Today in History
Today is Saturday, June 27, the 179th day of 2020. There are 187 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 27, 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation’s highest court, announced his retirement. (His departure led to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)
On this date:
In 1844, Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois.
In 1846, New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.
In 1880, author-lecturer Helen Keller, who lived most of her life without sight or hearing, was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
In 1942, the FBI announced the arrests of eight Nazi saboteurs put ashore in Florida and Long Island, New York. (All were tried and sentenced to death; six were executed while two were spared for turning themselves in and cooperating with U.S. authorities.)
In 1944, during World War II, American forces liberated the French port of Cherbourg (SHEHR’-boorg) from the Germans.
In 1950, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
In 1957, Hurricane Audrey slammed into coastal Louisiana and Texas as a Category 4 storm; the official death toll from the storm was placed at 390, although a variety of state, federal and local sources have estimated the number of fatalities at between 400 and 600.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon opened an official visit to the Soviet Union.
In 1988, at least 56 people were killed when a commuter train ran into a stationary train at the Gare de Lyon terminal in Paris. In 1988, Mike Tyson retained the undisputed heavyweight crown as he knocked out Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round of a championship fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 2001, actor Jack Lemmon died in Los Angeles at age 76.
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled, in a pair of 5-4 decisions, that displaying the Ten Commandments on government property was constitutionally permissible in some cases but not in others. BTK serial killer Dennis Rader pleaded guilty to ten murders that had spread fear across Wichita, Kansas, beginning in the 1970s. (Rader later received multiple life sentences.)
In 2006, a constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the American flag died in a Senate cliffhanger, falling one vote short of the 67 needed to send it to states for ratification.
Ten years ago: Wary of slamming on the stimulus brakes too quickly but shaken by the European debt crisis, world leaders meeting in Canada pledged to reduce government deficits in richer countries in half by 2013, with wiggle room to meet the goal. Pope Benedict XVI lashed out at what he called “deplorable” raids carried out by Belgian police as part of an investigation into priest sex abuse. Cristie Kerr cruised to a 12-stroke victory in the LPGA Championship, closing with a 6-under 66 for a 19-under 269 total.
Five years ago: The Episcopal Church elected its first African-American presiding bishop, choosing Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina during the denomination’s national assembly in Salt Lake City. Chris Squire, 67, the bassist and co-founder of the progressive rock band Yes, died in Phoenix, Arizona.
One year ago: A debate involving ten Democratic presidential candidates included a heated exchange between former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, who criticized Biden’s record of working with Democratic segregationist senators on non-race issues; Biden called it a “complete mischaracterization” of his record and said he had run for office “because of civil rights.” The Supreme Court refused to let the Trump administration add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The high court also ruled that federal courts have no role to play in challenges to the drawing of electoral districts for partisan purposes.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 82. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 78. Fashion designer Vera Wang is 71. Actress Julia Duffy is 69. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 65. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 61. Actor Brian Drillinger is 60. Writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams is 54. Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (AY’-aht), R-N.H., is 52. Olympic gold and bronze medal figure skater Viktor Petrenko (peh-TREHN’-koh) is 51. Latin singer Draco Rosa is 51. Actor Edward “Grapevine” Fordham Jr. is 50. TV personality Jo Frost is 50. Actor Yancey Arias is 49. Actor Christian Kane is 48. Actor Tobey Maguire is 45. Rock singer Bernhoft is 44. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 44. Christian rock singer Zach Williams is 42. Musician Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) is 38. Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 36. Actor Drake Bell is 34. Actor Sam Claflin is 34. Actress India de Beaufort is 33. Actor Ed Westwick is 33. Actor Matthew Lewis (Film: “Harry Potter”; TV: “Ripper Street”) is 31. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 29. Pop singer Lauren Jauregui (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 24. R&B singer H.E.R. is 23. Actor Chandler Riggs is 21.