Today's Highlight in History:
On May 18th, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.
On this date:
In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded.
In 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.
In 1896, the Supreme Court endorsed "separate but equal" racial segregation with its "Plessy versus Ferguson" decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later.
In 1897, a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel, "Dracula, or, The Un-dead," was staged in London.
In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, California; she reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.
In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created.
In 1951, the United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, New York, for its permanent home in Manhattan.
In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a North American F-86 Canadair over Rogers Dry Lake, California.
In 1969, astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard "Apollo Ten."
In 1980, in the South Korean city of Kwangju, townspeople and students began a nine-day uprising that was finally put down by troops.
Ten years ago: In the face of heated student protests, the trustees of all-women Mills College in Oakland, California, voted to rescind their earlier decision to admit men.
Five years ago: Triumphant Republicans pushed a historic budget through the House that they said would wring an unprecedented $1.4 trillion in savings from federal budgets over the next seven years. Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov was found dead at age 45. Actress Elizabeth Montgomery died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Georgette Smith, a Florida woman left paralyzed from the neck down after being shot by her elderly mother, won the right to be taken off life support. (Smith died the next day, shortly after being taken off a ventilator; her mother, Shirley Egan, was later acquitted of attempted murder.) Two Serb soldiers held as prisoners of war by the US military were turned over to Yugoslav authorities.
"Life is a joke that's just begun."
-- W.S. Gilbert, English librettist (1836-1911).