Today in History
Today is Saturday, June 26, the 177th day of 2021. There are 188 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 26, 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.
On this date:
In 1483, Richard III began his reign as King of England (he was crowned the following month at Westminster Abbey).
In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France during World War I landed in St. Nazaire.
In 1919, the New York Daily News was first published.
In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.
In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.
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 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 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia as it affirmed, 5-4, that an individual right to gun ownership existed.
Ten years ago: New York City’s gay pride parade turned into a carnival-like celebration of same-sex marriage as hundreds of thousands of revelers rejoiced at the state’s new law giving gay couples the same marital rights as everyone else.
Five years ago: Fourteen people suffered stab wounds, cuts and bruises when fighting erupted outside the California state Capitol in Sacramento between more than 300 counter-protesters and about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group. Fireworks exploded as a huge Chinese-owned container ship made the inaugural passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal.
One year ago: After protesters in Washington, D.C., attempted to pull down a statue of Andrew Jackson, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments, memorials and statues. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan met with demonstrators who had thwarted the city’s effort to dismantle an “occupied” protest zone. (The zone would be dismantled five days later.) Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars as the daily number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000. Clemson said 37 football players had tested positive for the coronavirus since the school reopened facilities for workouts earlier in the month. A federal judge ordered the release of children held with parents in U.S. immigration jails.
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 87. Actor Josef Sommer is 87. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 83. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 78. Actor Clive Francis is 75. R&B singer Brenda Holloway is 75. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 71. Actor Robert Davi is 70. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 66. Actor Gedde Watanabe (GEH’-dee wah-tah-NAH’-bee) is 66. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 65. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 64. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 62. U.S. Bicycling Hall of Famer Greg LeMond is 60. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 58. Country musician Eddie Perez (The Mavericks) is 53. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 52. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 51. Actor Sean Hayes is 51. Actor Matt Letscher is 51. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 51. Actor Nick Offerman is 51. Actor Rebecca Budig is 48. Retired MLB All-Star Derek Jeter is 47. Contemporary Christian musician Jeff Frankenstein (Newsboys) is 47. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 47. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 42. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 42. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 41. Actor Aubrey Plaza is 37. Actor-singer Jennette McCurdy is 29. Actor-singer Ariana Grande is 28.