June 17, 1963
SUPREME COURT RULES BIBLE READING IN SCHOOLS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The United States Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 8 to 1 today that school sponsored Bible reading is unconstitutional.
The ruling came in the case of Abington School District v. Schempp which challenged Bible reading over the school intercom as a violation of 1st amendment rights.
Abington is located in the state of Pennsylvania.
Justice Tom Clark wrote in regard to religious freedom….“it has long been recognized that government must be neutral & while protecting all, must prefer none & disparage none.”
In response to the 1962 Supreme Court ruling that prayer in schools is unconstitutional, President Kennedy was asked the following question at a news conference of June 27, 1962:
In the furor over the Supreme Court decision on prayer in schools….can you give us your opinion?
The President responded:
“I think…that we (should) support Supreme Court decisions even when we may not agree with them. In addition, we have….a very easy remedy, & that is to pray a good deal more at home….&….make the true meaning of prayer much more important in the lives of all of our children.”
June 17, 1972
DNC HQ AT WATERGATE BURGLARIZED
The Democratic National Committee Headquarters located in the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C. was burglarized today.
Five intruders were arrested including James McCord, Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez & Eugenio Martinez.
Mr. McCord is the security chief for Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President or “CREEP”.
3 of the 5 burglars are Cuban exiles & 1 is a Cuban-American.
The break-in was discovered by a Watergate security officer who found that several doors had been taped to prevent them from locking.
The matter is under further investigation, but at this time the purpose of the break-in is not known.*
*Later, Nixon campaign funds will be tied to the break-in, the purpose of which was to assure President Nixon’s re-election in 1972 by collecting information to sabotage the Democratic presidential campaign. In the end, Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974.
Watergate Security Guard’s Notes
June 17, 1962
June 17, 1943
SECRETARY OF WAR STOPS TRUMAN’S INQUIRY
President Roosevelt’s Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, telephoned Senator Harry S Truman (D-Missouri) today asking him not to make inquiries about a government defense plant located in Pasco, Washington.
Senator Truman is chairman of a Senate committee investigating war profiteering by American defense plants.
While the reasons for Secretary Stimson’s request is not known, Senator Truman has indicated that he will comply with the request.*
*Truman told Stimson: “You won’t have to say another word to me” after the Secretary explained the secrecy needed in this case. The defense plant in question was part of the “Manhattan Project” to develop the atomic bomb.
Ironically, it would be President Truman who would make the decision to use the weapon in August 1945 against the Japanese.
Photo by Harris & Ewing (1929)
June 17, 1885
STATUE OF LIBERTY ARRIVES IN NEW YORK
A gift from the people of France to the people of the United States arrived today in New York harbor. It is called “The Statue of Liberty”.
The 151 foot statue arrived by ship in pieces & will be reassembled on an island in the harbor.
The statue is the brainchild of French historian Edouard Laboulaye to commemorate the Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution.*
*The Statue of Liberty will be dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886.
Nancy Reagan In Liberty’s Crown
July 4, 1986
White House Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick
June 17, 1876
US CAVALRY DEFEATED AT THE ROSEBUD
General George Crook’s US Cavalry met defeat today at the hands of Sioux warriors along the banks of the Rosebud Creek in southern Montana.
Crook with a force of 1300 men were the victims of a surprise attack by 1500 mounted Sioux warriors just east of the Little Big Horn River.
The Sioux, led by Crazy Horse, had another 2500 warriors in reserve.
Crook lost 28 dead & 56 wounded.*
*8 days later, Sioux & Cheyenne warriors would defeat George A. Custer’s 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn.