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Today in History

May 31, 2021, 9:00 PM | Updated: 10:04 pm

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 1, the 152nd day of 2021. There are 213 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed for Chapter 11, becoming the largest U.S. industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection.

On this date:

In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state.

In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state.

In 1812, President James Madison, in a message to Congress, recounted what he called Britain’s “series of acts hostile to the United States as an independent and neutral nation”; Congress ended up declaring war.

In 1813, the mortally wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, Capt. James Lawrence, gave the order, “Don’t give up the ship” during a losing battle with the British frigate HMS Shannon in the War of 1812.

In 1916, Louis Brandeis took his seat as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Jewish American to serve on the nation’s highest bench.

In 1943, a civilian flight from Portugal to England was shot down by Germany during World War II, killing all 17 people aboard, including actor Leslie Howard.

In 1958, Charles de Gaulle became premier of France, marking the beginning of the end of the Fourth Republic.

In 1980, Cable News Network made its debut.

In 2003, leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest nations and Russia pledged billions of dollars to fight AIDS and hunger on the opening day of their summit in Evian, France.

In 2009, Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330 carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean with the loss of everyone on board.

In 2015, Vanity Fair released its cover photo featuring the former Bruce Jenner with the headline, “Call Me Caitlyn” as the Olympic gold medalist publicly completed a gender transition.

In 2017, President Donald Trump declared he would pull the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement. (President Joe Biden signed an order returning the U.S. to that accord on his first day in office.)

Ten years ago: In a face-to-face meeting, GOP leaders complained to President Barack Obama that he had not produced a detailed plan of spending cuts and accused him of playing politics over Medicare; the White House said Obama had in fact led on the issue, and accused Republicans of trying to destroy the popular health care program for seniors. Space shuttle Endeavour and its six astronauts returned to Earth, closing out the next-to-last mission in NASA’s 30-year program.

Five years ago: Ken Starr resigned as Baylor University’s chancellor, a week after the former prosecutor who’d led the investigation of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal was removed as the school’s president over its handling of sexual assault complaints against football players.

One year ago: Police violently broke up a peaceful and legal protest by several thousand people in Lafayette Park across from the White House, using chemical agents, clubs and punches to send protesters fleeing; the protesters had gathered following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week earlier. President Donald Trump, after declaring himself “the president of law and order” and threatening to deploy the U.S. military in a Rose Garden speech, then walked across the empty park to be photographed holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Church, which had been damaged a night earlier in a protest fire. A curfew failed to prevent another night of destruction in New York City; Macy’s flagship store was among those targeted when crowds smashed windows and looted businesses. A Minneapolis medical examiner classified George Floyd’s death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Pat Boone is 87. Actor Morgan Freeman is 84. Opera singer Frederica von Stade is 76. Actor Brian Cox is 75. Rock musician Ronnie Wood is 74. Actor Jonathan Pryce is 74. Actor Gemma Craven is 71. Actor John M. Jackson (TV: “JAG,” “NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 71. Blues-rock musician Tom Principato is 69. Country singer Ronnie Dunn is 68. Actor Lisa Hartman Black is 65. Actor Tom Irwin is 65. Singer-musician Alan Wilder is 62. Rock musician Simon Gallup (The Cure) is 61. Actor-comedian Mark Curry is 60. Actor-singer Jason Donovan is 53. Actor Teri Polo is 52. Basketball player-turned-coach Tony Bennett is 52. Actor Rick Gomez is 49. Model-actor Heidi Klum is 48. Singer Alanis Morissette is 47. Actor Sarah Wayne Callies is 44. Comedian Link Neal (Rhett & Link) is 43. TV personality Damien Fahey is 41. Americana singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile is 40. Actor Johnny Pemberton is 40. Actor-writer Amy Schumer is 40. Former tennis player Justine Henin is 39. Actor Taylor Handley is 37. Actor Zazie Beetz is 30. Actor Willow Shields is 21.

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Today in History