Today in 1776, Continental Congress created a committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft a Declaration of Independence.
Today in 1919, Sir Barton became the first horse to capture the Triple Crown when he won the Belmont Stakes in New York City.
Today in 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh was presented the first Distinguished Flying Cross.
Today in 1939, England’s King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth I tasted their first hot dog at a picnic party thrown by FDR. By all accounts, they appeared to enjoy it.
Today in 1955, more than 80 people were killed and nearly 200 more were injured during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France when two of the cars collided and crashed into spectators. It was motor racing’s worst disaster.
Today in 1959, the book, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” written by D.H. Lawrence, was banned by the Postmaster General who deemed it obscene. It was later cleared.
Today in 1962, President John F. Kennedy accepted an honorary degree from Yale and gave the commencement address.
Today in 1962, three prisoners at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay staged an escape, leaving the island on a makeshift raft; they were never found or heard from again.
Today in 1963, Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolated himself at a Saigon intersection, creating one of the Vietnam War's most iconic images.
Today in 1981, the first baseball players strike in major-league history to result in regular season games being cancelled began. The strike ended July 31st of that year, but not before 713 games were cancelled and $146-million was lost in player salaries, ticket sales, broadcast and concession revenues. Between the players and the owners, players lost $4-million a week in salaries while the owners suffered a total loss of $72-million.
Today in 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, died in Morris Plains, New Jersey…she was 31.
Today in 1986, a divided Supreme Court struck down a Pennsylvania abortion law, while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
Today in 1990, the Supreme Court struck down a law that would prohibit the desecration of the American Flag.
Today in 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that people who commit "hate crimes" could be sentenced to extra punishment. The court also ruled in favor of religious groups saying that they indeed had a constitutional right to sacrifice animals during worship services.
Today in 1998, Mitsubishi of America agreed to pay $34-million – effectively ending the largest sexual harassment case filed by the U.S. government. The federal lawsuit claimed that hundreds of women at a plant in Normal, Illinois had endured groping and crude jokes from male workers.
Today in 2000, during the annual Puerto Rican Day parade, an unruly group of men doused women with water and groped them in New York's Central Park; some of the assaults were captured on home video. The New York City Police Department was widely criticized for its failures to stop or prevent the attacks – and in the end, 30 people were charged in the assaults. Of those, 18 plead guilty or were convicted, one was acquitted, and 11 had their charges dismissed. As for the police, 11 officers and three 9-1-1 operators were disciplined – with the city paying more than $500-thousand in lawsuit settlements.
Today in 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed by the U.S. federal government for his role in the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others.
Today in 2002, the television series "American Idol" debuted on FOX-TV. The show featured judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.
Today in 2004, Ronald Reagan’s funeral was held at Washington National Cathedral. He had passed away the previous June 5th after suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s for more than a decade. After lying in state for thirty-four hours in the Capitol Rotunda, a state funeral service was conducted at the Washington National Cathedral.
Today in 2009, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 swine flu to be a global pandemic, the first such incident in over forty years.
Today in 2017, Rafael Nadal [[rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL]] won his record 10th French Open title by dominating 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
Today in 2017, supporters of LGBT rights marched and rallied in the nation’s capital and dozens of other U.S. cities, celebrating gains but angry over threats posed by the administration of President Donald Trump.
Today in 2018, Net neutrality was officially repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in the US.
Today in 2018, in a landmark ruling, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an El Salvadoran woman's asylum request based on domestic abuse.