Today In History: June 18, Sally Ride Becomes First American Woman In Space

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 18, the 170th day of 2024. There are 196 days left in the year. This is Father’s Day.

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

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.”

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 1986, 25 people were killed when a twin-engine plane and helicopter carrying sightseers collided over the Grand Canyon.

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, New Jersey, 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 2011, 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.

In 2012, former baseball star Roger Clemens was acquitted in Washington, D.C. on all charges that he’d obstructed and lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

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

In 2020, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is 87. Sir Paul McCartney is 82. Actor Constance McCashin is 77. Actor Linda Thorson is 77. Former Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is 74. Actor Isabella Rossellini is 72. Actor Carol Kane is 72. Actor Brian Benben is 68. Rock singer Alison Moyet is 63. Rock musician Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) is 61. Figure skater Kurt Browning is 58. R&B singer Nathan Morris (Boyz II Men) is 53. Actor Mara Hobel is 53. Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is 51. Rapper Silkk the Shocker is 49. Actor Alana de la Garza is 48. Country singer Blake Shelton is 48. Rock musician Steven Chen (Airborne Toxic Event) is 46. Actor David Giuntoli is 44. Drummer Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots) is 36. Actor Renee Olstead is 35. Actor Jacob Anderson is 34. Actor Willa Holland is 33.