On this date in history:
In 1846, two amateur baseball teams played under new rules at Hoboken, N.J., planting the first seeds of organized baseball. The New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers, 23-1.
In 1856, the first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Charles Fremont of California for president. James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected.
In 1864, the Union sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge sank the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama in the Battle of Cherbourg off the coast of France.
In 1865, nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, freedom from slavery was announced in Galveston, Texas, the most remote area of the country where slavery was still practiced. The day came to be celebrated annually as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day.
In 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, president of the Mexican Republic.
In 1905, Pittsburgh showman Harry Davis opened the world’s first nickelodeon, showing “The Great Train Robbery,” a silent Western film. The storefront theater had 96 seats, charged 5 cents and prompted the advent of movie houses across the United States.
In 1910, Spokane, Wash., had the first Father’s Day.
File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI
In 1944, World War II’s Battle of the Philippine Sea began. Japanese forces tried unsuccessfully to prevent further Allied advancement in the South Pacific.
In 1953, convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y.
In 1965, Nguyen Cao Ky became the prime minister of South Vietnam, the ninth leader within the past 20 months.
UPI File Photo
In 1972, Hurricane Agnes made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, going on to kill 128 people along the eastern U.S. seaboard.
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 Louisiana law that required schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians.
In 1991, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar surrendered to police in Medellin in the wake of the assassination of Luis Carlos Galan. Authorities convinced him to give himself up in exchange for a lighter sentence for prior criminal activity — activity which continued after his imprisonment.
In 1999, horror novelist Stephen King was hit by a car and severely injured while out for a walk in rural Maine.
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prayers led by students at public high school football games aren’t permitted under the constitutional separation of church and state.
In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, became the first candidate at that level to bypass public financing since the program was established.
In 2013, James Gandolfini, who starred in the gangster drama The Sopranos, died of a heart attack in Rome. He was 51.
In 2014, Felipe VI was proclaimed Spain’s new king after his father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated the throne.
In 2019, Joy Harjo was named the first Native American poet laureate of the United States.
File Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress