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Calendar for June 17th, 2014

Bunker Hill Day (Suffolk Co., Mass.)

The Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the most famous battles of the Revolutionary War, for the most part did not take place on Bunker Hill. After dark on June 16, 1775, about 1,200 colonial soldiers moved onto the Charlestown peninsula overlooking Boston (occupied by the British) and began to construct a redoubt on Breed's Hill. When the British discovered the work party at dawn the next day, British ships in the harbor immediately opened fire. British general William Howe was given command of an assault force of 2,400 men but had to wait for a favorable tide at noon to land his troops. By then, the American position was garrisoned by 1,600 men and 6 cannons. Twice Howe's troops, burdened by heavy packs, moved up the hill and were turned back by heavy fire. Reinforced for a third assault, Howe had his men drop their packs and ordered a bayonet attack. By that time, the patriots had run out of powder, and the British seized the hill, then rapidly assaulted Bunker Hill, as the American retreat became a rout. The British won, but at the cost of 1,054 casualties, many of them officers. Patriot losses numbered 100 dead and 267 wounded.

Every Year

  • Independence Day (Iceland)

  • 1570s

  • 1579: Sir Francis Drake landed on the Pacific Coast

  • 1700s

  • Born 1703: John Wesley (founder of Methodism)

  • 1850s

  • 1856: Republican Party's first national convention to nominate a presidential candidate took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1860s

  • 1862: Plow and gun combo patented

  • 1870s

  • Born 1871: James Weldon Johnson (poet)

  • 1880s

  • 1885: The French ship Isere, carrying the Statue of Liberty in 214 crates, arrived in New York City

  • 1900s

  • Born 1904: Ralph Bellamy (actor)

  • Born 1907: Charles Eames (designer & architect )

  • 1910s

  • Born 1914: John Hersey (novelist)

  • 1940s

  • 1942: Army weekly magazine, Yank, coined the term "G.I. Joe" in a comic strip drawn by Dave Breger

  • Born 1943: James Ludlow Elliot (astronomer who discovered the rings of Uranus)

  • Born 1946: Barry Manilow (singer)

  • 1949: Trans-Canada Air Lines began serving quick-freeze meals

  • 1950s

  • Born 1951: Joe Piscopo (actor)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1963: Greg Kinnear (actor)

  • 1970s

  • Died 1979: Duffy Lewis (baseball player)

  • 1980s

  • Born 1980: Venus Williams (tennis player)

  • 1990s

  • 1994: Following a bizarre televised highway chase, O. J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman

  • 2000s

  • Died 2002: J. Carter Brown (headed the National Gallery)

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