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Today in History: June 5, Robert F. Kennedy assassinated

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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, June 5, the 157th day of 2024. There are 209 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 5, 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded after claiming victory in California’s Democratic presidential primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles; assassin Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was arrested at the scene.

On this date:

In 1794, Congress passed the Neutrality Act, which prohibited Americans from taking part in any military action against a country that was at peace with the United States.

In 1950, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Henderson v. United States, struck down racially segregated railroad dining cars.

In 1967, war erupted in the Middle East. Israel, anticipating a possible attack by its Arab neighbors, launched a series of airfield strikes that destroyed nearly the entire Egyptian air force; Syria, Jordan and Iraq immediately entered the conflict.

In 1975, Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international shipping, eight years after it was closed because of the 1967 war with Israel.

In 1976, 14 people were killed when the Teton Dam in Idaho burst.

In 1981, the Centers for Disease Control reported that five men in Los Angeles had come down with a rare kind of pneumonia; they were the first recognized cases of what later became known as AIDS.

In 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City home. (Smart was found alive by police in a Salt Lake suburb in March 2003. One kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to life without parole; the other, Wanda Barzee, was released in September 2018.)

In 2004, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died in Los Angeles at age 93 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2006, more than 50 National Guardsmen from Utah became the first unit to work along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a crackdown by President George W. Bush.

In 2012, science-fiction author Ray Bradbury, 91, died in Los Angeles.

In 2016, Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive major championships, finally earning an elusive French Open title with a win over Andy Murray to complete a career Grand Slam.

In 2017, Bill Cosby went on trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University’s basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. (The jury deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial, but Cosby was convicted in a second trial; Pennsylvania’s highest court later tossed out that conviction.)

In 2018, the Miss America pageant announced that it was eliminating the swimsuit competition from the event; the new head of the organization’s board of trustees, Gretchen Carlson, said on ABC, “We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you.”

In 2020, Minneapolis banned chokeholds by police, the first of many changes in law enforcement practices to be announced in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death; officers would also now be required to intervene any time they saw unauthorized force by another officer.

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II appeared at the balcony of Buckingham Palace, delighting fans who had hoped to catch a glimpse of her during the final day of festivities marking the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. (The queen died three months later, and her son Charles became king.)

Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Bill Moyers is 90. Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark is 85. Author Dame Margaret Drabble is 85. Country singer Don Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 79. Rock musician Freddie Stone (AKA Freddie Stewart) (Sly and the Family Stone) is 77. Rock singer Laurie Anderson is 77. Country singer Gail Davies is 76. Author Ken Follett is 75. Financial guru Suze Orman is 73. Rock musician Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) is 72. Jazz musician Peter Erskine is 70. Jazz musician Kenny G is 68. Rock singer Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) is 68. Actor Beth Hall is 66. Actor Jeff Garlin is 62. Actor Karen Sillas is 61. Actor Ron Livingston is 57. Singer Brian McKnight is 55. Rock musician Claus Norreen (Aqua) is 54. Actor Mark Wahlberg is 53. Actor Chad Allen is 50. Rock musician P-Nut (311) is 50. Actor Navi Rawat (ROH’-waht) is 47. Actor Liza Weil is 47. Rock musician Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) is 45. Rock musician Seb Lefebvre (Simple Plan) is 43. Actor Chelsey Crisp is 41. Actor Amanda Crew is 38. Musician/songwriter/producer DJ Mustard is 34. Actor Sophie Lowe is 34. Actor Hank Greenspan is 14.

By The Associated Press

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