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Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 22, the 173rd day of 2021. There are 192 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor Prunella Scales (TV: “Fawlty Towers”) is 89. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, is 88. Singer-actor Kris Kristofferson is 85. Movie director John Korty is 85. Actor Michael Lerner is 80. Actor Klaus Maria Brandauer is 78. Fox News analyst Brit Hume is 78. Singer Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon) is 77. Singer Howard “Eddie” Kaylan is 74. Singer-musician Todd Rundgren is 73. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, is 72. Actor Meryl Streep is 72. Actor Lindsay Wagner is 72. Singer Alan Osmond is 72. Actor Graham Greene is 69. Pop singer Cyndi Lauper is 68. Actor Chris Lemmon is 67. Rock musician Derek Forbes is 65. Actor Tim Russ is 65. Rock musician Garry Beers (INXS) is 64. Actor-producer-writer Bruce Campbell is 63. Rock musician Alan Anton (Cowboy Junkies) is 62. Actor Tracy Pollan is 61. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is 61. Rock singer-musician Jimmy Somerville is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler is 59. Actor Amy Brenneman is 57. Author Dan Brown is 57. Rock singer-musician Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) is 57. Rock singer Steven Page is 51. Actor Michael Trucco is 51. Actor Mary Lynn Rajskub is 50. TV personality Carson Daly is 48. Actor Donald Faison is 47. Actor-comedian Mike O’Brien (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 45. Pop singer Dinah Jane (Fifth Harmony) is 24.

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In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers aboard the Discovery.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for a second time as Emperor of the French.

In 1870, the United States Department of Justice was created.

In 1937, Joe Louis began his reign as world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jim Braddock in the eighth round of their fight in Chicago. (A year later on this date, Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium.)

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In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

In 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive invasion of the Soviet Union.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the “GI Bill of Rights.”

In 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory.

In 1969, singer-actor Judy Garland died in London at age 47.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that lowered the minimum voting age to 18.

In 1977, John N. Mitchell became the first former US Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. (He was released 19 months later.)

In 1981, Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty to killing rock star John Lennon. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr was deposed as president of Iran.

In 1992, the US Supreme Court, in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, unanimously ruled that “hate crime” laws that banned cross burning and similar expressions of racial bias violated free-speech rights.

In 2011, President Barack Obama announced in a White House address that he would pull home 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by the following summer. James “Whitey” Bulger, the longtime fugitive Boston crime boss and fixture on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif.

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In 2016, rebellious Democrats launched a 25-hour round-the-clock sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on gun-control bills, forcing exasperated Republicans to recess while cutting off cameras showing the protest. Dennis Hastert arrived at a Minnesota prison to serve his 15-month sentence in a hush-money case involving revelations that the former House speaker had sexually abused at least four boys when he coached wrestling at an Illinois high school. Chicago’s Patrick Kane won the Hart Trophy, becoming the first player born and trained in the US to be named the NHL’s most valuable player.

In 2020, mourners filed through Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church for a public viewing of Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who’d been fatally shot in the back by a white police officer after a struggle. Protesters tried to pull down a statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House before being dispersed by police. President Donald Trump said the United States had done “too good a job” on testing for cases of COVID-19 and that it had more cases than other countries because it did more testing. Trump opened a new front in his fight against mail-in voting, making unsubstantiated assertions that foreign countries would print millions of bogus ballots to rig the results. Joel Schumacher, director of the Brat Pack film “St. Elmo’s Fire” and two Batman movies, died in New York at the age of 80 after a yearlong battle with cancer.

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