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Matthew Hedger
06/15/2014 7:01 PM

Today is Sunday, June 15, the 166th day of 2014 with 199 to follow.

This is Father's Day in many countries.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn.

In 1215, under pressure from rebellious barons, England's King John signed the Magna Carta, a crucial first step toward creating Britain's constitutional monarchy.

In 1752, Benjamin Franklin, in a dangerous experiment, demonstrated the relationship between lightning and electricity by flying a kite during a storm in Philadelphia. An iron key suspended from the kite string attracted a lightning bolt.

In 1785, two Frenchmen attempting to cross the English Channel in a hot-air balloon were killed when their balloon caught fire and crashed. It was the first fatal aviation accident.

In 1836, Arkansas was admitted to the union as the 25th U.S. state.

In 1846, the U.S.-Canadian border was established.

In 1877, Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Ga., became the first African-American cadet to graduate from West Point.

In 1904, the excursion steamboat General Slocum caught fire on the East River in New York, killing 1,121 people.

In 1944, U.S. forces invaded the Japanese-occupied Mariana Islands in World War II. By day's end, a beachhead had been established on the island of Saipan.

In 1987, Richard Norton of Philadelphia and Calin Rosetti of West Germany completed the first polar circumnavigation of Earth in a single-engine propeller aircraft, landing in Paris after a 38,000-mile flight.

In 2007, a Mississippi jury convicted a reputed Ku Klux Klansman, James Ford Seale, in the abductions and killings of two black teenagers 43 years earlier. (Seale was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2011.)

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., shot in the head in a Jan. 8 assassination attempt at a Tucson political meeting, was released from a Houston rehabilitation hospital.

In 2012, the U.S. government announced an executive order by President Barack Obama would allow hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to legally seek work permits and obtain documents such as driver's licenses. Obama called it a temporary stopgap measure that lifted the shadow of deportation from these young people.

In 2013, a report from the London-based Syrian Network for Human rights said Syrian overnment forces had used chemical weapons 13 times in five areas of the country, killing 57 people and injuring more than 500.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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