Today in History
Today is Thursday, June 24, the 175th day of 2021. There are 190 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 24, 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.
On this date:
In 1497, the first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot spotted land, probably in present-day Canada.
In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted).
In 1880, “O Canada,” the future Canadian national anthem, was first performed in Quebec City.
In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.
In 1947, what’s regarded as the first modern UFO sighting took place as private pilot Kenneth Arnold, an Idaho businessman, reported seeing nine silvery objects flying in a “weaving formation” near Mount Rainier in Washington.
In 1957, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roth v. United States, ruled 6-3 that obscene materials were not protected by the First Amendment.
In 1964, AT&T inaugurated commercial “Picturephone” service between New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (the service, however, never caught on).
In 1973, President Richard Nixon concluded his summit with the visiting leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, who hailed the talks in an address on American television.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1992, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
In 2015, a federal judge in Boston formally sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) to death for the 2013 terror attacks. (A federal appeals court later threw out the sentence; the Supreme Court this fall will consider reinstating it.) Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley became the first southern governor to use his executive power to remove Confederate banners, as four flags with secessionist symbols were taken down from a large monument to rebel soldiers outside the state capitol in Montgomery.
In 2018, women in Saudi Arabia were able to drive for the first time, as the world’s last remaining ban on female drivers was lifted.
Ten years ago: A defiant U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to deny President Barack Obama the authority to wage war against Libya, but Republicans fell short in an effort to actually cut off funds for the operation. New York State legalized same-sex marriage.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama created the first national monument to gay rights, designating the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. Republican Donald Trump, visiting Scotland, hailed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, drawing parallels to the anger driving his own presidential campaign.
One year ago: Three white men were indicted on murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while running in a neighborhood near Georgia’s coast. Wisconsin’s governor activated the National Guard to protect state properties after a night of violent protests that included the toppling of two statues outside the state Capitol. The city of Charleston, South Carolina, removed a statue honoring John C. Calhoun, an early U.S. vice president and defender of slavery. The U.S. recorded a one-day total of 34,700 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest level since late April, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Party officials confirmed that Democrats would hold an almost entirely virtual presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee in August. A divided federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, finding that the Justice Department’s move to abandon the case settled the matter. (Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador.)
Today’s Birthdays: Rock singer Arthur Brown is 79. Actor Michele Lee is 79. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 78. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 77. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 76. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 74. Actor Peter Weller is 74. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 72. Actor Nancy Allen is 71. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 71. Actor Joe Penny is 65. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 62. R&B/pop singer-songwriter Siedah (sy-EE’-dah) Garrett is 61. Actor Iain Glen is 60. Rock singer Curt Smith is 60. Actor Danielle Spencer is 56. Actor Sherry Stringfield is 54. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 51. Actor Carla Gallo is 46. Actor Amir Talai (TV: “LA to Vegas”) is 44. Actor-producer Mindy Kaling is 42. Actor Minka Kelly is 41. Actor Vanessa Ray is 40. Actor Justin Hires is 36. Actor Candice Patton is 36. Singer Solange Knowles is 35. Actor Max Ehrich is 30. Actor Beanie Feldstein is 28.
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