This Week in History: June 17-23, 2024

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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.” George Orwell

June 17-23, 2024




June 17

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City aboard French ship “Isere.” The metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The pedestal was completed in April 1886, after which the statue was assembled on the pedestal and dedicated in October. The plaque which starts, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” comes from the poem “The New Colossus” written by Emma Lazarus. The poem was auctioned to raise money for the pedestal construction. The plaque inscribed with the poem was added in 1903.

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.

1932 – During the Bonus Army March about one thousand World War I veterans amass at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considers a bill that would give them certain benefits. Watch a report using actual photos.



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.

1963 – The Supreme Court bans the required reading of the Lord’s Prayer and Bible reading in public schools in Abington School District v Schempp.

1972 – Five White House “plumbers” are apprehended after the second burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel.

1988 – Stella Nickell is sentenced to 90 years in prison in the first product tampering murder case after the 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders. Nickell was convicted of killing her husband and a woman by poisoning bottles of Extra-Strength Excedrin. Nickell, now 80 years old, was denied parole in 2022.

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 21-year-old Dylann Roof. As a result of this event, Confederate flags were banned in many public buildings. Roof appealed his death sentence, but it was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2021.

2015 – The U.S. Treasury announces that the image of Alexander Hamilton would be replaced on the $10 bill by an image of a woman. In 2017, that idea was scrapped after the popularity of the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”


June 18

1873 – Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for voting for president.

1898 – The first amusement park, Steel Pier, opens in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A fire severely damaged the park in 1924, but it was rebuilt, sold several times, and is still in operation.

1912 – The Chicago National Republican Convention splits between President Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). After Taft is nominated, Roosevelt and progressive elements of the party form the Progressive Party (also known as the Bull Moose Party).

1928 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as she completes a flight from Newfoundland to Wales.

1959 – A Federal Court annuls the Arkansas law allowing school closings to prevent integration.

1977 – The Space Shuttle test model “Enterprise” carries a crew aloft for the first time. It was fixed atop a modified Boeing 747. The Enterprise never flew into space. Originally named “Constitution,” it was renamed after President Ford received thousands of petition signatures from Star Trek fans. Watch the stacked crafts takeoff.



1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty limiting nuclear weapons. Six months later the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, so the treaty was never ratified by the Senate.

1983 – The Challenger Space Shuttle launches with Sally Ride on board as the first American woman in space. Ride died in 2012 at age 61. Watch an interview with Sally Ride.



2003 – Google launches AdSense, a program that enables website publishers to serve ads targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages.


June 19

1846 – The New York Knickerbocker Club plays the New York Club in the first baseball game at the Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was the first organized baseball game.

1934 – Congress establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate radio (and later TV) broadcasting.

1951 – President Harry S. Truman signs the Universal Military Training and Service Act, which extended Selective Service until July 1, 1955 and lowered the draft age to 18.

1961 – The Supreme Court strikes down a provision in Maryland’s constitution requiring state office holders to believe in God.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes in the Senate by a vote of 73-27, with a majority of Republicans voting in favor of the act and half of Democrats opposing it.

1981 – “Superman II” sets the (then) all-time, one-day record for theater box-office receipts when it takes in $5.5 million. Watch the movie trailer.



2000 – The Supreme Court rules that a group prayer led by students at public school football games violates the First Amendment’s establishment of religion principle. In June 2022, however, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that football coach Joe Kennedy had the right to kneel in quiet prayer after football games. Kennedy had been fired for his practice.

2017 – Russia warns the U.S. it will target U.S. and allied aircraft after a U.S. fighter jet shoots down a Syrian warplane.


June 20

1782 – Congress approves the Great Seal of the U.S. and the eagle as its symbol.

1871 – The Ku Klux Klan trial begins in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi, following the Meridian Race Riot. No one was ever convicted in the 30 deaths resulting from the riots.

1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted in the axe murders of her father and stepmother in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Lizzie died in 1927 at age 66.

1911 – The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) incorporates in New York.

1944 – Congress charters the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

1948 – “Toast of the Town” hosted by Ed Sullivan premieres on TV and airs until 1971. Sullivan died in 1974 at age 73. Watch a short promo for Ed’s show.



1967 – Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) is convicted of refusing induction into the armed services. Ali was sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison while his case was appealed and returned to boxing in 1970. Ali died in 2016 at age 74.

1977 – Oil enters the Trans-Alaska pipeline and exits 38 days later at Valdez. The pipeline carries an estimated 700,000 barrels of oil per day.

1997 – The tobacco industry agrees to a massive settlement in exchange for major relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills.

2011 – The first Critics’ Choice Television Awards are held. “Modern Family” wins best comedy series and “Mad Men” wins for best drama series.


June 21

1684 – King Charles II revokes the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter due to insubordination for violating the terms of the charter.

1788 – The U.S. Constitution goes into effect when New Hampshire becomes the 9th colony to ratify it.

1879 – F. W. Woolworth opens his first store in Utica, New York, but it fails the following year. He opened a new store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1881 and within a few years Woolworth was a millionaire. Woolworth died in 1919 at age 66.

1893 – The first Ferris wheel premieres at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition. It was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris. Ferris died of TB in 1896 at age 37.

1939 – The New York Yankees announce Lou Gehrig’s retirement after doctors reveal he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig made his farewell speech on July 4th.



1964 – Bryon de la Beckwith is arrested for the murder of Medgar Evers. Two trials in 1964 ended in hung juries with all white jurors. Beckwith was found guilty 30 years later based on new evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and died in prison in 2001 at age 80.

1964 – Three civil rights workers, Michael H. Schwerner Andrew Goodman, and James E. Chaney, disappear after their release from a Mississippi jail. Their remains were found six weeks later buried in an earthen dam. In 1967, 19 men, including the county’s Deputy, were arrested and tried for federal civil rights violations. An all-white jury convicted seven, acquitted nine, and deadlocked on three others. In 2005, then 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen was convicted on three counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Killen died in 2018 at age 92.

1982 – John Hinckley, Jr. is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan and committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital. Hinckley, now 69, was granted full release in June 2022.

1989 – The Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment.

2004 – SpaceShipOne, designed by Burt Rutan and piloted by Mike Melvill, reaches 328,491 feet above Earth in a 90-minute flight. The height was about 400 feet above the distance scientists consider to be the boundary of space. It won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for being the first non-governmental manned spacecraft to go into space twice within two weeks. Watch the flights.

 




June 22

1611 – Mutineers from his ship Discovery set Henry Hudson, his son, and seven supporters adrift in the Hudson Bay. They were never seen again. The mutineers sailed back to England and were arrested.

1870 – Congress creates the Department of Justice (DOJ).

1922 – Striking coal miners of the United Mine Workers massacred 19 non-union strikebreakers during after they had peacefully left the mine in Herrin, Illinois. None of the striking coal miners were ever convicted of the murders.

1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt signs the “GI Bill of Rights.”

1946 – President Truman sets up the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

1970 – President Nixon signs the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.

1992 – In R.A.V. (petitioner for juveniles) v. City of St. Paul the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that “hate crime” laws violate free-speech rights. The court struck down a city ordinance that made it a crime to place a burning cross or swastika anywhere.

1998 – In Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole v. Scott the Supreme Court rules 5-4 that evidence illegally obtained by authorities can be used at revocation hearings for a convicted criminal’s parole.

2015 – Former Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds in the wake of murders of 9 people in a Charleston church. The Confederate flag was removed from the statehouse grounds on July 10th and placed in a museum. Watch a PBS report.




June 23

1683 – William Penn signs a friendship treaty with the Lenni Lenape Indians, the Six Nations (Mengwes), the Shawanese Nation, the Gawanese, and the Conestogas (Mingoes) in Pennsylvania. It was said that an exchange of wampum belts took place, but in 1782 Chief Killbuck lost the historic wampum that contained the treaty that had been made with Penn one hundred years earlier.

1860 – The U.S. Secret Service is created to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Congress requested that the Secret Service provide protection for presidents after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901.

1888 – Frederick Douglass is the first African-American nominated for president when he received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago.

1931 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off for a record-setting flight around the world. Their trip took 8 days.

1972 – President Nixon signs Title IX of the Education Amendments, barring sex discrimination in college sports.

1986 – Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill refuses to let President Reagan address House before its critical vote on funding for the anti-communist “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua.

2013 – Aerialist Nik Wallenda completes a quarter mile tightrope walk over the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona. Watch and listen to Nik talk to his crew as he walks across the gorge.






Image from: space.com


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