Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, June 19, the 170th day of 2015. There are 195 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 19, 1865, Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free, an event celebrated to this day as “Juneteenth.”

On this date:

In 1764, Jose Gervasio Artigas, considered the father of Uruguayan independence, was born in Montevideo.

In 1864, during the Civil War, the Confederate sloop-of-war CSS Alabama was sunk by the USS Kearsarge (also a sloop-of-war) off Cherbourg, France.

In 1910, the first-ever Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington. (The idea for the observance is credited to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd.)

In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

In 1944, during World War II, the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea began, resulting in a decisive victory for the Americans over the Japanese.

In 1945, millions of New Yorkers turned out to cheer Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was honored with a parade.

In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the U.S. Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes, blamed for at least 122 deaths, made landfall over the Florida Panhandle.

In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois; the killing has never been solved.

In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure. Artificial heart recipient Murray P. Haydon died in Louisville, Kentucky, after 16 months on the manmade pump.

In 1999, author Stephen King was seriously injured when he was struck by a van driven by Bryan Smith in North Lovell, Maine. Britain’s Prince Edward married commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones (rees johnz) in Windsor, England.

Ten years ago: Fighting raged across southern Afghanistan as the U.S. military pounded suspected Taliban positions with airstrikes. Michael Campbell answered every challenge Tiger Woods threw his way for a two-shot victory in the U.S. Open. Fourteen Formula One drivers refused to participate in the United States Grand Prix because of unresolved concerns over the safety of their Michelin tires. (The race was won by Michael Schumacher, one of six drivers who raced using Bridgestone tires.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to pin blame on Republicans for making life harder for the unemployed and for those who could lose their jobs without new federal intervention. Former NBA player Manute Bol, 47, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, after returning from a humanitarian trip to his birth country of Sudan.

One year ago: President Barack Obama announced he was dispatching 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq to help quell a rising insurgency. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California won election as House majority leader as Republicans shuffled their leadership in the wake of Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia. Gerry Goffin, 75, a prolific and multi-dimensional lyricist who with his then-wife and songwriter partner Carole King wrote such hits as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” ”(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” ”Up On The Roof,” and “The Loco-Motion,” died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Pop singer Tommy DeVito (The Four Seasons) is 87. Actress Gena (JEH’-nuh) Rowlands is 85. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 75. Singer Spanky McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 73. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 70. Author Salman Rushdie is 68. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 67. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 65. Musician Larry Dunn is 62. Actress Kathleen Turner is 61. Country singer Doug Stone is 59. Singer Mark DeBarge is 56. Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 53. Actor Andy Lauer is 52. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 51. Actor Samuel West is 49. Actress Mia Sara is 48. TV personality Lara Spencer is 46. Rock musician Brian “Head” Welch is 45. Actor Jean Dujardin is 43. Actress Robin Tunney is 43. Actor Bumper Robinson is 41. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 40. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (AY’-veht) (The Avett Brothers) is 39. Actor Ryan Hurst is 39. Actress Zoe Saldana is 37. Actress Lauren Lee Smith is 35. Rapper Macklemore (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) is 32. Actor Paul Dano is 31. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti is 26. Actor Atticus Shaffer is 17.

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