This Day in History – June 21st – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.




1684 – King Charles II revokes the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

This was done because of frustration over being unable to exert control over the colony. (Those pesky colonists!) The king wanted to weaken the influence of religion in the charter and also eliminate the stringent voting requirements. (What? If only temporarily, I’m coming down on the side of a king?) Charles died in 1685 and James II took over. He followed in the footsteps of Charles and continued to introduce more measures in order to control the colonies.

Bad idea, Jimmy, for we all know how that turned out.


1877 – Ten Molly Maguires hanged.

The Molly Maguires were a secret organization of Irish immigrants in the coal mining region of Pennsylvania. They fought against injustice, sometimes with violence, and tired to organize coal miners into a union. That, perhaps, was their greater crime. They were infiltrated by an undercover agent from the Pinkertons, exposed, and arrested. At their trial some of the prosecuting attorneys worked for the coal mining companies, which apparently no one saw as a conflict of interest. The ten young Irish men, including their leader, John Kehoe, were convicted and executed. Another ten would also eventually be executed. Kehoe was probably innocent of the charges brought against him, and a hundred years later the governor of Pennsylvania issued him a pardon.

“The Molly Maguires” is a movie about this incident starring Sean Connery as John Kehoe. The director of the movie was Walter Bernstein, who was a blacklisted screenwriter and director during the Joseph McCarthy era. Bernstein was an interesting figure who was with the OSS during WWII and fought with Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia. He wrote a bitter autobiography about his experiences with the so-called communist purge of Hollywood. The movie is said to be his response to the “friendly witnesses” of the House of Un-American Activities Committee.


1968 – Earl Warren resigns.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren submitted his resignation to President Lyndon Johnson. One of the reasons for his resignation was that he was worried Richard Nixon was going to win in the upcoming presidential race and he didn’t want Nixon to pick his successor. Despite being a Republican (Warren was Dewey’s running mate in the 1948 presidential election and three-time governor of California) he detested Nixon. By stepping off the court in January, before Nixon’s inauguration, he wanted to allow LBJ to choose his replacement. This plan was derailed, however, when Republicans filibustered his chosen replacement, Abe Fortas. Warren was appalled by Nixon’s presidency and later said, “If I had ever known what was going to happen to this country and this Court, I never would have resigned and they would have had to carry me out of there on a plank.”

If Nixon appalled him, I wonder what he would be thinking now.



1921 – Jane Russell. American-born actress.

1921 – Judy Holliday. American-born actress.

1921 – Jean Kent. English-born actress.

1921 – Joan Tetzel. American-born actress.

1925 – Maureen Stapleton. American-born actress.

1940 – Mariette Hartley. American-born actress.

1944 – Corinna Tsopel. Greek-born actress. Also Miss Universe 1964.

If you have a daughter and she aspires to be an actress, it seems it might be wise to alter her birth certificate to show a June 21st birth date.


1947 – Shirin Ebadi.

Iranian lawyer and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. She won the prize for promoting the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. She was a judge in Tehran until the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The clerics said Islam prohibited women from being judges. Demoted to a clerk position, she resigned from the court. She was allowed to begin practicing law again in 1993, and immediately began to take on controversial cases. She has been arrested a number of times for taking the cases of political dissidents. Ebadi also has written many articles and thirteen books promoting human rights. While not a defender of the West (she originally was a supporter of the Iranian revolution) she has received threats that now prohibit her from living in Iran.

Ebadi supports Iran’s nuclear development, believes the state of Israel participates in criminal activity, does not believe there should be a forced regime change in Iran, and defends homosexuality.

From Wikipedia: “In light of the increased power of ISIL, Ebadi communicated in April 2015 that she believes the Western world should spend money funding education and an end to corruption rather than fighting with guns and bombs. She reasons that because the Islamic State stems from an ideology based on a “wrong interpretation of Islam,” physical force will not end ISIS because it will not end its beliefs.”

But guns and bombs are an easier sell than education, for we know how much that is valued in our own government.



At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at



The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.



We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image (Signpost)  – George Sheldon / – “Jim Thorpe, PA, USA – December 3, 2017: The Historic Market at the Carbon County Jail, notable for the hangings of Molly Maguires in 1877.”

* Molly Maguires (video)  – The History Channel & Edward’s History Hub /

* Earl Warren (video) – 20th Century Time Machine /

* Shirin Ebadi ( video) – OxfordUnion /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /