Today in History

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 1:14pm
  • Life

Today is Wednesday, June 4, the 155th day of 2014. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s highlights:

On June 4, 1944, during World War II, U-505, a German submarine, was captured by a U.S. Navy task group in the south Atlantic; it was the first such capture of an enemy vessel at sea by the U.S. Navy since the War of 1812. The U.S. Fifth Army began liberating Rome.

On this date:

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

In 1784, opera singer Elisabeth Thible became the first woman to make a nontethered flight aboard a Montgolfier hot-air balloon, over Lyon, France.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco.

In 1919, Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sent it to the states for ratification.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of more than 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In 1954, French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc signed treaties in Paris according “complete independence” to Vietnam.

In 1972, a jury in San Jose, California, acquitted radical activist Angela Davis of murder and kidnapping for her alleged connection to a deadly courthouse shootout in Marin County in 1970.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to a foreign government, specifically Israel. (He is serving a life prison term.)

In 1989, a gas explosion in the Soviet Union engulfed two passing trains, killing 575.

In 1998, a federal judge sentenced Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Ten years ago: A powerful bomb blast ripped through a crowded outdoor market in central Russia, killing at least 11 people. President George W. Bush nominated former Missouri Sen. John Danforth to be America’s ambassador to the United Nations. Muffler shop owner Marvin Heemeyer, angry after losing a zoning dispute, went on a rampage in Granby, Colorado, using a customized armor-plated bulldozer to knock down or damage nine buildings before shooting himself to death.

Five years ago: Speaking at Cairo University, President Barack Obama called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe. Actor David Carradine, 72, was found dead in a Bangkok, Thailand, hotel room.

One year ago: Already heavily criticized for targeting conservative groups, the Internal Revenue Service suffered another blow as new details emerged in a report about senior officials enjoying luxury hotel rooms, free drinks and food at a $4.1 million training conference. Ohio State University President Gordon Gee announced his retirement after he came under fire for joking about “those damn Catholics” at Notre Dame and poking fun at the academic quality of other schools. France said it had confirmed that nerve gas was used “multiple times in a localized way” in Syria. Joey Covington, 67, a former Jefferson Airplane drummer who co-wrote several of the group’s songs, died in a car crash in Palm Springs, California.

Associated Press

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