June 17

In 1963, by a ruling of 8-1, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Abington School District v. Schempp, that it was unconstitutional to require the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer in public schools. A Pennsylvania law required that public schools read aloud verses from the Bible. Four other states had similar requirements. Only Justice Potter Stewart dissented. The decision sparked more national debate on the topic.

The break-in at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. that started the Watergate scandal took place in 1972. It began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Headquarters. The FBI connected money found on the burglars to a fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President. The scandal then began to move into another phase featuring the cover-up of many activities of Nixon and his staff.

One of the most watched events in television history took place in 1994 when police cars were pursuing O.J. Simpson on a low-speed chase featuring Simpson’s white Bronco along Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. When police arrived to arrest Simpson at the house of Robert Kardashian, Simpson slipped out the back door and later was discovered to be in his Bronco with former teammate Al Cowlings. Around 7 p.m. police located Simpson in his Bronco, supposedly with a gun to his head. For over an hour, the police and television helicopters followed the Bronco at speeds of around 35 mph. The Bronco eventually returned to his home and was arrested there.

Birthdays Today

1914John Hersey, American journalist (d. 1993), author of Hiroshima

1943Newt Gingrich, American politician, 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

1943Barry Manilow, American singer-songwriter and producer

Larry Moskal began his career as a Social Studies teacher in 1971. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in history and education. Larry taught Social Studies for the Ken-Ton School system, a suburban school system north of Buffalo, New York until 2005, and then taught and was the Dean of Students at San Miguel High School in Tucson. At Ken-Ton, he pioneered several online courses for high school students. In the 1980s, he spent three years teaching in Colombia, South America and spent four years at Lewiston-Porter High School. He currently is the PowerSchool Administrator for San Miguel accomplishing his work over the Internet.