Today in History

George Washington appointed head of Continental Army in 1775

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, June 15, the 166th day of 2018. 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 1520, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull in which he threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther if he did not recant his religious beliefs, a threat that was carried out the following January.

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

In 1988, the baseball romantic comedy “Bull Durham,” starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon, was released by Orion Pictures.

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: President George W. Bush went for a bike ride and attended church in Paris, then he and his wife, Laura, traveled to London for meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, as well as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah. The NBC News program “Meet the Press” paid tribute to its host, Tim Russert, who had died two days earlier. “In the Heights” was named best musical, “August: Osage County,” best play, at the Tony Awards.

Five years 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.