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June 16, 2013

Today in History

Today is Saturday, June 15, the 166th day of 2013. 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 1219, forces led by King Valdemar II of Denmark defeated the Estonians in the Battle of Lyndanisse.

In 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state.

In 1849, James Polk, the 11th president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tenn.

In 1864, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signed an order establishing a military burial ground, which became Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1902, the 20th Century Limited, an express passenger train between New York and Chicago, began service. (The Limited made its last run in Dec. 1967.)

In 1904, more than 1,000 people died when fire erupted aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York’s East River.

In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer pitched his second consecutive no-hitter, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-0 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first night game at Ebbets Field, four days after leaving the Boston Bees hitless by a score of 3-0.

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, at the conclusion of a five-day convention in Michigan, issued the Port Huron Statement.

In 1978, King Hussein of Jordan married 26-year-old American Lisa Halaby, who became Queen Noor.

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.

Ten years ago: 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. The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA championship, defeating the New Jersey Nets 88-77 in Game 6. Golfer Jim Furyk won the U.S. Open. Actor Hume Cronyn died in Fairfield, Conn., at age 91.

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