TodayInHistory

Today is Sunday, June 21, the 173rd day of 2020. There are 193 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History

On June 21, 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

On this date

In 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

In 1913, Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick became the first woman to parachute from an airplane as she jumped over Los Angeles.

In 1942, an Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.

In 1954, the American Cancer Society presented a study to the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco which found that men who regularly smoked cigarettes died at a considerably higher rate than non-smokers.

In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison, where he died in January 2018.)

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.

In 1982, a jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.

In 1997, the WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.

In 2001, a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in absentia for the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen. Death claimed actor Carroll O'Connor at age 76 and blues musician John Lee Hooker at age 80.

In 2002, one of the worst wildfires in Arizona history grew to 128,000 acres, forcing thousands of homeowners near the community of Show Low to flee.

In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated James Comey, a Bush-era Justice official, to head the FBI, succeeding Robert Mueller. The Food Network said it was dropping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

Ten years ago

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square. (Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison.)

Five years ago

Four days after it welcomed a young stranger (Dylann Roof) who sat for prayer and then opened fire, killing nine people, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina held its first worship service with themes of love and healing, plus a note of defiance. (Roof is on federal death row, the first person to be ordered executed for a federal hate crime; he received nine life sentences in exchange for a guilty plea in state court.) Jordan Spieth became the sixth player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open after Dustin Johnson three-putted from 12 feet on the final hole at Chambers Bay with a chance to win the championship himself.

One year ago

A skydiving plane became inverted and crashed shortly after takeoff from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, killing all 11 people on board; it was the deadliest civil aviation accident since 2011. Seven motorcyclists were killed when a pickup truck hauling a trailer collided with 10 motorcycles on a rural highway in New Hampshire. (The truck driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, is awaiting trial; he was indicted on 23 charges, including charges that he was under the influence of one or more drugs at the time.) The Rolling Stones launched their delayed North American tour at Chicago’s Soldier Field; 75-year-old Mick Jagger showed no sign of ill health three months after doctors said he needed medical treatment.

Today's Birthdays

Actor Bernie Kopell, 87.

Actor Monte Markham, 85.

Actress Mariette Hartley, 80.

Actress Meredith Baxter, 73.

Actor Michael Gross, 73.

Country singer Kathy Mattea, 61.

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