Today's History Trivia for July 18
U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy drives his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick island, Massachusetts. He swam to safety, his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in the car. He then spent the night in a hotel and reported the accident to police in the morning. He received a two-month suspended sentence and had his license suspended for leaving the scene of the accident.
1925 Hitler Publishes Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler, the future German leader, publishes Volume 1 of Mein Kampf. It described how Hitler became anti-Semitic and outlined his political ideology and future plans for Germany. He wrote while in prison for an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government. Volume 2 would be published the following year.
A.D. 64 The Great Fire of Rome Two-thirds of Rome was destroyed. Emperor Nero blamed an obscure Jewish sect, the Christians, for the fire. This began the Roman persecution of Christians. Legend has it Nero fiddled as it burned.
2006 Nein Means Nein! Video is released of German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacting violently when President Bush attempts to give her a sneak massage from behind.
1994 Oldest person to give birth A 62-year-old Italian woman, who became pregnant by embryo donation, gives birth to a 7-pound, 4-ounce boy.
1991 A couple is arrested after being videotaped through their bathroom window by a neighbor while having sex.
1984 McMurder 41-year-old James Oliver Huberty sets the record for killing by one man in a single day when he enters a San Diego McDonald's and kills 21 people and wounds 19 others before being killed by police.
1947 25th Amendment Pres. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act, designating the Speaker of the House and Senate pro tempore next in succession after the vice-president. It was ratified in 1967.
1938 Wrong-Way Corrigan He lands in Ireland after making a nonstop transatlantic flight from N.Y. without a permit. He claimed he had intended to fly to Los Angeles, but had followed the wrong end of his compass.
1870 The Doctrine of Papal Infallibility is proclaimed by the Vatican Council.
1863 Civil War - First African American to earn the Medal of Honor During the assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina, Sgt. William Harvey Carney, although wounded four times, struggled across the battlefield and retrieved the Union flag. For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. This battle is portrayed in the film Glory (1989).
Today's Birthdays for July 18
1921 John H. Glenn Jr d. 2016 American astronaut, U.S. Senator (1974-99, D-Ohio). He was the first American to orbit the Earth (1962), one of the original Mercury Seven test pilots selected to become America's first astronauts (1959). He was a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, with six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters to the Air Medal.
1918 Nelson Mandela d. 2013 South African President, Nobel-winning civil rights leader. He spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid. He and F.W. de Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. He also established the first black law partnership in South Africa.
1967 Vin Diesel (Mark Vincent), American actor. Film: Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Iron Giant (1999, voice of the Iron Giant), Pitch Black (2000), The Fast and the Furious (2001), and xXx (2002).
1961 Elizabeth McGovern American actress. Film: Ordinary People (1980).
1954 Ricky Skaggs American Grammy-winning country singer. Music: Crying My Heart Out Over You (1982, #1) and Country Music Association's 1985 Entertainer of the Year.
1950 Sir Richard Branson (Richard Charles Nicholas Branson), British billionaire, founder of the Virgin brand. He and Per Lindstrand were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon (1987).
1941 Martha Reeves American singer. Music: Dancing In The Street (1964, #2) and Jimmy Mack (1966).
1940 James Brolin American actor. TV: Marcus Welby, M.D (Dr. Steven Kiley).
Hunter S. Thompson
American journalist, creator of Gonzo journalism. Writings: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972) which was later made into the movie.
1930 Burt Kwouk d. 2016 British actor. Film: The Pink Panther (Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato) and Goldfinger (1964, Mr. Ling). Not Now Cato!
1929 Dick Button American world-champion figure skater, sportscaster. He pioneered the modern style of free skating. In 1948 he became the first U.S. athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
1922 Thomas S. Kuhn d. 1996 American science historian. His book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), was one of the most influential books in 20th-century social sciences, humanities, and philosophy.
1913 Red Skelton d. 1997 (Richard Skelton), American comedian, known for his trademark signoff, "Good night and may God bless, thank you." Quote: "All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner."
1911 Hume Cronyn d. 2003 Canadian Tony-winning actor, director. Film: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).
1909 Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko d. 1989 Soviet statesman, director of Soviet affairs with the West for nearly 50 years.
1902 Chill Wills d. 1978 American actor, voice of Francis the talking mule.
1890 Charles Erwin Wilson d. 1961 American engineer, president of General Motors (1941-53), designed the motor for the first electric automobile starter, and as U.S. Secretary of Defense (1953-57) stated, "…what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa."
1867 Margaret Tobin Brown d. 1932 American socialite. She was called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" after surviving the sinking of the Titanic (1912).
1811 William Makepeace Thackeray d. 1863 English novelist, Vanity Fair (1847-48) and Pendennis (1850). Quote: "I never knew whether to pity or congratulate a man on coming to his senses."
Deaths for July 18
1938 Marie b. 1875 Queen of Rumania (1922-38). She was the first reigning queen to visit the U.S. (1926).
2004 Émile Peynaud b. 1912 French winemaker, called "the forefather of modern winemaking." While controversial and anti-traditional, his methods generally produced superior wines.
1993 Jean Negulesco b. 1900 Rumanian film director. Film: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and Three Coins in a Fountain (1954).
1992 Rudolf Ising b. 1903 American cartoonist. Co-founder of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
1969 Mary Jo Kopechne b. 1940 American teacher, secretary. She drowned when Sen. Edward Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. See event.
1966 Bobby Fuller b. 1942 American singer, songwriter, formed The Bobby Fuller Four. Music: I Fought the Law (1966). He died in a mysterious car accident just as the group was taking off.
1899 Horatio Alger Jr b. 1832 American boy's author. His characters overcame adversity hard work, determination, courage, and honesty.
1868 Emanuel Leutze b. 1816 German-born American painter, Washington Crossing the Delaware, Washington at Monmouth, and Columbus before the Queen.
1817 Jane Austen b. 1775 English novelist. Writings: Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Persuasion (1818).
1792 John Paul Jones b. 1747 Scottish-born American naval officer. He is known for his famous proclamation, "I have not yet begun to fight."