This Day in History – May 18, 2012

1302 – The weaver Peter de Coningk led a massacre of the Flemish oligarchs.

1642 – Montreal, Canada, was founded.

1643 – Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, was granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king’s will.

1652 – In Rhode Island, a law was passed that made slavery illegal in North America. It was the first law of its kind.

1792 – Russian troops invaded Poland.

1798 – The first Secretary of the U.S. Navy was appointed. He was Benjamin Stoddert.

1802 – Great Britain declared war on Napoleon’s France.

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor by the French Senate.

1828 – Battle of Las Piedras ended the conflict between Uruguay and Brazil.

1896 – The U.S. Supreme court upheld the "separate but equal" policy in the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with Brown vs. Board of Education.

1897 – A public reading of Bram Stoker’s new novel, "Dracula, or, The Un-dead," was performed in London.

1904 – Brigand Raizuli kidnapped American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.

1917 – The U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service act, which called up soldiers to fight in World War I.

1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, CA. She reappeared a month later with the claim that she had been kidnapped.

1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashed his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop. He was picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.

1933 – The Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

1934 – The U.S. Congress approved an act, known as the "Lindberg Act," that called for the death penalty in interstate kidnapping cases.

1942 – New York ended night baseball games for the duration of World War II.

1944 – Monte Cassino, Europe’s oldest Monastic house, was finally captured by the Allies in Italy.

1949 – Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America was incorporated.

1951 – The United Nations moved its headquarters to New York City.

1953 – The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.

1974 – India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.

1980 – Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. 57 people were killed and 3 billion in damage was done.

1983 – The U.S. Senate revised immigration laws and gave millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program.

1994 – Israel’s three decades of occupation in the Gaza Strip ended as Israeli troops completed their withdrawal and Palestinian authorities took over.

1998 – The U.S. federal government and 20 states filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., saying the computer software company had a "choke hold" on competitors which denied consumer choices by controlling 90% of the software market.

1998 – U.S. federal officials arrested more than 130 people and seized $35 million. This was the end to an investigation of money laundering being done by a dozen Mexican banks and two drug-smuggling cartels.

from On-This- Day.com

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