Today in history

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, June 20, the 171st day of 2019. There are 194 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 20, 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.

On this date:

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.

In 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts, found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.

In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).

In 1975, Steven Spielberg’s shark thriller “Jaws,” starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss (not to mention a mechanical shark nicknamed “Bruce”) was released by Universal Pictures.

In 1977, the first oil began flowing through the recently completed Trans-Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a New York City law making it illegal for private clubs with more than 400 members to exclude women and minorities.

In 1990, South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they began an eight-city U.S. tour.

In 1994, O.J. Simpson pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Former airman Dean Allen Mellberg went on a shooting rampage at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, killing four people and wounding 22 others before being killed by a military police sharpshooter.

In 2001, Houston resident Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family bathtub, then called police. (Yates was later convicted of murder, but had her conviction overturned; she was acquitted by reason of insanity in a retrial.)

Ten years ago: Iranian music student Neda Agha Soltan, 27, was gunned down during election protests in Tehran; her dying moments were caught on video and circulated widely on the Internet, making her name a rallying cry for the opposition and sparking international outrage.

Five years ago: The Obama administration granted an array of new benefits to same-sex couples, including those living in states where gay marriage was against the law; the new measures ranged from Social Security and veterans benefits to work leave for caring for sick spouses. Defiant before skeptical Republicans, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen refused to apologize during a hearing for lost emails that might have shed light on the tax agency’s targeting of tea party and other groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

One year ago: President Donald Trump abruptly reversed himself and signed an executive order halting his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the border; Trump had been insisting wrongly that there was no alternative to the policy because of federal law and a court decision. The Vatican announced that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., had been removed from public ministry and would face further punishment over “credible” allegations that he sexually abused a teenager more than 40 years earlier. (Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation as a cardinal on July 28th.) A suspect was arrested and charged with murder in the killing of rising Florida rap star XXXTentacion

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Bonnie Bartlett is 90. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 88. Actor James Tolkan is 88. Actor Danny Aiello is 86. Movie director Stephen Frears is 78. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 77. Actor John McCook is 75. Singer Anne Murray is 74. TV personality Bob Vila is 73. Musician Andre Watts is 73. Actress Candy Clark is 72. Producer Tina Sinatra is 71. Rhythm and blues singer Lionel Richie is 70. Actor John Goodman is 67. Rock musician Michael Anthony is 65. Pop musician John Taylor is 59. Rock musician Mark degli Antoni is 57. Christian rock musician Jerome Fontamillas (Switchfoot) is 52. Rock musician Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray) is 52. Actress Nicole Kidman is 52. Country/bluegrass singer-musician Dan Tyminski is 52. Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 51. Actor Peter Paige is 50. Actor Josh Lucas is 48. Rock musician Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) is 48. Rock singer Chino Moreno (Deftones) is 46. Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 42. Country singer Chuck Wicks is 40. Actress Tika Sumpter is 39. Country musician Chris Thompson (The Eli Young Band) is 39. Actress-singer Alisan Porter is 38. Christian rock musician Chris Dudley (Underoath) is 36. Rock singer Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) is 36. Actor Mark Saul is 34. Actress Dreama Walker is 33. Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse is 30. Actress Maria Lark is 22.

Thought for Today: “The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.” — Alfred North Whitehead, English philosopher and mathematician (1861-1947).

By The Associated Press