Today in history


Today is Sunday, June 7, the 158th day of 2015. There are 207 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, recognized a constitutional right to privacy as it struck down, 7-2, a Connecticut law used to prosecute a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Haven for providing contraceptives to married couples.

On this date:

In 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first began to explore present-day Kentucky.

In 1892, Homer Plessy, a “Creole of color,” was fined for refusing to leave a whites-only car of the East Louisiana Railroad. (Ruling on his case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept it renounced in 1954.)

In 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.

In 1939, King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived at Niagara Falls, New York, from Canada on the first visit to the United States by a reigning British monarch.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway ended in a decisive victory for American forces over the Imperial Japanese.

In 1954, British mathematician, computer pioneer and code breaker Alan Turing died at age 41, an apparent suicide. (Turing, convicted in 1952 of “gross indecency” for a homosexual relationship, was posthumously pardoned in 2013.)

In 1955, the quiz show “The $64,000 Question” premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1965, actress-comedian Judy Holliday, 43, died in New York.

In 1972, the musical “Grease” opened on Broadway, having already been performed in lower Manhattan.

In 1981, Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons.

In 1985, the adventure comedy “The Goonies” was released by Warner Bros.

In 1998, in a crime that shocked the nation, James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, was hooked by a chain to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. (Two white men were later sentenced to death; one of them, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed in 2011. A third defendant received life with the possibility of parole.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, meeting at the White House, embraced a tentative plan to forgive the debt of poor African nations. General Motors chairman Rick Wagoner announced plans to close plants and eliminate 25,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States by 2008.

Five years ago: U.S. defense officials announced that Army Spc. Bradley Manning had been detained in Baghdad in connection with a video posted on WikiLeaks showing Apache helicopters gunning down unarmed men in Iraq. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, 89, abruptly retired after calling for Israelis to get “out of Palestine” in an online video. An Indian court convicted seven former employees of Union Carbide’s India subsidiary of “death by negligence” for their roles in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

One year ago: Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured after a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus on the New Jersey Turnpike, setting off a chain-reaction crash that killed fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair. Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, took the oath of office, calling for pro-Russian rebels in the country’s east to lay down their arms. Maria Sharapova won her second French Open title in three years, beating fourth-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the final. California Chrome failed in his bid to win the first Triple Crown in 36 years, losing the Belmont Stakes by coming in fourth to long shot Tonalist.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director James Ivory is 87. Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner is 86. Actress Virginia McKenna is 84. Singer Tom Jones is 75. Poet Nikki Giovanni is 72. Actor Ken Osmond (TV: “Leave It to Beaver”) is 72. Former talk show host Jenny Jones is 69. Actress Anne Twomey is 64. Actor Liam Neeson is 63. Actress Colleen Camp is 62. Singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg is 62. Author Louise Erdrich (UR’-drihk) is 61. Actor William Forsythe is 60. Record producer L.A. Reid is 59. Latin pop singer Juan Luis Guerra is 58. Singer-songwriter Prince is 57. Rock singer-musician Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes) is 52. Rapper Ecstasy (Whodini) is 51. Rock musician Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 49. Rock musician Dave Navarro is 48. Actress Helen Baxendale is 45. Actor Karl Urban is 43. TV personality Bear Grylls is 41. Rock musician Eric Johnson (The Shins) is 39. Actress Adrienne Frantz is 37. Actor-comedian Bill Hader is 37. Actress Anna Torv is 36. Actress Larisa Oleynik (oh-LAY’-nihk) is 34. Tennis player Anna Kournikova is 34. Actor Michael Cera is 27. Actress Shelley Buckner is 26. Rapper Iggy Azalea is 25.

Thought for Today: “That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: ‘Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.’” — Dorothy Parker, American writer (born 1893, died this date in 1967).

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