Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, June 28, the 180th day of 2020. There are 186 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) was signed in France, ending the First World War.

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On this date:

In 1838, Britain’s Queen Victoria was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Maj. Gen. George G. Meade the new commander of the Army of the Potomac, following the resignation of Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death in Sarajevo (sah-ruh-YAY’-voh) by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip (gavh-REE’-loh PREEN’-seep) — an act which sparked World War I.

In 1939, Pan American Airways began regular trans-Atlantic air service with a flight that departed New York for Marseilles (mar-SAY’), France.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Alien Registration Act, also known as the Smith Act, which required adult foreigners residing in the U.S. to be registered and fingerprinted.

In 1964, civil rights activist Malcolm X declared, “We want equality by any means necessary” during the Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity in New York.

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved commemorations for Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day to Monday, creating three-day holiday weekends beginning in 1971.

In 1975, screenwriter, producer and actor Rod Serling, 50, creator of “The Twilight Zone,” died in Rochester, New York.

In 1978, the Supreme Court ordered the University of California-Davis Medical School to admit Allan Bakke (BAH’-kee), a white man who argued he’d been a victim of reverse racial discrimination.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton became the first chief executive in U.S. history to set up a personal legal defense fund and ask Americans to contribute to it.

In 2000, seven months after he was cast adrift in the Florida Straits, Elian Gonzalez was returned to his native Cuba.

In 2013, tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi rallied in Cairo, and both sides fought each other in Egypt’s second-largest city of Alexandria, where two people — including an American — were killed and scores injured. The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot, just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

Ten years ago: Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving senator in the nation’s history, died in Falls Church, Virginia, at 92. The Senate Judiciary Committee opened its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that Americans had the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they lived. The FBI announced the arrests of 10 suspected deep-cover agents, including Anna Chapman, the chic 28-year-old daughter of a Russian diplomat. (All 10 were later returned to Russia in a swap.)

Five years ago: Authorities in upstate New York captured David Sweat, one of two convicted murderers who’d escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6; Sweat was apprehended two days after his fellow escapee, Richard Matt, was shot and killed in a confrontation with law enforcement. After 18 straight successful launches, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket broke apart minutes after soaring away from Cape Canaveral, Florida, while carrying supplies for the International Space Station. Comedian Jack Carter, 93, died in Beverly Hills, California.

One year ago: Avowed white supremacist James Alex Fields, who deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a young woman and injuring dozens, apologized to his victims before being sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges. President Donald Trump joked with Russian President Vladimir Putin about interfering in U.S. elections as the two met on the sidelines of an international summit in Japan. The U.S. team advanced to meet England in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament with a 2-1 victory over France. Thousands converged on New York’s Stonewall Inn for the 50th anniversary of a clash between patrons and police; the rebellion served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-movie director Mel Brooks is 94. Former Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is 86. Comedian-impressionist John Byner is 83. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is 82. Rock musician Dave Knights (Procul Harum) is 75. Actor Bruce Davison is 74. Actress Kathy Bates is 72. Actress Alice Krige is 66. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway is 60. Record company chief executive Tony Mercedes is 58. Jazz singer Tierney Sutton is 57. Actress Jessica Hecht is 55. Rock musician Saul Davies (James) is 55. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 54. Actor John Cusack is 54. Actor Gil Bellows is 53. Actress-singer Danielle Brisebois is 51. Jazz musician Jimmy Sommers is 51. Actress Tichina Arnold is 51. Actor Steve Burton is 50. Entrepreneur Elon Musk is 49. Actor Alessandro Nivola (nih-VOH’-luh) is 48. Actress Camille Guaty is 44. Rock musician Tim Nordwind (OK Go) is 44. Rock musician Mark Stoermer (The Killers) is 43. Country singer Big Vinny Hickerson (Trailer Choir) is 37. Country singer Kellie Pickler is 34.

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