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Moments in Time

 

 

• On June 13, 323 B.C., Alexander the Great, the young Macedonian military genius who forged an empire stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India, dies in Babylon, in present-day Iraq, at the age of 33. Alexander had received a classical education from famed philosopher Aristotle.

• On June 15, 1215, following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” It guaranteed the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church and maintain the nation’s laws.

• On June 10, 1752, Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite is struck by lightning, demonstrating the electrical nature of lightning.

• On June 14, 1922, President Warren G. Harding, while dedicating a memorial site for the composer of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio.

• On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy issues presidential proclamation 3542, forcing Alabama Gov. George Wallace to comply with federal court orders allowing two black students to register at the University of Alabama.

• On June 12, 1987, in his famous Cold War speech in West Berlin, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany. Germany was officially reunited on Oct. 3, 1990.

• On June 16, 1999, Kathleen Ann Soliah, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, is arrested near her home in Minnesota after evading authorities for more than 20 years. The SLA, a small, radical American paramilitary group, made a name for itself in the 1970s with a series of murders, robberies and other violent acts.

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