This Day In History: June 18

(618) Li Yuan is coronated at Emperor of China, initiating nearly 300 years of rule by the Tang dynasty.

(1812) The U.S. government declares war on Britain, beginning the War of 1812, which lasted until 1815.

(1815) Napoleon Bonaparte and the French army are defeated at the battle of Waterloo by a coalition of Prussian and British forces.

(1940) Winston Churchill’s famous “this was their finest hour” speech is given to the House of Commons.

(1948) The UN commission on Human Rights officially adopts the International Declaration of Human Rights.

(1964) Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev visited Danish food production sites. He concluded that there was nothing to learn and that the USSR’s food issues would be solved within eight years. Otherwise he would leave the Communist Party. I guess we will never know if he actually would do that, because he was dead in seven years.

(1983) Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space when she lifts of in the Challenger which hadn’t blown up yet. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova, who was launched into space aboard a modified soviet missile in 1963. This was only three days after the twentieth anniversary of Tereshkova’s mission.

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