On June 19, 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y.
On this date:
In 1862, Congress passed, and President Abraham Lincoln signed, a measure abolishing slavery in U.S. territories.
In 1865, Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free.
In 1910, the first-ever Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane. (The idea for the observance is credited to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd.)
In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.
In 1938, four dozen people were killed when a railroad bridge in Montana collapsed, sending a train known as the Olympian hurtling into Custer Creek.
In 1952, the celebrity-panel game show "I've Got A Secret" made its debut on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, speaking to Congress, criticized lawmakers for not acting on proposed civil rights legislation and called for passage of a single omnibus bill, the Civil Rights Act of 1963. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova returned to Earth after three days as the first woman in space.
In 1972, Hurricane Agnes, blamed for at least 122 deaths, made landfall over the Florida Panhandle.
In 1973, the rock musical "The Rocky Horror Show" premiered in London. (It was later adapted into the movie "The Rocky Horror Picture Show.")
In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure. Artificial heart recipient Murray P. Haydon died in Louisville, Ky., after 16 months on the manmade pump.
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.
In 1999, author Stephen King was seriously injured when he was struck by a van driven by Bryan Smith in North Lovell, Maine. Britain's Prince Edward married commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones in Windsor, England.
Ten years ago: The FBI put cosmetics heir Andrew Luster aboard a plane in Mexico and flew him back to California, five months after he'd been convicted in absentia of drugging and raping three women. Federal authorities said Iyman Faris, an Ohio truck driver who met Osama bin Laden and admitted plots against trains and the Brooklyn Bridge, had pleaded guilty to felony charges. (Faris was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.) The U.S. Air Force dropped manslaughter and aggravated assault charges against two fighter pilots who'd mistakenly bombed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in 2002. (One pilot was later found guilty of dereliction of duty and reprimanded.)
Five years ago: President George W. Bush surveyed the aftermath of devastating floods during a quick tour of the Midwest, assuring residents and rescuers alike that he was listening to their concerns and understood their exhaustion. Democrat Barack Obama announced he would bypass public financing for the presidential election, even though Republican John McCain was accepting it.
One year ago: Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was moved out of prison to a military hospital after the 84-year-old ousted leader reportedly suffered a stroke and his condition rapidly deteriorated. The Southern Baptist Convention voted to elect its first African-American president, the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. Actor Victor Spinetti, 82, died in London.
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