Today is Friday, May 18, the 138th day of 2018 with 227 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.
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/mathematician Bertrand Russell in 1872; film director Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life) in 1897; blues singer Big Joe Turner in 1911; singer Perry Como in 1912; director/screenwriter Richard Brooks (Key Largo) in 1912; British ballet star Margot Fonteyn in 1919; Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, in 1920; actor Robert Morse in 1931 (age 87); Mad magazine cartoonist Don Martin in 1931; Baseball Hall of Fame member Brooks Robinson in 1937 (age 81) baseball Hall of Fame member Reggie Jackson in 1946 (age 72); British rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1949 (age 69); country singer George Strait in 1952 (age 66); actor Chow Yun-Fat in 1955 (age 63); actor Tina Fey in 1970 (age 48); singer-songwriter Jack Johnson in 1975 (age 43); Russian Olympic gold medal figure skater Alina Zagitova 2002 (age 17).
On this date in history:
In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision that determined "separate but equal" racial policies are constitutional.
In 1917, President Wilson signed the Selective Service Act of 1917 by which the United States raised an army for service in Europe during World War I.
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 1980, Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington state erupted, blowing the top off the mountain and killing 57 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 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 2012, Facebook Inc. had its first day of public trading.
In 2014, AT&T announced it agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion. The purchase went through in July 2015.
A thought for the day: "Hugs can do great amounts of good, especially for children." -- Princess Diana