Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 2, the 154th day of 2016. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 2, 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37.

On this date:

In 1863, during the Civil War, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman wrote a letter to his wife, Ellen, in which he commented, “Vox populi, vox humbug” (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug).

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, 21, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)

In 1897, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

In 1924, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed, a measure guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territorial limits.

In 1946, Italy held a referendum which resulted in the Italian monarchy being abolished in favor of a republic.

In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1966, U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1976, Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles was mortally injured by a bomb planted underneath his car; he died 11 days later. (Prosecutors believed Bolles was targeted because he had written stories that upset a liquor wholesaler; three men were convicted of the killing.)

In 1981, the Japanese video arcade game “Donkey Kong” was released by Nintendo.

In 1983, half of the 46 people aboard an Air Canada DC-9 were killed after fire broke out on board, forcing the jetliner to make an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

In 1986, for the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment began.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. (McVeigh was executed in June 2001.)

Ten years ago: The United Nations General Assembly concluded a conference on AIDS by promising to set “ambitious national targets,” but falling short of setting exact financial goals for the fight against the disease. Canadian authorities announced they had foiled a homegrown terrorist attack to set off bombs outside Toronto’s Stock Exchange, a building housing Canada’s spy agency and a military base. Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick died in Sonoma County, Calif., at age 55.

Five years ago: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination during an appearance in New Hampshire. A 73-year-old man opened fire in the Yuma, Ariz., area, killing five people and wounding one other before fatally shooting himself. A judge in Placerville, Calif., sentenced serial sex offender Phillip Garrido to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard; Garrido’s wife, Nancy, received a decades-long sentence. Eighth-grader Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pa., won the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

One year ago: President Barack Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, extending three expiring surveillance provisions of the 9/11-era USA Patriot Act. FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation as head of soccer’s governing body just four days after being re-elected to the post amid a widening corruption scandal.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Kellerman is 79. Actor Ron Ely is 78. Actor Stacy Keach is 75. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 75. Actor Charles Haid is 73. Movie director Lasse Hallstrom is 70. Actor Jerry Mathers is 68. Actress Joanna Gleason is 66. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 62. Comedian Dana Carvey is 61. Actor Gary Grimes is 61. Pop musician Michael Steele is 61. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 56. Actor Liam Cunningham is 55. Actor Navid Negahban is 52. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 48. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 46. Actress Paula Cale is 46. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 45. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 44. Actor Wentworth Miller is 44. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 40. Actor Zachary Quinto is 39. Actor Dominic Cooper is 38. Actress Nikki Cox is 38. Actor Justin Long is 38. Actor Deon Richmond is 38. Actress Morena Baccarin is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 36. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 36. Olympic gold medal soccer player Abby Wambach is 36. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 33. Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward is 30. Actress Brittany Curran is 26. Actor Sterling Beaumon is 21.


Thought for Today: “We are minor in everything but our passions.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Irish author (1899-1973).

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