On June 20…

1782 – The Great Seal of the United States was adopted by Congress.  William Barton designed the seal which consists of an eagle, an olive branch and 13 arrows, one for each of the original 13 colonies.

 

1837 – Princess Victoria became Queen Victoria of England on this day, following the death of her uncle, King William IV.  She ruled for 63 years until her death in 1901.

 

1858 – Author Charles Chesnutt (The Conjure Woman, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, The Colonel’s Dream) was born in Cleveland, OH.

 

1863 – In the midst of the Civil War, 40 counties in western Virginia did not secede, and instead, formed their own government, officially entering the United States as West Virginia, the 35th state.

 

1900 – The Boxer Rebellion began in Peking in response to widespread foreign encroachment in China’s affairs.

 

1905 – Playwright and screenwriter Lillian Hellman (The Children’s Hour, The Little Foxes) was born in New Orleans, LA.

 

1921 – Alice M. Robertson of Oklahoma became the first woman to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

1924 – Audie Murphy, the most decorated GI of WWII [27 US decorations including Medal of Honor plus 5 decorations from France and Belgium]; actor: The Red Badge of Courage, The Unforgiven, Arizona Raiders, To Hell and Back, was born.

 

1977 – Oil began flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

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