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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, June 4, the 155th day of 2017. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 4, 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. Herbert Bayard Swope of the New York World was recognized for a series of articles, “Inside the German Empire”; the New York Tribune for an editorial on the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania; Jean Jules Jusserand for his book “With Americans of Past and Present Days”; Laura E. Richards, Maude Howe Elliott and Florence Howe Hall for their biography about Julia Ward Howe.

On this date:

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

In 1812, the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory, to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana. The U.S. House of Representatives approved, 79-49, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1937, one of the first, if not the first, shopping carts was introduced by supermarket chain owner Sylvan Goldman in Oklahoma City.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of some 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific. The wartime drama “Mrs. Miniver,” an MGM production starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, premiered in New York.

In 1947, the Christmastime tale “Miracle on 34th Street,” a 20th Century Fox production, opened in New York.

In 1954, French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc signed treaties in Paris according “complete independence” to Vietnam.

In 1967, in the second air disaster to strike a British carrier in as many days, a British Midland Airways jetliner crashed in Stockport, England, killing 72 of the 84 people aboard. (A day earlier, a British charter crashed in France, killing 88.) “Mission: Impossible” won outstanding dramatic series, “The Monkees” outstanding comedy series at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards.

In 1977, the VHS home videocassette recorder was introduced to North America by JVC during a press conference in Chicago.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

In 1992, the U.S. Postal Service announced the results of a nationwide vote on the Elvis Presley stamp, saying more people preferred the “younger Elvis” design.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush arrived in Prague at the start of an eight-day European trip that included a Group of Eight summit in Germany. Military judges dismissed charges against a Guantanamo detainee accused of chauffeuring Osama bin Laden and another who allegedly killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Insurgents linked to al-Qaida issued an online video in which they claimed to have killed all three U.S. soldiers captured in an ambush on May 12. (The bodies of the soldiers were later recovered.) A federal indictment accused Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., of receiving more than $500,000 in bribes (Jefferson was later convicted of bribery and racketeering and sentenced to 13 yers in prison).

Five years ago: With President Barack Obama standing off to the side, former President Bill Clinton warned during a fundraiser in New York that a Mitt Romney presidency would be “calamitous” for the nation and the world. Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Abu Yahya al-Libi (ah-BOO’ yah-HEE’-ah ahl LIH’-bee), was killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

One year ago: A day after the death of Muhammad Ali, President Barack Obama said the boxing legend “shook up the world and the world is better for it,” and that Ali stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in fighting for what was right. Hillary Clinton scored a sweeping win in the U.S. Virgin Islands, picking up all seven pledged delegates at stake as she inched tantalizingly close to the Democratic nomination. Garbine Muguruza (GAHR’-been-yuh MOO’-guh-roo-sah) won her first Grand Slam title by beating defending champion Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 at the French Open, denying the American her record-equaling 22nd major trophy.

Today’s Birthdays: Sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 89. Actor Bruce Dern is 81. Musician Roger Ball is 73. Actress-singer Michelle Phillips is 73. Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 72. Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 66. Actor Parker Stevenson is 65. Actor Keith David is 61. Blues singer-musician Tinsley Ellis is 60. Actress Julie Gholson is 59. Actor Eddie Velez is 59. Singer-musician El DeBarge is 56. Actress Julie White is 56. Actress Lindsay Frost is 55. Actor Sean Pertwee is 53. Tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 52. Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Al B. Sure! is 49. Actor Scott Wolf is 49. Actor-comedian Rob Huebel is 48. Comedian Horatio Sanz is 48. Actor Noah Wyle is 46. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 43. Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 42. Actress Angelina Jolie is 42. Actor Theo Rossi is 42. Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 41. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 37. Country musician Dean Berner (Edens Edge) is 36. Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL’-lee) is 32. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is 32. Americana singer Shakey Graves is 30. Rock musician Zac Farro is 27.

Thought for Today: “Reputation is a bubble which a man bursts when he tries to blow it for himself.” — Emma Carleton, American journalist (1850-1925).

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