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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Today in history -- June 15

1215: King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.

1381: The Mayor of London, William Walworth, slays Wat Tyler, the leader of a group of rebellious peasants, during a peace conference; this effectively puts an end to the revolt.

1752: Benjamin Franklin succeeds in getting electric sparks by flying a kite in a thunderstorm.

1775: George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

1785: Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain become the first air-travel casualties when their hot air balloon explodes during their attempt to cross the English Channel.

1804: The Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution comes into force after ratification by New Hampshire.

1836: Arkansas is admitted to the Union as the 25th state.

1844: Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.  It revolutionizes the industry, but he’ll die a pauper, having had no connection with the company that bears his name.

1846: The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada.

1849: Tennessee lawyer James Knox Polk, who usually wins the award for “Most Underrated U.S. President,” dies at Nashville, Tennessee.

1859: American farmer Lyman Cutler shoots a trespassing pig that belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company.  The "Pig War" ultimately leads to a military stand-off between 460 U.S. troops and three British warships that will last 12 years.

1909: The Imperial Cricket Conference is formed by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, meeting at Lords.

1911: The Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation is incorporated. It later changes its name to International Business Machines, or IBM.

1932: Mario Matthew Cuomo (St. John’s Law 1956) is born at Queens, New York.

1969: One of TV's most unexpected hits, Hee Haw, debuts on CBS television as a summer replacement program.  It will roll along for more than 20 years.

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