June 18, 2020
Day 170 of 366
June 18th is the 170th day of the year. In the United Kingdom, it is Waterloo Day, commemorating the date of the famous battle between Napoleon Bonaparte and the combined forces of the Duke of Ellington and Field Marshal von Blücher in Belgium. Napoleon was defeated and forced to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Go Fishing Day, National Splurge Day, and National Career Nurse Assistants Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1264, the Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, marking the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.
- In 1429, French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turned the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.
- In 1812, the United States declaration of war upon the United Kingdom was signed by President James Madison, thus beginning the War of 1812.
- In 1858, Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.
- In 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
- In 1923, Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets.
- In 1928, aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. During this flight, she was the passenger, Wilmer Stultz was the pilot, and Lou Gordon was the mechanic.
- In 1940, Winston Churchill delivered his “Finest Hour” speech.
- In 1942, journalist, critic, and screenwriter Roger Ebert was born.
- Also in 1942, singer-songwriter and guitarist Paul McCartney was born.
- In 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
- In 1960, director and producer Barbara Broccoli was born.
- In 1981, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk made its first flight. The Nighthawk was the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology.
- In 1983, Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-7) was launched, making astronaut Sally Ride the first American woman in space.
- In 1991, actress Willa Holland was born.
- In 2001, The Fast and the Furious premiered and started a film franchise about cars and family.
- In 2005, David Tennant premiered on Doctor Who as the Tenth Doctor in “The Parting of the Ways”.
June 18th is Autistic Pride Day, recognizing the importance of autistic people and their role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.
Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in 2005 by Aspies for Freedom and it quickly became a global event. Autistic pride points out that autistic people have always been an important part of human culture and that being autistic is a form of neurodiversity. As with all forms of neurodiversity, most of the challenges autistic people face come from other people’s attitudes about autism and a lack of supports and accommodations (better known as ableism), rather than being essential to the autistic condition.
Autistic activists have contributed to a shift in attitudes away from the notion that autism is a deviation from the norm that must be treated or cured. Autistic self-advocacy organizations, which are led and run by autistics, are a key force in the movement for autistic acceptance and autistic pride.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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