Today in History
On June 17, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Abington (Pa.) School District v. Schempp, struck down, 8-1, rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.
On this date:
In 1397, the Treaty of Kalmar was signed, creating a union between the kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.
In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere.
In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to make the trip as a passenger.
In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which boosted U.S. tariffs to historically high levels, prompting foreign retaliation.
In 1933, the "Kansas City Massacre" took place outside Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., as a group of gunmen attacked law enforcement officers escorting federal prisoner Frank Nash; four of the officers were killed, along with Nash.
In 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.
In 1953, residents of East Berlin rebelled against the communist East German government, which forcefully suppressed the uprising. U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, originally set for the next day, the couple's 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death June 19.)
In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon's eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex.
In 1987, Charles Glass, a journalist on leave from ABC News, was kidnapped in Lebanon. (Glass escaped his captors in August 1987.)
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a breakthrough arms-reduction agreement.
Ten years ago: A federal appeals court ruled the government properly withheld names and other details about hundreds of foreigners who were detained in the months after the September 11 attacks. The Justice Department issued a directive banning routine racial and ethnic profiling at all 70 federal agencies with law enforcement powers. English soccer star David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid by Manchester United for a $41 million transfer fee.
Five years ago: Hundreds of same-sex couples got married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state's highest court. (However, California voters later approved Proposition 8, which restricted nuptials to a union between a man and a woman.) A truck bombing in Baghdad killed 63 people. Four British soldiers were killed by an explosive in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA title with a stunning 131-92 blowout over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6. Igor Larionov and Glenn Anderson were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame along with former linesman Ray Scapinello and junior hockey builder Ed Chynoweth. Actress-dancer Cyd Charisse died in Los Angeles at age 86.
One year ago: Rodney King, 47, whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police sparked widespread outrage and who struggled with addiction and repeated arrests, died in Rialto, Calif., in an apparent drowning. Fears of Greece's imminent exit from Europe's joint currency receded after the conservative New Democracy party came in first in a critical election and pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a joint government. Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open, outlasting former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.
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