Today in History


Today is Sunday, June 21, the 172nd day of 2015. There are 193 days left in the year. Summer arrives at 12:38 p.m. EDT. This is Father’s Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 21, 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

On this date:

In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

In 1913, Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick became the first woman to parachute from an airplane as she jumped over Los Angeles.

In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling’s manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: “We was robbed!”

In 1942, German forces led by Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erwin Rommel captured the Libyan city of Tobruk during World War II. (Following his victory, Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal; Tobruk was retaken by the Allies in November 1942.)

In 1955, the David Lean movie “Summertime” starring Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi opened in New York.

In 1963, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was chosen during a conclave of his fellow cardinals to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope took the name Paul VI.

In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later.

In 1970, former Indonesian President Sukarno died at 69.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.

In 1982, a jury in Washington D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.

In 1985, scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele (MEN’-guh-luh). The science-fiction fantasy “Cocoon,” directed by Ron Howard, was released by Twentieth Century Fox.

In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

Ten years ago: Forty-one years to the day after three civil rights workers were beaten and shot to death in Mississippi, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter. (Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison.) President George W. Bush met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, the highest ranking Vietnamese official to visit the White House since the end of the war. George Hawi, an anti-Syrian Lebanese politician, was killed in Beirut by a bomb placed under his car seat. Cardinal Jaime Sin (HY’-may SEEN), one of Asia’s top religious leaders, died at age 76.

Five years ago: Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’), a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square. (Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison.)

One year ago: An armed South Korean soldier fled after killing five of his comrades and wounding seven at an outpost near the North Korean border. (The soldier, identified only as Sgt. Yim, was captured two days later.) Gerry Conlon, 60, who was unjustly imprisoned for an Irish Republican Army killing and inspired the Oscar-nominated film “In the Name of the Father,” died in Belfast. Jimmy C. Newman, 86, a Grand Ole Opry member known for mixing Cajun and country music, died in Nashville.

Today’s Birthdays: Composer Lalo Schifrin is 83. Actor Bernie Kopell is 82. Actor Monte Markham is 80. Songwriter Don Black is 77. Actress Mariette Hartley is 75. Comedian Joe Flaherty is 74. Rock singer-musician Ray Davies (The Kinks) is 71. Actress Meredith Baxter is 68. Actor Michael Gross is 68. Rock musician Joe Molland (Badfinger) is 68. Rock musician Don Airey (Deep Purple) is 67. Country singer Leon Everette is 67. Rock musician Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) is 65. Rock musician Nils Lofgren is 64. Actress Robyn Douglass is 62. Actor Leigh McCloskey is 60. Cartoonist Berke Breathed is 58. Country singer Kathy Mattea is 56. Actor Marc Copage is 53. Actress Sammi Davis is 51. Actor Doug Savant is 51. Country musician Porter Howell is 51. Actor Michael Dolan is 50. Writer-director Lana Wachowski is 50. Actress Paula Irvine is 47. Rapper/producer Pete Rock is 45. Country singer Allison Moorer is 43. Actress Juliette Lewis is 42. Musician Justin Cary is 40. Rock musician Mike Einziger (Incubus) is 39. Actor Chris Pratt is 36. Rock singer Brandon Flowers is 34. Britain’s Prince William is 33. Actor Jussie Smollett (TV: “Empire”) is 33. Actor Michael Malarkey is 32. Pop singer Kris Allen (TV: “American Idol”) is 30. Actor Jascha Washington is 26. Pop singer Rebecca Black is 18.

Thought for Today: “In America, to look a couple of years younger than you actually are is not only an achievement for which you are to be congratulated, it is patriotic.” — Cynthia Propper Seton, American writer (1926-1982).

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