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This Day in History: June 2

Events

  • 1692 – Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Found guilty, she is hanged on June 10.

  • 1763 – Pontiac's Rebellion: At what is now Mackinaw City, Michigan, Chippewas capture Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison's attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.

  • 1774 – Intolerable Acts: The Quartering Act is enacted, allowing a governor in colonial America to house British soldiers in uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings if suitable quarters are not provided.

  • 1835 – P. T. Barnum and his circus start their first tour of the United States.

  • 1855 – The Portland Rum Riot occurs in Portland, Maine.

  • 1886 – U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.

  • 1896 – Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his newest invention, the radio.

  • 1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

  • 1966 – Surveyor program; Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on another world.

  • 1967 – Luis Monge is executed in Colorado's gas chamber, in the last pre-Furman execution in the United States.

  • 1990 – The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawns 66 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12. Petersburg, Indiana, is the hardest-hit town in the outbreak, with six deaths.

  • 1995 – United States Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady's F-16 is shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.

  • 1997 – In Denver, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He was executed four years later.

  • 2004 – Ken Jennings begins his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!

Births

  • 1731 – Martha Washington, American wife of George Washington, 1st First Lady of the United States (d. 1802)

  • 1773 – John Randolph of Roanoke, American planter and politician, 8th United States Ambassador to Russia (d. 1833)

  • 1904 – Johnny Weissmuller, Romanian-American swimmer and actor (d. 1984)

  • 1907 – Dorothy West, American journalist and author (d. 1998)

  • 1918 – Kathryn Tucker Windham, American journalist and author (d. 2011)

  • 1920 – Tex Schramm, American businessman (d. 2003)

  • 1930 – Pete Conrad, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1999)

  • 1941 – Lou Nanne, Canadian-American ice hockey player and manager

  • 1944 – Marvin Hamlisch, American composer and conductor (d. 2012)

  • 1948 – Jerry Mathers, American child actor

  • 1949 – Frank Rich, American journalist and critic

  • 1952 – Gary Bettman, American commissioner of the National Hockey League

  • 1953 – Craig Stadler, American golfer

  • 1953 – Cornel West, American philosopher, author, and academic

  • 1955 – Dana Carvey, American comedian and actor

  • 1960 – Kyle Petty, American race car driver and sportscaster

  • 1972 – Wayne Brady, American actor, comedian, game show host, and singer

  • 1978 – Nikki Cox, American actress

  • 1978 – A.J. Styles, American wrestler

  • 1980 – Abby Wambach, American soccer player and coach

Deaths

  • 1941 – Lou Gehrig, American baseball player (b. 1903)

  • 1948 – Viktor Brack, German physician (b. 1904)

  • 1948 – Karl Brandt, German SS officer (b. 1904)

  • 1948 – Karl Gebhardt, German physician (b. 1897)

  • 1948 – Waldemar Hoven, German physician (b. 1903)

  • 1948 – Wolfram Sievers, German SS officer (b. 1905)

  • 1961 – George S. Kaufman, American director, producer, and playwright (b. 1889)

  • 1996 – Ray Combs, American actor and game show host (b. 1956)

  • 1997 – Doc Cheatham, American trumpet player, singer, and bandleader (McKinney's Cotton Pickers) (b. 1905)

  • 1998 – Junkyard Dog, American football player and wrestler (b. 1952)

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  • 2008 – Bo Diddley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1928)

  • 2008 – Mel Ferrer, American actor (b. 1917)

  • 2012 – Richard Dawson, English-American actor, television personality, and game show panelist/host (b. 1932)

  • 2014 – Alexander Shulgin, American pharmacologist and chemist (b. 1925)

  • 2015 – Irwin Rose, American biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1926)