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Today in History: June 15, deadly steamboat fire

Jun 14, 2022, 9:00 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, June 15, the 166th day of 2022. 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 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.

In 2020, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment. U.S. regulators revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19 amid evidence that they didn’t work and could cause serious side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said death rates for coronavirus patients with chronic illnesses were 12 times higher than for others who became infected.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama eased enforcement of immigration laws as he announced a new policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. An armored car heist at the University of Alberta in Canada left three armed guards dead; fellow guard Travis Baumgartner later pleaded guilty to murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years.

Five years ago: Two escaped inmates sought in the killings of two guards on a Georgia prison bus were captured after being held at gunpoint by a rural Tennessee homeowner whose vehicle they were trying to steal.

One year ago: Fresh off a trio of European summits, President Joe Biden arrived in Geneva for a highly anticipated faceoff with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. California, which had been the first state in the country to order a coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, became one of the last to fully reopen; the state lifted most of its pandemic restrictions. A New York judge approved the extradition of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to California, where Weinstein – already serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction – faced additional sexual assault charges. Major League Baseball said pitchers would be ejected and suspended for 10 games for using illegal foreign substances to doctor baseballs; umpires would begin regular checks of all pitchers.

Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Ruby Nash Garnett (Ruby and the Romantics) is 88. Funk musician Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) is 76. Actor Simon Callow is 73. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 73. Rock singer Steve Walsh is 71. Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) is 69. Actor-comedian Jim Belushi is 68. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 68. Actor Julie Hagerty is 67. Actor Polly Draper is 67. Rock musician Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) is 65. Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs is 64. Actor Eileen Davidson is 63. Actor Helen Hunt is 59. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 59. Actor Courteney Cox is 58. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 58. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 56. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 53. Actor Leah Remini is 52. Actor Jake Busey is 51. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 49. Actor Greg Vaughan is 49. Actor Elizabeth Reaser is 47. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 46. Former child actor Christopher Castile is 42. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 41. Actor Jordi Vilasuso is 41. Rock musician Wayne Sermon (Imagine Dragons) is 38. Actor Denzel Whitaker is 32. Olympic gold medal gymnast Madison Kocian is 25. Actor Sterling Jerins is 18.

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Today in History: June 15, deadly steamboat fire