Today in History


Today is Thursday, June 1, the 152nd day of 2023. There are 213 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 1, 1813, the mortally wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, Capt. James Lawrence, gave the order, “Don’t give up the ship” during a losing battle with the British frigate HMS Shannon in the War of 1812.

On this date:

In 1533, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, was crowned as Queen Consort of England.

In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state.

In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state.

In 1812, President James Madison, in a message to Congress, recounted what he called Britain’s “series of acts hostile to the United States as an independent and neutral nation”; Congress ended up declaring war.

In 1916, Louis Brandeis took his seat as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Jewish American to serve on the nation’s highest bench.

In 1943, a civilian flight from Portugal to England was shot down by Germany during World War II, killing all 17 people aboard, including actor Leslie Howard.

In 1957, Don Bowden, a student at the University of California at Berkeley, became the first American to break the four-minute mile during a meet in Stockton, California, in a time of 3:58.7.

In 1958, Charles de Gaulle became premier of France, marking the beginning of the end of the Fourth Republic.

In 1967, the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released.

In 1980, Cable News Network made its debut.

In 2009, General Motors filed for Chapter 11, becoming the largest U.S. industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection.

In 2020, police violently broke up a peaceful and legal protest by thousands of people in Lafayette Park across from the White House, using chemical agents, clubs and punches to send protesters fleeing; the protesters had gathered following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week earlier. President Donald Trump, after declaring himself “the president of law and order” and threatening to deploy the U.S. military in a Rose Garden speech, then walked across the empty park to be photographed holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Church, which had been damaged a night earlier.

Ten years ago: In a scene reminiscent of the Arab Spring, thousands of people flooded Istanbul’s main square after a crackdown on an anti-government protest turned city streets into a battlefield clouded by tear gas. The death toll rose to nine a day after a tornado struck Oklahoma City. A nationwide smoking ban went into effect for most public spaces in Russia. Grant Hill, a seven-time NBA All Star who had his best years with the Detroit Pistons, announced his retirement.

Five years ago: After a week of hard-nosed negotiation and diplomatic gamesmanship, President Donald Trump announced that the nuclear-weapons summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that he had earlier canceled would take place on June 12th in Singapore. Trump directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open, calling it a matter of national and economic security. An Ecuadorean immigrant, Pablo Villavicencio, was held for deportation after delivering pizza to an Army installation in Brooklyn, New York; a judge later ordered him freed while he continued his efforts to gain legal status. Health officials said four more deaths had been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted lettuce, bringing the total to five.

One year ago: The U.S. unveiled a $700 million package of sophisticated weapons for Ukraine, in an urgent effort to prevent Russia from seizing the final swaths of land in the Donbas region. A Virginia jury ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, vindicating his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by Heard and awarding him $15 million. But jurors also found in favor of Heard, who said she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer when he called her abuse allegations a hoax, giving her $2 million. A federal judge found that John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was “no longer a danger to himself or others” and should be freed. (Hinckley would be released two weeks later.)

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Pat Boone is 89. Actor Morgan Freeman is 86. Opera singer Frederica von Stade is 78. Actor Brian Cox is 77. Rock musician Ronnie Wood is 76. Actor Jonathan Pryce is 76. Actor Gemma Craven is 73. Actor John M. Jackson (TV: “JAG,” “NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 73. Blues-rock musician Tom Principato is 71. Country singer Ronnie Dunn is 70. Actor Lisa Hartman Black is 67. Actor Tom Irwin is 67. Singer-musician Alan Wilder is 64. Rock musician Simon Gallup (The Cure) is 63. Actor-comedian Mark Curry is 62. Actor-singer Jason Donovan is 55. Actor Teri Polo is 54. Basketball player-turned-coach Tony Bennett is 54. Actor Rick Gomez is 51. Model-actor Heidi Klum is 50. Singer Alanis Morissette is 49. Actor Sarah Wayne Callies is 46. Comedian Link Neal (Rhett & Link) is 45. TV personality Damien Fahey is 43. Americana singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile is 42. Actor Johnny Pemberton is 42. Actor-writer Amy Schumer is 42. Former tennis player Justine Henin is 41. Actor Taylor Handley is 39. Actor Zazie Beetz is 32. Actor Willow Shields is 23.

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