Friday, June 19, 2009

19 June: Juneteenth!

By The Associated Press [W/ notes.] Today is Friday, June 19, the 170th day of 2009. There are 195 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On June 19, 1865, Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free. On this date: In A.D. 325, the early Christian church opened the general council of Nicaea, which settled on rules for computing the date of Easter. In 1586, English colonists sailed from Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in America. In 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention voted to strike down the Articles of Confederation and form a new government. In 1846, two amateur baseball teams played under new rules at Hoboken, N.J., planting the first seeds of organized baseball. The New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers, 23-1. In 1856, the first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Charles Fremont of California for president. James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected. In 1862, slavery was outlawed in U.S. territories. [Take that, Guam! —Ed.] In 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, the president of the Mexican Republic. Also, the first running of the Belmont Stakes took place at Jerome Park, N.Y. In 1903, Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig was born in New York City. In 1905, Pittsburgh showman Harry Davis opened the world's first nickelodeon, showing the silent Western film "The Great Train Robbery." The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged 5 cents and prompted the advent of movie houses across the United States. In 1910, Father's Day was celebrated for the first time, in Spokane, Wash. In 1917, during World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames [Saxe-Coburg-Gotha]; the family took the name "Windsor." [A pile of droppings by any other name ... — Ed.] In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission. In 1938, four dozen people were killed when a railroad bridge in Montana collapsed, sending a train known as the "Olympian" hurtling into Custer Creek. In 1943, the Battle of the Philippine Sea began, as Japan tried unsuccessfully to prevent further Allied advancement in the South Pacific. In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y.From the AP archive: The original report. In 1961, the Supreme Court struck down a provision in Maryland's constitution requiring state officeholders to profess a belief in God. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster. In 1977, Pope Paul VI proclaimed a 19th-century Philadelphia bishop, John Neumann, the first male U.S. saint. In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1981 Louisiana law that required schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians. Ten years ago: Author Stephen King was seriously injured when he was struck by a van driven by Bryan Smith on a two-lane highway in North Lovell, Maine. Britain's Prince Edward married commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones in Windsor, England. The Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in triple overtime by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in Game 6. Turin, Italy, was chosen as the site of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. In 2000, The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, barred officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games. Five years ago: The U.S. military stepped up its campaign against militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, launching an airstrike that pulverized a suspected hideout in Fallujah, Iraq. One year ago: President George W. Bush surveyed the aftermath of devastating floods during a quick tour of the Midwest, assuring residents and rescuers alike that he was listening to their concerns and understood their exhaustion. Democrat Barack Obama announced he would bypass public financing for the presidential election, even though Republican John McCain was accepting it. Today's Birthdays: Actress Gena Rowlands is 79. Singer Spanky McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 67. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is 64. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 61. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 59. Musician Larry Dunn is 56. Actress Kathleen Turner is 55. Country singer Doug Stone is 53. Singer Mark DeBarge is 50. Singer-dancer-"American Idol" judge Paula Abdul is 47. Actor Andy Lauer is 46. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 45. Rock musician Brian "Head" Welch is 39. Actress Robin Tunney is 37. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 34. This Date in Entertainment -- In 1952, the celebrity-panel game show "I've Got A Secret" made its debut on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host. In 1960, Loretta Lynn's "Honky Tonk Girl" became her first record to make the "Billboard" country chart. In 1973, the stage production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" opened in London. Tim Curry later repeated his starring role in the 1975 movie version. In 1976, Wild Cherry released "Play That Funky Music." In 1978, the comic strip "Garfield" appeared for the first time. In 1980, Donna Summer became the first act to sign to Geffen Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Her first release for Geffen was "The Wanderer." In 1988, more than 3,000 East Germans gathered by the Berlin Wall to hear Michael Jackson, who was performing across the border in West Germany. In 1992, "Batman Returns" opened. It pulled in a record-breaking $16.8 million dollars its first day. In 1996, the Disney film "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" made its premiere in New Orleans. In 1997, singer Bobby ("Jingle Bell Rock") Helms died at his home in Martinsville, Indiana. He was 61. Thought for Today: "Free thinkers are generally those who never think at all." — Laurence Sterne, English author (1713-1768).

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