Today's History Trivia for June 7
1965 Birth Control The U.S. Supreme Court rules Connecticut's law banning the use of contraceptives is unconstitutional. The case involved a Connecticut "Comstock law" that prohibited the use of any drug, medicinal article, or instrument to prevent conception.
1862 First U.S. Citizen Hanged for Treason William Bruce Mumford is hanged for treason against the U.S. He had been convicted of removing and destroying the Union flag at the New Orleans Mint during the Civil War. In April, Union forces raised the Union flag over the mint. A group of men, including Mumford, removed the flag. Mumford carried it to the mayor at city hall, with the flag being destroyed in the process. For this he was tried and convicted of treason and hanged. Confederate Governor of Louisiana Thomas Overton Moore issued a statement declaring Mumford a hero.
1994 Youngest female pilot to cross the Atlantic 12-year-old Vicki Van Meter arrives in Scotland. She had started Sunday from Maine, and followed Amelia Earhart's historic route.
1993 Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Official groundbreaking ceremonies are held in Cleveland.
1963 The Rolling Stones make their TV debut on the BBC program Thank Your Lucky Stars.
1939 First British Monarch to visit the U.S. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrive at Niagara Falls.
1776 American Revolution Richard Henry Lee proclaims "These United Colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent States."
1769 Kentucky is first sighted by Daniel Boone.
1712 Slavery Slavery is abolished in the Pennsylvania Colony.
Today's Birthdays for June 7
1958 Prince d. 2016 (Prince Rogers Nelson), American Oscar-Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer. Film: Purple Rain (1984, Oscar for Best Song Score). On his 35th birthday he announced that he was changing his name to a combined form of the male and female symbols. Although originally neglecting to specify a pronunciation, two months later he settled on Victor.
1896 Douglas Campbell d. 1990 American aviator, WWI flying ace. He was the first American flying in an American unit to achieve the status of ACE when he downed his fifth enemy aircraft (May 31, 1918). He and Lt. Alan F. Winslow scored the first victories by fighter aircraft of an American-trained flying unit in the war (April 14, 1918).
1940 Tom Jones (Thomas Jones Woodward), Welsh singer. As a child, he spent two years bedridden with tuberculosis. Cassandra Peterson (Elvira Mistress of the Dark) claims she lost her virginity to him. Music: It's Not Unusual (1965, #1).
1917 Gwendolyn Brooks d. 2000 American poet, author. She was the first African-American writer awarded a Pulitzer Prize (1950). She served as Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress (1985-86). Writings: Annie Allen (1950, Pulitzer for Poetry).
1917 Dean Martin d. 1995 (Dino Paul Crocetti), American singer, actor, partner of Jerry Lewis. He boxed professionally under the name "Kid Crochet."
1909 Jessica Tandy d. 1994 English Oscar-Tony-Emmy winning actress. At age 80, she became the oldest person to receive an Oscar (Driving Miss Daisy). Stage: Streetcar Named Desire (1948, Blanche Dubois). Film: The Birds (1965) and Cocoon (1985).
1886 Henri Marie Coandă d. 1972 Romanian inventor. He built and piloted the first jet-powered aircraft (1910) which crashed on its only run. While watching the crashed jet burn, he noticed that burning gases hugged the sides of the aircraft. This effect, which he researched, became known as the Coandă effect.
1848 Paul Gauguin d. 1903 French post-impressionist painter and sculpture, known for his broad flat tones, bold colors, and use of distortion.
1843 Susan Elizabeth Blow d. 1916 American educator. "Mother of American Kindergartens," she established the first American public kindergarten (1873). Since poorer children usually only got about three years of schooling before going to work at age 10, she felt the need to start school earlier. She solved this problem with kindergarten.
1811 Sir James Young Simpson d. 1870 Scottish obstetrician. He developed the use of anesthesia.
Deaths for June 7
2015 Christopher Lee b. 1922 English actor. Film: The monster in numerous horror movies - including Frankenstein and Dracula - and as Bond's nemesis Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). He was also author Ian Fleming's cousin.
2008 Jim McKay b. 1921 American Emmy-winning sportscaster. TV: Wide World of Sports (1961–1998).
2006 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi b. 1966 Jordanian-born leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He was killed when U.S. forces bombed his safehouse.
1992 Bill France b. 1909 American stock-car racing pioneer, founder of NASCAR (1947). He built Daytona International Speedway (1959) and the Talladega Superspeedway (1969).
1982 Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr b. 1921 American imposter. He lied and forged his way into jobs as a surgeon; professor of applied psychology; Trappist monk; and prison guidance counselor; all of which he performed admirably, although he didn't even possess a high-school diploma. He was the basis for the film The Great Imposter (1961).
1980 Henry Miller b. 1891 American novelist. Writings: Tropic of Cancer (1931) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939).
1970 E.M. Forster b. 1879 (Edward Morgan Forster), English author. Writings: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), Howard's End (1910), and A Passage to India (1924).
1967 Dorothy Parker b. 1893 American author, humorist. She is the author of the couplet "Men seldom make passes - at girls who wear glasses."
1954 Maury Maverick b. 1895 American politician, U.S. congressman (Texas, 1935-39), mayor of San Antonio (1939-41). He coined the word "Gobbledygook" (1944).
1954 Alan Mathison Turing b. 1912 British mathematician, computer expert, invented the Turing Test (1937) which defined the modern digital computer. He also cracked Germany's "unbreakable" war code Enigma. In 1952 he was prosecuted for homosexuality by the British government and forced to undergo chemical castration. He died from eating a cyanide-laced apple.
1937 Jean Harlow b. 1911 (Harlean Carpenter), American actress. Hollywood's original blond bombshell. Film: Platinum Blonde (1931), Bombshell (1933), and Riffraff (1936).
1933 Cyrus H. K. Curtis b. 1850 American publisher. Founder of Ladies' Home Journal (1883).
1893 Edwin Thomas Booth b. 1833 American Shakespearean actor. Older brother of U.S. President Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth.
1886 Richard March Hoe b. 1812 American inventor. He created the rotary press (1846), which enabled high-speed printing.
1863 Franz Xaver Gruber b. 1787 Austrian church organist. He wrote the melody to Silent Night, Holy Night (1818). Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1329 Robert I b. 1274 King of Scotland (1306-29).
555 Vigilius b. ???? Italian religious leader, 59th Pope (537-555).