TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, May 18, the 138th day of 2022. There are 227 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

On this date:

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 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.

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 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.

In 1998, the U.S. government filed an antitrust case against Microsoft, saying the powerful software company had a “choke hold” on competitors that was denying consumers important choices about how they bought and used computers. (The Justice Department and Microsoft reached a settlement in 2001.)

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is 84. Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 80. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is 76. Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 74. Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 73. Rock singer Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) is 72. Country singer George Strait is 70. Comedian-writer Tina Fey is 52. Actor Spencer Breslin is 30.