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Today in History

1389 Ottomans defeat Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe

1519 King Carlos I elected Holy Roman Catholic Emperor Charles V

1762 Russian Tsarina Catherine II seizes power, declaring herself sovereign ruler of Russia

1770 Quakers open a school for blacks in Philadelphia

1776 Final draft of Declaration of Independence submitted to Continental Congress

1778 Mary Ludwig Hayes “Molly Pitcher” aids American patriots

1820 Tomato is proven to be non-poisonous by Colonel Robert Gibbon eating a tomato on steps of courthouse in Salem, New Jersey

1838 Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey, London

1894 Labor Day established as a holiday for US federal employees

1914 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip at 10.45, the casus belli of WWI

1919 Treaty of Versailles, ending WWI and establishing the League of Nations, is signed in France

1935 FDR orders a federal gold vault to be built at Fort Knox, Kentucky

1950 North Korean forces capture Seoul, South Korea in opening phase of the Korean War

1964 Organization for Afro-American Unity formed in New York by Malcolm X

1965 1st US ground combat forces in Vietnam authorized by President Lyndon B. Johnson

1969 Police carry out an early morning raid on gay bar Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, NY; about 400 to 1,000 patrons riot against police, it lasts 3 days. Beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement

1976 1st woman was admitted to Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado

1982 Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, name their baby “William”

Movies & TV

1951 “Amos ‘n’ Andy” premieres on CBS TV

1996 “Nutty Professor” starring Eddie Murphy opens in theaters in the USA

2003 “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, premieres at Disneyland

2017 “Spider-man: Homecoming” directed by Jon Watts starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. premieres in Los Angeles


1846 Saxophone is patented by Antoine-Joseph “Adolfe” Sax

1928 Louis Armstrong makes 78 recording of “West End blues”

1978 UNICEF chooses rock group Kansas as ambassadors of goodwill


1939 Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

1957 Reds’ fans stuff ballot box, electing 8 Reds as All Star starters. Frick overrules and names Stan Musial, Willie Mays, & Hank Aaron to team

1971 US Supreme Court (8-0) overturns draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali

1973 Black Sports Hall of Fame forms: Paul Robeson, Elgin Baylor, Jesse Owens, Jim Brown, Wilma Rudolph, Joe Louis and Althea Gibson elected

1975 Reigning PGA Championship winner Lee Trevino and playing partners Jerry Heard, Bobby Nichols, Jim Ahern and Tony Jacklin are struck by lightning at Western Open; suffer minor burns


1491 Henry VIII, King of England (1509-47) who separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, born in London (d. 1547)

1703 John Wesley, English Christian theologian and co-founder of the Methodist movement, born in Epworth, England (d. 1791)

1926 Mel Brooks, American actor, comedian and director (Get Smart, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs), born in NYC, New York

1946 Gilda Radner, American comedian and actress (SNL, Haunted Honeymoon), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1989)

1948 Kathy Bates, American academy award winning actress (Misery), born in Memphis, Tennessee

1960 John Elway, American NFL quarterback (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32/33), born in Port Angeles, Washington

1971 Elon Musk, American entrepreneur and inventor (SpaceX, Tesla, Paypal), born in Pretoria, South Africa

1986 Kellie Pickler, American country music singer (Best Days of Your Life), born in Albemarle, North Carolina

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