Today in History
Today is Friday, June 17, the 168th day of 2022. There are 197 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 17, 2015, nine people were shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; suspect Dylann Roof was arrested the following morning. (Roof was convicted of federal hate crimes and sentenced to death; he later pleaded guilty to state murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.)
On this date:
In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.
In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere (ee-SEHR’).
In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which boosted U.S. tariffs to historically high levels, prompting foreign retaliation.
In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Abington (Pa.) School District v. Schempp, struck down, 8-1, rules requiring the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.
In 1967, China successfully tested its first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s, Watergate complex.
In 1994, after leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial but held liable in a civil trial.)
In 2008, hundreds of same-sex couples got married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state’s highest court.
In 2009, President Barack Obama extended some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Nevada Sen. John Ensign resigned from the GOP leadership a day after admitting an affair with a former campaign staffer.
In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states can’t demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval to do so.
In 2019, Iran announced that it was breaking compliance with the international accord that kept it from making nuclear weapons; the announcement meant that Iran could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels. The Trump administration followed Iran’s announcement by ordering 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.
In 2020, prosecutors in Atlanta brought murder charges against white police officer Garrett Rolfe in the fatal shooting of a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, following a struggle; a second officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. (Both officers are awaiting trial.) Quaker Oats announced that it would retire the Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognized that the character’s origins were “based on a racial stereotype.”
Ten years ago: Rodney King, 47, whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police sparked widespread outrage and who struggled with addiction and repeated arrests, died in Rialto, California, in an apparent accidental drowning. Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open, outlasting former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.
Five years ago: The jury in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case declared itself hopelessly deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial for the 79-year-old TV star charged with drugging and groping a woman more than a decade earlier; prosecutors immediately announced they would pursue a second trial. (That trial resulted in Cosby’s conviction, but Pennsylvania’s highest court later overturned it.) The Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald was damaged in a collision with a Philippine-flagged container ship off Japan that killed seven sailors.
One year ago: The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, left intact the entire Affordable Care Act, rejecting the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as “Obamacare.” President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery; Juneteenth, or June 19, would be the 12th federal holiday. A St. Louis couple who pointed guns at social justice demonstrators in front of their home in 2020 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges; Mark and Patricia McCloskey were fined and agreed to forfeit the weapons they carried when they confronted several hundred protesters. Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda, died at 97; he was a leader of the campaign that ended British colonial rule.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 90. Movie director Ken Loach is 86. Singer Barry Manilow is 79. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 79. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 71. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 68. Actor Jon Gries (gryz) is 65. Rock singer Jello Biafra is 64. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 64. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 62. Actor Greg Kinnear is 59. Actor Kami Cotler is 57. Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 57. Actor Jason Patric is 56. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 52. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 51. Tennis player Venus Williams is 42. Actor Arthur Darvill is 40. Actor Jodie Whittaker is 40. Actor Manish Dayal is 39. Country singer Mickey Guyton is 39. Actor Marie Avgeropoulos is 36. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 35. NHL forward Nikita Kucherov is 29. Actor KJ Apa is 25.