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What Happened on June 19?

  • The first Father's Day celebration occurred. (1910) Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the celebration while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at a church in Spokane, Washington. To honor her father, she arranged to have people in town wear red or white roses to recognize living or deceased fathers, and she traveled around town in a carriage handing out presents to shut-in fathers. Today, Father's Day is celebrated in more than 52 countries.

  • Slavery was outlawed in the U.S. (1862) Nullifying the U.S. Supreme court decision in the Dred Scott Case, which held that imported slaves would not be protected under the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress outlawed slavery in U.S. territories.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. (1964) It was filibustered by the U.S. Senate for 83 days. The act prohibited discrimination, outlawed racial segregation and allowed black citizens to register to vote.

  • The Rosenburgs were executed. (1953) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American communists accused of passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Their execution was the first civilian execution for espionage in the U.S.

  • The first official baseball game was played. (1846) Playing according to the rules of Alexander Joy Cartwright, who is credited for having invented the game, the New York Baseball Club defeated the Knickerbockers 23 to 1. Cartwright umpired the game.

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was established. (1934) The 73rd U.S. Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, which replaced the then existing Federal Radio Commission with the now existing FCC. The FCC is the independent agency that regulates radio and television broadcasting as well as telecommunications.

  • The first Juneteenth celebration occurs in Texas. (1865) The Juneteenth celebration is an annual celebration that started in Galveston, Texas but has since spread to several other neighboring states. The first celebration was held only two years after the Emancipation Proclamation with the main purpose of celebrating the end of slavery in the US.

  • The first nickelodeon opened. (1905) The first nickelodeon theater opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with an audience of 450. The nickelodeon got its name because it cost a nickel to get in. "Odeon" is Greek for theater. The theaters would feature such entertainment as vaudeville acts and short films. They were so popular that within just a couple years, the theaters entertained more than two million people. These theaters began to be replaced in 1910 with more modern-style theaters.

  • Lou Gehrig was born. (1903) Gehrig was an American baseball player who set many records and still holds the record for career grand slams at 23. He was entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He died when he was just 36 from a neuromuscular disease that would later be named after him — Gehrig's Disease or ALS.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against pre-football game prayers. (2000) The ruling barred officials from formally leading crowds in prayer before a game.

  • The Confederate States of America ceased to exist. (1870) Once the 11 southern slave states were readmitted to the United States after seceding in 1861, the Confederacy ceased to exist.

  • Kathleen Turner was born. (1954) The American actress is well known for such movies as The War of the Roses, Body Heat and Romancing the Stone.

  • Paula Abdul was born. (1962) American singer, entertainer and television personality, Abdul may be best known for her role on the American television show American Idol.

  • French King Louis IX fines Jews. (1269) The King ordered that all Jews must wear their yellow badge identifying them as Jews when in public or be fined 10 livres of silver.

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