Today in History: May 18

A view of Place Jacques Cartier in Montreal from the old harbor, in Montreal, Canada, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists. In this 2013 photo is a view of Place Jacques Cartier in Montreal from the old harbor. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (AP/Luca Bruno)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Norris-Hill Bill to develop the Tennessee Valley, May 18, 1933.  From left:  Sen. Ellison D. Smith of South Carolina; Rep. John J. McSwain of South Carolina; Sen. Kenneth D. McKellar of Tennessee; Rep. Samuel Davis McReynolds of Tennessee; Reps. Miles C. Allgood, William Bacon Oliver and Lister Hill, all of Alabama; Sen. George William Norris of Nebraska; and looking over his shoulder is Rep. Edward B. Almon, whose district is Muscle Shoals.  (AP Photo)
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Tennessee Valley Authority. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Jacqueline Cochran stands in front of the Canadian-built F-86 Sabre jet, in which she became the first woman to break the sound barrier, at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca., May 19, 1953. Cochran made history on May 18, flying at a speed of 625.5 miles per hour.  (AP Photo)
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 this photo, taken a day after, Cochran stands in front of the jet she flew, flying at a speed of 625.5 miles per hour. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Volcanic ash and steam rises from Mount St. Helens, Wash., as it erupted, May 18, 1980. (AP Photo)
In 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing. In this photo, volcanic ash and steam rises from Mount St. Helens as it erupted. (AP Photo) (AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 20, 1973 file photo, Archibald Cox speaks at a news conference in Washington. Comparisons to the Nixon-era "Saturday night massacre" were swift after President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigrants and refugees. In both cases, a dispute between a president and his Justice Department led to an evening maneuver by the president to install an acting attorney general more to his liking. (AP Photo/John Duricka, File)
In 1973, Harvard law professor Archibald Cox was appointed Watergate special prosecutor by U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson. FILE – In this Oct. 20, 1973 file photo, Archibald Cox speaks at a news conference in Washington. Comparisons to the Nixon-era “Saturday night massacre” were swift after President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigrants and refugees. In both cases, a dispute between a president and his Justice Department led to an evening maneuver by the president to install an acting attorney general more to his liking. (AP Photo/John Duricka, File)
Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu
In 2009,  President Barack Obama urged Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu during a White House meeting to stop Jewish settlements and grasp a “historic opportunity” to make peace with the Palestinians. FILE – In this May 18, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. For six years, Obama and Netanyahu have been on a collision course over how to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a high-stakes endeavor both men see as a centerpiece of their legacies. The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) (AP)
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A view of Place Jacques Cartier in Montreal from the old harbor, in Montreal, Canada, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Norris-Hill Bill to develop the Tennessee Valley, May 18, 1933.  From left:  Sen. Ellison D. Smith of South Carolina; Rep. John J. McSwain of South Carolina; Sen. Kenneth D. McKellar of Tennessee; Rep. Samuel Davis McReynolds of Tennessee; Reps. Miles C. Allgood, William Bacon Oliver and Lister Hill, all of Alabama; Sen. George William Norris of Nebraska; and looking over his shoulder is Rep. Edward B. Almon, whose district is Muscle Shoals.  (AP Photo)
Jacqueline Cochran stands in front of the Canadian-built F-86 Sabre jet, in which she became the first woman to break the sound barrier, at Edwards Air Force Base, Ca., May 19, 1953. Cochran made history on May 18, flying at a speed of 625.5 miles per hour.  (AP Photo)
Volcanic ash and steam rises from Mount St. Helens, Wash., as it erupted, May 18, 1980. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Oct. 20, 1973 file photo, Archibald Cox speaks at a news conference in Washington. Comparisons to the Nixon-era "Saturday night massacre" were swift after President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigrants and refugees. In both cases, a dispute between a president and his Justice Department led to an evening maneuver by the president to install an acting attorney general more to his liking. (AP Photo/John Duricka, File)
Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu

Today is Saturday, May 18, the 138th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept renounced 58 years later by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

On this date:

In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists. (On this date in 1765, one-quarter of Montreal was destroyed by a fire.)

In 1652, Rhode Island became the first American colony to pass a law abolishing African slavery; however, the law was apparently never enforced.

In 1781, Peruvian revolutionary Tupac Amaru II, 43, was forced to witness the execution of his relatives by the Spanish in the main plaza of Cuzco before being beheaded.

In 1863, the Siege of Vicksburg began during the Civil War, ending July 4 with a Union victory.

In 1920, Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) in Wadowice (vah-duh-VEET’-seh), Poland.

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, 47, 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 1981, the New York Native, a gay newspaper, carried a story concerning rumors of “an exotic new disease” among homosexuals; it was the first published report about what came to be known as AIDS.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama urged Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu during a White House meeting to stop Jewish settlements and grasp a “historic opportunity” to make peace with the Palestinians. Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial, charged with violating conditions of her years-long detention by sheltering an American man, John Yettaw, who swam to her lakeside home. (Suu Kyi, who would become the country’s leader, was convicted and sentenced to three years of hard labor; the sentence was commuted to 18 months of house arrest. Yettaw was sentenced to seven years in prison but released on humanitarian grounds.) Spacewalking astronauts finished repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Five years ago: AT&T Inc. agreed to buy satellite TV provider DirecTV for $48.5 billion, or $95 per share. (The deal was completed in 2015.) Singer Jerry Vale, 83, died in Palm Desert, California. Cinematographer Gordon Willis (”The Godfather,” `’Annie Hall” and “All the President’s Men”) died on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at age 82.

One year ago: A 17-year-old armed with a shotgun and a pistol opened fire at a Houston-area high school, killing eight students and two teachers. (Dimitrios Pagourtzis is charged in state court with capital murder; his attorney says he is facing 11 federal charges.) A 39-year-old airliner crashed and burned in a field just after taking off from Havana, Cuba, killing 112 people. President Donald Trump said he would nominate acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to permanently lead the department. (Wilkie was confirmed by the Senate in July.) Hasbro announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office had issued a trademark for the scent of Play-doh.

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© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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