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Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Today is Tuesday, May 18th.

The 139th day of 2004.

There are 227 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On May 18, 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.


On this date:

In 1642, The Canadian city of Montreal was founded.

In 1652, The Rhode Island Colony enacts the first American law declaring slavery illegal.

In 1852, The state of Massachusetts passed a law requiring all school age children to attend school.

In 1896, The Supreme Court endorsed "separate but equal" racial segregation with its Plessy v. Ferguson decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

In 1897, Producer/Director Frank Capra was born in Sicily. He died September 3, 1991 at the age of 94.

In 1904, American statesman Jacob K. Javits was born in New York.

In 1914, The "Mariner" became the first steamboat with cargo to pass through the Panama Canal.

In 1926, Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif.; she reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.

In 1933, The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was created.

In 1942, New York ended night baseball games for the duration of World War II.

In 1944, During World War II, Allied forces finally occupied Monte Cassino in Italy after a four-month struggle that claimed some 20,000 lives.

In 1951, The United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y., for its permanent home in Manhattan.

In 1953, The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California on this day, at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.

In 1963, The Beatles began their first headlining tour at the Grenada Theatre in Slough, England.

In 1964, The Supreme Court rules unconstitutional a federal statute depriving naturalized citizens of U.S. citizenship if they return to the land of their birth for three years.

In 1965, WTAF TV channel 29 in Philadelphia PA (IND) begins broadcasting

In 1967, Tennessee Gov. Ellington repeals the "Monkey Law", upheld in the Scopes Trial in 1925.

In 1969, Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard Apollo 10.

In 1974, India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.

In 1979, A federal jury in Oklahoma City awarded $10.5 million to the estate of Karen Silkwood, a laboratory technician contaminated by radiation at a Kerr-McGee plutonium plant in 1974. Silkwood herself couldn't collect. She died in a hit-and-run automobile accident while on her way to give information about the plant to a newspaper reporter.

In 1980, The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state, dormant for over 100 years, exploded, 500 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. The blast took 1,300 feet off the top of the mountain and left 57 people dead or missing.

In 1995, Actress Elizabeth Montgomery died at the age of 62. She was born in Los Angeles on April 15, 1933.

In 1998, The final episode of "Murphy Brown" aired on CBS.

Ten years ago (1994):

Israeli troops completed their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as Palestinian authorities took over.

Five years ago (1999):

Georgette Smith, a Florida woman left paralyzed from the neck down after being shot by her elderly mother, won the right to be taken off life support. (Smith died the next day, shortly after being taken off a ventilator; her mother, Shirley Egan, was later acquitted of attempted murder.)

Two Serb soldiers held as prisoners of war by the U.S. military were turned over to Yugoslav authorities.

One year ago (2003):

A Hamas suicide attacker disguised as an observant Jew killed seven Israeli bus passengers.

Belgian voters give Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's coalition of socialists and liberals another four years in office.

Pope John Paul II celebrated his 83rd birthday with an open-air Mass and requests for prayers so he could continue his papacy.

"Les Miserables" closed on Broadway after more than 16 years and 6,680 performances.


Today's Birthdays:

Pope John Paul II (Ckarol Wojtyla) is 84.

Actor Bill Macy is 82.

Sportscaster Jack Whitaker is 80.

Actor Pernell Roberts is 74.

Actor Robert Morse is 73.

Actor and television executive Dwayne Hickman is 70.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson is 67.

Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 62.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is 58.

Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 56.

Actress Candice Azzara is 55.

Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 55.

Actor James Stephens is 53.

Country singer George Strait is 52.

Rhythm and blues singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 51.

Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton is 44.

Singer-actress Martika is 35.

Comedian-writer Tina Fey ("Saturday Night Live") is 34.

Rapper Special Ed is 30.

Rhythm and blues singer Darryl Allen (Mista) is 24.

Actor Spencer Breslin is 12.


Thought for Today:

"Life is a joke that's just begun." -

- W.S. Gilbert, English librettist (1836-1911).