This day in history

Today is Wednesday, June 19, the 170th day of 2019. There are 195 days left in the year.

Birthdays: The Four Seasons singer Tommy DeVito is 91. Actress Gena Rowlands is 89. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 79. Singer Elaine ‘‘Spanky’’ McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 77. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is 74. Author Salman Rushdie is 72. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 71. Heart singer Ann Wilson is 69. Actress Kathleen Turner is 65. Singer Mark DeBarge is 60. Dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 57. Actress Mia Sara is 52. Actress Zoe Saldana is 41. Rapper Macklemore is 37.


In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.

In 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free — an event celebrated as ‘‘Juneteenth.’’

In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

In 1938, four dozen people were killed when a railroad bridge in Montana collapsed, sending a train known as the Olympian hurtling into Custer Creek.

In 1944, during World War II, the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea began, resulting in a decisive victory for the Americans over the Japanese.

In 1952, the Army Special Forces, the elite unit of fighters known as the Green Berets, was established at Fort Bragg, N.C.

In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass US atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y.

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.

In 1987, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.


In 2017, Otto Warmbier a 22-year-old American college student, died in a Cincinnati hospital following his release by North Korea in a coma after more than a year in captivity.

Last year, the United States said it was pulling out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, a day after the UN human rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents; UN Ambassador Nikki Haley cited longstanding complaints that the council was biased against Israel.