updated 5/18/2007 12:09:11 AM ET 2007-05-18T04:09:11

Today is Friday, May 18, the 138th day of 2007. There are 227 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation with its Plessy v. Ferguson decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

On this date:
In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded.

In 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.

In 1920, Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.

In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif.; she reappeared more than a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.

In 1927, a schoolhouse in Bath, Mich., was blown up with explosives planted by local farmer Andrew Kehoe, who then set off a dynamite-laden automobile; the attacks killed 38 children and six adults, including Kehoe, who had earlier killed his wife.

In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a North American F-86 Canadair over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.

In 1967, Tennessee Gov. Buford Ellington signed a measure repealing the law against teaching evolution that was used to prosecute John T. Scopes in 1925.

In 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

In 1982, a jury in New York City convicted the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder and leader of the Unification Church, of tax evasion and conspiracy. (Moon served 13 months in prison.)

Ten years ago: President Clinton announced creation of a research center at the National Institutes of Health devoted to the goal of developing an AIDS vaccine within the next decade. The 50th Cannes Film Festival awarded Golden Palms to Japanese director Shohei Imamura for “The Eel” and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami for “The Taste of Cherry.”

Five years ago: India and Pakistan exchanged fire across their shared border, renewing fears the countries were on the brink of nuclear war over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. War Emblem won the Preakness Stakes, setting up a shot at the Triple Crown. (However, War Emblem came up short at the Belmont Stakes, which was won by long shot Sarava.)

One year ago: Visiting one of the busiest crossing sectors between the U.S. and Mexico, President Bush said in Yuma, Ariz., that it made sense to put up fencing along parts of the border but not to block off the entire 2,000 mile length to keep out illegal immigrants.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bill Macy is 85. Sportscaster Jack Whitaker is 83. Actor Robert Morse is 76. Actor and television executive Dwayne Hickman is 73. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson is 70. Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 65. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is 61. Actress Candice Azzara is 60. Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 59. Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 58. Actor James Stephens is 56. Country singer George Strait is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 54. Actor Chow Yun-Fat is 52. Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton is 47. Contemporary Christian musician Barry Graul (MercyMe) is 46. Singer-actress Martika is 38. Comedian-writer Tina Fey is 37. Rapper Special Ed is 33. Rock singer Jack Johnson is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Allen (Mista) is 27. Actor Matt Long is 27. Actor Spencer Breslin is 15.

Thought for Today: “Committee — a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done.” — Fred Allen, comedian (1894-1956).

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