Today in History

Today is Friday, June 4, the 155th day of 2021. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 4, 1919, Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which said that the right to vote could not be denied or abridged based on gender. The amendment was sent to the states for ratification.

On this date:

In 1812, the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory, to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana. The U.S. House of Representatives approved, 79-49, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1912, Massachusetts became the first state to adopt a minimum wage law.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of some 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In 1972, a jury in San Jose, California, acquitted radical activist Angela Davis of murder and kidnapping for her alleged connection to a deadly courthouse shootout in Marin County in 1970.

In 1977, the VHS home videocassette recorder was introduced to North America by JVC during a press conference in Chicago.

In 1985, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law providing for a daily minute of silence in public schools.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

In 1989, a gas explosion in the Soviet Union engulfed two passing trains, killing 575.

In 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian carried out his first publicly assisted suicide, helping Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Alzheimer’s patient from Portland, Oregon, end her life in Oakland County, Michigan.

In 1998, a federal judge sentenced Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Ten years ago: China’s Li Na captured her first Grand Slam singles title, becoming the first tennis player from China to achieve such a feat; Na beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (0) in the French Open final. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, 80, died in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Five years ago: A day after the death of Muhammad Ali, President Barack Obama said the boxing legend “shook up the world and the world is better for it,” and that Ali stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in fighting for what was right. Hillary Clinton scored a sweeping win in the U.S. Virgin Islands, picking up all seven pledged delegates at stake as she inched tantalizingly close to the Democratic nomination. Garbine Muguruza (GAHR’-been-yuh MOO’-guh-roo-sah) won her first Grand Slam title by beating defending champion Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 at the French Open.

One year ago: In the first of a series of memorials set for three cities over six days, celebrities, musicians and political leaders gathered in front of George Floyd’s golden casket in Minneapolis. Protesters stayed on the streets of New York City after curfew for another day. Major cities across California lifted curfews amid more peaceful demonstrations over Floyd’s death. In an incident captured by a TV news crew, a 75-year-old protester, Martin Gugino, fell and hit his head on the pavement after being pushed backward by two police officers in Buffalo, New York, who were clearing demonstrators from in front of City Hall. (Gugino spent about a month in the hospital with a fractured skull and a brain injury; the officers were suspended without pay, but criminal charges against them were eventually dropped.) Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue, and that the state would no longer “preach a false version of history.” Casinos in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada reopened for the first time since March. A judge rejected Ponzi king Bernard Madoff’s bid for early release from his 150-year prison sentence. (Madoff died in prison in April 2021.)

Today’s Birthdays: Sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 93. Actor Bruce Dern is 85. Musician Roger Ball is 77. Actor-singer Michelle Phillips is 77. Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 76. Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 70. Actor Parker Stevenson is 69. Actor Keith David is 65. Blues singer-musician Tinsley Ellis is 64. Actor Eddie Velez is 63. Singer-musician El DeBarge is 60. Actor Julie White is 60. Actor Lindsay Frost is 59. Actor Sean Pertwee is 57. Former tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 56. Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli is 55. R&B singer Al B. Sure! is 53. Actor Scott Wolf is 53. Actor-comedian Rob Huebel is 52. Comedian Horatio Sanz is 52. Actor James Callis is 50. Actor Noah Wyle is 50. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 47. Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 46. Actor Angelina Jolie is 46. Actor Theo Rossi is 46. Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 45. Actor Robin Lord Taylor is 43. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 41. Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL’-lee) is 36. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is 36. Americana singer Shakey Graves is 34. Rock musician Zac Farro is 31.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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