Sunday history lesson

June 26 is an important day, and not just for the LGBT community, which includes a lot of people I dearly love.

The Junction Bridge across the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock was rainbow-lit on June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court ruling.  Image found on tourdestfu.

The Junction Bridge across the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock was rainbow-lit on June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court ruling.
Image found on tourdestfu.

On this day in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional. Ten years later the court ruled that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and violated the Fifth Amendment. And last year, the court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that, under the 14th Amendment, same-sex couples have the same constitutional right as the rest of us to get married.

And if my friends are happy, I’m happy.

But much more has happened on this day in history, including the first president to get married while in office (that’d be John Tyler in 1844).

A few things from the 20th century (click on the links for more information):

1925 — Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush premiered in Hollywood.

1945 — The U.N. Charter was signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, just the first step in their supposed plot to rule the world.

1948 — The Berlin airlift began.

1959 — Edward R. Murrow interviewed actress Lee Remick, his 500th and final guest on Person to Person. Charles Collingwood hosted the show in the final two years of its original run.

The Atlantic says Kennedy's translation was correct and he did not say he was a jelly doughnut. Whew! Associated Press image found on The Atlantic.

The Atlantic says Kennedy’s translation was correct and he did not say he was a jelly doughnut. Whew!
Associated Press image found on The Atlantic.

1963 — U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivered his “Ich bin ein Berliner” — I am a Berliner — (or is that “I am a doughnut”?) speech at the Berlin Wall.

1964 — The Beatles released the U.S. version of the album A Hard Day’s Night.

1974 — The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time at Marsh’s Supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was on a 67¢ 10-pack package of Juicy Fruit gum (my favorite gum).

Yes, this package, which is now in the Smithsonian. Image found on Barcode Brian.

Yes, this package, which is now in the Smithsonian.
Image found on Barcode Brian.

1976 — The CN Tower opened to the public in Toronto (though the official opening date was in October). Until 2010, it was both the world’s tallest free-standing structure and the tallest tower.

1979 — Muhammad Ali, 37, announced he was retiring as world heavyweight boxing champion. It wasn’t his first “retirement,” nor his last.

1996 — The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women. The first 13 to make it through graduated in 2001.

The U.K. version's art is much more "kiddie." Image found on Wikipedia.

The U.K. version’s art is much more “kiddie.”
Image found on Wikipedia.

1997 — The first Harry Potter Book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in the U.K. with an initial run of 500 copies.

Happy June 26th, everybody … here’s to more history in the making!

 

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2 thoughts on “Sunday history lesson

  1. I was a graduate student at Berkeley during the height of the hippy era. One day, visiting book stores on Telegraphic Avenue, I found the street closed off and filled with merry-makers. I asked one young celebrants what was going on, and he replied, jubilantly, “It’s April 9th Day!” As good a reason as any, I suppose, and I try to celebrate it (quietly) each year.

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    • In that spirit, I think I’ll celebrate all of August (inside, in the air conditioning) to mark the month when the furry one came in to my life. He, of course, thinks I should celebrate every day.

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