June 5- 1947: US Secretary of State George Marshall outlines his plan for rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. 1968: Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, after winning the state’s presidential primary. He would die twenty-four hours later. 1981: The AIDS epidemic is first identified as the Centers for Disease Control reports on a strain of pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles. 1988: A champagne cork flies a world record 177’9” at the Woodbury Vineyards Winery in Fredonia, NY! (THAT beverage had some KICK!) 2004: Former President Ronald W. Reagan dies at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. Known as “The Great Communicator,” President Reagan died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 93.

June 6- 1882: The first electric clothes iron is patented. The device weighed almost 15 pounds and was said to be very slow to heat up. 1944: Operation Overlord, historically known as D-Day, begins as the 156,000-man Allied Expeditionary Force lands on the French coast in Normandy.

Soldiers coming ashore at Normandy on D-Day. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 111-SC-320902.)

1966: Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot by a gunman on the second day of his walk from Memphis, TN to Jackson, MS. He would recover from his wounds and lead an estimated 15,000 marchers into Jackson on June 26, and would be enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi. 1987: 17-year-old Steffi Graf defeats world #1 tennis player Martina Navratilova in the finals of the French Open for her first Grand Slam title.

June 7- 1798: Mathematician Thomas Malthus publishes his influential essay on the projected increase in population growth. 1913: Four Alaskan climbers, led by Harry Karstens, reach the summit of Mt. McKinley (later renamed Denali), the highest summit in North America at 20,310 feet. 1965: The US Supreme Court issues its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, making the use of contraception legal for married couples. 1975: The much-anticipated Sony Betamax video cassette recorder (VCR) goes on sale in the US.

June 8- 1789: James Madison introduces the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) in the US House of Representatives. 1869: Ives McGaffey patents his “sweeping machine,” introducing generations of Americans to the chore known as vacuuming! 1955: Tim Berners-Lee, widely credited as the inventor of the World Wide Web, is born in London, England. 1969: 60,096 fans pack Yankee Stadium for Mickey Mantle Day, as the team officially retires his #7 jersey. The Yankees swept a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, winning the opener 3-1, and taking the nightcap by a score of 11-2.

June 9- 68 CE: Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide rather than face the Senate-imposed death by flogging. (Who could blame him for that choice?). 1902: The first “automat” restaurant in the US opens at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA. 1934: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck makes his film debut in the animated short “Wise Little Hen.” 1973: Secretariat, ridden by jockey Ron Turcotte, wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first “Triple Crown” winner since Citation in 1948.

June 10- 1898: US Marines land in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. 1935: “Dr. Bob” Smith takes his last drink, marking the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, OH. 1977: Apple ships the first of its Apple II computers and begins selling them at its factory store in Silicon Valley, CA. 1977: Professional golfer Al Geiberger becomes the first man to complete 18 holes taking just 59 strokes (-13 on a par-72 course) at an official, sanctioned tournament (Danny Thomas Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club, second round). 2003: NASA’s “Spirit” rover begins exploring the surface of Mars and returns its first photos to Earth.

June 11- 1776: The Continental Congress forms a committee to draft a formal Declaration of Independence; John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingstone, and Roger Sherman are appointed. 1962: Three inmates escape from the federal prison on Alcatraz Island, the first and only escape in the prison’s history. No trace of the men was ever found. 1993: The movie “Jurassic Park” opens in US theaters and sets a new box-office record, bringing in $502 million in its opening weekend. 2001: Oklahoma City bomber and convicted murderer Timothy McVeigh is executed by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN.