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June 20, 2013

Today in History

Today is Thursday, June 20, the 171st day of 2013. There are 194 days left in the year. Summer arrives at 10:04 p.m. Pacific time (Friday 1:04 a.m. Eastern time).

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

On this date:

  • In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States, featuring the emblem of the bald eagle.
  • In 1791, King Louis XVI of France and his family attempted to flee the country in the so-called Flight to Varennes but were caught.
  • In 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
  • In 1893, a jury in New Bedford, Mass., found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
  • In 1921, U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., became the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.
  • In 1943, race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
  • In 1947, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates.
  • In 1963, the United States and Soviet Union signed an agreement to set up a "hot line" between the two superpowers.
  • In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. (Ali's conviction was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court).
  • In 1972, three days after the arrest of the Watergate burglars, President Richard Nixon met at the White House with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman; the secretly made tape recording of this meeting ended up with the notorious 18½-minute gap.
  • In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Bald Eagle Day.
  • In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, in Atkins v. Virginia that executing mentally disabled murderers was unconstitutionally cruel.

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