Today is Tuesday, May 18, the 138th day of 2021. There are 227 days left in the year.

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

In 1910, Halley’s Comet passed by earth, brushing it with its tail.

In 1927, in America’s deadliest school attack, part of a schoolhouse in Bath Township, Michigan, was blown up with explosives planted by local farmer Andrew Kehoe, who then set off a bomb in his truck; the attacks killed 38 children and six adults, including Kehoe, who’d earlier killed his wife. (Authorities said Kehoe, who suffered financial difficulties, was seeking revenge for losing a township clerk election.)

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Priscilla Pointer is 97. Actor Robert Morse is 90. Actor Dwayne Hickman is 87. Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is 83. Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 79. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is 75. Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 73. Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 72. Rock singer Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) is 71. Country singer George Strait is 69. Contemporary Christian musician Barry Graul (MercyMe) is 60. Comedian-writer Tina Fey is 51.

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