Today in History
Today is Friday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2017. There are 212 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 2, 1897, Mark Twain was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.” (Twain, in London to cover Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee for the Journal, was responding to a report in the New York Herald that he was “grievously ill” and “possibly dying.”)
On this date:
In 1863, during the Civil War, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman wrote a letter to his wife, Ellen, in which he commented, “Vox populi, vox humbug” (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug).
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 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 1946, Italy held a referendum which resulted in the Italian monarchy being abolished in favor of a republic.
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 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 was mortally injured 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 1987, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
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.)
Ten years ago: U.S. authorities said four Muslim men had been prevented from carrying out a plot to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery running through populous New York residential neighborhoods. (Three of the men were later sentenced to life in prison; the fourth was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.)
Five years ago: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after a court convicted him on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that forced him from power (Mubarak was later acquitted, and freed in March 2017). Character actress Kathryn Joosten, best known as the crotchety, nosey Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives,” died in Westlake Village, California, at age 72. Richard Dawson, 79, a British-born entertainer who made his mark in the 1960s television sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” and who later became a popular TV game show host, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Donald Trump’s bid for president, telling The Associated Press his goal was to make sure the GOP was “at full strength in the fall.” President Barack Obama, speaking at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, implored the next generation of U.S. military leaders not to give in to isolationism or pull back from U.S. leadership in the world, drawing a contrast with a foreign policy vision laid out by Donald Trump. Autopsy results showed superstar musician Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Kellerman is 80. Actor Ron Ely is 79. Filmmaker and movie historian Kevin Brownlow is 79. Actor Stacy Keach is 76. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 76. Actor Charles Haid is 74. Movie director Lasse (LAH’-suh) Hallstrom is 71. Actor Jerry Mathers is 69. Actress Joanna Gleason is 67. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is 65. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 63. Comedian Dana Carvey is 62. Actor Gary Grimes is 62. Pop musician Michael Steele is 62. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 57. Actor Liam Cunningham is 56. Actor Navid Negahban is 53. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 49. TV personality-producer Andy Cohen (“The Real Housewives” TV franchise) is 49. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 47. Actress Paula Cale is 47. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 46. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 45. Actor Wentworth Miller is 45. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 41. Actor Zachary Quinto is 40. Actor Dominic Cooper is 39. Actress Nikki Cox is 39. Actor Justin Long is 39. Actor Deon Richmond is 39. Actress Morena Baccarin is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 37. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 37. Olympic gold medal soccer player Abby Wambach is 37. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 34. Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward is 31. Actress Brittany Curran is 27. Actor Sterling Beaumon is 22.
Thought for Today: “Whatever it is that makes a person charming, it needs to remain a mystery.” — Rex Harrison, English actor (born 1908, died this date in 1990).