• On June 16, 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island in New York. Known as a switchback railway, it traveled approximately 6 mph and cost a nickel to ride. The roller coaster was paid for in three weeks.
• On June 22, 1937, in Chicago’s Comiskey Park, Joe Louis wins the world heavyweight boxing title when he defeats Jim Braddock in an eighthround knockout. Louis was the first black heavyweight champ since Jack Johnson, who lost the title in 1915.
• On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths.
• On June 17, 1994, after a dramatic flight from justice witnessed by millions on live television, former football star and actor O.J. Simpson surrenders to Los Angeles police, who charged him with the June 12 doublemurder of his ex-wife and her friend. In the vehicle and on his person were discovered a gun, a mustache and goatee disguise, and his passport.
(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.