Inaugural Pulitzer Prizes awarded for excellence in American journalism

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, June 4, the 155th day of 2017. There are 210 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 4, 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. Herbert Bayard Swope of the New York World was recognized for a series of articles, “Inside the German Empire”; the New York Tribune for an editorial on the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania; Jean Jules Jusserand for his book “With Americans of Past and Present Days”; Laura E. Richards, Maude Howe Elliott and Florence Howe Hall for their biography about Julia Ward Howe.

On this date:

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers first publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon, which did not carry any passengers, over Annonay, France.

In 1812, the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory, to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana. The U.S. House of Representatives approved, 79-49, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1937, one of the first, if not the first, shopping carts was introduced by supermarket chain owner Sylvan Goldman in Oklahoma City.

In 1939, the German ocean liner MS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast by U.S. officials.

In 1940, during World War II, the Allied military evacuation of some 338,000 troops from Dunkirk, France, ended. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Midway began, resulting in a decisive American victory against Japan and marking the turning point of the war in the Pacific. The wartime drama “Mrs. Miniver,” an MGM production starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, premiered in New York.

In 1947, the Christmastime tale “Miracle on 34th Street,” a 20th Century Fox production, opened in New York.

In 1954, French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc signed treaties in Paris according “complete independence” to Vietnam.

In 1967, in the second air disaster to strike a British carrier in as many days, a British Midland Airways jetliner crashed in Stockport, England, killing 72. In 1977, the VHS home videocassette recorder was introduced to North America by JVC during a press conference in Chicago.

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiring to deliver information related to the national defense to Israel. (Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

In 1992, the U.S. Postal Service announced the results of a nationwide vote on the Elvis Presley stamp, saying more people preferred the “younger Elvis” design.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush arrived in Prague at the start of an eight-day European trip that included a Group of Eight summit in Germany. Military judges dismissed charges against a Guantanamo detainee accused of chauffeuring Osama bin Laden and another who allegedly killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Insurgents linked to al-Qaida issued an online video in which they claimed to have killed all three U.S. soldiers captured in an ambush on May 12. (The bodies of the soldiers were later recovered.) A federal indictment accused Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., of receiving more than $500,000 in bribes (Jefferson was later convicted of bribery and racketeering and sentenced to 13 years in prison).

Five years ago: With President Barack Obama standing off to the side, former President Bill Clinton warned during a fundraiser in New York that a Mitt Romney presidency would be “calamitous” for the nation and the world.