Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 17, the 168th day of 2021. There are 197 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 17, 1994, after leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial but held liable in a civil trial.)

On this date:

In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere (ee-SEHR’).

In 1933, the “Kansas City Massacre” took place outside Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., as a group of gunmen attacked law enforcement officers escorting federal prisoner Frank Nash; four of the officers were killed, along with Nash.

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Abington (Pa.) School District v. Schempp, struck down, 8-1, rules requiring the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.

In 1967, China successfully tested its first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C.‘s Watergate complex.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced the retirement of Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was succeeded by William Rehnquist.

In 2009, President Barack Obama extended some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Nevada Sen. John Ensign resigned from the GOP leadership a day after admitting an affair with a former campaign staffer.

In 2012, Rodney King, 47, whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police sparked widespread outrage and who struggled with addiction and repeated arrests, died in Rialto, California, in an apparent accidental drowning.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states can’t demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval to do so.

In 2015, nine people were shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; suspect Dylann Roof was arrested the following morning. (Roof was convicted of federal hate crimes and sentenced to death; he later pleaded guilty to state murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.)

In 2019, Iran announced that it was breaking compliance with the international accord that kept it from making nuclear weapons; the announcement meant that Iran could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels. The Trump administration followed Iran’s announcement by ordering 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.

Ten years ago: The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries. A Saudi woman defiantly drove through Riyadh while others brazenly cruised past police patrols in the first forays of a challenge to Saudi Arabia’s male-only driving rules. Rory McIlroy became the first player in the 111-year history of the U.S. Open to reach 13-under par.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, his wife and their daughters traveled to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico as part of a long Father’s Day weekend that was also designed to draw attention to America’s natural wonders. Thousands of friends and fans said farewell to “The Voice” singer Christina Grimmie at services in Medford, New Jersey, a week after the 22-year-old was shot to death while signing autographs in Orlando, Florida, by a man who then killed himself.

One year ago: Prosecutors in Atlanta brought murder charges against white police officer Garrett Rolfe in the fatal shooting of a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, following a struggle; a second officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Quaker Oats announced that it would retire the Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognized that the character’s origins were “based on a racial stereotype.” City commissioners in Portland, Oregon, voted to cut $16 million from the police budget in response to concerns about use of force and racial injustice. Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy, died at her New York home at the age of 92. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said actor Danny Masterson of ’That ’70s Show” was arrested and charged with raping three women in the early 2000s; the actor has denied the charges. (A judge has ordered Masterson to stand trial on three counts of rape.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 89. Movie director Ken Loach is 85. Actor William Lucking is 80. Singer Barry Manilow is 78. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 78. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 70. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 67. Actor Jon Gries (gryz) is 64. Rock singer Jello Biafra is 63. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 63. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 61. Actor Greg Kinnear is 58. Actor Kami Cotler is 56. Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 56. Actor Jason Patric is 55. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 51. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 50. Tennis player Venus Williams is 41. Actor Arthur Darvill is 39. Actor Jodie Whittaker is 39. Actor Manish Dayal is 38. Country singer Mickey Guyton is 38. Actor Marie Avgeropoulos is 35. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 34. NHL forward Nikita Kucherov is 28. Actor Damani Roberts is 25. Actor KJ Apa is 24.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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