Today is Wednesday, June 18, the 169th day of 2003 with 196 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include Cyrus Curtis, founder and publisher of the Ladies' Home Journal, in 1850; journalist and publisher Edward Scripps in 1854; legendary Tin Pan Alley composer Sammy Cain and financial journalist Sylvia Porter, both in 1913; singer/composer Paul McCartney and film critic Roger Ebert, both in 1942 (age 61); and actresses Carol Kane and Isabella Rossellini, both in 1952 (age 51).
On this date in history:
In 1812, the United States declared war on Britain.
In 1815, England's Duke of Wellington and Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in Belgium.
In 1975, Saudi Arabian Prince Museid was publicly beheaded in Riyadh for the assassination of King Faisal.
In 1979, President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a strategic arms control treaty in Vienna, Austria.
In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as the space shuttle Challenger was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In 1990, James Edward Pough, 42, whose car had been repossessed, entered a General Motors Acceptance Corp. loan office in Jacksonville, Fla., and killed eight people and wounded five more before committing suicide. He was believed to have killed two people and wounded two others a day earlier.
In 1992, Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Peter Allen died of complications of AIDS at age 48.
In 1993, eight U.S. military officers arrived in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia to help plan the deployment of a U.N. force that would seek to prevent the Bosnia conflict from spreading.
In 1994, the Gay Games, an Olympic-style competition, opened in New York.
In 1996, the Senate issued its Whitewater reports. The Republican report accused first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton of obstruction of justice.
Also in 1996, UNAbomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski was charged with two murders in California; he pleaded innocent. The New Jersey charges would come later.
In 1997, Turkish Premier Necmettin Erbakan resigned under pressure after his governing coalition lost its majority in Parliament.
In 2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a cease-fire, ending their monthlong war.
In 2002 as wildfires plagued the Western United States, a new fire broke out in Arizona and within three days had consumed 120,000 acres and driven 8,000 people from their homes.
Also in 2002, with new victims almost every day in the bloody and seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian dispute, a suicide bomber killed himself and 19 others when he detonated explosives aboard a bus in Jerusalem.
A thought for the day: Jose Ortega defined civilization as "the attempt to reduce force to being the last resort."