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This Day in History: June 3


1539 – Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.

1608 – Samuel de Champlain completes his third voyage to New France at Tadoussac, Quebec.

1621 – The Dutch West India Company receives a charter for New Netherland.

1781 – Jack Jouett begins his midnight ride to warn Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature of an impending raid by Banastre Tarleton.

1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces rout Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in first land battle of the War.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Cold Harbor – Union forces attack Confederate troops in Hanover County, Virginia.

1888 – The poem "Casey at the Bat", by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, is published in The San Francisco Examiner.

1889 – The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States is completed, running 14 miles (23 km) between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

1916 – The National Defense Act is signed into law, increasing the size of the United States National Guard by 450,000 men.

1937 – The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson.

1940 – World War II: The Luftwaffe bombs Paris.

1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk ends with a German victory and with Allied forces in full retreat.

1942 – World War II: Japan begins the Aleutian Islands Campaign by bombing Unalaska Island.

1943 – In Los Angeles, California, white U.S. Navy sailors and Marines clash with Latino youths in the Zoot Suit Riots.

1965 – The launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Ed White, a crew member, performs the first American spacewalk.

1968 – Valerie Solanas, the author of SCUM Manifesto, attempts to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.

1969 – Melbourne–Evans collision: off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cuts the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half.

1980 – The 1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak. Seven tornadoes hit Grand Island, Nebraska, which take five lives, 357 single-family homes, 33 mobile homes, 85 apartments, 49 businesses and cause $300 million in damages all told, according to statistics compiled on the deadly storm by the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross.

2013 – The trial of United States Army private Chelsea Manning for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks begins in Fort Meade, Maryland.


1636 – John Hale, American minister (d. 1700)

1808 – Jefferson Davis, American colonel and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (d. 1889)

1840 – Michael O'Laughlen, American soldier, conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (d. 1867)

1844 – Garret Hobart, American lawyer and politician, 24th Vice President of the United States (d. 1899)

1864 – Ransom E. Olds, American businessman, founded Oldsmobile and REO Motor Car Company (d. 1950)

1904 – Charles R. Drew, American physician and surgeon (d. 1950)

1906 – Josephine Baker, American-French actress, singer, and dancer; French Resistance operative (d. 1975)

1925 – Tony Curtis, American actor (d. 2010)

1926 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet and academic (d. 1997)

1927 – Boots Randolph, American saxophonist and composer (Million Dollar Band) (d. 2007)

1929 – Chuck Barris, American game show host and producer, created The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game

1942 – Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and producer (The Impressions) (d. 1999)

1951 – Jill Biden, American educator, 37th Second Lady of the United States

1954 – Susan Landau, American mathematician and engineer

1961 – Lawrence Lessig, American lawyer, academic, and author, founded the Creative Commons

1967 – Anderson Cooper, American journalist and author


1780 – Thomas Hutchinson, American businessman and politician, Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (b. 1711)

1861 – Stephen A. Douglas, American lawyer and politician, 7th Secretary of State of Illinois (b. 1813)

1938 – John Flanagan, Irish-American hammer thrower and tug of war competitor (b. 1873)

1989 – Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian religious leader and politician, 1st Supreme Leader of Iran (b. 1902)

1990 – Robert Noyce, American physicist and businessman, co-founded the Intel Corporation (b. 1927)

2001 – Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor and producer (b. 1915)

2002 – Lew Wasserman, American talent agent and manager (b. 1913)

2011 – James Arness, American actor and producer (d. 1923)

2011 – Jack Kevorkian, “Doctor Death,” American pathologist, author, and activist (b. 1928)

2013 – Arnold Eidus, American violinist and producer (b. 1922)

2013 – Deacon Jones, American football player and actor (b. 1938)

2016    Muhammad Ali, American boxer and Civil Rights activist (b. 1942)