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This Day in History - July 18

Wednesday, July 18, 2012    

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Today's Highlights

1918: Former South African president and icon of the anti-apartheid struggle Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is born in Transkei, South Africa.

Other Events

1830: Uruguayan constitution sworn in.

1872: Britain introduces voting by secret ballot.

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

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.

1972: Egyptian government orders Soviet Union to withdraw military advisers stationed in Egypt.

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.

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.

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

2002: AJP 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.

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 allegedly raped her.

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 ran for cover amid a towering geyser of steam and flying rubble.

2011: Scotland Yard's assistant commissioner resigns, a day after his boss also quits, 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.

Today’s Birthdays

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

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