Today in History

June 14, 1949: Albert II, a rhesus monkey, rides a V-2 rocket to an altitude of 134km (83mi), thereby becoming the first monkey in space.

Even more interestingly, President Cleveland’s surgery was performed on a yacht at sea to keep it secret: Grover Cleveland - Wikipedia

June 16, 1775

George Washington was appointed general and commander-in-chief of the Continental Army by the Continental Congress, then sitting in Philadelphia, Pa. He took the job, protesting that he was unequal to the challenges before him, after nomination by John Adams, his future Vice President and his successor as President in 1797.

June 15, 1878: Eadweard Muybridge takes a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it runs; the study becomes the basis of motion pictures.

June 15, 1944 Saskatchewan elects the first socialist government in North America. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) wins 47 seats in the 52 seat Legislative Assembly.

June 16, 1858: Abraham Lincoln delivers his “House Divided” speech in Springfield, Illinois.

June 16, 1883: The Victorian Hall disaster in Sunderland, England causes the death of 183, mostly children. An offer of free toys for the kids led to a stampede in the crowded theater.

June 17, 1944 Iceland declares independence from Denmark

June 17, 1994: Following a televised low-speed highway chase, O.J. Simpson is arrested for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

June 18, 1948: Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

June 19, 1865

Public announcement of General Order No. 3 by U.S. Army Gen. Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Galveston and all of Texas at the end of the Civil War. Happy Juneteenth!

June 19, 1964: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved, after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

June 20, 1942: Kazimierz Piechowski and three others, dressed as members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, steal an SS staff car and escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

June 22, 1969: The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

*June 23, 1611 : The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again.

[This was a Jeopardy! clue in yesterday’s game.]

June 24, 1509: Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are crowned King and Queen of England.

June 24, 1374: A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion.

June 25, 1906: Renowned architect Stanford White is murdered by millionaire Harry K. Thaw at Madison Square Garden during a performance of Mam’zelle Champagne. The sordid details of the lives of these rich and famous men would lead to what was then dubbed “The Trial of the Century.”

“Please, Mr. Custer … I don’t want to go!”

June 25, 1876 –
Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer along with five companies of his 7th Cavalry Regiment are wiped out in the Battle of the Little Bighorn (a/k/a the Battle of the Greasy Grass) by a force of Lakota Sioux, estimated to number nearly 2000 warriors and led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. 268 men (including all 210 men under Custer’s direct command) died, while Sioux losses are believed to have been around 50.

While it is often erroneously claimed that Custer’s entire 7th Cavalry was lost, that was not the case. He had split the regiment into three battalions, keeping five companies under his own direct command while assigning three companies to Major Marcus Reno and an additional three companies to Captain Frederick Benteen. These other two elements also came under attack but were able to establish defensive positions and survived, but were prevented from providing any support or relief to Custer.

The only living thing found on the “last stand” battlefield was one officer’s badly wounded horse, named ‘Comanche’, which managed to survive. For many years afterward ‘Comanche’ appeared in 7th Cavalry parades, saddled but riderless.


June 25, 1978: The rainbow flag representing gay pride is flown for the first time during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.

June 26, 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.