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On This Day in History


Schmidt Meister
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On June 17, 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue, which was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland, became known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.
Intended to commemorate the American Revolution and a century of friendship between the U.S. and France, the statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (who modeled it after his own mother), with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later developed the iconic tower in Paris bearing his name. The statue was initially scheduled to be finished by 1876, the 100th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence; however, fundraising efforts, which included auctions, a lottery and boxing matches, took longer than anticipated, both in Europe and the U.S., where the statue’s pedestal was to be financed and constructed. The statue alone cost the French an estimated $250,000 (more than $5.5 million in today’s money).
Finally completed in Paris in the summer of 1884, the statue, a robed female figure with an uplifted arm holding a torch, reached its new home on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor (between New York City and Hudson County, New Jersey) on June 17, 1885. After being reassembled, the 450,000-pound statue was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Cleveland, who said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” Standing more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue, dubbed “Liberty Enlightening the World” by Bartholdi, was taller than any structure in New York City at the time. The statue was originally copper-colored, but over the years it underwent a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue.
In 1892, Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island (which in 1956 was renamed Liberty Island), opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor.
Some 60 years after President Calvin Coolidge designated the statue a national monument in 1924, it underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration (which included a new torch and gold leaf-covered flame) and was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan on July 4, 1986, in a lavish celebration. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the statue was closed; its base, pedestal and observation deck re-opened in 2004, while its crown re-opened to the public on July 4, 2009. (For safety reasons, the torch has been closed to visitors since 1916, after an incident called the Black Tom explosions in which munitions-laden barges and railroad cars on the Jersey City, New Jersey, waterfront were blown up by German agents, causing damage to the nearby statue.)
Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous landmarks. Over the years, it has been the site of political rallies and protests (from suffragettes to anti-war activists), has been featured in numerous movies and countless photographs, and has received millions of visitors from around the globe.
(In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a Socialist poem, that has nothing to do with the original ideas of the statue, titled “The New Colossus” by American (Progressive Socialist) poet Emma Lazarus, written 20 years earlier for a pedestal fundraiser, was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. (“Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”)

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June 17th In Music

1972 - Don McLean had his first No. 1 single with 'Vincent.' The song was written about the 19th century artist Vincent Van Gogh. The song is played daily at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

1980 - Led Zeppelin begin what will be their last tour with a concert in Dortmund, Germany.

Birthdays:

1947 - Gregg Rolie. American singer and keyboardist who has been a member of Santana and Journey. He joined Carlos Santana and others to form the Santana Blues Band in 1965. As a co-founding member of Santana, Rolie was part of the band's first wave of success, including an appearance at Woodstock in 1969 and central roles in several hit albums. Born in Seattle, Washington.

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On June 18, 1812, the day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law, and the War of 1812 begins. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress known as the “War Hawks” had been advocating war with Britain for several years and had not hidden their hopes that a U.S. invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States.
In the months after President Madison proclaimed the state of war to be in effect, American forces launched a three-point invasion of Canada, all of which were decisively unsuccessful. In 1814, with Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire collapsing, the British were able to allocate more military resources to the American war, and Washington, D.C., fell to the British in August. In Washington, British troops burned the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings in retaliation for the earlier burning of government buildings in Canada by U.S. soldiers.
In September, the tide of the war turned when Thomas Macdonough’s American naval force won a decisive victory at the Battle of Plattsburg Bay on Lake Champlain. The invading British army was forced to retreat back into Canada. The American victory on Lake Champlain led to the conclusion of U.S.-British peace negotiations in Belgium, and on December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, formally ending the War of 1812. By the terms of the agreement, all conquered territory was to be returned, and a commission would be established to settle the boundary of the United States and Canada.
British forces assailing the Gulf Coast were not informed of the treaty in time, and on January 8, 1815, the U.S. forces under Andrew Jackson achieved the greatest American victory of the war at the Battle of New Orleans. The American public heard of Jackson’s victory and the Treaty of Ghent at approximately the same time, fostering a greater sentiment of self-confidence and shared identity throughout the young republic.

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On June 18, 1983,  the space shuttle Challenger is launched into space on its second mission. On board the shuttle is Dr. Sally K. Ride, who as a mission specialist, becomes the first American woman to travel into space.
The United States had screened a group of female pilots in 1959 and 1960 for possible astronaut training but later decided to restrict astronaut qualification to men. In 1978, NASA changed its policy and announced that it had approved six women out of some 3,000 original applicants to become the first female astronauts in the U.S. space program.
Ride was a Stanford University alum (she received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, as well as a Master of Science and doctorate in physics). She became an on-the-ground capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for NASA’s STS-2 and STS-3 missions in 1981 and 1982, becoming an expert in controlling the shuttle’s robotic arm.
NASA announced Ride would be part of the STS-7 crew on April 30, 1982, serving as mission specialist and joining Commander Robert L. Crippen, mission specialist John M. Fabian, physician-astronaut Norman E. Thagard and pilot Frederick H. Hauck on the historic flight.
Over six days, the crew’s complex tasks included launching commercial communications satellites for Indonesia and Canada and deploying and retrieving a satellite using the shuttle’s robotic arm. Ride, who was 32 at the time, was the first woman to operate the shuttle’s mechanical arm.
The mission also included experiments such as the study of the effects of zero gravity on the social behavior of an ant colony, research surrounding metal alloys in microgravity and space sickness investigations.
The mission, NASA’s seventh, ended June 24, 1983, when the Challenger returned to Earth, and, coincidentally, took place on roughly the 20th anniversary of the history-making launch of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova’s flight as the first woman in space on June 16, 1963.
Ride again made history when she became the first American woman to fly to space a second time on October 5, 1984, on shuttle mission STS-41G, where she was part of a seven-member crew that spent eight days in space.
As with her first space flight, Ride used the shuttle’s robotic arm, this time to remove ice from the exterior of the ship and to readjust equipment. Another woman, mission specialist Kathryn D. Sullivan, was also part of that crew, making it the first NASA space flight with two women aboard (Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space during that mission).
A third mission for Ride was cancelled following the explosion of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, in which all seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed. Ride was assigned to the Rogers Commission, a presidential commission charged with investigating the disaster. She later served as special assistant to the NASA administrator before leaving the agency in 1987 and returning to academia.
Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 at age 61.

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On June 18, 1798, President John Adams oversees the passage of the Naturalization Act, the first of four pieces of controversial legislation known together as the Alien and Sedition Acts, on June 18, 1798. Strong political opposition to these acts succeeded in undermining the Adams administration, helping Thomas Jefferson to win the presidency in 1800.
At the time, America was threatened by war with France, and Congress was attempting to pass laws that would give more authority to the federal government, and the president in particular, to deal with suspicious persons, especially foreign nationals. The Naturalization Act raised the requirements for aliens to apply for U.S. citizenship, requiring that immigrants reside in the U.S. for 14 years before becoming eligible. The earlier law had required only five years of residence before an application could be made.
Adams, in fact, never enforced the Naturalization Act. Nevertheless, he came under heavy fire from opponents, led by Vice President Thomas Jefferson, who felt that the Naturalization Act and its companion legislation was unconstitutional and smacked of despotism. So disgusted was Jefferson with Adams’ enthusiastic support of the law that he could no longer support the president and left Washington during the Congressional vote.
Former President George Washington, on the other hand, supported the legislation. Adams signed the second piece of the legislation, the Alien Act, on June 25. This act gave the president the authority to deport aliens during peacetime. The Alien Enemies Act, which Adams signed on July 6, gave him the power to deport any alien living in the U.S. with ties to U.S. wartime enemies. Finally, the Sedition Act, passed on July 14, gave Adams tremendous power to define treasonable activity including any false, scandalous and malicious writing. The intended targets of the Sedition Act were newspaper, pamphlet and broadside publishers who printed what he considered to be libelous articles aimed primarily at his administration. Abigail Adams urged her husband to pass the Sedition Act, calling his opponents criminal and vile.
Of the four acts, the Sedition Act was the most distressing to staunch First Amendment advocates. They objected to the fact that treasonable activity was vaguely defined, was defined at the discretion of the president and would be punished by heavy fines and imprisonment. The arrest and imprisonment of 25 men for supposedly violating the Sedition Act ignited an enormous outcry against the legislation. Among those arrested was Benjamin Franklin’s grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, who was the editor of the Republican-leaning Philadelphia Democrat-Republican Aurora. Citing Adams’ abuse of presidential powers and threats to free speech, Jefferson’s party took control of Congress and the presidency in 1800.

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On June 18, 1778, after almost nine months of occupation, 15,000 British troops under General Sir Henry Clinton evacuate Philadelphia, the former U.S. capital.
The British had captured Philadelphia on September 26, 1777, following General George Washington’s defeats at the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of the Clouds. British General William Howe had made Philadelphia, the seat of the Continental Congress, the focus of his campaign, but the Patriot government had deprived him of the decisive victory he hoped for by moving its operations to the more secure site of York one week before the city was taken.
While Howe and the British officer corps spent the winter enjoying the luxury of Philadelphia’s finest homes, the Continental Army froze and suffered appalling deprivation at Valley Forge.  Fortunately for the Patriots, an infusion of capable European strategists, including the Prussian Baron von Steuben; the Frenchmen Marquis de Lafayette and Johann, Baron de Kalb; and Poles Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir, Count Pulaski, aided Washington in the creation of a well-drilled, professional force capable of fighting the British.
The British position in Philadelphia became untenable after France’s entrance into the war on the side of the Americans. To avoid the French fleet, General Clinton was forced to lead his British-Hessian force to New York City by land. Loyalists in the city sailed down the Delaware River to escape the Patriots, who returned to Philadelphia the day after the British departure. U.S. General Benedict Arnold, who led the force that reclaimed the city without bloodshed, was appointed military governor. On June 24, the Continental Congress returned to the city from its temporary quarters at York, Pennsylvania.

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June 18th In Music

1948 - Columbia Records started the first mass production of the 33-RPM long player. The new format could contain a maximum of 23 minutes of music per side versus the three minutes that could be squeezed on to a 78 RPM disc.

1976 - Electric Light Orchestra's Olé ELO is certified Gold.

1977 - Fleetwood Mac went to No. 1 on the US singles chart with 'Dreams', the group's first and only US No. 1.

Birthdays:

1942 - Paul McCartney. The Beatles, Wings, solo. The most successful rock composer of all time. McCartney first met John Lennon on July 6th 1957, who was impressed that Paul could tune a guitar. With The Beatles he scored 21 US No. 1 & 17 UK No. 1 singles plus McCartney has scored over 30 US & UK solo Top 40 hit singles. He has written and co-written 188 charted records, of which 91 reached the Top 10 and 33 made it to No. 1 totaling 1,662 weeks on the chart. Born in Allerton, Liverpool, England.

1953 - Jerome Smith. Guitarist, with American disco and funk group KC and the Sunshine Band who had the 1975 US No. 1 single 'That's The Way, I Like It', and the 1983 UK No. 1 single 'Give It Up'. He died on 8.2.2000.

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On June 19, 1944, in what would become known as the “Marianas Turkey Shoot,” U.S. carrier-based fighters decimate the Japanese Fleet with only a minimum of losses in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
The security of the Marianas Islands, in the western Pacific, were vital to Japan, which had air bases on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. U.S. troops were already battling the Japanese on Saipan, having landed there on the 15th. Any further intrusion would leave the Philippine Islands, and Japan itself, vulnerable to U.S. attack. The U.S. Fifth Fleet, commanded by Admiral Raymond Spruance, was on its way west from the Marshall Islands as backup for the invasion of Saipan and the rest of the Marianas. But Japanese Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo decided to challenge the American fleet, ordering 430 of his planes, launched from aircraft carriers, to attack. In what became the greatest carrier battle of the war, the United States, having already picked up the Japanese craft on radar, proceeded to shoot down more than 300 aircraft and sink two Japanese aircraft carriers, losing only 29 of their own planes in the process. It was described in the aftermath as a “turkey shoot.”
Admiral Ozawa, believing his missing planes had landed at their Guam air base, maintained his position in the Philippine Sea, allowing for a second attack of U.S. carrier-based fighter planes, this time commanded by Admiral Mitscher, to shoot down an additional 65 Japanese planes and sink another carrier. In total, the Japanese lost 480 aircraft, three-quarters of its total, not to mention most of its crews. American domination of the Marianas was now a foregone conclusion.
Not long after this battle at sea, U.S. Marine divisions penetrated farther into the island of Saipan. Two Japanese commanders on the island, Admiral Nagumo and General Saito, both committed suicide in an attempt to rally the remaining Japanese forces. It succeeded: Those forces also committed a virtual suicide as they attacked the Americans’ lines, losing 26,000 men compared with 3,500 lost by the United States. Within another month, the islands of Tinian and Guam were also captured by the United States.
The Japanese government of Premier Hideki Tojo resigned in disgrace at this stunning defeat, in what many have described as the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

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On June 19, 1864, the most successful and feared Confederate commerce raider of the war, the CSS Alabama, sinks after a spectacular battle off the coast of France with the USS Kearsarge.
Built in an English shipyard and sold to the Confederates in 1861, the Alabama was a state-of-the-art ship, 220 feet long, with a speed of up to 13 knots. The cruiser was equipped with a machine shop and could carry enough coal to steam for 18 days, but its sails could greatly extend that time. Under its captain, Raphael Semmes, the Alabama prowled the world for three years, capturing U.S. commercial ships. It sailed around the globe, usually working out of the West Indies, but taking prizes and bungling Union shipping in the Caribbean, off Newfoundland, and around the coast of South America. In January 1863, Semmes sunk a Union warship, the Hatteras, after luring it out of Galveston, Texas. The Union navy spent an enormous amount of time and effort trying to track down the Alabama.
The ship sailed around South America, across the Pacific, and docked in India in 1864. By the summer, Semmes realized that after three years and 75,000 miles his vessel needed overhauling in a modern shipyard. He sailed around Africa to France, where the French denied him access to a dry dock. Semmes moved out of Cherbourg Harbor and found the USS Kearsarge waiting. In a spectacular battle, the Kearsarge bested and sank the Alabama. During its career, the Alabama captured 66 ships and was hunted by more than 20 Federal warships.

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On June 19, 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, is executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, the president of the Mexican Republic.
In 1861, the liberal Mexican Benito Juarez became president of a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve a dependent empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juarez and his government into retreat.
Certain that French victory would come swiftly in Mexico, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juarez rounded up a rag-tag force of loyal men and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, the 2,000 Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well-provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and began his assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers to the fewer than 100 Mexicans killed.
Although not a major strategic victory in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s victory at Puebla represented a great moral victory for the Mexican government and symbolized the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against threat by a powerful foreign nation. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo. Six years later, under pressure from the newly reunited United States, France withdrew. Abandoned in Mexico, Emperor Maximilian was captured by Juarez’ forces and on June 19, 1867, executed.

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On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair. The Rosenbergs were the first U.S. citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage during peacetime and their case remains controversial to this day.
Julius Rosenberg was an engineer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps who was born in New York on May 12, 1918. His wife, born Ethel Greenglass, also in New York, on September 28, 1915, worked as a secretary. The couple met as members of the Young Communist League, married in 1939 and had two sons.
Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage on June 17, 1950, and accused of heading a spy ring that passed top-secret information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Ethel was arrested two months later. The Rosenbergs were implicated by David Greenglass, Ethel’s younger brother and a former army sergeant and machinist at Los Alamos, the secret atomic bomb lab in New Mexico. Greenglass, who himself had confessed to providing nuclear secrets to the Soviets through an intermediary, testified against his sister and brother-in-law in court. He later served 10 years in prison.
The Rosenbergs vigorously protested their innocence, but after a brief trial that began on March 6, 1951, and attracted much media attention, the couple was convicted. On April 5, 1951, a judge sentenced them to death and the pair was taken to Sing Sing to await execution.
During the next two years, the couple became the subject of both national and international debate. Some people believed that the Rosenbergs were the victims of a surge of hysterical anti-communist feeling in the United States, and protested that the death sentence handed down was cruel and unusual punishment. Many Americans, however, believed that the Rosenbergs had been dealt with justly. They agreed with President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he issued a statement declining to invoke executive clemency for the pair. He stated, “I can only say that, by immeasurably increasing the chances of atomic war, the Rosenbergs may have condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world. The execution of two human beings is a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.”

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June 19th In Music

1965 - ”I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops goes to No. 1 in America.

1973 - The Rocky Horror Show musical debuts at London's Royal Court Theatre. Two years later, it starts a brief Broadway run and is adapted into the cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Birthdays:

1930 - Tommy Devito. From American rock and pop band The Four Seasons who had the 1960s hits 'Sherry', 'Big Girls Don't Cry', 'Walk Like a Man', and the 1976 US No. 1 single 'December 1963, (Oh What A Night'). They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide. Devito died on 9.20.2020 age 92.

1963 - Simon Wright. Drummer, AC/DC, joined in 1983. Joined Dio in 1989. Born in Oldham, Lancashire, England.

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On June 20, 1782, Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States after six years of discussion.
The front of the seal depicts a bald eagle clutching an olive branch in its right talon and arrows in its left. On its breast appears a shield marked with 13 vertical red and white stripes topped by a bar of blue. The eagle’s beak clutches a banner inscribed, E pluribus unum, a Latin phrase meaning “Out of Many One.” Above the eagle’s head, golden rays burst forth, encircling 13 stars.
Charles Thomas outlined the symbolic connotations of the seal’s elements when he presented his design to Congress. The bottom of the shield (or pale) represents the 13 states united in support of the blue bar at the top of the shield (or chief), “which unites the whole and represents Congress.” The motto E Pluribus Unum serves as a textual representation of the same relationship. The colors used in the shield are the same as those in the flag: alternating red and white for the important balance between innocence and valor, topped by the blue of “vigilance, perseverance and justice.” The eagle’s talons hold symbols of Congress power to make peace (the olive branch) and war (arrows). The constellation of stars indicates that “a new State [is] taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers.”
The reverse side of the seal bears the familiar Masonic motif of a pyramid, which Thomas proposed as a symbol of “Strength and Duration.” The pyramid, like the new nation, is unfinished and frequently depicted as having 13 steps for the original states. The disembodied eye floating above the structure is that of providence, which Thomas believed had acted “in favour of the American cause.” Beneath the pyramid, the number 1776 appears in Roman numerals as a reminder of the year of independence. The phrase Annuit Coeptis or “Providence has Favored Our Undertakings” appears above the providential eye; Novus Ordo Seclorum or “A New Order of the Ages” appears beneath the pyramid.

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June 20th In Music

1978 - Foreigner release their second album, Double Vision. Hits from the set include the title track and "Hot Blooded."

Birthdays:

1953 - Alan Longmuir. From Scottish pop band Bay City Rollers who had the 1975 UK No. 1 single 'Bye Bye Baby', plus 11 other UK Top 20 singles', and the 1976 US No. 1 single 'Saturday Night'. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Longmuir died on 7.2.2018.

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On June 21, 1916, the controversial U.S. military expedition against Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa brings the United States and Mexico closer to war when Mexican government troops attack U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing’s force at Carrizal, Mexico. The Americans suffered 22 casualties, and more than 30 Mexicans were killed. Against the protests of Venustiano Carranza’s government, Pershing had been penetrating deep into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa. After routing the small Mexican force at Carrizal, the U.S. expedition continued on its southern course.
In 1914, following the resignation of Mexican leader Victoriano Huerta, Pancho Villa and his former revolutionary ally Venustiano Carranza battled each other in a struggle for succession. By the end of 1915, Villa had been driven north into the mountains, and the U.S. government recognized General Carranza as the president of Mexico.
In January 1916, to protest President Woodrow Wilson’s support for Carranza, Villa executed 16 U.S. citizens at Santa Isabel in northern Mexico. Then, on March 9, he ordered a raid on the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, in which 17 Americans were killed and the center of town was burned. Cavalry from the nearby Camp Furlong U.S. Army outpost pursued the Mexicans, killing several dozen rebels on U.S. soil and in Mexico before turning back. On March 15, under orders from President Wilson, U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing launched a punitive expedition into Mexico to capture or kill Villa and disperse his rebels. The expedition eventually involved some 10,000 U.S. troops and personnel. It was the first U.S. military operation to employ mechanized vehicles, including automobiles and airplanes.
For 11 months, Pershing failed to capture the elusive revolutionary, who was aided by his intimate knowledge of the terrain of northern Mexico and his popular support from the people there. Meanwhile, resentment over the U.S. intrusion into Mexican territory led to a diplomatic crisis with the government in Mexico City. On June 21, the crisis escalated into violence when Mexican government troops attacked a detachment of the 10th Cavalry at Carrizal. If not for the critical situation in Europe, war might have been declared. In January 1917, having failed in their mission to capture Villa, and under continued pressure from the Mexican government, the Americans were ordered home.
Pancho Villa continued his guerrilla activities in northern Mexico until Adolfo de la Huerta took over the government and drafted a reformist constitution. Villa entered into an amicable agreement with Huerta and agreed to retire from politics. In 1920, the government pardoned Villa, but three years later he was assassinated in Parral.

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On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.
Beginning on December 7, five states, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut, ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.
On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.

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On June 21, 1779, Spain declares war on Great Britain, creating a de facto alliance with the Americans.
Spain’s King Charles III would not consent to a treaty of alliance with the United States. For one imperial power to encourage another imperial power’s colonies in revolt was a treacherous game, and he was unwilling to play. However, French Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, managed to negotiate a treaty with Spain to join their war against the British. As the ally of the United States’ ally, Spain managed to endorse the revolt at a critical diplomatic distance.
The American Revolution had already spawned a world war between the two international powers of Britain and France. Spain’s entry into the imbroglio ensured that the British would have to spread their resources even thinner. King Charles wanted to reclaim Gibraltar for Spain and secure Spanish borders in North America and the Spanish immediately laid siege to Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. The British managed to drive the Spanish from Gibraltar on February 7, 1783, having constructed an 82’ long tunnel into the north face of the rock of Gibraltar, known as the “Notch,” in order to supply it with cannon. However, King Charles succeeded in his North American goals. The Spanish took West Florida by force and attained East Florida by cession when the War for Independence ended; they were also able to secure the Gulf of Mexico.

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June 21st In Music

1948 - Columbia Records launched a new vinyl disc that played at thirty-three and one third RPM and could hold up to 23 minutes of music, in New York City, sparking a music-industry standard so strong that the digital age has yet to kill it.

1966 - Jimmy Page made his live debut with The Yardbirds at The Marquee Club London.

1975 - Captain and Tennille started a four week run at No. 1 on the US singles chart with the Neil Sedaka song 'Love Will Keep Us Together'. The duo of husband and wife "Captain" Daryl Dragon and Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille had worked as backup musicians for Elton John and Neil Sedaka.

1986 - Genesis scored their fourth UK No. 1 album with their 13th studio album 'Invisible Touch'. It remained in the charts for 96 weeks, making it the most commercially successful album of their career, eventually selling over 15 million copies worldwide and produced five US Top 5 singles, including the title track.

Birthdays:

1932 - Lalo Schifrin. Argentine-born American pianist, composer, arranger  film soundtracks, including, Theme from Mission: Impossible, Enter the Dragon, the Dirty Harry films and Jaws. Born in Buenos Aires.

1945 - Chris Britton. Guitarist with English garage rock band The Troggs, who had the 1966 US No. 1 & UK No. 2 single 'Wild Thing' and the hits 'With a Girl Like You' and 'Love Is All Around'.

1946 - Brenda Holloway. American singer and songwriter, recording artist for Motown Records during the 1960s. Her best-known recordings are the soul hits, 'Every Little Bit Hurts', 'When I'm Gone"' and 'You've Made Me So Very Happy.' The latter, which she co-wrote became a 1969 Top Ten hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears.

1950 - Joey Kramer. Drummer with Aerosmith who had the 1993 US No. 1 & UK No. 2 album, Get A Grip and the 1998 US No. 1 single 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'. Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in The Bronx, New York City.

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On June 22, 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill, an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services, known as G.I.s, for their efforts in World War II.
As the last of its sweeping New Deal reforms, Roosevelt’s administration created the G.I. Bill, officially the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, hoping to avoid a relapse into the Great Depression after the war ended. FDR particularly wanted to prevent a repeat of the Bonus March of 1932, when 20,000 unemployed veterans and their families flocked in protest to Washington. The American Legion, a veteran’s organization, successfully fought for many of the provisions included in the bill, which gave returning servicemen access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and, most importantly, funding for education.
By giving veterans money for tuition, living expenses, books, supplies and equipment, the G.I. Bill effectively transformed higher education in America. Before the war, college had been an option for only 10-15 percent of young Americans, and university campuses had become known as a haven for the most privileged classes. By 1947, in contrast, vets made up half of the nation’s college enrollment; three years later, nearly 500,000 Americans graduated from college, compared with 160,000 in 1939.
As educational institutions opened their doors to this diverse new group of students, overcrowded classrooms and residences prompted widespread improvement and expansion of university facilities and teaching staffs. An array of new vocational courses were developed across the country, including advanced training in education, agriculture, commerce, mining and fishing, skills that had previously been taught only informally.
The G.I. Bill became one of the major forces that drove an economic expansion in America that lasted 30 years after World War II. Only 20 percent of the money set aside for unemployment compensation under the bill was given out, as most veterans found jobs or pursued higher education. Low interest home loans enabled millions of American families to move out of urban centers and buy or build homes outside the city, changing the face of the suburbs.

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On June 22, 1945, during World War II, the U.S. 10th Army overcomes the last major pockets of Japanese resistance on Okinawa Island, ending one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The same day, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, the commander of Okinawa’s defense, committed suicide with a number of Japanese officers and troops rather than surrender.
On April 1, 1945, the 10th Army, under Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, launched the invasion of Okinawa, a strategic Pacific island located midway between Japan and Formosa. Possession of Okinawa would give the United States a base large enough for an invasion of the Japanese home islands. There were more than 100,000 Japanese defenders on the island, but most were deeply entrenched in the island’s densely forested interior. By the evening of April 1, 60,000 U.S. troops had come safely ashore. However, on April 4, Japanese land resistance stiffened, and at sea kamikaze pilots escalated their deadly suicide attacks on U.S. vessels.
During the next month, the battle raged on land and sea, with the Japanese troops and fliers making the Americans pay dearly for every strategic area of land and water won. On June 18, with U.S. victory imminent, General Buckner, the hero of Iwo Jima, was killed by Japanese artillery. Three days later, his 10th Army reached the southern coast of the island, and on June 22 Japanese resistance effectively came to an end.
The Japanese lost 120,000 troops in the defense of Okinawa, while the Americans suffered 12,500 dead and 35,000 wounded. Of the 36 Allied ships lost, most were destroyed by the 2,000 or so Japanese pilots who gave up their lives in kamikaze missions. With the capture of Okinawa, the Allies prepared for the invasion of Japan, a military operation predicted to be far bloodier than the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe. The plan called for invading the southern island of Kyushu in November 1945, and the main Japanese island of Honshu in March 1946. In July, however, the United States successfully tested an atomic bomb and after dropping two of these devastating weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, Japan surrendered.

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On June 22, 1941, over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.
Despite the fact that Germany and Russia had signed a “pact” in 1939, each guaranteeing the other a specific region of influence without interference from the other, suspicion remained high. When the Soviet Union invaded Rumania in 1940, Hitler saw a threat to his Balkan oil supply. He immediately responded by moving two armored and 10 infantry divisions into Poland, posing a counter threat to Russia. But what began as a defensive move turned into a plan for a German first-strike. Despite warnings from his advisers that Germany could not fight the war on two fronts (as Germany’s experience in World War I proved), Hitler became convinced that England was holding out against German assaults, refusing to surrender, because it had struck a secret deal with Russia. Fearing he would be “strangled” from the East and the West, he created, in December 1940, “Directive No. 21: Case Barbarossa”, the plan to invade and occupy the very nation he had actually asked to join the Axis only a month before!
On June 22, 1941, having postponed the invasion of Russia after Italy’s attack on Greece forced Hitler to bail out his struggling ally in order to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, three German army groups struck Russia hard by surprise. The Russian army was larger than German intelligence had anticipated, but they were demobilized. Stalin had shrugged off warnings from his own advisers, even Winston Churchill himself, that a German attack was imminent. (Although Hitler had telegraphed his territorial designs on Russia as early as 1925, in his autobiography, Mein Kampf.) By the end of the first day of the invasion, the German air force had destroyed more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft. And despite the toughness of the Russian troops, and the number of tanks and other armaments at their disposal, the Red Army was disorganized, enabling the Germans to penetrate up to 300 miles into Russian territory within the next few days.
Exactly 129 years and one day before Operation Barbarossa, another “dictator” foreign to the country he controlled, invaded Russia, making it all the way to the capital. But despite this early success, Napoleon would be escorted back to France, by Russian troops.

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On June 22, 1775, Congress issues $2 million in bills of credit.
By the spring of 1775, colonial leaders, concerned by British martial law in Boston and increasing constraints on trade, had led their forces in battle against the crown. But, the American revolutionaries encountered a small problem on their way to the front: they lacked the funds necessary to wage a prolonged war.
Though hardly the colonies’ first dalliance with paper notes, the Massachusetts Bay colony had issued its own bills in 1690, the large-scale distribution of the revolutionary currency was fairly new ground for America. Moreover, the bills, known at the time as “Continentals,” notably lacked the then de rigueur rendering of the British king. Instead, some of the notes featured likenesses of Revolutionary soldiers and the inscription “The United Colonies.” But, whatever their novelty, the Continentals proved to be a poor economic instrument: backed by nothing more than the promise of “future tax revenues” and prone to rampant inflation, the notes ultimately had little fiscal value. As George Washington noted at the time, “A wagonload of currency will hardly purchase a wagonload of provisions.” Thus, the Continental failed and left the young nation saddled with a hefty war debt.
A deep economic depression followed the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Unstable currency and unstable debts caused a Continental Army veteran, Daniel Shays, to lead a rebellion in western Massachusetts during the winter of 1787. Fear of economic chaos played a significant role in the decision to abandon the Articles of Confederation for the more powerful, centralized government created by the federal Constitution. During George Washington’s presidency, Alexander Hamilton struggled to create financial institutions capable of stabilizing the new nation’s economy.
Duly frustrated by the experience with Continental currency, America resisted the urge to again issue new paper notes until the dawn of the Civil War.

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June 22nd In Music

1988 - Robert Palmer releases "Simply Irresistible" in his native UK, where it peaks at No. 44. It fares much better in the US, where it lands at No. 2.

Birthdays:

1947 - Howard Kaylan. From the The Turtles who had the US 1967 No. 1 single 'Happy Together' and the 1967 hit 'She'd Rather Be with Me'. He later worked with Frank Zappa. Born in the Bronx, New York.

1949 - Larry Junstrom. A founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and longstanding bassist with the band .38 Special. Junstrom played bass with Lynyrd Skynyrd from its formation in 1964 until he was replaced by Leon Wilkeson in 1971. He then joined .38 Special in 1976 with Donnie Van Zant, the younger brother of the Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant. He died on 10.6.2019 at the age of 70.

1956 - Derek Forbes. Bassist with Scottish rock band, Simple Minds, who had the 1985 US No. 1 single 'Don't You, Forget About Me', and the 1989 UK No. 1 single 'Belfast Child', plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles. Born in Glasgow, Scotland.

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On June 24, 1948, one of the most dramatic standoffs in the history of the Cold War begins as the Soviet Union blocks all road and rail traffic to and from West Berlin. The blockade turned out to be a terrible diplomatic move by the Soviets, while the United States emerged from the confrontation with renewed purpose and confidence.
Following World War II, Germany was divided into occupation zones. The United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and, eventually, France, were given specific zones to occupy in which they were to accept the surrender of Nazi forces and restore order. The Soviet Union occupied most of eastern Germany, while the other Allied nations occupied western Germany. The German capital of Berlin was similarly divided into four zones of occupation. Almost immediately, differences between the United States and the Soviet Union surfaced. The Soviets sought huge reparations from Germany in the form of money, industrial equipment, and resources. The Russians also made it clear that they desired a neutral and disarmed Germany. 
The United States saw things in quite a different way. American officials believed that the economic recovery of Western Europe was dependent on a strong, reunified Germany. They also felt that only a rearmed Germany could stand as a bulwark against Soviet expansion into Western Europe. In May 1946, the Americans stopped reparations shipments from their zone to the Soviets. In December, the British and Americans combined their zones; the French joined some months later. The Soviets viewed these actions as a threat and issued more demands for a say in the economic future of Germany. On June 22, 1948, negotiations between the Soviets, Americans, and British broke down. On June 24, Soviet forces blocked the roads and railroad lines into West Berlin.
American officials were furious, and some in the administration of President Harry S. Truman argued that the time for diplomacy with the Soviets was over. For a few tense days, the world waited to see whether the United States and Soviet Union would come to blows. In West Berlin, panic began to set in as its population worried about shortages of food, water, and medical aid. The United States response came just two days after the Soviets began their blockade. A massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin was undertaken in what was to become one of the greatest logistical efforts in history. For the Soviets, the escapade quickly became a diplomatic embarrassment. Russia looked like an international bully that was trying to starve men, women, and children into submission. And the successful American airlift merely served to accentuate the technological superiority of the United States over the Soviet Union. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets officially ended the blockade.

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