Today In History, June 20th


Today is Saturday, June 20, the 172nd day of 2020. There are 194 days left in the year. Summer begins at 5:44 p.m., Eastern time.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
On this date:
In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.
In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts, found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
In 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.
In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).
In 1972, three days after the arrest of the Watergate burglars, President Richard Nixon met at the White House with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman; the secretly made tape recording of this meeting ended up with the notorious 18½-minute gap.
In 1974, the film noir “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, was released by Paramount Pictures.
In 1979, ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot to death in Managua, Nicaragua, by a member of President Anastasio Somoza’s national guard.
In 1990, South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they began an eight-city U.S. tour.
In 1994, O.J. Simpson pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Former airman Dean Allen Mellberg went on a shooting rampage at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, killing four people and wounding 22 others before being killed by a military police sharpshooter.
In 2001, Houston resident Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family bathtub, then called police. (Yates was later convicted of murder, but had her conviction overturned; she was acquitted by reason of insanity in a retrial.)
In 2014, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits to same-sex couples, including those living in states where gay marriage was against the law; the new measures ranged from Social Security and veterans benefits to work leave for caring for sick spouses.
Ten years ago: Juan Manuel Santos, a former defense minister from a political powerful clan who oversaw a major weakening of leftist rebels, won Colombia’s presidency. Edith Shain, who claimed to be the nurse smooched by a sailor in Times Square in a famous Life magazine photograph marking the end of World War II, died in Los Angeles at 91. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the U.S. Open.
Five years ago: Max Scherzer pitched a no-hitter, losing his perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning when he hit a batter in the Washington Nationals’ 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. More than 60 pizza-makers working for 18 hours completed a pie that was 1.59545 kilometers, or nearly a mile long, for Milan’s world fair, Expo 2015; a Guinness World Records judge proclaimed it the world’s longest pizza, topping a 1.1415-kilometer-long pie made in Spain.
One year ago: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz; it was the first time the Islamic Republic had directly attacked the U.S. military amid tensions over the unraveling nuclear deal. A U.S. official said preparations had been made for a military strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of the drone, but that the operation was called off with just hours to go. To the surprise of no one, the New Orleans Pelicans made Zion Williamson the top pick in the NBA draft; the Duke star was considered one of the most exciting prospects in years. The Supreme Court ruled that a 40-foot-tall, World War I memorial cross could continue to stand on public land in Maryland.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Bonnie Bartlett is 91. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 89. Actor James Tolkan is 89. Movie director Stephen Frears is 79. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 78. Actor John McCook is 76. Singer Anne Murray is 75. TV personality Bob Vila is 74. Musician Andre Watts is 74. Actress Candy Clark is 73. Producer Tina Sinatra is 72. Rhythm and blues singer Lionel Richie is 71. Actor John Goodman is 68. Rock musician Michael Anthony is 66. Pop musician John Taylor is 60. Rock musician Mark degli Antoni (de-GLI’-an-toh-nee) is 58. Christian rock musician Jerome Fontamillas (Switchfoot) is 53. Rock musician Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray) is 53. Actress Nicole Kidman is 53. Country/bluegrass singer-musician Dan Tyminski is 53. Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 52. Actor Peter Paige is 51. Actor Josh Lucas is 49. Rock musician Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) is 49. Rock singer Chino Moreno (Deftones) is 47. Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 43. Country singer Chuck Wicks is 41. Actress Tika Sumpter is 40. Country musician Chris Thompson (The Eli Young Band) is 40. Actress-singer Alisan Porter is 39. Christian rock musician Chris Dudley (Underoath) is 37. Rock singer Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) is 37. Actor Mark Saul is 35. Actress Dreama Walker is 34. Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (plahs) is 31. Actress Maria Lark is 23.
Thought for Today: “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” Franz Kafka, Austrian author and poet (1883-1924).
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