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Today in History for June 21, 2021


Romani a 18-year-old Asian elephant and mother to newborn female calf named Kirina, lifts her foot Wednesday, June 21, 1995, for her newborn to pass by at the Burnet Park Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y. The Burnet Park zoo is one of several U.S. zoos involved in a species surival plan to breed Asian elephants, an endangered species. (AP Photo/The Syracuse Newspapers, C. W. McKeen)

Today’s Highlight in History

On June 21, 1788: The United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

On this date

In 1377: King Edward III died after ruling England for 50 years; he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.

In 1834: Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

In 1942: An Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.

In 1954: The American Cancer Society presented a study to the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco which found that men who regularly smoked cigarettes died at a considerably higher rate than non-smokers.

In 1964: Civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison, where he died in January 2018.)

In 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.

In 1977: Menachem Begin (men-AH’-kem BAY’-gihn) of the Likud bloc became Israel’s sixth prime minister.

In 1982: A jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.

In 1989: A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

In 1997: The WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.

In 2010: Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’), a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square. (Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2011: The Food and Drug Administration announced that cigarette packs in the U.S. would have to carry macabre images that included rotting teeth and gums, diseased lungs and a sewn-up corpse of a smoker as part of a graphic campaign aimed at discouraging Americans from lighting up.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously threw out penalties against Fox and ABC television stations that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television, but the justices declined to issue a broader constitutional ruling. Miami’s LeBron James capped his title bid with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as he led the Heat in a 121-106 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA Finals in five games. Broadway composer-lyricist Richard Adler, 90, died in Southhampton, New York.

Five years ago: Edmonton’s Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player at the league’s postseason awards show in Las Vegas.

One year ago: The town council in Amherst, Massachusetts, created a fund to pay reparations to Black residents; the move came as communities and institutions looked for ways to atone for slavery, discrimination and past wrongs amid the nation’s ongoing racial reckoning. Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active player in NFL history to publicly declare that he was gay. (Nassib would get support from his teammates and the Raiders, but was cut in March 2022 in a salary cap move.) Major League Baseball umpires began doing regular checks of all pitchers for tacky substances that could be used to doctor baseballs.

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