Today is Monday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2014. There are 212 days left in the year.
On June 2, 1864 (New Style Calendar; May 21, 1864, Old Style), after decades of scorched-earth warfare, leaders of the Circassians, a Muslim ethnic group in the Caucasus region, surrendered in Sochi to the army of the Russian Empire, which proceeded to expel hundreds of thousands of Circassians.
On this date:
In 1863, during the Civil War, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman wrote a letter to his wife, Ellen, in which he commented, “Vox populi, vox humbug” (the voice of the people is the voice of humbug).
In 1886, President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, 21, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)
In 1897, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”
In 1924, Congress passed a measure that was then signed by President Calvin Coolidge guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territorial limits.
In 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37.
In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.
In 1966, the U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.
In 1983, half of the 46 people aboard an Air Canada DC-9 were killed after fire broke out on board, forcing the jetliner to make an emergency landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
In 1986, for the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment began.
In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. (He was executed in June 2001.)
In 1999, South Africans went to the polls in their second post-apartheid election, giving the African National Congress a decisive victory; retiring president Nelson Mandela was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki (TAH’-boh um-BEH’-kee).
Ten years ago: Three foreign aid workers and two Afghans were shot and killed in an ambush in northwestern Afghanistan in an attack claimed by resurgent Taliban militants. Software engineer Ken Jennings began his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated TV game show “Jeopardy!”
Five years ago: Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. (Roeder was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years.) Chicago police officer Anthony Abbate (ah-BAHT’-ee) was convicted of committing aggravated battery against Karolina Obrycka (ob-RY’-kah), a bartender half his size, after she’d refused to serve him more drinks; Abbate received probation.
One year ago: Egypt’s highest court ruled that the nation’s interim parliament was illegally elected, though it stopped short of dissolving the chamber immediately. Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was fined $75,000 by the NBA for using a gay slur and profanity during his news conference after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals; Hibbert also apologized for the comments.
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