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Your Week in History: The moon is on fire and an umpire gets punched

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Sally Ride was the first American woman in space June 18, 1983. (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons) Sally Ride was the first American woman in space June 18, 1983. (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons)
The Giordano Bruno crater on the surface of the moon. (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons) The Giordano Bruno crater on the surface of the moon. (Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons)
A Japanese aircraft carrier and two destroyers are attacked during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons) A Japanese aircraft carrier and two destroyers are attacked during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)
A lithograph depicting a baseball game at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, which was the site of the first recorded baseball game June 19, 1846. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A lithograph depicting a baseball game at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, which was the site of the first recorded baseball game June 19, 1846. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) - So, if you read last week, you might have noticed a brief mention of something significant right about paragraph 13.

It had something to do with a former football player at the University of Southern California, and for once I don't mean John Wayne, though that is coming later.

To save you the annoyance of an unnecessary mouse click, it referenced the death of Nicole Brown Simpson. I didn't go any further than that last week because it's this week - specifically today - that marks the real anniversary from that event.

Nicole Brown Simpson was the ex-wife of Orenthal James Simpson, who was arrested June 17, 1994, but only after driving down the highway at break-finger speed (I'm coining a new term here, just go with it) while being pursued by more police officers than those who tracked down Bugsy Seigel's murderer (more on this in a minute).

Anyway, the whole thing was televised and is still made fun of today. It's debatable whether the Seinfeld parody in "The Big Salad" is funnier than the real thing, but for my money, you can't top Cosmo Kramer. Sadly, though, I could not find video of the parody online.

Here are some of the events of note that happened between June 17 and June 23.

Life and Death

Let's start with death this time. As referenced above, Bugsy Seigel was killed June 20, 1947. He was shot by a rifle through a window in his house while reading a newspaper. He was shot several times, with damage to the lungs and lower body, but it was two shots to the head that killed him. No one was ever charged with his murder, and it remains unsolved.

George Carlin died June 22, 2008, and Ed McMahon and Peter Falk died June 23 in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed June 19, 1953. Julius died after one cycle in the electric chair. Ethel survived four cycles before dying on the fifth.

Now comes what you've been waiting for. It's time for this week's installment of Hey, Those Guys Did Something With John Wayne. Admittedly, this was a tough week, and there are only two people of note that I could find who qualified.

The first is Richard Boone, who played Sam Houston in The Alamo, John Fain in Big Jake and Mike Sweeney in The Shootist, and was born June 18, 1917. He stands out in The Shootist because he drives "one of them new horseless carriages" and is involved in the climactic gunfight, where he and Wayne kill each other.

The second is Carroll O'Connor, who died June 21, 2001. He's best known as Archie Bunker from the iconic sitcom All In The Family (his costar Jean Stapleton died a couple of weeks ago), but he was also in In Harm's Way with the Duke, though his role was uncredited.

Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice was born June 17, 1988. Despite being a swimmer, she got into some hot water for tweeting a picture of herself in a bikini prior to the 2012 London Olympics. She won three gold medals in Beijing in 2008, but didn't win any medals in London.

Prince William was born June 21, 1982, Erin Brockovich was born June 22, 1960, Lou Gehrig was born June 19, 1903, and Roger Ebert and Paul McCartney were born June 18, 1942. Rebecca Black was born June 21, 1997, which was a Saturday, not Friday.

Overlooked Anniversaries

Have you ever heard of the Giordano Bruno crater? No? Well, five monks in Canterbury, England, saw what is believed to its formation June 18, 1178. Of course, no one knows for sure, but whatever the monks saw sounds incredible. They describe fire, hot coals and sparks spewing from the moon's surface and the moon itself "throbbed like a wounded snake." Of course, they were 12th century monks, and no one else has claimed to see it so it's highly possible there was beer involved - or they met some Grateful Dead fans.

In women's history, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space June 18, 1983, which was two days and 20 years after Russian Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, and Title IX became law June 23, 1972. In civil rights history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved June 19, 1964, and the end to slavery was announced in Texas on June 19, 1865, which is now known as Juneteenth.

Garfield made his debut June 19, 1978. Garfield - like all people - loves lasagna and laughing at dogs, and hates Mondays. The comic strip spawned a decent TV show and a bad movie.

... .- -- ..- . .-.. / -- --- .-. ... . / .-. . -.-. . .. ...- . -.. / .- / .--. .- - . -. - / ..-. --- .-. / - .... . / - . .-.. . --. .-. .- .--. .... / .--- ..- -. . / ..--- ----- --..-- / .---- ---.. ....- ----- .-.-.- (Go here to translate.)

The Ed Sullivan Show made its debut as Toast of the Town on June 20, 1948, the patent for the typewriter was issued June 23, 1868, West Virginia seceded from Virginia, which had seceded from the United States and became a state in its own right, on June 20, 1863, and New Hampshire became a state June 21, 1788.

New Hampshire has a weird voting ritual in a place called Dixville Notch. Since 1980, the only president to win the general election and lose the vote in Dixville Notch was Bill Clinton. I don't like a place with only 10 people deciding who becomes president, so New Hampshire needs to go away. If Virginia is for lovers, and West Virginia left Virginia, then is West Virginia for haters? If so, it needs to go away, too.

Something About Sports

Every now and then, you come across something so blatantly awesome that you must share it with the world. Babe Ruth got ejected from a game June 23, 1917, for punching an umpire. To make that even better, he was the pitcher and decked the ump, Clarence "Brick" Owens, after walking the first batter.

Ruth was then replaced by Ernie Shore, who went on to retire every batter he faced. The game used to be regarded as a perfect game, but has since been changed to a combined no-hitter. Ruth was suspended 10 games. More details can be found here.

The first recorded baseball game was played June 19, 1846, and the New York Nine Club beat the New York Knickerbockers 23-1 at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ. Today the area is largely a residential neighborhood.

The Week in Warfare

Winston Churchill delivered his famous "This was their finest hour" speech to Parliament on June 18, 1940. The quote details specifically the view of the events at the time from a futuristic perspective in a call for a fight against Germany that would be the greatest thing ever undertaken by Great Britain and to do so in a manner that could never be equaled.

On the same day, Charles de Gaulle made the Appeal of June 18 to the people of France, which started the French Resistance to German occupation.

Those speeches united the countries on the anniversary of an event that ended their long history of war with each other. The Battle of Waterloo ended with Napoleon's defeat on June 18, 1815.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought June 17, 1775, even though it was fought at Breed's Hill. The British suffered more than 1,000 casualties compared to a few hundred by the colonies, but it was considered a loss for the Colonial Army because it had retreated from the battlefield.

The Battle of the Philippine Sea was fought June 19, 1944, and ended with the Japanese Navy unable to mount large-scale sea-based attacks. The Battle of Okinawa ended June 22, 1945, and gave the U.S. a large base for airborne attacks on the Japanese mainland.

Richard Nixon announced the War on Drugs on June 17, 1971. Today, the drugs are winning. Marijuana has been decriminalized in 15 states, is legal for medical use in 15 states and can be legally possessed in two.

Holiday You Should Celebrate

Go Skateboarding Day is June 21. Record yourself attempting to do stupid things on a skateboard and post video of your failure to YouTube - like this guy.

Preview of next week

"Ich bin ein Berliner."

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