On this date in history:
In 1880, the first public pay telephone began operation in New Haven, Conn.
In 1958, Charles de Gaulle became prime minister of France with emergency powers amid the collapse of the Fourth Republic. He was elected president of France at the end of the year amid the rise of the Fifth Republic.
In 1962, Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.
In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court banned prayers and Bible teaching in public schools on the constitutional grounds of separation of church and state.
File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI
In 1968, Helen Keller, a world-renowned author and lecturer despite being blind and deaf from infancy, died in Westport, Conn., at the age of 87.
In 1973, Prime Minister George Papadopoulos abolished the Greek monarchy and proclaimed Greece a republic with himself as president.
In 1980, the Cable News Network — CNN — TV’s first all-news service, went on the air.
In 1993, President Jorge Serrano Elias of Guatemala was ousted by the military.
In 1997, Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s widow, sustained injuries when her 12-year-old grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, set fire to her apartment. She died nearly a month later.
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In 1997, teacher Jonathan Levin, the son of Time Warner’s then-chairman, Gerald Levin, was tortured and killed by a former student who knew him to be wealthy and was seeking money. The student, Corey Arthur, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. His alleged accomplice, Montoun Hart, was acquitted despite a signed, 11-page confession.
In 2001, Nepalese Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev massacred nine members of his family, including his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya; his siblings, Prince Nirajan and Princess Shruti; and aunts and uncles Prince Dhirendra, Princess Shanti, Princess Sharada, Kumar Khadga and Princess Jayanti. Dipendra also shot himself in the head, but initially survived, and served as king for four days before dying.
In 2008, a fire at Universal Studios Hollywood burned two city blocks and destroyed iconic movie sets, including those from When Harry Met Sally, The Sting and Back to the Future.
In 2009, Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people on board.
In 2015, the Eastern Star, a passenger ship traveling along the Yangtze River from the eastern city of Nanjing, flipped during a violent storm, killing approximately 400 people.
In 2020, law enforcement officers cleared protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House using tear gas and other tactics to allow President Donald Trump to walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church to pose for a photo while holding a Bible. The photo op came amid protests against the police killing of George Floyd which caused damage to the church.
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