Today is Monday, July 18, the 199th day of 2011. There are 166 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 18, 1811, English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, author of "Vanity Fair," was born in Calcutta, India.
On this date:
In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began.
In 1536, the English Parliament passed an act declaring the authority of the pope void in England.
In 1610, highly influential Italian baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio died in Porto Ercole at age 38.
In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.
In 1911, actor Hume Cronyn was born in London, Ontario, Canada.
In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In 1940, the Democratic national convention at Chicago Stadium nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office.
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 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard; his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne drowned.
In 1981, six weeks after being paroled from prison, Jack Henry Abbott, acclaimed for his book "In the Belly of the Beast," fatally stabbed waiter Richard Adan. (Abbott was convicted of manslaughter and sent back to prison; he later committed suicide.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, en route to an economic summit in Italy, stopped over in Britain as he began his second trip to Europe in a month.
Five years ago: The Senate voted after two days of emotional debate to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, sending the measure to President George W. Bush for a promised veto. A doctor and two nurses who'd labored at a flooded-out New Orleans hospital in Hurricane Katrina's chaotic aftermath were arrested and accused of killing four trapped and desperately ill patients with injections of morphine and sedatives. (A grand jury later declined to indict Dr. Anna Pou and the nurses.)
One year 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. A suicide bomber struck anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters waiting for paychecks southwest of Baghdad, killing 45. Gunmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd of mainly young people in a rented hall in Torreon, Mexico, killing 17 people. Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shot a 1-under 71 for a seven-stroke victory at 16-under 272 in the British Open.
Today's Birthdays: Former South African President Nelson Mandela is 93. Former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, is 90. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 82. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 73. Musician Brian Auger is 72. Singer Dion DiMucci is 72. Actor James Brolin is 71. Baseball executive Joe Torre is 71. Singer Martha Reeves is 70. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 70. Pop-rock musician Wally Bryson (The Raspberries) is 62. Country-rock singer Craig Fuller (Pure Prairie League) is 62. Actress Margo Martindale is 60. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 57. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 53. Actress Anne-Marie Johnson is 51. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 50. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 49. Rock musician Jack Irons is 49. Actor Vin Diesel is 44. Retired NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway is 40. Actor Eddie Matos is 39. MLB All-Star Torii Hunter is 36. Dance music singer-songwriter M.I.A. is 36. Rock musician Daron Malakian (System of a Down; Scars on Broadway) is 36. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (Eve 6) is 33. Movie director Jared Hess is 32. Actor Jason Weaver is 32. Actress Kristen Bell is 31. Rock singer Ryan Cabrera is 29. Christian-rock musician Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) is 28. Actor Chace Crawford is 26. Bluegrass musician Joe Dean Jr. (Dailey & Vincent) is 22.
Thought for Today: "Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries! what worthy man does not keep those in mind?" -- William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863).