Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, June 24, the 175th day of 2015. There are 190 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 24, 1975, 113 people were killed when Eastern Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727 carrying 124 people, crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

On this date:

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.

In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.

In 1880, “O Canada,” the future Canadian national anthem, was first performed in Quebec City.

In 1908, Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 71.

In 1939, the Southeast Asian country Siam changed its name to Thailand. (It went back to being Siam in 1945, then became Thailand once again in 1949.)

In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.

In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.

In 1964, AT&T inaugurated commercial “Picturephone” service between New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (the service, however, never caught on).

In 1968, “Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington D.C., was closed down by authorities.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1985, a federal judge in New York found former Wall Street Journal reporter R. Foster Winans guilty of illegally using his position at the paper in a get-rich-quick insider-trading scheme. (Winans served eight months in federal prison.)

In 1990, Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan was virtually drowned out by jeering demonstrators as he addressed the Sixth International AIDS conference in San Francisco.

Ten years ago: Despite growing anxiety about the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush refused to set a timetable for bringing home U.S. troops and declared, “I’m not giving up on the mission. We’re doing the right thing.” Officials said tests confirmed the second case of mad cow disease in the United States. Ventriloquist Paul Winchell died in Los Angeles at age 82.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama declared that he and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had “succeeded in resetting” the relationship between the former Cold War adversaries. Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia’s first woman prime minister. Apple’s iPhone 4 was released in five countries, selling a record 1.7 million units in three days despite criticism of its new antenna design. U.S. tennis player John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut of France 70-68 at Wimbledon in the longest-ever professional match: 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days.

One year ago: Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, a mainstream conservative with more than 40 years’ congressional experience, narrowly turned back a primary challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a tea party favorite. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won his second Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player at the league’s postseason awards ceremony. Character actor Eli Wallach, 98, died in New York.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Al Molinaro is 96. Comedian Jack Carter is 93. Rock singer Arthur Brown is 73. Actress Michele Lee is 73. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 72. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 71. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 70. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 68. Actor Peter Weller is 68. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 66. Actress Nancy Allen is 65. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 65. Actor Joe Penny is 59. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 58. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 56. Actor Iain Glen is 54. Rock singer Curt Smith is 54. Actress Danielle Spencer is 50. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 48. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 45. Actress Carla Gallo is 40. Actress-producer Mindy Kaling is 36. Actress Minka Kelly is 35. Actress Candice Patton is 30. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 29. Singer Solange Knowles is 29.

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