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June 17, 2007 sun
June 17th, 2007

Birthdays: King Edward Ist "Longshanks", John Wesley the founder of the Methodists, Igor Stravinsky, cartoonist Wally Wood, Ralph Bellamy, Mignon Dunn, Dean Martin, Barry Manilow, Joe Piscopo, Newt Gingrich, Martin Bormann, Jason Patrick, director Ken Loach, Greg Kinnear, Venus Williams.

1893- Cracker Jacks invented by RW Reuckheim. Their name came from someone sampling the caramel corn who exclaimed “These are Crackerjack!”- popular slang for something very good.

1919 - "Barney Google" cartoon strip, by Billy De Beck, premiered.

1940- As the Allied fronts in France crumbled before the Nazis onslaught and Paris was occupied and the invasion of Britain seemed. Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspired his demoralized people with his famous speech:”We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them in the hills and in the towns… we shall defend our island home. We shall Never Surrender!”

1946- The first mobile telephone was installed in an automobile in St. Louis, Missouri.

1950-Future attorney general and Senator Robert Kennedy married heiress Ethel Scheckter.

1952- Jack Parsons died in a massive explosion in his Pasadena kitchen. Parsons was a founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab and the Aerojet Corporation. One of the nations top rocket scientists, his research into fuels powered everything from world war two bazooka shells to the Space Shuttle booster engines. But Parsons also had a strange second life in the occult. He was a follower of Alastair Crowley, sometimes signed his name as AntiChrist and once tried to raise a demon in a sex ceremony. His close friends included writer Robert Heinlein and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. His mother committed suicide within hours of the explosion. No one is sure what caused the explosion that killed him, but he was cavalier in his use of dangerous materials “uh, could you hand me the Mayonnaise? It’s in the fridge between the C-4 and the Fulminate of Mercury.”

1964- The first Universal Studios tram car tour. Carl Laemmle had been inviting tourists in for a nickel to watch movies be filmed as early as 1915.

1968- Ohio Express’ single “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I got love in my Tummy” went gold.

1972- THE WATERGATE BREAK IN- President Richard Nixon's staff, trying to gain an edge on an upcoming election, hire men to break into Democratic National Committee's offices in the Watergate Hotel to steal election strategy documents. They had already broken in once before but the batteries on the wiretap they planted were defective so they wanted to replace them and copy some more documents. Hotel security guards caught three Cubans and a man named Frank Sturgis. One Cuban had, in his pocket, a check made out by a White House employee named E. Howard Hunt.
This "Third-Rate Burglary" and subsequent cover-up ulcerated into a major scandal that eventually forced the first ever resignation of a US president. In tapes, recorded at the time, President Nixon said: "nobody's gonna make a big deal that a Republican President broke into Democratic headquarters." President Lyndon Johnson had bugged the Republicans in 1967 and President Kennedy used the IRS to audit politicians he didn’t like but the general public didn’t know w that yet.

1990- The Battle of Century City- Police attack 500 supporters of striking building maintenance workers and janitors, mostly Central American immigrants trying to form a union.

1994- THE WHITE BRONCO CHASE- Movie actor and Hall of Fame football player O.J. Simpson was wanted for questioning about the grisly murder of his second wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ron Goldman. This day OJ tried to escape. He and his friend Al Cowlings led police on a strange slow-speed pursuit for two hours around the freeways of Los Angeles as the world watched amazed on live television. He eventually was convinced to surrender. OJ Simpson was acquitted of murder in a controversial trial but found guilty in a civil wrongful death suit. Both trials polarized national opinions about race. Another suspect in the murder has never been found.