On this Day June 18
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1812 – Frustrated by Britain’s maritime practices and support of Native American resistance to western expansion, U.S. President James Madison signs a declaration of war against Britain, authorized by Congress, that sets the War of 1812 into motion. However, U.S. troops suffer great losses on land and at sea against the stronger British army. In August 1814, British troops enter Washington, D.C. and burn the U.S. Capitol and the White House. By December, both the Americans and British end the conflict with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.
1923 – The first Checker cab is produced at the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan and becomes part of a fleet rolling across the streets of Chicago. The iconic cab eventually serves big cities across the U.S. with a reputation for comfort and reliability. Checker production continues for 59 years until the last model rolls off the assembly line in July 1982.
1979 – President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-II agreement establishing limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally takes effect, proves to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War.
1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space as she sets out on a six-day mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During her NASA career, Ride flew on two shuttle missions and later became a champion for science education and a role model for generations.
1977 – “Dreams” becomes Fleetwood Mac’s first and only No. 1 single. The song, written by Stevie Nicks and featuring her lead vocals, goes on to sell more than a million copies. The track is from the band’s Grammy-winning “Rumours” album.
2010 – John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to The Beatles’ song “A Day In The Life” sells for $1.2 million at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York. The double-sided sheet of paper with notes written in felt marker and blue ink also contained some corrections and other notes penned in red ink.