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Today in History: June 19, Senate approves Civil Rights Act of 1964

Today is Wednesday, June 19, the 171st day of 2024. There are 195 days left in the year. This is Juneteenth.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 19, 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the U.S. Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.

On this date:

In 1775, George Washington was commissioned by the Continental Congress as commander in chief of the Continental Army.

In 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free — an event celebrated to this day as “Juneteenth.”

In 1910, the first-ever Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington. (The idea for the observance is credited to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd.)

In 1911, Pennsylvania became the first state to establish a motion picture censorship board.

In 1917, during World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames; the family took the name “Windsor.”

In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

In 1944, during World War II, the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea began, resulting in a decisive victory for the Americans over the Japanese.

In 1953, Julius Rosenberg, 35, and his wife, Ethel, 37, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.

In 1975, former Chicago organized crime boss Sam Giancana was shot to death in the basement of his home in Oak Park, Illinois; the killing has never been solved.

In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring any public school teaching the theory of evolution to teach creation science as well.

In 2013, actor James Gandolfini died while vacationing in Rome at age 51, and country singer Slim Whitman died in Orange Park, Florida at age 90.

In 2014, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California won election as House majority leader as Republicans shuffled their leadership in the wake of Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia.

In 2018, Koko, a western lowland gorilla who was taught sign language at an early age as a scientific test subject and eventually learned more than 1,000 words, died at the Gorilla Foundation’s preserve in California’s Santa Cruz mountains at the age of 46.

In 2023, a submersible known as the Titan imploded in the Atlantic near the wreckage of the Titanic, killing all five people on board.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Gena (JEH’-nuh) Rowlands is 94. Hall of Fame race car driver Shirley Muldowney is 84. Singer Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 82. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) is 79. Author Sir Salman Rushdie is 77. Actor Phylicia Rashad is 76. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 74. Musician Larry Dunn is 71. Actor Kathleen Turner is 70. Country singer Doug Stone is 68. Singer Mark “Marty” DeBarge is 65. Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul is 62. Actor Andy Lauer is 61. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is 60. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 60. Actor Samuel West is 58. Actor Mia Sara is 57. TV personality Lara Spencer is 55. Rock musician Brian “Head” Welch (Korn) is 54. Actor Jean Dujardin is 52. Actor Robin Tunney is 52. Actor Bumper Robinson is 50. Actor Poppy Montgomery is 49. Alt-country singer-musician Scott Avett (The Avett Brothers) is 48. Actor Ryan Hurst is 48. Actor Zoe Saldana is 46. Former NBA star Dirk Nowitzki is 46. Actor Neil Brown Jr. is 44. Actor Lauren Lee Smith is 44. Rapper Macklemore (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis) is 42. Actor Paul Dano is 40. Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob DeGrom is 36. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti is 35. Actor Chuku Modu (TV: “The Good Doctor”) is 34. Actor Atticus Shaffer is 26.

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