Published On: Jun 25 2013 10:57:36 AM EDTUpdated On: Jun 26 2014 02:00:00 AM EDT
2013: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The act, in conjunction with other statutes, had barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as "spouses" for purposes of federal laws, effectively barring them from receiving federal marriage benefits. The court held that the Constitution prevents the federal government from treating state-sanctioned heterosexual marriages differently than state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. On the same day, the court also made a ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry, dismissing an appeal of a 2010 federal court decision finding California's Proposition 8 amendment banning same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The ruling effectively cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.
2012: Filmmaker Nora Ephron dies at the age of 71 in New York City from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. Ephron was best known for writing and directing movies such as "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail" and "Julie & Julia." She also wrote the scripts for "Silkwood" and "When Harry Met Sally...," earning Academy Award nominations for those screenplays as well as the one for "Sleepless in Seattle."
2008: By a 5-4 margin in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court of the United States strikes down a handgun ban in the Washington, D.C., holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to gun ownership for traditionally lawful purposes such as self defense.
2007: Belgian-born American fashion designer Liz Claiborne, best known for co-founding the design company Liz Claiborne Inc., dies of cancer at age 78 in New York City. In 1986, Claiborne's company became the first founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500. She was also the first woman to become chairperson and CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
2003: Strom Thurmond, the third longest-serving senator in U.S. history, dies in Edgefield, South Carolina, at age 100. Thurmond left office in January 2003 after 48 years in the U.S. Senate as the oldest-serving and longest-serving senator in U.S. history, but was later surpassed in length of service by Robert Byrd and Daniel Inouye. He ran for president in 1948 as the States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) candidate and also served as the governor of South Carolina between 1947 and 1951. As a senator he was known for his opposition to federal civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1957, for which he conducted the longest filibuster ever by a lone senator at 24 hours and 18 minutes.
2003: In a 6-3 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States strikes down the sodomy law in Texas, invalidating sodomy laws in 13 other states in the process and making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory.
2002: Jay Berwanger, who became the first Heisman Trophy winner in 1935 and the first-ever NFL draft pick in 1936, dies of lung cancer at age 88 in Oak Brook, Illinois. A University of Chicago halfback, he was the first winner of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, which was renamed the Heisman Trophy the following year. The Philadelphia Eagles chose him with the first pick in the inaugural NFL draft and then traded him to the Chicago Bears. Berwanger never signed with the Bears and never played in the NFL.
1997: Don Hutson, the first star split end in National Football League history, dies at age 84 in Rancho Mirage, California. Hutson, who played 11 seasons for the Green Bay Packers from 1935 to 1945 as a wide receiver, kicker and safety, was a charter inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He helped Green Bay to three NFL championships in his career and was named NFL MVP twice. Over his career he led the NFL in receptions eight times, in receiving yards seven times, and in scoring five times. He played college football at the University of Alabama and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
1996: The Supreme Court of the United States orders the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support. The board of the all-male military college would vote 8-7 in September 1996 to admit women. The school, which officially enrolled its first female cadets in August 1997, was the last U.S. military college to admit women.
1996: Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, known for writing about Dublin's criminal underworld, is shot and killed by drug lords while sitting in traffic on the outskirts of Dublin. The man fingered as Guerin's killer was never convicted of the murder, and he denied the accusation up until his death in June 2009 while in prison in the United Kingdom. Another man convicted of being an accomplice in the case later had his conviction overturned on appeal. The investigation into Guerin's death resulted in more than 150 other arrests and convictions, as well as seizures of drugs and arms. Pictured is a monument to Guerin located in Dublin Castle gardens.
1993: Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, widely considered to have been one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game, dies of a heart attack at age 71 in Woodland Hills, California. After starting his career in the Negro leagues as a 16-year-old, Campanella played for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1940s and 1950s, as one of the pioneers in breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Campanella, whose career was cut short in 1958 when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident, is seen here in 1961 with San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays.
1987: Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam War film "Full Metal Jacket," starring Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio and R. Lee Ermey, opens in limited release. The movie, which would open wide on July 10, would go on to earn more than $46 million at the box office.
1984: Actress and comedian Aubrey Plaza, best known for the sitcom "Parks and Recreation" and movies such as "Funny People," "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and "Safety Not Guaranteed," is born in Wilmington, Delaware.
1981: The comedy "Stripes," starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and directed by Ivan Reitman, opens in theaters. The movie made more than $6 million its opening weekend and went on to gross $85 million overall in North America.
1980: Actor Jason Schwartzman, best known for movies such as "Rushmore," "I Heart Huckabees" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," and the HBO series "Bored to Death," is born in Los Angeles, California.
1980: NFL quarterback Michael Vick is born in Newport News, Virginia. Vick was a star for the Atlanta Falcons before being sentenced to 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a dogfighting conspiracy charge in 2007. He came back with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 and became the team's starter the following season, leading the Eagles to a NFC East title and winning 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
1977: Elvis Presley's final concert takes place at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. Presley would die at the age of 42 less than two months later.
1976: The CN Tower opens to the public in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It reaches more than 1,815 feet in height, becoming the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower in 2010. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.
1975: Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement are killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Leonard Peltier would later be convicted of murdering the FBI agents in a controversial trial and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.
1975: Sonny and Cher's divorce becomes final.
1974: Elizabeth Taylor's fifth divorce, from fellow actor Richard Burton, becomes official after 10 years of marriage. Sixteen months later Burton would become Taylor's sixth husband after the couple remarried on Oct. 10, 1975. The second marriage wouldn't last though, as the couple soon separated and divorced again less than a year later. Taylor would go on to marry -- and divorce -- two more times in her lifetime. Taylor and Burton are seen here in the 1965 film "The Sandpiper."
1974: The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
1974: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is born in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. A five-time World Series champion, Jeter is the Yankees' all-time career leader in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats.
1973: Country music singer-songwriter and guitarist Gretchen Wilson, whose hit songs include "Redneck Woman," "Here for the Party," "When I Think About Cheatin'," "Homewrecker" and "All Jacked Up," is born in Pocahontas, Illinois.
1970: Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, best known for writing and directing the movies "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia," "Punch-Drunk Love," "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master," is born in Los Angeles, California.
1970: Actor Sean Hayes, known for his role as Jack McFarland in the sitcom "Will & Grace," is born in Chicago, Illinois. Hayes earned an Emmy Award (and seven straight nominations), four SAG Awards, one American Comedy Award, and six Golden Globes nominations for his "Will & Grace" role.
1970: Actor Chris O'Donnell, best known for movies such as "School Ties," "Scent of a Woman," "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin," and for the TV series "NCIS: Los Angeles," is born in Winnetka, Illinois.
1970: Actor, writer, and carpenter Nick Offerman, best known for playing Ron Swanson on the sitcom "Parks and Recreation," is born in Joliet, Illinois. He's also had roles in movies such as "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous," "Sin City," "21 Jump Street" and "We're the Millers" and has had recurring TV roles on "24," "Gilmore Girls," "George Lopez" and "Childrens Hospital."
1964: The soundtrack album "A Hard Day’s Night" is released by The Beatles in the United States.
1964: The Rolling Stones release the single "It's All Over Now" in the United Kingdom. The song would go on to become their first No. 1 single the following month.
1963: U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in West Berlin, underlining the support of the United States for democratic West Germany shortly after Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall. The speech is considered one of Kennedy's best and a notable moment of the Cold War.
1961: Cyclist Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour de France, is born in Lakewood, California. LeMond first won the Tour de France in 1986 and came back to win it again in 1989 and 1990.
1957: Singer-songwriter Patty Smyth, best known as the lead singer for the 1980s band Scandal and for her solo work, is born in New York City. Scandal was best known for the songs "Goodbye to You" and "The Warrior." Smyth, who married tennis star John McEnroe in 1997, also had a No. 2 hit in 1992 with "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough," a duet with Don Henley.
1956: Singer-songwriter, guitarist and actor Chris Isaak, best known for songs such as "Wicked Game," "Somebody's Crying" and "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," is born in Stockton, California. Isaak has also acted in movies such as "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me," "Married to the Mob," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "That Thing You Do!"
1955: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Mick Jones, best known for his work with the bands The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, is born in London, England.
1950: President Harry S. Truman authorizes the United States Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
1945: The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.
1942: The Grumman F6F Hellcat makes its first flight. A total of 12,200 of the carrier-based fighter aircraft were built during World War II, and they were credited with destroying 5,223 aircraft while in service, more than any other Allied naval aircraft.
1936: In Germany, the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter, makes its first flight. Pictured here is a replica of the aircraft displayed at the 2006 ILA Berlin Air Show.
1927: The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. The iconic wooden roller coaster was declared a New York City landmark in 1988 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991.
1925: Charlie Chaplin's comedy "The Gold Rush" premieres in Hollywood. The silent film, which Chaplin had declared several times was the one he wanted to be remembered for, features the famous scenes of Chaplin's "Little Tramp" cooking and eating his own shoe, down to the laces, and making dinner rolls impaled with forks "dance."
1909: Colonel Tom Parker, the entertainment impresario known best as the manager of Elvis Presley, is born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk in Breda, Netherlands. He died at the age of 87 on Jan. 21, 1997, a day after suffering a stroke.
1906: The inaugural French Grand Prix is held, becoming the first-ever Grand Prix motor racing event. The Grand Prix name, which translates to "Great Prize," referred to the prize of 45,000 French francs awarded to Hungarian driver Ferenc Szisz, the winner from the field of 32 drivers.
1904: Actor Peter Lorre, best known for movies such as "M," "The Man Who Knew Too Much," "The Maltese Falcon," "Casablanca" (pictured) and "Arsenic and Old Lace," is born László Löwenstein in Rózsahegy, Austria-Hungary. He died of a stroke at age 59 on March 23, 1964.
1870: The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the United States.
1870: The first section of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is opened to the public.
1870: At the National Theatre Munich in Germany, Richard Wagner's opera "Die Walküre" is performed for the first time, introducing the famous piece "The Ride Of The Valkyries."
1819: Abner Doubleday, a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War, is born in Ballston Spa, New York. Doubleday is often mistakenly credited with inventing baseball, although he never made such a claim himself and there is no evidence to support it. Instead, Doubleday is famous for firing the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, the opening battle of the Civil War, and had a pivotal role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg.
1810: Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, the French co-inventor of the hot air balloon with his brother Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, dies at age 69 in Balaruc-les-Bains, France. The brothers succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne, in 1783.
1694: Georg Brandt, the chemist and mineralogist who discovered cobalt, is born in Riddarhyttan, Sweden. He was the first person to discover a metal unknown in ancient times.
1541: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro is assassinated in Lima, Peru, by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego Almagro the younger. Almagro was later caught and executed.
1498: The bristle toothbrush is first patented by the emperor of China. The first toothbrushes were made by taking coarse hairs from the back of a hog's neck and attaching them at right angles to a bone or bamboo handle. Since 3000 B.C., ancient civilizations had been cleaning teeth with a "chew-stick," a thin twig with a frayed end. Boar bristles were used until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont de Nemours.