1291 - A pact was made to form the Swiss Confederation. The anniversary of this founding has been celebrated as National Day in Switzerland since 1891, the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation.
1873 - The first cable streetcar in America began operation on Clay Street Hill in San Francisco, CA.
1876 - Colorado, the 38th state, entered the United States of America this day. It is the only state to enter the union in the one hundredth year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Consequently, Colorado is called the Centennial State. The Rocky Mountains are Colorado's most famous feature; which explains why the Rocky Mountain columbine is the state flower. The lark bunting is the state bird. Denver, Colorado's largest city, is also the state capital.
1893 - Henry Perky and William Ford of Watertown, NY woke up early and found their patent sitting on the breakfast table. They had invented shredded wheat. Pass the bananas and milk, please...
1894 - George Samuelson and Frank Harbo completed a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean -- in a rowboat! They landed in England after having left New York on June 6th. We can think of easier ways to cross the ocean...
1937 - Mutual radio debuted The Goodwill Hour, with its familiar phrase, "You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony."
1940 - The first book written by 23-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy was published. It was titled, Why England Slept. Later, Kennedy's Profiles in Courage would become a best-seller for the man who would become the United States' 35th President.
1941 - Parade magazine called it "...the Army's most intriguing new gadget." The gadget was "a tiny truck which can do practically everything." General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that America couldn't have won World War II without it. The tiny truck was the Jeep, built at the time by the Willys Truck Company. Parade was so enthusiastic about the Jeep that it devoted three pages to the vehicle.
1942 - Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded Charleston Alley, on Decca Records.
1942 - The American Federation of Musicians went on strike. Union president James C. Petrillo told musicians that phonograph records were "a threat to members' jobs." As a result, musicians refused to perform in recording sessions over the next several months. Live, musical radio broadcasts continued, however.
1943 - This day marked the groundbreaking ceremony in Oak Ridge, TN for the first uranium 235 plant. (Uranium 235 was needed to build the A-bomb.) The uranium manufacturing facility cost $280,000,000 to build and was completed in the summer of 1944.
1944 - 13-year-old Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary; a diary she had kept for two years while hiding with her family to escape Nazi deportation to a concentration camp. Three days later the Grune Polizei raided the secret annex in Amsterdam, Holland, where the Jewish family was in hiding. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15.
1950 - Pitcher Curt Simmons of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first major-league baseball player to be called to active military duty during the Korean War.
1953 - The first aluminum-faced building constructed in America was completed. It was the Alcoa (Aluminum Corporation of America) Building in Pittsburgh, PA.
1958 - After 26 years at 3 cents, the cost of mailing a first-class letter in the United States went up a penny.
1960 - Chubby Checker's The Twist was released. The song inspired the dance craze of the 1960s. Round and around and around...
1971 - The Concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston performed. A multirecord set commemorating the event was a super sales success. Together, the concert and the album raised over $11 million to help the starving minions of Bangladesh.
1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds failed to get a hit in five times at bat in Atlanta. As a result, his consecutive hitting streak ended at 44 games -- just 12 short of Joe DiMaggio's major-league baseball record with the New York Yankees.
1984 - Singer Jermaine Jackson made a guest appearance on the TV soap opera, As the World Turns.
1987 - Mike Tyson 'out-pointed' Tony Tucker in 12 rounds at Las Vegas, Nevada. He won the right to call himself the "Undisputed world heavyweight champion" as he won the IBF heavyweight title and retained the WBA/WBC heavyweight titles.
1996 - Here's today's Olympic wrap-up: Michael Johnson left his fellow runners in the dust to win gold in the 200 meters in a record 19.32 seconds. He was the first male Olympian to complete the 200/400-meter Olympic double. And French sprinter Marie-Jose Perec became only the second woman in history to win gold medal in both the 200-meter and the 400-meter runs at the same Olympics. Perec joined American Valerie Brisco-Hooks, who won both the 200 and 400 races in 1984 in Los Angeles. The U.S. women's soccer team claimed the gold medal and capped the first women's soccer competition at the Olympics, beating China 2-1. And last, but certainly not least, decathlon, four years after failing to make the U.S. Olympic team.