Today In History: June 4, World War Ii’s Battle Of Midway Begins In The Pacific

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 4, the 156th day of 2024. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 4, 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.

On this date:

In 1812, the U.S. House of Representatives approved, by a vote of 79-49, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 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.

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

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 1944, U-505, a German submarine, was captured by a U.S. Navy task group in the south Atlantic; it was the first such capture of an enemy vessel at sea by the U.S. Navy since the War of 1812. The U.S. Fifth Army began liberating Rome.

In 1967, “Mission: Impossible” won outstanding dramatic series and “The Monkees” won outstanding comedy series at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards.

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; he moved to Israel after completing parole in December 2020.)

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, which killed 168 people.

In 2017, elite rock climber Alex Honnold became the first to climb solo to the top of the massive granite wall known as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without ropes or safety gear.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia issued its first driver’s licenses to women as the kingdom prepared to lift the world’s only ban on women driving.

In 2020, 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.

In 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan welcomed their second child, a girl born in California and named Lilibet Diana in a tribute both to Queen Elizabeth II and to the prince’s late mother, Princess Diana.

In 2022, Ann Turner Cook, whose cherubic baby face was known the world over as the original Gerber baby, died at age 95.

Today’s Birthdays: Sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 96. Actor Bruce Dern is 88. Musician Roger Ball is 80. Actor-singer Michelle Phillips is 80. Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 79. Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 73. Actor Parker Stevenson is 72. Actor Keith David is 68. Blues singer-musician Tinsley Ellis is 67. Actor Eddie Velez is 66. Singer-musician El DeBarge is 63. Actor Julie White is 63. Actor Lindsay Frost is 62. Actor Sean Pertwee is 60. Former tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 59. Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli is 58. R&B singer Al B. Sure! is 56. Actor Scott Wolf is 56. Actor-comedian Rob Huebel is 55. Comedian Horatio Sanz is 55. Actor James Callis is 53. Actor Noah Wyle is 53. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 50. Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 49. Actor Angelina Jolie is 49. Actor Theo Rossi is 49. Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 48. Actor Robin Lord Taylor is 46. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 44. Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL’-lee) is 39. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is 39. Americana singer Shakey Graves is 37. Rock musician Zac Farro is 34.