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Today in History: June 21, U.S. Constitution goes into effect

Today is Friday, June 21, the 173rd day of 2024. There are 193 days left in the year. Summer begins today.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 21, 1788, the United States Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

On this date:

In 1377, King Edward III died after ruling England for 50 years; he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.

In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

In 1942, an Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage.

In 1954, the American Cancer Society presented a study to the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco which found that men who regularly smoked cigarettes died at a considerably higher rate than non-smokers.

In 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison, where he died in January 2018.)

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Miller v. California, ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.

In 1977, Menachem Begin (men-AH’-kem BAY’-gihn) of the Likud bloc became Israel’s sixth prime minister.

In 1982, a jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three other men.

In 1989, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

In 1997, the WNBA made its debut as the New York Liberty defeated the host Los Angeles Sparks 67-57.

In 2010, Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’), a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square. (Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration announced that cigarette packs in the U.S. would have to carry macabre images that included rotting teeth and gums, diseased lungs and a sewn-up corpse of a smoker as part of a graphic campaign aimed at discouraging Americans from lighting up.

In 2012, Miami’s LeBron James capped his title bid with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as he led the Heat in a 121-106 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA Finals in five games.

In 2013, the Food Network said it was dropping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

In 2018, first lady Melania Trump visited with migrant children during a brief stop at a Texas facility housing some children separated from their parents at the border; she caused a stir when she left Washington wearing a green, hooded military jacket with lettering that said, “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?”

In 2021, a tornado packing 140 mph winds swept through communities in heavily populated suburban Chicago, damaging more than 100 homes and causing multiple injuries.

In 2022, a month after the Uvalde, Texas school massacre, the state’s public safety chief testified that police had enough officers on the scene to have stopped a gunman three minutes after he entered the building and killed 19 students and two teachers.

In 2023, The U.S. Agriculture Department approved the applications of two companies to sell chicken grown from animal cells, not from slaughtered birds.

Today’s Birthdays: Composer Lalo Schifrin is 92. Actor Bernie Kopell is 91. Actor Monte Markham is 89. Songwriter Don Black is 86. Actor Mariette Hartley is 84. Rock singer-musician Ray Davies (The Kinks) is 80. Actor Meredith Baxter is 77. Actor Michael Gross (Baxter’s co-star on the sitcom “Family Ties”) is 77. Rock musician Joe Molland (Badfinger) is 77. Rock musician Don Airey (Deep Purple) is 76. Rock musician Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) is 74. Rock musician Nils Lofgren is 73. Actor Robyn Douglass is 72. Actor Leigh McCloskey is 69. Cartoonist Berke Breathed is 67. Actor Josh Pais is 66. Country singer Kathy Mattea is 65. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is 64. Actor Marc Copage (koh-PAJ’) is 62. Actor Sammi Davis is 60. Actor Doug Savant is 60. Country musician Porter Howell is 60. Actor Michael Dolan is 59. Writer-director Lana Wachowski is 59. Actor Carrie Preston is 57. Rapper/producer Pete Rock is 54. Country singer Allison Moorer is 52. Actor Juliette Lewis is 51. Actor Maggie Siff is 50. Musician Justin Cary is 49. Rock musician Mike Einziger (Incubus) is 48. Actor Chris Pratt is 45. Rock singer Brandon Flowers is 43. Britain’s Prince William is 42. Actor Jussie Smollett is 42. Actor Benjamin Walker is 42. Actor Michael Malarkey is 41. Pop singer Kris Allen (TV: “American Idol”) is 39. Pop/rock singer Lana Del Rey is 39. Actor Jascha Washington is 35. Country musician Chandler Baldwin (LANCO) is 32. Pop singer Rebecca Black is 27.

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