June 2009 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of June 2009.
- New Hampshire Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill (June 3): New Hampshire governor John Lynch signs legislation allowing same-sex marriage. It will go into effect in January 2010. The law stipulates that religious organizations and their employees will not be required to participate in the ceremonies. New Hampshire is the sixth state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage.
- Obama Speaks of an Alliance With Muslims During A Speech In Egypt (June 4): In a risky speech during a visit to Cairo, Egypt, President Obama calls for "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world," asking for new alliances based on mutual respect and common interests.
- Summer Bird Wins Belmont Stakes (June 6): Summer Bird and jockey Kent Desormeaux win the Belmont Stakes, disrupting jockey Calvin Borel's streak of wins in the other two legs of the Triple Crown.
- Shooting at Holocaust Museum Kills Guard (June 10): A shooting at the entrance of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. leaves security guard Stephen T. Johns dead and the alleged shooter critically injured. The alleged gunman is James W. von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist.
- Congress Passes Tobacco Regulation Bill (June 12): Both the Senate and the House of Representatives pass a bill that, once signed by President Obama, will allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. The FDA will be able to set product standards and also ban some chemical additives in cigarettes.
- L.A. Lakers Defeat Orlando Magic for N.B.A. Championship Title (June 14): The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Orlando Magic 99–86, winning their 15th N.B.A. championship title. Lakers star Kobe Bryant takes home the M.V.P. trophy after scoring 30 points in the winning game.
- U.S. Extending Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Employees (June 17): President Obama will sign a referendum allowing the same-sex partners of federal employees to receive benefits. They will not be allowed full health coverage, however. This is Obama's first major initiative in his campaign promise to improve gay rights.
- Supreme Court Ruling: Inmates Don't Have Rights to DNA Tests (June 18): The Supreme Court rules in a 5–4 decision that prisoners have no right to a DNA test to prove their innocence long after they are convicted of a crime. The Court claims that most states already have laws in effect concerning DNA testing, so a federal law is unnecessary.
- Golfer Lucas Glover Wins U.S. Open (June 22): Lucas Glover wins his first U.S. Open victory, beating fan favorite Phil Mickelson, who is awarded the runner-up status for the fifth time at the tournament. This is Glover's first PGA Tour victory since 2005.
- D.C. Subway Train Crash Kills Nine (June 22): At least nine people are killed and 75 others wounded in a crash involving two subway trains in the Washington, D.C. Metro public transportation system. This is the deadliest crash in Metro history. One train reportedly rear-ended a stopped train, both on the subway's Red Line. Both mechanical failure and driver error are among the issues being investigated. The driver of the moving train is among those killed.
- SC Governor Admits to Lying, Affair (June 25): South Carolina governor Mark Sanford admits to lying to staff about his recent disappearance to cover up his year-long extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. When the media notices he is not at work, Sanford's aides announce the governor was hiking the Appalachian trail for several days, when in actuality he was in Buenos Aires, reportedly ending his relationship. After his lies are discovered, he apologizes to his family and to his constituents in South Carolina for his actions.
- Michael Jackson "King of Pop" Dies (June 25): Michael Jackson, lifelong musician, pop singer, and superstar, dies at age 50. He is found unconscious in his home, then rushed to a Los Angeles hospital where he is pronounced dead. The cause of death is still unknown. Jackson was scheduled to perform in 50 sold-out concerts in London over the next year.
- Court Rules Franken Wins Senate Seat (June 30): Nearly eight months after the election and a long battle over a recount, the Minnesota Supreme Court rules that Al Franken (Dem.) wins the U.S. senate seat for Minnesota. The final recount gives Franken a 312-vote lead. His rival, Norm Coleman (Rep.) concedes. Franken's win gives the Democrats in the Senate the filibuster-proof 60-seat majority they have been hoping for.