Today in History

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Posted: Jun 02, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2011. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 2, 1886, President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, who at 21 became America's youngest first lady, in the Blue Room of the White House. (To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the executive mansion.)

On this date:

In 1851, Maine became the first state to enact a total ban on the manufacture and sale of liquor.

In 1855, rioting broke out in Portland, Maine, over rumors a stash of liquor (which would have been legal for "medicinal and mechanical purposes" under the Maine Law) was being kept inside City Hall; one man was killed when militiamen opened fire.

In 1897, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that "the report of my death was an exaggeration."

In 1941, baseball's "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; he was 37. The chief justice of the United States, Charles Evans Hughes, announced his retirement effective July 1, 1941.

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain was crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1961, during a state visit to France, President John F. Kennedy, noting the warm reception his wife had received, jocularly described himself as "the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it." Playwright and director George S. Kaufman, 71, died in New York.

In 1966, the U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

In 1981, the Japanese video arcade game "Donkey Kong" made its U.S. debut.

In 1986, for the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment of televised sessions began.

Ten years ago: Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra, on life support after shooting to death eight members of the royal family, including his parents, before turning the gun on himself, was named king by Nepal's State Council. Actress-comedian Imogene Coca died in Westport, Conn., at age 92.

Five years ago: The United Nations General Assembly concluded a conference on AIDS by promising to set "ambitious national targets," but falling short of setting exact financial goals for the fight against the disease. Canadian authorities announced they had foiled a homegrown terrorist attack by arresting 17 (later 18) suspects. (Charges were dropped or stayed against seven while 11 others were sent to prison.) Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick died in Sonoma County, Calif., at age 55.

One year ago: Amid the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis, BP chief executive Tony Hayward apologized for having told reporters, "I'd like my life back," calling the remark hurtful and thoughtless in a statement posted on Facebook. A taxi driver went on a murderous rampage across a tranquil part of rural England, leaving 12 dead before committing suicide. Pitcher Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers lost his bid for a perfect game against Cleveland with two outs in the ninth inning on a call that first base umpire Jim Joyce later admitted he'd blown. (The Tigers beat the Indians, 3-0.)

Today's Birthdays: Actor Milo O'Shea is 86. Actress-singer Sally Kellerman is 74. Actor Ron Ely is 73. Actor Stacy Keach is 70. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 70. Singer William Guest (Gladys Knight & The Pips) is 70. Actor Charles Haid is 68. Composer Marvin Hamlisch is 67. Movie director Lasse (LAH'-suh) Hallstrom is 65. Actor Jerry Mathers is 63. Actress Joanna Gleason is 61. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 57. Comedian Dana Carvey is 56. Actor Gary Grimes is 56. Pop musician Michael Steele is 56. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 51. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 43. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 41. Actress Paula Cale is 41. Actor Anthony Montgomery is 40. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 39. Actor Wentworth Miller is 39. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 35. Actor Zachary Quinto is 34. Actor Dominic Cooper is 33. Actress Nikki Cox is 33. Actor Justin Long is 33. Actor Deon Richmond is 33. Actress Morena Baccarin is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 31. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 31. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 28. Actress Brittany Curran is 21.

Thought for Today: "Vox populi, vox humbug." (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug.) _ Gen. William T. Sherman, Union military leader (1820-1891), in a letter to his wife written on this date in 1863.

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, June 2)

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