Today is Saturday, May 18, the 138th day of 2013. There are 227 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On May 18, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
On this date:
In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists.
In 1765, about one-fourth of Montreal was destroyed by a fire.
In 1863, the Siege of Vicksburg began during the Civil War, ending July 4 with a Union victory.
In 1896, the Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept renounced 58 years later in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
In 1910, Halley’s Comet passed by earth, brushing it with its tail.
In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif. (McPherson reappeared more than a month later, saying she’d escaped after being kidnapped and held for ransom.)
In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces finally occupied Monte Cassino in Italy after a four-month struggle with Axis troops.
In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.
In 1969, astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard Apollo 10 on a mission to orbit the moon.
In 1973, Harvard law professor Archibald Cox was appointed Watergate special prosecutor by U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson.
In 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.
In 1991, Helen Sharman became the first Briton to rocket into space as she flew aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft with two cosmonauts on an eight-day mission to the Mir space station.
Ten years ago: A Hamas suicide attacker disguised as an observant Jew killed seven Israeli bus passengers. 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.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush lectured the Arab world about everything from political repression to the denial of women’s rights in a speech at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheik. Kenny Chesney was named entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music for the fourth straight time. Russia won its first title at the world hockey championships since 1993 with a 5-4 win over Canada.
One year ago: Social network Facebook made its trading debut with one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in Wall Street history; however, by day’s end, Facebook stock closed up only 23 cents from its initial pricing of $38. In his first meeting with President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande declared he would withdraw all French combat troops from Afghanistan by year’s end. The Olympic flame arrived in Britain, the country hosting the 2012 Olympics.
Today’s birthdays: Actor Bill Macy is 91. Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Jack Whitaker is 89. Actor Robert Morse is 82. Actor Dwayne Hickman is 79. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson is 76. Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is 67. Actress Candice Azzara is 66. Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 65. Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 64. Actor James Stephens is 62. Country singer George Strait is 61. Singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 60. Actor Chow Yun-Fat is 58. Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton is 53. Christian musician Barry Graul (MercyMe) is 52. Contemporary Christian singer Michael Tait is 47. Singer-actress Martika is 44. Comedian-writer Tina Fey is 43. Rapper Special Ed is 39. Rock singer Jack Johnson is 38. Singer Darryl Allen (Mista) and actor Matt Long are 33. Actor Allen Leech (TV: “Downton Abbey”) is 32. Musician Kevin Huguley (Rush of Fools) is 31. Christian singer Francesca Battistelli is 28. Actor Spencer Breslin is 21.
Thought for today: “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” — Fred Astaire, American dancer-actor (1899-1987).