Today in History
Today is Wednesday, June 21, the 172nd day of 2017. There are 193 days left in the year. Summer begins at 12:24 a.m. Eastern time.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On June 21, 1942, German forces led by Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erwin Rommel captured the Libyan city of Tobruk during World War II. (Following his victory, Rommel was promoted by Adolf Hitler to the rank of Field Marshal; Tobruk was retaken by the Allies in Nov. 1942.) An Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.
On this date:
In 1377, King Edward III died after ruling England for 50 years; he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.
In 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.
In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling’s manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: “We was robbed!”
In 1954, the American Cancer Society presented a study to the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco which found that men who regularly smoked cigarettes died at a considerably higher rate than non-smokers.
In 1963, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was chosen during a conclave of his fellow cardinals to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope took the name Paul VI.
In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.)
In 1977, Menachem Begin (men-AH’-kem BAY’-gihn) of the Likud bloc became Israel’s sixth prime minister.
In 1982, a jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.
In 1985, scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele (MEN’-guh-luh).
In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
In 1997, the WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.
Ten years ago: Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. nuclear envoy, made a rare trip to North Korea in a surprise bid to accelerate international efforts to press the communist government to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Bob Evans, creator of his namesake restaurant chain, died in Cleveland at age 89.
Thought for Today: “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (1905-1980).