Today in History: June 17

  • Saturday, June 17, 2017 1:30am
  • Life

Today is Saturday, June 17, the 168th day of 2017. There are 197 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight: On June 17, 1972, President Richard Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex.

On this date:

In 1397, the Treaty of Kalmar created a union between the kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere (ee-SEHR’).

In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to make the trip as a passenger.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which boosted U.S. tariffs to historically high levels, prompting foreign retaliation.

In 1942, the U.S. Army began publishing Yank, the Army Weekly, featuring the debut of the cartoon character G.I. Joe.

In 1957, mob underboss Frank Scalice was shot to death at a produce market in the Bronx, New York.

In 1967, China successfully tested its first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb.

In 1987, Charles Glass, a journalist on leave from ABC News, was kidnapped in Beirut by pro-Iranian guerrillas. (Glass escaped his captors in August 1987.)

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a breakthrough arms-reduction agreement.

In 1994, after leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial, but held liable in a civil trial.)

In 2015, nine people were shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; suspect Dylann Roof was arrested the following morning. (Roof has since been convicted of federal hate crimes and sentenced to death; he later pleaded guilty to state murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.)

Ten years ago: Thirty-five people were killed in the bombing of a police academy bus in Kabul, Afghanistan; the Taliban claimed responsibility. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new government and outlawed Hamas militias. Angel Cabrera held off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a stroke to capture the U.S. Open. Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre, known as the “architect of fashion,” died in Milan at age 62.

Five years ago: Rodney King, 47, whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police sparked widespread outrage and who struggled with addiction and repeated arrests, died in Rialto, California, in an apparent accidental drowning. Fears of Greece’s imminent exit from Europe’s joint currency receded after the conservative New Democracy party came first in a critical election and pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a joint government. Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open, outlasting former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.

One year ago: President Barack Obama, his wife and their daughters traveled to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico as part of a long Father’s Day weekend that was also designed to draw attention to America’s natural wonders. Thousands of friends and fans said farewell to “The Voice” singer Christina Grimmie at services in Medford, New Jersey, a week after the 22-year-old was shot to death while signing autographs in Orlando, Florida, by a man who then killed himself.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 85. Movie director Ken Loach is 81. Actor William Lucking is 76. Singer Barry Manilow is 74. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 74. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 66. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 63. Actor Jon Gries is 60. Rock singer Jello Biafra is 59. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 59. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 56. Actor Greg Kinnear is 54. Actress Kami Cotler is 52. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 52. Actor Jason Patric is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kevin Thornton is 48. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 47. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 46. Tennis player Venus Williams is 37. Actor Arthur Darvill is 35. Country singer Mickey Guyton is 34. Actor-rapper Herculeez (AKA Jamal Mixon) is 34. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 30. Actor Damani Roberts is 21.

Thought for today: “The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.” — Whitney Young, American civil rights leader (1921-1971).

Associated Press

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