Today in History: May 18

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UNDATED (AP) Thursday, May 18, is the 138th day of 2017. There are 227 days left in the year.

  • Highlight in History:
    • On May 18, 1927, in America’s deadliest school attack, part of a schoolhouse in Bath Township, Michigan, was blown up with explosives planted by local farmer Andrew Kehoe, who then set off a bomb in his truck; the attacks killed 38 children and six adults, including Kehoe, who’d earlier killed his wife. (Authorities said Kehoe, who suffered financial difficulties, was seeking revenge for losing a township clerk election.)
  • 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 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 1897, a public reading of Bram Stoker’s new horror novel, Dracula, was staged in London.
    • In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, California. (McPherson reappeared more than a month later, saying she’d escaped after being kidnapped and held for ransom, an account that was greeted with skepticism.)
    • 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 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 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:
    • The Bush administration and Congress failed to strike a deal after exchanging competing offers on an Iraq war spending bill that Democrats said should set a date for U.S. troops to leave.
    • New French President Nicolas Sarkozy named a radically revamped cabinet which included seven women among its 15 members.
  • Five years 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.
    • Renowned German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, 86, died in Starnberg.
  • One year ago:
    • In an unusual move, Republican candidate Donald Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he would consider if elected president (not included was Trump’s eventual first pick for the nation’s highest bench, Neil Gorsuch).
    • A judge in Ottawa, Kansas, sentenced a man to death for the killing of two men, a woman and her 18-month-old daughter on a farm in 2013.
  • Birthdays:
    • Actor Bill Macy is 95.
    • Actress Priscilla Pointer is 93.
    • Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Jack Whitaker is 93.
    • Actor Robert Morse is 86.
    • Actor Dwayne Hickman is 83.
    • Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is 80.
    • Actress Candice Azzara is 76.
    • Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 75.
    • Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is 71.
    • Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 69.
    • Jazz pianist/composer/conductor Jim McNeely is 68.
    • Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 68.
    • Rock singer Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) is 67.
    • Actor James Stephens is 66.
    • Country singer George Strait is 65.
    • Rhythm-and-blues singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 64.
    • Actor Chow Yun-Fat is 62.
    • Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton is 57.
    • Contemporary Christian musician Barry Graul (MercyMe) is 56.
    • Contemporary Christian singer Michael Tait is 51.
    • Singer-actress Martika is 48.
    • Comedian-writer Tina Fey is 47.
    • Rapper Special Ed is 43.
    • Rock singer Jack Johnson is 42.
    • Country singer David Nail is 38.
    • Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Allen (Mista) is 37.
    • Actor Matt Long is 37.
    • Jazz vibraphonist Christian Tamburr is 37.
    • Actor Allen Leech is 36.
    • Christian-rock musician Kevin Huguley (Rush of Fools) is 35.
    • Christian singer Francesca Battistelli is 32.
    • Actor Spencer Breslin is 25.
    • Actress Hala Finley (TV: Man With a Plan) is 8.
  • Thought for the day:
    • “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” — Fred Astaire, American dancer-actor (1899-1987).
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