This Day in History - July 18

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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Today is the 199th day of 2019. There are 166 days left in the eyar.


2003: Kobe Bryant, a player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), is charged with felony sexual assault. The charge stemmed from a July 1 report by a 19-year-old woman that Bryant had raped her.


64AD: Great fire of Rome begins.

1536: Pope's authority declared void in England.

1812: Britain, by Treaty of Orebro, joins Sweden and Russia against France.

1830: Uruguayan constitution sworn in.

1872: Britain introduces voting by secret ballot.

1923: British Matrimonial Causes Act gives women equality in divorce suits.

1925: The Druse, a relatively small Middle Eastern religious sect characterised by an eclectic system of doctrines, begin insurrection against French in Syria.

1947: US President Harry S Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act, putting the speaker of the House and Senate pro tem in line after the vice-president.

1962: None of the presidential candidates receives the one-third vote necessary for election in Peru. The decision moves to Congress, but military forces seize and overthrow the government.

1966: South Africa declares it will maintain control of South-West Africa, after the World Court dismisses lawsuit brought by black-ruled African states.

1969: Car driven by US Senator Edward M Kennedy plunges off bridge in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, and passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowns.

1990: Iraq warns OPEC members it views violations of group's production quotas as virtual acts of war, and accuses Kuwait of stealing its oil for the past decade.

1991: Yugoslavia's federal presidency decides to withdraw all troops from secessionist republic of Slovenia.

1993: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns and dissolves parliament, leading to general elections.

1994: Terrorists bomb a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 95.

1995: As word spreads that a “new” photo showing Russian President Boris Yeltsin in good health is actually three months old, he appears on television to assure Russians he is recovering from heart trouble.

1997: Police close half of the Caribbean island of Montserrat to keep residents away from areas most threatened by an erupting volcano.

1998: South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 80th birthday by marrying Graca Machel, widow of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique.

1999: India says it has ousted the intruders on its Kashmir frontier with Pakistan, ending the worst fighting between the countries since a 1971 war.

2000: Indonesia's military admits that some of its troops have taken sides in the long-running Christian-Muslim war in the Maluku islands.

2001: Workers bring much of Argentina's business activity to a halt with a nationwide strike prompted by government spending cuts.

2002: A J P Abdul Kalam, a scientist known as the father of India's nuclear missile programme, is elected as the nation's 12th president. Kalam, an ethnic Tamil, is the third Muslim to hold the post.

2004: An American accused of deserting the US Army and defecting to North Korea is hospitalised immediately after he arrives in Japan, putting himself within the reach of US authorities for the first time in 39 years.

2005: Lawmakers in Beirut approve motions to pardon Samir Geagea, a notorious anti-Syrian warlord serving a life term for killing a prime minister, and free nearly three dozen Muslim militants, some with alleged links to al-Qaeda.

2006: Nearly 300 striking doctors in Zimbabwe ignore government demands for them to return to hospital wards, deepening a crisis in the African nation's health system, which has seen qualified staff fleeing the country in droves for jobs that pay up to six times more abroad.

2007: An underground steam pipe explosion tears through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal, swallowing a tow truck and killing one person, as hundreds of others run for cover amid a towering geyser of steam and flying rubble.

2009: A top US envoy calls for patience in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear programmes, a day after Washington warned of aggressive sanctions unless the North returns to stalled disarmament talks.

2011: Scotland Yard's assistant commissioner resigns, a day after his boss also quit, and fresh investigations of possible police wrongdoing are launched in the phone-hacking scandal that has spread from Rupert Murdoch's media empire to the British prime minister's office.

2012: Rebels penetrate the heart of Syria's power elite, detonating a bomb inside a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus that kills three leaders of the regime, including President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law and the defence minister.

2013: Alexei Navalny, a charismatic and creative Russian opposition leader who exposed high-level corruption and mocked the Kremlin, is sentenced to five years in prison on charges of embezzlement in a verdict that set off street protests and drew condemnation from the West.


William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist (1811-1863); Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian politician and Nazi collaborator (1887-1945); Cronyn, Canadian actor (1911-2003); Nelson Mandela, South African president (1918- 2013); John Glenn, US astronaut (1921-2016); Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet (1933-2017); Ricky Skaggs, US country singer (1954- ); Vin Diesel, actor (1967- ); Kristen Bell, US actress (1980- )

— AP

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