This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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June 2 is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 212 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1962, Ray Charles takes country music to the top of the pop charts.
Ray Charles was one of the founding fathers of soul music-a style he helped create and popularize with a string of early 1950s hits on Atlantic Records like “I Got A Woman” and “What’d I Say.” This fact is well known to almost anyone who has ever heard of the man they called “the Genius,” but what is less well known-to younger fans especially-is the pivotal role that Charles played in shaping the course of a seemingly very different genre of popular music. In the words of his good friend and sometime collaborator, Willie Nelson, speaking before Charles’ death in 2004, Ray Charles the R&B legend “did more for country music than any other living human being.” The landmark album that earned Ray Charles that praise was Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which gave him his third #1 hit in “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” which topped the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1962
Executives at ABC Records-the label that wooed Ray Charles from Atlantic with one of the richest deals of the era-were adamantly opposed to the idea that Charles brought to them in 1962: to re-record some of the best country songs of the previous 20 years in new arrangements that suited his style. As Charles told Rolling Stone magazine a decade later, ABC executives said, “You can’t do no country-western things….You’re gonna lose all your fans!” But Charles recognized the quality of songs like “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Don Gibson and “You Don’t Know Me,” by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker, and the fact that his version of both of those country songs landed in the Top 5 on both the pop and R&B charts was vindication of Charles’s long-held belief that “There’s only two kinds of music as far as I’m concerned: good and bad.”
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.”
Rolling Stone ranked Charles number 10 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. I don’t know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made it work?”
455 – Sack of Rome: Vandals enter Rome, and plunder the city for two weeks
1098 – First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ends as Crusader forces take the city. The second siege would later start on June 7.
1615 – First Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France.
1676 – Franco-Dutch War: France ensured the supremacy of its naval fleet for the remainder of the war with its victory in the Battle of Palermo.
1692 – Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Found guilty, she is hanged on June 10.
1763 – Pontiac’s Rebellion: At what is now Mackinaw City, Michigan, Chippewas capture Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison’s attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.
1774 – Intolerable Acts: The Quartering Act is enacted, allowing a governor in colonial America to house British soldiers in uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings if suitable quarters are not provided.
1793 – French Revolution: François Hanriot, leader of the Parisian National Guard, arrests 22 Girondists selected by Jean-Paul Marat, setting the stage for the Reign of Terror.
1805 – Napoleonic Wars: A Franco-Spanish fleet recaptures Diamond Rock, an uninhabited island at the entrance to the bay leading to Fort-de-France, from the British.
1835 – P. T. Barnum and his circus start their first tour of the United States.
1848 – The Slavic congress in Prague begins.
1855 – The Portland Rum Riot occurs in Portland, Maine.
1866 – Fenian raids: Fenians are victorious in both the Battle of Ridgeway and the Battle of Fort Erie.
1876 – Hristo Botev, a national revolutionary of Bulgaria, is killed in Stara Planina
1886 – U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.
1896 – Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his newest invention: the radio.
1909 – Alfred Deakin becomes Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.
1910 – Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce Limited, becomes the first man to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane.
1919 – Anarchists simultaneously set off bombs in eight separate U.S. cities.
1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.
1925 – Because of a lineup revision by Miller Huggins, Wally Pipp is replaced by Lou Gehrig at first base for the New York Yankees, beginning a streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, topped only by Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1995.
Exactly 16 years later to the day, in 1941, Gehrig dies from Amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
1941 – World War II: German paratoopers murder Greek civilians in the village of Kondomari.
1946 – Birth of the Italian Republic: In a referendum, Italians vote to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic. After the referendum the king of Italy Umberto II di Savoia is exiled.
1953 – The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, the first major international event to be televised.
1955 – The USSR and Yugoslavia sign the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations between both countries, discontinued since 1948.
1962 – During the 1962 FIFA World Cup, police had to intervene multiple times in fights between Chilean and Italian players in one of the most violent games in football history.
1966 – Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on another world.
1967 – Luis Monge is executed in Colorado’s gas chamber, in the last pre-Furman execution in the United States.
1967 – Protests in West Berlin against the arrival of the Shah of Iran turn into riots, during which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death results in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.
1979 – Pope John Paul II first official visit to his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country.
1983 – After an emergency landing because of an in-flight fire, twenty-three passengers aboard Air Canada Flight 797 are killed when a flashover occurs as the plane’s doors open. Because of this incident, numerous new safety regulations are put in place.
1990 – The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawns 66 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12. Petersburg, Indiana, is the hardest-hit town in the outbreak, with 6 deaths.
1995 – United States Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady’s F-16 is shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.
1997 – In Denver, Colorado, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1999 – The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brings television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time.
2003 – Europe launches its first voyage to another planet, Mars. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.
2004 – Ken Jennings begins his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!
2008 – Al-Qaeda detonates a suicide car bomb at the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
* Children’s Day (North Korea)
* Christian Feast Day:
* Alexander (martyr)
* Felix of Nicosia
* Marcellinus and Peter
* Pope Eugene I
* June 2 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Coronation Day of Fourth Druk Gyalpo (Bhutan)
* Death of Hristo Botev (Bulgaria)
* Earliest day on which the first day of Appleby Horse Fair can fall, while June 8 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday between June 2 and June 8 (Appleby-in-Westmorland)
* Festa della Repubblica, commemorates the birth of the Repubblica Italiana and the end of the monarchy. (Italy)
* Isabel Province Day (Isabel Province, Solomon Islands)