Today in History
Today is Thursday, June 3, the 154th day of 2021. There are 211 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 3, 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.
On this date:
In 1621, the Dutch West India Co. received its charter for a trade monopoly in parts of the Americas and Africa.
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 1937, Edward, The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the British throne, married Wallis Simpson in a private ceremony in Monts, France.
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 1965, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to “walk” in space during the flight of Gemini 4.
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 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 2010, 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. Emmy-winning actor Rue McClanahan, 76, died in New York.
In 2016, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali died at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 74.
Ten years ago: Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards admitted he had “done wrong” and hurt others but strongly denied breaking the law after federal prosecutors charged him with using $925,000 in under-the-table campaign contributions to hide his mistress and baby during his 2008 White House run. (After a 2012 trial in North Carolina, jurors acquitted Edwards on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and deadlocked on five other counts; prosecutors decided against retrying the case.) Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded when rebel rockets barraged his palace; he later went to Saudi Arabia for treatment. Physician-assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian died at a Michigan hospital at 83. Actor James Arness (TV: “Gunsmoke”), 88, died in Brentwood, California.
Five years ago: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was presiding over a lawsuit brought by former Trump University students, had an “absolute conflict” in handling the case because he was “of Mexican heritage.”
One year ago: Prosecutors charged three more police officers in the death of George Floyd and filed a new, tougher charge of second-degree murder against Derek Chauvin, the officer who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck. (Chauvin would be convicted on all charges.) Defense Secretary Mark Esper took issue with President Donald Trump’s threats to use the full force of the military to quell street protests. Trump’s former defense secretary, James Mattis, denounced Trump’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House. Seattle officials abruptly ended a city-wide curfew that had been in place for days amid massive demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. Enforcing a curfew, police in New York City moved in on crowds of demonstrators, at times blasting people with pepper spray. Results published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug promoted by President Donald Trump to prevent COVID-19, was no better than placebo pills in preventing illness from the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Cuba, Raul Castro, is 90. Actor Irma P. Hall is 86. Rock singer Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) is 82. World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin is 76. Actor Penelope Wilton is 75. Singer Eddie Holman is 75. Actor Tristan Rogers is 75. Musician Too Slim (Riders in the Sky) is 73. Singer Suzi Quatro is 71. Singer Deneice Williams is 71. Singer Dan Hill is 67. Actor Suzie Plakson is 63. Actor Scott Valentine is 63. Rock musician Kerry King (Slayer) is 57. Actor James Purefoy is 57. Rock singer-musician Mike Gordon is 56. TV host Anderson Cooper is 54. Country singer Jamie O’Neal is 53. Writer-director Tate Taylor is 42. Singers Gabriel and Ariel Hernandez (No Mercy) are 50. Actor Vik Sahay is 50. R&B singer Lyfe Jennings is 48. Actor Arianne Zucker is 47. Actor Nikki M. James is 40. Tennis player Rafael Nadal is 35. Actor Josh Segarra is 35. Actor-singer Lalaine is 34. Actor Sean Berdy is 28. Actor Anne Winters is 27.