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This Day in History: June 21


1734 – In Montreal in New France, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique is put to death, having been convicted of setting the fire that destroyed much of the city.

1768 – James Otis, Jr. offends the King and Parliament in a speech to the Massachusetts General Court.

1788 – New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution of the United States and is admitted as the ninth state in the United States.

1877 – The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants convicted of murder, are hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania prisons.

1898 – The United States captures Guam from Spain.

1900 – Boxer Rebellion. China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, as an edict issued from the Empress Dowager Cixi.

1915 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens.

1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed are the last casualties of World War I.

1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by Japan against the United States mainland.

1945 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ends when the organized resistance of Imperial Japanese Army forces collapses in the Mabuni area on the southern tip of the main island.

1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

1970 – Penn Central declares Section 77 bankruptcy, largest ever US corporate bankruptcy up to this date.

1973 – In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller test for obscenity in U.S. law.

1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

2001 – A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, indicts 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.

2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been acquitted for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards (the case had been reopened in 2004).

2006 – Pluto's newly discovered moons are officially named Nix and Hydra.


1226 – BolesÅ‚aw V the Chaste of Poland (d. 1279)

1528 – Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress (d. 1603)

1535 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (d. 1596)

1639 – Increase Mather, American minister and author (d. 1723)

1774 – Daniel D. Tompkins, American lawyer and politician, 6th Vice President of the United States (d. 1825)

1850 – Daniel Carter Beard, American author and illustrator, co-founded the Boy Scouts of America (d. 1941)

1903 – Al Hirschfeld, American painter and illustrator (d. 2003)

1921 – Judy Holliday, American actress and singer (d. 1965)

1931 – Margaret Heckler, American journalist, lawyer, and politician, 15th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

1933 – Bernie Kopell, American actor and screenwriter

1960 – Kevin Harlan, American sportscaster

1966 – Gretchen Carlson, American model and journalist, Miss America 1989

1983 – Edward Snowden, American activist and academic


1631 – John Smith, English admiral and explorer (b. 1580)

1964 – James Chaney, American activist (b. 1943)

1964 – Andrew Goodman, American activist (b. 1943)

1964 – Michael Schwerner, American activist (b. 1939)

1985 – Hector Boyardee, Italian-American chef and businessman, founded Chef Boyardee (b. 1897)

1987 – Madman Muntz, American engineer and businessman, founded the Muntz Car Company (b. 1914)

1990 – Cedric Belfrage, English-American journalist and author, co-founded the National Guardian (b. 1904)

2001 – John Lee Hooker, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1916)

2001 – Carroll O'Connor, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1924)

2003 – Leon Uris, American soldier and author (b. 1924)

2006 – Jared C. Monti, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1975)

2007 – Bob Evans, American businessman, founded Bob Evans Restaurants (b. 1918)

2012 – Richard Adler, American composer and producer (b. 1921)