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5 Fun Facts About June 17 In New York History

---Learn Every Day: NY Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ny To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill took place in Boston during the American Revolution, but a key participant was a resident of New York by the name of Daniel Morgan. Morgan, who was born in Virginia, had moved to New York in his youth, where he worked as a wagon driver before becoming a captain in the Continental Army. He fought at Bunker Hill and went on to play a crucial role in the victory at Saratoga.

2. In 1863, the Union army under General George Meade clashed with the Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee in the Battle of Aldie, one of the early engagements of the Gettysburg campaign. The battle took place in Loudoun County, Virginia, but many of the Union soldiers were from New York, including the 16th New York Cavalry, which saw heavy action in the fighting.

3. In 1944, the U.S. Navy launched the submarine USS Cusk from its shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. The Cusk went on to serve in the Pacific theater during World War II, often operating in the vicinity of Japan. One of the most notable actions in which the Cusk participated was the rescue of a downed U.S. pilot from a Japanese-held island. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel William E. Dyess, was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

4. In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Abington School District v. Schempp, which struck down compulsory Bible reading in public schools. The case was brought by several families in Pennsylvania, but it had significant implications for New York and other states with comparable laws. The decision marked a major victory for advocates of separation of church and state.

5. In 2018, New York State Senator José Peralta died unexpectedly at the age of 47. Peralta, who had been serving in the State Senate since 2010, represented a district in western Queens and was known for his advocacy on behalf of immigrants and other marginalized communities. His passing was widely mourned across the state and beyond, with many tributes emphasizing his commitment to public service and his dedication to his constituents.
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