In 1787, the Constitutional Convention began at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.
In 1810, Argentina began its revolt against Spanish rule with the forming of the Primera Junta in Buenos Aires.
In 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to two years in prison.
In 1959, the U.S. Supreme Court, in State Athletic Commission v. Dorsey, struck down a Louisiana law prohibiting interracial boxing matches. (The case had been brought by Joseph Dorsey Jr., a black professional boxer.)
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy told Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, ordered the Virginia county to reopen its public schools, which officials had closed in an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka desegregation ruling.
In 1965, Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the first round of their world heavyweight title rematch in Lewiston, Maine. (Ali’s victory generated controversy over whether he’d truly connected when he sent Liston crashing to the canvas with a right to the head, or whether it was a “phantom punch,” implying that the fight had been fixed.)
In 1979, 273 people died when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed just after takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Six-year-old Etan Patz (AY’-tahn payts) disappeared while on his way to a school bus stop in lower Manhattan. (In April 2017, former store clerk Pedro Hernandez, convicted of killing Etan, was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.)
In 1986, an estimated 7 million Americans participated in “Hands Across America” to raise money for the nation’s hungry and homeless.
In 1992, Jay Leno made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” succeeding Johnny Carson.
In 2008, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on the Red Planet to begin searching for evidence of water; the spacecraft confirmed the presence of water ice at its landing site.
In 2017, surrounded by stone-faced allies, President Donald Trump rebuked fellow NATO members for failing to meet the military alliance’s financial benchmarks. Republican Greg Gianforte won a special election for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat a day after being charged with assaulting a reporter.
Ten years ago: North Korea claimed to have carried out a powerful underground nuclear test; President Barack Obama called on the world to “stand up to” Pyongyang and demand it honor a promise to abandon its nuclear ambitions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, long a fierce critic of Beijing, toured China’s financial capital of Shanghai but stayed clear of human rights issues.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama slipped into Afghanistan for a surprise visit, making clear the U.S. would likely maintain a limited role there even after its combat mission ended later in the year. Pope Francis arrived in Bethlehem where, in a symbolic nod to Palestinians’ aspirations for their own state, he called the stalemate in peace talks “unacceptable” and stopped briefly to pray at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding the biblical West Bank town. Josh Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of his career and the first of the season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0. Ryan Hunter-Reay became the first American to win the Indianapolis 500 since 2006, making a dramatic pass of Helio Castroneves on the final lap.
One year ago: Harvey Weinstein was charged in New York with rape and another sex felony in the first prosecution to result from the wave of allegations against him; the once-powerful movie producer turned himself in to face the charges and was released on $1 million bail after a court appearance. A student opened fire in a classroom at a suburban Indianapolis middle school; the student was tackled and disarmed by a teacher, Jason Seaman, who was shot three times as he ended the shooting, which also seriously wounded a 13-year-old girl. President Donald Trump signed a trio of executive orders to overhaul the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire federal workers for poor performance and misconduct. By a two-to-one margin, voters in Ireland chose to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Ann Robinson is 90. Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 85. Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall is 83. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 80. Country singer Jessi Colter is 76. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 76. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 75. Actress Karen Valentine is 72. Actress Jacki Weaver is 72. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 71. Actress Patti D’Arbanville is 68. Playwright Eve Ensler is 66. Musician Cindy Cashdollar is 64. Actress Connie Sellecca is 64. Rock singer-musician Paul Weller is 61. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is 59. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 56. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 52. Actor Joseph Reitman is 51. Rock musician Glen Drover is 50. Actress Anne Heche (haych) is 50. Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (TV: “Little House on the Prairie”) are 49. Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy is 49. Actress Octavia Spencer is 49. Actor Justin Henry is 48. Rapper Daz Dillinger is 46. Actress Molly Sims is 46. Actress Erinn Hayes is 43. Actor Cillian Murphy is 43. Actor Ethan Suplee (soo-PLEE’) is 43. Rock musician Todd Whitener is 41. Actor Corbin Allred is 40. Actress-singer Lauren Frost is 34. Actress Ebonee (cq) Noel is 29. Musician Guy Lawrence (Disclosure) is 28. Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman is 25.
Thought for Today: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet (1803-1882).