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Today in History: June 26, first Harry Potter book published

Today in History

Today is Sunday, June 26, the 177th day of 2022. There are 188 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 26, 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.

On this date:

In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France during World War I landed in St. Nazaire.

In 1925, Charles Chaplin's classic comedy "The Gold Rush" premiered at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he delivered his famous speech expressing solidarity with the city's residents, declaring: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner).

In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tennessee. Elvis Presley performed his last concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush went back on his "no-new-taxes" campaign pledge, conceding that tax increases would have to be included in any deficit-reduction package worked out with congressional negotiators.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton announced the U.S. had launched missiles against Iraqi targets because of "compelling evidence" Iraq had plotted to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush.

In 1996, the Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.

In 1997, the first Harry Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (ROHL'-ing), was published in the United Kingdom (it was later released in the United States under the title "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone").

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia as it affirmed, 5-4, that an individual right to gun ownership existed.

In 2013, in deciding its first cases on the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the nation's legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

In 2020, after protesters in Washington, D.C., attempted to pull down a statue of Andrew Jackson, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments, memorials and statues. Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars as the daily number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Ten years ago: Sen. Orrin Hatch won the GOP Senate primary in Utah, handily turning back a challenge from tea party-backed Dan Liljenquist (lihl-IHN'-kwihst). Essayist, author and filmmaker Nora Ephron, 71, died in New York.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump welcomed India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (nah-REN'-drah MOH'-dee) to the White House as the two leaders heralded an increasingly close strategic partnership. The Supreme Court said Trump could forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries. Helmsman Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand won the America's Cup with a resounding romp against software tycoon Larry Ellison's two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook capped his historic season at the NBA's inaugural awards show, winning the 2016-17 Most Valuable Player award.

One year ago: Fire and smoke from inside the remains of a collapsed 12-story condominium tower near Miami hampered search efforts. Former President Donald Trump returned to a rally stage in Ohio for his first campaign-style event since leaving the White House; he reprised his election grievances and baseless claims of fraud. The Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port since the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a 15-month standstill; the number of passengers was limited to 40 percent capacity as the ship left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with virtually all of them vaccinated against COVID-19.

Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 88. Actor Josef Sommer is 88. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 84. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 79. Actor Clive Francis is 76. R&B singer Brenda Holloway is 76. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 72. Actor Robert Davi is 71. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 67. Actor Gedde Watanabe (GEH'-dee wah-tah-NAH'-bee) is 67. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 66. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 65. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 63. U.S. Bicycling Hall of Famer Greg LeMond is 61. Country musician Eddie Perez (The Mavericks) is 54. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 53. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 52. Actor Sean Hayes is 52. Actor Matt Letscher is 52. Actor Chris O'Donnell is 52. Actor Nick Offerman is 52. Actor Rebecca Budig is 49. Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter is 48. Contemporary Christian musician Jeff Frankenstein (Newsboys) is 48. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 48. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 43. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 43. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 42. Actor Aubrey Plaza is 38. Actor-singer Jennette McCurdy is 30. Actor-singer Ariana Grande is 29.