Today is Thursday, June 18, the 170th day of 2020. There are 196 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

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.

On this date:

In 1812, the War of 1812 began as the United States 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.” Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech on the BBC in which he rallied his countrymen after the fall of France to Nazi Germany.

In 1945, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower received a tumultuous welcome in Washington D.C., where he addressed a joint session of Congress.

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 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, California, of the 1993 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old 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, South Carolina.

In 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was directing the Pentagon to create the “Space Force” as an independent service branch.

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 Constance McCashin is 73. Actress Linda Thorson is 73. Rock musician John Evans is 72. Former Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is 70. 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. Rock musician Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) is 57.

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).