updated 7/18/2005 12:00:56 AM ET 2005-07-18T04:00:56

Today is Monday, July 18, the 199th day of 2005. 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 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 1955, a summit opened in Geneva, Switzerland, attended by President Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and French Premier Edgar Faure.

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 1994, Tutsi rebels declared an end to Rwanda’s 14-week-old civil war.

Ten years ago: Opening statements were presented in the trial of Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman charged with drowning her two young sons. Senate Republicans opened a new round of Whitewater hearings.

Five years ago: Shrugging off a veto threat from President Clinton, the Senate voted 61-38 in favor of eliminating the so-called “marriage penalty” by cutting taxes for virtually every married couple. Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.) died in Atlanta at age 61.

One year ago: A spokesman said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would not apologize for mocking certain lawmakers as “girlie men,” despite criticisms from Democrats that the remark was sexist and homophobic. Todd Hamilton gained a playoff victory over Ernie Els to win the British Open. Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Anne Gorsuch Burford died in Aurora, Colo., at age 62.

Today’s Birthdays: Former South African President Nelson Mandela is 87. Former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, is 84. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 76. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 67. Singer Brian Auger is 66. Singer Dion DiMucci is 66. Actor James Brolin is 65. Singer Martha Reeves is 64. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 64. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 51. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 47. Actress Audrey Landers is 46. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 44. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 43. Rock musician Jack Irons (Pearl Jam) is 43. Actor Vin Diesel is 38. Rock musician Daron Malakian (System of a Down) is 30. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (Eve 6) is 27. Actor Jason Weaver is 26. Actress Kristen Bell is 25. Rock singer Ryan Cabrera is 23.

Thought for Today: “In these times we fight for ideas, and newspapers are our fortresses.” — Heinrich Heine, German poet and critic (1797-1856).

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