Actor-dancer Fred Astaire tells the plot on his latest TV movie, “A Family Upside Down”, in his Beverly Hills home, March 27, 1978.
On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the “GI Bill of Rights.”
On this date:
- In 1611, English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers aboard the Discovery.
- In 1870, the United States Department of Justice was created.
- In 1911, Britain’s King George V was crowned at Westminster Abbey.
- In 1937, Joe Louis began his reign as world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jim Braddock in the eighth round of their fight in Chicago. (A year later on this date, Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium.)
- In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.
- In 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive invasion of the Soviet Union.
- In 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory.
- In 1969, singer-actress Judy Garland died in London at age 47.
- In 1977, John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. (He was released 19 months later.)
- In 1987, actor-dancer Fred Astaire died in Los Angeles at age 88.
- In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, unanimously ruled that “hate crime” laws that banned cross burning and similar expressions of racial bias violated free-speech rights.
- In 1997, world leaders in Denver concluded the historic Summit of Eight that included Russia’s first-ever full participation. Dr. Nancy W. Dickey was named the first female president of the American Medical Association.
Want Today in History delivered to your inbox for free on weekdays?
Ten years ago: Atlantis and its seven astronauts returned to Earth safely, ending a two-week mission to deliver an addition to the international space station and bringing home crew member Sunita “Suni” Williams, who set a then-record for longest single spaceflight by a woman at 195 days. Guy Vander Jagt, a 13-term Republican congressman from Michigan, died in Washington at age 75. The Pixar animated film “Ratatouille” had its Hollywood premiere.
Five years ago: Ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted by a jury in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. (Sandusky is appealing a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.) Monsignor William Lynn, a Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia, was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse trial, becoming the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for mishandling abuse claims. (Lynn served about a year and a half of a three-to-six-year sentence before an appeals court threw it out in 2013 and granted him a new trial.) A 12-hour rampage by heavily armed Taliban gunmen at a lakeside hotel near Kabul claimed 18 lives.
One year ago: Rebellious Democrats launched a 25-hour round-the-clock sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on gun-control bills, forcing exasperated Republicans to recess while cutting off cameras showing the protest. Dennis Hastert arrived at a Minnesota prison to serve his 15-month sentence in a hush-money case involving revelations that the former House speaker had sexually abused at least four boys when he coached wrestling at an Illinois high school. A massive crowd swarmed Cleveland for the Cavaliers’ NBA title parade. The NHL announced it would expand to Las Vegas for the 2017-18 season. Chicago’s Patrick Kane won the Hart Trophy, becoming the first player born and trained in the U.S. to be named the NHL’s most valuable player.