Today is Tuesday, May 18, the 138th day of 2021 with 227 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury 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 in 1897; blues singer Big Joe Turner in 1911; singer Perry Como in 1912; director/screenwriter Richard Brooks in 1912; British ballet star Margot Fonteyn in 1919; Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, in 1920; actor Robert Morse in 1931 (age 90); Mad magazine cartoonist Don Martin in 1931; Baseball Hall of Fame member Brooks Robinson in 1937 (age 84) baseball Hall of Fame member Reggie Jackson in 1946 (age 75); British rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1949 (age 72); country singer George Strait in 1952 (age 69); actor Chow Yun-Fat in 1955 (age 66); artist Ai Weiwei in 1957 (age 64); actor Tina Fey in 1970 (age 51); singer/songwriter Jack Johnson in 1975 (age 46); actor Violett Beane in 1996 (age 25); Russian Olympic gold medal figure skater Alina Zagitova 2002 (age 19).
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 1927, the legendary Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in Hollywood with the premiere of The King of Kings. The iconic theater -- a favorite for major studio openings -- was renamed the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2013.
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 1969, Apollo 10 blasted off into space to perform a test run of what would become the Apollo 11 moon landing, coming to within 51,200 feet of the moon's surface. The mission also sent back the first televised color images of earth.
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 2018, 10 people -- eight students and two teachers -- died after a fellow student opened fire at Santa Fe High School, near Houston.
In 2020, Japan slipped into a recession after its economy sank for a second-straight quarter, making it the strongest economy to see its productivity greatly decline amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A thought for the day: "Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open." -- former U.S. first lady Laura Bush