Today in History, June 16

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1980 - The High Court of Australia building in Canberra is opened by Queen Elizabeth II


1487 - The Battle of Stoke, the last great battle fought on English soil, brings an end to the War of the Roses between the houses of York and Lancaster.

1779 - Spain declares war on Britain, and siege of Gibraltar opens.

1869 - Charles Sturt, the English explorer who led several expeditions into the interior of Australia, dies.

1903 - Ford Motor Co is incorporated in the United States.

1917 - The First All-Russian Congress of the Soviets is convened.

1932 - A ban on Nazi storm troopers in Germany is lifted.

1941 - President Franklin D Roosevelt orders the closure by July 10 of all German consulates in the US.

1942 - HMAS Nestor is bombed and sunk in the Mediterranean north of Tobruk.

1943 - Comedian Charlie Chaplin, aged 54, marries his fourth wife, 18-year-old Oona O'Neill, daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill, in California.

1948 - The first plane hijacking takes place when Chinese bandits attempt to take over a flight from Macao to Hong Kong, causing the plane to crash; the bandit's leader is the sole survivor.

1961 - Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France while in Paris with the Kirov ballet.

1963 - The first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, is launched into orbit from a base in the Soviet Union.

1963 - Modern Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, resigns as prime minister.

1971 - The US Senate votes against a plan calling for a total American troop withdrawal from Vietnam by end of year.

1974 - The first Beer Can Regatta is held in Darwin's harbour.

1976 - Thousands of Soweto school children revolt against the South African government's plans to enforce Afrikaans as the language for instruction in black schools, setting off months of unrest in which 600 black people die.

1980 - The High Court of Australia building in Canberra is opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1992 - US President George Bush welcomes Russian President Boris Yeltsin to a Washington summit where they agree to slash strategic weapons arsenals by about two-thirds by 2003.

1995 - The world's seven richest industrial countries endorse the creation of an international bailout fund to rescue countries on the verge of bankruptcy.

1997 - The IRA kills two police officers in Northern Ireland, and in response the British government calls off all further contact with Sinn Fein, the IRA's political arm.

1999 - Amnesty International singles out the US for human rights abuses for the continued use of the death penalty, particularly against people who committed crimes before they were 18.

2008 - Hundreds of Taliban fighters take over several villages in southern Afghanistan just outside the region's largest city, and NATO and Afghan forces redeploy to meet the threat.

2009 - Declaring North Korea a "grave threat" to the world, President Barack Obama pledges the US and its allies will aggressively enforce fresh international penalties against the nuclear-armed nation.

2010 - Defying UN sanctions over its nuclear program, Iran promises to expand its atomic research.

2011 - Victoria's chief police commissioner Simon Overland resigns hours after the state ombudsman found he was responsible for releasing misleading crime statistics before the last state election.

2012 - Fairfax Media outlines a major restructure and redundancies for 1900 employees.

2014 - The commander of Iran's elite Quds Force helps Iraq's military and Shiite militias gear up to fight the Sunni Islamic State insurgents advancing across the country, a sign of Tehran's deepening involvement in Iraq.

2015 - A 21-year-old white gunman kills nine people during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

2016 - British MP Jo Cox dies in hospital after being shot in her constituency in northern England. The attack leaves the UK in shock and campaigning for the EU referendum a week later is suspended.

2018 - At least 17 people are killed in a stampede at a nightclub in Caracas, Venezuela.

2019 - The Korean film Parasite, about a lower-class family who con their way into a wealthy household, wins Sydney Film Festival's main award.

Today's Birthdays:

King Edward I of England (1239-1307); Geronimo, Apache Indian leader (1829-1909); King Gustavus V of Sweden (1858-1950); Stan Laurel, British comedian (1890-1965); Jean Peugeot, French car manufacturer (1896-1966); Charles Perkins, Australian Aboriginal activist and bureaucrat (1936-2000); Erich Segal, US author (1937-2010); Joyce Carol Oates, US author (1938-); Roberto Duran, Panamanian boxing champion (1951-); Peter Sterling, Australian rugby league footballer (1960-); Jan Zelezny, Czech javelin thrower (1966-); Jurgen Klopp, German soccer manager (1967-); Tupac Shakur, US rapper (1971-1996); Olivia Hack, US actress (1983-); Phil Mickelson, American golfer (1970-).

Quote from History:

"Whatever else may divide us, Europe is our common home; a common fate has linked us through the centuries, and it continues to link us today." - Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, in a speech in Bonn in 1981. On June 16, 1977, the Supreme Soviet elected Brezhnev to the post of Soviet head of state, to replace Nikolai Podgorny.