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On This Day: Former KKK member convicted of killing 3 civil rights workers

On June 21, 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison and died in 2018.

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UPI Staff
On June 21, 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison and died in 2018. File Photo courtesy of the FBI
On June 21, 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison and died in 2018. File Photo courtesy of the FBI

On this date in history:

In 1788, the U.S. Constitution became effective when it was ratified by a ninth state, New Hampshire.

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In 1942, German forces, led by Gen. Erwin Rommel, took control of Tobruk, Libya, in an assault on British forces. The North African city was a key port on the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1945, Japanese defenders of Okinawa surrendered to U.S. troops.

In 1964, Ku Klux Klan members killed three civil rights activists -- James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner -- and hid their bodies in unmarked graves. An informer led the FBI to the three men's graves 44 days later.

In 1982, John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shootings of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three other people who were also wounded. Hinckley has been in a hospital in Washington, with permission in recent years to spend time outside the institution with his family.

UPI File Photo

In 1985, international experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conclusively identified the bones of a 1979 drowning victim as the remains of Dr. Josef Mengele, a Nazi war criminal, ending a 40-year search for the "angel of death" of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Iran, killing up to 50,000 people.

In 1997, Cambodia announced the capture of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.

In 2000, NASA announced that its Mars Global Surveyor had spotted grooved surface features, suggesting a relatively recent water flow on the planet.

File Photo courtesy of NASA

In 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison and died in 2018.

In 2008, nearly 1,400 people, most of them on a ferry that capsized, were killed in Typhoon Fengshen in the Philippines.

In 2011, a RusAir passenger plane flying from Moscow to Petrozavodsk in rain and fog crashed on a highway near an airport and broke apart in flames. Forty-four people died, eight survived.

In 2020, the guitar late rock star Kurt Cobain used during his band Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged performance sold for more than $6 million at auction.

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File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

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