June 26- 1917: The first US troops arrive in France after the country enters World War I. 1945: The United Nations charter is signed by representatives of 50 nations in San Francisco, CA. 1963: President John F. Kennedy famously tells listeners “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) during a speech at the Berlin Wall, 15 years after the US began its historic Berlin Airlift to overcome the Soviet Union’s blockade (1948) of the city. 1974: The Universal Product Code (UPC) is scanned for the first time at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, OH. The purchase? A 67¢ pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum. 1975: Sonny and Cher are divorced after ten years of marriage, though they would occasionally perform together afterwards.

June 27- 1880: Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia, AL. Several months before her second birthday, a serious illness (thought to be meningitis or scarlet fever) left her deaf and blind. Despite her handicaps, she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, authored numerous books, wrote articles for major magazines, and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

Portrait of Helen Keller in 1913, possibly at the International Flower Show, New York City. From the collections of the Library of Congress.

1923: The first aerial plane refueling takes place above Rockwell Field in San Diego, CA. 1950: North Korean troops reach Seoul, South Korea, prompting the UN to ask member nations to aid South Korea. President Harry S. Truman orders the US Air Force and Navy to enter the conflict.

June 28- 1914: Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated by Serbian Gavrilo Princip, resulting in the formal start of WW I one month later. 1919: Future US president Harry Truman weds Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace in Independence, MO. 1919: The Treaty of Versailles, ending WW I and establishing the League of Nations, is signed in France. 1969: A 3:00 a.m. police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City leads to rioting and demonstrations on behalf of the LGBT community.

June 29- 1964: The US Senate passes the Civil Rights Act after an 83-day filibuster. President Johnson will sign the bill on July 2. 1974: Isabel Perón, the wife (and vice-president) of President Juan Perón, is secretly sworn in as President of Argentina. Her seriously ill husband would die two days later. 1994: The US reopens the naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba to detain and process Cuban and Haitian refugees seeking to emigrate to the United States.

June 30- 1901: Notorious bank robber Willie Sutton is born in Brooklyn, NY. When asked later in life by a reporter why he robbed banks, Sutton famously replied, “because that’s where the money is.” DUH! 1908: A large meteoroid explodes in the air over eastern Russia, flattening some 80 million trees. 1937: Emergency call telephone service is inaugurated in England. Callers needing assistance dial 999. 2023: The US Supreme Court strikes down President Joseph Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan by a vote of 6-3.

July 1- 1863: The Battle of Gettysburg begins in Pennsylvania. It would be the deadliest battle of the US Civil War, with more than 50,000 deaths. 1941: The first paid commercial airs on American television, as the Bulova Watch Company spends $9 for a 10-second advertisement before the start of a baseball game on WNBT (later WNBC). 1979: The first Sony Walkman goes on sale in the US. Cost for the cassette tape player? $150! 1997: The United Kingdom returns control of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.

July 2- 1839: Slaves held aboard the schooner La Amistad in Cuba revolt to secure their freedom. 1843: An alligator falls from the sky during a severe thunderstorm in downtown Charleston, SC. 1900: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin demonstrates his new hydrogen-powered airship, the largest ever constructed. 1937: Amelia Earhart’s airplane disappears over the Pacific Ocean. No trace of the craft was ever found.