Today in History – 6/3/2020
Today is Wednesday, June 3, the 155th day of 2020. There are 211 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
• On June 3, 1965, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to “walk” in space during the flight of Gemini 4.
On this date:
• In 1861, Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1860 election, died in Chicago of typhoid fever; he was 48.
• In 1924, author Franz Kafka, 40, died near Vienna.
• In 1935, the French liner Normandie set a record on its maiden voyage, arriving in New York after crossing the Atlantic in just four days.
• In 1943, Los Angeles saw the beginning of its “Zoot Suit Riots” as white servicemen clashed with young Latinos wearing distinctive-looking zoot suits; the violence finally ended when military officials declared the city off limits to enlisted personnel.
• In 1948, the 200-inch reflecting Hale Telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated.
• In 1962, Air France Flight 007, a U.S.-bound Boeing 707, crashed while attempting to take off from Orly Airport near Paris; all but two of the 132 people aboard were killed.
• In 1963, Pope John XXIII died at age 81; he was succeeded by Pope Paul VI.
• In 1977, the United States and Cuba agreed to set up diplomatic interests sections in each other’s countries; Cuba also announced the immediate release of 10 Americans jailed on drug charges.
• In 1989, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died. On the same day, Chinese army troops began their sweep of Beijing to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations.
• In 2004, President George W. Bush announced the resignation of CIA Director George Tenet amid a controversy over intelligence lapses about suspected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the September 11 terrorist attacks.
• In 2008, Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination, speaking in the same St. Paul, Minnesota, arena where Republicans would be holding their national convention in September 2008.
• In 2016, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali died at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 74.
Ten years ago: BP sliced off a pipe with giant shears to make way for a cap in the latest bid to curtail the worst oil spill in U.S. history. During an Oval Office face-off over illegal immigration, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told President Barack Obama Americans “want our border secured” while Obama underscored his objections over the tough immigration law Brewer had signed, calling it discriminatory. Joran van der Sloot, long suspected in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was arrested in Chile following the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Peru. (Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for Flores’ murder.) Emmy-winning actress Rue McClanahan, 76, died in New York.
Five years ago: The Pentagon disclosed that it had inadvertently shipped possibly live anthrax to at least 51 laboratories across the U.S. and in three foreign countries over the previous decade, but said that public health was not at risk.
One year ago: Launching a mostly ceremonial European trip, President Donald Trump had lunch with Queen Elizabeth and tea with Prince Charles ahead of a grand state dinner at Buckingham Palace; Trump arrived in Britain shortly after tweeting that London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a frequent Trump critic, was a “stone cold loser” who “should focus on crime in London, not me.” Viewers of “Jeopardy!” saw James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler and trivia whiz, end a 32-game winning streak by losing for the first time. Security forces in Sudan launched a violent crackdown against pro-democracy activists; protesters said at least 35 people were killed as the military cleared the main sit-in camp in the capital, Khartoum. California Gov. Gavin Newsom overruled a parole board’s decision to free Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten; it was the third time a governor had stopped the release of the youngest member of Manson’s murderous cult.
Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Cuba, Raul Castro, is 89. Actress Irma P. Hall is 85. Author Larry McMurtry is 84. Rock singer Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) is 81. World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin is 75. Actress Penelope Wilton is 74. Singer Eddie Holman is 74. Actor Tristan Rogers is 74. Musician Too Slim (Riders in the Sky) is 72. Singer Suzi Quatro is 70. Singer Deneice Williams is 70. Singer Dan Hill is 66. Actress Suzie Plakson is 62. Actor Scott Valentine is 62. Rock musician Kerry King (Slayer) is 56. Actor James Purefoy is 56. Rock singer-musician Mike Gordon is 55. TV host Anderson Cooper is 53. Country singer Jamie O’Neal is 52. Writer-director Tate Taylor is 41. Singers Gabriel and Ariel Hernandez (No Mercy) are 49. Actor Vik Sahay is 49. Rhythm and blues singer Lyfe Jennings is 47. Actress Arianne Zucker is 46. Actress Nikki M. James is 39. Tennis player Rafael Nadal is 34.
Thought for Today: “Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty.” — Jefferson Davis, Confederate president (1808-1889).