Today in History: June 26

Journalist Veronica Guerin was shot and killed 20 years ago today by a drug gang in Dublin, Ireland.

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” … [T]o save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind; to regain faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom …”—The Charter of the United Nations

Fifty of the first 51 member-states of the United Nations signed the United Nations Charter on this date in 1945. A typo that states “June 27” is scratched out of the official document with June 26 handwritten over. It is a treaty and all members are bound by all of its articles.

A recording of Sir Laurence Olivier reading the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, with music by Aaron Copland (after the jump):

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The Cleveland Indians assigned player numbers and stitched them to the left sleeves of their players’ uniforms 100 years ago today. It was the first appearance of player numbers in Major League Baseball, and it was abandoned later that season. The practice did not return to baseball for more than a decade, but was universal by 1929.

Players who were under-performing or who were otherwise unpopular learned that the numbers simply gave fans a way to make any insults yelled from the stands more personal. Thus, it was unpopular among players. The St. Louis Cardinals added uniform numbers in 1923 and the experiment did not last the season. The general manager of the Cardinals, Branch Rickey, told an interviewer in the 1960s:

“Ridicule followed throughout the country, presswise and otherwise. More particularly, the players were subjected to field criticism from the stands and especially from opposing players.… The effect upon the team was bad and ‘busted up’ the team morale or spirit completely. They really didn’t want to show themselves on the field. Because of the continuing embarrassment to the players, the numbers were removed.”

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Pearl S. Buck was born on this date in 1892. Babe Didrikson Zaharias was born on this date in 1911.

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Milton Glaser is 87. Robert Davi is 63 today. Mick Jones (of The Clash) is 61. Chris Isaak is 60. “Solitary Man” from The Chris Isaak Show:

Mark McKinney (“Crush your head“) is 57. Greg LeMond is 55. Paul Thomas Anderson is 46. Nick Offerman is 46. Derek Jeter is 42 today. Jason Schwartzman is 36. Ariana Grande is 23.

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