Today in History


Today is Thursday, June 29, the 180th day of 2023. There are 185 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 29, 1613, London’s original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed, was destroyed by a fire sparked by a cannon shot during a performance of “Henry VIII.”

On this date:

In 1520, Montezuma II, the ninth and last emperor of the Aztecs, died in Tenochtitlan (tay-nohch-TEET’-lahn) under unclear circumstances (some say he was killed by his own subjects; others, by the Spanish).

In 1767, Britain approved the Townshend Revenue Act, which imposed import duties on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper and tea shipped to the American colonies. (Colonists bitterly protested, prompting Parliament to repeal the duties — except for tea.)

In 1776, the Virginia state constitution was adopted, and Patrick Henry was made governor.

In 1927, the first trans-Pacific airplane flight was completed as U.S. Army Air Corps Lt. Lester J. Maitland and Lt. Albert F. Hegenberger arrived at Wheeler Field in Hawaii aboard the Bird of Paradise, an Atlantic-Fokker C-2, after flying 2,400 miles from Oakland, California, in 25 hours, 50 minutes.

In 1946, authorities in British-ruled Palestine arrested more than 2,700 Jews in an attempt to stamp out extremists.

In 1967, Jerusalem was reunified as Israel removed barricades separating the Old City from the Israeli sector.

In 1970, the United States ended a two-month military offensive into Cambodia.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a trio of death sentences, saying the way they had been imposed constituted cruel and unusual punishment. (The ruling prompted states to effectively impose a moratorium on executions until their capital punishment laws could be revised.)

In 1978, actor Bob Crane of “Hogan’s Heroes” fame was found bludgeoned to death in an apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was appearing in a play; he was 49.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled, 5-3, that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated U.S. and international law.

In 2009, disgraced financier Bernard Madoff received a 150-year sentence for his multibillion-dollar fraud. (Madoff died in prison in April 2021.)

Ten years ago: Paying tribute to his personal hero, President Barack Obama met privately in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Nelson Mandela’s family as the world anxiously awaited news on the condition of the hospitalized 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader. (Mandela was discharged from the hospital on September 1, 2013; he died the following December.)

Five years ago: Canada released a list of items, including ketchup, lawn mowers and playing cards, that would be targeted with billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the United States in response to the Trump administration’s duties on Canadian steel and aluminum. The Annapolis Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland kept its promise to put out the day’s paper, despite the shooting deaths of five people in its newsroom a day earlier. In response to the fatal shootings at a Maryland newspaper, President Donald Trump said that “journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.”

One year ago: R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his R&B superstardom to subject young fans to sexual abuse. The singer and songwriter was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking the previous year. The only surviving attacker from the 2015 terrorist massacre at the Bataclan theater and other sites in Paris was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. That was the most severe sentence possible in France, and very rare. Salah Abdeslam was the chief suspect in an exceptional trial over the attacks, which killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State group.

Today’s Birthdays: Songwriter L. Russell Brown is 83. Singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys is 80. Actor Gary Busey is 79. Comedian Richard Lewis is 76. Former actor and politician Fred Grandy is 75. Rock musician Ian Paice (Deep Purple) is 75. Singer Don Dokken (Dokken) is 70. Rock singer Colin Hay (Men At Work) is 70. Actor Maria Conchita Alonso is 68. Actor Kimberlin Brown (TV: “The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 62. Actor Sharon Lawrence is 62. Actor Amanda Donohoe is 61. Actor Judith Hoag is 60. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is 60. R&B singer Stedman Pearson (Five Star) is 59. Actor Kathleen Wilhoite is 59. Producer-writer Matthew Weiner is 58. Actor Melora Hardin is 56. Actor Brian D’Arcy James is 55. Actor Christina Chang is 52. Rap DJ and record producer DJ Shadow is 51. Actor Lance Barber is 50. Actor-dancer Will Kemp is 46. Actor Zuleikha Robinson is 46. Rock musician Sam Farrar is 45. Actor Luke Kirby is 45. Singer Nicole Scherzinger is 45. Comedian-writer Colin Jost (johst) is 41. Actor Lily Rabe is 41. R&B singer Aundrea Fimbres is 40. NBA forward Kawhi Leonard is 32. Actor Camila Mendes (TV: “Riverdale”) is 29.

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