Today in History
Today is Wednesday, June 21, the 172nd day of 2017. There are 193 days left in the year. Summer begins at 12:24 a.m. Eastern time.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On June 21, 1942, German forces led by Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erwin Rommel captured the Libyan city of Tobruk during World War II. (Following his victory, Rommel was promoted by Adolf Hitler to the rank of Field Marshal; Tobruk was retaken by the Allies in Nov. 1942.) An Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.
On this date:
In 1377, King Edward III died after ruling England for 50 years; he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.
In 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.
In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling’s manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: “We was robbed!”
In 1954, the American Cancer Society presented a study to the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco which found that men who regularly smoked cigarettes died at a considerably higher rate than non-smokers.
In 1963, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was chosen during a conclave of his fellow cardinals to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope took the name Paul VI.
In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.)
In 1977, Menachem Begin (men-AH’-kem BAY’-gihn) of the Likud bloc became Israel’s sixth prime minister.
In 1982, a jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.
In 1985, scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele (MEN’-guh-luh).
In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
In 1997, the WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.
Ten years ago: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. nuclear envoy, made a rare trip to North Korea in a surprise bid to accelerate international efforts to press the communist government to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Bob Evans, creator of his namesake restaurant chain, died in Cleveland at age 89.
Five years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously threw out penalties against Fox and ABC television stations that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television, but the justices declined to issue a broader constitutional ruling. Miami’s LeBron James capped his title bid with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as he led the Heat in a 121-106 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA Finals in five games. Broadway composer-lyricist Richard Adler, 90, died in Southhampton, New York.
One year ago: Hillary Clinton, during a visit to the battleground state of Ohio, said Donald Trump would send the U.S. economy back into recession, warning that his “reckless” approach would hurt workers still trying to recover from the 2008 economic turbulence. North Korea fired two suspected powerful new Musudan midrange ballistic missiles, according to U.S. and South Korean military officials, the communist regime’s fifth and sixth such attempts since April 2016. The Obama administration approved routine commercial use of small drones in areas such as farming, advertising and real estate after years of struggling to write rules to protect public safety.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer Lalo Schifrin is 85. Actor Bernie Kopell is 84. Actor Monte Markham is 82. Songwriter Don Black is 79. Actress Mariette Hartley is 77. Comedian Joe Flaherty is 76. Rock singer-musician Ray Davies (The Kinks) is 73. Actress Meredith Baxter is 70. Actor Michael Gross is 70. Rock musician Joe Molland (Badfinger) is 70. Rock musician Don Airey (Deep Purple) is 69. Country singer Leon Everette is 69. Rock musician Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) is 67. Rock musician Nils Lofgren is 66. Actress Robyn Douglass is 64. Actor Leigh McCloskey is 62. Cartoonist Berke Breathed is 60. Country singer Kathy Mattea is 58. Actor Marc Copage (koh-PAJ’) is 55. Actress Sammi Davis is 53. Actor Doug Savant is 53. Country musician Porter Howell is 53. Actor Michael Dolan is 52. Writer-director Lana Wachowski is 52. Actress Carrie Preston is 50. Actress Paula Irvine is 49. Rapper/producer Pete Rock is 47. Country singer Allison Moorer is 45. Actress Juliette Lewis is 44. Actress Maggie Siff is 43. Musician Justin Cary is 42. Rock musician Mike Einziger (Incubus) is 41. Actor Chris Pratt is 38. Rock singer Brandon Flowers is 36. Britain’s Prince William is 35. Actor Jussie Smollett is 35. Actor Benjamin Walker is 35. Actor Michael Malarkey is 34. Pop singer Kris Allen (TV: “American Idol”) is 32. Actor Jascha Washington is 28. Pop singer Rebecca Black is 20.
Thought for Today: “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (1905-1980).