This Week in History
by Dianne Hermann
“The most effective way to destroy people is to
deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
Week of June 11-17, 2018
1578 – England grants Sir Humphrey Gilbert a patent to explore and colonize North America.
1776 – The Continental Congress creates a committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft a Declaration of Independence.
1895 – The first auto race held in the U.S. and runs from Chicago to Milwaukee between six cars. Charles Duryea’s Motorized Wagon won the race in about eight hours at an average speed of 7 mph.
1927 – Charles A. Lindbergh is presented with the first Distinguished Flying Cross.
1948 – The V-2 Blossom rocket is launched into space from White Sands, New Mexico, carrying Albert the Rhesus monkey. Despite what the video shows, Albert did not survive the flight. Watch Albert’s first flight:
1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court declares illegally obtained evidence (Exclusionary Rule) may be admitted at trial if it could be proved that it would have been discovered legally.
1990 – The Supreme Court says the law prohibiting desecration of the U.S. flag is unconstitutional.
1998 – Mitsubishi of America agrees to pay $34 million to end the largest sexual harassment case filed by the U.S. government. The federal lawsuit claimed that hundreds of women at a plant in Normal, Illinois, had endured groping and crude jokes from male workers.
2001 – Timothy McVeigh is executed for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
2004 – Ronald Reagan’s funeral is held at the Washington National Cathedral. Former President Reagan died on June 5th at age 93. Watch the solemn procession:
1665 – England installs a municipal government in New York City (the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam).
1908 – The Lusitania arrives in New York City after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a record 4 days 15 hours. A German torpedo sank the ship during World War I in June 1915 on a voyage from New York to England. The ship sank in 18 minutes, with a loss of 1,195 of the 1,959 people on board, including 123 Americans.
1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.
1948 – Eddie Arcaro becomes the first jockey to win the Triple Crown twice. He won in 1941 on Whirlaway and in 1948 on Citation. Watch a report, including an interview of Arcaro:
1967 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ends laws against interracial marriages.
1979 – Bryan Allen of California flies the man-powered Gossamer Albatross over the English Channel in the first human-powered aircraft. The flight took 2 hours, 49 minutes. American aeronautical engineer Paul MacCready, Jr. designed the craft.
1987 – President Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Watch the president make his historic and prophetic demand:
1996 – Cincinnati Reds president and CEO Marge Schott gives up day-to-day operations because of her numerous insensitive comments about Adolf Hitler, working women, and Asians.
2009 – All television broadcasts in the U.S. switch from analog to digital transmission.
2016 – A terrorist claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and injuring 53.
1774 – Rhode Island becomes the first colony to prohibit the importation of slaves.
1777 – Marquis de Lafayette of France lands in the U.S. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, becoming life-long friends with George Washington.
1825 – Walter Hunt patents the safety pin, then sells the rights to it for $400.
1920 – The U.S. Post Office Department rules that children may not be sent by parcel post. The rule stemmed from a 1914 incident when 5-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff was mailed to her grandparents by parcel post for 53 cents to avoid the train cost of $1.55. Charlotte May arrived safely.
1927 – New York City welcomes Charles A. Lindbergh with a ticker-tape parade. Watch a silent newsreel of his flight and parade:
1957 – A full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, and reaches Plymouth, Massachusetts. Watch a narrated newsreel film:
1966 – The Supreme Court rules on the Miranda case by deciding that suspects must be informed of their rights.
1971 – The New York Times begins publishing “The Pentagon Papers.”
1979 – The Sioux Nation receives $100 million in compensation from the U.S. for taking Black Hills, South Dakota.
1983 – Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave our Solar System.
1996 – A group called the Montana Freeman give up to FBI following an 81-day standoff. Three of their members were arrested by the FBI on March 25th, which sparked the standoff. The FBI decided not to force out the Freemen after disastrous results at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993.
2005 – A jury in Santa Maria, California, acquits singer Michael Jackson of molesting a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50.
1777 – The Continental Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes flag, replacing the Grand Union flag.
1922 – President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for Francis Scott Key, the composer of the “Star Spangled Banner,” becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio.
1943 – The Supreme Court rules that schoolchildren cannot be made to salute the flag if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.
1949 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, survives a V2 rocket flight but dies on impact after a parachute failure, despite what the narrator says on this video newsreel:
1951 – The first commercial computer, UNIVAC 1, enters service at the Census Bureau.
1954 – President Eisenhower signs an order adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
1973 – President Richard Nixon’s administration imposes a 60-day nation-wide wage and price freeze.
1989 – President Ronald Reagan is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
1990 – The Supreme Court rules that police DUI checkpoints for drunk drivers are constitutional.
2013 – The U.S. government charges former CIA employee Edward Snowden with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property by leaking classified NSA information. Snowden, now 34 years old, was granted asylum in Russia.
1741 – Captain Vitus Bering leaves Petropavlovsk, Russia, sailing to North America. He discovered Kodiak Island, Alaska. Bering died on a voyage in December.
1864 – Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, becomes what is now known as Arlington National Cemetery.
1878 – Leland Stanford, former governor of California, hires photographer Eadweard Muybridge to make the first motion pictures to see if all 4 of a horse’s hooves leave the ground. Muybridge used 12 cameras, each taking 1 picture. Watch the short silent film:
1924 – J. Edgar Hoover assumes leadership of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He was the FBI director until his death in 1972 at age 77.
1955 – The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) civil defense readiness exercise as an attempt to assess the America’s preparations for a nuclear attack.
1962 – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) complete the Port Huron Statement, a radical manifesto written primarily by SDS co-founder Tom Hayden during a United Auto Workers retreat in Port Huron, Michigan. Hayden was married to Jane Fonda from 1973 to 1990.
1978 – King Hussein of Jordan marries 26-year-old American Lisa Najeeb Halaby, who becomes Queen Noor. Hussein died in 1999 at age 63.
1982 – The Supreme Court rules that all children, regardless of citizenship, are entitled to a public education.
1983 – The Supreme Court strikes down two state and local restrictions on abortion. In the City of Akron v Akron Center, the court ruled against a law requiring parental consent for abortions for girls under age 15. On the same day the court also ruled against a Missouri law requiring abortions in the second trimester be performed at a hospital.
2012 – A rare working Apple I computer sells at a New York auction for a record $374,500. The 36-year-old circuit board was built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Only 200 were made, and of the estimated 50 units that survive, only six are still working.
1858 – Abraham Lincoln says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” when accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate.
1903 – “Pepsi-Cola” is officially registered with the U.S. Patent Office. Pepsi was invented in 1893 by Caleb David Bradham of North Carolina as “Brad’s Drink” and was sold to aid in digestion. He renamed it Pepsi after the two main ingredients, pepsin and cola. Bradham launched the company in the back room of his pharmacy in 1902.
1909 – Jim Thorpe makes his professional pitching debut in baseball for the Rocky Mount Railroaders with a 4-2 win. This caused him to forfeit his 1912 Olympic medals by violating the amateur status rules. Thorpe’s medals were restored in 1983, 30 years after his death. In 1999, a joint resolution of Congress recognized Jim Thorpe as the greatest athlete of the 20th Century. Watch a short bio of Thorpe with family interviews:
1933 – The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is created.
1941 – National Airport opens in Washington, DC. The airlines drew straws to determine who would land at National Airport first and American Airlines won the honor. The airplane was piloted by Bennett H. Griffin, who became the manager of National Airport in 1947.
1967 – Over 50,000 people attend the Monterey International Pop Festival in Monterey, California. Watch a video that includes clips of music groups:
1987 – Subway Vigilante Bernhard Goetz is acquitted on all but gun possession charges after shooting 4 black teenagers who tried to rob him on the subway.
2008 – California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
1579 – Sir Francis Drake lands on the northern coast of California and names it “New Albion,” claiming it for England.
1775 – The Battle of Bunker Hill, a pivotal battle during the Revolutionary War, is actually fought on Breed’s Hill.
1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City aboard French ship “Isere.”
1902 – Congress passes the New Lands Reclamation Act, which establishes a fund from the sale of public lands to build irrigation dams for arid western lands.
1915 – The League to Enforce Peace is organized at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with former president William Howard Taft as its president. The LEP program eventually supported the League of Nations.
1928 – Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become the first woman passenger to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The plane was piloted by Wilmer Stultz.
1947 – Pan Am Airways is chartered as the first worldwide passenger airline.
1950 – The first kidney transplant in the U.S. is performed on 44-year-old Ruth Tucker. Although Tucker’s body rejected the kidney, she lived for five more years with one functioning kidney.
1953 – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stays the executions of convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg scheduled for the next day on their 14th wedding anniversary. The Supreme Court vacated the Douglas stay and the Rosenbergs were executed on the 19th.
1963 – The Supreme Court bans the required reading of the Lord’s Prayer and Bible reading in public schools.
1980 – Carolyn Shoemaker discovers asteroid #2586 Matson. She holds the record for the most asteroids discovered by any individual.
1988 – Stella Nickell is sentenced to 90 years in prison in the first product tampering murder case instituted after the Chicago Tylenol murders. Nickell was convicted of killing her husband and a woman by poisoning bottles of Extra-Strength Excedrin. Nickell will be eligible for parole in 2018 when she is 75 years old.
1994 – Murder suspect OJ Simpson leads Los Angeles police on a chase in his Ford Bronco for 1 and 1/2 hours. The slow motion car chase was seen live on TV. Watch a CNN report on the chase and hear the conversation between OJ and a helicopter pilot:
2015 – Nine people are shot and killed inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a 21-year-old gunman. As a result of this event, Confederate flags were banned in many public buildings. In 2017, Dylann Roof was sentenced to death on federal hate crime charges. He agreed to plead guilty to capital state charges and was sentenced to nine consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
2015 – The U.S. Treasury announces that the image of Alexander Hamilton will be replaced on the $10 bill by an image of a woman (to be named in 2020).
Image from commons.wikipedia.org