Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 8, 2018

Today is Friday, June 8, the 159th day of 2018. There are 206 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 8, 1968, authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Email newsletter signup

On this date:

In A.D. 632, the prophet Muhammad died in Medina.

In 1042, Edward the Confessor became King of England, beginning a reign of 23 1/2 years.

In 1845, Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1917, during World War I, Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, arrived in Liverpool, England, while en route to France; also, the 1st Expeditionary Division (later the 1st Infantry Division) was organized at Fort Jay in New York.

In 1920, the Republican National Convention opened in Chicago; its delegates ended up nominating Warren G. Harding for president.

In 1939, Britain’s King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Washington, D.C., where they were received at the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1948, the “Texaco Star Theater” made its debut on NBC-TV with Milton Berle guest-hosting the first program. (Berle was later named the show’s permanent host.)

In 1953, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that restaurants in the District of Columbia could not refuse to serve blacks. Eight tornadoes struck Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, killing 126 people.

In 1967, during the six-day Middle East war, 34 American servicemen were killed when Israel attacked the USS Liberty, a Navy intelligence-gathering ship in the Mediterranean Sea. (Israel later said the Liberty had been mistaken for an Egyptian vessel.)

In 1978, a jury in Clark County, Nevada, ruled the so-called “Mormon will,” purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery.

In 1987, Fawn Hall began testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings, describing how, as secretary to National Security aide Oliver L. North, she had helped shred some documents and spirit away others.

In 1998, the National Rifle Association elected actor Charlton Heston to be its president.

Ten years ago: A suicide truck bomber struck a U.S. patrol base Sunday in northern Iraq, killing one U.S. soldier. A man went on a knifing rampage in Tokyo, killing seven people. Rafael Nadal won his fourth consecutive French Open title in a rout, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, again spoiling Roger Federer’s bid to complete a career Grand Slam. Yani Tseng of Taiwan became the first rookie in 10 years to win a major, beating Maria Hjorth on the fourth hole of a playoff with a 5-foot birdie on the 18th hole to win the LPGA Championship in Maryland.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) concluded a two-day summit in the California desert that ended with few policy breakthroughs but the prospect of closer personal ties. Serena Williams won her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship since 2002, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4. Palace Malice took charge on the turn for home and won the Belmont Stakes, holding off Preakness winner Oxbow and Kentucky Derby winner Orb.

One year ago: Former FBI Director James Comey, testifying before Congress, asserted that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy of calling an early election backfired as her Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament. Actress Glenne Headly died in Santa Monica, California, at age 62. Jelena Ostapenko became the first unseeded women’s finalist at the French Open in more than 30 years by beating Timea Bacsinszky, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3. (Ostapenko went on to win the title.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Jerry Stiller is 91. Actress Millicent Martin is 84. Actor James Darren is 82. Singer Nancy Sinatra is 78. Singer Chuck Negron is 76. Musician Boz Scaggs is 74. Author Sara Paretsky is 71. Actress Sonia Braga is 68. Actress Kathy Baker is 68. Country musician Tony Rice is 67. Rock singer Bonnie Tyler is 67. Actor Griffin Dunne is 63. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams is 61. Actor-director Keenen Ivory Wayans is 60. Singer Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) is 58. Musician Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Doris Pearson (Five Star) is 52. Actress Julianna Margulies is 51. Actor Dan Futterman is 51. Actor David Sutcliffe is 49. Actor Kent Faulcon is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nicci Gilbert is 48. Actress Kelli Williams is 48. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is 48. Actor Mark Feuerstein is 47. Contemporary Christian musician Mike Scheuchzer (MercyMe) is 43. Actor Eion Bailey is 42. Tennis player Lindsay Davenport is 42. Rapper Kanye (KAHN’-yay) West is 41. TV personality-actress Maria Menounos is 40. Country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson is 40. Blues-rock musician Derek Trucks (The Derek Trucks Band) is 39. Rock singer Alex Band (The Calling) is 37. Folk-bluegrass singer-musician Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 37. Tennis player Kim Clijsters is 35. Actress Torrey DeVitto is 34. Tennis player Jelena Ostapenko is 21.