Today in History – June 16

1755 – French and Indian War: The French surrendered Fort Beauséjour to the British, which led to the expulsion of the Acadians.

1858 – Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.

1883 – The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England, killed 183 children.

1884 – The first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s “Switchback Railway”, opened in New York’s Coney Island amusement park.

1902 – “The Wizard of Oz” musical first opened.  (Chicago, Illinois)

1903 – The Ford Motor Company was incorporated.

1903 – Pepsi Cola company formed.

1904 – Irish author James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently used the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called “Bloomsday”.

1911 – IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.

1944 – In a gross miscarriage of justice, George Junius Stinney Jr., age 14, became the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century after being convicted in a two-hour trial for the rape and murder of two teenage white girls.

1960 – “Psycho”, psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, and Vera Miles, opened in New York City.

1963 – Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.

1967 – 50,000 attended the first day of the Monterey International Pop Festival. (beginning of the Summer of Love).

1978 – Film “Grease” opened, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, based on the 1971 musical.

1978 – Ringo Starr released “Bad Boy” album; Wings released “I’ve Had Enough”.

1980 – Musical comedy film “The Blues Brothers” starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, and directed by John Landis, premiered in Chicago.

1981 – US President Ronald Reagan awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979–81; he was the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor.

1989 – “Ghostbusters II” directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murry and Dan Aykroyd premiered.

1990 – “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer peaked at #8.

1995 – “Batman Forever” opened with a record $528 million weekend starring Val Kilmer, Chris O’Donnell, Tommy Lee Jones and Nicole Kidman.

2012 – The United States Air Force’s robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returned to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.

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