It’s June! The end of the school year for most students and educators. There are plenty of historical events that took place in the 6th month of the year. Here’s a look at some of them:
June 1, 1801 – Founder of Utah and patriarch of the Mormon church, Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Vermont. Called the “American Moses,” he led thousands of religious followers across the wilderness to settle over hundreds of towns in the West, including Salt Lake City, Utah.
June 2, 1740 – Marquis de Sade was born in Paris. He was a military leader, governor-general, and author, whose acts of extreme cruelty and violence resulted in the term sadism being created from his name.
June 3, 1972 – Sally Jan Priesand was ordained a Rabbi, thus becoming the first woman Rabbi in the U.S. She then became an assistant Rabbi at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City.
June 4, 1989 – The Chinese government ordered its troops to open fire on unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
June 5, 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded while leaving the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles.
June 6, 1944 – D-Day, the largest amphibious landing in history, began in the early-morning hours as Allied forces landed in Normandy on the northern coast of France.
June 7, 1965 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law banning contraception. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court guaranteed the right to privacy, including freedom from government intrusion into matters of birth control.
June 8, 1874 – Apache leader Cochise died on the Chiricahua Reservation in southeastern Arizona.
June 9, 1898 – The British signed a 99-year lease for Hong Kong, located on the southeastern coast of China. Hong Kong was administered as a British Crown Colony until July 1, 1997, when its sovereignty reverted to the People’s Republic of China.
June 10, 1652 – In Massachusetts, silversmith John Hull opened the first mint in America, in defiance of English colonial law. The first coin issued was the Pine Tree Shilling, designed by Hull.
June 11, 1994 – After 49 years, the Soviet military occupation of East Germany ended.
June 12, 1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, by a rifle bullet from an ambush. He was active in seeking integration of schools and voter registration for African Americans in the South.
June 13, 1865 – Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland.
June 14, 1922 – Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. President to broadcast a message over the radio. The event was the dedication of the Francis Scott Key Memorial in Baltimore.
June 15, 1752 – Benjamin Franklin experimented by flying a kite during a thunderstorm. The result was a little spark that showed the relationship between lightning and electricity.
June 16, 1963 – At 26 years old, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space as her Soviet spacecraft, Vostok 6, took off from the Tyuratam launch site.
June 17, 1972 – Following a seemingly routine burglary, five men were arrested at the National Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. However, as the investigations unfolded, it revealed the burglars were actually agents hired by the Committee for the Re-election of President Richard Nixon. This event would eventually lead to the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974.
June 18, 1983 – Dr. Sally Ride, a 32-year-old physicist and pilot, became the first American woman in space, beginning a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
June 19, 1953 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electrocution at Sing Sing Prison in New York. They had been found guilty of providing vital information on the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union during 1944-45. They were the first U.S. civilians to be sentenced to death for espionage.
June 20, 1782 – The U.S. Congress officially adopted the Great Seal of the United States of America.
June 21, 1905 – French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris. He was dubbed the “father of existentialism”.
June 22, 1941 – Starting at 3:15 am, some 3.2 million German soldiers plunged headlong into Russia across an 1800-mile front, a major turning point of World War II.
June 23, 1865 – The last formal surrender of Confederate troops occurred as Cherokee leader and Confederate Brigadier General Watie surrendered his battalion comprised of American Indians in the Oklahoma Territory.
June 24, 2010 – Labor Party Deputy Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister. She was born in Wales and had moved to Australia as a child. She worked as a lawyer before entering politics.
June 25, 1876 – General George A. Custer, leading 250 men, attacked an encampment of Sioux Indians near Little Bighorn River in Montana. Custer and his men were then attacked by thousands of braves. Only one scout and a single horse survived ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ on the Little Bighorn Battlefield.
June 26, 1945 – The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco by 50 nations. The Charter was ratified on October 24, 1945.
June 27, 2005 – In Alaska’s Denali National Park, a roughly 70-million year old dinosaur track was discovered. The track was formed by a three-toed Cretaceous period dinosaur.
June 28, 1919 – The signing of the Treaty of Versailles formally ended World War I.
June 30, 1997 – In Hong Kong, the flag of the British Crown Colony was officially lowered at midnight and replaced by a new flag representing China’s sovereignty and the official transfer of power.