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Today in History

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today is Tuesday, June 19, the 171st day of 2012. There are 195 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 19, 1862, Congress passed, and President Abraham Lincoln signed, a measure abolishing slavery in U.S. territories.

On this date:

In 1865, Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free.

In 1910, the first-ever Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Wash. (The idea for the observance is credited to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd.)

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

In 1937, the city of Bilbao fell to the Nationalist Army during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1952, the celebrity-panel game show "I've Got A Secret" made its debut on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host.

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, N.Y.

In 1961, the Supreme Court ruled that illegally obtained evidence was inadmissible in court and struck down a provision in Maryland's constitution requiring state officeholders to profess a belief in God.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes, blamed for at least 122 deaths, made landfall over the Florida Panhandle.

In 1982, Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American auto engineer, was fatally beaten in Highland Park, Mich., by two auto workers who later received probation for manslaughter in state court, and won acquittals in federal court.

In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure. Artificial heart recipient Murray P. Haydon died in Louisville, Ky., after 16 months on the manmade pump.

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 1999, author Stephen King was seriously injured when he was struck by a van driven by Bryan Smith in North Lovell, Maine. Britain's Prince Edward married commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones in Windsor, England.

Ten years ago: A suicide bomber killed seven Israelis at a Jerusalem bus stop in the second deadly attack in the city in two days. The space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth with one Russian and two American crewmen who'd spent 61/2 months aboard the international space station. Rod Langway, Bernie Federko, Clark Gillies and Roger Neilson were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: A truck bomb struck a Shiite mosque in central Baghdad, killing at least 87 people. President George W. Bush and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sided emphatically with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his standoff with the militant group Hamas. The space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the international space station for its return to earth.

One year ago: Libya's government said NATO warplanes had struck a residential neighborhood in the capital and killed nine civilians, including two children; NATO later confirmed one of its airstrikes had gone astray. Rory McIlroy ran away with the U.S. Open title, winning by eight shots and breaking the tournament scoring record by a whopping four strokes. (McIlroy shot 2-under 69 to close the four days at Congressional in Bethesda, Md. at 16-under 268.) Alyssa Campanella of Los Angeles won the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Gena Rowlands is 82. Singer Spanky McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 70. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 67. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 64. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 62. Musician Larry Dunn is 59. Actress Kathleen Turner is 58. Country singer Doug Stone is 56. Singer Mark DeBarge is 53. Singer-dancer Paula Abdul is 50. Actor Andy Lauer is 49. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 48. Actress Mia Sara is 45. Rock musician Brian "Head" Welch is 42. Actor Jean Dujardin (Film: "The Artist") is 40. Actress Robin Tunney is 40. Actor Bumper Robinson is 38. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 37. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers) is 36. Actor Ryan Hurst is 36. Actress Zoe Saldana is 34. Actress Lauren Lee Smith is 32. Actor Paul Dano is 28. Actor Atticus Shaffer (TV: "The Middle") is 14.

Thought for Today: "One has two duties -- to be worried and not to be worried." -- E.M. Forster, British author (1879-1970).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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