Today is Sunday, June 15, the 166th day of 2014. There are 199 days left in the year. This is Father’s Day.
On June 15, 1864, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signed an order establishing a military burial ground which became Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
On this date:
In 1215, England’s King John put his seal to Magna Carta (“the Great Charter”) at Runnymede.
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 1902, the 20th Century Limited, an express passenger train between New York and Chicago, began service. (The Limited made its last run in December 1967.)
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 during World War II. B-29 Superfortresses carried out their first raids on Japan.
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 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 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 Southern Baptist Convention quit a global federation of Baptist denominations during a meeting in Indianapolis as SBC leaders denounced the Baptist World Alliance and other groups for accepting liberal theology. Tim Berners-Lee received the $1.2 million Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki, Finland, for creating the World Wide Web. The Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-87 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals for their first championship in 14 years.
Five years ago: Gen. Stanley McChrystal took charge of nearly 90,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama, pushing health care reform before the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago, bluntly told the doctors he was against their highest legislative priority – limiting malpractice awards. The president returned to the White House, where he met with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
One year ago: Wild celebrations broke out in Tehran and other cities as reformist-backed Hassan Rowhani capped a stunning surge to claim Iran’s presidency. Paul Soros, 87, a successful innovator in shipping, philanthropist and older brother of billionaire financier George Soros, died in New York.
Today’s birthdays: Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo is 82. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ruby Nash Garnett (Ruby and the Romantics) is 80. Rock singer-actor Johnny Hallyday is 71. Actor Simon Callow is 65. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 65. Rock singer Steve Walsh (Kansas) is 63. Comedian-actor Jim Belushi is 60. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 60. Actress Julie Hagerty is 59. Rock musician Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) is 57. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs is 56. Actress Eileen Davidson is 55. Bluegrass musician Terry Smith is 54. Actress Helen Hunt is 51. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 51. Actress Courteney Cox is 50. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 50. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 48. Contemporary Christian musician Rob Mitchell is 48. Rock musician Jimmy McD is 46. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 45. Actress Leah Remini is 44. Actor Jake Busey is 43. Bluegrass singer-musician Jamie Johnson is 42. Rock musician T-Bone Willy (Save Ferris) is 42. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 41. Actor Greg Vaughan is 41. Actress Elizabeth Reaser is 39. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 38. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 33. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 24.
Thought for today: “In trying to make something new, half the undertaking lies in discovering whether it can be done. Once it has been established that it can, duplication is inevitable.” — Helen Gahagan Douglas, U.S. Representative (1900-1980).