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June 24th In Music

1967 - Procol Harum's ’A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ entered the Billboard chart, where it would peak at No. 5. The song was written by the band around a melody composed by the group's organist, Matthew Fisher, who was inspired by the chord progression of Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Orchestral Suite in D', composed between 1725 and 1739.

Birthdays:

1944 - Jeff Beck. English rock guitarist. He replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds. As a solo artist, he released the 1967 single 'Hi-Ho Silver Lining', before forming The Jeff Beck Group, which featured Rod Stewart. His 1975 album Blow By Blow was produced by George Martin and set a new standard of jazz-rock fusion music. Beck had previously formed Beck, Bogart and Appice with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, and later recorded with The Honeydrippers, (alongside Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Nile Rodgers), who had the 1984 US No. 3 single Sea Of Love. Born in Wallington, England.

1947 - Mick Fleetwood. Drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac who had the 1968 UK No. 1 hit 'Albatross' and the hits 'Man of the World' and 'Oh Well. In 1977 they scored the US No. 1 single 'Dreams' taken from their worldwide No. 1 album Rumours which spent 31 weeks on the US chart. Born in Redruth, Cornwall, England.

1948 - Patrick Moraz. Keyboardist for Yes, The Moody Blues. Born in Morges, Switzerland.

1949 - John Illsley. English musician, best known as bass guitarist of the rock band Dire Straits who had the 1985 US No. 1 single 'Money For Nothing' and the 1985 world wide No. 1 album Brothers In Arms. Illsley owns a local pub, the 'East End Arms', between Lymington and Beaulieu, which has been listed by critics as one of the "Fifty Best Pubs Around Britain". Born in Leicester, England.

1957 - Terence Wilson. (Astro), vocals, with UB40, who had the 1988 US No. 1 single 'Red Red Wine' and over 30 other top 40 hits.

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On June 25, 1876, Native American forces led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in the Battle of the Little Bighorn near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River, which they called the Greasy Grass, in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.
In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.
At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custer’s Last Stand, marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

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On June 25, 1950, armed forces from communist North Korea smash into South Korea, setting off the Korean War. The United States, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, quickly sprang to the defense of South Korea and fought a bloody and frustrating war for the next three years.
Korea, a former Japanese possession, had been divided into zones of occupation following World War II. U.S. forces accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in southern Korea, while Soviet forces did the same in northern Korea. Like in Germany, however, the “temporary” division soon became permanent. The Soviets assisted in the establishment of a communist regime in North Korea, while the United States became the main source of financial and military support for South Korea.
On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces surprised the South Korean army (and the small U.S. force stationed in the country), and quickly headed toward the capital city of Seoul. The United States responded by pushing a resolution through the U.N.’s Security Council calling for military assistance to South Korea. (Russia was not present to veto the action as it was boycotting the Security Council at the time.)
With this resolution in hand, President Harry S. Truman rapidly dispatched U.S. land, air, and sea forces to Korea to engage in what he termed a “police action.” The American intervention turned the tide, and U.S. and South Korean forces marched into North Korea. This action, however, prompted the massive intervention of communist Chinese forces in late 1950. The war in Korea subsequently bogged down into a bloody stalemate. In 1953, the United States and North Korea signed a cease-fire that ended the conflict. The cease-fire agreement also resulted in the continued division of North and South Korea at just about the same geographical point as before the conflict.
The Korean War was the first “hot” war of the Cold War. Over 55,000 American troops were killed in the conflict. Korea was the first “limited war,” one in which the U.S. aim was not the complete and total defeat of the enemy, but rather the “limited” goal of protecting South Korea. For the U.S. government, such an approach was the only rational option in order to avoid a third world war and to keep from stretching finite American resources too thinly around the globe. It proved to be a frustrating experience for the American people, who were used to the kind of total victory that had been achieved in World War II. The public found the concept of limited war difficult to understand or support and the Korean War never really gained popular support.

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On June 25, 1956, the last Packard, the classic American luxury car with the famously enigmatic slogan “Ask the Man Who Owns One”, rolls off the production line at Packard’s plant in Detroit, Michigan on June 25, 1956.
Mechanical engineer James Ward Packard and his brother, William Dowd Packard, built their first automobile, a buggy-type vehicle with a single cylinder engine, in Warren, Ohio in 1899. The Packard Motor Car Company earned fame early on for a four-cylinder aluminum speedster called the “Gray Wolf,” released in 1904. It became one of the first American racing cars to be available for sale to the general public. With the 1916 release of the Twin Six, with its revolutionary V-12 engine, Packard established itself as the country’s leading luxury-car manufacturer. World War I saw Packard convert to war production earlier than most companies, and the Twin Six was adapted into the Liberty Aircraft engine, by far the most important single output of America’s wartime industry.
Packards had large, square bodies that suggested an elegant solidity, and the company was renowned for its hand-finished attention to detail. In the 1930s, however, the superior resources of General Motors and the success of its V-16 engine pushed Cadillac past Packard as the premier luxury car in America. Packard diversified by producing a smaller, more affordable model, the One Twenty, which increased the company’s sales. The coming of World War II halted consumer car production in the United States. In the postwar years, Packard struggled as Cadillac maintained a firm hold on the luxury car market and the media saddled the lumbering Packard with names like “bathtub” or “pregnant elephant.”
With sales dwindling by the 1950s, Packard merged with the much larger Studebaker Corporation in the hope of cutting its production costs. The new Packard-Studebaker became the fourth largest manufacturer of cars in the nation. Studebaker was struggling as well, however, and eventually dropped all its own big cars as well as the Packard. In 1956, Packard-Studebaker’s then-president, James Nance, made the decision to suspend Packard’s manufacturing operations in Detroit. Though the company would continue to manufacture cars in South Bend, Indiana, until 1958, the final model produced on June 25, 1956, is considered the last true Packard.

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On June 25, 1996, a tanker truck loaded with 25,000 pounds of explosives rips through the U.S. Air Force military housing complex Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding nearly 500 others.
The terrorist attack that blew off much of the eight-story Building 131, leaving a crater 50 feet wide and 16 feet deep, was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces since the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut that left 241 dead.
The bombers, later identified as members of the pro-Iran Islamic militant group Hezbollah, parked the truck near the towers that were home to 2,000 American military personnel who were assigned to the King Abdul Aziz Air Base to patrol southern Iraqi no-fly zones. They escaped before setting off the explosion.
Investigators found the attack had been planned for more than three years by members of the Saudi Hezbollah, with backing from Iran, as a way to force U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Hezbollah and Iran were found guilty by a U.S. federal court in 2006, and Iran was ordered to pay $254.5 million to survivors. That money has not been collected.
In 2001, 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man were indicted in the attack by the U.S., with Attorney General John Ashcroft stating “... the Iranian government inspired, supported and supervised members of Saudi Hezbollah.” Charges included conspiracy to kill Americans and U.S. employees, to use weapons of mass destruction and to destroy U.S. property, plus murder and bombing.
Iran denied involvement in the attack, and Saudi Arabia said they would not extradite those charged who were in their custody. None of the indicted have been brought to court.
Nearly 20 years later, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Mughassil, a key Hezbollah operative implicated in the attack, was captured and arrested in Beirut in 2015 and moved to Saudi Arabia for interrogation. In 2018, Iran was ordered to pay victims $104.7 million by a U.S. federal judge.

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On June 25, 1942, General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes commander of all U.S. troops in the European theater of World War II, continuing the steady ascent in military rank that would culminate in his appointment as supreme Allied commander of all forces in Europe in 1943. As U.S. commander, Ike developed diplomatic skills that he would later employ as America’s 34th president.
U.S. Army military historians Carl Vuono and M.P.W. Stone have described Eisenhower as a dynamic leader who successfully planned and oversaw military strategy in a complex global environment. These qualities came in handy when Eisenhower was elected president in 1952. The Cold War between democratic and communist nations was in full swing and Eisenhower’s ability to form cooperative relationships, his military experience and calm demeanor reassured anxious Americans.
Ike attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1911 to 1915, where he cultivated friendships with future generals Omar Bradley, James A. Van Fleet and Joseph T. McNarney. After graduating, Eisenhower served in relative obscurity stateside and in Panama, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He went to the Army War College in 1928 and a year later worked as an assistant in the secretary of war’s office. In 1935, he served as an assistant to General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines. With war with Japan seeming imminent, Eisenhower returned to the states in 1941 to become a brigadier general in the Third Army. Between February and June 1942, Eisenhower was assigned to the War Department and rose rapidly within its ranks. As the leading general of the U.S. forces in Europe, Eisenhower was directly involved with planning and executing U.S. military strategy in the fight to liberate Europe from Germany and fascist Italy.
In November 1942, Eisenhower went on to become the commander of all Allied forces in North Africa, where he led the successful invasions of Sicily and Italy and dealt with irascible British General Bernard Montgomery and exiled French leader Charles de Gaulle. A year later he was appointed supreme commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces and planned and led the invasion of Normandy, France, more commonly referred to as D-Day. Eisenhower stayed on as general of the U.S. Army until 1951, when he resigned his commission to run his successful campaign for president. For two terms, Ike the war hero presided as the nation’s commander in chief.
In a speech he gave upon leaving office in 1961, Eisenhower famously warned Americans of the growing power of what he termed the military-industrial complex, or the potential for danger that existed from the relation of the nation’s commercial and military interests.

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June 25th In Music

1969 - The Guess Who's "These Eyes" is certified gold.

1969 - The Hollies record "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

1970 - Chicago release "25 or 6 to 4" from Chicago II.

1983 - The Police scored their fourth UK No. 1 album with 'Synchronicity', also No. 1 in the US and featuring the singles 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Wrapped Around Your Finger'.

Birthdays:

1940 - Clint Warwick. Bassist with English rock band The Moody Blues who had the 1965 US No. 10 single 'Go Now' and also the hit singles including 'Nights in White Satin' and 'Question'. He died on 5.18.2004.

1946 - Allen Lanier. Guitar, keyboards, from American hard rock band Blue Oyster Cult who scored the 1976 US No. 12 single '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'. Blue Oyster Cult have sold over 24 million records worldwide. Born in Long Island, New York.

1946 - Ian McDonald. Rock multi-instrumentalist, Foreigner, King Crimson. Born in Osterley, Middlesex, England.

1954 - David Paich. American keyboardist, singer, composer, recording producer,  who with Toto had the 1983 US No. 1 single 'Africa'. Paich played with various artists and groups such as Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Quincy Jones, Don Henley, Diana Ross, Doobie Brothers, Neil Diamond, Seals and Crofts, Steely Dan, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Cher, Randy Newman, Brothers Johnson and Pink. Born in Los Angeles, California.

1974 - Mario Calire. Drummer for The Wallflowers. Born in Buffalo, New York.

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On June 26, 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.
When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin’s government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.
Though some in U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response to this aggressive Soviet move, Truman worried such a response would trigger another world war. Instead, he authorized a massive airlift operation under the control of General Lucius D. Clay, the American-appointed military governor of Germany. The first planes took off from England and western Germany on June 26, loaded with food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel.
At the beginning of the operation, the planes delivered about 5,000 tons of supplies to West Berlin every day; by the end, those loads had increased to about 8,000 tons of supplies per day. The Allies carried about 2.3 million tons of cargo in all over the course of the airlift.
The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair.
The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift, called die Luftbrucke or “the air bridge” in German, continued until September 1949 at a total cost of over $224 million. When it ended, the eastern section of Berlin was absorbed into Soviet East Germany, while West Berlin remained a separate territory with its own government and close ties to West Germany.
The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, formed a dividing line between East and West Berlin. Its destruction in 1989 presaged the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of an era and the reemergence of Berlin as the capital of a new, unified German nation.

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On June 26, 1917, during World War I, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops land in France at the port of Saint-Nazaire. The landing site had been kept secret because of the menace of German submarines, but by the time the Americans had lined up to take their first salute on French soil, an enthusiastic crowd had gathered to welcome them. However, the “Doughboys,” as the British referred to the green American troops, were untrained, ill equipped, and far from ready for the difficulties of fighting along the Western Front.
One of U.S. General John J. Pershing’s first duties as commander of the American Expeditionary Force was to set up training camps in France and establish communication and supply networks. Four months later, on October 21, the first Americans entered combat when units from the U.S. Army’s First Division were assigned to Allied trenches in the Luneville sector near Nancy, France. Each American unit was attached to a corresponding French unit. Two days later, Corporal Robert Bralet of the Sixth Artillery became the first U.S. soldier to fire a shot in the war when he discharged a French 75mm gun into a German trench a half mile away. On November 2, Corporal James Gresham and privates Thomas Enright and Merle Hay of the 16th Infantry became the first American soldiers to die when Germans raided their trenches near Bathelemont, France.
After four years of bloody stalemate along the Western Front, the entrance of America’s well supplied forces into the conflict was a major turning point in the war. When the war finally ended on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and more than 50,000 of these men had lost their lives.

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On this day in 1956, the U.S. Congress approves the Federal Highway Act, which allocates more than $30 billion for the construction of some 41,000 miles of interstate highways; it will be the largest public construction project in U.S. history to that date.
Among the pressing questions involved in passing highway legislation were where exactly the highways should be built, and how much of the cost should be carried by the federal government versus the individual states. Several competing bills went through Congress before 1956, including plans spearheaded by the retired general and engineer Lucius D. Clay; Senator Albert Gore Sr.; and Rep. George H. Fallon, who called his program the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways,” thus linking the construction of highways with the preservation of a strong national defense.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower had first realized the value of a national system of roads after participating in the U.S. Army’s first transcontinental motor convoy in 1919; during World War II, he had admired Germany’s autobahn network. In January 1956, Eisenhower called in his State of the Union address (as he had in 1954) for a “modern, interstate highway system.” Later that month, Fallon introduced a revised version of his bill as the Federal Highway Act of 1956. It provided for a 65,000-km national system of interstate and defense highways to be built over 13 years, with the federal government paying for 90 percent, or $24.8 billion. To raise funds for the project, Congress would increase the gas tax from two to three cents per gallon and impose a series of other highway user tax changes. On June 26, 1956, the Senate approved the final version of the bill by a vote of 89 to 1; Senator Russell Long, who opposed the gas tax increase, cast the single “no” vote. That same day, the House approved the bill by a voice vote, and three days later, Eisenhower signed it into law.
Highway construction began almost immediately, employing tens of thousands of workers and billions of tons of gravel and asphalt. The system fueled a surge in the interstate trucking industry, which soon pushed aside the railroads to gain the lion’s share of the domestic shipping market. Interstate highway construction also fostered the growth of roadside businesses such as restaurants (often fast-food chains), hotels and amusement parks. By the 1960s, an estimated one in seven Americans was employed directly or indirectly by the automobile industry, and America had become a nation of drivers.
Legislation has extended the Interstate Highway Revenue Act three times, and it is remembered by many historians as Eisenhower’s greatest domestic achievement. On the other side of the coin, critics of the system have pointed to its less positive effects, including the loss of productive farmland and the demise of small businesses and towns in more isolated parts of the country.

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June 26th In Music

1870 - At the National Theatre in Munich, Wagner's opera Die Walküre is performed for the first time, introducing the famous piece "The Ride Of The Valkyries." (One of the scores played in Apocalypse Now as the choppers were headed to the beach.)

1965 - The Byrds went to No. 1 on the US singles chart with 'Mr Tambourine Man'. Only Roger McGuinn from the band played on the song, the drummer Hal Blaine who played on the track also played on 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.

1976 - Peter Frampton releases "Baby, I Love Your Way."

Birthdays:

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On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.
At the Yalta Conference towards the end of World War II, the United States, the USSR, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. In 1947, the United States and Great Britain called for free elections throughout Korea, but the Soviets refused to comply. In May 1948 the Korean Democratic People’s Republic, a communist state, was proclaimed in North Korea. In August, the democratic Republic of Korea was established in South Korea. By 1949, both the United States and the USSR had withdrawn the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula.
At dawn on June 25, 1950 (June 24 in the United States and Europe), 90,000 communist troops of the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea across the 38th parallel, catching the Republic of Korea’s forces completely off guard and throwing them into a hasty southern retreat. On the afternoon of June 25, the U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session and approved a U.S. resolution calling for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and the withdrawal of North Korean forces to the 38th parallel. At the time, the USSR was boycotting the Security Council over the U.N.’s refusal to admit the People’s Republic of China and so missed its chance to veto this and other crucial U.N. resolutions.
On June 27, President Truman announced to the nation and the world that America would intervene in the Korean conflict in order to prevent the conquest of an independent nation by communism. Truman was suggesting that the USSR was behind the North Korean invasion, and in fact the Soviets had given tacit approval to the invasion, which was carried out with Soviet-made tanks and weapons. Despite the fear that U.S. intervention in Korea might lead to open warfare between the United States and Russia after years of “cold war,” Truman’s decision was met with overwhelming approval from Congress and the U.S. public. Truman did not ask for a declaration of war, but Congress voted to extend the draft and authorized Truman to call up reservists.
On June 28, the Security Council met again and in the continued absence of the Soviet Union passed a U.S. resolution approving the use of force against North Korea. On June 30, Truman agreed to send U.S. ground forces to Korea, and on July 7 the Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces sent to Korea be put under U.S. command. The next day, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of all U.N. forces in Korea.
In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but Chinese communist troops entered the fray in October, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat. In April 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command after he publicly threatened to bomb China in defiance of Truman’s stated war policy. Truman feared that an escalation of fighting with China would draw the Soviet Union into the Korean War.
By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, and the battle line remained in that vicinity for the remainder of the war. On July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.
The original figure of American troops lost, 54,246 killed, became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.

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On June 27, 1829, in Genoa, Italy, English scientist James Smithson dies after a long illness, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic.
Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, and one type of zinc carbonate was later named smithsonite in his honor.
Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson’s gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, eight shillings, and seven pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history. On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James K. Polk.
Today, the Smithsonian is composed of 19 museums including the recently announced National Museum of African American History and Culture, nine research centers throughout the United States and the world and the national zoo. Besides the original Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the “Castle,” visitors to Washington, D.C., tour the National Museum of Natural History, which houses the natural science collections, the National Zoological Park, and the National Portrait Gallery. The National Museum of American History houses the original Star-Spangled Banner and other artifacts of U.S. history. The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting marvels of aviation and space history such as the Wright brothers’ plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space.

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On June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Mormon religion, is murdered along with his brother Hyrum when an anti-Mormon mob breaks into a jail where they are being held in Carthage, Illinois.
Born in Vermont in 1805, Smith (obviously after eating more than his share of hallucinogenic mushrooms) claimed in 1823 that he had been visited by a Christian angel named Moroni who spoke to him of an ancient Hebrew text that had been lost for 1,500 years. The holy text, supposedly engraved on gold plates by a Native American historian in the fourth century, related the story of Israelite peoples who had lived in America in ancient times. During the next six years, Smith dictated an English translation of this text to his wife and other scribes, and in 1830 The Book of Mormon was published. In the same year, Smith founded the Church of Christ, later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Fayette Township.
The religion rapidly gained converts, and Smith set up Mormon communities in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. However, the Christian sect was also heavily criticized for its unorthodox practices, such as polygamy. In 1844, Smith announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. Although he did not have great enough appeal to win, the idea of Smith as president increased anti-Mormon sentiment. A group of dissenting Mormons began publishing a newspaper that was highly critical of the practice of polygamy and of Smith’s leadership; Smith had the press destroyed. The ensuing threat of violence prompted Smith to call out a militia in the Mormon town of Nauvoo, Illinois. He was charged with treason and conspiracy by Illinois authorities and imprisoned with his brother Hyrum in the Carthage city jail. On June 27, 1844, an anti-Mormon mob stormed in and murdered the brothers.
Two years later, Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, led an exodus of persecuted Mormons from Nauvoo along the western wagon trails in search of religious and political freedom. In July 1847, the 148 initial Mormon pioneers reached Utah’s Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Upon viewing the valley, Young declared, “This is the place,” and the pioneers began preparations for the tens of thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow them to settle there.

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On June 27, 1940, the Germans set up two-way radio communication in their newly occupied French territory, employing their most sophisticated coding machine, Enigma, to transmit information.
The Germans established radio stations in Brest and the port town of Cherbourg. Signals would be transmitted to German bombers so as to direct them to targets in Britain. The Enigma coding machine, invented in 1919 by Hugo Koch, a Dutchman, looked like a typewriter and was originally employed for business purposes.
The German army adapted the machine for wartime use and considered its encoding system unbreakable. They were wrong. The Brits had broken the code as early as the German invasion of Poland and had intercepted virtually every message sent through the system. Britain nicknamed the intercepted messages Ultra.

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On June 27, 1985, after 59 years, the iconic Route 66 enters the realm of history when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decertifies the road and votes to remove all its highway signs.
Measuring some 2,200 miles in its heyday, Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, passing through eight states. According to a New York Times article about its decertification, most of Route 66 followed a path through the wilderness forged in 1857 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale at the head of a caravan of camels. Over the years, wagon trains and cattlemen eventually made way for trucks and passenger automobiles.
The idea of building a highway along this route surfaced in Oklahoma in the mid-1920s as a way to link the state to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. Highway Commissioner Cyrus S. Avery touted it as a way of diverting traffic from Kansas City, Missouri and Denver. In 1926, the highway earned its official designation as Route 66.
The diagonal course of Route 66 linked hundreds of mostly rural communities to the cities along its route, allowing farmers to more easily transport grain and other types of produce for distribution. The highway was also a lifeline for the long-distance trucking industry, which by 1930 was competing with the railroad for dominance in the shipping market.
Route 66 was the scene of a mass westward migration during the 1930s, when more than 200,000 people traveled from the poverty-stricken Dust Bowl to California. John Steinbeck immortalized the highway, which he called the “Mother Road,” in his classic 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Beginning in the 1950s, the building of a massive system of interstate highways made older roads increasingly obsolete, and by 1970, modern four-lane highways had bypassed nearly all sections of Route 66. In October 1984, Interstate 40 bypassed the last original stretch of Route 66 at Williams, Arizona, and the following year the road was decertified. According to the National Historic Route 66 Federation, drivers can still use 85 percent of the road, and Route 66 has become a destination for tourists from all over the world.
Often called the “Main Street of America,” Route 66 became a pop culture mainstay over the years, inspiring its own song (written in 1947 by Bobby Troup, “Route 66″ was later recorded by artists as varied as Nat “King” Cole, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones) as well as a 1960s television series. More recently, the historic highway was featured prominently in the hit animated film “Cars”(2006).

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June 27th In Music

1956 - At Master Recorders in Hollywood, Fats Domino records "Blueberry Hill," a song popularized by Gene Autry in 1940. Domino's version, with his famous piano intro, becomes his biggest hit and the definitive version of the song.

1970 - The group Smile change their name to Queen and perform for the first time under that moniker.

1975 - Fandango becomes ZZ Top's second gold album.

Birthdays:

1944 - Bruce Johnston. Vocals, guitar, The Beach Boys. In 1965, Johnston joined the band for live performances, filling in for the group's co-founder Brian Wilson. He wrote the No. 1 Barry Manilow hit 'I Write the Songs' and also sang on the recordings for Elton John's 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me' and several songs on Pink Floyd's album The Wall.

1945 - Joey Covington. American drummer, best known for his involvement with Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. Covington died on 6.4.2013.

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4 hours ago, Schmidt Meister said:

On June 27, 1985, after 59 years, the iconic Route 66 enters the realm of history when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decertifies the road and votes to remove all its highway signs.
Measuring some 2,200 miles in its heyday, Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, passing through eight states. According to a New York Times article about its decertification, most of Route 66 followed a path through the wilderness forged in 1857 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale at the head of a caravan of camels. Over the years, wagon trains and cattlemen eventually made way for trucks and passenger automobiles.
The idea of building a highway along this route surfaced in Oklahoma in the mid-1920s as a way to link the state to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. Highway Commissioner Cyrus S. Avery touted it as a way of diverting traffic from Kansas City, Missouri and Denver. In 1926, the highway earned its official designation as Route 66.
The diagonal course of Route 66 linked hundreds of mostly rural communities to the cities along its route, allowing farmers to more easily transport grain and other types of produce for distribution. The highway was also a lifeline for the long-distance trucking industry, which by 1930 was competing with the railroad for dominance in the shipping market.
Route 66 was the scene of a mass westward migration during the 1930s, when more than 200,000 people traveled from the poverty-stricken Dust Bowl to California. John Steinbeck immortalized the highway, which he called the “Mother Road,” in his classic 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Beginning in the 1950s, the building of a massive system of interstate highways made older roads increasingly obsolete, and by 1970, modern four-lane highways had bypassed nearly all sections of Route 66. In October 1984, Interstate 40 bypassed the last original stretch of Route 66 at Williams, Arizona, and the following year the road was decertified. According to the National Historic Route 66 Federation, drivers can still use 85 percent of the road, and Route 66 has become a destination for tourists from all over the world.
Often called the “Main Street of America,” Route 66 became a pop culture mainstay over the years, inspiring its own song (written in 1947 by Bobby Troup, “Route 66″ was later recorded by artists as varied as Nat “King” Cole, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones) as well as a 1960s television series. More recently, the historic highway was featured prominently in the hit animated film “Cars”(2006).

In 1960 two friend and I drove from KC to LA on 66 in Renault that belonged to one of the guys. Still see one of them from time to time, don't know what happened to the other guy.  In the SW they just paved the dips in the road rather than building bridges and put up signs warning of flash floods during rainy season.

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40 minutes ago, pipedreams said:

In 1960 two friend and I drove from KC to LA on 66 in Renault that belonged to one of the guys. Still see one of them from time to time, don't know what happened to the other guy.  In the SW they just paved the dips in the road rather than building bridges and put up signs warning of flash floods during rainy season.

I know you enjoyed the trip. My wife and I have driven 66 from around St. Louis all the way to the pier in CA in two different trips. The roughest part of the trip was the part going through Oatman, AZ. It can be a unusal drive in several places.

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On June 28, 1953, workers at a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, assemble the first Corvette, a two-seater sports car that would become an American icon. The first completed production car rolled off the assembly line two days later, one of just 300 Corvettes made that year.
The idea for the Corvette originated with General Motors’ pioneering designer Harley J. Earl, who in 1951 began developing plans for a low-cost American sports car that could compete with Europe’s MGs, Jaguars and Ferraris. The project was eventually code-named “Opel.” In January 1953, GM debuted the Corvette concept car at its Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It featured a fiberglass body and a six-cylinder engine and according to GM, was named for the “trim, fleet naval vessel that performed heroic escort and patrol duties during World War II.” The Corvette was a big hit with the public at Motorama and GM soon put the roadster into production.
On June 30, 1953, the first Corvette came off the production line in Flint. It was hand-assembled and featured a Polo White exterior and red interior, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, a wraparound windshield, whitewall tires and detachable plastic curtains instead of side windows. The earliest Corvettes were designed to be opened from the inside and lacked exterior door handles. Other components included a clock, cigarette lighter and red warning light that activated when the parking brake was applied, a new feature at the time. The car carried an initial price tag of $3,490 and could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 11 or 12 seconds, then considered a fairly average speed.
In 1954, the Corvette went into mass production at a Chevy plant in St. Louis, Missouri. Sales were lackluster in the beginning and GM considered discontinuing the line. However, rival company Ford had introduced the two-seater Thunderbird around the same time and GM did not want to be seen bowing to the competition. Another critical development in the Corvette’s survival came in 1955, when it was equipped with the more powerful V-8 engine. Its performance and appeal steadily improved after that and it went on to earn the nickname “America’s sports car” and become ingrained in pop culture through multiple references in movies, television and music.

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June 28th In Music

1959 - Bobby Darin was at No. 2 on the singles chart with 'Dream Lover'.

1968 - Pink Floyd released their second album A Saucerful Of Secrets in the UK. It is both the last Pink Floyd album on which Syd Barrett would appear and the only studio album to which all five band members contributed.

1975 - The Eagles started a five-week run at No. 1 on the US album chart with their fourth studio album 'One Of These Nights'. The album which became their breakthrough album released three US Top 10 singles, 'Lyin' Eyes', (which won a Grammy), 'Take It To The Limit' and the title track.

1975 - Wings went to No. 1 on the UK chart with their fourth album 'Venus And Mars'. The follow up to Band On The Run featured the US No. 1 single 'Listen What The Man Said'.

1997 - The Pink Floyd album The Dark Side Of The Moon spent its 1056th week on the US album chart. It was rumored at the time that if the album was played while watching The Wizard of Oz movie, and started exactly when the MGM lion roared the third time during the movie's intro, very interesting connections could be made between the two.

Birthdays:

1943 - Bobby Harrison. Drummer with Procol Harum, who had the 1967 US No. 5 single 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' (one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies) and scored the hits 'Homburg', 'Conquistador'.

1945 - David Knights. Original bass guitarist for Procol Harum. 1967 US No. 5 single 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' (one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies) and scored the hits 'Homburg', 'Conquistador'. He played on Procol Harum's first three albums. Born in Islington, North London, England.

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