This Week In History June 2 – 8 2014


by Dianne Hermann

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill

Week of June 2-8, 2014

June 2

1780 – The Derby horse race is held for the first time in England. The Kentucky Derby is started by Meriwether Clark, grandson of William Clark (of Lewis & Clark Expedition fame), who attended the Derby race in 1872. The first Kentucky Derby race is run in 1875.

1873 – Ground is broken on Clay Street in San Francisco for world’s first cable railroad.

1886 – Grover Cleveland is the first to wed during his presidency. He marries Frances Folsom.


1913 – The first strike settlement is mediated by the U.S. Department of Labor for railroad clerks.

1918 – Velveeta Cheese is created by the Monroe Cheese Company. Velveeta is bought by Kraft in 1927. The processed product is named for its velvety texture.

1924 – U.S. citizenship is granted to all American Indians.

1935 – Babe Ruth, age 40, announces his retirement as a baseball player. His 714 home run record stands for 39 years (broken by Hank Aaron).

1964 – The Rolling Stones perform their first U.S. concert in Lynn, Massachusetts.


1986 – Regular TV coverage of U.S. Senate sessions begins.


June 3

1539 – Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.

1851 – The first baseball uniforms are worn. The New York Knickerbockers wear a straw hat, white shirt, and blue long trousers.


1888 – The poem “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer is published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1916 – The ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is established by Congress.

1943 – A mob of 60 from the Los Angeles Naval Reserve Armory beat up everyone perceived to be Hispanic, starting the week long Zoot Suit Riots.


1949 – The show “Dragnet” starring Jack Webb as Joe Friday is first broadcast on the radio and airs until 1957. Webb also stars in the TV version of “Dragnet” from 1952 to 1959. Webb revives the iconic character Joe Friday in another TV series from 1967 to 1970 and stars in three “Dragnet” movies. Webb died in 1982 at age 62.


1953 – Alexander Cartwright, not Abner Doubleday, is officially credited by the U.S. Congress as the founder of baseball.

1957 – Howard Cosell appears on his first TV show. The former lawyer covers a wide variety of sporting events until 1993. Cosell called himself, “Arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose, and a showoff.” Cosell died in 1995 at age 77.

1959 – The first U.S. Air Force Academy holds its first graduation. The Class of 1959 has 207 graduates.

1968 – Valerie Solanas, author of the radical feminist SCUM Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), attempts to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him. She is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but deemed fit to stand trial. She is sentenced to three years in prison with the year she spent in a psychiatric ward counted as time served. Solonas continues to stalk Warhol, is arrested again in 1971, and institutionalized. She died in 1988 at age 52.

1972 – Sally J. Priesand becomes first female U.S. rabbi.

1976 – The U.S. is presented with the oldest known copy of 1215 AD Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter) by the British for the U.S. bicentennial.


2012 – Tiger Woods wins his 73rd Professional Golf Association tournament and ties Jack Nicklaus’s record. Woods now has 79 PGA wins, second to Sam Snead with 82 PGA wins.


June 4

1794 – Congress passes the Neutrality Act, banning Americans from serving in the armed forces of foreign powers.

1812 – The Louisiana Territory is officially renamed the “Missouri Territory.”

1896 – Henry Ford takes his first Ford automobile through the streets of Detroit.

1919 – The U.S. Senate passes the Women’s Suffrage bill, granting women the right to vote.

1927 – In the first Ryder Cup golf tournament, the U.S. beats England 9 ½ – 2 ½ at the Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1929 – George Eastman demonstrates the first Technicolor movie in Rochester, New York.


1947 – The House of Representatives approves the Taft-Hartley Act. Co-sponsored by Senator Robert Taft (son of President William Taft), the Act places restrictions on organized labor unions and survives a veto by President Truman.

1972 – Angela Davis, black activist, is acquitted of aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in the 1970 death of a court judge and the wounding of a prosecutor and juror during the trial of Jonathon Jackson, even though it is proven that Davis purchased the weapons used in the attack. Davis is now 70 years old.


1973 – A patent for the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is granted to Don Wetzel, Tom Barnes, and George Chastain.

1985 – The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling on Wallace v. Jaffree, strikes down the Alabama “moment of silence” law citing its purpose is to endorse religion and return voluntary prayer into public schools.

1990 – Greyhound Bus Lines files for bankruptcy during a strike. Greyhound emerges from bankruptcy reorganization for following year and is still in business.



June 5

1907 – Maytag introduces the automatic washer. It is a wooden-tub washing machine with a flywheel that is manually operated with a rotary handle.

1917 – Ten million U.S. men begin registering for the draft in World War I.

1937 – Henry Ford initiates the 32-hour work week.

1947 – Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlines the “Marshall Plan” or European Recovery Program following World War II.

1954 – “Your Show Of Shows,” last airs on NBC-TV. It premieres in 1950 and features Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Caesar died in February at age 91 and Coca died in 2001 at age 90.


1967 – Murderer Richard Speck is sentenced to death in the electric chair for the murders of eight student nurses in their South Chicago home. He is also a suspect in the murder of many other people, mostly girls and women. His sentence is commuted to 50-100 years when the Supreme Court abolishes the death penalty in 1972. Speck died of a heart attack in prison in 1991 at age 49.

1968 – Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary.

1977 – The first personal computer, the Apple II, goes on sale. It is designed by Steve Wozniak. By the end of production in 1993 between 5 and 6 million computers had been produced. The Woz is 63 years old.

2004 – Former President Ronald Reagan dies after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s.


2001 – U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican Party to become an Independent, an act that shifts control of the U.S. Senate from the Republican to the Democrat Party. Jeffords retires from the Senate in 2006.


June 6

1664 – New Amsterdam is renamed New York City.

1816 – Ten inches of snow falls in New England during the “year without a summer.” It may have been caused by a series of volcanic eruptions of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815.

1850 – Levi Strauss makes his first pair of blue jeans using rivets at the points of strain. Strauss dies in 1902 at age 73 and left an estate estimated at $6 million.

1882 – The electric iron is patented by Henry W. Seely of New York City.

1896 – George Harbo and Frank Samuelson of Norway leave New York harbor and row across the Atlantic Ocean in an 18-foot boat. It takes the pair 55 days to row 3,270 miles.


1925 – Chrysler Corporation is founded by Walter Percy Chrysler. Future Chrysler head Lee Iacocca is 8 months old.

1932 – The Revenue Act of 1932 is enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per U.S. gallon sold.

1933 – The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.

1944 – D-Day, in World War II it was the day on which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy, 70 years ago.

1960 – The “Steve Allen Show,” last airs on NBC-TV. It premiered in 1956.


1966 – Stokely Carmichael launches the “Black Power” movement. He heads the Black Panther Party from 1967-1969. He moves to Africa in 1969 and changes his name to Kwame Ture and espouses anti-American, anti-Semitic, and Pro-Communist ideas. Carmichael died in 1998 at age 57 of prostate cancer, blaming the U.S. government for “infecting” him.

1971 – The “Ed Sullivan Show” has its last broadcast on CBS-TV. It airs in 1948 and launches the careers of many famous people and bands. Sullivan died in 1974 at age 73.


1978 – Proposition 13 is approved by voters and cuts California property taxes by 57%. In the wake of the anti-tax vote, funding for freeways, higher education, prisons, assistance to needy families and local government is drastically cut.

1981 – American sculptor and artist Maya Yang Lin wins the competition for the design of the Vietnam War Memorial.


June 7

1864 – Abe Lincoln is re-nominated for President by Republican Party.

1909 – “American’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford makes her screen debut at the age of 16. She is one of the 38 original founding members of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. Pickford died in 1979 at age 87.


1912 – Capt. Charles De Forest Chandler performs U.S. army tests using the first machine gun mounted on a plane. Pilot Lieutenant Thomas De Witt Milling makes several passes over a Maryland airfield at 50 miles per hour while Chandler fires a “Lewis” gun mounted on a swiveling turret at a cloth target on the ground, scoring hits with 45 out of 50 rounds. The Lewis gun is designed in 1911 by U.S. Army Col. Isaac Newton Lewis.

1939 – George VI and Elizabeth I are the first king and queen of England to visit the U.S.


1955 – The game show the “$64,000 Question” premieres on CBS-TV and airs until 1958. This and other game shows fail when it is discovered that the games are rigged or the contestants are coached.

1955 – Dwight Eisenhower is the first president to appear on color TV.

1965 – Sony introduces its home video tape recorder, priced at $995.

1968 – Sirhan Sirhan is indicted for the Robert Kennedy assassination.

1977 – Anita Bryant leads a successful crusade against Miami gay rights laws. Bryant is a singer, beauty pageant queen, spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission, and outspoken critic of homosexuality. Bryant is now 64 years old.


1982 – U.S. President Reagan meets Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II during a European trip.


June 8

1789 – James Madison introduces a proposed Bill of Rights in the U.S. House of Representatives.

1861 – The U.S. Sanitary Commission is given executive approval by President Lincoln to offer medical care and provide general welfare during the Civil War.

1915 – William Jennings Bryan resigns as Secretary of State over President Wilson’s handling of the sinking of the “Lusitania” in May.

1948 – The “Milton Berle Show” premieres on NBC TV and airs until 1956. Berle attempts a comeback, but the revived “Milton Berle Show” only airs one season, 1966-1967. Mr. Television died in 2002 at age 93.


1968 – James Earl Ray, alleged assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. is captured at a London airport. The two-month manhunt is the largest and most expensive investigation in FBI history. Ray is convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Ray died in prison in 1998 at age 70.

1982 – President Reagan addresses joint session of British Parliament.

1995 – Downed U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady is rescued by U.S. Marines after evading capture for 6 days in Bosnia. O’Grady transferred from active duty to the Air Force Reserves in 1998 is now 48 years old.


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