Today in History 6/26

Today is Tuesday, June 26, the 178th day of 2012. There are 188 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 26, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a second term of office by delegates to the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia.On this date:

• In 1483, Richard III began his reign as King of England (he was crowned the following month at Westminster Abbey).

• In 1870, the first section of Atlantic City, N.J.’s Boardwalk was opened to the public.

• In 1911, John J. McDermott became the first American-born golf player to win the U.S. Open, played in Chicago.

• In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.

• In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

• In 1950, President Harry S. Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.

• In 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he famously declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).

• In 1973, former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” kept by the Nixon White House.

• In 1987, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. announced his retirement, leaving a vacancy that was filled by Anthony M. Kennedy.

• In 1988, three people were killed when a new Airbus A320 jetliner carrying more than 130 people crashed into a forest during a demonstration at an air show in Mulhouse, France.

• In 1990, President George H.W. Bush went back on his “no-new-taxes” campaign pledge, conceding that tax increases would have to be included in any deficit-reduction package worked out with congressional negotiators.

Ten years ago:

• The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because the words “under God” had been inserted by Congress in 1954. (The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2004 on a technicality.)

• The Group of Eight nations, meeting in Canada, announced that Russia would be made a full-fledged member of the elite group.

• Chinese basketball star Yao Ming was selected first overall by the Houston Rockets in the NBA draft.

Five years ago:

• Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” got into a verbal fracas with Elizabeth Edwards, who had called into the program to ask Coulter to stop making personal attacks on her husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

• Paris Hilton left the Los Angeles County jail after a bizarre, three-week stay for a probation violation.

One year ago:

• New York City’s gay pride parade turned into a carnival-like celebration of same-sex marriage as hundreds of thousands of revelers rejoiced at the state’s new law giving gay couples the same marital rights as everyone else.

• In Senegal, hundreds of Muslim protesters descended on a Jehovah’s Witness temple and a bar in Dakar, setting the buildings on fire in a rare instance of religious extremism in the normally moderate Islamic republic.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Eleanor Parker is 90. Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 78. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 72. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 69. Actor Clive Francis is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brenda Holloway is 66. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 62. Actor Robert Davi is 61. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 57. Actor Gedde Watanabe is 57. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 56. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 55. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 51. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 49. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 43. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 42. Actor Sean Hayes is 42. Actor Matt Letscher is 42. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 42. Actor Nick Offerman is 42. Actress Rebecca Budig is 39. MLB All-Star player Derek Jeter is 38. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 38. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 33. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 33. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 32. Actress-singer Jennette McCurdy is 20.