On this day, May 18 …
1981: The New York Native, a gay newspaper, carries a story concerning rumors of "an exotic new disease" among homosexuals; it is the first published report about what came to be known as AIDS.
Also on this day:
- 1642: The Canadian city of Montreal is founded by French colonists.
- 1863: The Siege of Vicksburg begins during the Civil War, ending July 4 with a Union victory.
- 1896: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorses "separate but equal" racial segregation, a concept that would be renounced 58 years later by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
- 1920: Pope John Paul II is born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.
- 1953: Jacqueline Cochran, 47, becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier as she pilots a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.
- 1967: Tennessee Gov. Buford Ellington signs a measure repealing the law against teaching evolution that was used to prosecute John T. Scopes in 1925.
- 1973: Harvard law professor Archibald Cox is appointed Watergate special prosecutor by U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson.
- 1980: The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state explodes, leaving 57 people dead or missing.
- 2014: AT&T Inc. agrees to buy satellite TV provider DirecTV for $48.5 billion, or $95 per share. (The deal would be completed in 2015.)
- 2018: President Trump says he would nominate acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to permanently lead the department. (Wilkie would be confirmed by the Senate in July.)
- 2018: Hasbro announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office had issued a trademark for the scent of Play-Doh.