On this Day June 19
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1930 – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Gena Rowlands (“Gloria,” “A Woman Under the Influence”)
1947 – Novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie (“Grimus,” “Midnight’s Children,” “Shame,” “The Satanic Verses,” “East, West”)
1948 – Tony-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, best known for playing Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”
1950 – Ann Wilson of the rock duo Heart
1954 – Actress Kathleen Turner (“Peggy Sue Got Married,” “Romancing The Stone,” “The War of the Roses”)
1962 – Grammy and Emmy-winning singer, dancer, choreographer and former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul
1972 – Actress Robin Tunney (“The Craft,” “Vertical Limit,” “The Mentalist”)
1865 – Union soldiers land in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War has ended and that enslaved African Americans were now free. The announcement comes two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863. Some historians blame the delay on poor communication of that era while others believe Texan slave owners intentionally withheld the information. June 19 is observed around the U.S. as Juneteenth. On June 17, 2021, it became a federal holiday.
1905 – The world’s first nickelodeon opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and draws some 450 guests. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron a nickel.
1934 – Congress establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadcasting in the United States.
1953 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, die in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both deny wrongdoing and proclaim their innocence right up to the time of their execution. The Rosenbergs were the first American civilians executed for espionage during the Cold War.
1973 – In separate games, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds and Willie Davis of the L.A. Dodgers achieve their 2,000th career hits.
1978 – Cartoonist Jim Davis introduces readers of 41 newspapers around the U.S. to a pleasantly plump, lazy, lasagna-loving cat named Garfield.
1981 – A caped superhero returns to U.S. movie theaters with the release of “Superman II,” starring Christopher Reeve as “The Man of Steel.”
2013 – Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as crime boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” dies of a heart attack at age 51 while vacationing in Italy.
1961 – Pat Boone tops the pop chart for a week with “Moody River.”
1965 – “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch),” by the Four Tops, is No. 1 on both the singles and R&B charts. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked the song #415 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
1971 – Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” begins a five-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song, from her now-classic “Tapestry” album, captures a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1972.
1976 – Paul McCartney & Wings have a No. 1 single with “Silly Love Songs.”
1982 – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are in the middle of a seven-week reign over the singles chart with “Ebony and Ivory.”
1999 – “If You Had My Love,” by Jennifer Lopez, holds the top spot on the pop chart.
2004 – Usher maintains a firm grip on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Burn.” The single remains a chart-topper for seven weeks.
2010 – “California Gurls,” by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, kicks off six weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.