• 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,” the cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations. Four original copies of the Magna Carta exist: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral and two in the British Museum.
• On June 17, 1885, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, arrives in New York City’s harbor. The last rivet of the monument was fitted on October 28, 1886, during a dedication presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was made a national monument.
• On June 19, 1905, the world’s first nickelodeon, showing a silent film called “The Great Train Robbery,” opens in Pittsburgh. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged 5 cents. Nickelodeons typically featured live vaudeville acts as well as short films.
• On June 18, 1942, recording artist Paul McCartney is born in Liverpool, England. McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison played together under several different names, and with assorted members, until 1960, when they adopted the name the Beatles. Ringo Starr joined the group in 1962.
• On June 16, 1961, Rudolf Nureyev, the young star of the Soviet Union’s Kirov Opera Ballet Company, defects during a stopover in Paris. The high-profile defection was a blow to Soviet prestige. During the next 30 years, Nureyev danced with England’s Royal Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre.
• On June 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter climb to the White House roof to celebrate the installation of solar-energy panels there. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan had the solar panels removed and put into a federal storage facility.
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.,