This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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June 18 is the 169th day of the year (170th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 196 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1812, War of 1812 begins
The day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law–and the War of 1812 begins. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress known as the “War Hawks” had been advocating war with Britain for several years and had not hidden their hopes that a U.S. invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States.
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire, including those of present-day Canada. The Americans declared war in 1812 for a number of reasons, including a desire for expansion into the Northwest Territory, trade restrictions because of Britain’s ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, and the humiliation of American honour. Until 1814, the British Empire adopted a defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. However, the Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and destroyed Tecumseh’s dream of an Indian confederacy. In the Southwest General Andrew Jackson humbled the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend but with the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large armies along with more patrols. British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed the British to capture and burn Washington, D.C. American victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed British invasions of New York, Baltimore and New Orleans.
The war was fought in three theaters: At sea, warships and privateers of both sides attacked each other’s merchant ships. The British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. Both land and naval battles were fought on the frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River. The South and the Gulf coast saw major land battles in which the American forces destroyed Britain’s Indian allies and defeated the main British invasion force at New Orleans. Both sides invaded each other’s territory, but these invasions were unsuccessful or temporary. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other’s territory, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.
In the U.S., battles such as the Battle of New Orleans and the earlier successful defense of Baltimore (which inspired the lyrics of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”) produced a sense of euphoria over a “second war of independence” against Britain. It ushered in an “Era of Good Feelings” in which the partisan animosity that had once verged on treason practically vanished. Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity. Britain regarded the war as a sideshow to the Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe; it welcomed an era of peaceful relations and trade with the United States.
618 – Li Yuan becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China.
1178 – Five Canterbury monks see what is possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon’s distance from the Earth (on the order of metres) are a result of this collision.
1264 – The Parliament of Ireland meets at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.
1429 – French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turns the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.
1757 – Battle of Kolín between Prussian forces under Frederick the Great and an Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Years’ War.
1767 – Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: British troops abandon Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1812 – War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declares war on the United Kingdom.
1815 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo results in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time.
1830 – French invasion of Algeria
1858 – Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.
1859 – First ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps.
1873 – Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
1887 – The Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia is signed.
1900 – Empress Dowager Longyu of China orders all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families.
1908 – Japanese immigration to Brazil begins when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the ship Kasato-Maru.
1908 – The University of the Philippines is established.
1923 – Checker Taxi puts its first taxi on the streets.
1928 – Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she is a passenger; Wilmer Stutz is the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).
1930 – Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute are held.
1940 – Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.
1940 – “Finest Hour” speech by Winston Churchill.
1945 – William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) is charged with treason.
1946 – Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist, calls for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa. A road is named after this date in Panjim.
1953 – The Republic of Egypt is declared and the monarchy is abolished.
1953 – A United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns near Tokyo, Japan killing 129.
1965 – Vietnam War: The United States uses B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.
1972 – Staines air disaster – 118 are killed when a plane crashes two minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.
1979 – SALT II is signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.
1981 – A disease cluster, which will later be known as AIDS, is recognized by medical professionals in San Francisco, California.
1983 – Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
1983 – Mona Mahmudnizhad together with nine other Baha’i women, is sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz, Iran because of her Baha’i Faith.
1984 – A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners takes place at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984-1985 UK miners’ strike.
1994 – The Troubles: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) open fire inside a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, killing six civilians and wounding five.
1996 – Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, is indicted on ten criminal counts.
2001 – Protests occur in Manipur over the extension of the ceasefire between Naga insurgents and the government of India.
2006 – The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat is launched.
2009 – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft is launched.
2012 – Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
* Autistic Pride Day
* Christian Feast Day:
* Elizabeth of Schonau
* Leontius, Hypatius and Theodulus
* June 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Evacuation Day (Egypt)
* Foundation Day (Benguet)
* International Sushi Day
* National Day (Seychelles)
* Queen Mother’s Birthday (Cambodia)
* Waterloo Day (United Kingdom)