This Week In History, June 23-29 2014


by Dianne Hermann

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

Week of June 23-29, 2014

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 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.

1784 – The first manned balloon ascension in the U.S. takes place when 13-year-old Edward Warren goes aloft in a tethered hot air balloon at Bladensburg, Maryland.

1810 – John Jacob Astor organizes the Pacific Fur Company in Astoria, Oregon. His great-grandson, John Jacob Astor IV, dies on the Titanic in 1912.


1860 – Congress establishes the Government Printing Office.

1868 – Christopher Latham Sholes patents the first commercially successful “typewriter.” It does not have the numbers 0 and 1 because the letters o and l could be used instead.

1888 – Frederick Douglass is the first African-American nominated for president.

1926 – The College Board administers the first SAT exam (Scholastic Aptitude Test).

1931 – Wiley Post and Harold Catty take off for a flight around the world. Their trip takes 8 days.


1938 – Marineland opens in Florida as “Marine Studios.” It is known as the World’s First Oceanarium.

1947 – President Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act (limiting labor unions) is overridden by Congress.

1967 – The U.S. Senate censures Thomas J. Dodd (D-CT) for misusing campaign funds. It is only the 7th time in the Senate’s history that it censured one of its own members. He is the father of former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT).

1969 – Warren E. Burger is sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren.

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

1981 – Amanda Maccaro becomes the first American to win the Russian Ballet Competition.

1986 – The 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.


June 24

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.

1947 – Flying saucers are sighted over Mount Rainier by civilian pilot Ken Arnold.

1949 – “Hopalong Cassidy” starring William Boyd becomes the first network TV western (NBC). Boyd stars as Cassidy in 104 radio shows and 66 films from 1935 to 1948. Boyd died in 1972 at age 77.


1957 – “I Love Lucy” last airs on CBS-TV. The show premiers in 1951 starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.

1957 – In Roth v. United States the U.S. 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.

1968 – This is the deadline for redeeming silver certificate dollars for silver bullion.

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 resigns when none of the other umpires will work with her on the field.

1982 – In Nixon v Fitzgerald the Supreme Court rules that the president can’t be sued for his actions while in office.

1993 – Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter is seriously injured after receiving a mail bomb sent from the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. Sixteen bombs injure 23 and kill 3 people from 1978 to 1995. Kaczynski is arrested in 1996, convicted of the bombings and murders, and is now serving life in prison without possibility of parole.

2010 – John Isner of the U.S. defeats Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon after 10 hours, the longest match in tennis history.


June 25

1638 – A lunar eclipse becomes the first astronomical event recorded in the U.S.

1798 – The U.S. passes the Alien and Sedition Act allowing the president to deport aliens considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.”

1867 – Barbed wire is patented by Lucien B. Smith of Ohio.

1868 – President Andrew Johnson passes a law giving government workers an 8-hour day.

1876 – George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry (262 men) are wiped out by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at Little Big Horn in Montana.


1921 – Jack Hutchinson becomes the first American to win the British Open Golf Tournament.

1951 – CBS broadcasts the first commercial color TV show to 5 network stations from New York Studios. Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, and George Ballanchine are among those appearing on the show.

1953 – The first passenger flies commercially around the world in less than 100 hours.

1977 – Roy C. Sullivan of Virginia is struck by lightning for the 7th time.


1981 – The Supreme Court upholds a male-only draft registration as constitutional.

1998 – In Clinton v. City of New York the United States Supreme Court decides that the presidential Line Item Veto Act of 1996 is unconstitutional.


June 26

1721 – Dr. Zabdiel Boylston of Massachusetts gives the first untested smallpox inoculation in America to his own son.

1797 – Charles Newbold patents the first cast-iron plow. He can’t sell it to farmers because they fear the effects of iron on soil.

1870 – The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the U.S.

1900 – U.S. Army physician Dr. Walter Reed begins research that, in 1901, discovers how to beat Yellow Fever. His experiments with other doctors in Cuba prove that mosquitoes transmit Yellow Fever.

1919 – The first issue of the New York Daily News is published.

1934 – President FDR signs the Federal Credit Union Act establishing credit unions.

1945 – The UN Charter is signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, California.

1959 – President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth open the St. Lawrence Seaway, allowing ships to travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.


1963 – President Kennedy visits West Berlin and announces, “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a jelly donut”).

1974 – Liz Taylor’s gets divorced for the 5th time (her 2nd divorce from Richard Burton).

1974 – The Universal Product Code (UPC) is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.


1977 – Elvis Presley sings in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is the last performance of his career. Presley dies on August 16th.


2008 – In District of Columbia v. Heller the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia is unconstitutional.


June 27

1778 – The Liberty Bell is returned to Philadelphia from Northampton Town (now Allentown) after the British depart following the Revolutionary War.

1833 – Prudence Crandall, a white woman, is arrested for conducting an academy for black females at Canterbury, Connecticut.

1922 – The first Newbery Medal for the year’s best children’s book is presented to Hendrik Van Loon for “The Story of Mankind.” The award is named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery.

1923 – Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane.


1942 – The FBI captures eight Nazi saboteurs from a sub off New York’s Long Island before they carry out any destructive acts against the U.S. All eight men are found guilty and one is sentenced to life in prison, another to 30 years, while six are sentenced to death. They are executed within a few days.

1950 – North Korean troop reaches Seoul and the UN asks its members to aid South Korea. Harry Truman orders the U.S. Air Force and Navy into the Korean conflict.

1950 – The U.S. sends 35 military advisers to South Vietnam.

1955 – The first U.S. automobile seat belt legislation is enacted in Illinois.

1966 – The first sci-fi soap opera, “Dark Shadows,” premieres on ABC-TV and airs until 1971.

1976 – The first 157 women are admitted to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In October 1975 President Gerald R. Ford signs legislation permitting women to enter the United States service academies.

1979 – The Supreme Court rules employers may use quotas to help minorities.

1983 – Americans Maxie Anderson and Don Ida die during a gas balloon race in France commemorating the 200th anniversary of man’s first flight. They make an emergency landing after a mechanical malfunction to avoid flying into Communist East Germany and crash in a forest.

2001 – The International Court of Justice finds against the United States in its judgment in the LaGrand Case. The German-born LaGrand brothers are sentenced to death for killing a man in an armed bank robbery in Arizona. The brothers contact the German consulate for assistance under the Vienna Convention. Despite intervention by the German Ambassador and a member of the German Parliament the brothers are executed in 1999.

2003 – The U.S. National Do Not Call Registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.


June 28

1770 – Quakers open a school for blacks in Philadelphia.

1778 – Mary Ludwig Hayes, aka “Molly Pitcher,” aids American patriots during the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth by carrying water to wounded soldiers. Hayes takes over operation of her husband’s cannon after he collapses during the battle. Hayes died in 1832 at age 87.


1820 – Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson from Salem County, New Jersey, eats tomatoes to prove they are not poisonous, as was thought.

1902 – The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Bill, authorizing a canal to be built across the Isthmus of Panama.

1938 – The U.S. Congress creates the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure construction loans.

1951 – “Amos ’n’ Andy” moves from radio to CBS-TV.

1953 – The first Corvette rolls off the production line in Flint, Michigan.


1956 – The first atomic reactor built for private research begins operation on the Chicago Institute of Technology campus for the Armour Research Foundation.

1968 – Daniel Ellsberg is indicted for leaking the Pentagon Papers, copies he made of classified documents that are ultimately published in the New York Times.

1978 – The Supreme Court orders University of California Davis Medical School to admit Allan Bakke, a white man who claims reverse discrimination when his application is twice rejected. Bakke graduates from U.C. Davis medical school in 1982 and works as an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic.

1996 – The Citadel votes to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school. The unanimous vote by the school governing board comes after the Supreme Court declares unconstitutional the all-male admissions policy at the Virginia Military Institute.

1997 – Mike Tyson is disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear after three rounds of their boxing heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.


2000 – Six-year-old Elián González returns to Cuba with his father. The child has been the center of an international custody dispute.


June 29

1767 – The British pass the Townshend Revenue Act, which levies taxes on the colonists for items such as glass, paint, paper, and tea.

1776 – The Virginia state constitution is adopted and Patrick Henry is made its first governor.

1863 – George Armstrong Custer (age 23) is appointed a Union Brigadier General. Custer graduates last in his class from West Point in 1857.

1891 – The U.S. National Forest Service is organized.

1940 – The U.S. passes the Alien Registration Act, known as the Smith Act, requiring immigrants to register.

1949 – U.S. troops withdraw from Korea after World War II.

1952 – The USS Oriskany is the first aircraft carrier to sail around Cape Horn of South America.


1954 – The Atomic Energy Commission votes against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s security clearance.

1956 – President Eisenhower signs the U.S. federal interstate highway system act.

1968 – “Tip-Toe Through The Tulips With Me” by Tiny Tim peaks at #17. Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury, died in 1996 at age 64.


1979 – The San Diego Chicken (Ted Giannoulas) has a “grand hatching” at baseball’s Jack Murphy Stadium after the local radio station fires the mascot and then loses a lawsuit to keep Giannoulas from making appearances as the Chicken. Ted Giannoulas is originally hired by the radio station in 1974 to wear a chicken costume for a week to hand out Easter eggs at a zoo for $2 an hour. He then volunteers to appear in a chicken costume at the Padres games. He’s been doing it ever since!


1994 – President Clinton reopens the Guantanamo Naval Base to process Haitian refugees.

1995 – George Foreman loses his IBF boxing title for refusing a rematch against Axel Schulz, whom he beat in a majority decision in April.

2002 – U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney serves as Acting President for two and a half hours while President George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy procedure.

2006 – In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld the U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.


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