Today in History – FRIDAY June 30, 2023
Today is the 181st day of 2023. There are 184 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
The Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that the government could not prevent The New York Times or The Washington Post from publishing the Pentagon Papers. A Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead of asphyxiation inside their capsule after it had returned to Earth.
On this date:
In 1918, labor activist and socialist Eugene V. Debs was arrested in Cleveland, charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for a speech he’d made two weeks earlier denouncing U.S. involvement in World War I. (Debs was sentenced to prison and disenfranchised for life.)
In 1921, President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late Edward Douglass White.
In 1934, Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in Germany in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”
In 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64-20.
In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that the government could not prevent The New York Times or The Washington Post from publishing the Pentagon Papers. A Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead of asphyxiation inside their capsule after it had returned to Earth.
In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.
In 1982, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expired, having failed to receive the required number of ratifications for its adoption, despite having its seven-year deadline extended by three years.
In 1986, the Supreme Court, in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults (however, the nation’s highest court effectively reversed this decision in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas).
In 1994, the U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her for life for her role in the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.
In 2009, American soldier Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan, and was later confirmed to have been captured by insurgents after walking away from his post. (Bergdahl was released on May 31, 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees; he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, but was spared a prison sentence by a military judge.)
In 2016, saying it was the right thing to do, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender people would be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military, ending one of the last bans on service in the armed forces.
In 2020, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a landmark bill retiring the last state flag bearing the Confederate battle emblem. Boston’s arts commission voted unanimously to remove a statue depicting a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln’s feet.
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