As we leap into the new month, let’s take a quick look back through the great, near-grea and downright obscure events of June's past.
June 1, 1971 — Ed Sullivan's final TV show. Remember what a Sunday night fixture he was for so many years?
June 2, 1835 — PT Barnum’s circus begins its first tour of the U.S.
June 3, 1964 — The Rolling Stones began their first U.S. tour.
June 4, 780 BC — The first recorded sighting of a solar eclipse was made in China.
June 4, 1987 — After winning 122 straight races, hurdler Edwin Moses’ winning streak was finally broken.
June 5, 1968 — Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.
June 6, 1925 — Chrysler Corporation was founded.
June 6, 1933 — The first drive-in theatre opened in Camden, New Jersey.
June 7, 1775 — The United Colonies made a name change and became the United States.
June 8, 1948 — The Milton Berle Show premiered on NBC TV.
June 9, 1934 — Disney’s Donald Duck made his debut.
June 10, 1610 — Dutch colonists settled on Manhattan Island.
June 10, 1752 — Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a lightning storm and discovered electricity. Don’t try this at home.
June 11, 1982 — The movie E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial was released.
June 12, 1880 — John Lee Richmond pitched baseball’s first perfect game.
June 13, 1983 — Pioneer 10 became the first satellite to leave the solar system.
June 14, 1834 — Isaac Fischer Jr. patented sandpaper.
June 14, 1938 — Benjamin Grushkin patented chlorophyll.
June 14, 1942 — Walt Disney’s Bambi was released.
June 16, 1989 — The premiere of Ghostbusters II.
June 17, 1885 — The Statute of Liberty arrived in New York City.
June 17, 1215 — King John signed the Magna Carta.
June 20, 1939 — The first rocket plane to use liquid propellants was tested.
June 20, 1967 — Muhammad Ali was convicted of refusing induction into the U.S. armed services.
June 24, 1947 – The start of the UFO phenomenon. Kenneth Arnold was flying a small private plane over Mt. Rainier in Washington State. He sighted nine objects flying in formation. Startled by the way the sun glinted off the objects and their high speed, he began taking crude measurements. He estimated their speed at between 1,300 and 1,700 mph, easily in excess of the fastest aircraft of the time. And, awfully fast for a flight of birds!
At first, he assumed the objects were military test hardware, perhaps missiles. He radioed his sighting ahead and upon landing, discussed what he had seen with his fellow pilots. Within hours, the news wires were buzzing with the story that heralded the era of the “flying saucer.”
By the way, that term actually came from this incident. Arnold described crescent-shaped or boomerang-shaped objects, which he said, “oved like a saucer if you skipped it across water.” Reporter Bill Becquette heard the description and in his newspaper article about the sighting, coined the term “flying saucer.”
The claims made by Arnold were repeated around the world. He became a celebrity and was held in fairly high regard in the UFO world until his death in 1984.
What happened in this case was quickly followed within a couple of weeks by an incident that became a UFO benchmark in a little New Mexico town called Roswell. But that’s another story, for another time.
June 26, 1959 — The Saint Lawrence Seaway was opened.
June 27, 1859 — The song Happy Birthday to You was first sung.
June 30, 1859 — French acrobat Blondin crossed over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.