Today In History

Today in History

Today is Saturday, June 12, the 163rd day of 2021. There are 202 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, exhorted Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

On this date:

In 1630, Englishman John Winthrop, leading a fleet carrying Puritan refugees, arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he became its governor.

In 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.

In 1942, Anne Frank, a German-born Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, received a diary for her 13th birthday, less than a month before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis.

In 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers, 37, was shot and killed outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi. (In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murdering Evers and sentenced to life in prison; he died in 2001.)

In 1964, South African Black nationalist Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison along with seven other people, including Walter Sisulu, for committing sabotage against the apartheid regime (all were eventually released, Mandela in 1990).

In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, unanimously struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriages.

In 1971, Tricia Nixon and Edward F. Cox were married in the White House Rose Garden.

In 1981, major league baseball players began a 49-day strike over the issue of free-agent compensation. (The season did not resume until Aug. 10.)

In 1991, Russians went to the polls to elect Boris N. Yeltsin president of their republic.

In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were slashed to death outside her Los Angeles home. (O.J. Simpson was later acquitted of the killings in a criminal trial but was eventually held liable in a civil action.)

In 2004, former President Ronald Reagan’s body was sealed inside a tomb at his presidential library in Simi Valley, California, following a week of mourning and remembrance by world leaders and regular Americans.

In 2015, Joyce Mitchell, a worker at the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, was arrested on charges of helping two convicted killers escape; Mitchell later pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband and was sentenced to 2 1/3 to seven years in prison.

Ten years ago: The Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title by winning Game 6 of the finals against the Miami Heat, 105-95. “The Book of Mormon” took home nine Tony Awards, including the prize for best musical; “War Horse” won five Tonys, including the best play award.

Five years ago: A gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, a gay establishment in Orlando, Florida, leaving 49 people dead and 53 wounded; Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during a three-hour standoff before being killed in a shootout with police.

One year ago: Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by one of the two white officers who responded after he was found asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta; police body camera video showed Brooks struggling with the officers and grabbing a Taser from one of them, firing it as he fled. (An autopsy found that Brooks had been shot twice in the back. Officer Garrett Rolfe faces charges including murder.) A federal judge ordered Seattle police to temporarily stop using tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bang devices to break up peaceful protests. The Oregon Supreme Court upheld Gov. Kate Brown’s shutdown orders aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic. William Sessions, a former federal judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan to head the FBI and fired years later by President Bill Clinton, died at his Texas home at the age of 90.

Today’s Birthdays: Songwriter Richard M. Sherman is 93. Sportscaster Marv Albert is 80. Singer Roy Harper is 80. Actor Roger Aaron Brown is 72. Actor Sonia Manzano is 71. Rock musician Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) is 70. Country singer-musician Junior Brown is 69. Singer-songwriter Rocky Burnette is 68. Actor Timothy Busfield is 64. Singer Meredith Brooks is 63. Actor Jenilee Harrison is 63. Rock musician John Linnell (They Might Be Giants) is 62. Actor John Enos is 59. Rapper Grandmaster Dee (Whodini) is 59. Actor Paul Schulze is 59. Actor Eamonn Walker is 59. Actor Paula Marshall is 57. Actor Frances O’Connor is 54. Actor Rick Hoffman is 51. Actor-comedian Finesse Mitchell is 49. Actor Mel Rodriguez is 48. Actor Jason Mewes is 47. Actor Michael Muhney is 46. Blues musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 44. Actor Timothy Simons is 43. Actor Wil Horneff is 42. Singer Robyn is 42. Rock singer-musician John Gourley (Portugal. The Man) is 40. Actor Dave Franco is 36. Country singer Chris Young is 36. Actor Luke Youngblood is 35. Actor Ryan Malgarini is 29.