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Gotti Sentenced, Batman Opens

Today is June 23, 2010 and it was this day in history that the reputed mod boss of the Gambino Crime Family, John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. He earned the nickname of “Teflon Don” as he managed to get out of many court trials in the eighties without facing any prison terms. However, he earned the name of “Velcro Don” after his last trial in 1992 when he was found guilty of fourteen counts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering charges. He was sentenced to life and died in prison of throat cancer on June 10, 2002. He became boss of the family in 1985 when former boss Paul Castellano was shot to death outside of a steakhouse in Manhattan.

It was also this day in history in 1989, that Tim Burton’s Batman opened in theaters and starred Michael Keaton as the caped crusader and the scene stealing Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Nicole Kidman played Bruce Wayne’s (Batman’s alter-ego) love interest, Vicki Vale. Michael Keaton was not the first man in line for the role of Batman. Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner wee all being considered for the role as well. Burton had previously worked with Keaton in the movie “Beetlejuice” and it was Keaton’s role in the movie “Clean and Sober” that showed he could play a serious role and cinched him in for the role of the masked vigilante.

It was this day in history in 1997 that Betty Shabazz, widowed wife of Malcolm X, died due to injuries sustained in a fire that was allegedly set by her grandson when he was twelve years old. She was sixty-one years old. She suffered third degree burns over eighty percent of her body. Doctors fought to save her with many operations and skin grafts but it was just too much for her and she died three weeks after being rescued from her Yonkers, N.Y. home.

Also on this day in history in 2009, Johnny Carson sidekick and commercial pitchman, Ed McMahon died. His “Heeeeeere’s Johnny” announcement line at the beginning of “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” is part of the pop culture history and has been imitated many times over the years including in the movieThe Shining by Jack Nicholson. Ed McMahon was also the host of the television talent show called “Star Search” , the show where the likes of comedian Sinbad and country singer LeeAnn Rimes got their start.

These are just a few of the memorable things that happened today in history, June 23, 2010.

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