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 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 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 (sy-PAN’) during World War II. B-29 Superfortresses carried out their first raids on Japan.
In 1960, the Billy Wilder movie “The Apartment,” starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, premiered in New York.
In 1985, the Shiite Muslim hijackers of a TWA Boeing 727 beat and shot one of their hostages, U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem (STEE’-them), 23, throwing him out of the plane to die on the tarmac at Beirut airport.
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 1996, Ella Fitzgerald, the “first lady of song,” died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 79.
In 2002, an asteroid with a diameter of between 50 and 120 yards narrowly missed the Earth by 75,000 miles — less than a third of the distance to the moon.