Jun-6: Seattle Fire, Immortal Marines, Prop 13 and More

On a day defined by D-Day and the death of Robert Kennedy, there are many other significant events that get overlooked.

Major Events


Colorado Gov. Sends Troops to Protect Striking Miners

As a miners’ strike in Cripple Creek led to mine owners forming their own militia, Colorado Governor Davis Waite ordered the state militia to protect the striking miners.  It is notable for being the only time in United States history when a state militia was called out in support of striking workers and not against them.   Waite ultimately helped negotiate a settlement of the strike


Great Seattle Fire

On this day in 1889, a fire in a woodworking shop downtown got of control and by the next morning the fire had burned 25 city blocks, including the entire business district, four of the city’s wharves, and its railroad terminal.  Rather than relocating, city businesses rebuilt over the burned wooden buildings, as the streets were raised up as much as 22 feet to help level the hilly city. Within a year, 465 buildings had been built, most of the reconstruction was complete and the businesses had reopened.


Bloodiest Day in Marine History

In the Battle of Belleau Wood, U.S. Marines arrive to stem a German offensive on the Western Front.  On this day, the sixth day of the battle, the Marines led an offensive  into a barrage of German machine guns led by Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly who famously marched forward yelling, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”  While the Marines sustained over a thousand casualties, they gain a foothold and would eventually push the Germans out of the woods on June 26th.  In the first battle between the U.S. and Germany, the U.S. had won.


FDR Signs the Securities Act of 1933

A signature piece of the New Deal was the Securities Act of 1933 “to provide full and fair disclosure of the character of securities sold in interstate and foreign commerce and through the mails, and to prevent frauds in the sale thereof”.  The law was enacted in response to the 1929 Stock Market Crash and created the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate Wall Street and the securities markets.


James Meredith Shot

James Meredith, the first African-American admitted to the University of Mississippi, was shot and wounded after entering Mississippi on a solo March against Fear.  He was heading for Jackson “to show his fellow black citizens how to stand up to white authority and also to encourage them to register to vote.”


California Passes Prop 13

California voters overwhelmingly pass Proposition 13 reducing property taxes and requiring a two-thirds vote to pass state or local tax increases, thereby beginning California’s decline from the once Golden State.  The vote fed an anti-tax movement that led to adoption of similar measures in other states.


Israel Invades Lebanon

Israeli forces invaded Lebanon in response to attacks from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from Southern Lebanon.  Israeli achieved its objective of pushing the PLO out of Lebanon, but failed its hope for installing a pro-Christian Lebanese government failed as 850,000 Christians fled Lebanon during the Civil War.  Instead, Hezbollah emerged to fill the vacuum.




George Williams joins with 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Christian Association in industrialized London. The Y offers Bible study and prayer to help keep young men off the streets.  It now serves millions worldwide.


First Federal Gas Tax

The first federal gasoline tax in the United States was created on June 6, 1932 with the enactment of the Revenue Act of 1932 with a tax of 1¢/gal.


First Drive in Theater


The first drive-in movie theater built by Camden, NJ industrialist Richard M. Hollingshead. in Pennsauken, near Camden, New Jersey. It had a 40 x 50 ft (12 x 15 meter) screen and could accommodate 400 cars. The admission was $0.25 per car plus $0.25 per person. Hollingsworth patented the concept May 16, 1933, it opened June 6, 1933 and the first film shown was Adolphe Menjou’s Wife Beware. Within a few years drive-ins were being built all over the USA.


The NBA is Born

The National Basketball Association formed with teams from Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington comprising the East Division and teams from Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, Chicago and St. Louis in the West Division.  Of the original 11 teams, only the Boston Celtics, New York Knocks and Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State Warriors) survived.


A First for African Americans at the Tonys

Phylicia Rashad became the first African-American actress to win a Tony for a leading dramatic role for her work in a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.”  African-Americans had previously won actor awards in musical (Cleavon Little – 1970) and drama (James Earl Jones – 1969) and actress awards in musical (Diahann Carroll – 1962) .

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