This day in history

Today is Monday, June 17, the 168th day of 2019. There are 197 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Movie director Ken Loach is 83. Actor William Lucking is 78. Singer Barry Manilow is 76. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is 76. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 68. Director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 61. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 59. Actor Greg Kinnear is 56. Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 54. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 49. Tennis player Venus Williams is 39. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 32.

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake arrived in present-day Northern California, naming it New Albion and claiming English sovereignty.


In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for British army, who suffered heavy losses.

In 1953, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, set for the next day, the couple’s 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death June 19.)

In 1963, the Supreme Court, in Abington (Pa.) School District v. Schempp, struck down, 8-1, rules requiring the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or reading of biblical verses in public schools.

In 1967, China successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1972, President Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex.

In 1994, after leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was acquitted in a criminal trial but held liable in a civil trial.)

In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states can’t demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval.

In 2015, nine people were shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C.; suspect Dylann Roof was arrested the following morning. (Roof has been convicted of federal hate crimes and sentenced to death)


In 2014, the Obama administration announced that special forces had seized Ahmed Abu Khattala, described as a ‘‘key leader’’ in the deadly Benghazi, Libya, attack, and that he was on his way to face a US trial for the fiery assault that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans. (Abu Khattala was convicted in 2017 of terrorism-related counts but acquitted of murder; he was sentenced to 22 years in prison.)