By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Friday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2019. There are 74 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 18, 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.
On this date:
In 1648, Boston shoemakers were authorized to form a guild to protect their interests; it’s the first American labor organization on record.
In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).
In 1898, the American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U-S.
In 1912, black boxer Jack Johnson was arrested in Chicago, accused of violating the Mann Act because of his relationship with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron. (The case collapsed when Cameron refused to cooperate, but Johnson was later re-arrested and convicted on the testimony of a former mistress, Belle Schreiber.)
In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 84.
In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.
In 1961, the movie musical “West Side Story,” starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, premiered in New York, the film’s setting.
In 1962, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.
In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SY’-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, overriding President Richard Nixon’s veto.
In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum, 26, was taken off life support six days after shooting himself in the head with a pistol loaded with a blank cartridge on the set of his TV show “Cover Up.”
In 2001, CBS News announced that an employee in anchorman Dan Rather’s office had tested positive for skin anthrax.