Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 4, the 156th day of 2020. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

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.

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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 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of some 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In 1944, U-505, a German submarine, was captured by a U.S. Navy task group in the south Atlantic; it was the first such capture of an enemy vessel at sea by the U.S. Navy since the War of 1812. The U.S. Fifth Army began liberating Rome.

In 1972, a jury in San Jose, California, acquitted radical activist Angela Davis of murder and kidnapping for her alleged connection to a deadly courthouse shootout in Marin County in 1970.

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. (Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

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, Oregon, end her life in Oakland County, Michigan.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Putin (POO’-tihn) ended their summit by conceding differences on missile defense, agreeing to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium and pledging early warning of missile and space launches.

Ten years ago: On his third personal trek to the Gulf disaster, President Barack Obama said that he saw some progress in fighting the enormous oil spill but that it was “way too early to be optimistic.” 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 (AHN’-uh-MEEK’-ah VEER’-ah-MAHN’-ee) of North Royalton, Ohio, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., correctly spelling the medical term “stromuhr.” Death claimed postmodern author David Markson, 82; 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 current and former federal employees and job applicants; Chinese hackers were suspected of being behind the cyberattack.) Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry opened his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination. A huge explosion at a gas station in Ghana’s capital of Accra left at least 160 people dead.

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 a heavily-used category of educational travel. New York legislators approved what would be the first statewide ban on the declawing of cats. (Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure in July.) The Maine Legislature voted to legalize assisted suicide. (Gov. Janet Mills signed the measure into law the following week.)

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. Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 75. Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 69. Actor Parker Stevenson is 68. Actor Keith David is 64. Blues singer-musician Tinsley Ellis is 63. Actress Julie Gholson is 62. Actor Eddie Velez is 62. Singer-musician El DeBarge is 59. Actress Julie White is 59. Actress Lindsay Frost is 58. Actor Sean Pertwee is 56. Former tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 55. Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli is 54. Rhythm and blues singer Al B. Sure! is 52. Actor Scott Wolf is 52. Actor-comedian Rob Huebel is 51. Comedian Horatio Sanz is 51. Actor James Callis is 49. Actor Noah Wyle is 49. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 46. Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 45. Actress Angelina Jolie is 45. Actor Theo Rossi is 45. Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 44. Actor Robin Lord Taylor is 42. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 40. Country musician Dean Berner (Edens Edge) is 39. Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL’-lee) is 35. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is 35. Americana singer Shakey Graves is 33. Rock musician Zac Farro is 30.

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).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, June 4)

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