The Thing About Today – June 15

June 15, 2020
Day 167 of 366


June 15th is the 167th day of the year. It is National Beer Day in the United Kingdom, celebrated on the date in 1215 when the Magna Carta was sealed since it states in clause 35:

Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely ‘the London quarter’

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Smile Power Day and Nature Photography Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1215, King John of England put his seal to Magna Carta. The Magna Carta Libertatum – in Medieval Latin, “Great Charter of Freedoms” – is a charter of rights drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, promising the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, and the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons’ War.
  • In 1648, Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • In 1667, the first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.
  • In 1752, Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity. This is the traditional date since the exact date is unknown.
  • In 1843, Norwegian pianist and composer Edvard Grieg was born.
  • In 1844, Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.
  • In 1864, Arlington National Cemetery was established when 200 acres of the Arlington estate were officially set aside as a military cemetery by United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The land had been the estate of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna Custis Lee, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, before it was surrendered to the United States government near the start of the Civil War.
  • In 1877, Henry Ossian Flipper became the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.
  • In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge took a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it runs. The Horse in Motion became the basis of motion pictures.
  • In 1916, United States President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.
  • In 1921, Bessie Coleman earned her pilot’s license, becoming the first female pilot of African-American descent.
  • In 1934, the United States Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded.
  • In 1954, actor Jim Belushi was born.
  • In 1963, actress, director, and producer Helen Hunt was born.
  • In 1964, actress and producer Courteney Cox was born.
  • In 1973, actor and singer Neil Patrick Harris was born.
  • In 1983, Blackadder premiered on BBC1.
  • In 1994, The Lion King premiered.
  • In 2005, Batman Begins premiered.


June 15th is Global Wind Day.

The event was organized by WindEurope and GWEC (the Global Wind Energy Council). It celebrates wind energy and the exchanged of information about wind energy, its power, and the possibilities it holds to change the world.


The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.




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