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This Day in History: June 5


1817 – The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.

1837 – Houston is incorporated by the Republic of Texas.

1851 – Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Piedmont: Union forces under General David Hunter defeat a Confederate army at Piedmont, Virginia, taking nearly 1,000 prisoners.

1916 – Louis Brandeis is sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court; he is the first American Jew to hold such a position.

1917 – World War I: Conscription begins in the United States as "Army registration day".

1933 – The U.S. Congress abrogates the United States' use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1942 – World War II: The United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

1944 – World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

1945 – The Allied Control Council, the military occupation governing body of Germany, formally taking power.

1946 – A fire in the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, kills 61 people.

1947 – Marshall Plan: In a speech at Harvard University, the United States Secretary of State George Marshall calls for economic aid to war-torn Europe.

1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

1968 – Robert F. Kennedy, a U.S. presidential candidate, is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian. Kennedy dies the next day.

1976 – The Teton Dam in Idaho, United States, collapses.

1981 – The "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1998 – A strike begins at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants. The strike lasts seven weeks.

2001 – Tropical Storm Allison makes landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm causes $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

2004 – Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, dies at 93.


1723 – Adam Smith, Scottish economist and philosopher (d. 1790)

1850 – Pat Garrett, American sheriff (d. 1908)

1877 – Willard Miller, Canadian-American sailor, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1959)

1878 – Pancho Villa, Mexican general and politician, Governor of Chihuahua (d. 1923)

1883 – John Maynard Keynes, English economist, philosopher, and academic (d. 1946)

1905 – Wayne Boring, American illustrator (d. 1987)

1920 – Cornelius Ryan, Irish-American journalist and author (d. 1974)

1934 – Bill Moyers, American journalist, 13th White House Press Secretary

1941 – Robert Kraft, American businessman, founded The Kraft Group

1951 – Suze Orman, American financial adviser, author, and television host

1956 – Kenny G, American saxophonist, songwriter, and producer (The Love Unlimited Orchestra)

1971 – Mark Wahlberg, American model, actor, producer, and rapper (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch)


1900 – Stephen Crane, American poet, novelist, and short story writer (b. 1871)

1902 – Louis J. Weichmann, American clerk, witness in Abraham Lincoln assassination trial (b. 1842)

1910 – O. Henry, American pharmacist and author (b. 1862)

1993 – Conway Twitty, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1933)

1999 – Mel Tormé, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1925)

2002 – Dee Dee Ramone, American singer-songwriter and bass player (Ramones) (b. 1951)

2004 – Ronald Reagan, American actor and politician, 40th President of the United States (b. 1911)

2012 – Ray Bradbury, American author and screenwriter (b. 1920)

2012 – Lucky Diamond, American dog (b. 1997)