Today in History
Today is Friday, June 26, the 178th day of 2020. There are 188 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 26, 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.
On this date:
In 1870, the first section of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Boardwalk was opened to the public.
In 1911, John J. McDermott became the first American-born golf player to win the U.S. Open, played in Chicago.
In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France during World War I landed in St. Nazaire.
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a second term of office by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he delivered his famous speech expressing solidarity with the city’s residents, declaring: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his choice of Abe Fortas to succeed the retiring Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States (however, Fortas later withdrew in the face of stiff Senate opposition).
In 1974, the supermarket price scanner made its debut in Troy, Ohio, as a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum costing 67 cents and bearing a Uniform Product Code (UPC) was scanned by a Marsh Supermarket cashier.
In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tennessee. Elvis Presley performed his last concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton announced the U.S. had launched missiles against Iraqi targets because of “compelling evidence” Iraq had plotted to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush.
In 1996, the Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.
In 1997, the first Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing), was published in the United Kingdom (it was later released in the United States under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).
In 2013, in deciding its first cases on the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the nation’s legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.
Ten years ago: At odds over how to strengthen the global economic recovery, Group of Eight leaders meeting in Canada did find common ground on foreign policy, condemning North Korea for the alleged sinking of a South Korean warship and endorsing a five-year exit timetable for Afghanistan. Ghana sent the U.S. packing from the World Cup in South Africa, eliminating the Americans in the second round.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives visited Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black churchgoers had been shot to death; Obama eulogized one of the victims, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was the pastor of the church and also a state senator. Richard Matt, one of two convicted murderers who’d escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, was shot and killed by authorities in a wooded area 30 miles from the prison; David Sweat remained at large (he was arrested two days later). A gunman killed 38 tourists on a beach in Sousse (soos), Tunisia, in an attack later claimed by the Islamic State group. Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, 85, died in Moscow.
One year ago: Meeting for the first time on the debate stage in the 2020 presidential campaign, ten Democrats railed against an economy and an administration that they argued exist only for the rich, as they embraced income inequality as a defining theme in their fight to deny Donald Trump a second term in office. (Ten other Democrats would meet in a separate debate a day later.)
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 86. Actor Josef Sommer is 86. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 82. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 77. Actor Clive Francis is 74. Rhythm and blues singer Brenda Holloway is 74. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 70. Actor Robert Davi is 69. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 65. Actor Gedde Watanabe (GEH’-dee wah-tah-NAH’-bee) is 65. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 64. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 63. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 61. U.S. Bicycling Hall of Famer Greg LeMond is 59. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 57. Country musician Eddie Perez (The Mavericks) is 52. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 51. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 50. Actor Sean Hayes is 50. Actor Matt Letscher is 50. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 50. Actor Nick Offerman is 50. Actress Rebecca Budig is 47. Retired MLB All-Star Derek Jeter is 46. Contemporary Christian musician Jeff Frankenstein (Newsboys) is 46. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 46. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 41. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 41. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 40. Actress Aubrey Plaza is 36. Actress-singer Jennette McCurdy is 28. Actress-singer Ariana Grande is 27.