Friday, June 27, 2008

On June 27

On this day in ...

... 1888 (120 years ago today), Antoinette Perry (right) was born in Denver, Colorado. In 1905 she began a career on stage, then retired for a while after marriage. Eventually she moved into stage production and direction; among the plays she mounted was Harvey (1944), Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prizewinning tale of a man and his imaginary rabbit friend, later made into a movie. Perry was a founder and leader of the American Theater Wing, which operated Stage Door Canteens for servicemembers during World War II. Broadway's Tony Awards were launched in Perry's honor a year after her death in 1946.

... 1942, the arrest in the United States of 8 alleged Nazi saboteurs was announced by the FBI. The New York Times wrote that the men,

highly trained by direction of the German High Command at a special school for sabotage near Berlin, carrying cases of powerful explosives and nearly $150,000
in cash, were landed on the Long Island and the Florida coasts from submarines in the last fortnight with orders to blow up certain key plants and to cause panics in large cities ...

They were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by military commission in short order, a result that the Supreme Court affirmed in Quirin (1942). That judgment has been much under discussion in the current debate on law and terrorism, in part because 1 of those executed as what the Court called an "unlawful combatant," 22-year-old former ROTC cadet Herbert Hans Haupt (left), was believed to hold U.S. citizenship. (photo credit)

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