On This Day: James Gandolfini dies in Rome

On this date in history:

In 1846, two amateur baseball teams played under new rules at Hoboken, N.J., planting the first seeds of organized baseball. The New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers, 23-1.

In 1856, the first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Charles Fremont of California for president. James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected.

In 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, president of the Mexican Republic.

In 1905, Pittsburgh showman Harry Davis opened the world’s first nickelodeon, showing “The Great Train Robbery,” a silent Western film. The storefront theater had 96 seats, charged 5 cents and prompted the advent of movie houses across the United States.

In 1910, Spokane, Wash., had the first Father’s Day.

In 1944, World War II’s Battle of the Philippine Sea began. Japanese forces tried unsuccessfully to prevent further Allied advancement in the South Pacific.

In 1953, convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 Louisiana law that required schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians.

In 1991, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar surrendered to police in Medellin in the wake of the assassination of Luis Carlos Galan. Authorities convinced him to give himself up in exchange for a lighter sentence for prior criminal activity — activity which continued after his imprisonment.

In 1999, horror novelist Stephen King was hit by a car and severely injured while out for a walk in rural Maine.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prayers led by students at public high school football games aren’t permitted under the constitutional separation of church and state.

In 2005, German driver Michael Schumacher won the U.S. Grand Prix after 14 of 20 contenders dropped out amid spectacular tire failures.

In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, became the first candidate at that level to bypass public financing since the program was established.

In 2013, James Gandolfini, who starred in the gangster drama The Sopranos, died of a heart attack in Rome. He was 51.

In 2014, Felipe VI was proclaimed Spain’s new king after his father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated the throne.

In 2017, the United Nations said 65.6 million people were displaced from their homes worldwide because of conflict, a seven-decade high.

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