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What Happened on June 5?

  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot. (1968) Senator Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California and died the next day. The assassin, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, was immediately arrested for the shooting. He was sentenced to life at the Pleasant Valley State Prison in California.

  • The first personal computer, the Apple II, went on sale. (1977) Introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire in California, the Apple II sold between five and six million machines before the end of its production in 1993.

  • American musician Elvis Presley debuted his single Hound Dog. (1956) The song's performance was debuted on The Milton Berle Show. In the more conservative time in America, audiences were scandalized by Elvis's erotic hip movements. In his second performance on the the show that night, he was televised only from the waist up.

  • Five people in Los Angeles were diagnosed with what would become known as AIDS. (1981) The patients were first diagnosed with a rare form of pneumonia that was reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

  • Constantinople, Turkey, burned. (1870) The fire, which burned most of the city to the ground, started when a young girl tripped, sending a hot coal she was carrying flying onto a neighboring roof. About 3,000 homes were destroyed and 900 people died.

  • The U.S. dropped the gold standard. (1933) The U.S. Congress passed a resolution stating creditors couldn't require payment in gold. As the Great Depression caused people to start hoarding gold, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to avert a financial collapse. To prevent people from withdrawing gold from banks, he instituted a moratorium and on April 13, 1933, he required all gold coins and certificates to be turned in for other forms of money.

  • Edward, Duke of Windsor, died. (1972) After his father's death in 1936, Edward became king. Edward wanted to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson and was forced to choose between being her husband and being king. He chose the former and abdicated, leaving England with his new title, Duke of Windsor.

  • The United States draft began. (1917) Called "Army registration day," the draft enlisted men ages 21 to 30 to serve in the U.S. military. In 1918, the age range increased to 18 to 45 years old. The U.S. draft was ended in 1973, moving to a volunteer military force.

  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan died. (2004) After a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, the 40th president of the United States died at his home in Santa Monica, California, at age 93.

  • Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped. (2002) The 14-year-old girl was taken from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was found nine months later imprisoned by kidnappers Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee in one of the most publicized kidnappings to date. Both kidnappers were found unfit to stand trial. Wanda Barzee was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison.

  • Tropical Storm Allison, one of the costliest tropical storms in U.S. history, hit land in Texas, near Houston. (2001) It caused more than $5.5 billion U.S. Dollars in damage.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, an anti-slavery series by Harriet Beecher Stowe, launched in the National Era newspaper. (1851) Also called Life Among the Lowly, the series became a published novel in 1852.

  • Frontenac, the first Great Lakes Steam Boat, was launched. (1817) The paddle steamer ran on Lake Ontario and Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was sold for scrap in 1827, but burned due to arson before it could be scrapped.

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