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 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 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 American Lisa Halaby, 26, 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.
Five 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.
One year ago: President Barack Obama eased enforcement of immigration laws, offering a chance for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. Republican Mitt Romney launched the next phase of his presidential campaign, kicking off a six-state, small-town bus tour and telling middle-class Americans that President Obama hadn't given them "a fair shot." An armored car heist at the University of Alberta in Canada left three armed guards dead; suspect Travis Baumgartner faces trial on murder charges. Daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls. (The feat was broadcast live by ABC-TV, which required Wallenda to wear a safety tether.)
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