A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  June 18, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is June 18.

Today was Napoleon's "Waterloo," so to speak. On this date in 1815, the forces of England's Duke of Wellington and Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher defeated Napoleon and his troops near Waterloo in central Belgium. Napoleon later surrendered to British authorities and was exiled to St. Helena, an island in the South Atlantic, where he would die in May 1821.

The War of 1812 began on this date in 1812 -- duh! -- when Congress issued a declaration of war against Britain. The action was prompted by Britain's violation of American rights on the high seas and also its incitement of Indian warfare on the U.S frontier.

Equal rights finally reached the U.S. space program on this date in 1983 with the launch of the shuttle Challenger and its crew of four men and one WOMAN. Sally Ride, 32, was the first American woman in space. The shuttle mission lasted six days.

And Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski, on this date in 1996, was charged with two murders in California. He pleaded innocent. The former college professor had been arrested April 3 at his Montana cabin in connection with the string of bombings that'd killed three people over a 20-year period. Kaczynski would later change his plea to guilty as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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