UPI Almanac for Sunday, May 18, 2014

Abraham Lincoln nominated, the TVA created, Mount St. Helen's erupts … on this date in history.
By United Press International  |  May 18, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, May 18, the 138th day of 2014 with 227 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include Persian poet Omar Khayyam in 1048; Russian Czar Nicholas II in 1868; English philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell in 1872; German architect Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, in 1883; Italian operatic singer Ezio Pinza in 1892; film director Frank Capra ("It Happened One Night," "It's a Wonderful Life") in 1897; composer Meredith Willson ("The Music Man") in 1902; blues singer Big Joe Turner in 1911; singer Perry Como and director/screenwriter Richard Brooks ("Key Largo," "Elmer Gantry"), both in 1912; British ballet star Margot Fonteyn in 1919; Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, in 1920; actors Pernell Roberts in 1928 and Robert Morse in 1931 (age 83); Mad magazine cartoonist Don Martin in 1931; Baseball Hall of Fame members Brooks Robinson in 1937 (age 77) and Reggie Jackson in 1946 (age 68); British rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1949 (age 65); country singer George Strait in 1952 (age 62); and actors Chow Yun-Fat in 1955 (age 59) and Tina Fey in 1970 (age 44).

On this date in history:

In 1860, at its convention in Chicago, the Republican Party nominated Abraham Lincoln for U.S. president.

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision that determined "separate but equal" racial policies are constitutional.

In 1897, Bram Stoker published "Dracula."

In 1933, the U.S. Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority for flood control and rural electrification.

In 1944, Allied troops captured Monte Cassino in Italy after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II.

In 1979, a U.S. court jury in Oklahoma City awarded $10.5 million to the estate of Karen Silkwood, a laboratory technician contaminated by radiation at a Kerr-McGee plutonium plant in 1974.

In 1980, Mount St. Helen's in southwestern Washington state erupted, blowing the top off the mountain and killing at least 55 people.

In 1990, East and West Germany signed a treaty for economic, monetary and social union. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said the pact marked the "birth of a free and unified Germany."

In 1991, chemist Helen Sharman became the first Briton in space when she blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soviet spacecraft.

In 1992, bandleader Lawrence Welk, whose bubbly champagne dance music brought him wide popularity, died at age 89.

In 2004 sports, Randy Johnson, Arizona's 40-year-old left-hander, pitched a perfect game in a 2-0 win over Atlanta. He was the oldest major league pitcher to accomplish the feat.

In 2009, the Hubble Space Telescope was returned to orbit after astronauts finished five spacewalks in a mission to repair and refurbish the 19-year-old instrument.

In 2011, a USA Today-Gallup poll indicated 63 percent of voters said most members of Congress didn't deserve to be returned to office.

In 2012, Facebook Inc. had its first day of public trading.

In 2013, a car ran into a crowd during a festival in Damascus, Va., injuring up to 60 people.

A thought for the day: "Hugs can do great amounts of good, especially for children." -- Princess Diana

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