TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, July 18, the 200th day of 2020. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 18, 2013, Detroit, which was once the very symbol of American industrial might, became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, its finances ravaged and its neighborhoods hollowed out by a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing.

On this date:

In 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.

In 1913, comedian Red Skelton was born in Vincennes, Ind.

In 1918, South African anti-apartheid leader and president Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo.

In 1940, the Democratic National Convention at Chicago Stadium nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who was monitoring the proceedings at the White House) for an unprecedented third term in office.

In 1944, American forces in France captured the Normandy town of St. Lo.

In 1964, nearly a week of rioting erupted in New York’s Harlem neighborhood following the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager, James Powell, two days earlier.

In 1969, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne, 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.

In 1986, the world got its first look at the wreckage of the RMS Titanic resting on the ocean floor as videotape of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, was released by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

In 2018, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Russia was continuing to use fake news, propaganda and covert operations to sow discord in the United States. European regulators fined Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company’s Android operating system to install Google’s search and browser apps.

Today’s Birthdays: Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 91. Olympic gold medal figure skater Tenley Albright is 85. Singer Dion DiMucci is 81. Actor James Brolin is 80. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre is 80. Singer Martha Reeves is 79. Business mogul Richard Branson is 70. Actress Margo Martindale is 69. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 66. Actress Audrey Landers is 64. World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo is 63. Talk show host-actress Wendy Williams is 56. Actor Vin Diesel is 53. Actor Grant Bowler is 52. Retired NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway is 49. Bluegrass musician Jesse Brock (The Gibson Brothers) is 48.