Today in History

Today is Sunday, June 5, the 156th day of 2022. There are 209 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 5, 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded after claiming victory in California’s Democratic presidential primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles; assassin Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was arrested at the scene.

On this date:

In 1794, Congress passed the Neutrality Act, which prohibited Americans from taking part in any military action against a country that was at peace with the United States.

In 1950, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Henderson v. United States, struck down racially segregated railroad dining cars.

On June 5, 1956, Elvis Presley did his hip-gyrating act on the “Milton Berle TV Show.” From then on, cameras would only show him from the waist up.

In 1959, Bob Dylan graduated from high school in Hibbing, Minnesota. The name on his diploma was Robert Zimmerman. He had been the leader of a high school band called the Golden Chords.

In 1967, war erupted in the Middle East as Israel, anticipating a possible attack by its Arab neighbors, launched a series of pre-emptive airfield strikes that destroyed nearly the entire Egyptian air force; Syria, Jordan and Iraq immediately entered the conflict.

In 1974, singer Sly Stone married model-actor Kathy Silva during a Sly and the Family Stone concert in New York. They separated two years later.

In 1975, Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international shipping, eight years after it was closed because of the 1967 war with Israel.

In 1976, 14 people were killed when the Teton Dam in Idaho burst.

In 1977, Alice Cooper’s pet boa constrictor was bitten by a rat it was trying to eat for breakfast. The snake died. Cooper held a public audition a week later to find a replacement for the snake, which was featured in his act.

In 1979, bluesman Muddy Waters, age 64, married Marva Jean Brooks on her 25th birthday.

In 1981, the Centers for Disease Control reported that five homosexuals in Los Angeles had come down with a rare kind of pneumonia; they were the first recognized cases of what later became known as AIDS.

In 1982, actor Sophia Loren was released from a 17-day prison sentence for tax evasion in Italy.

In 1983, U2 performed a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. The concert was recorded and released as an EP and a video, both called “Under A Blood Red Sky.” Footage was also used in the “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” video.

In 1988, “The Phantom of the Opera” won seven Tony Awards, including best musical. “M. Butterfly” won best play.

In 1993, country star Conway Twitty died of a ruptured blood vessel in his stomach after completing a show in Branson, Missouri. He was 59.

Also in 1993, singer Vicki Carr married Dr. Pedro de Leon in what was supposed to be a private ceremony in San Antonio, Texas. She was mobbed by fans as she tried to enter the cathedral where the wedding was held.

In 1995, guitarist Kelley Deal of The Breeders pleaded guilty to drug possession charges. She was sentenced to treatment in a rehabilitation center.

In 1996, an arrest warrant was issued for Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli after he disappeared from a drug treatment facility in Los Angeles. He turned up at another treatment center six days later.

In 1999, singer Mel Torme died of complications from a minor stroke in Los Angeles. He was 73.

In 2002, singer R. Kelly was arrested in central Florida on 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from a video allegedly of Kelly having sex with an underage girl. He was later acquitted.

Also in 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City home. Smart was found alive by police in a Salt Lake suburb in March 2003. One kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, is serving a prison sentence; the other, Wanda Barzee, was released in September 2018.

Also in 2002, guitarist Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones was found dead at his home in Los Angeles. He was 50.

In 2004, singer-actor Jennifer Lopez married singer Marc Anthony at her home in Beverly Hills, California. They divorced in 2014.

Also in 2004, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died in Los Angeles at age 93 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2006, more than 50 National Guardsmen from Utah became the first unit to work along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of President George W. Bush’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

In 2013, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, many of them sleeping women and children, pleaded guilty to murder at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to avoid the death penalty; he was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2016, Novak Djokovic became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive major championships and finally earned an elusive French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, beating Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

In 2020, Minneapolis banned chokeholds by police, the first of many changes in police practices to be announced in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death; officers would also now be required to intervene any time they saw unauthorized force by another officer. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had been wrong for not listening to players fighting for racial equality.

Ten years ago: Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall challenge, winning both the right to finish his term and a voter endorsement of his strategy to curb state spending. Jury selection began in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, in the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child sexual abuse (Sandusky was later convicted of 45 counts and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison). Science-fiction author Ray Bradbury, 91, died in Los Angeles.

Five years ago: The White House said President Donald Trump would not assert executive privilege to block fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying on Capitol Hill. Bill Cosby went on trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University’s basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. (The jury deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial, but Cosby was convicted in a second trial; Pennsylvania’s highest court later tossed out that conviction.)

One year ago: The Justice Department said it would no longer secretly obtain reporters’ records during leak investigations. Favored Essential Quality won the Belmont Stakes in New York over Hot Rod Charlie.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Bill Hayes is 97. Broadcast journalist Bill Moyers is 88. Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark is 83. Author Dame Margaret Drabble is 83. Country singer Don Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 77. Rock musician Freddie Stone (AKA Freddie Stewart) (Sly and the Family Stone) is 75. Rock singer Laurie Anderson is 75. Country singer Gail Davies is 74. Author Ken Follett is 73. Financial guru Suze Orman is 71. Rock musician Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) is 70. Jazz musician Peter Erskine is 68. Jazz musician Kenny G is 66. Rock singer Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) is 66. Actor Beth Hall is 64. Actor Jeff Garlin is 60. Actor Karen Sillas is 59. Actor Ron Livingston is 55. Singer Brian McKnight is 53. Rock musician Claus Norreen (Aqua) is 52. Actor Mark Wahlberg is 51. Actor Chad Allen is 48. Rock musician P-Nut (311) is 48. Actor Navi Rawat is 45. Actor Liza Weil is 45. Rock musician Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) is 43. Rock musician Seb Lefebvre (Simple Plan) is 41. Actor Chelsey Crisp is 39. Actor Amanda Crew is 36. Electronic musician Harrison Mills (Odesza) is 33. Musician/songwriter/producer DJ Mustard is 32. Actor Sophie Lowe is 32. Actor Hank Greenspan is 12.