updated 7/18/2006 12:03:25 AM ET 2006-07-18T04:03:25

Today is Tuesday, July 18, the 199th day of 2006. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 18, 1947, President Truman signed the 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.

On this date:
In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began.

In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.

In 1906, American playwright Clifford Odets was born in Philadelphia.

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began.

In 1940, the Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated President Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term in office.

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard; passenger Mary Jo Kopechne died.

In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people before being shot dead by police.

In 1984, Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.

In 1986, the world got its first look at the remains of the Titanic as videotapes of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, were released by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Ten years ago: Recovery efforts continued off Long Island, N.Y., for the bodies of the 230 people who died in the fiery crash of TWA Flight 800; President Clinton, meanwhile, urged Americans not to immediately assume the crash was the work of terrorists.

Five years ago: President Bush, en route to an economic summit in Italy, stopped over in Britain as he began his second trip to Europe in a month.

One year ago: Hurricane Emily roared across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, ripping roofs off luxury hotels, stranding thousands of tourists and leaving hundreds of local residents homeless. An unrepentant Eric Rudolph was sentenced in Birmingham, Ala., to life in prison for an abortion clinic bombing that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse. Retired Gen. William Westmoreland died in Charleston, S.C., at age 91. Veteran newsman Paul Duke died at age 78.

Today’s Birthdays: Former South African President Nelson Mandela is 88. Former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, is 85. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 77. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 68. Singer Brian Auger is 67. Singer Dion DiMucci is 67. Actor James Brolin is 66. Singer Martha Reeves is 65. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 65. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 52. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 48. Actress Anne-Marie Johnson is 46. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 45. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 44. Rock musician Jack Irons (Pearl Jam) is 44. Actor Vin Diesel is 39. Rock musician Daron Malakian (System of a Down) is 31. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (Eve 6) is 28. Actor Jason Weaver is 27. Actress Kristen Bell is 26. Rock singer Ryan Cabrera is 24.

Thought for Today: “Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.” — George Santayana, American philosopher (1863-1952).

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