Today in History

·5-min read

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 8, the 159th day of 2021. There are 206 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 8, 1968, authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On this date:

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln was nominated for another term as president during the National Union (Republican) Party’s convention in Baltimore.

In 1915, U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned over what he viewed as President Woodrow Wilson’s overly bellicose attitude toward Germany following the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

In 1953, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that restaurants in the District of Columbia could not refuse to serve Blacks. Eight tornadoes struck Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, killing 126 people.

In 1962, 20th Century Fox fired Marilyn Monroe from its production “Something’s Got to Give,” saying she was unreliable. (Fox later changed its mind, but Monroe died before filming could resume, and the movie was abandoned.)

In 1966, a merger was announced between the National and American Football Leagues, to take effect in 1970.

In 1967, during the six-day Middle East war, 34 American servicemen were killed when Israel attacked the USS Liberty, a Navy intelligence-gathering ship in the Mediterranean Sea. (Israel later said the Liberty had been mistaken for an Egyptian vessel.)

In 1972, during the Vietnam War, an Associated Press photographer took a picture of a screaming 9-year-old girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc (fahn thee kihm fook), as she ran naked and severely burned from the scene of a South Vietnamese napalm attack.

In 1978, a jury in Clark County, Nevada, ruled the so-called “Mormon will,” purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery.

In 1995, U.S. Marines rescued Capt. Scott O’Grady, whose F-16C fighter jet had been shot down by Bosnian Serbs on June 2. Mickey Mantle received a liver transplant at a Dallas hospital; however, the baseball great died two months later.

In 1998, the National Rifle Association elected actor Charlton Heston to be its president.

In 2009, North Korea’s highest court sentenced American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee to 12 years’ hard labor for trespassing and “hostile acts.” (The women were pardoned in early August 2009 after a trip to Pyongyang by former President Bill Clinton.)

In 2015, siding with the White House in a foreign-policy power struggle with Congress, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Americans born in the disputed city of Jerusalem could not list Israel as their birthplace on passports.

Ten years ago: Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania became the first Democratic House colleague to call for Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York to resign after he admitted sending a lewd photo of himself to a woman via Twitter and lying about it. OPEC unexpectedly left its production levels unchanged, causing oil prices to jump as senior officials reported their meeting in Vienna had ended in disarray.

Five years ago: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (nah-REN’-drah MOH’-dee) told the U.S. Congress that the world’s two largest democracies could anchor stability and prosperity from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific in an aspirational speech that glossed over continuing divisions in the relationship. Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH’-vah) was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. (The ban, which was backdated to Jan. 26, 2016, was later reduced to 15 months.)

One year ago: Thousands of mourners gathered at a church in Houston for a service for George Floyd, as his death during an arrest in Minneapolis continued to stoke protests in America and beyond over racial injustice. France’s top security official said police would no longer permit chokeholds that had been blamed for multiple cases of asphyxiation and had come under renewed criticism after George Floyd’s death. The police chief in Portland, Oregon, resigned, just six months into her job, amid criticism of her department’s handling of protests. New York City slowly began reopening for business; stores that were previously deemed nonessential during the coronavirus shutdown were cleared to reopen for delivery and curbside pickup. New Zealand appeared to have completely eradicated the coronavirus for the time being; health officials aid the last person known to have been infected in the country had recovered.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Millicent Martin is 87. Actor James Darren is 85. Singer Nancy Sinatra is 81. Singer Chuck Negron is 79. Musician Boz Scaggs is 77. Author Sara Paretsky is 74. Actor Sonia Braga is 71. Actor Kathy Baker is 71. Country musician Tony Rice is 70. Rock singer Bonnie Tyler is 70. Actor Griffin Dunne is 66. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams is 64. Actor-director Keenen Ivory Wayans is 63. Singer Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) is 61. Musician Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) is 59. R&B singer Doris Pearson (Five Star) is 55. Actor Julianna Margulies is 54. Actor Dan Futterman is 54. Actor David Sutcliffe is 52. Actor Kent Faulcon is 51. R&B singer Nicci Gilbert is 51. Actor Kelli Williams is 51. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is 51. Actor Mark Feuerstein is 50. Contemporary Christian musician Mike Scheuchzer (MercyMe) is 46. Actor Eion Bailey is 45. Former tennis player Lindsay Davenport is 45. Rapper Kanye (KAHN’-yay) West is 44. TV personality-actress Maria Menounos is 43. Country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson is 43. Blues-rock musician Derek Trucks (The Derek Trucks Band) is 42. Rock singer Alex Band (The Calling) is 40. Folk-bluegrass singer-musician Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 40. Former tennis player Kim Clijsters is 38. Actor Torrey DeVitto is 37. Tennis player Jelena Ostapenko is 24.

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