This day in history

Today is Tuesday, July 18, the 199th day of 2017. There are 166 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 88. Olympic gold medal figure skater Tenley Albright is 82. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 79. Musician Brian Auger is 78. Actor James Brolin is 77. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre is 77. Singer Martha Reeves is 76. Virgin company founder Richard Branson is 67. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 63. Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo is 60. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 56. Actor Vin Diesel is 50. MLB All-Star Torii Hunter is 42. Singer-songwriter M.I.A. is 42.

In 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.)


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

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In 1927, Ty Cobb had his 4,000th base hit during a game between the Philadelphia Athletics (his new team) and the Detroit Tigers (his old one) at Navin Field.

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

In 1969, Senator Edward M. Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick Island 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 1976, 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, competing at the Montreal Olympics, received the first-ever perfect score of 10 with her routine on uneven parallel bars. (Comaneci would receive six more 10s in Montreal.)


In 1984, gunman James Huberty opened fire at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people before being shot dead by police.

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

In 2012, rebels penetrated the heart of Syria’s power elite, detonating a bomb inside a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus that killed three leaders of the regime, including President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law and the defense minister.

Last year, Republicans opened their national convention in Cleveland as they prepared to nominate Donald Trump for president.