Saturday, June 5, 2010

On This Day in History: June 5

70 AD: Amid the first Jewish-Roman War, legions of the Roman Empire breach the middle wall of Jerusalem, conquering the city and sacking the Second Temple, which, according to traditional rabbinic literature, stood for 420 years.

1956: Elvis Presley sings "Hound Dog" on The Milton Berle Show in a performance best remembered for The King's suggestive hip movements which, at the time, was considered highly scandalous.

1968: Presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY, pictured) is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by a Jordanian nationalist named Sirhan Sirhan.  RFK died the next day.

1977: Running at 1 MHz with 4 kB of RAM and an audio cassette interface for loading programs and storing data, the Apple II -- recognized as the first practical personal computer -- is made available to the public at a base price of $1,298.

1981: The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five people in Los Angeles are infected with a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with severely weakened immune systems.  Initially referred to as "The Gay Plague" by Michael VerMeulen in the May 1982 issue of New York magazine, and later called gay pneumonia, gay cancer, and GRIDS (Gay-related immune deficiency syndrome), the five patients turn out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

"At this moment, one in four gay men in New York City is infected with HIV, an incurable disease that has infected more than 100,000 men in New York City, 20,000 of whom have no idea they have even been infected.  In the last six years, new diagnoses of the disease among gay men in New York City under the age of 30 rose by 33 percent.  Among gay males between the ages of 13 and 19, the rate of infection has doubled."
-- from "The Plague Returns," New York Press; October 3, 2007

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