By the Associated Press
Today is Monday, June 15, the 166th day of 2015. There are 199 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 15, 1215, England’s King John put his seal to Magna Carta (“the Great Charter”) at Runnymede.
On this date:
In 1775, the Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to appoint George Washington head of the Continental Army.
In 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state.
In 1849, James Polk, the 11th president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tennessee.
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 1962, Students for a Democratic Society issued the Port Huron Statement at the conclusion of a five-day convention in Michigan.
In 1978, King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) of Jordan married 26-year-old American Lisa Halaby, who became Queen Noor.
In 1984, composer-librettist Meredith Willson (“The Music Man”) died in Santa Monica, California, at age 82.
In 1994, Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations. The Walt Disney animated feature “The Lion King” was released by Buena Vista Pictures.
Ten years ago: The autopsy released on Terri Schiavo (SHY’-voh) backed the contention of her husband, Michael, that she had been in a persistent vegetative state, finding she was severely and irreversibly brain-damaged and blind as well. Iraqi and U.S. forces freed Australian hostage Douglas Wood. Former Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson was sentenced to 35 years in prison, a week after he unexpectedly pleaded guilty to murdering teammate Patrick Dennehy.
Five 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.
One year ago: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Hamas militant group of kidnapping three Israeli teenagers who had disappeared on June 12 (the teens’ bodies were found June 30). Death claimed “American Top 40” host Casey Kasem, 82; “Flowers for Algernon” author Daniel Keyes, 86; and French actor Jacques Bergerac, 87. Golfer Martin Kaymer of Germany won the U.S. Open. The San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA championship, beating the Miami Heat 104-87 to win the series in five games.
Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Ruby Nash Garnett (Ruby and the Romantics) is 81. Rock singer-actor Johnny Hallyday is 72. Funk musician Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) is 69. Actor Simon Callow is 66. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 66. Rock singer Steve Walsh is 64. Comedian-actor Jim Belushi is 61. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 61. Actress Julie Hagerty is 60. Actress Polly Draper is 60. Rock musician Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) is 58. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs is 57. Actress Eileen Davidson is 56. Bluegrass musician Terry Smith is 55. Actress Helen Hunt is 52. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 52. Actress Courteney Cox is 51. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 51. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 49. Contemporary Christian musician Rob Mitchell is 49. Rock musician Jimmy McD is 47. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 46. Actress Leah Remini is 45. Actor Jake Busey is 44. Bluegrass singer-musician Jamie Johnson is 43. Rock musician T-Bone Willy (Save Ferris) is 43. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 42. Actor Greg Vaughan is 42. Actress Elizabeth Reaser is 40. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 39. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 34. Rock musician Wayne Sermon (Imagine Dragons) is 31. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 25.