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Friday, June 26

June 18, 2015

Today is Friday, June 26, the 177th day of 2015. There are 188 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1541 - Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conqueror of Peru, is slain in Lima by rival conquistadors.

1549 - The 17 provinces of the Netherlands are declared independent of the Holy Roman Empire.

1714 - Spain and Holland sign Peace of Utrecht.

1848 - Artillery blasts apart the barricades put up by rebelling workers in Paris, ending the “June Days” civil war with the loss of 1,500 lives.

1858 - Treaty of Tientsin ends war between Britain and China, whereby China opens additional ports to British commerce and legalizes opium trade.

1941 - Finns side with Germans in attack against Soviet Union leading to three-year Finnish-Soviet war.

1945 - Charter establishing United Nations is signed in San Francisco, California, by 50 nations.

1948 - The Berlin airlift begins after the Soviets blockade West Berlin. The lift feeds two million Berliners for eleven months.

1960 - Madagascar proclaims its independence as the Malagasy Republic; British Somaliland becomes independent.

1962 - United States declares it will not support any attempt by Chinese nationalists on Formosa to land forces on the Chinese mainland.

1964 - The Roman Catholic Church and Spain’s government say they have reached basic agreement on proposed legislation to grant legal recognition and certain rights to Spain’s Protestants.

1989 - Hungary’s new Communist Party chief says his country is “breaking away from Stalinism.”

1990 - Nelson Mandela speaks before U.S. Congress, thanking it for imposing sanctions against South Africa and asking that sanctions be maintained until “irreversible” reforms are enacted.

1991 - Martial law is lifted in Kuwait and death sentences for 29 people convicted of collaborating with the Iraqis during their invasion of Kuwait are commuted to life imprisonment.

1995 - Six gunmen open fire on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s motorcade shortly after he arrives in Ethiopia, but Mubarak escapes unhurt.

1996 - Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd offers a $2.7 million reward for those responsible for a truck bomb that killed at least 19 Americans and wounded hundreds.

1997 - Attackers fire grenade at police in Northern Ireland in an apparent rebuff to a British offer of peace talks participation in exchange for a new IRA cease-fire.

1998 - U.S. President Bill Clinton opens a state visit to China in Tiananmen Square, where a protest movement for democracy was brutally suppressed nine years earlier.

1999 - Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta returns to East Timor, his place of birth, following 24 years in self-exile during which the country was occupied by Indonesia.

2000 - Scientists announce that the human genetic code has essentially been deciphered, a monumental achievement that opens a dramatic new frontier in medicine.

2006 - A suicide attacker rams his bomb-packed car into a Pakistani army checkpoint, killing at least five soldiers and wounding 10 in a northern extremist hotbed near the Afghan border.

2007 - Pope Benedict XVI changes the rules for electing popes, requiring that two-thirds of the cardinals in a conclave agree on the new pontiff, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II.

2008 - South Korea lifts its ban on U.S. beef imports, and President Lee Myung-bak urges the country to move past the dispute that has paralyzed his government with weeks of tumultuous protests.

2011 - Men riding motorcycles throw bombs into outdoor beer gardens in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people in attacks bearing striking similarities to others carried out by a radical Islamic sect in the region.

2013 — The Central Intelligence Agency begins shipping weapons to Jordan and plans to start arming groups of vetted Syrian rebels.

2014 — The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other European nations commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I and vow to preserve peace on the continent.

Today’s Birthdays:

George Morland, English artist (1763-1804); Bartolome Mitre, Argentine president (1821-1906); Baron William Homson Kelvin, English physicist (1824-1907); Pearl Buck, U.S. author (1892-1973); Peter Lorre, Hungarian actor (1904-1964); Chris Isaak, U.S. singer (1956--); Chris O’Donnell, actor (1970--); Patty Smyth, singer (1957--); Sean Hayes, U.S. actor (1970--).

Thought For Today:

When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps; when he says perhaps, he means no; when he says no, he is no diplomat — Anonymous.

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