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Today is Sunday, May 18, the 138th day of 2003. There are 227 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

On this date:

In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded.

In 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.

In 1896, the Supreme Court endorsed separate-but-equal racial segregation with its Plessy v. Ferguson decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later.

In 1897, a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel, "Dracula, or, The Un-dead," was staged in London.

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

In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces finally occupied Monte Cassino in Italy after a four-month struggle that claimed some 20,000 lives.

In 1951, the United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y., for its permanent home in Manhattan.

In 1953, 50 years ago, 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 1969, astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard Apollo Ten.

Ten years ago: Voters in Denmark ratified the European Community's treaty on closer economic and political union.

Five years ago: The government filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corporation. The Supreme Court, in a sweeping endorsement of broadcasters' free-speech rights and journalistic discretion, ruled that even public stations owned and run by states need not invite marginal candidates to political debates they sponsor.

One year 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.

Today's Birthdays: Pope John Paul II is 83. Actor Bill Macy is 81. Sportscaster Jack Whitaker is 79. Actor Pernell Roberts is 73. Actor Robert Morse is 72. Actor and television executive Dwayne Hickman is 69. Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is 66. Bluegrass singer-musician Rodney Dillard (The Dillards) is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is 57. Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 55. Actress Candice Azzara is 54. Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 54. Actor James Stephens is 52. Country singer George Strait is 51. Rhythm and blues singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 50. Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton is 43. Singer-actress Martika is 34. Comedian Tina Fey ("Saturday Night Live") is 33. Rapper Special Ed is 29. Rhythm and blues singer Darryl Allen (Mista) is 23. Actor Spencer Breslin is eleven.

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).

Copyright © 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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