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Almanac

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 20, the 171st day of 2017. There are 194 days left in the year. Summer begins at 9:24 p.m. Pacific time/10:24 p.m. Mountain time/11:24 p.m. Central time (12:24 a.m. Eastern time June 21).

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 20, 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).

On this date:

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.

In 1791, King Louis XVI of France and his family attempted to flee in the so-called “Flight to Varennes,” but were caught.

In 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts, found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act, which was designed to restrict the power of labor unions, but had his veto overridden by Congress. Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills, California, home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.

In 1966, the Beatles album “Yesterday and Today” was released by Capitol Records, initially with its notorious “butcher” cover photo which ended up being replaced.

In 1990, South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they began an eight-city U.S. tour.

In 2001, Houston resident Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family bathtub, then called police. (Yates was later found guilty of murder, but had her conviction overturned; she was acquitted by reason of insanity in a retrial.)

Ten years ago: For the second time, President George W. Bush vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill as he urged scientists toward what he termed “ethically responsible” research. Sammy Sosa, playing for the Texas Rangers after a year out of baseball, hit his 600th home run, making him the fifth player to reach the milestone; the round-tripper came in the fifth inning of Texas’ 7-3 victory over Sosa’s former team, the Chicago Cubs.

Thought for Today: “Know how to ask. There is nothing more difficult for some people, nor for others, easier.” — Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher (1601-1658).

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