Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 16, the 168th day of 2016. There are 198 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 16, 1963, the world’s first female space traveler, Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union aboard Vostok 6; she spent 71 hours in flight, circling the Earth 48 times before returning safely.

On this date:

In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in Scotland. (She escaped almost a year later but ended up imprisoned again.)

In 1858, accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

In 1903, Ford Motor Co. was incorporated.

In 1911, IBM had its beginnings as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. was incorporated in New York State.

In 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act became law with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signature. (The Act was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was founded as President Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933.

In 1941, National Airport (now Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport) opened for business with a ceremony attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1943, comedian Charles Chaplin, 54, married his fourth wife, 18-year-old Oona O’Neill, daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill, in Carpinteria, Calif.

In 1944, George Stinney, a 14-year-old black youth, became the youngest person to die in the electric chair as the state of South Carolina executed him for the murders of two white girls, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7.

In 1956, poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were married in London.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Panama Canal treaties.

In 1987, a jury in New York acquitted Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the subway shooting of four youths he said were going to rob him; however, Goetz was convicted of illegal weapons possession. (In 1996, a civil jury ordered Goetz to pay $43 million to one of the persons he’d shot.)

In 1996, Russian voters went to the polls in their first independent presidential election; the result was a runoff between President Boris Yeltsin (the eventual winner) and Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov. Sportscaster Mel Allen died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 83.

Ten years ago: The House rejected a timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq, 256-153. In Iraq, three 101st Airborne Division soldiers were killed in an attack while two others were abducted (their mutilated bodies were found three days later). In Martinez, Calif., Susan Polk, 48, was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing to death her millionaire psychotherapist husband, Felix Polk, whom she had first met as a 14-year-old girl in treatment. “Lonelygirl15,” a fictitious video blogger played by actress Jessica Lee Rose, made her online debut.

Five years ago: U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., announced his resignation from Congress, bowing to the furor caused by his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women. Osama bin Laden’s longtime second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, took control of al-Qaida.

One year ago: Real estate mogul Donald Trump launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. A 21st-birthday party thrown by a group of visiting Irish college students in Berkeley, Calif., turned tragic when the fifth-floor balcony they were crowded on collapsed, spilling 13 people about 50 feet onto the pavement, killing six. The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA championship since 1975, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bill Cobbs is 82. Author Joyce Carol Oates is 78. Country singer Billy “Crash” Craddock is 78. Songwriter Lamont Dozier is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Eddie Levert is 74. Actress Joan Van Ark is 73. Actor Geoff Pierson is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer James Smith (The Stylistics) is 66. Boxing Hall of Famer Roberto Duran is 65. Pop singer Gino Vannelli is 64. Actress Laurie Metcalf is 61. Actor Arnold Vosloo is 54. Actor Danny Burstein is 52. Model-actress Jenny Shimizu is 49. Actor James Patrick Stuart is 48. Rapper MC Ren is 47. Actor Clifton Collins Jr. is 46. Golfer Phil Mickelson is 46. Actor John Cho is 44. Actor Eddie Cibrian is 43. Actor Fred Koehler is 41. Actress China Shavers is 39. Actor Daniel Bruhl is 38. Actress Sibel Kekilli is 36. Actress Missy Peregrym is 34. Actress Olivia Hack is 33. Singer Diana DeGarmo (TV: “American Idol”) is 29. Pop-rock musician Ian Keaggy (Hot Chelle) is 29.

Thought for Today: “Our memories are card indexes consulted and then returned in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.” — Cyril Connolly, British critic (1903-1974).

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