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Matthew Hedger
06/19/2014 2:32 PM

Today is Thursday, June 19, the 170th day of 2014 with 195 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn.

In 325 A.D., the early Christian church opened the general council of Nicaea, which settled on rules for computing the date of Easter.

In 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention voted to strike down the Articles of Confederation and form a new government.

In 1846, two amateur baseball teams played under new rules at Hoboken, N.J., planting the first seeds of organized baseball. The New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers, 23-1.

In 1856, the first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Charles Fremont of California for president. (James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected.)

In 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, president of the Mexican Republic.

In 1905, Pittsburgh showman Harry Davis opened the world's first nickelodeon, showing The Great Train Robbery, a silent Western film. The storefront theater had 96 seats, charged 5 cents and prompted the advent of movie houses across the United States.

In 1910, Spokane, Wash., had the first Father's Day.

In 1943, World War II's Battle of the Philippine Sea began. (Japanese forces tried unsuccessfully to prevent further Allied advancement in the South Pacific.)

In 1953, convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 Louisiana law that required schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prayers led by students at public high school football games aren't permitted under the constitutional separation of church and state.

In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, became the first candidate at that level to bypass public financing since the program was established.

In 2011, a stubborn wildfire in Arizona near the New Mexico border had consumed more than half a million acres of land despite efforts of 4,000 firefighters.

In 2012, temperatures on the final day of spring soared to more than 100 degrees in parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. Death Valley, Calif., topped the list at 115.

In 2013, James Gandolfini, who starred in the gangster drama The Sopranos, died of a heart attack in Rome. He was 51.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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