By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Wednesday, June 26, the 177th day of 2019. There are 188 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 26, 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).
On this date:
In 1870, the first section of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Boardwalk was opened to the public.
In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France during World War I landed in St. Nazaire.
In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a second term of office by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
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 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 1988, three people were killed when a new Airbus A320 jetliner carrying more than 130 people crashed into a forest during a demonstration at an air show in Mulhouse (muh-LOOZ’), France.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush went back on his “no-new-taxes” campaign pledge, conceding that tax increases would have to be included in any deficit-reduction package worked out with congressional negotiators.
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 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. Juan Alvarez, who triggered a 2005 rail disaster in Glendale, California, by parking a sport-utility vehicle on the tracks, was convicted of 11 counts of first-degree murder. (Alvarez was later sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.)