This Day in History: Oct. 18
Published October 18, 2019
On this day, Oct. 18 …
1912: Black boxing champion Jack Johnson is arrested in Chicago, accused of violating the Mann Act because of his relationship with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron. (The case collapses when Cameron refuses to cooperate. But Johnson would later be re-arrested and convicted on the testimony of a former mistress, Belle Schreiber. President Trump pardons him posthumously in 2018.)
Also on this day:
- 1648: Boston shoemakers are authorized to form a guild to protect their interests; it's the first American labor organization on record.
- 1892: The first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago is officially opened.
- 1898: The American flag is raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquishes control of the island to the U.S.
- 1931: Thomas Edison dies in West Orange, N.J., at age 84.
- 1944: Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia during World War II.
- 1961: The movie musical "West Side Story," starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, premieres in New York City, the film's setting.
- 1962: James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins win the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.
- 1969: The federal government bans artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because of evidence they cause cancer in laboratory rats.
- 1972: Congress passes the Clean Water Act, overriding President Richard Nixon's veto.
- 1977: West German commandos storm a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.
- 1984: Actor Jon-Erik Hexum, 26, is taken off life support six days after shooting himself in the head with a pistol loaded with a blank cartridge on the set of his TV show "Cover Up."
- 2001: CBS News announces an employee in anchorman Dan Rather's office has tested positive for skin anthrax.
- 2001: Four disciples of Usama bin Laden are sentenced in New York City to life without parole for their roles in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
- 2014: The Supreme Court says Texas could use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election, rejecting an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo ID. (Three justices dissent in the decision.)