Today in History

Today in History

Today is Friday, June 18, the 169th day of 2021. There are 196 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 18, 1812, the War of 1812 began as the United States Congress approved, and President James Madison signed, a declaration of war against Britain.

On this date:

In 1778, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

In 1953, a U.S. Air Force Douglas C-124 Globemaster II crashed near Tokyo, killing all 129 people on board. Egypt’s 148-year-old 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 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

In 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 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 2003, baseball Hall-of-Famer Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947, died in Montclair, N.J., at age 79.

In 2010, 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 City courthouse.)

In 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was directing the Pentagon to create the “Space Force” as an independent service branch. Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion (ex ex ex ten-ta-see-YAWN’) was shot and killed in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt.

Ten years ago: President Hamid Karzai acknowledged that the U.S. and Afghan governments had held talks with Taliban emissaries in a bid to end the nation’s nearly 10-year war. Yelena Bonner, 88, a Russian rights activist and widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, died in Boston. Clarence Clemons, the saxophone player for the E Street Band who was one of the key influences in Bruce Springsteen’s life and music, died in Florida at age 69.

Five years ago: With California’s Yosemite Falls as a backdrop, President Barack Obama said climate change was already damaging America’s national parks, with rising temperatures causing Yosemite’s meadows to dry out and raising the prospect of a glacier preserve without its glaciers someday. During an appearance in Las Vegas, Donald Trump railed against efforts by some frustrated Republicans planning a last-ditch effort to try to thwart him from becoming the party’s nominee, and threatened to stop fundraising if Republicans didn’t rally around him.

One year ago: The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. Atlanta police officers called out sick to protest the filing of murder charges against Garrett Rolfe, a white officer, in the shooting of a Black man, Rayshard Brooks. The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, said a statue of Christopher Columbus would be removed from the city that was named after him. Portraits honoring four former House speakers who served in the Confederacy were removed from the U.S. Capitol. The abandoned bus that was central to the book and movie “Into the Wild” was removed by helicopter from the Alaska wilderness; it had become a lure for dangerous pilgrimages. Dame Vera Lynn, who serenated British troops during World War II with sentimental favorites “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs of Dover,” died at the age of 103.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is 84. Sir Paul McCartney is 79. Actor Constance McCashin is 74. Actor Linda Thorson is 74. Former Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is 71. Actor Isabella Rossellini is 69. Actor Carol Kane is 69. Actor Brian Benben is 65. Actor Andrea Evans is 64. Rock singer Alison Moyet is 60. Rock musician Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) is 58. Figure skater Kurt Browning is 55. Country singer-musician Tim Hunt is 54. R&B singer Nathan Morris (Boyz II Men) is 50. Actor Mara Hobel is 50. Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is 48. Rapper Silkk the Shocker is 46. Actor Alana de la Garza is 45. Country singer Blake Shelton is 45. Rock musician Steven Chen (Airborne Toxic Event) is 43. Actor David Giuntoli is 41. Drummer Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots) is 33. Actor Renee Olstead is 32. Actor Jacob Anderson is 31. Actor Willa Holland is 30.