Today in History, June 21

AAP and agencies
2019 - NSW fight back from a half-time loss to beat Queensland 14-4 in the Women's State of Origin


1675 - Foundation stone of Sir Christopher Wren's new St Paul's Cathedral is laid, facing the church burned in the Great Fire of London of 1666.

1854 - Charles Davis Lucas, a 20-year-old Irishman serving on Royal Navy frigate Fox in the Crimean War, picks up a live shell that has landed on the deck and hurls it into the sea. He is later awarded the first Victoria Cross.

1887 - Queen Victoria celebrates her golden jubilee marking 50 years on the British throne.

1945 - Japanese forces on Okinawa surrender to Americans in World War II after a battle that left more than 12,000 American soldiers, 70,000 Japanese soldiers and 80,000 civilians dead.

1964 - US civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney disappear in Mississippi. Their buried bodies were found six weeks later.

1966 - Federal Opposition leader Arthur Calwell of the ALP is shot and slightly wounded by 19-year-old Peter Kocan at an anti-Vietnam conscription rally in Sydney.

1970 - Brazil defeats Italy 4-1 in the final of the World Cup in Mexico and retires the Jules Rimet trophy as the first three-time winner of the soccer tournament.

1971 - International Court of Justice in The Hague rules that South Africa's administration of territory of South-West Africa is illegal.

1982 - A jury in Washington finds John Hinckley not guilty of the attempted murder of US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 by reason of insanity.

1985 - American, Brazilian and West German scientists announce that skeletal remains exhumed from a graveyard in Brazil are those of Nazi war criminal Dr Josef Mengele.

1990 - A massive earthquake, measuring between 7.3 and 7.7 on the Richter scale, strikes northern Iran, killing as many as 100,000.

1998 - During the soccer World Cup in France, a gendarme is clubbed and left for dead. Two Germans are later brought to trial for attempted murder.

2000 - Chile's Senate gives final approval to a plan aimed at discovering what happened to 1000 people who disappeared during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

2004 - SpaceShipOne successfully powers beyond the earth's atmosphere in the world's first manned commercial space flight.

2005 - An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman is convicted of manslaughter in the slayings of three civil rights workers that shocked the US exactly 41 years ago and helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

2009 - Mexico deploys 1500 more troops to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez where homicides related to the drug trade have surged.

2012 - A Syrian fighter pilot flies his warplane to neighbouring Jordan where he is immediately given asylum in a defection from the fiercely loyal air force, a gesture that signals some of the most iron-clad allegiances in Damascus could be fraying.

2012 - At least 90 asylum seekers drown after the overcrowded boat carrying them capsizes between Indonesia and Christmas Island.

2013 - Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is found not guilty of murdering unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. His acquittal, after claiming self-defence, sparks the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter that becomes a global movement.

2014 - Sunni insurgents led by an al-Qaeda breakaway group expand their offensive in the volatile western province of Anbar, capturing two strategic towns and causing the first border crossing with Syria to fall on the Iraqi side.

2016 - A group of 12 Australian cruise ship passengers, including an 11-year-old boy, are injured in Vanuatu when their tour bus collides head-on with a local commuter bus, killing two locals.

2017 - Australian Senator Pauline Hanson comes under fire for suggesting autistic children be removed from mainstream classrooms to stop other kids from being held back.

2018 - The US announces that North Korea will destroy the Sohae satellite launching station missile test site.

2019 - Defending champions NSW fight back from a half-time deficit to beat Queensland 14-4 in the Women's State of Origin.

Today's Birthdays:

Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and writer (1905-1980); Jane Russell, US actor (1921-2011); Monte Markham, US actor (1935-); Ron Ely, US actor (1938-); Ray Davies, British singer of The Kinks fame (1944-); Ian McEwan, English writer (1948-); Lionel Rose, Australian boxer (1948-2011); John Paul Young, Australian singer (1950-); Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister (1953-2007); Michel Platini, French footballer (1955-); Juliette Lewis, US actor (1973-); Craig Lowndes, Australian V8 Supercar racer (1974-); Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (1982-); Edward Snowden, US whistleblower who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (1983-); Lana Del Rey, American singer-songwriter (1986-)

Thought For Today:

Let me have my way exactly in everything, and you will find that a pleasanter creature does not exist - Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian (1795-1881).