GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

June 29, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Saturday, June 29, the 180th day of 2013. There are 185 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On June 29, 1613, London’s original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed, was destroyed by a fire sparked by a cannon shot during a performance of “Henry VIII.” (No fatalities were reported.)

On this date:

In 1767, Britain approved the Townshend Revenue Act, which imposed import duties on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper and tea shipped to the American colonies. (Colonists bitterly protested, prompting Parliament to repeal the duties — except for tea.)

In 1880, France annexed Tahiti, which became a French colony on December 30, 1880.

In 1913, the Second Balkan War broke out as Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece, its former allies from the First Balkan War.

In 1927, the first trans-Pacific airplane flight was completed as Lt. Lester J. Maitland and Lt. Albert F. Hegenberger arrived at Wheeler Field in Hawaii aboard the Bird of Paradise, an Atlantic-Fokker C-2, after flying 2,400 miles from Oakland, Calif., in 25 hours, 50 minutes.

In 1933, actor-director Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle died in New York at age 46.

In 1941, Polish statesman, pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski died in New York at age 80.

In 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s access to classified information.

In 1956, actress Marilyn Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller in a civil ceremony in White Plains, N.Y. (The couple also wed in a Jewish ceremony on July 1; the marriage lasted 41/2 years).

In 1967, Jerusalem was re-unified as Israel removed barricades separating the Old City from the Israeli sector.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a trio of death sentences, saying the way they had been imposed constituted cruel and unusual punishment. (The ruling prompted states to effectively impose a moratorium on executions until their capital punishment laws could be revised.)

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Morrison v. Olson, upheld the independent counsel law in a 7-1 decision (the sole dissenter was Justice Antonin Scalia).

In 1993, Joel Rifkin pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Mineola, N.Y., to one count of murder, a day after police found a woman’s body in his pickup truck. (Rifkin, who has confessed to killing 17 women, is serving multiple life sentences for nine murders.)

Ten years ago: Thirteen people were killed, dozens injured, when a third-floor apartment building porch crowded with guests collapsed onto porches below during a party in Chicago.

Five years ago: Zimbabwe’s longtime ruler Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president for a sixth term after a widely discredited runoff in which he was the only candidate. Two weeks away from her 20th birthday, Inbee Park became the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Open by closing with a 2-under 71 at Interlachen in Edina, Minn. Spain won the European Championship 1-0 over Germany for its first major title in 44 years.

One year ago: A day after the House voted to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, the Justice Department said Holder’s decision to withhold information about a bungled gun-tracking operation from Congress did not constitute a crime, and that he would not be prosecuted. The younger brother and business partner of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to charges he’d doctored documents for years, but Peter Madoff insisted he knew nothing about his brother’s massive Ponzi scheme. (Peter Madoff was later sentenced to 10 years in prison.) The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed formal charges against Lance Armstrong, accusing the seven-time Tour de France winner of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout the best years of his career. (The USADA ended up stripping Armstrong of all his Tour de France titles and issued a lifetime ban from cycling.)

Today’s birthdays: Movie producer Robert Evans is 83. Songwriter L. Russell Brown is 73. Actor Gary Busey is 69. Comedian Richard Lewis is 66. Actor-turned-politican-turned-radio personality Fred Grandy and musician Ian Paice (Deep Purple) are 65. Singers Don Dokken (Dokken) and Colin Hay (Men At Work) are 60. Actress Maria Conchita Alonso is 56. Actress Sharon Lawrence is 52. Actress Amanda Donohoe is 51. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is 50. Singer Stedman Pearson (Five Star) and actress Kathleen Wilhoite are 49. Producer-writer Matthew Weiner is 48. Musician Dale Baker is 47. Actress Melora Hardin is 46. Rap DJ Shadow is 41. Musician Todd Sansom (Marshall Dyllon) and singer Nicole Scherzinger are 35.

Thought for today: “Wouldn’t it be great if people could get to live suddenly as often as they die suddenly?” — Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).