Today in History: May 18

332 – Emperor Constantine the Great announced free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.

1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop took the oath of office and became the first Governor of Massachusetts.

1652 – Slavery in Rhode Island was abolished, although the law was not rigorously enforced.

1756 – The Seven Years’ War began when Great Britain declared war on France.

1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reached Parrtown (later called Saint John, New Brunswick), Canada, after leaving the United States.

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

1812 – John Bellingham was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.

1860 – 1860 United States presidential election: Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later became the United States Secretary of State.

1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg began.

1896 – The United States Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that the “separate but equal” doctrine was constitutional.

1897 – Paul Dukas’ symphonic scherzo “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (used in Disney’s Fantasia film) premiered  It was based on poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed which gave the President of the United States the power of conscription.

1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared in Venice, California.

1927 – The Bath School disaster: Forty-five people, including many children, were killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Bath Township, Michigan.

1933 – New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act which created the Tennessee Valley Authority.

1953 – Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1965 – Gene Roddenberry suggested 16 names for Star Trek Captain; they included Kirk.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 was launched.

1970 – The Beatles’ last released LP, “Let It Be”, was released in US.

1972 -Pop rock band Looking Glass released their single “Brandy”.

1974 – Novelty song “The Streak” by Ray Stevens hit #1.

1980 – Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington, United States which resulted in the deaths of 57 people and caused $3 billion in damage.

1985 – “One Night In Bangkok” by Murray Head hit #3.

1995 – “Braveheart”, directed by Mel Gibson and starring Mel Gibson and Sophie Marceau, premiered at the Seattle Film Festival (Best Picture 1996).

1999 – “Millennium”, the third studio album by the Backstreet Boys, was released.  It ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time with over 30 million copies sold.

2001 – DreamWorks Pictures “Shrek”, starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz in voice-over roles, debuted.

2005 – A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.

2018 – A school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas killed ten people.

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