Today is Wednesday, June 24, the 176th day of 2020. There are 190 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 24, 1497, the first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot spotted land, probably in present-day Canada.
On this date:
In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted).
In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.
In 1947, what’s regarded as the first modern UFO sighting took place as private pilot Kenneth Arnold, an Idaho businessman, reported seeing nine silvery objects flying in a “weaving formation” near Mount Rainier in Washington.
In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift. The Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, nominated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey for president.
In 1957, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roth v. United States, ruled 6-3 that obscene materials were not protected by the First Amendment.
In 1964, AT&T inaugurated commercial “Picturephone” service between New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (the service, however, never caught on).
In 1968, “Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C., was closed down by authorities.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon concluded his summit with the visiting leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, who hailed the talks in an address on American television.
In 1975, 113 people were killed when Eastern Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727 carrying 124 people, crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1987, comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Lauderhill, Florida, at age 71.
In 1992, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama declared that he and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had “succeeded in resetting” the relationship between the former Cold War adversaries. Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia’s first woman prime minister. Apple’s iPhone 4 was released in five countries, selling a record 1.7 million units in three days despite criticism of its new antenna design. U.S. tennis player John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut of France 70-68 at Wimbledon in the longest-ever professional match: 11 hours, five minutes over three days.
Five years ago: A federal judge in Boston formally sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) to death for the 2013 terror attacks. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley became the first southern governor to use his executive power to remove Confederate banners, as four flags with secessionist symbols were taken down from a large monument to rebel soldiers outside the state capitol in Montgomery.
One year ago: The driver of a pickup truck involved in a collision in New Hampshire that left seven motorcyclists dead was charged with seven counts of negligent homicide. (A grand jury later handed up indictments on 23 charges; Volodymyr Zhukovskyy is awaiting trial.) The U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer team advanced to a quarterfinal against France by beating Spain, 2-1. (The U.S. would go on to win its fourth Women’s World Cup title.)
Today’s Birthdays: Rock singer Arthur Brown is 78. Actress Michele Lee is 78. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 77. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 76. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 75. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 73. Actor Peter Weller is 73. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 71. Actress Nancy Allen is 70. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 70. Actor Joe Penny is 64. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 63. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 61. Rhythm and blues/pop singer-songwriter Siedah (sy-EE’-dah) Garrett is 60. Actor Iain Glen is 59. Rock singer Curt Smith is 59. Actress Danielle Spencer is 55. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 53. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 50. Actress Carla Gallo is 45. Actor Amir Talai (TV: “LA to Vegas”) is 43. Actress-producer Mindy Kaling is 41. Actress Minka Kelly is 40. Actress Vanessa Ray is 39. Actor Justin Hires is 35. Actress Candice Patton is 35. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 34. Singer Solange Knowles is 34. Actor Max Ehrich is 29. Actress Beanie Feldstein is 27.