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Today in History: June 20, Queen Victoria takes the throne

Today is Thursday, June 20, the 172nd day of 2024. There are 194 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

On this date:

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts, found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.

In 1944, during World War II, Japanese naval forces retreated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea after suffering heavy losses to the victorious American fleet.

In 1947, Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills, California, home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.

In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali’s conviction was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).

In 1972, three days after the arrest of the Watergate burglars, President Richard Nixon met at the White House with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman; the secretly made tape recording of this meeting ended up with the notorious 18 1/2-minute gap.

In 1974, the film noir “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, was released by Paramount Pictures.

In 1990, South African Black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they began an eight-city U.S. tour.

In 2014, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits to same-sex couples, including those living in states where gay marriage was against the law; the new measures ranged from Social Security and veterans benefits to work leave for caring for sick spouses.

In 2016, a divided U.S. Supreme Court bolstered police powers, ruling 5-3 that evidence of a crime in some cases may be used against a defendant even if the police did something wrong or illegal in obtaining it.

In 2022, the nation’s youngest children got their first chance at vaccines for COVID-19. Roughly 18 million kids under 5 became eligible, and shots began at a few locations.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bonnie Bartlett is 95. Actor James Tolkan is 93. Director Stephen Frears is 83. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 82. Actor John McCook is 81. Singer Anne Murray is 79. TV personality Bob Vila is 78. Actor Candy Clark is 77. Producer Tina Sinatra is 76. R&B singer Lionel Richie is 75. Actor John Goodman is 72. Rock musician Michael Anthony is 70. Rock musician John Taylor is 64. Rock musician Mark degli Antoni (de-glee-an-toh-nee) is 62. Christian rock musician Jerome Fontamillas (Switchfoot) is 57. Actor Nicole Kidman is 57. Country/bluegrass singer-musician Dan Tyminski is 57. Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 56. Actor Peter Paige is 55. Actor Josh Lucas is 53. Rock musician Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) is 53. Rock singer Chino Moreno (Deftones) is 51. Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 47. Country singer Chuck Wicks is 45. Actor Tika Sumpter is 44. Actor-singer Alisan Porter is 43. U.S. Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist April Ross is 42. Christian rock musician Chris Dudley (Underoath) is 41. Rock singer Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) is 41. Actor Mark Saul is 38. Actor Dreama Walker is 38. Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (plahs) is 35. Actor Maria Lark is 27.

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