On June 21, 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Seven people were convicted of conspiracy in the case; none served more than six years in prison. Edgar Ray “Preacher” Killen, a former Ku Klux Klansman, was convicted of manslaughter on June 21, 2005, and is serving a 60-year sentence.)
On this date:
In 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.
In 1913, Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick became the first woman to parachute from an airplane as she jumped over Los Angeles.
In 1932, heavyweight Max Schmeling lost a title fight rematch in New York by decision to Jack Sharkey, prompting Schmeling's manager, Joe Jacobs, to exclaim: “We was robbed!”
In 1942, German forces led by Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erwin Rommel captured the Libyan city of Tobruk during World War II. (Following his victory, Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal; Tobruk was retaken by the Allies in November 1942.)
In 1943, Army nurse Lt. Edith Greenwood became the first woman to receive the Soldier's Medal for showing heroism during a fire at a military hospital in Yuma, Arizona.
In 1955, the David Lean movie “Summertime” starring Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi opened in New York.
In 1963, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was chosen during a conclave of his fellow cardinals to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope took the name Paul VI.
In 1964, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game, 6-0, against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium; it was the first “perfecto” in the National League since 1880.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.
In 1982, a jury in Washington, D.C., found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.
In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
Ten years ago: The SpaceShipOne rocket plane punched through Earth's atmosphere, then glided to a landing in California's Mojave Desert in the first privately financed manned spaceflight. Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned effective July 1, 2004, amid graft allegations and a federal investigation. (Rowland, who ended up serving 10 months in prison, was succeeded by Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell.)
Five years ago: Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari was among hundreds of people arrested during the Tehran government's crackdown on nationwide protests over Iran's disputed presidential election. (Bahari was released nearly four months later.) Greenland expanded its powers of self-rule on its national day, in a move many residents viewed as a step toward independence from Denmark.
One year ago: A one-page criminal complaint unsealed in federal court accused former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case. President Barack Obama nominated James Comey, a top Bush-era Justice official, to head the FBI, succeeding Robert Mueller. The Food Network said it was dropping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.
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