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On This Day: U.S. Supreme Court finds death penalty unconstitutional

On June 29, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment, as then administered by individual states, was unconstitutional.

By UPI Staff
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On This Day: U.S. Supreme Court finds death penalty unconstitutional
Members of Death Penalty Action gather outside the Supreme Court to mark the anniversaries of the 1972 Furman and 1976 Gregg decisions on the death penalty, in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2021. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

On this date in history:

In 1853, the U.S. Senate ratified the $10 million Gadsden Purchase from Mexico, adding more than 29,000 square miles to the territories of Arizona and New Mexico and completing the modern geographical boundaries of the contiguous 48 states.

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In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park to preserve cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo people in Colorado. The 52,485-acre park is also considered a UNESCO site.

In 1933, Fatty Arbuckle, silent film comedian and one of Hollywood's most beloved personalities until a manslaughter charge (he was eventually acquitted) ruined his career, died while preparing a comeback. He was 46.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress designated Mount Olympus National Monument as a national park. The 922,650-acre park in Washington is also considered a UNESCO site.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment, as then administered by individual states, was unconstitutional. It was reinstated in 1976.

File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

In 1974, Isabel Peron took over as president of Argentina for her ailing husband, Juan Peron, who died two days later. Her official presidency began July 1, 1974.

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In 1992, doctors in Pittsburgh reported the world's first transplant of a baboon liver into a human patient. The recipient, a 35-year-old man, survived three months.

In 1995, a Seoul department store collapsed, killing some 500 people.

In 1995, the U.S. shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir for the first time. NASA's chief said the docking marked "a new era of friendship and cooperation" between the two countries.

In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled U.S. President George W. Bush didn't have authority, under military law or the Geneva Conventions, to set up military tribunals for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

File Photo by Ezra Kaplan/UPI

In 2009, Bernard Madoff, mastermind of a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 150 years in prison. The federal judge who imposed the sentence in New York City said Madoff's crimes were "extraordinarily evil." Madoff apologized in the courtroom, saying, "I am responsible for a great deal of suffering and pain."

In 2017, Iraqi forces captured Mosul's Great Mosque of al-Nuri, the mostly destroyed structure where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have declared a "caliphate" exactly three years earlier.

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In 2021, a scientific paper announced the discovery of the earliest-known bubonic plague victim -- a 5,000-year-old hunter gatherer whose skeleton was unearthed in Latvia.

Image by royaltystockphoto.com/Shutterstock

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