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Today in History: June 22, Hitler and the Nazis invade the Soviet Union

In this June 26, 1941 file photo, Nazi German soldiers, supported by armored personnel carriers, move into a burning Russian village at an unknown location during the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union. On Monday, June 22, 2009, Russians will mark the 68th anniversary of Nazi invasion. War memories remain strong in Russia: Soviet losses reached 27 million people, touching almost every family. (AP Photo/File)

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, June 22, the 174th day of 2024. There are 192 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive and ultimately ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union that would prove pivotal to the Allied victory over the Axis Powers.

In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for a second time as Emperor of the French.

In 1870, the United States Department of Justice was created.

In 1937, Joe Louis began his reign as world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jim Braddock in the eighth round of their fight in Chicago.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the “GI Bill of Rights.”

In 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory.

In 1965, movie producer David O. Selznick (“Gone with the Wind”) died in Los Angeles at age 63.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that lowered the minimum voting age to 18.

In 1977, John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty to killing rock star John Lennon. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr was deposed as president of Iran.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, unanimously ruled that “hate crime” laws that banned cross burning and similar expressions of racial bias violated free-speech rights.

In 1999, in a major upset at Wimbledon, top-ranked Martina Hingis lost in the opening round to Jelena Dokic, a 16-year-old qualifier ranked 129th.

In 2012, ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted by a jury in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years.

In 2022, a powerful earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, flattening stone and mud-brick homes and killing at least 1,000 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Prunella Scales (TV: “Fawlty Towers”) is 92. Singer-actor Kris Kristofferson is 88. Actor Klaus Maria Brandauer is 81. Fox News analyst Brit Hume is 81. Singer/producer Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon) is 80. Singer Howard “Eddie” Kaylan is 77. Singer-musician Todd Rundgren is 76. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is 75. Actor Meryl Streep is 75. Actor Lindsay Wagner is 75. Singer Alan Osmond is 75. Actor Graham Greene is 72. Pop singer Cyndi Lauper is 71. Actor Chris Lemmon is 70. Rock musician Derek Forbes is 68. Actor Tim Russ is 68. Rock musician Garry Beers (INXS) is 67. Actor-producer-writer Bruce Campbell is 66. Rock musician Alan Anton (Cowboy Junkies) is 65. Actor Tracy Pollan is 64. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is 64. Rock singer-musician Jimmy Somerville is 63. Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler is 62. Actor Amy Brenneman is 60. Author Dan Brown is 60. Rock singer-musician Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) is 60. Rock singer Steven Page is 54. Actor Michael Trucco is 54. Actor Mary Lynn Rajskub is 53. TV personality Carson Daly is 51. Rock musician Chris Traynor is 51. Actor Donald Faison is 50. Actor Alicia Goranson is 50. Actor-comedian Mike O’Brien (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 48. TV personality/actor Jai Rodriguez is 45. Americana singer-songwriter John Moreland is 39. Pop singer Dinah Jane (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 27.

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