ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week in New York history features the death penalty being ruled unconstitutional in the states, the first regular commercial color TV transmissions being aired, and the United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor‘s birthday. All information has been provided by the New York State Museum History Department.

Shirley Muldowney
Shirley Muldowney competing in the National Hot Rod Association Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway/Pomona Raceway. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

June 19

  • 1754: Albany Congress meets to form a plan of union.
  • 1903: Baseball great Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig of the New York Yankees is born in Yorkville, New York City.
  • 1940: Shirley Muldowney, the first female drag racer, was born in Burlington, Vermont but grew up in Schenectady. She was the first woman to receive a National Hot Rod Association license to drive a Top Fuel dragster. She won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 1977, 1980, and 1982, becoming the first person to win two and three Top Fuel titles. She has won a total of 18 NHRA national events.
  • 1949: Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenburg at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining.

June 20

New York Yankees’ Lou Gehrig poses at a spring training game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 16, 1935. (AP Photo/Tom Sande, File)
  • 2012: Fur District strike in New York City.

June 21

  • 1882: Artist Rockwell Kent is born in Tarrytown.

June 22

  • 1611: English explorer Henry Hudson, his son, and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers.
  • 1939: The first U.S. water-ski tournament was held at Jones Beach on Long Island.

June 23

George Pataki speaks during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at the University of Colorado’s Coors Events Center on October 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colorado (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
  • 1819: Washington Irving publishes “Rip Van Winkle.”

June 24

  • 1954: 53rd Governor of New York George Pataki is born in Peekskill.
  • 1962: The New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers, 9-7, after 22 innings.
  • 2004: The death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in New York.

June 25

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor sits during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)
  • 1887: George Abbott, acclaimed theater producer, director, playwright, screenwriter, film director, and film producer was born in Forestville.
  • 1906: Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, the son of coal and railroad baron William Thaw, is shot and killed by Stanford White. White, a prominent architect, had a tryst with Florence Evelyn Nesbit before she married Thaw. The shooting took place at the premiere of Mamzelle Champagne in New York City. The ensuing trial was called “Trial of the Century.”
  • 1951: In New York, the first regular commercial color TV transmissions were presented on CBS using the FCC-approved CBS Color System. The public did not own color TVs at the time.
  • 1954: Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman and the first Hispanic person to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court is born in the Bronx.
  • 1985: New York Yankees officials enact a rule mandating that the team’s bat boys were to wear protective helmets during all games.