On this date:
In 1781, Capt. Jack Jouett began riding his horse some 40 miles from Louisa County, Virginia, to Charlottesville, where Gov. Thomas Jefferson and other politicians were located, to warn of approaching British troops who intended to take them prisoner.
In 1861, Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1860 election, died in Chicago of typhoid fever; he was 48.
In 1935, the French liner Normandie set a record on its maiden voyage, arriving in New York after crossing the Atlantic in just four days.
In 1948, the 200-inch reflecting Hale Telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated.
In 1962, Air France Flight 007, a U.S.-bound Boeing 707, crashed while attempting to take off from Orly Airport near Paris; all but two of the 132 people aboard were killed.
In 1965, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to “walk” in space during the flight of Gemini 4.
In 1968, pop artist Andy Warhol was shot and critically wounded at his New York film studio, known as “The Factory,” by Valerie Solanas, an actress and self-styled militant feminist who ended up serving three years in prison for assault.
In 1977, the United States and Cuba agreed to set up diplomatic interests sections in each other’s countries; Cuba also announced the immediate release of 10 Americans jailed on drug charges.
In 2008, Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination, speaking in the same St. Paul, Minnesota, arena where Republicans would be holding their national convention in September 2008.
In 2016, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali died at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 74.
In 2017, a white van slammed into pedestrians on London Bridge, killing eight people; the three attackers were shot and killed by police.
Ten years ago: New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. The Organization of American States cleared the way for Cuba’s possible return to the group by lifting a 47-year ban on the country. Death claimed Koko Taylor, 80, the “Queen of the Blues,” in Chicago and Las Vegas saxophonist Sam Butera, 81.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Warsaw, Poland, at the start of a three-country swing, pledging to boost U.S. military deployments and exercises throughout Europe. Tens of thousands of Syrians in government-controlled cities voted to give President Bashar Assad a new seven-year mandate; the opposition and its Western allies denounced the election as a farce, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling it a “great big zero.”
One year ago: President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, stressed that Trump’s legal team would fight any effort to force Trump to testify in front of a grand jury during the special counsel’s Russia probe; Giuliani also downplayed the idea that Trump could pardon himself. Graduating seniors at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people in February received diplomas and heard from a surprise commencement speaker, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, who urged them to move forward and “don’t let anything stop you;” four families received diplomas on behalf of loved ones slain in the attack. Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire, one of the most active volcanos in Central America, erupted in fiery explosions of ash and molten rock, killing more than 100 people and leaving scores of others missing.
Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Cuba, Raul Castro, is 88. Actress Irma P. Hall is 84. Author Larry McMurtry is 83. Rock singer Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) is 80. World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin is 74. Actress Penelope Wilton is 73. Singer Eddie Holman is 73. Actor Tristan Rogers is 73. Musician Too Slim (Riders in the Sky) is 71. Singer Suzi Quatro is 69. Singer Deneice Williams is 69. Singer Dan Hill is 65. Actress Suzie Plakson is 61. Actor Scott Valentine is 61. Rock musician Kerry King (Slayer) is 55. Actor James Purefoy is 55. Rock singer-musician Mike Gordon is 54. TV host Anderson Cooper is 52. Country singer Jamie O’Neal is 51. Writer-director Tate Taylor is 40. Singers Gabriel and Ariel Hernandez (No Mercy) are 48. Actor Vik Sahay is 48. Rhythm and blues singer Lyfe Jennings is 46. Actress Arianne Zucker is 45. Actress Nikki M. James is 38. Tennis player Rafael Nadal is 33. Actor Josh Segarra is 33. Actress-singer Lalaine is 32. Actor Sean Berdy is 26. Actress Anne Winters is 25.
Thought for Today: “It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it.” — Lillian Hellman, American playwright (1905-1984).