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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 154th day of 2020. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On June 2, 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37.

On this date:

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, 21, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)

In 1897, Mark Twain was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.” (Twain was responding to a report in the New York Herald that he was “grievously ill” and “possibly dying.”)

In 1924, Congress passed, and President Calvin Coolidge signed, a measure guaranteeing full American citizenship for all Native Americans born within U.S. territory.

In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1962, Soviet forces opened fire on striking workers in the Russian city of Novocherkassk; a retired general in 1989 put the death toll at 22 to 24.

In 1966, U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs.

In 1976, Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles was mortally wounded by a bomb planted underneath his car; he died 11 days later. (Prosecutors believed Bolles was targeted because he had written stories that upset a liquor wholesaler.)

In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

In 1981, the Japanese video arcade game “Donkey Kong” was released by Nintendo.

In 1995, a U.S. Air Force F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb surface-to-air missile while on a NATO air patrol in northern Bosnia; the pilot, Capt. Scott F. O’Grady, was rescued six days later.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. (McVeigh was executed in June 2001.)

In 2009, Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan.

Ten years ago: Taxi driver Derrick Bird went on a murderous rampage across a tranquil part of rural England, leaving 12 dead before committing suicide.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, extending three expiring surveillance provisions of the 9/11-era USA Patriot Act.

One year ago: An out-of-control cruise ship rammed into a dock and a tourist riverboat on a busy Venice canal, injuring five and renewing demands that cruise ships be kept out of the city’s lagoon.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Kellerman is 83. Actor Ron Ely is 82. Actor Stacy Keach is 79. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 79. Actor Charles Haid is 77. Rhythm and blues singer Chubby Tavares is 76. Actor Jerry Mathers is 72. Actress Joanna Gleason is 70. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 66. Comedian Dana Carvey is 65. Actor Gary Grimes is 65. Pop musician Michael Steele is 65. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 60. Actor Liam Cunningham is 59. Actor Navid Negahban is 56. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 52. Actress Paula Cale is 50. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 49. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 48. Actor Wentworth Miller is 48. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 44. Actor Zachary Quinto is 43. Actor Dominic Cooper is 42. Actress Nikki Cox is 42. Actor Justin Long is 42. Actor Deon Richmond is 42. Actress Morena Baccarin is 41. Rhythm and blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 40. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 40. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 37. Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward is 34.

Thought for Today: “We are minor in everything but our passions.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Irish author (1899-1973).

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