Today's History Trivia for June 8
1998 War on Drugs An ad is taken out in the New York Times titled "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." Its signers included Reagan's Secretary of State, George Shultz; Lyndon Johnson's attorney general, Nicholas Katzenbach; former New York police commissioner, Patrick Murphy; San Francisco D.A., Terrence Hallinan; and TV anchor Walter Cronkite.
1993 Rap music killer 19-year-old Ronald Ray Howard is convicted of the 1992 murder of a state trooper. He claimed the anti-police rap music he was listening to made him do it. He was later executed for the crime.
1975 Venera 9 The Soviet spacecraft is launched. It landed on Venus in October and sent back the first pictures ever transmitted from another planet.
1972 Vietnam War Nick Ut takes his Pulitzer-winning photo of a napalm attack on a South Vietnamese village.
1967 USS Liberty is attacked without warning by Israeli jets while sailing in international waters. Thirty-four were killed and 171 were injured.
1954 Pledge of Allegiance The words "under God" are added to the pledge by Congress. It previously had no mention of God.
1937 World's largest flower A giant calla lily at the New York Botanical Gardens blooms. It was 8½ ft. high and 4 ft. in diameter.
1861 Civil War Tennessee becomes the 11th state to secede from the Union.
1789 Bill of Rights is proposed to Congress by James Madison.
1786 First commercially produced ice cream is sold, in New York.
1783 Laki volcano eruption in southern Iceland, spewing 2.8 cubic miles of lava, ultimately causing a famine and 9,500 deaths.
1699 Capt. William Kidd imprisoned in Boston for piracy and murder. He was hanged (1701) in London.
Today's Birthdays for June 8
1965 Rob Pilatus d. 1998 German-American model, dancer, singer, half of the Milli Vanilli duo. Their album Girl You Know It's True won the Grammy for Best New Artist, which was taken back after it was revealed they didn't sing on it. Pilatus died of a drug overdose. Music: Greatest Hits (2007).
1962 Nick Rhodes (Nicholas Bates), English singer, with Duran Duran. Music: Hungry Like the Wolf (1982), Rio (1982), Union of the Snake (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).
1951 Bonnie Tyler (Gaynor Hopkins), Welsh singer. In 1976, she underwent surgery to remove nodules on her vocal cords, resulting in her trademark husky voice. Music: It's a Heartache (1977) and Total Eclipse of the Heart (1983, #1).
1950 Kathy Baker American Emmy-winning actress. Film: Edward Scissorhands (1990). TV: Picket Fences (Jill Brock).
1944 Boz Scaggs (William Scaggs), American rock singer. Music: Lido Shuffle (1976).
1940 Nancy Sinatra American singer, Frank's daughter. Her These Boots Were Made For Walkin' was used by the FBI to drive the cult Branch Davidians from their compound.
1936 James Darren (James Ercolani), American singer, actor. TV: T.J. Hooker (Officer Corrigan).
1933 Joan Rivers d. 2014 (Joan Alexandra Molinsky), American Emmy-Grammy-winning comedienne, talk-show host. She was the first woman to host a late night network television talk show (1986, The Late Show with Joan Rivers). Rivers died after complications from a minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic.
1927 Jerry Stiller (Gerald Isaac Stiller), American comedian, actor. Half of the comedy team Stiller & Meara with his wife Anne Meara. TV: Seinfeld (Frank Castanza) and The King of Queens (Arthur).
1925 Edward Carl Gaedel d. 1961 American baseball player, midget (3 foot, 7 inches tall), he was a pinch hitter for the St. Louis Browns. He was walked on his only time at bat (1951).
1925 Barbara Bush (Barbara Pierce), American first lady.
1921 Alexis Smith d. 1993 Canadian-born Tony-winning actress. Stage: Follies (1971, Tony). TV: Dallas (Jessica Montford).
1916 Francis Crick d. 2004 British biochemist, co-winner of the 1962 Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA (1953). He also contributed to the development of radar.
1867 Frank Lloyd Wright d. 1959 (Frank Lincoln Wright), American architect, emphasized design that harmonized with the construction materials and landscape. He also coined the word "carport."
1813 David Dixon Porter d. 1891 American admiral. In 1856 he became the first person to import camels in the U.S. for commercial purposes.
Deaths for June 8
2006 Jack "Jaxon" Jackson b. 1941 American underground cartoonist. Considered the "first underground comix artist" for his comic God Nose (1964). Co-founder of Rip Off Press. Writings: The graphic novel Comanche Moon (1979).
1992 Pauline Tabor Webster b. 1905 Kentucky's most famous brothel owner. She ran the Clay Street Brothel in Bowling Green, Kentucky for 38 years. Autobiography: Pauline's - Memoirs of the Madame on Clay Street.
1982 Satchel Paige b. 1906 (Leroy Robert Paige), American baseball player, the greatest baseball pitcher of the Negro Leagues. He became the oldest rookie ever in the major-leagues when he joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948. They went on to win both the pennant and the World Series.
1806 George Wythe b. 1726 American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
632 Mohammed b. circa 570 Arabian prophet, founder of Islam.