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June 16, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, June 16, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On June 16, 1963, the world’s first female space traveler, Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union aboard Vostok 6; she spent 71 hours in flight, circling the Earth 48 times before returning safely.

On this date

In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in Scotland. (She escaped almost a year later but ended up imprisoned again.)

In 1858, accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

In 1959, actor George Reeves, TV’s “Superman,” was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in the bedroom of his Beverly Hills, Calif., home; he was 45.

In 1987, a jury in New York acquitted Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the subway shooting of four youths he said were going to rob him; however, Goetz was convicted of illegal weapons possession. (In 1996, a civil jury ordered Goetz to pay $43 million to one of the persons he’d shot.)

Ten years ago

Twelve people sent to prison as the result of a Tulia, Texas, drug bust were released on bail by a judge who said they’d been railroaded by an undercover agent. (A total of 35 people were later pardoned by Texas Gov. Rick Perry; 45 of the 46 who were arrested shared a $6 million settlement in a civil rights lawsuit.) A divided U.S. Supreme Court said, 6-3, the government can force medication on mentally ill criminal defendants only in the rarest of circumstances.

Five years ago

Former Vice President Al Gore announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for president. A California Supreme Court ruling that overturned the state’s bans on same-sex marriage became final at 5:01 p.m. Pacific time. Tiger Woods, playing on a throbbing injured knee, won an epic U.S. Open after a 19-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate.

One year ago

Egyptians began going to the polls for a two-day runoff to choose their first freely elected president; Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi emerged the winner. China launched its most ambitious space mission to date, carrying its first female astronaut, Liu Yang, and two male colleagues on a 13-day mission to an orbiting module that ended safely.

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