Today in History
Today is Saturday, June 24, the 175th day of 2017. There are 190 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 24, 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.
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 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.
In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.
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 1908, Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 71.
In 1939, the Southeast Asian country Siam changed its name to Thailand. (It went back to being Siam in 1945, then became Thailand once again in 1949.)
In 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.
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 1967, Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, Sacerdotalis caelibatus, reaffirming the Catholic Church’s position on priestly celibacy. The Jefferson Airplane single “White Rabbit,” written by Grace Slick, was released by RCA Victor.
In 1975, 113 people were killed when Eastern Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727 carrying 124 people, crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In 1987, comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Lauderhill, Florida, at age 71.
In 1997, the U.S. Air Force released a report on the so-called “Roswell Incident,” suggesting the “alien bodies” that witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies. Actor Brian Keith was found dead in his Malibu home, an apparent suicide; he was 75.
Ten years ago: Ali Hassan al-Majid (ah-LEE’ hah-SAHN’ ahl mah-ZHEED’), Saddam Hussein’s cousin known as “Chemical Ali,” was sentenced by the Iraqi High Tribunal to hang for his role in the killings of up to 180,000 Kurdish men, women and children two decades earlier. (Al-Majid was executed in Jan. 2010.) Charles W. Lindberg, one of the U.S. Marines who raised the first of two American flags on Iwo Jima during World War II, died in Edina, Minnesota, at age 86.
Five years ago: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt’s first free presidential election. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement that would bring $405 million to victims of Bernard Madoff’s historic investment scam.
One year 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Rock singer Arthur Brown is 75. Actress Michele Lee is 75. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 74. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 73. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 72. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 70. Actor Peter Weller is 70. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 68. Actress Nancy Allen is 67. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 67. Actor Joe Penny is 61. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 60. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 58. Rhythm-and-blues/pop singer-songwriter Siedah (sy-EE’-dah) Garrett is 57. Actor Iain Glen is 56. Rock singer Curt Smith is 56. Actress Danielle Spencer is 52. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 50. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 47. Actress Carla Gallo is 42. Actress-producer Mindy Kaling is 38. Actress Minka Kelly is 37. Actress Vanessa Ray is 36. Actor Justin Hires (“MacGyver” ”Rush Hour”) is 32. Actress Candice Patton is 32. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 31. Singer Solange Knowles is 31. Actor Max Ehrich is 36.
Thought for Today: “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” — Sir Arthur C. Clarke, British science-fiction author (1917-2008).