1896 – The U.S. Supreme court upheld the “separate but equal” policy in the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with Brown vs. Board of Education.


Plessy v. Ferguson was important because it provided a legal justification for racial segregation. In the now-infamous ruling, the Supreme Court held that separate facilities for different races were acceptable so long as they were equal. This “separate but equal” principle would remain the law of the land for over half a century.

Source: enotes.com

history… may 18


1302 – The weaver Peter de Coningk led a massacre of the Flemish oligarchs.

1642 – Montreal, Canada, was founded.

1643 – Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, was granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king’s will.

1652 – In Rhode Island, a law was passed that made slavery illegal in North America. It was the first law of its kind.

1792 – Russian troops invaded Poland.

1798 – The first Secretary of the U.S. Navy was appointed. He was Benjamin Stoddert.

1802 – Great Britain declared war on Napoleon’s France.

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor by the French Senate.

1828 – Battle of Las Piedras ended the conflict between Uruguay and Brazil.

1896 – The U.S. Supreme court upheld the “separate but equal” policy in the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with Brown vs. Board of Education.

1897 – A public reading of Bram Stoker’s new novel, “Dracula, or, The Un-dead,” was performed in London.

1904 – Brigand Raizuli kidnapped American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.

1917 – The U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service act, which called up soldiers to fight in World War I.

1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, CA. She reappeared a month later with the claim that she had been kidnapped.

1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashed his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop. He was picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.

1933 – The Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

1934 – The U.S. Congress approved an act, known as the “Lindberg Act,” that called for the death penalty in interstate kidnapping cases.

1942 – New York ended night baseball games for the duration of World War II.

1944 – Monte Cassino, Europe’s oldest Monastic house, was finally captured by the Allies in Italy.

1949 – Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America was incorporated

1951 – The United Nations moved its headquarters to New York City.

1953 – The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.

1974 – India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.

1980 – Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. 57 people were killed and 3 billion in damage was done.

1983 – The U.S. Senate revised immigration laws and gave millions of undocumented legal status under an amnesty program.

1994 – Israel’s three decades of occupation in the Gaza Strip ended as Israeli troops completed their withdrawal and Palestinian authorities took over.

1998 – The U.S. federal government and 20 states filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., saying the computer software company had a “choke hold” on competitors which denied consumer choices by controlling 90% of the software market.

1998 – U.S. federal officials arrested more than 130 people and seized $35 million. This was the end to an investigation of money laundering being done by a dozen Mexican banks and two drug-smuggling cartels.

2012 – Facebook Inc. held its initial public offering and began trading on the NASDAQ. The company was valued at $104 billion making it the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company.

2014 – Russian President Putin signed a bill to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation.

on-this-day.com

Mount St. Helens: The eruption killed 57 people and caused millions of dollars in damages.


Mount St. Helens steams. Photo by Charlie Crisafulli.Mt. St. Helens Streaming Video

Forty years after the mountain’s eruption, officials struggle to balance research and risk.

by Eric Wagner

The Pumice Plain in southwest Washington’s Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is one of the most closely studied patches of land in the world. Named for the type of volcanic rock that dominates it, it formed during the mountain’s 1980 eruption. Since then, ecologists have scrutinized it, surveying birds, mammals and plants, and in general cataloging the return of life to this unique and fragile landscape.

Now, the depth of that attention is threatened, but not due to the stirrings of the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. The problem is a large lake two miles north of the mountain: Spirit Lake. Or, more specifically, the Spirit Lake tunnel, an artificial outlet built out of necessity and completed in 1985.

After nearly four decades, the tunnel is in need of an upgrade. At issue is the road the Forest Service plans to build across the Pumice Plain despite the scientific plots dotting the plain’s expanse. In this, Spirit Lake and its tunnel have become the de facto headwaters of a struggle over how best to manage research and risk on a mountain famous for its destructive capabilities.

THE ENTANGLEMENT OF THE LAND, the lake and the tunnel began 40 years ago, when Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. At 8:32 a.m., a strong earthquake caused the mountain’s summit and north flank to collapse in one of the largest landslides in recorded history. Some of the debris slammed into Spirit Lake, but most of it rumbled 14 miles down the North Fork Toutle River Valley. Huge mudflows rushed down the Toutle and Cowlitz rivers, destroying hundreds of bridges, homes and buildings. 

The eruption killed 57 people and caused millions of dollars in damages. Mount St. Helens shed more than 1,300 feet of elevation, hundreds of square miles of forest were buried or flattened, and Spirit Lake was left a steaming black broth full of logs, dead animals, pumice and ash. Its surface area nearly doubled to about 2,200 acres, and its sole outlet, to the North Fork Toutle River, was buried under up to 600 feet of debris.

Having no outlet, and with rain and snowmelt still flowing in, Spirit Lake began to rise. The situation was dangerous: If the basin filled, the lake could overtop the debris field and radically destabilize it, unleashing another devastating mudflow that would send millions of tons of sediment toward the towns of Toutle, Castle Rock and Longview, Washington

For the complete article …

hcn.org/issues/52.5/north-scientific-research-the-threat-below-mount-st-helen

images: fs.fed.us/outernet/pnw/mtsthelens