This week in history

On June 19, 1861, Virginia Unionists name Francis H. Pierpont as provisional governor of what will two years and a day later become the Mountain State. Known as “the Father of West Virginia,” the Republican later serves as an IRS collector under President James Garfield.0619LIZZIE


Jurors in Fall River, Mass., on June 20, 1893, acquit Lizzie Borden (right) of hacking to death her father and stepmother. After her trial, she continued to live in her hometown until she died of pneumonia in 1927 at age 66. No one else ever was charged in the crime.

A 1975 TV movie starring Elizabeth Montgomery as Borden theorized she killed the pair in the nude and bathed after each, thereby explaining why no blood was found on her or her clothes.


Jim Davis’ comic strip “Garfield” debuts on June 19, 1978. With merchandising and other income, it’s estimated Davis’ lasagna-loving, Monday-hating, supersized orange housecat has earned the Indiana native as much as $1 billion over the years.

It’s also spawned parodies, including the web strip at that removes Garfield from each strip “in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle.”

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