On June 17…

“I had to do it because somebody had to. Blacks are raping and killing white people on the streets every day. What I did is still minuscule to what they’re doing to white people every day.”
~Dylann Roof Confession

Details Below

1775 – The Battle of Bunker Hill – which wasn’t actually fought there – took place near Boston during the Revolutionary War.
The battle is named after Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts, which was only peripherally involved in the battle. It was the original objective of both the colonial and British troops although the majority of combat took place on the adjacent hill which later became known as Breed’s Hill.
Approximately 2,100 British troops under the command of General Thomas Gage stormed Breed’s Hill, where colonial soldiers were encamped. In their fourth charge up the hillside, the British took the hill from the rebels, who had run out of ammunition.
The battle, which lasted for approximately three hours, was one of the deadliest of the Revolutionary War. Although the British technically won the battle because they took control of the hill, they had suffered 1,054 casualties (226 dead and 828 wounded), with a disproportionate number of these officers.
The casualty count was the highest suffered by the British in any single encounter during the entire war.
Although the rebels had “lost” the battle, their efforts forced the Continental Congress into action.

1885 – The Statue of Liberty – disassembled and packed in crates – arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.
The Statue was met with tremendous fanfare and a naval parade – Two hundred thousand people lined the docks – but it was placed in storage for a year while the pedestal was completed.

1933 – Gladys Smith and Vernon Presley eloped and were married in the County of Pontotoc, Mississippi.
Both lied about their ages.
Vernon gave his age as 22 (he was 17). While Gladys was actually 21, she claimed she was 19.
No, it’s not that important but I thought you might like to know because a couple of years later, they had a son.
He became famous.

1954 – Danny Cedrone died from a broken neck after falling down a flight of stairs—1954
Cedrone played the guitar solo on Bill Haley & His Comets’ ‘Rock Around The Clock’) but because he wasn’t an official member of the band when the song was recorded on April 12, he received a mere $21 session fee for a guitar solo which would become one of the most recognizable and famous in rock music history.
Many attempts were made to induct Cedrone into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over the years, but they were ignored until 2012 when The Comets were finally inducted by a special committee to correct the mistake of not inducting the band with Bill Haley in 1987.
While he was not a member of the band, Cedrone was included because the Hall changed its rules in 2010 to allow noted session musicians.

1961 – Actor Jeff Chandler died from a blood infection complicated by pneumonia. He was 42.
He is best remembered for playing Cochise in Broken Arrow, for which he was Oscar nominated.
He also starred in Sword in The Desert, Deported, Female on The Beach, Away All Boats, and Merrill’s Marauders.

1963 – The Supreme Court struck down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or the reading of Biblical verses in public schools.
Edward Schempp’s children went to a public school in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. He filed a lawsuit against the school district because his children were compelled to participate in a Bible reading program.
Under Pennsylvania law, public schools were required to start the day reading “at least ten verses from the Holy Bible to be read, without comment, at the opening of each public school on each school day.”
Schempp argued that the law violated the First and 14th Amendment rights of his children.
Schempp won in the trial court and the school district appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, losing every time.
In School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, the Court ruled (8–1) that officially mandated Bible reading or prayer in public schools was unconstitutional.

1972 – It all began on this date with a seemingly minor crime – a bungled burglary.
A little after 2 a.m., Frank Wills, a security guard in Washington’s Watergate complex, noticed a strip of adhesive tape across a lock on a basement door.
Suspecting a burglary, Wills phoned the police. A search of the darkened building began. It led to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee on the sixth floor.
Guns drawn, the policemen entered – and took by surprise five men loaded down with burglar tools, cameras, and electronic “bugging” equipment.
The burglars caught in the act were James W. McCord Jr., Bernard L. Barker, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio R. Martinez and Virgilio R. Gonzalez.
A shakedown disclosed about $6,000 in cash among the five men – more than half of it in consecutively numbered $100 bills.
Detectives soon discovered that McCord, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative and an electronics expert, was security chief for the Nixon campaign organization, the Committee for the Re-election of the President.
Further investigation brought the arrests of two men who had been members of a secret investigative unit at the White House, known as “the plumbers.”
Those men were G. Gordon Liddy, counsel to the Re-election Committee’s finance branch, and E. Howard Hunt Jr. Liddy had been, among other things, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hunt was a former CIA agent. They were accused of masterminding the burglary.
The White House, under Nixon’s orders, worked to cover-up this connection, and subsequent revelations led to articles of impeachment being drawn up against Nixon and his subsequent resignation in 1974.
Scandal Factoid: So who is the guy in the photo above? No, he wasn’t one of the burglars. It’s Frank Willis, the alert security guard who put the whole Watergate investigation into motion.
Although he played himself in the movie All The President’s Men, Wills never really benefited from his actions that night.
He returned home to South Carolina in the mid-1970s, cared for his stroke victim mother for several years before her death in 1993, and died penniless of a brain tumor at the age of 52 in 2000.

1994 – After leading police on a chase through Southern California, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman.
Simpson became the object of a low-speed pursuit in a white 1993 Ford Bronco owned and driven by former football teammate Al Cowlings.
TV stations interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals to broadcast the incident live. With an estimated audience of 95 million people, the pursuit, arrest, and subsequent trial were among the most widely publicized events in American history.

2015 – Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, murdered nine African Americans during a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
The morning after the attack, police arrested Roof in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof confessed to committing the shooting in the hope of igniting a race war. The shooting targeted one of the United States’ oldest black churches, which has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.
Roof was found competent to stand trial in federal court, and in December 2016 was convicted of 33 federal hate crime and murder charges stemming from the shooting.
On January 11, 2017, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Roof was separately charged with nine counts of murder in the South Carolina state courts.
In April 2017, Roof pleaded guilty to all nine state charges in order to avoid a second death sentence and was sentenced to life imprisonment for each, clearing the way for his eventual federal execution.
On April 22, 2017, Roof arrived at United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, the location of the federal death row for men and the federal execution chamber where all executions by the federal government take place.

2021 – Juneteenth National Independence Day, was signed into law by President Joe Biden, to become the first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2024 RayLemire.com / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.

Comments (6)

  1. Mary Helen Hawthorne

    As always, I learn new info
    Thanks from a history lover

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Mary Helen. 🙂

  2. Rose

    Thank you for this history lesson!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Rose 🙂

  3. Rosa-Lee Gould

    Hello Ray, I’m a day late finding yesterday’s lesson. I knew that Juneteenth was on my birthday & the date was chosen because it was when those in Texas heard that the slaves were free. I’m thinking some time in the 1800’s so it took a long time to become a national holiday. I will have to check it out again. I think that is why I like your timelines. Stay cool (temperature wise) & hydrated. We all know you’re the other definition of cool. 🙂

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Lee.
      On June 19, 1865, 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree.
      Happy Birthday in advance!
      Stay C-O-O-L!


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