On June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on “D-Day,” beginning the liberation of German-occupied western Europe during World War II.
On this date:
In 1799, American politician and orator Patrick Henry died at Red Hill Plantation in Virginia.
In 1844, the Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London.
In 1912, the greatest volcanic eruption of the 20th century took place as Novarupta in Alaska began a series of explosive episodes over a 60-hour period.
In 1925, Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corp.
In 1934, the Securities and Exchange Commission was established.
In 1939, the first Little League game was played as Lundy Lumber defeated Lycoming Dairy 23-8 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
In 1955, the U.S. Post Office introduced regular certified mail service.
In 1966, black activist James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked along a Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
In 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, a day after he was shot by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.
In 1978, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, a primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
In 1984, government forces in India stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar in an effort to crush Sikh extremists; at least 1,000 Sikhs and 200 soldiers were killed.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton joined leaders from America's World War II allies to mark the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. A China Northwest Airlines passenger jet crashed near Xian, killing all 160 people on board.
Ten years ago: World leaders, including President George W. Bush and French President Jacques Chirac, put aside their differences to commemorate the D-Day invasion that broke Nazi Germany's grip on continental Europe. “Avenue Q” won best musical at the Tony Awards, while “I Am My Own Wife” was named best play; Phylicia Rashad, who starred in a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” became the first black actress to win a Tony for a leading dramatic role. Unseeded Gaston Gaudio upset Guillermo Coria 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6 to win the French Open.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama visited the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in France to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Summer Bird won the Belmont Stakes, rallying past Mine That Bird to spoil jockey Calvin Borel's attempt at winning all three legs of the Triple Crown. Svetlana Kuznetsova beat top-ranked Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Russian final at the French Open.
One year ago: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper moved to tamp down a public uproar spurred by the disclosure of secret surveillance programs involving phone and Internet records, declassifying key details about one of the programs while insisting the efforts were legal, limited in scope and necessary to detect terrorist threats. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila Putina, announced they were divorcing after nearly 30 years of marriage. Esther Williams, 91, the swimming champion turned actress, died in Los Angeles. Longtime soap opera actress Maxine Stuart, 94, died in Beverly Hills, California.
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