This Week In History, Week of June 16-22, 2014


by Dianne Hermann

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

Week of June 16-22, 2014

June 16

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 is invented in 1893 by Caleb David Bradham of North Carolina as “Brad’s Drink” and is sold to aid in digestion. He renames it Pepsi after the two main ingredients, pepsin and cola. Bradham launches the company in the back room of his pharmacy in 1902.

1909 – Glenn Curtiss sells the first commercial airplane in the U.S. for $5,000. The plane is purchased by the Aeronautical Society of New York.

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.

1966 – “Rowan & Martin Show” (aka “The Dean Martin Summer Show”) debuts on NBC-TV. The show is hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Rowan and Martin launch “Laugh-In” in 1967.

1967 – Over 50,000 people attend the Monterey International Pop Festival in Monterey, California.

1968 – Lee Trevino wins the U.S. Open Golf Tournament and is the first golfer to play all 4 rounds of the golf tournament under par.


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.


June 17

1579 – Sir Francis Drake lands on the northern coast of California and names it “New Albion,” claiming it for England.

1775 – The Battle of Bunker Hill, a pivotal battle during the Revolutionary War, is actually fought on Breed’s Hill.

1863 – Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford is chartered as the first accident insurer.

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City aboard French ship ‘Isere.’


1894 – The first U.S. poliomyelitis (polio) epidemic breaks out in Rutland, Vermont.

1928 – Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become the first woman passenger to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz.

1932 – During the Bonus Army March about a 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.

1950 – The first kidney transplant in the U.S. is performed on 44-year-old Ruth Tucker. Although Tucker’s body rejects the kidney, she lives for five more years with one functioning kidney.

1953 – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stays the executions of convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg scheduled for the next day on their 14th wedding anniversary. The Supreme Court vacates the Douglas stay and the Rosenbergs are executed on the 19th.

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

1972 – The Main Street Electrical Parade premiers at Disneyland in California.


1980 – Carolyn Shoemaker discovers asteroid #2586 Matson. She holds the record for the most asteroids discovered by any individual.


1982 – President Reagan delivers his first address to the U.N. General Assembly.

1988 – Stella Nickell is sentenced to 90 years in prison in the first product tampering murder case instituted after the Chicago Tylenol murders. Nickell is convicted of killing her husband and a woman by poisoning bottles of Extra-Strength Excedrin. Nickell will be eligible for parole in 2018 when she is 75 years old.

1994 – OJ Simpson does not turn himself in on murder charges and the Los Angeles police chase his Ford Bronco for 1½ hour. Simpson eventually gives up. The slow motion car chase is seen live on TV.



June 18

1682 – William of Penn founds Pennsylvania.

1812 – The War of 1812 begins when the U.S. declares war against Britain.

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


1898 – The first amusement park, Steel Pier, opens in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


1968 – Supreme Court bans racial discrimination in 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.


1981 – Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart retires. Sandra Day O’Connor replaces him becoming, the first woman on U.S. Supreme Court.

1983 – The 7th Shuttle Mission, the Challenger 2 launches with Sally Ride on board as the first American woman in space. Ride died in 2012 at age 61.

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.


June 19

1867 – Ruthless wins the first Belmont Stakes.

1910 – Father’s Day celebrated for the first time in Spokane, Washington.

1940 – “Brenda Starr,” the first cartoon strip by a woman, appears in Chicago.

1941 – Cheerios Cereal invents an O-shaped cereal.

1952 – “I’ve Got A Secret” debuts on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host and airs until 1967.

1956 – Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin end their partnership after starring together in 16 films. Jerry Lewis is 88 years old. Dean Martin died in 1995 at age 78.


1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes by a vote of 73-27.

1977 – Pope Paul VI makes 19th-century Bishop John Neumann the first U.S. male saint.


1987 – Ben & Jerry Ice Cream and Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia announce a new ice cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.

1988 – A team of 32 divers in Santa Barbara, California, cycle underwater on a standard tricycle to complete 116.66 miles in 75 hours and 20 minutes.


June 20

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

1793 – Eli Whitney applies for a patent for his cotton gin.

1863 – The National Bank of Davenport, Iowa, is the first bank chartered in the U.S.

1871 – The Ku Klux Klan trial begins in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi, following the Meridian Race Riot. No one is 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 incorporates in New York.

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

1948 – “Toast of the Town” hosted by Ed Sullivan premieres on CBS-TV and airs until 1971. Sullivan died in 1974 at age 73.

1963 – The U.S. and the USSR agree to set up a “Hot Line” communication system.

1967 – Muhammad Ali is convicted of refusing induction into the armed services. Ali is sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and banned from boxing for three years. He stays out of prison while his case is appealed and returns to boxing in 1970.

1977 – Oil enters the Trans-Alaska pipeline and exits 38 days later at Valdez.

1988 – The Supreme Court upholds a law making it illegal for private clubs to discriminate against women and minorities.

1990 – Nelson Mandela lands in New York City to begin a tour of eight U.S. cities.



June 21

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

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

1877 – Ten Molly Maguires, Irish coal miner immigrants, are hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania, prisons for a series of murders.


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

1893 – The first Ferris wheel premieres at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition. It is 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).

1964 – Bryon de la Beckwith is arrested for the murder of Medgar Evers. Two trials in 1964 end in hung juries with all white jurors. Beckwith is found guilty 30 years later based on new evidence. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole and dies 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 are found six weeks later buried in an earthen dam. In December 19 men, including the county’s Deputy, are arrested and tried for federal civil rights violations. An all-white jury convicts seven, acquits nine, and is deadlocked on three others. In 2005, 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen is convicted on three counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

1977 – Former White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman enters prison. He spends 18 months in jail for his role in the Watergate scandal.

1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the 1981 assassination attempt of President Reagan.

1997 – Women’s National Basketball Association begins as the New York Liberty beats Los Angeles Sparks.


June 22

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

1775 – The colonies issue its first currency of $2 million in bills of credit.

1807 – British board the USS Chesapeake, a provocation leading to The War of 1812.


1847 – Elizabeth Gregory creates the doughnut when she makes a large batch for her son’s voyage. She gives the recipe to Captain Gregory’s cook so he could make them for him and his crew.

1870 – Congress creates the Department of Justice.

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

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

1970 – The Supreme Court rules that juries of less than 12 people are constitutional.

1979 – Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) quits rock & roll again for his religious ministry. He became in ordained minister in 1970. Little Richard is 81 years old.


1981 – Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing by John Lennon in December 1980. Chapman changes his plea from not guilty be reason of insanity to second-degree murder and is sentenced to 20 years to life with mandatory psychiatric treatment. Chapman is now 59 years old.

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.

1992 – The Supreme Court rules that “hate crime” laws violate free-speech rights.

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