If I may... ON JUNE 17th: In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, spent the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal. In 1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reached the Mississippi River and became the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course. In 1775, though they lost the battle, American colonists inflicted heavy casualties on British troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1789, The Third Estate in France declared itself a national assembly and undertook to frame a constitution. In 1856, The Republican Party opened its first convention, in Philadelphia, PA. In 1882, composer/conductor/musician Igor Stravinsky was born in Oranienbaum, Russia. In 1885, The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere. In 1904, theologian/evangelist/minister Dr. J. Vernon McGee was born in Hillsboro, TX. In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. In 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II. Also in 1940, RMS Lancastria was attacked and sunk by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France. At least 3,000 were killed in Britain's worst maritime disaster. In 1941, WNBT-TV in New York City, NY, was granted the first construction permit to operate a commercial TV station in the U.S. In 1955, the science fiction movie “King Dinosaur” was released in the U.S. It would later be memorably MSTed by Joel & the ‘bots. In 1957, the Hammer science fiction movie “Quatermass 2”, starring Brian Donlevy as Prof. Quatermass, was released in the U.K. The film is frequently recognized as the first movie to use a number in its title to indicate its status as a sequel. In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris. In 1963, The Supreme Court struck down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or the reading of Biblical verses in public schools. Also in 1963, the horror movie “The Terror”, starring Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson, was released in the U.S. While credited as being directed by Roger Corman, it is known that some sequences were directed by, respectively, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill and Jack Nicholson. In 1964, the sci-fi movie “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” premiered in providence, RI. In 1967, The People's Republic of China announced a successful test of its first thermonuclear weapon. In 1972, five White House operatives were arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C., in an attempt by some members of the Republican Party to illegally wiretap the opposition. (Allegations that White House aide Greg Marmalard masterminded the operation remain unproven.) In 1976, it was announced that the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA) would merge. In 1982, actor/musician Arthur Darvill, well-known to Whovians for playing Rory Williams, was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, England. In 1994, after leading police on a chase through Southern California, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman. In 2006, on “Doctor Who”, the episode “Love and Monsters” was broadcast on BBC 1. A large number of Whovians (including your humble correspondent) had a somewhat unfavorable opinion of the episode. In 2008, Hundreds of same-sex couples got married across California on the first full day that gay marriage became legal by order of the state's highest court. (However, California voters banned gay marriage in November.) In 2015, nine people are killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. In 2017, The destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the merchant ship MV ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan, with seven American sailors reported missing. Also in 2017, the trial against comedian Bill Cosby on a charge of sexual assault ended with a hung jury and the consequent declaration of a mistrial. (The retrial the following year would result in a verdict of guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.) In 2018, during the Art All Night festival in Trenton, NJ, an apparently gang-related shooting occurred. 22 people were injured, including 17 suffering gunshot wounds. One suspect in the incident was killed by police, with two other suspects arrested.