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July 18, 2013

Today in History

PLATTSBURGH — Today is Thursday, July 18, the 199th day of 2013. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 18, 1863, during the Civil War, Union troops spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, made up of black soldiers, charged Confederate-held Fort Wagner on Morris Island, S.C. The Confederates were able to repel the Northerners, who suffered heavy losses; the 54th's commander, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, was among those who were killed.

On this date:

  • In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began.
  • In 1536, the English Parliament passed an act declaring the authority of the pope void in England.
  • In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.
  • In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.
  • In 1913, comedian Red Skelton was born in Vincennes, Ind.
  • In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • In 1940, the Democratic National Convention at Chicago Stadium nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office.
  • In 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.
  • 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), Calif., killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.
  • In 1988, Texas Treasurer Ann Richards, delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, skewered presumed Republican nominee George H.W. Bush as having been "born with a silver foot in his mouth."

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