Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 30, 1982, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expired, having failed to receive the required number of ratifications for its adoption, despite having its seven-year deadline extended by three years.
On this date:
In 1918, labor activist and socialist Eugene V. Debs was arrested in Cleveland, charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for a speech he’d made two weeks earlier denouncing U.S. involvement in World War I. (Debs was sentenced to prison and disenfranchised for life.)
In 1921, President Warren G. Harding nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late Edward Douglass White.
In 1934, Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in Germany in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”
In 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64-20.
In 1971, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” a American musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka premiers.
In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that the government could not prevent The New York Times or The Washington Post from publishing the Pentagon Papers. A Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead of asphyxiation inside their capsule after it had returned to Earth.
In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.
In 1986, the Supreme Court, in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults (however, the nation’s highest court effectively reversed this decision in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas).
In 1994, the U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her for life for her role in the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.
In 2009, American soldier Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan, and was later confirmed to have been captured by insurgents after walking away from his post. (Bergdahl was released on May 31, 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees; he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, but was spared a prison sentence by a military judge.)
In 2013, 19 elite firefighters known as members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed battling a wildfire northwest of Phoenix after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position.
In 2016, saying it was the right thing to do, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender people would be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military, ending one of the last bans on service in the armed forces.
In 2020, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a landmark bill retiring the last state flag bearing the Confederate battle emblem. Boston’s arts commission voted unanimously to remove a statue depicting a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln’s feet.
Ten years ago: Islamist Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s first freely elected president as he was sworn in during a pair of ceremonies. An international conference in Geneva accepted a U.N.-brokered peace plan calling for creation of a transitional government in Syria, but at Russia’s insistence the compromise left the door open to Syria’s president being a part of it. Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir died at age 96.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump and South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, concluding two days of talks at the White House, showed joint resolve on North Korea despite their divergent philosophies for addressing the nuclear threat.
One year ago: Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and released him from prison, ruling that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby; the comedian had served nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence. Sharply split along party lines, the House launched a new investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, approving a special committee to probe the violent attack. TV actor Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison for manipulating women into becoming sex slaves for the spiritual leader of the cult-like group NXIVM (NEHK’-see-um).
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lea Massari is 89. Actor Nancy Dussault (doo-SOH’) is 86. Songwriter Tony Hatch is 83. Singer Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band) is 78. Actor Leonard Whiting is 72. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 71. Actor David Garrison is 70. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 69. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 66. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 63. Actor Deirdre Lovejoy is 60. Actor Rupert Graves is 59. Former boxer Mike Tyson is 56. Actor Peter Outerbridge is 56. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 53. Actor-comedian Tony Rock (TV: “Living Biblically”) is 53. Actor Brian Bloom is 52. Actor Monica Potter is 51. Actor Molly Parker is 50. Actor Rick Gonzalez is 43. Actor Tom Burke is 41. Actor Lizzy Caplan is 40. Actor Susannah Flood is 40. Rock musician James Adam Shelley (American Authors) is 39.
Country singer Cole Swindell is 39. R&B singer Fantasia is 38. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 37. Actor Sean Marquette (TV: “The Goldbergs”) is 34.