Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

June 8, 2014

Today in History for Saturday, June 7, 2014

--- — Highlight in History

On June 7, 1939, King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived at Niagara Falls, New York, from Canada on the first visit to the United States by a reigning British monarch.

On this date

In 1654, King Louis XIV, age 15, was crowned in Rheims, 11 years after the start of his reign.

In 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first began to explore present-day Kentucky.

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 1892, Homer Plessy, a “Creole of color,” was fined 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, which it overturned 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 World War II Battle of Midway ended in a decisive victory for American forces over the Imperial Japanese.

In 1954, British mathematician, computer pioneer and code breaker Alan Turing died at age 41, an apparent suicide. (Turing, convicted in 1952 of “gross indecency” for a homosexual relationship, was posthumously pardoned in 2013.)

In 1967, the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened in San Francisco.

In 1972, the musical “Grease” opened on Broadway, having already been performed in lower Manhattan.

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 1984, the occult comedy “Ghostbusters,” released by Columbia Pictures, had its world premiere in Westwood, California.

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; one of them, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed in 2011. A third defendant received life with the possibility of parole.)

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