Today in History – June 8

1776 – American Revolutionary War: Continental Army attackers were driven back at the Battle of Trois-Rivières.

1783 – Laki, a volcano in Iceland, began an eight-month eruption which killed over 9,000 people and started a seven-year famine.

1789 – James Madison introduced twelve proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in Congress.

1794 – Maximilien Robespierre inaugurated the French Revolution’s new state religion, the Cult of the Supreme Being, with large organized festivals all across France.

1856 – A group of 194 Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty, arrived at Norfolk Island, and commenced the Third Settlement of the Island.

1861 – American Civil War: Tennessee seceded from the Union.

1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys: Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson saved the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan.

1887 – Herman Hollerith applied for US patent #395,781 for the ‘Art of Compiling Statistics’, which was his punched card calculator.

1906 – Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, which authorized the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.

1912 – Carl Laemmle incorporated Universal Pictures.

1918 – A solar eclipse was observed at Baker City, Oregon by scientists and an artist hired by the United States Navy.

1940 – World War II: The completion of Operation Alphabet, the evacuation of Allied forces from Narvik at the end of the Norwegian Campaign.

1941 – World War II: The Allies commenced the Syria–Lebanon Campaign against the possessions of Vichy France in the Levant.

1942 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy submarines I-21 and I-24 shelled the Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle.

1942 – Bing Crosby recorded “Silent Night”.

1949 – Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson were named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.

1949 – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was published.

1953 – An F5 tornado hit Beecher, Michigan.  It killed 116, injured 844, and destroyed 340 homes.

1953 – The United States Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co. that restaurants in Washington, D.C., could not refuse to serve black patrons.

1959 – USS Barbero and the United States Postal Service attempted the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.

1964 – “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)”, recorded by 1960s American pop singers Jan and Dean, was released.

1966 – An F-104 Starfighter collided with XB-70 Valkyrie prototype no. 2 and destroyed both aircraft during a photo shoot near Edwards Air Force Base. Joseph A. Walker, a NASA test pilot, and Carl Cross, a United States Air Force test pilot, were both killed.

1966 – Topeka, Kansas, was devastated by a tornado that registered as an “F5” on the Fujita scale: The first to exceed US$100 million in damages. Sixteen people were killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.

1966 – The National Football League and American Football League announced a merger effective in 1970.

1967 – Six-Day War: The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship (spy ship), USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, during the Six-Day War.  The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two marines, and one civilian NSA employee), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.

1968 – James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested at London Heathrow Airport.

1968 – The body of assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

1968 – Gary Puckett and Union Gap released “Lady Will Power.”

1968 – Rolling Stones released “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

1969 – Brian Jones was asked to leave The Rolling Stones.  On the same day, guitarist Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones.

1972 – Vietnam War: Nine-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc was burned by napalm, an event captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut moments later while the young girl was seen running down a road, in what became an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo.

1974 – Keyboardist Rick Wakeman quit the rock group “Yes” (for the first time).

1984 – “Ghostbusters,” American supernatural comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, premiered.

1984 – “Gremlins”, American comedy horror film, was released.

1992 – The first World Oceans Day was celebrated.  It coincided with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1995 – Downed U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was rescued by U.S. Marines in Bosnia.

2009 – Two American journalists were found guilty of illegally entering North Korea and sentenced to 12 years of penal labor.

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