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This Day in History: July 18


1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Fort Wagner: One of the first formal African American military units, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, supported by several white regiments, attempts an unsuccessful assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.

1914 – The U.S. Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving official status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.

1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes his personal manifesto Mein Kampf.

1942 – World War II: The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 using its jet engines for the first time.

1944 – World War II: Hideki Tōjō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan because of numerous setbacks in the war effort.

1966 – Human spaceflight: Gemini 10 is launched from Cape Kennedy on a 70-hour mission that includes docking with an orbiting Agena target vehicle.

1968 – Intel is founded in Mountain View, California.

1969 – After a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts drives his car off a bridge and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, dies.

1976 – Nadia Comăneci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

1984 – McDonald's massacre in San Ysidro, California: In a fast-food restaurant, James Oliver Huberty opens fire, killing 21 people and injuring 19 others before being shot dead by police.

1986 – A tornado is broadcast live on KARE television in Minnesota when the station's helicopter pilot makes a chance encounter.

1995 – Dreaming of You by Selena, is released posthumously, became the best-selling Latin album in the United States.

2013 – The Government of Detroit, with up to $20 billion in debt, files for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.


1867 – Margaret “Molly” Brown, American philanthropist and activist (d. 1932)

1886 – Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., American general (d. 1945)

1895 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (d. 1954)

1909 – Harriet Nelson, American singer and actress (d. 1994)

1921 – John Glenn, American colonel, astronaut, and politician

1929 – Dick Button, American figure skater and actor

1929 – Screamin' Jay Hawkins, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (d. 2000)

1935 – Tenley Albright, American figure skater and physician

1937 – Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (d. 2005)

1941 – Martha Reeves, American singer, actress, and politician

1947 – Steve Forbes, American publisher and politician

1966 – Dan O'Brien, American decathlete and coach

1975 – Torii Hunter, American baseball player



1792 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American admiral and diplomat (b. 1747)

1863 – Robert Gould Shaw, American colonel (b. 1837)

1899 – Horatio Alger, Jr., American novelist and journalist (b. 1832)

1954 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (b. 1900)

1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne, American educator and secretary (b. 1940)

1990 – Karl Menninger, American psychiatrist and author (b. 1896)

1997 – Eugene Merle Shoemaker, American geologist and astronomer (b. 1928)

2005 – William Westmoreland, American general (b. 1914)