Today In History – August 18

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 18, 1587, Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born in present-day America, on what is now Roanoke Island in North Carolina. (However, the Roanoke colony ended up mysteriously disappearing.)

On this date:

In 1838, the first marine expedition sponsored by the U.S. government set sail from Hampton Roads, Virginia; the crews traveled the southern Pacific Ocean, gathering scientific information.

In 1846, during the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces led by Gen. Stephen W. Kearny occupied Santa Fe in present-day New Mexico.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued his Proclamation of Neutrality, aimed at keeping the United States out of World War I.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing all American women’s right to vote, was ratified as Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King dedicated the Thousand Islands Bridge connecting the United States and Canada.

In 1954, during the Eisenhower administration, Assistant Secretary of Labor James Ernest Wilkins became the first black official to attend a meeting of the president’s Cabinet as he sat in for Labor Secretary James P. Mitchell.

In 1963, James Meredith became the first black student to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York, wound to a close after three nights with a mid-morning set by Jimi Hendrix.

In 1976, two U.S. Army officers were killed in Korea’s demilitarized zone as a group of North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S. and South Korean soldiers.

In 1983, Hurricane Alicia slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 21 dead and causing more than a billion dollars’ worth of damage. The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Yankees, 5-4, in the completion of the “pine-tar” game in just 12 minutes.

In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush accepted the presidential nomination of the Republican National Convention in New Orleans.

In 1997, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the nation’s largest Lutheran body, voted for closer ties with three other major Protestant denominations: the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the Reformed Church in America.

Ten years ago: Alarmed tourists jammed Caribbean airports for flights out of Hurricane Dean’s path as the monster storm began sweeping past the Dominican Republic and Haiti. NASA, meanwhile, ordered space shuttle Endeavour back to Earth a day early out of fear Dean might disrupt flight operations. A seven-alarm fire ripped through an abandoned skyscraper next to ground zero in Lower Manhattan, killing two firefighters who responded to the blaze. Michael K. Deaver, a close adviser to President Ronald Reagan, died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 69.

Five years ago: Tropical Storm Helene quickly weakened into a tropical depression after moving ashore on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Diana Nyad launched her latest attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a wetsuit or a shark cage (she ended her bid three days later). Singer Scott McKenzie, 73, who performed “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: For the first time since declaring his presidential run, Republican Donald Trump offered an apology to those who might have been hurt by his caustic comments, saying he regretted some of what he had said “in the heat of debate.” Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced by a federal judge in New Orleans to more than 18 years in prison for drugging women in order to rape them – double the sentence recommended by prosecutors. At the Rio Games, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt completed an unprecedented third consecutive sweep of the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Retired Army Gen. John W. Vessey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died in North Oaks, Minnesota, at age 94.