Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, July 18, the 199th day of 2015. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 18, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Presidential Succession Act which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.

On this date:

In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began, consuming most of the city for about a week. (Some blamed the fire on Emperor Nero, who in turn blamed Christians.)

In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.

In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.

In 1925, Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his autobiographical screed, “Mein Kampf (My Struggle).”

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1944, Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by his country in World War II. American forces in France captured the Normandy town of St. Lo.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and French Premier Edgar Faure met for a summit in Geneva.

In 1969, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne (koh-PEHK’-nee), 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. (Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.)

In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci received the first-ever perfect score of 10 with her routine on uneven parallel bars. (Comaneci would go on to receive six more 10s at Montreal.)

In 1984, gunman James Huberty opened fire at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Ysidro (ee-SEE’-droh), California, killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.

In 1989, actress Rebecca Schaeffer, 21, was shot to death at her Los Angeles home by obsessed fan Robert Bardo, who was later sentenced to life in prison.

In 1990, Dr. Karl Menninger, the dominant figure in American psychiatry for six decades, died in Topeka, Kansas, four days short of his 97th birthday.

Ten years ago: Hurricane Emily roared across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, ripping roofs off luxury hotels, stranding thousands of tourists and leaving hundreds of local residents homeless. An unrepentant Eric Rudolph was sentenced in Birmingham, Alabama, to life in prison for an abortion clinic bombing that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse. Retired Gen. William Westmoreland died in Charleston, South Carolina, at age 91. Veteran newsman Paul Duke died in Washington D.C. at age 78.

Five years ago: Pakistan and Afghanistan sealed a landmark trade deal in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who pushed the two neighbors to step up civilian cooperation and work together against al-Qaida and the Taliban. A suicide bomber struck anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters waiting for paychecks southwest of Baghdad, killing 45. Gunmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd of mainly young people in a rented hall in Torreon, Mexico, killing 17 people. Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zen) of South Africa shot a 1-under 71 for a seven-stroke victory at 16-under 272 in the British Open.

One year ago: The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting a day after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 with the loss of all 298 people on board, demanding that pro-Russia rebels who controlled the eastern Ukraine crash site give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators. The Obama administration announced it was reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, is 94. Conductor Kurt Masur is 88. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 86. Olympic gold medal figure skater Tenley Albright, M.D., is 80. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 77. Musician Brian Auger is 76. Singer Dion DiMucci is 76. Actor James Brolin is 75. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre is 75. Singer Martha Reeves is 74. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 74. Pop-rock musician Wally Bryson (The Raspberries) is 66. Country-rock singer Craig Fuller (Pure Prairie League) is 66. Actress Margo Martindale is 64. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 61. Actress Audrey Landers is 59. Golfer Nick Faldo is 58. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 57. Actress Anne-Marie Johnson is 55. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 54. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 53. Rock musician Jack Irons is 53. Actor Vin Diesel is 48. Actor Grant Bowler is 47. Retired NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway is 44. Alt-country singer Elizabeth Cook is 43. Actor Eddie Matos is 43. MLB All-Star Torii Hunter is 40. Dance music singer-songwriter M.I.A. is 40. Rock musician Daron Malakian (System of a Down; Scars on Broadway) is 40. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (Eve 6) is 37. Movie director Jared Hess is 36. Actor Jason Weaver is 36. Actress Kristen Bell is 35. Actor Michiel Huisman (MIHK’-heel HOWS’-man) is 34. Rock singer Ryan Cabrera is 33. Christian-rock musician Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) is 32. Actor Chace Crawford is 30. Musician Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers) is 29. Actor Travis Milne is 29. Bluegrass musician Joe Dean Jr. (Dailey & Vincent) is 26.

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