
Farm (1944), and 1984 (1949).
June 26, 1893 -
Illinois Gov. John P. Altgeld issued a controversial pardon for three
anarchists convicted after the Haymarket Riot. The riot had occurred
in Chicago in May of 1886, after 180 police officers advanced on 1,300
persons listening to speeches by labor activists and anarchists. A bomb
was thrown. Seven police were killed and over 50 wounded. Four anarchists
were then charged with conspiracy to kill, convicted and hanged while
another committed suicide in jail. Three others were given lengthy jail
terms, then pardoned by Gov. Altgeld in a move that likely cost him
his political career.
June 26, 1945 -
The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco by 50 nations. The Charter was ratified
on October 24, 1945.
Birthday - American
author Pearl Buck (1892-1973) was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia.
She became a noted authority on China and wrote books including The
Good Earth which revealed the mysterious Chinese culture to Western
readers. She received a Nobel Prize in 1938 for her many books.
Birthday - Champion
athlete Mildred "Babe" Didrikson (1914-1952) was born in Port
Arthur, Texas. Nicknamed after baseball legend Babe Ruth, she won two
gold medals at the 1932 Olympics, setting world records in the javelin
throw and high hurdle. She then took up golf, winning the 1946 U.S.
Women's Amateur Tournament. In 1947, she won 17 straight golf championships
and became the first American winner of the British Ladies' Amateur
Tournament. As a pro golfer, she won the U.S. Women's Open in 1950 and
1954. She also excelled in softball, baseball, swimming, figure skating,
billiards, and even football. In 1950, she was named 'woman athlete
of the first half of the 20th century' by the Associated Press. She
died of cancer at age 42.
Birthday - American
musician Mildred J. Hill (1859-1916) was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
She composed the melody for what is now the world's most often sung
song, Happy Birthday to You.
June 28, 1862 -
During the American Civil War, the siege of the Confederate city of Vicksburg
began as Admiral David
Farragut succeeded in taking a fleet past the Mississippi River
stronghold. The siege continued over a year.
June 28, 1914 -
Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Austria and his wife were
assassinated at Sarajevo, touching off a conflict between the Austro-Hungarian
government and Serbia that escalated into World War I.
June 28, 1919 - The signing of the Treaty of Versailles formally ended World War I.
According to the terms, Germany was assessed sole blame for the war, forced give up Alsace-Lorraine
and overseas colonies, and pay reparations of $15 Billion. The treaty
also prohibited German rearmament.
Birthday - Flemish
painter and diplomat Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was born in Siegen,
Westphalia, Germany. Regarded as the greatest of Flemish painters, he
was considered the master artist of his day. He was also skilled in
science and politics and spoke seven languages. Among his masterpieces; Le Coup de Lance and The Descent from the Cross.
Birthday - Philosopher
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was born in Geneva, Switzerland. His
book The Social Contract stated that no laws are binding unless
agreed upon by the people, a concept that deeply affected the French.
In his novel Emile he challenged harsh child-rearing methods
of his day and argued that young people should be given freedom to enjoy
sunlight, exercise and play. "Man is born free," he wrote
in The Social Contract, "and everywhere he is in chains."
Birthday - German-American
physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) was born in Kattowitz, Germany.
She participated in the secret Manhattan Project, the building of the
first atomic bomb. She later became the first American woman to win
the Nobel Prize, sharing the 1963 prize for physics for works explaining
atomic nuclei, known as the nuclear shell theory.
June 29, 1972 -
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that capital punishment was a violation
of the Eighth Amendment prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishment."
The decision spared the lives of 600 individuals then sitting on death
row. Four years later, in another ruling, the Court reversed itself
and determined the death penalty was not cruel and unusual punishment.
On October 4, 1976, the ban was lifted on the death penalty in cases
Birthday - Social
worker Julia Lathrop (1858-1932) was born in Rockford, Illinois. She
fought to establish child labor laws and was instrumental in establishing
the first juvenile court in the U.S. In 1912, President Taft named her
to head the newly created Children's Bureau. In 1925, she became a member
of the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations.
Birthday - American
surgeon William Mayo (1861-1939) was born in LeSeuer, Minnesota. He
was one of the Mayo brothers, pioneers of the concept of the group clinic,
bringing together specialists from a number of medical fields to better
perform diagnoses and treatment. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota,
became an internationally known medical center.
June 30, 1971 -
The 26th Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution was enacted, granting the right to vote in all federal,
state and local elections to American citizens 18 years or older. The
U.S. thus gained an additional 11 million voters. The minimum voting
age in most states had been 21.
June 30, 1997 -
In Hong Kong, the flag of the British Crown Colony was officially lowered
at midnight and replaced by a new flag representing China's sovereignty
and the official transfer of power.
(Photo and picture credits:
Library of Congress and U.S. National Archives)