Today in History, June 15th


Today is Monday, June 15, the 167th day of 2020. There are 199 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 15, 1775, the Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to appoint George Washington head of the Continental Army.
On this date:
In 1215, England’s King John put his seal to Magna Carta (“the Great Charter”) at Runnymede.
In 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state.
In 1864, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signed an order establishing a military burial ground which became Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
In 1904, more than 1,000 people died when fire erupted aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York’s East River.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act making the National Guard part of the U.S. Army in the event of war or national emergency.
In 1944, American forces began their successful invasion of Saipan (sy-PAN’) during World War II. B-29 Superfortresses carried out their first raids on Japan.
In 1955, the United States and Britain signed a cooperation agreement concerning atomic information for “mutual defence purposes.”
In 1969, the variety show “Hee Haw,” a fast-paced mixture of country music and comedy skits, debuted on CBS-TV.
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, killing about 800 people.
In 1993, former Texas Gov. John Connally, who was wounded in the gunfire that killed President John F. Kennedy, died in Houston at age 76.
In 1996, Ella Fitzgerald, the “first lady of song,” died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 79.
In 2003, with a deadline passed for Iraqis to hand in heavy weapons, U.S. forces fanned out across Iraq to seize arms and put down potential foes.
Ten years ago: In his first Oval Office address, President Barack Obama promised that “we will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused,” describing the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as a “siege” on the shores of America. Mexican President Felipe Calderon appealed to his fellow citizens to support the fight against organized crime just hours after troops killed 15 suspected gang members.
Five years ago: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush entered the 2016 presidential campaign with a rally and speech at Miami Dade College, joining 10 other Republicans already in the race for the party’s nomination. Rachel Dolezal resigned as president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter just days after her parents said she was a white woman posing as black. American businessman Kirk Kerkorian, 95, died in Beverly Hills, California. Burlesque icon Blaze Starr, 83, died in in Wilsondale, West Virginia.
One year ago: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris held its first Mass since the devasting April 15th fire that ravaged its roof; the archbishop of Paris wore a hard-hat helmet and only about 30 people were allowed inside. Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, known for extravagant productions like the 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet,” died in Rome at the age of 96. A Babe Ruth road jersey dating to 1928-1930 sold at auction for $5.64 million; the auction was conducted at Yankee Stadium, and the jersey was part of a collection that Ruth’s family put up for sale.
Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm and blues singer Ruby Nash Garnett (Ruby and the Romantics) is 86. Funk musician Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) is 74. Actor Simon Callow is 71. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 71. Rock singer Steve Walsh is 69. Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) is 67. Actor-comedian Jim Belushi is 66. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 66. Actress Julie Hagerty is 65. Actress Polly Draper is 65. Rock musician Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) is 63. Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs is 62. Actress Eileen Davidson is 61. Bluegrass musician Terry Smith is 60. Actress Helen Hunt is 57. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 57. Actress Courteney Cox is 56. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 56. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 54. Contemporary Christian musician Rob Mitchell is 54. Rock musician Jimmy McD is 52. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 51. Actress Leah Remini is 50. Actor Jake Busey is 49. Bluegrass singer-musician Jamie Johnson is 48. Rock musician T-Bone Willy (Save Ferris) is 48. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 47. Actor Greg Vaughan is 47. Actress Elizabeth Reaser is 45. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 44. Former child actor Christopher Castile is 40. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 39. Actor Jordi Vilasuso is 39. Rock musician Wayne Sermon (Imagine Dragons) is 36. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 30. Olympic gold medal gymnast Madison Kocian is 23. Actress Sterling Jerins is 16.
Thought for Today: “The times are not so bad as they seem; they couldn’t be.” — John Franklin Carter, American commentator and author (1897-1967).

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