updated 6/15/2005 12:06:32 AM ET 2005-06-15T04:06:32

Today is Wednesday, June 15, the 166th day of 2005. 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 threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther if he did not recant his religious beliefs.

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 1844, Charles Goodyear received a patent for his process to strengthen rubber.

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 1904, more than a thousand 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. Meanwhile, B-29 Superfortresses made their first raids on Japan.

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

In 1994, Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

Ten years ago: President Clinton met with Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the opening day of a Group of Seven summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Simpson struggled to don a pair of gloves that prosecutors said were worn the night Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman were murdered.

Five years ago: Al Gore named Commerce Secretary William Daley to take over his presidential campaign, replacing Tony Coelho, who had abruptly resigned, citing health problems. Denis Savard, Joe Mullen and Walter L. Bush Jr. were selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One year ago: The Southern Baptist Convention quit a global federation of Baptist denominations as SBC leaders denounced the Baptist World Alliance and other groups for accepting liberal theology. Tim Berners-Lee received the $1.2 million Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki, Finland, for creating the World Wide Web. The Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-87 in Game Five of the NBA Finals for their first championship in 14 years.

Today’s Birthdays: Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is 73. Rock musician Lee Dorman (Iron Butterfly) is 63. Singer Russell Hitchcock (Air Supply) is 56. Rock singer Steve Walsh (Kansas) is 54. Comedian-actor Jim Belushi is 51. Country singer Terri Gibbs is 51. Actress Julie Hagerty is 50. Actress Eileen Davidson is 46. Actress Helen Hunt is 42. Rock musician Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) is 42. Actress Courteney Cox is 41. Country musician Tony Ardoin is 41. Country musician Michael Britt (Lonestar) is 39. Musician Rob Mitchell is 39. Rock musician Jimmy McD is 37. Actor-rapper Ice Cube is 36. Actress Leah Remini is 35. Actor Jake Busey is 34. Rock musician T-Bone Willy (Save Ferris) is 33. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 32. Rock singer Dryden Mitchell (Alien Ant Farm) is 29. Rock musician Billy Martin (Good Charlotte) is 24.

Thought for Today: “Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.” — O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), American author (1862-1910).

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