On This Day

18th June

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.

1767 – Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

1812 - The United States declared war on on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815 – The Battle of Waterloo led to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and final time.

1858 – Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own. This prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1873 – Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 US presidential election. (The 19th Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits each of the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's sex, wasn't ratified until August 18, 1920.)

1900 – Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families, joining the Boxer Rebellion’s campaign to oust Westerners and launch a new “golden age.”

1940 – Winston Churchill gave his "Finest Hour" speech.

1942 – Paul McCartney was born.

1945 – William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was charged with treason in the UK.

1953 – The Republic of Egypt was declared and the monarchy abolished.

1965 - The drink-drive limit was introduced, a blood alcohol limit for drivers with penalties for those caught above it.

2004 - U.S. hostage Paul Johnson Jr., an American helicopter engineer who lived in Saudi Arabia, was killed by his captors, despite pleas from senior Muslim clerics. His murder was recorded on video tape.