On this Day June 12
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1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot and killed outside his Jackson, Mississippi home by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. His murder comes just hours after President John F. Kennedy had delivered a national address in support of civil rights.
1981 – Moviegoers meet Indiana Jones for the first time as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” opens in theaters across the U.S. The movie, starring Harrison Ford, becomes another box office smash for director Steven Spielberg and launches one of the most successful motion picture franchises of all time.
1987 – In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.
1994 – Former football star O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, are stabbed to death in what leads to one of the highest-profile murder trials of the century. As the prime suspect, O.J. Simpson stands trial for the killings, but is ultimately acquitted. He is later found liable in a civil action brought by the victims’ families.
2016 – A gunman forces his way inside Pulse, an Orlando, Florida nightclub, and opens fire on the predominantly gay crowd, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more. Responding police shoot and kill the gunman, who was later determined to have ties to the terrorist group ISIS. The attack becomes the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history until an October 2017 rampage in Las Vegas.
1989 – The Elvis Presley Autoland Museum opens at Graceland. It features more than 30 cars that Presley owned, including his famous Pink Cadillac, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Stutz Blackhawks, a 1975 Dino Ferrari, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, and the red MG Elvis drove in the movie “Blue Hawaii.”
1999 – The boy band era is in full swing as “Millennium,” by the Backstreet Boys, claims the top spot on the Billboard album chart. The Grammy-nominated album spawns four Top 40 singles: “I Want It That Way”, “Larger than Life,” “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” and “The One.”