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What Happened on June 23?

  • Students took the first SAT exam in the United States. (1926) The College Board, which was founded in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), administered the first test. The SAT exam has become a standard requirement for most U.S. universities.

  • Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband's penis. (1993) Lorena cut off her husband John's penis with a knife after he allegedly raped her. During her trial, she cited years of emotional and physical abuse. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to 45 days observation in a mental hospital. The couple divorced in 1995. The penis, which had been packed in ice after being recovered from a field, was sewn back on in a nine-hour surgery.

  • Two aviators took off in the first attempt to fly around the world in a single-engine plane. (1931) Pilot Wiley Post and navigator Harold Gatty set the record just eight days later when they landed back where they started at Roosevelt Field in New York on July 1st. The trip, which was 15,474 miles (24,902 kilometers) took a total of eight days, 15 hours and 51 minutes. Wiley later became the first pilot to fly around the world solo, beating the record he and Gatty originally set.

  • The International Olympic Committee was founded. (1894) Founded at the Sorbonne in Paris, the committee organized the first Summer Games in 1896 in Athens, Greece, with 245 competitors, most of whom were Greek. With 14 participating countries, it was the biggest event of its kind to take place. The first winter games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The committee continues to organize the modern games today.

  • Christopher Latham Sholes got the patent for his invention — the "Type-Writer." (1868) His typewriter included the QWERTY keyboard format still used today. Others had invented typewriter machines, but Sholes invented the only one that became a commercial success.

  • Mercedes became a brand name. (1902) The German automobile company Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) registered the name. The Mercedes three-point star symbol was registered as a trademark in 1909.

  • American mobster John Gotti went to jail. (1992) Often nicknamed Teflon Don for escaping conviction in several previous trials, Gotti was convicted for 14 counts of conspiracy to murder and for racketeering. He was sentenced to life in prison. Riots broke out in the streets outside the courtroom after he was sentenced.

  • Prosecutors convicted a murderer in New Zealand without having found the victim's body. (1934) With forensic science making great headway, murderer William Bayly was convicted based on hair and bone fragments found cremated in a drum in his shed. He was hanged in July.

  • The first victims of the gas chamber at Auschwitz boarded a train in Paris. (1942) Auschwitz was the largest of the concentration camps, claiming around three million lives during World War II.

  • President Richard Nixon was recorded while attempting to cover up the Watergate break-in. (1972) The Watergate scandal ultimately would lead to President Nixon's resignation and the conviction of several of his staff members.

  • The doctor who invented the polio vaccine died. (1995) Medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk developed the vaccine in some of the largest field trials in medical history, involving 20,000 health care workers, 64,000 school employees, 220,000 volunteers and more than 1,800,000 children. The vaccine was announced a success on April 12, 1955. The doctor died at age 80.

  • Ed McMahon died. (2009) Mahon, perhaps most famous for the 30 years he performed as the side kick on the American television talk show The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. McMahon was 86.

  • June Carter Cash was born. (1929) The famous second wife of American singer Johnny Cash, June was a singer-songwriter herself and won several awards, including a Grammy Award in 1999 for her album Press On.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was born. (1948) Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991 and is the second black justice to serve.

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