So here we are observing the second of four warm/hot-weather patriotic “Days,” Memorial, D, Flag and Independence.
Today’s D-Day, the 77th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, Allied landing on Normandy’s beaches that launched the final push to end World War II in Europe that lasted 11 loooong, hard-fought months.
It was a deal so big all Major League Baseball games were cancelled that day.
Brig. Gen. Theodore “Ted” Roosevelt Jr., “The Toughest Old Man in WWII,” led his men onto Utah Beach and after landing a mile from their assigned point, Ted looked at a map and said, “We’ll start the war from here.”
Roosevelt, who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, was reportedly the only U.S. general landing that day; his son Quentin also landed on Utah Beach.
Ted Jr. died from a heart attack five months later in France.
June 6 was important before/after 1944, and its topics keep on keeping on in the cavalcade of American life.
In 1844, George Williams founded the YMCA in London and in 1913, Boston Braves’ future Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville was thrown out trying to steal home, THREE times in the same game.
Three years later, East Cleveland, Ohio, male voters approved women’s suffrage.
Walter Chrysler began manufacturing cars June 6, 1925; eight years before the first U.S. drive-in movie opened in Camden, New Jersey.
In ’39, the “MS St. Louis,” carrying 907 European Jewish refugees, after U.S. entry was refused, began sailing back to Europe.
The New York Giants used plastic batting helmets the first time in ’41, and in ’42, Japanese forces retreated after losing the Battle of Midway, while other Japanese Imperial Army troops landed on Kiska in the Aleutians off the Alaskan coast.
Fast forward to 1960, Roy Orbison released his first Top-10 hit, “Only the Lonely,” and “The Steve Allen Show” aired the final time.
The Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in ’65; in ’66, the National and American Football Leagues announced merger plans.
In ’67, Israeli troops occupied Gaza on the Six-Day War’s second day, and in ’68, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy died after being shot a night earlier.
In ’72, U.S. forces bombed Haiphong, North Vietnam, and in ’77, the Supreme Court tossed out automatic death penalty laws.
30,000 Israeli troops invaded Lebanon to expel the PLO in ’82, and in ’85, Nazi concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele’s body was found/exhumed.
In ’88, George H.W. Bush made a campaign promise to support WWII reparations to Japanese-American internees.
Two years ago today, Amir Ohana became the first openly gay minister in Israel … as acting justice minister.
American patriot Patrick Henry died on this date in 1799; Louis Chevrolet died in 1941 and the incomparable Eddie Stanky died on this date in 1999.
Esther Williams (2013) and Dr. John (2019) also died on June 6.
Another American patriot, Nathan Hale, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” was born June 6, 1755, and Levi Stubbs, of the Four Tops, was born in 1936.
What a day.
Moving forward a few years and one day, grandson Lane Marler, 23, was born June 7, 1998, and his impact on the House of Adams swells by the day.
Happy birthday, young man …