On This Day in History: June 15

On June 15, British lower counties declared themselves independent of British rule, creating an independent state. Here’s a look at events from today in history around the world.

1215: King John Gives the Magna Carta the Royal Seal

King JohnThe Magna Carta is viewed as the cornerstone for England’s laws and democracy. It gained King John of England’s seal of approval on this day in British history, as a way to bring peace between the king and the nobility. The “Great Charter,” as it was also known, set out guarantees from the king over privileges & feudal rights, maintaining of the laws, and upholding the freedom of the church. There were 63 clauses in the charter, mostly dealing with feudal concerns that didn’t affect England at the time. It’s now viewed as a progressive document, as it also introduced the idea of a guaranteed trial by jury, but certainly wasn’t that at the time and was initial a failure. It did help to lead to the Petition of Right and Habeas Corpus in the 17th century.

1776: Delaware Gains Independence from Britain

The Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declared independence from Britain and the Pennsylvania colony rule on this day in history. Delaware State was created, thanks to Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney pushing the people of the county to separate. The independence nearly didn’t happen, as George Read, a representative for the Lower Counties, refused to vote in favor of separating. McKean had to summon Rodney to help break stalemate. Separation wasn’t initially accepted by the people, but a year later things changed when Delaware and other states fell under British occupation.

1917: Espionage Act Passed

Two months after America officially entered the First World War, the Espionage Act was passed by Congress. Anyone who used and spread information that interfered with armed forces faced prosecution, and would face 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The following year, the Sedition Act was passed, which reinforced the Espionage Act. The intended persons the acts were against were those who activated against war or were pacifists/socialists. The Sedition Act was later repealed, but the Espionage Act remains part of law even today.

Famous Birthdays on June 15

Frederik II, Duke of Austria—1212

Edward, the Black Prince—1330

Theologist Samuel Apostool—1638

Slave and settlement founder, Josiah Henson—1789

Composer Paul Gilson—1865

Ion Antonescu, Prime Minister of Romania—1882

Gangster Sam Giancana—1908

Children’s writer W.V. Awdry—1911

Friends actress Courtney Cox—1964

Rapper and actor Ice Cube—1969

Mr. Tumble’s Justin Fletcher—1970

How I Met Your Mother actor Neil Patrick Harris–1973

Olympic gymnast Madison Kocian—1997

Kim & Kanye’s son, North West—2013


Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from OnThisDay.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Drawing of King John: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England#/media/File:Jan_tomb.jpg

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