Today in History – Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Today is Tuesday, June 7, the 159th day of 2016. There are 207 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a resolution to the Continental Congress stating “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On this date:

In 1654, King Louis XIV, age 15, was crowned in Rheims, 11 years after the start of his reign.

In 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first began to explore present-day Kentucky.

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In 1892, Homer Plessy, a “Creole of color,” was fined for refusing to leave a whites-only car of the East Louisiana Railroad. (Ruling on his case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept it renounced in 1954.)

In 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.

In 1939, King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived at Niagara Falls, New York, from Canada on the first visit to the United States by a reigning British monarch.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway ended in a decisive victory for American forces over the Imperial Japanese.

In 1954, British mathematician, computer pioneer and code breaker Alan Turing died at age 41, an apparent suicide. (Turing, convicted in 1952 of “gross indecency” for a homosexual relationship, was pardoned in 2013.)

In 1958, singer-songwriter Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis.

In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, recognized a constitutional right to privacy as it struck down a Connecticut law used to prosecute a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Haven for providing contraceptives to married couples.

In 1972, the musical “Grease” opened on Broadway, having already been performed in lower Manhattan.

In 1981, Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons.

In 1998, in a crime that shocked the U.S., James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, was hooked by a chain to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. (Two white men were later sentenced to death; one of them, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed in 2011. A third defendant received a life sentence.)

Ten years ago: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (AH’-boo MOO’-sahb ahl-zahr-KOW’-ee), the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed by a U.S. airstrike on his safe house. The U.S. Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Five years ago: Moammar Gadhafi stood defiant in the face of the heaviest and most punishing NATO airstrikes to date, declaring in an audio address carried on Libyan state television, “We will not kneel!” Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the al-Qaida mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was killed at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu by Somali forces.

One year ago: President Barack Obama opened a visit to Germany for a G-7 summit, where he praised the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Turkish voters rebuked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to expand his powers, stripping his party of its simple majority in parliament. Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to win the men’s French Open title. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won best play at the Tony Awards; “Fun Home” won best musical. Actor Christopher Lee, 93, died in London.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director James Ivory is 88. Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner is 87. Actress Virginia McKenna is 85. Singer Tom Jones is 76. Poet Nikki Giovanni is 73. Actor Ken Osmond (TV: “Leave It to Beaver”) is 73. Former talk show host Jenny Jones is 70. Americana singer-songwriter Willie Nile is 68. Actress Anne Twomey is 65. Actor Liam Neeson is 64. Actress Colleen Camp is 63. Singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg is 63. Author Louise Erdrich (UR’-drihk) is 62. Actor William Forsythe is 61. Record producer L.A. Reid is 60. Latin pop singer Juan Luis Guerra is 59. Rock singer-musician Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes) is 53. Rapper Ecstasy (Whodini) is 52. Rock musician Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 50. Rock musician Dave Navarro is 49. Actress Helen Baxendale is 46. Actor Karl Urban is 44. TV personality Bear Grylls is 42. Rock musician Eric Johnson (The Shins) is 40. Actress Adrienne Frantz is 38. Actor-comedian Bill Hader is 38. Actress Anna Torv is 37. Actress Larisa Oleynik (oh-LAY’-nihk) is 35. Tennis player Anna Kournikova is 35. Actor Michael Cera is 28. Actress Shelley Buckner is 27. Rapper Iggy Azalea is 26. Rapper Fetty Wap is 25.

Thought for Today: “Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud and one the stars.” — Frederick Langbridge, English clergyman and author (1849-1922).

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