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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, June 14, the 165th day of 2017. There are 200 days left in the year. This is Flag Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the design of the original American flag, declaring: “Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

On this date:

In 1775, the Continental Army, forerunner of the United States Army, was created.

In 1801, former American Revolutionary War general and notorious turncoat Benedict Arnold died in London.

In 1922, Warren G. Harding became the first president heard on radio, as Baltimore station WEAR broadcast his speech dedicating the Francis Scott Key memorial at Fort McHenry.

In 1934, Max Baer defeated Primo Carnera with an 11th round TKO to win the world heavyweight boxing championship in Long Island City, New York.

In 1940, German troops entered Paris during World War II; the same day, the Nazis began transporting prisoners to the Auschwitz (OWSH’-vitz) concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.

In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court, in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, ruled 6-3 that children in public schools could not be forced to salute the flag of the United States.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1967, the space probe Mariner 5 was launched from Cape Kennedy on a flight that took it past Venus. California Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a bill liberalizing his state’s abortion law. The movie “To Sir, with Love,” starring Sidney Poitier, was released by Columbia Pictures.

In 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered a ban on domestic use of the pesticide DDT, to take effect at year’s end.

In 1982, Argentine forces surrendered to British troops on the disputed Falkland Islands.

In 1985, the 17-day hijack ordeal of TWA Flight 847 began as a pair of Lebanese Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) Muslim extremists seized the jetliner shortly after takeoff from Athens, Greece.

In 1992, Mona Van Duyn became the first woman to be named the nation’s Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress.

Ten years ago: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared an emergency after the Hamas militant group effectively took control of the Gaza Strip. James Ford Seale was convicted of kidnapping Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, two black teenagers who were drowned by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi in 1964. (Seale, sentenced to life, died in prison in 2011 at age 76.) Ruth Graham, the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, died in Montreat, North Carolina, at age 87. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim died in Vienna at age 88. The San Antonio Spurs won their fourth NBA title in nine years as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 83-82 in Game 4.

Five years ago: In dueling speeches in the battleground state of Ohio, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking in Cincinnati, described the Obama administration as the very “enemy” of people who create jobs; President Barack Obama, going second in Cleveland, asked the nation to buy into his vision for four more years or face a return to the recession-era “mistakes of the past.”

One year ago: President Barack Obama angrily denounced Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, blasting the views of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as a threat to American security; Trump responded by suggesting that Obama seemed angrier at him than he was at the gunman. Democrat Hillary Clinton brought a close to the presidential primary season with a win in the District of Columbia. A 2-year-old boy was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa; the child’s remains were found the following day. Actress Ann Morgan Guilbert (Millie Helper on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”) died in Los Angeles at age 87.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Marla Gibbs is 86. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 78. Writer Peter Mayle is 78. Actor Jack Bannon is 77. Country-rock musician Spooner Oldham is 74. Rock singer Rod Argent (The Zombies; Argent) is 72. President Donald Trump is 71. Singer Janet Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 71. Rock musician Barry Melton is 70. Rock musician Alan White (Yes) is 68. Actor Eddie Mekka is 65. Actor Will Patton is 63. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Eric Heiden (HY’-dun) is 59. Jazz musician Marcus Miller is 58. Singer Boy George is 56. Rock musician Chris DeGarmo is 54. Actress Traylor Howard is 51. Actress Yasmine Bleeth is 49. Actor Faizon Love is 49. Actor Stephen Wallem is 49. International Tennis Hall of Famer Steffi Graf is 48. Actor Sullivan Stapleton (TV: “Blindspot”) is 40. Screenwriter Diablo Cody is 39. Actor Lawrence Saint-Victor is 35. Actor Torrance Coombs is 34. Actor J.R. Martinez is 34. Actor-singer Kevin McHale is 29. Actress Lucy Hale is 28. Pop singer Jesy Nelson (Little Mix) is 26. Country singer Joel Crouse is 25. Actor Daryl Sabara is 25.

Thought for Today: “I am not the flag; not at all. I am but its shadow. I am whatever you make me, nothing more. I am your belief in yourself, your dream of what a People may become.” — From a Flag Day address by U.S. Interior Secretary Franklin Knight Lane (1864-1921) recounting what Old Glory “said” to him.

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