On this day, June 18 …

1983: Astronaut Sally Ride becomes America’s first woman in space as she and four colleagues blast off aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

Also on this day:

  • 1815: Napoleon Bonaparte meets defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeat the French in Belgium.
  • 1948: Columbia Records publicly unveils its new long-playing phonograph record in New York.
  • 1979: President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev sign the SALT II (strategic arms limitation treaty) in Vienna.
  • 1981: Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart announces his retirement from the Supreme Court, effective July 3. (He would be replaced by Sandra Day O’Connor, who would become the first woman to sit on the high court.)
  • 1992: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Georgia v. McCollum, rules that criminal defendants could not use race as a basis for excluding potential jurors from their trials.
  • 1996: Richard Allen Davis is convicted in San Jose, Calif., of the 1993 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas.
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  • 2018: President Trump orders the establishment of the “Space Force” as a sixth military branch.
  • 2018: Rapper-singer XXXTentacion is shot and killed in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt.
  • 2019: President Trump refuses to apologize to the “Central Park Five” for calling for their executions over rape and assault convictions that were later overturned.