Today in History


Today is Sunday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2019. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 2, 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

On this date:

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, 21, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)

In 1897, Mark Twain was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.” (Twain was responding to a report in the New York Herald that he was “grievously ill” and “possibly dying.”)

In 1924, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed, a measure guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territorial limits.

In 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37.

In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1961, playwright and director George S. Kaufman, 71, died in New York.

In 1966, U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1976, Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles (bohlz) was mortally wounded by a bomb planted underneath his car; he died 11 days later. (Prosecutors believed Bolles was targeted because he had written stories that upset a liquor wholesaler; three men were convicted of the killing.)

In 1983, half of the 46 people aboard an Air Canada DC-9 were killed after fire broke out on board, forcing the jetliner to make an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

In 1986, for the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment began.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. (McVeigh was executed in June 2001.)

In 2004, the syndicated TV game show “Jeopardy!” began airing contestant Ken Jennings’ 74-game winning streak.

Ten years ago: Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. (Roeder was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years.) Chicago police officer Anthony Abbate (ah-BAHT’-ee) was convicted of committing aggravated battery against Karolina Obrycka (ob-RY’-kah), a bartender half his size, after she’d refused to serve him more drinks; Abbate received probation.

Five years ago: Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who’d led the transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced damaging scandals amid a financial meltdown, announced he would abdicate in favor of his more popular son Felipe.

One year ago: Bare-knuckle boxing matches took place in front of 2,000 rowdy fans at a hockey rink in Cheyenne, Wyoming; the event, promoted as the first legal, regulated and sanctioned bare-knuckle fight event in U.S. history, featured 10 bouts and was viewed by tens of thousands via pay-per-view.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Kellerman is 82. Actor Ron Ely is 81. Filmmaker and movie historian Kevin Brownlow is 81. Actor Stacy Keach is 78. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 78. Actor Charles Haid is 76. Rhythm and blues singer Chubby Tavares (Tavares) is 75. Movie director Lasse (LAH’-suh) Hallstrom is 73. Actor Jerry Mathers is 71. Actress Joanna Gleason is 69. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is 67. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 65. Comedian Dana Carvey is 64. Actor Gary Grimes is 64. Pop musician Michael Steele is 64. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 59. Actor Liam Cunningham is 58. Actor Navid Negahban is 55. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 51. TV personality-producer Andy Cohen (“The Real Housewives” TV franchise) is 51. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 49. Actress Paula Cale is 49. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 48. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 47. Actor Wentworth Miller is 47. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 43. Actor Zachary Quinto is 42. Actor Dominic Cooper is 41. Actress Nikki Cox is 41. Actor Justin Long is 41. Actor Deon Richmond is 41. Actress Morena Baccarin is 40. Rhythm and blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 39. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 39. Olympic gold medal soccer player Abby Wambach is 39. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 36. Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward is 33. Rapper/actress Awkwafina is 31. Actress Brittany Curran is 29. Actor Sterling Beaumon is 24.

Thought for Today: “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” — Calvin Coolidge, American president (1872-1933).

By The Associated Press

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