In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.
In 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.”
In 1938, four dozen people were killed when a railroad bridge in Montana collapsed, sending a train known as the Olympian hurtling into Custer Creek.
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 1952, the U.S. Army Special Forces, the elite unit of fighters known as the Green Berets, was established at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The celebrity-panel game show “I’ve Got A Secret” debuted on CBS-TV.
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, New York.
In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois; 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 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned North Korea it would face consequences if it test-fired a missile thought to be powerful enough to reach the West Coast of the United States.
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.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to pin blame on Republicans for making life harder for the unemployed and for those who could lose their jobs without new federal intervention. Former NBA player Manute Bol, 47, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, after returning from a humanitarian trip to his birth country of Sudan.
Five years ago: The Obama administration released its annual terrorism report, which said Iran’s support for international terrorist groups had remained undiminished in the last year and even expanded in some respects. Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees homered for his 3,000th career hit, becoming the 29th player in major league history to reach that milestone. (The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2.) Author James Salter, 90, died in Sag Harbor, New York.
One year ago: The Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants. In a daylong interview with the House Judiciary Committee, former top White House adviser Hope Hicks refused to answer questions related to her time in the White House. Mexico’s Senate voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada. (President Donald Trump signed the trade deal into law in January 2020.) Keith Raniere, the guru of a cult-like self-improvement group that attracted heiresses and Hollywood actress, was convicted in New York of turning his female devotees into his sex slaves.
Today’s Birthdays: Pop singer Tommy DeVito (The Four Seasons) is 92. Actress Gena (JEH’-nuh) Rowlands is 90. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 80. Singer Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 78. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 75. Author Sir Salman Rushdie is 73. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 72. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 70. Musician Larry Dunn is 67. Actress Kathleen Turner is 66. Country singer Doug Stone is 64. Singer Mark DeBarge is 61. Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 58. Actor Andy Lauer is 57. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 56. Actor Samuel West is 54. Actress Mia Sara is 53. TV personality Lara Spencer is 51. Rock musician Brian “Head” Welch is 50. Actor Jean Dujardin is 48. Actress Robin Tunney is 48. Actor Bumper Robinson is 46. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 45. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (AY’-veht) (The Avett Brothers) is 44. Actor Ryan Hurst is 44. Actress Zoe Saldana is 42. Former NBA star Dirk Nowitzki is 42. Actor Neil Brown Jr. is 40. Actress Lauren Lee Smith is 40. Rapper Macklemore (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) is 38. Actor Paul Dano is 36. New York Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom is 32. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti is 31. Actor Chuku Modu (TV: “The Good Doctor”) is 30. Actor Atticus Shaffer is 22.
Thought for Today: “Exuberance is better than taste.” — Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880).
(Above Advance for Use Friday, June 19)
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