This Week in History
by Dianne Hermann
“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by
human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”
President George H. W. Bush
Week of June 10-16, 2019
1793 – Washington, DC replaces Philadelphia as the U.S. capital.
1854 – The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduates 50 midshipmen.
1935 – Dr. Robert Smith and William Wilson of Akron, Ohio, form Alcoholics Anonymous.
1944 – The youngest player in major league baseball history pitches his first game. Joe Nuxhall was 15 years old (and 10 months, 11 days). Nuxhall died in 2007 at age 79. Watch a news report done in memory of Nuxhall:
1963 – President Kennedy signs a law for equal pay for equal work for men and women.
1978 – Affirmed wins the Triple Crown at the 110th Belmont Stakes with jockey Steve Cauthen in 2:26.8. The next horse to win the Triple Crown was American Pharaoh on June 6, 2015. Watch Affirmed win all three races in the Triple Crown:
1998 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that poor children in Milwaukee can attend religious schools at taxpayer expense.
2003 – The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission. The Rover landed on Mars on January 2004 and transmitted information until March 2010.
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.
1859 – The Comstock silver lode is discovered near Virginia City, Nevada, by two miners, Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin.
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.
1919 – Sir Barton becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown. There are currently 13 horses that have won the three horse races that make up the Triple Crown.
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 I the Rhesus monkey. Albert did not survive the flight. Watch a report about V-2 rockets and four Albert monkey’s flights:
1977 – Seattle Slew wins the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown. The previous Triple Crown winner is Secretariat in 1973. The most recent was Justify on June 8, 2018.
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.
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 only jockey to win the Triple Crown twice. He wins 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 transmissions.
2016 – A terrorist claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and injuring 53, making it the worst mass shooting in the U.S.
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.
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.
1948 – Babe Ruth’s bids a final farewell to fans at Yankee Stadium on the 25th anniversary of the stadium. He died August 16th.
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 and decides 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.
1997 – American fugitive Ira Einhorn is arrested in France for the murder of Holly Maddux after 16 years on the run, although he was not extradited until four years later. He was convicted in 2002 and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Einhorn is now 79 years old.
2002 – The U.S. withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
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.
1834 – The hardhat diving suit is patented by Leonard Norcross of Dixfield, Maine.
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, makes the second V2 rocket flight. Despite what the narrator says, the monkey died on impact after a parachute failure:
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.
2015 – “Jurassic World” opens, making it the first film to earn $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend.
1741 – Captain Vitus Bering leaves Petropavlovsk in Russia sailing to North America. He discovered Kodiak Island, Alaska. Bering died on a voyage in December.
1775 – George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of Continental Army.
1864 – Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, becomes a military 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:
1887 – Carlisle D. Graham survives the third of his four successful rides over a Niagara waterfall in barrel. In 1901, Graham lent his newly designed barrel to Martha Wagenfuhrer, who became the first woman to successfully navigate through the rapids and whirlpool alone.
1924 – J. Edgar Hoover assumes leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
1955 – The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) civil defense readiness exercise, 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 causes him to forfeit his 1912 Olympic medals by violating the amateur status rules. Thorpe’s medals are restored in 1983, 30 years after his death.
1933 – The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is created.
1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the closure of all the German consulates in the U.S. The deadline was set as July 10.
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.
1966 – “Rowan & Martin Show” debuts on TV. The show was hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Rowan and Martin launch “Laugh-In” in 1967. Watch one of the weekly joke walls:
1967 – Over 50,000 people attend the Monterey International Pop Festival in Monterey, California.
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.
Image from en.wikipedia.org