[Daily article] June 18: 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état

A coup in Guatemala, launched on 18 June 1954, deposed the
democratically elected President Jacobo Árbenz (pictured in mural). The
result of a covert operation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), it ended the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944–54, a period of
representative democracy and liberal reform. The U.S. government was
motivated by a Cold War predisposition to assume Árbenz was a
communist, and by lobbying from the United Fruit Company for his
overthrow. The CIA, authorized in August 1953 by Dwight Eisenhower to
carry out the operation, armed, funded, and trained a force of 480 men
led by Carlos Castillo Armas. Most of the offensives of the invasion
force were repelled, but a heavy campaign of psychological warfare and
the possibility of a U.S. invasion intimidated the Guatemalan army,
which eventually refused to fight. Árbenz resigned on 27 June, and
Castillo Armas became president ten days later, the first in a series of
authoritarian rulers in the country. The coup was widely criticized
internationally, and contributed to long-lasting anti-U.S. sentiment in
Latin America.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


A fleet of about 200 Rus’ vessels sailed into the Bosporus and
started pillaging the suburbs of Constantinople.


Charles Darwin received a manuscript by fellow naturalist
Alfred Russel Wallace on natural selection, which prompted Darwin to
publish his theory of evolution.


British European Airways Flight 548 crashed near the town of
Staines less than three minutes after departing from London Heathrow
Airport, killing all 118 people aboard, the worst air accident in the


The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft to
be designed around stealth technology, made its first flight.


Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed crown prince of
Saudi Arabia.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the superfamily
Curculionoidea, many having a distinctive snout.
2. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the family Curculionidae
belonging to the superfamily Curculionoidea.
3. Any of several similar but more distantly related beetles such as the
biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum).
4. (figuratively, derogatory) A loathsome person.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  We are connected with some people and never meet others, but it
could easily have happened otherwise. Looking back over a lifetime, we
describe what happened as if it had a plan. To fully understand how
accidental and random life is — how vast the odds are against any
single event taking place — would be humbling.  
–Roger Ebert

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