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Today in History

Associated Press Updated: June 4, 2015 at 12:01 am
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Today is Thursday, June 4, the 155th day of 2015. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 4, 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of some 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. Addressing the British House of Commons, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

On this date:

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

In 1784, opera singer Elisabeth Thible became the first woman to make a non-tethered flight aboard a Montgolfier hot-air balloon, over Lyon, France.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco.

In 1919, Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sent it to the states for ratification.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In 1944, U-505, a German submarine, was captured by a U.S. Navy task group in the south Atlantic; it was the first such capture of an enemy vessel at sea by the U.S. Navy since the War of 1812. The U.S. Fifth Army began liberating Rome.

In 1954, French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc signed treaties in Paris according "complete independence" to Vietnam.

In 1972, a jury in San Jose, California, acquitted radical activist Angela Davis of murder and kidnapping for her alleged connection to a deadly courthouse shootout in Marin County in 1970.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (He is serving a life prison term.)

In 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian carried out his first publicly assisted suicide, helping Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old Alzheimer's patient from Portland, Oregon, end her life in Oakland County, Michigan.

In 1998, a federal judge sentenced Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Ten years ago: The White House downplayed a Pentagon report detailing incidents in which U.S. guards at Guantanamo Bay prison had desecrated the Quran, saying in a statement, "It is unfortunate that some have chosen to take out of context a few isolated incidents by a few individuals." Justine Henin-Hardenne beat Mary Pierce 6-1, 6-1 to win the French Open women's singles title.

Five years ago: On his third personal trek to the Gulf disaster, President Barack Obama said that he saw some progress in fighting the enormous oil spill but that it was "way too early to be optimistic." The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of 12 million U.S.-made "Shrek" drinking glasses sold by McDonald's which were found to be tainted with cadmium. Fourteen-year-old Anamika Veeramani (AHN'-uh-MEEK'-ah VEER'-ah-MAHN'-ee) of North Royalton, Ohio, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., correctly spelling the medical term "stromuhr." Death claimed postmodern author David Markson, 82; legendary basketball coach John Wooden, 99; and Jack Harrison, 97, survivor of the Great Escape plot by Allied prisoners in World War II.

One year ago: On the second day of a visit to Poland, President Barack Obama held up the nation as a guidepost for neighboring Ukraine as it sought to fend off a pro-Russian insurgency; later that same day, in Brussels, Obama attended a meeting of the Group of Seven major industrial nations, with the pointed exclusion of Russia from the gathering. A gunman fatally wounded three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and wounded two others in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. (Justin Bourque was convicted of the shootings and sentenced to life in prison.) Baseball player, manager and coach Don Zimmer, 83, died in Dunedin, Florida. Carrie Underwood won her third straight video of the year at the CMT Music Awards with "See You Again."

Today's Birthdays: Sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 87. Actor Bruce Dern is 79. Musician Roger Ball is 71. Actress-singer Michelle Phillips is 71. Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 70. Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 64. Actor Parker Stevenson is 63. Actor Keith David is 59. Blues singer-musician Tinsley Ellis is 58. Actress Julie Gholson is 57. Actor Eddie Velez is 57. Singer-musician El DeBarge is 54. Actress Julie White is 54. Actress Lindsay Frost is 53. Actor Sean Pertwee (TV: "Gotham") is 51. Tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 50. Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Al B. Sure! is 47. Actor Scott Wolf is 47. Actor-comedian Rob Huebel is 46. Comedian Horatio Sanz is 46. Actor Noah Wyle is 44. Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 41. Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 40. Actress Angelina Jolie is 40. Actor Theo Rossi is 40. Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 39. Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 35. Country musician Dean Berner (Edens Edge) is 34. Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL'-lee) is 30. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek is 30. Rock musician Zac Farro is 25.

Thought for Today: "When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself." — Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American Nobel Prize-winning author (1904-1991).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, June 4)

Copyright 2015, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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