Today's History Trivia for June 4
1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre The People's Army clashes with Chinese pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, China's Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds and injuring many others. The students were protesting for democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech. Up to about a million people had assembled in Tiananmen square.
1942 World War II - Battle of Midway The famous battle begins. It would be Japan's first major defeat of the war. The United States scored a major defeat against the attacking fleet of the Japanese Navy near Midway Atoll, inflicting severe damage to the Japanese fleet. All four of Japan's large aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser were sunk, while the U.S. lost only the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer. This is considered a major turning point in the war.
1937 First Shopping Cart The owner of a Humpty Dumpty Grocery store in Oklahoma City begins using his invention. It was essentially a folding chair with wheels and two baskets attached. The carts were initially a flop, as shoppers were reluctant to use them - men found them effeminate and women thought them too much like a baby carriage - so he hired models to shop with them.
1993 Birth Control Two once-a-month injectable contraceptives, Cyclofem and Mesigyna, are approved by the World Health Organization.
1992 Young Elvis beats old The public voted 3-1 in favor of the postage stamp featuring young Elvis as opposed to old Elvis. It is estimated that 124 million of the stamps were held on to by collectors.
1990 Suicide Doctor Dr. Jack Kevorkian uses his suicide machine for the first time. Alzheimer's Disease sufferer Janet Adkins gives herself a fatal injection by pressing a button on Kevorkian's machine.
1989 Largest unmanned rocket launched into space a Titan 4.
1986 First birth in the U.S. from a frozen embryo The procedure was already in practice in Australia, England, and the Netherlands.
1917 First Pulitzer prizes are awarded.
1896 First Ford Automobile Henry Ford completes building his first automobile. It was steered with a rudder and had no reverse. Its road test had to be delayed slightly, as it was too wide to go out the door of his workshop.
1890 First state employment office opens, Toledo, Ohio.
Today's Birthdays for June 4
1944 Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam), American folk singer, with The Mamas and the Papas. Music: California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday. TV: Knots Landing (1987-93, Anne Matheson).
1937 Freddy Fender d. 2006 (Baldemar Garza Huerta), American singer. He spent almost three years in Louisiana's infamous Angola prison for marijuana possession. Music: Before the Next Teardrop Falls (1974, #1) and Wasted Days and Wasted Nights (1975, #1).
1936 Bruce Dern American actor, known for his portrayal of psychotics and maniacs. Film: Silent Running (1972, tree saver).
1932 John Drew Barrymore d. 2004 (John Blythe Barrymore, Jr.), American actor, son of John Barrymore and father of Drew Barrymore. In 1980, he swiped his father's body from its grave in order to fulfill his father's wish for cremation. Even though his father's will specified cremation when he died in 1942, his body was entombed by the deceased's brother due to religious beliefs.
1924 Dennis Weaver d. 2006 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Gunsmoke (deputy Chester Goode, Emmy), Gentle Ben (Tom Wedloe), and McCloud (title role).
1922 Samuel L. Gravely, Jr d. 2004 American military leader. First black admiral in the U.S. Navy (1971). He was also the first black in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Navy ship, the first fleet commander, and the first to become a flag officer.
1910 Sir Christopher Cockerell d. 1999 English inventor. Holder of 98 patents, inventor of the hovercraft (1955). He also invented devices to harness wave power for energy production.
1884 Fontaine Fox Jr d. 1964 cartoonist, creator of Toonerville Folks.
1880 Clara Blandick d. 1962 American actress. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, Auntie Em). "Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home"
1738 George III d. 1820 King of Great Britain and Ireland (1760-1820) during the American Revolution. He became insane in 1811 leaving the Prince of Wales (George IV) to run the government.
Deaths for June 4
2010 John Wooden b. 1910 American basketball Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame coach (He was the first person to achieve both honors), winner of 10 NCAA National Championships while at UCLA. Generally considered the greatest coach in history. Quote: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Source: Fifth 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
1994 Derek "Lek" Leckenby b. 1943 English guitarist, with Herman's Hermits. Music: I'm Into Something Good (1964, #1 in UK), Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1965, #1), I'm Henry VIII, I Am (1965, #1), and There's a Kind of Hush (1967).
1990 Jack Gilford b. 1908 (Jacob Gellman), American actor. TV: The Crackerjack commercials of the late 1960s and Taxi (Alex's father).
1989 Dik Browne b. 1917 cartoonist, created Hagar the Horrible (1973).
1968 Dorothy Gish b. 1898 American silent-film actress. Film: Remodeling Her Husband (1920) and Nell Gwyn (1926).
1887 William Almon Wheeler b. 1819 19th U.S. Vice-President (1877-81).
1813 James Lawrence b. 1781 American naval officer. He made his famous proclamation, "Don't give up the ship" after being mortally wounded in battle during the War of 1812.
1798 Casanova b. 1725 (Giovanni Jacopo), Italian lover, adventurer, considered history's greatest romantic.