TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Thursday, June 18, the 170th day of 2020. There are 196 days left in the year.
On June 18, 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride became America’s first woman in space as she and four colleagues blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on a six-day mission.
In 1812, the War of 1812 began as the U.S. Congress approved, and President James Madison signed, a declaration of war against Britain.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.
In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, “This was their finest hour.”
In 1953, a U.S. Air Force Douglas C-124 Globemaster II crashed near Tokyo, killing all 129 people on board. Egypt’s 148-yearold Muhammad Ali dynasty came to an end with the overthrow of the monarchy and the proclamation of a republic.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda spoke to each other by telephone as they inaugurated the first trans-Pacific cable completed by AT&T between Japan and Hawaii.
In 1971, Southwest Airlines began operations, with flights between Dallas and San Antonio, and Dallas and Houston.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.
In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Georgia v. McCollum, ruled that criminal defendants could not use race as a basis for excluding potential jurors from their trials.
In 1996, Richard Allen Davis was convicted in
San Jose, Calif., of the 1993 kidnap-murder of 12-yearold Polly Klaas of Petaluma. (Davis remains on death row.)
In 2007, nine firefighters died in a fire at a furniture store and warehouse in Charleston, S.C.
In 2018, President Donald Trump announced he was directing the Pentagon to create the “Space Force” as an independent service branch.
Ten years ago: Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner died in a barrage of bullets as Utah carried out its first firing squad execution in 14 years. (Gardner had been sentenced to death for fatally shooting attorney Michael Burdell during a failed escape attempt from a Salt Lake
Five years ago: In dueling decisions about free speech, the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate
battle flag and struck down an Arizona town’s restrictions on temporary signs put up by a small church.
One year ago: President Donald Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign at a rally attended by thousands in Orlando, Fla. Trump announced that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan was withdrawing his nomination to lead the Pentagon, and that the Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, would be the new acting secretary. (Esper was confirmed in July as secretary of defense.) Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay $1 billion to 14 local governments to cover damage from a series of deadly wildfires caused by its downed power lines.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is 83. Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock is 81. Sir Paul McCartney is 78. Actress Isabella Rossellini is 68. Actress Carol Kane is 68. Actor Brian Benben is 64. Actress Andrea Evans is 63. Rock singer Alison Moyet is
59. Musician Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) is 57. Figure skater Kurt Browning is 54. Singer Nathan Morris (Boyz II Men) is
49. Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is 47. Country singer Blake Shelton is 44.
Thought for Today:
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” — Bernard M. Baruch, American businessman and statesman (1870-1965).