On this Day June 26
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1927 – Coney Island’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster begins operating. The ride quickly becomes a fan favorite, with long lines of repeat customers paying 25 cents per ride. In 1988, it is designated a New York City Landmark, and in 1991, it is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
1948 – Known as the “Berlin Airlift,” U.S. and British planes begin delivering food and supplies through airdrops to (West) Berlin, Germany after Soviet forces seal off rail, road, and water access with a blockade. The crisis finally ends almost a year later when Soviet forces lift the blockade on land access to the city.
1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II preside at a ceremony marking the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which creates a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
2015 – Marking a major milestone for civil rights, the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in the United States and that all same-sex marriages must be recognized nationwide, finally granting same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.
1971 – “It’s Too Late,” by Carole King, is in the middle of a five-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track goes on to capture a Record of the Year Grammy — one of four Grammys associated with King’s “Tapestry” album.
1977 – Elvis Presley makes his last ever live stage appearance when he plays to a crowd of 18,000 at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Less than two months later, the 42-year-old music legend is dead.
1982 – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder enter their seventh and final week as chart-toppers with “Ebony and Ivory.” The duet becomes one of the top-selling singles of 1982 and, in 2013, is ranked by Billboard as the 69th biggest all-time Hot 100 hit.