Thursday July 18, 2002

Today’s Highlight in History: 


On July 18, 1947, President Truman signed the 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. 

On this date: 

In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began. 

In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45. 

In 1927, Ty Cobb hit safely for the 4,000th time in his career. 

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. 

In 1940, the Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office. 

In 1944, Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by his country in World War II. 

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard; passenger Mary Jo Kopechne died. 

In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people before he was shot dead by police. 

In 1984, Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco. 

Ten years ago: Britain’s opposition Labor Party chose John Smith as its leader to replace Neil Kinnock. 

Five years ago: German businessman Thomas Kramer was slapped with a record $323,000 penalty by the Federal Election Commission for making illegal U.S. political contributions. All key systems on the Russian space station Mir returned to near-normal, about 24 hours after the already disabled spacecraft lost power. 

One year ago: President Bush, en route to an economic summit in Italy, stopped over in Britain as he began his second trip to Europe in a month. 

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Hume Cronyn is 91. Former South African President Nelson Mandela is 84. Former Sen. John Glenn, an Ohio Democrat, is 81. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 73. Author-journalist Hunter S. Thompson is 65. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 64. Singer Brian Auger is 63. Singer Dion DiMucci is 63. Actor James Brolin is 62. Singer Martha Reeves is 61. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 61. Actor Kurt Mann is 55. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 48. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 44. Actress Audrey Landers is 43. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 41. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 40. Rock musician Jack Irons (Pearl Jam) is 40. Actor Vin Diesel is 35. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (Eve 6) is 24. Actor Jason Weaver is 23.