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July 18, 2013

Today in History for Thursday, July 18, 2013

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

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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