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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Saturday, May 18, the 138th day of 2019. There are 227 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept renounced 58 years later by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

On this date:

In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists. (On this date in 1765, one-quarter of Montreal was destroyed by a fire.)

In 1652, Rhode Island became the first American colony to pass a law abolishing African slavery; however, the law was apparently never enforced.

In 1781, Peruvian revolutionary Tupac Amaru II, 43, was forced to witness the execution of his relatives by the Spanish in the main plaza of Cuzco before being beheaded.

In 1863, the Siege of Vicksburg began during the Civil War, ending July 4 with a Union victory.

In 1920, Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) in Wadowice (vah-duh-VEET’-seh), Poland.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces occupied Monte Cassino in Italy after a four-month struggle with Axis troops.

In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran, 47, became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, California.

In 1967, Tennessee Gov. Buford Ellington signed a measure repealing the law against teaching evolution that was used to prosecute John T. Scopes in 1925.

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 1981, the New York Native, a gay newspaper, carried a story concerning rumors of “an exotic new disease” among homosexuals; it was the first published report about what came to be known as AIDS.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama urged Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu during a White House meeting to stop Jewish settlements and grasp a “historic opportunity” to make peace with the Palestinians.

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