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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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