Today in History

Today is Wednesday, June 12, the 163rd day of 2013. There are 202 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On June 12, 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers, 37, was shot and killed outside his home in Jackson, Miss. (In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murdering Evers and sentenced to life in prison; he died in 2001.)

On this date:

In 1776, Virginia’s colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights.

In 1898, Philippine nationalists declared independence from Spain.

In 1920, the Republican national convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Warren G. Harding for president on the tenth ballot; Calvin Coolidge was nominated for vice president.

In 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In 1942, Anne Frank, a German-born Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, received a diary for her 13th birthday, less than a month before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis.

In 1956, the Flag of the United States Army was officially adopted under an executive order signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1963, one of Hollywood’s most notoriously expensive productions, “Cleopatra,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison, opened in New York.

In 1967, the Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriages.

In 1982, a crowd estimated at up to 1 million people gathered in New York’s Central Park to demand a superpower freeze on nuclear weapons.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

In 1991, Russians went to the polls to elect Boris N. Yeltsin president of their republic.

In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were slashed to death outside her Los Angeles home. (O.J. Simpson was later acquitted of the killings in a criminal trial, but was eventually held liable in a civil action.)

Ten years ago: U.S. fighter jets bombed a suspected terrorist camp and troops stormed through Sunni Muslim towns in Iraq, seeking Saddam Hussein loyalists in one of the biggest American military assaults since the war began. Israel killed seven Palestinians in its third rocket attack in 24 hours. Air France turned the oldest of its Concordes over to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Academy Award-winning actor Gregory Peck died in Los Angeles at age 87.

Five years ago: In a stinging rebuke to President George W. Bush’s anti-terror policies, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled that foreign detainees held for years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba had the right to appeal to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment without charges. Three heavily armed robbers stole two Pablo Picasso prints, “The Painter and the Model” and “Minotaur, Drinker and Women,” plus two paintings by other artists from a museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (The works were later recovered.) Taiwan and China agreed to set up permanent offices in each other’s territory for the first time in nearly six decades.

One year ago: Attorney General Eric Holder fended off Republican demands that he appoint a special counsel outside of the Justice Department to look into national security leaks. Democrat Ron Barber, who almost lost his life in the Arizona shooting rampage that wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, won a special election to succeed her. Elinor Ostrom, 78, an Indiana University political scientist who to date is the only woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize in economics, died in Bloomington, Ind.

Associated Press

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