Today’s Highlight in History
On June 24, 1497: The first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot spotted land, probably in present-day Canada.
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In 1509: Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.
In 1807: A grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted).
In 1939: The Southeast Asian country Siam changed its name to Thailand. (It went back to being Siam in 1945, then became Thailand once again in 1949.)
In 1940: France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.
In 1946: Fred M. Vinson was sworn in as the 13th chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late Harlan F. Stone.
In 1948: Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.
In 1957: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Roth v. United States, ruled 6-3 that obscene materials were not protected by the First Amendment.
In 1973: President Richard Nixon concluded his summit with the visiting leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, who hailed the talks in an address on American television.
In 1983: The space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1992: The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
In 2015: A federal judge in Boston formally sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for the 2013 terror attacks. (A federal appeals court later threw out the sentence; the Supreme Court reinstated it.)
In 2020: Three white men were indicted on murder charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while running in a neighborhood near Georgia’s coast. (All three were convicted.)
Ten years ago: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt’s first free presidential election. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement that would bring $405 million to victims of Bernard Madoff’s historic investment scam.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) married Scottish actor Louise Linton in Washington. At least 10 people were killed by a landslide in a mountain village in southwestern China.
One year ago: A 12-story condominium building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed, killing 98 people. An appeals court suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York because he made false statements while trying to get courts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential race. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would create a special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol; Senate Republicans had blocked legislation that would form a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. Leaders of indigenous groups in Canada said investigators had found more than 600 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school for indigenous children.