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 18-24, 2018
1682 – William of Penn founds Pennsylvania.
1812 – The War of 1812 begins when the U.S. declares war against Britain. It ended in February of 1815 with the Treaty of Ghent.
1873 – Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for voting for president.
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.
1968 – The Supreme Court bans racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing.
1977 – The Space Shuttle test model “Enterprise” carries a crew aloft for the first time. It is fixed atop a modified Boeing 747. The Enterprise never flew into space. Watch the stacked crafts takeoff:
1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty limiting nuclear weapons.
1983 – The Space Shuttle Challenger 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:
1990 – Hale Irwin wins the first sudden death U.S. Open Golf Championship, also making him the oldest U.S. Open champion at age 45.
2003 – Google launches AdSense, a program that enables website publishers to serve ads targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages.
1586 – English colonists sail away from Roanoke Island, North Carolina, after failing to establish England’s first permanent settlement in America.
1846 – The New York Knickerbocker Club lose to the the New York Nine in the first organized baseball game.
1867 – Ruthless wins the first Belmont Stakes horse race. It later became the third race in the Triple Crown.
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 extends Selective Service until July 1, 1955 and lowers the draft age to 18.
1956 – Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin end their partnership after starring together in 16 films. Jerry Lewis is 92 years old. Dean Martin died in 1995 at age 78.
1961 – The Supreme Court strikes down a provision in Maryland’s constitution requiring state office holders to believe in God.
1987 – The Supreme Court strikes down the Louisiana law that requires that schools teach creationism.
2000 – The Supreme Court rules that a group prayer led by students at public school football games violates the First Amendment’s principle that called for the separation of church and state.
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 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 – The Ed Sullivan Show, originally called “Toast of the Town,” premieres on TV and airs until 1971. Sullivan died in 1974 at age 73. Watch part of one of Ed’s shows:
1955 – The AFL and CIO unions agree to combine their names and a merge into a single group.
1967 – Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) 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, Alaska. As of 2010, 16 billion barrels had been shipped through the pipeline.
1988 – The Supreme Court upholds a law making it illegal for private clubs to discriminate against women and minorities.
1997 – The tobacco industry agrees to a massive settlement in exchange for major relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills.
2002 – The Supreme Court rules in a 6 to 3 vote that the execution of mentally retarded murderers is unconstitutionally cruel.
2011 – The first Critics’ Choice Television Awards are held. “Modern Family” won best comedy series and “Mad Men” won for best drama series.
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 state 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:
1954 – The American Cancer Society reports significantly higher death rates among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers.
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 December, 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 was deadlocked on three others. In 2005, 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen was convicted on three counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Killen is now 92 years old.
1982 – John Hinckley, Jr. is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the 1981 assassination attempt of President Reagan. He was released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC, in 2016. Hinckley is now 62 years old.
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 is about 400 feet above the distance scientists consider to be the boundary of space. It wins 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:
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.
1775 – The colonies issue its first currency of $2 million in bills of credit.
1870 – Congress creates the Department of Justice.
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. Not one of the striking coal miners was ever convicted of the murders.
1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt signs the “GI Bill of Rights.”
1970 – President Nixon signs the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age to 18.
1983 – The Space Shuttle Discovery is the first spacecraft to retrieve a satellite from orbit and return it to Earth. Discovery has also flown in space more (38 trips) and carried more crew (246) than any other spacecraft. Watch recovery with audio description:
1992 – The Supreme Court rules that “hate crime” laws violate free-speech rights.
1998 – The Supreme Court rules 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 her press conference:
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 is said that an exchange of wampum belts takes place, but in 1782 Chief Killbuck loses 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 investigate counterfeiting of U.S. currency. The Secret Service starting protecting presidents after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.
1926 – The College Board administers the first SAT exam (Scholastic Aptitude Test).
1931 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off for a record-setting flight around the world. Their trip took 8 days. Watch archive footage of the flight:
1947 – Congress overrides President Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act (limiting activities and power of labor unions).
1967 – The Senate censures Thomas J. Dodd (D-CT) for misusing campaign funds. It was only the 7th time in the Senate’s history that it censured one of its own members. He was the father of former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT).
1972 – President Nixon signs Title IX of the Education Amendments, barring sex discrimination in college sports.
2003 – Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants steals second base against the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the first player in MLB history to have 500 career home runs and 500 career steals. Bonds ended his career with 762 home runs and 514 stolen bases.
1795 – The U.S. and Great Britain sign the Jay Treaty, the first U.S. extradition treaty.
1853 – President Franklin Pierce signs the Gadsden Purchase (29,670 square miles) from Mexico (now southern Arizona and New Mexico) for $10 million.
1916 – Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.
1940 – TV cameras are used for the first time in a political convention as the Republicans convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Watch and listen to the sights and sounds of the convention with commentary:
1957 – In Roth v. United States the Supreme Court rules that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, thus upholding the conviction of Samuel Roth for sending “obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy” materials through the mail.
1964 – The Federal Trade Commission announces that starting in 1965 cigarette manufactures will be required to include warnings on their packaging about the harmful effects of smoking.
1968 – “Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington D.C., is closed down by authorities. Watch actual news footage:
1970 – The U.S. Senate votes overwhelmingly on an amendment offered by Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The Resolution, passed in August 1964, gave then-President Lyndon Johnson authority to use force when declaring war in Vietnam.
1972 – Bernice Gera becomes the first female umpire in a minor league baseball game. She resigned when none of the other umpires would work with her on the field. Gera died in 1992 at age 61.
1982 – In Nixon v Fitzgerald the Supreme Court rules that the president can’t be sued for his actions while in office.
1997 – The U.S. Air Force releases a report titled “The Roswell Report, Case Closed” that dismisses the claims that an alien spacecraft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. Watch the official Pentagon press conference:
2002 – The Supreme Court rules that juries, not judges, must make the decision to give a convicted killer the death penalty.
Image from edsullivan.com