Almanac

Today is Friday, July 18, the 199th day of 2014. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 18, A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began, consuming most of the city for about a week. (Some blamed the fire on Emperor Nero, who in turn blamed Christians.)

On this date:

In 1536, the English Parliament passed an act declaring the authority of the pope void in England.

In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.

In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

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 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Presidential Succession Act which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.

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 (koh-PEHK’-nee), 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. (Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.)

In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci received the first-ever perfect score of 10 with her routine on uneven parallel bars. (Comaneci would go on to receive six more 10s at Montreal.)

Thought for Today: “Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.” – George Santayana, American philosopher