Today in History
Today is Wednesday, June 7, the 158th day of 2023. There are 207 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, struck down, 7-2, a Connecticut law used to prosecute a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Haven for providing contraceptives to married couples.
On this date:
In 1712, Pennsylvania’s colonial assembly voted to ban the further importation of enslaved people.
In 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a resolution to the Continental Congress stating “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”
In 1848, French painter and sculptor Paul Gauguin was born in Paris.
In 1892, Homer Plessy, a “Creole of color,” was arrested for refusing to leave a whites-only car of the East Louisiana Railroad. (Ruling on his case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept it renounced in 1954.)
In 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.
In 1942, the Battle of Midway ended in a decisive victory for American naval forces over Imperial Japan, marking a turning point in the Pacific War.
In 1967, author-critic Dorothy Parker, famed for her caustic wit, died in New York at age 73.
In 1981, Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons.
In 1993, Ground was broken for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
In 1998, in a crime that shocked the nation, James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old Black man, was hooked by a chain to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. (Two white men were later sentenced to death for the crime.)
In 2006, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed by a U.S. airstrike on his safe house.
In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump claimed their parties’ presidential nominations following contests in New Jersey, California, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama vigorously defended the government’s just-disclosed collection of massive amounts of information from phone and Internet records as a necessary defense against terrorism, and assured Americans, “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Obama opened a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Rancho Mirage, California. A gunman went on a chaotic rampage, killing his father and brother and three other people before being fatally shot by police at Santa Monica College in California. Former French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy, 84, died in suburban Paris. Death row inmate Richard Ramirez, 53, the serial killer known as California’s “Night Stalker,” died in a hospital.
Five years ago: The Trump administration said in a court filing that it would no longer defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, including provisions that guarantee access to health insurance regardless of any medical conditions; it was a rare departure from the Justice Department’s practice of defending federal laws in court. In advance of a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump declared that “attitude” is more important than preparation.” A government report found that suicide rates inched up in nearly every U.S. state from 1999 through 2016. The Washington Capitals claimed their first NHL title with a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas.
One year ago: Russia claimed to have nearly taken full control of one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s Donbas, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of capturing the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories. Actor Matthew McConaughey called on Congress to “reach a higher ground” and pass gun control legislation two weeks after 19 students and two teachers were killed in a shooting in his hometown of Uvalde. Federal investigators said Goodyear knew that some of its recreational vehicle tires could fail and cause severe crashes, yet it failed to recall them for as long as 20 years. Jim Seals, who teamed with fellow musician “Dash” Crofts on such 1970s soft-rock hits as “Summer Breeze,” died at age 80.
Movie director James Ivory is 95. Actor Virginia McKenna is 92. Singer Tom Jones is 83. Poet Nikki Giovanni is 80. Former talk show host Jenny Jones is 77. Americana singer-songwriter Willie Nile is 75. Actor Anne Twomey is 72. Actor Liam Neeson is 71. Actor Colleen Camp is 70. Author Louise Erdrich is 69. Actor William Forsythe is 68. Record producer L.A. Reid is 67. Latin pop singer Juan Luis Guerra is 66. Former Vice President Mike Pence is 64. Rock singer-musician Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes) is 60. Rock musician Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 57. Rock musician Dave Navarro is 56. Actor Helen Baxendale is 53. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., is 51. Actor Karl Urban is 51. TV personality Bear Grylls is 49. Rock musician Eric Johnson (The Shins) is 47. Actor Adrienne Frantz is 45. Actor-comedian Bill Hader is 45. Actor Anna Torv is 44. Actor Larisa Oleynik is 42. Former tennis player Anna Kournikova is 42. Actor Michael Cera is 35. Actor Shelley Buckner is 34. Rapper Iggy Azalea is 33. Actor-model Emily Ratajkowski is 32. Rapper Fetty Wap is 32.