Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, June 17, the 169th day of 2016. There are 197 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 17, 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.

On this date:

In 1789, during the French Revolution, the Third Estate declared itself a national assembly, and undertook to frame a constitution. (This gathering gave rise to the political terms “left wing” and “right wing,” with deputies representing commoners sitting to the left of the assembly president, and nobles sitting to the right.)

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 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.

In 1944, the Republic of Iceland was established.

In 1953, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, originally set for the next day, the couple’s 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death June 19.)

In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced the retirement of Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was succeeded by William Rehnquist. Singer Kate Smith died in Raleigh, North Carolina, at age 79.

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.)

Ten years ago: Officials in Chechnya reported police had killed rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev by acting on a tip from within his network.

Five years ago: The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries. A Saudi woman defiantly drove through Riyadh while others brazenly cruised by police patrols in the first forays of a challenge to Saudi Arabia’s male-only driving rules. Rory McIlroy became the first player in the 111-year history of the U.S. Open to reach 13-under par.

One year ago: Nine people were shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; a suspect, Dylann Roof, was arrested the following morning. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee the U.S. would fall way short of meeting its goal of training 24,000 Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State militants by the fall.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 84. Actor William Lucking is 75. Singer Barry Manilow is 73. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 73. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 65. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 62. Actor Jon Gries (gryz) is 59. Rock singer Jello Biafra is 58. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 58. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 55. Actor Greg Kinnear is 53. Actress Kami Cotler is 51. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 51. Actor Jason Patric is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kevin Thornton is 47. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 46. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 45. Tennis player Venus Williams is 36. Country singer Mickey Guyton is 33. Actor-rapper Herculeez (AKA Jamal Mixon) is 33. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 29. Actor Damani Roberts is 20.

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