Today is Saturday, June 19, the 170th day of 2021. There are 195 days left in the year.
Highlight in History:
On June 19, 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 to this day as “Juneteenth.”
On this date:
In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.
In 1911, Pennsylvania became the first state to establish a motion picture censorship board.
In 1917, during World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames; the family took the name “Windsor.”
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 1945, millions of New Yorkers turned out to cheer Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was honored with a parade.
In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the U.S. Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.
In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois; the killing has never been solved.
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.
In 2009, Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford was indicted and jailed on charges his international banking empire was really just a Ponzi scheme built on lies, bluster and bribery. (Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted of bilking investors in a $7.2 billion scheme that involved the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposits.)
In 2013, actor James Gandolfini, 51, died while vacationing in Rome.
In 2014, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California won election as House majority leader as Republicans shuffled their leadership in the wake of Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia.
Ten years ago: Libya’s government said NATO warplanes had struck a residential neighborhood in the capital and killed nine civilians, including two children; NATO confirmed hours later that one of its airstrikes had gone astray.
Five years ago: LeBron James and his relentless Cavaliers pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback to give the city of Cleveland its first title since 1964 as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 finals deficit by beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89.
One year ago: Americans marked Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, with new urgency and protests demanding racial justice. Demonstrators across the country defaced and toppled statues and busts of former U.S. presidents, a Spanish missionary and Confederate figures.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Gena (JEH’-nuh) Rowlands is 91. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 81. Singer Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 79. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 76. Author Sir Salman Rushdie is 74. Actor Phylicia Rashad is 73.