Today's History Trivia for August 18
1973 Texas Chain Saw Massacre According to the 1974 movie. Initially banned in several countries due to violence, the movie went on to gross $30 million in the U.S. market. It was produced for only $300,000. It set the stage for future slasher movies with its use of use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure. The film was based partly on Ed Gein, a murderer who robbed graves and made trophies and keepsakes from their body parts.
1963 First black to graduate from the University of Mississippi 3,000 troops had been used to put down riots when James Meredith entered 115-year-old university in 1962.
1920 19th Amendment Constitutional Amendment granting American women the right to vote is approved by Tennessee, providing the necessary two-thirds majority needed for ratification.
1873 First recorded climb of Mt. Whitney The second highest peak in the U.S. is reached by John Lucas, Charles Begole, and A.H. Johnson.
1872 First mail-order catalog A. Montgomery Ward issues his first catalog. It included a money-back guarantee.
1590 Lost Colony of Roanoke Sir John White returns to the colony to find all of the colonists missing. The only clue to their fate was the word "CROATOAN" carved on a post.
Today's Birthdays for August 18
1936 Robert Redford American actor, Oscar-winning director. He is the founder of the Sundance Film Festival and was the first man to appear on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal magazine. Film: Barefoot in the Park (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), All The President's Men (1976), and Ordinary People (1980, Best Director Oscar).
1905 Margaret Gorman d. 1995 American beauty contestant. She won the first Miss America Pageant (1921) at age 16. She is the youngest ever contestant winner. Her measurements were 30-25-32.
1970 Malcolm-Jamal Warner American actor. TV: The Cosby Show (Theo Huxtable).
1958 Madeleine Stowe American actress, co-star of The Last of the Mohicans (1992).
1952 Patrick Swayze d. 2009 American actor, dancer. He first danced professionally in Disneyland parades (1950). Film: Red Dawn (1984), Dirty Dancing (1987), and Ghost (1990).
1943 Martin Mull American actor. TV: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Garth Gimble) and Fernwood 2-Night (host - Garth Gimble's brother Barth).
1933 Roman Polanski Polish director. Film: Repulsion (1965), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), and Rosemary's Baby (1968). In 1977, he fled the U.S. while awaiting trial for raping a 13-year-old girl.
1920 Shelley Winters d. 2006 (Shirley Schrift), American Oscar-Emmy-winning actress. Film: A Place In the Sun (1951), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959, Oscar), A Patch of Blue (1965, Oscar), Bloody Mamma (1970, Ma Barker), and The Poseidon Adventure (1972). TV: Roseanne (Roseanne's grandmother).
1917 Caspar Weinberger d. 2006 American politician, secretary of health, education, and welfare (1973-75), secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. He was indicted in the Iran-contra affair but pardoned by President George H. Bush.
1834 Marshall Field d. 1906 American businessman. He founded the department store chain bearing his name. He died of pneumonia contracted while playing golf with Abraham Lincoln's son Todd. The quote "The customer is always right" is attributed to him.
1774 Meriwether Lewis d. 1809 American soldier, explorer, governor of Louisiana territory. With Clark he explored the American West (1804-06) establishing a route to the Pacific.
1587 Virginia Dare d. circa 1590 first child born in North America to English parents. She disappeared with the lost colonists of Roanoke.
Deaths for August 18
1823 André-Jacques Garnerin b. 1769 French balloonist, inventor of the frameless parachute. He made the first frameless parachute jump (1797). His parachute was an umbrella-like design of white canvas with a diameter of approximately 23 feet (7 m). Garnerin rode in a basket attached to the bottom of the parachute. The parachute and basket were suspended below a hot air balloon via a rope running through the center pole of the umbrella. At a height of approximately 3,000 feet (1,000 m) he severed the rope connecting his parachute to the balloon. The basket swung wildly during the descent, however, Garnerin emerged uninjured. He died when hit by a wooden beam while making one of his balloons.
1990 B.F. Skinner b. 1904 (Burrhus Frederic Skinner), American psychologist, pioneer in behaviorism. He worked on WWII Project Pigeon, which attempted to use pigeons for missile guidance systems.
1981 Anita Loos b. 1889 American author, playwright. Writings: Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1925) and But Gentleman Marry Brunettes (1928).
1952 Ralph Byrd b. 1909 American actor. Dick Tracy of the movies and TV series.
1940 Walter Percy Chrysler b. 1875 American auto executive, founder of the Chrysler Automobile Company.
1559 Paul IV b. 1476 (Gian Pietro Carafa), Italian religious leader, 223rd Pope (1555-59).
1503 Alexander VI b. 1431 (Rodrigo de Borja), Spanish-born religious leader, 214th Pope (1492-1503).
1276 Adrian V b. circa 1215 (Ottobuono de' Fieschi), Italian religious leader, 186th Pope (July - Aug. 1276). He died without having been ordained to the priesthood. His name is on the oldest extant piece of English statute law, the Statute of Marlborough of 1267, where the formal title mentions as a witness "the Lord Ottobon, at that time legate in England." In 1268 he issued a set of canons, which formed the basis of church law in England until the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.