This Day in History: June 20

On this day, June 20 …

1975: Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and a mechanical shark nicknamed Bruce, is released by Universal Pictures.

Also on this day:

  • 1782: Congress approves the Great Seal of the United States, featuring an image of the bald eagle.
  • 1867: President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska from the Russian government.
Lizzie Borden in an undated image.

Lizzie Borden in an undated image.

  • 1893: A jury in New Bedford, Mass., finds Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
  • 1921: U.S. Rep. Alice Mary Robertson, R-Okla., becomes the first woman to preside over a session of the House of Representatives.
  • 1943: Race-related rioting erupts in Detroit; federal troops would be sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
  • 1967: Muhammad Ali is convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and is sentenced to five years in prison. (Ali's conviction ultimately would be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court).
  • 1977: The Trans-Alaska oil pipeline is opened.
  • 1999: NATO formally ends its bombing of Yugoslavia after verifying the government had withdrawn its forces from the Serbian province of Kosovo.
  • 2001: Houston mother Andrea Yates drowns her five children in the family bathtub, then calls police. (Yates would be convicted of murder. However, the conviction would be overturned, and she would be acquitted by reason of insanity in a retrial.)
  • 2012: President Obama invokes executive privilege over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” weapons program.
  • 2019: The Supreme Court rules that a Peace Cross war memorial on public land outside Washington, D.C., can stand, determining in a 7-2 decision that it does not violate the Constitution.