By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, June 15, the 167th day of 2012. 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 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 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 calling for disarmament, enfranchisement of “publicly disinherited groups” and social change.
In 1978, King Hussein of Jordan married 26-year-old American Lisa Halaby, who became Queen Noor.
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 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle, relying on a faulty flash card, erroneously instructed Trenton, N.J., sixth-grade student William Figueroa to spell “potato” as “potatoe” during a spelling bee.
Ten years ago:
A jury in Houston convicted accounting firm Arthur Andersen of obstruction of justice; the verdict was ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. 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.
Five years ago:
During his ethics trial, a tearful Mike Nifong announced he would resign as district attorney of Durham County, N.C., after admitting that he’d made improper statements about three Duke University lacrosse players who were once charged with raping a stripper. The players were later declared innocent by state prosecutors. Hamas both mocked and reached out to its defeated Fatah rivals on its first day in full control of Gaza. Retired “Price Is Right” host Bob Barker won his 19th Daytime Emmy. In Tulsa, Okla., a crane lifted out a water-damaged 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that had been buried in an underground concrete vault half a century earlier to celebrate 50 years of statehood.
One year ago:
Pushing back against congressional criticism, the White House said that President Barack Obama had the authority to continue U.S. military action in Libya even without authorization from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was released from a Houston hospital, five months after being shot in the head during a Tucson political event. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972, beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 7 of the finals; angry, drunken Vancouver fans ran wild, setting cars on fire and looting stores.
Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo is 80. Rock musician Lee Dorman (Iron Butterfly) is 70. Rock singer-actor Johnny Hallyday is 69. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 63. Rock singer Steve Walsh (Kansas) is 61. Comedian-actor Jim Belushi is 58. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 58. Actress Julie Hagerty is 57. Rock musician Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) is 55. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs is 54. Actress Eileen Davidson is 53. Bluegrass musician Terry Smith is 52. Actress Helen Hunt is 49. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 49. Actress Courteney Cox is 48. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 48. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 46. Contemporary Christian musician Rob Mitchell is 46. Rock musician Jimmy McD is 44. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 43. Actress Leah Remini is 42. Actor Jake Busey is 41. Bluegrass singer-musician Jamie Johnson is 40. Rock musician T-Bone Willy (Save Ferris) is 40. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 39. Actor Greg Vaughan is 39. Actress Elizabeth Reaser is 37. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 36. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 31. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 22.
Thought for today:
“Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school or college.” — Lillian Smith, American author (1897-1966).