Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

Today is Saturday, June 9, the 160th day of 2018. There are 205 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 9, A.D. 68, Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide, ending a 13-year reign.

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On this date:

In 1588, construction began on the present-day Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, with the laying of the first stone; the structure was completed in 1591.

In 1732, James Oglethorpe received a charter from Britain’s King George II to found the colony of Georgia.

In 1870, author Charles Dickens died in Gad’s Hill Place, England.

In 1934, the first Walt Disney animated cartoon featuring Donald Duck, “The Wise Little Hen,” was released.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943, which reintroduced federal income tax withholding from paychecks.

In 1953, 94 people died when a tornado struck Worcester (WU’-stur), Massachusetts.

In 1954, during the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings, Army special counsel Joseph N. Welch berated Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., asking: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

In 1969, the Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be the new chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.

In 1973, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes, becoming horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.

In 1978, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.

In 1986, the Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.

In 1993, as millions of Japanese watched on television, Crown Prince Naruhito (nah-ROOSH’-doh) wed commoner Masako Owada in an elaborate Shinto religious ceremony. The science-fiction film “Jurassic Park,” directed by Steven Spielberg, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago: Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico unveiled an IBM supercomputer named Roadrunner, a $100 million machine capable of performing 1,000 trillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise. A growing number of supermarkets and restaurants yanked three varieties of tomatoes from their shelves and dishes amid concerns about a 17-state salmonella outbreak. Ken Griffey Jr. became the sixth player in baseball history to reach 600 homers in the first inning of the Cincinnati Reds’ 9-4 victory over the Florida Marlins.

Five years ago: Risking prosecution by the U.S. government, 29-year-old intelligence analyst Edward Snowden was revealed as the source of The Guardian and The Washington Post disclosures about secret American surveillance programs. Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL’) became the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament after beating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Inbee Park birdied the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Catriona Matthew to win the rain-delayed LPGA Championship. “Kinky Boots” was named best musical at the Tony Awards; “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won best play.

One year ago: Punching back a day after his fired FBI director’s damaging testimony, President Donald Trump accused James Comey of lying to Congress and said he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about their conversations. Tennis star Venus Williams’ SUV was struck by a car at an intersection near her home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; the collision fatally injured the car’s passenger, 78-year-old Jerome Barson. Actor Adam West, TV’s “Batman,” died in Los Angeles at age 88.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Jackie Mason is 90. Media analyst Marvin Kalb is 88. Former baseball manager and player Bill Virdon is 87. Sports commentator Dick Vitale is 79. Author Letty Cottin Pogrebin is 79. Rock musician Mick Box (Uriah Heep) is 71. Retired MLB All-Star Dave Parker is 67. Film composer James Newton Howard is 67. Mystery author Patricia Cornwell is 62. Actor Michael J. Fox is 57. Writer-producer Aaron Sorkin is 57. Actor Johnny Depp is 55. Actress Gloria Reuben is 54. Gospel singer-actress Tamela Mann is 52. Rock musician Dean Felber (Hootie & the Blowfish) is 51. Rock musician Dean Dinning is 51. Musician Ed Simons is 48. Actress Keesha Sharp is 45. Country musician Shade Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 44. Bluegrass singer-musician Jamie Dailey (Dailey & Vincent) is 43. Actress Michaela Conlin is 40. Actress Natalie Portman is 37. Actress Mae Whitman is 30. Actor Lucien Laviscount is 26.