By On This Day in NYC's History


On June 13th, 1971: The New York Times published nine excerpts and commentaries on the 7,000 page collection that comprised the Pentagon Papers. The documents, officially titled “United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,” detailed that the government had knowledge, early on, that it was highly unlikely that the war could be won, and that U.S. involvement in it would cause many more casualties than would ever be publicly acknowledged. The main conclusion made by the Times was that the Papers “demonstrated, among other things, that the Lyndon Baines Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public by also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance.” The declassification of the report by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who made copies of the top-secret papers with the help of researcher Anthony Russo and the staff of Senator Edward Kennedy, scandalized not only the Johnson Administration, but the Kennedy and Nixon administrations, as well. As a result, the Times was brought in front of the Supreme Court when it refused, upon President Nixon’s order, to halt publication. The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Times has come to be recognized as one of the “modern pillars” of First Amendment rights in regard to freedom of the press.


On June 13th, 1912: New York Giant Christy Mathewson won his 300th game. Mathewson—nicknamed “Big Six,” “The Christian Gentleman,” and “Matty”— was among the most talented pitchers of his era. In 1936, Matty was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its first five inaugural members. Today, he ranks in baseball history’s top ten in major pitching categories such as wins, shutouts, and ERA.

christy mathewson 1 628x754 On This Day in NYCs History: The Press Let Em Rip
Image Courtesy of Sports Illustrated


On June 13th, 1962: Actress Ally Sheedy was born. Best known, perhaps, for her role as the dandruff-plagued Allison Reynolds in The Breakfast Club, Sheedy won America’s heart as a member of the Brat Pack, the group of teenage actors who became famous in the 80s for their roles in teen coming-of-age flicks. Later in her career, Sheedy won three awards for best actress for her role High Art.

Featured Image Courtesy of NPR

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