Valdosta Daily Times

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June 20, 2014

Today in History for Friday, June 20, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On June 20, 1944, during World War II, Japanese naval forces retreated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea after suffering heavy losses to the victorious American fleet.

On this date

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.

In 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts, found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.

In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.

In 1947, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills, California, mansion of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.

In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court.)

In 1974, the film noir “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, was released by Paramount Pictures.

Ten years ago

The Arab satellite TV network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape from al-Qaida-linked militants showing a South Korean hostage begging for his life and pleading with his government to withdraw troops from Iraq. (The hostage, Kim Sun-il, was beheaded two days later.) Retief Goosen captured his second U.S. Open in four years at Shinnecock Hills.

Five years ago

Iranian music student Neda Agha Soltan, 27, was gunned down during election protests in Tehran; her dying moments were caught on video and circulated widely on the Internet, making her name a rallying cry for the opposition and sparking international outrage.

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