June 16th in history:
June 16th, 1904, is the date when Leopold Bloom journeys through Dublin in the James Joyce novel “Ulysses.” Joyce reportedly chose that date and year because it was the occasion of his first date with his future wife.
Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on June 16th, 1963, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 6.
Actress Laurie Metcalf went from the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago to New York in 1981, to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” She only appeared on one episode before a writer’s strike prematurely ended the season. Metcalf did not return to the show the following season…but she has had better luck on Broadway, as a two-time Tony winner, and in Hollywood, winning three Emmys for her performance as Jackie on “Roseanne” and receiving an Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird.” Metcalf shares her June 16th (1955) birthday with another former cast member of SNL, Abby Elliott (1987).
June 15th in history:
Benjamin Franklin is given credit for proving that lightning is an electrical charge because of an experiment reportedly performed on June 15th, 1752. That’s the day Franklin is said to have flown a kite during a rainstorm, tying the string to a key in a jar to capture an electrical charge from the kite. (Some sources say the experiment took place on June 10th, while others doubt that it happened at all.)
On this date in 1844, Charles Goodyear is given a patent for the process of vulcanizing rubber. Goodyear discovered that adding sulfur to rubber hardens it, and makes it last longer.
Neil Patrick Harris has played an inventor and mad scientist (“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”), a kid doctor (“Doogie Howser, M.D.”), and a banker (“How I Met Your Mother”). In real-life, he’s become a popular host for awards shows and a Tony Award winner himself. Harris was born on this day in 1973.
Courteney Cox was “discovered” when she danced on stage with Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing in the Dark” music video. The future star of “Friends” and “Cougar Town” was born on this day in 1964.
During the 1998-99 TV season, you could see three actresses with June 15th birthdays on popular network sitcoms…Courteney Cox on “Friends,” Leah Remini on “The King of Queens” (born 1970), and Helen Hunt (1963) on “Mad About You.” During the run of “Mad About You,” Hunt won a Best Actress Oscar for “As Good As It Gets.”
June 14th in history:
The U.S. Army was established by the Continental Congress on June 14th, 1775.
Two years later, June 14th, 1777, the Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the design for the U.S. flag. The anniversary became known as Flag Day.
On this date in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Superman, who fights for “truth, justice, and the American way,” was introduced to comic book readers on June 14th, 1938, when the first issue of Action Comics was released. On June 14th of 2013, the Superman movie “Man of Steel” was released.
Superman is supposed to be “faster than a speeding bullet…more powerful than a locomotive…able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.” Speed skater Eric Heiden, born on this day in 1958, sped like a bullet around an icy track to win five gold medals for the U.S. at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980. Disneyland introduced its locomotive on a single rail, the Monorail, on June 14th, 1959. And putting up tall buildings in New York and elsewhere made Donald Trump famous, long before he became the 45th President of the United States. This is the day Trump was born in 1946.
June 12th in history:
Nelson Mandela was expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars, when a South African court sentenced him to prison on June 12th, 1964. Mandela and others were imprisoned for sabotage and other actions against the system of apartheid. Mandela was freed in 1990, and became president of South Africa a few years later.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” during a speech at the Berlin Wall on June 12th, 1987. The wall came down less than three years later, during the presidency of Reagan’s vice-president, George Herbert Walker Bush, born on June 12th, 1924.
And on this date in 1971, President Richard Nixon was father of the bride at the Rose Garden wedding of his oldest daughter, Tricia. It’s the most recent wedding to be performed at the White House.
“Who D’king of the whole wide world”? It could be Bun E. Carlos, the long-time drummer for Cheap Trick, who wrote the song “Who D’King.” Carlos (real name, Brad Carlson) was born on this day in 1951, along with another rock star named Brad: singer Brad Delp of the band Boston.
June 11th in history:
On June 11th, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed five delegates to draft a declaration of independence from England. Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman were joined on the committee by three other men better known to modern Americans: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.
The right to freedom of speech was the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court when it released a decision on flag-burning, on this date in 1990. The Court struck down a federal law which prohibited desecration of the flag.
June 11th is Montana’s birthday – Joe Montana, that is. Quarterback Montana (born 1956) led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl championships. It’s also the birthday of the Green Bay Packers coach whose name is on the Super Bowl trophy, Vince Lombardi (1913).
June 10th in history:
On June 10th, 1978, Affirmed won the last leg of the Triple Crown on the Belmont race track. Affirmed became the third horse to capture the Triple Crown in six years…and would be the last horse to achieve that feat until American Pharoah in 2015.
The man convicted of killing Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Ray, was among seven inmates who hit the road on June 10th, 1977, when they escaped from a Tennessee prison. The fugitives were recaptured three days later.
The popular TV series “The Fugitive” told the story of a doctor who escaped from police after being falsely convicted of killing his wife. Barry Morse, who played Lt. Gerard, the police lieutenant “obsessed with his capture,” was born on this date in 1918. Viewers of “The Fugitive” have suggested that the show may have been based on the case of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was tried twice for murdering his wife. Defense attorney F. Lee Bailey became famous for winning an acquittal for Sheppard at the second trial. Bailey was born June 10th, 1933.
It’s the birthday of yellow-brick-road traveler Judy Garland (1922), and two men who wrote famous “street” songs. Al Dubin (1891) wrote the lyrics to both “42nd Street” and “Lullaby of Broadway,” and Frederick Loewe (1901) wrote the music for “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady.”