This Day In History, June 21st

What happened on this day in history: Edward III of England dies, Cherish Perrywinkle is kidnapped, and more historical events that happened on June 21st.

1377: Edward III Of England Dies

King Edward III dies in England. In power for 50 years, Edward oversaw historical events like the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War — which he started in 1337 by claiming the French crown — and the arrival of the Black Death in England. His descendants eventually turned on each other in England’s Wars of the Roses.

1788: The U.S. Constitution Is Ratified

Signing Of The Constitution

Public DomainThe signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. It was ratified a little under a year later in June 1788.

The U.S. Constitution is ratified by nine out of 13 states, officially establishing a new framework of government. The document, hammered out over about four months by delegates at the Constitutional Convention and primarily written by James Madison, established the three branches of American government and a bicameral legislature. It officially went into effect on March 4, 1789, with the Bill of Rights added and ratified on December 15, 1791.

1877: Twenty “Molly Maguires” Are Executed

Twenty men who allegedly belonged to an organization called the Molly Maguires are hanged in Pennsylvania. The Molly Maguires were Irish immigrants who organized secretly to fight unfair working conditions in coal mines. An unfair trial found 20 men affiliated with the group guilty of murder and sentenced them to die — an event known in Pennsylvania as “Black Thursday.”

1920: Mary Pickford And Douglas Fairbanks Are Mobbed In London

Mary Pickford And Douglas Fairbanks

Library of CongressMary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in 1920, the year of their wedding.

Actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks are mobbed by fans in London. The famous couple, who’d married in March, had traveled to Europe on a cruise liner called the SS Lapland to celebrate their honeymoon. They were married for 16 years and divorced in 1936.

2013: Cherish Perrywinkle Is Kidnapped

Eight-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle is kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender named Donald Smith. After offering to help Cherish’s mother pay for clothing for her and her siblings, Smith lured the eight-year-old out of the store and into his van. Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges at trial and sentenced to death.