Today is Wednesday, June 3, the 154th day of 2015. There are 211 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 3, 1965, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to “walk” in space during the flight of Gemini 4.
On this date:
In 1621, the Dutch West India Co. received its charter for a trade monopoly in parts of the Americas and Africa.
In 1808, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was born in Christian County, Kentucky.
In 1888, the poem “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, was first published in the San Francisco Daily Examiner.
In 1924, author Franz Kafka, 40, died near Vienna.
In 1935, the French liner Normandie set a record on its maiden voyage, arriving in New York after crossing the Atlantic in just four days.
In 1937, Edward, The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the British throne, married Wallis Warfield Simpson in a private ceremony in Monts, France.
In 1948, the 200-inch reflecting Hale Telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated.
In 1955, convicted murderer Barbara Graham, 31, was executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison in California, as were two accomplices, Jack Santo and Emmett Perkins, for the 1953 slaying of Mabel Monahan.
In 1963, Pope John XXIII died at age 81; he was succeeded by Pope Paul VI.
In 1972, Sally J. Priesand was ordained as America’s first female rabbi at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1983, Gordon Kahl, a militant tax protester wanted in the slayings of two U.S. marshals in North Dakota, was killed in a gun battle with law-enforcement officials near Smithville, Arkansas.
In 1989, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died. Chinese army troops began their sweep of Beijing to crush student-led pro-democracy demonstrations. SkyDome (now called Rogers Centre) opened in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Ten years ago: U.S. military officials said no guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects had flushed a detainee’s Quran down the toilet, but disclosed there were instances in which Qurans were abused by guards, intentionally or accidentally. The child molestation case against Michael Jackson went to the jury after the defense concluded its closing argument (Jackson was acquitted).
Five years ago: BP sliced off a pipe with giant shears to make way for a cap in the latest bid to curtail the worst oil spill in U.S. history. During an Oval Office face-off over illegal immigration, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told President Barack Obama Americans “want our border secured” while Obama underscored his objections over the tough immigration law Brewer had signed, calling it discriminatory. Joran van der Sloot, long suspected in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was arrested in Chile following the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Peru. (Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for Flores’ murder.) Emmy-winning actress Rue McClanahan, 76, died in New York.
One year ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Warsaw, Poland, at the start of a three-country swing, pledging to boost U.S. military deployments and exercises throughout Europe. Tens of thousands of Syrians in government-controlled cities voted to give President Bashar Assad a new seven-year mandate; the opposition and its Western allies denounced the election as a farce, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling it a “great big zero.”
Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Chuck Barris is 86. The president of Cuba, Raul Castro, is 84. Actress Irma P. Hall is 80. Author Larry McMurtry is 79. Rock singer Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) is 76. Actress Penelope Wilton (TV: “Downton Abbey”) is 69. Singer Eddie Holman is 69. Actor Tristan Rogers is 69. Musician Too Slim (Riders in the Sky) is 67. Rock musician Richard Moore is 66. Singer Suzi Quatro is 65. Singer Deneice Williams is 64. Singer Dan Hill is 61. Actress Suzie Plakson is 57. Actor Scott Valentine is 57. Rock musician Kerry King (Slayer) is 51. Rock singer-musician Mike Gordon is 50. TV host Anderson Cooper is 48. Country singer Jamie O’Neal is 47. Singers Ariel and Gabriel Hernandez (No Mercy) are 44. Actor Vik Sahay is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lyfe Jennings is 42. Actress Arianne Zucker is 41. Actress Nikki M. James is 34. Tennis player Rafael Nadal is 29. Actress-singer Lalaine is 28. Actor Sean Berdy is 22.
Thought for Today: “It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it.” — Lillian Hellman, American playwright (1905-1984).