TodayInHistory

Today is Saturday, July 18, the 200th day of 2020. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history

On July 18, 2013, Detroit, which was once the very symbol of American industrial might, became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, its finances ravaged and its neighborhoods hollowed out by a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing.

On this date

In 1863, during the Civil War, Union troops spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, made up of Black soldiers, charged Confederate-held Fort Wagner on Morris Island, S.C. The Confederates were able to repel the Northerners, who suffered heavy losses; the 54th’s commander, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, was among those who were killed.

In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.

In 1940, the Democratic National Convention at Chicago Stadium nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who was monitoring the proceedings at the White House) for an unprecedented third term in office; earlier in the day, Eleanor Roosevelt spoke to the convention, becoming the first presidential spouse to address such a gathering.

In 1944, Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by his country in World War II. American forces in France captured the Normandy town of St. Lo.

In 1964, nearly a week of rioting erupted in New York’s Harlem neighborhood following the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager, James Powell, two days earlier.

In 1969, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne, 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.

In 1984, gunman James Huberty opened fire at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.

In 1986, the world got its first look at the wreckage of the RMS Titanic resting on the ocean floor as videotape of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, was released by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

In 1994, a bomb hidden in a van destroyed a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 85. Tutsi rebels declared an end to Rwanda’s 14-week-old civil war.

In 2018, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Russia was continuing to use fake news, propaganda and covert operations to sow discord in the United States. European regulators fined Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company’s Android operating system to install Google’s search and browser apps.

Ten years ago

Pakistan and Afghanistan sealed a landmark trade deal in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who pushed the two neighbors to step up civilian cooperation and work together against al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Five years ago

Saudi Arabia announced it had broken up planned Islamic State attacks in the kingdom and arrested more than 400 suspects in an anti-terrorism sweep, a day after a powerful blast in neighboring Iraq killed more than 100 people in one of the country’s deadliest single attacks since U.S. troops pulled out in 2011.

One year ago

A man stormed into an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto, setting it on fire and leaving 34 people dead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said temperatures in June, worldwide, were the hottest on record for that month.

Today’s birthdays

Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 91.

Actor James Brolin is 80.

Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre is 80.

World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo is 63.

Actor Vin Diesel is 53.

Actress Kristen Bell is 40.

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