Today is Wednesday, June 18, the 170th day of 2008 with 196 to follow.
The moon is full. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus. The evening stars are Venus, Mars and Saturn.
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 Cahn and financial journalist Sylvia Porter, both in 1913; singer/composer Paul McCartney and film critic Roger Ebert, both in 1942 (age 66); and actresses Carol Kane and Isabella Rossellini, both in 1952 (age 56).
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, U.S. President Jimmy 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, killed eight people and wounded five more before committing suicide at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. loan office in Jacksonville, Fla. He was believed to have killed two others a day earlier.
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 1996, the U.S. 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 killings in California; he pleaded innocent. Charges from New Jersey 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, a suicide bomber killed himself and 19 others when he detonated explosives aboard a bus in Jerusalem.
In 2003, two nights of rioting left the Lake Michigan community of Benton Harbor, Mich., covered with smoldering ruins and broken glass in the aftermath of a deadly police motorcycle chase.
Also in 2003, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien resigned as head of the Phoenix diocese two days after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident in which his car struck and killed a pedestrian.
In 2004, U.S. hostage Paul Johnson Jr., 49, was killed by his Saudi captors despite pleas from senior Muslim clerics.
In 2006, North Korea appeared poised to test-fire a missile after reports that satellite imagery showed fueling had been completed. The pending test drew sharp criticism from the United States and others.
Also in 2006, some 800 U.S. National Guard troops began working along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border as part of a federal plan to slow illegal immigration.
In 2007, the United States and the European Union announced they would resume aid to Palestinians. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians waited at the Israeli border trying to escape from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
A thought for the day: Jose Ortega defined civilization as "nothing else than the attempt to reduce force to being the last resort."