On this Day July 18
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1918 – Nobel Laureate and former South African President Nelson Mandela (d. 2013)
1921 – Former astronaut (first American to orbit the Earth) and U.S. Senator John Glenn (d. 2016)
1940 – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor James Brolin (“Von Ryan’s Express,” “Fantastic Voyage,” “Traffic,” “The Master of Disguise,” “The 33”)
1950 – British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines, among many other businesses
1954 – Grammy-winning country music and bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs
1961 – Actress Elizabeth McGovern (“Ragtime,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Downton Abbey”)
1967 – Actor-producer Vin Diesel, born Mark Sinclair (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Boiler Room,” “The Chronicles of Riddick” trilogy and the “Fast and Furious” film series)
1980 – Actress Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars,” “Gossip Girl,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Frozen,” “The Boss”)
1936 – The Oscar Mayer company rolls out the first Wienermobile to market its hot dogs. The small, metal wiener-shaped shell on wheels — the brainchild of Oscar’s nephew, Carl Mayer — stretched 13 feet long and cruised the streets of Chicago with Carl behind the wheel. Over the years, modern, more spacious versions of the original Wienermobile began to criss-cross the U.S., and still do today.
1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America’s 32nd president, is nominated at the Democratic National Convention for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt is eventually elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms.
1947 – General Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints Florence Blanchfield to be a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, making her the first woman in American history to hold permanent military rank.
1969 – Mary Jo Kopechne, the 28-year-old passenger in a car driven by Massachusetts Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, is killed when the vehicle plunges off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. The incident becomes a national scandal, referred to as “Chappaquiddick,” and is believed to have influenced Kennedy’s decision not to campaign for president in 1972 and 1976.
1976 – Fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 during the Summer Olympics in Montreal.
1984 – James Oliver Huberty opens fire in a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people and wounding 19 others with several automatic weapons.
1986 – New close-up videotaped footage of the sunken ocean liner Titanic is released to the public. It shows one of the ship’s majestic grand staircases and a coral-covered chandelier swinging slowly in the ocean current.
1960 – Brenda Lee begins three weeks at No. 1 on the pop chart with “I’m Sorry.”
1964 – “Rag Doll,” by The Four Seasons, kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single — no small achievement for an American band during the early days of the British Invasion.
1964 – The Rolling Stones land on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time when their cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” peaks at No. 48.
1970 – “Mama Told Me (Not to Come),” by Three Dog Night, is No. 1 on the pop chart. The composition was written by Randy Newman.
1974 – The U.S. Justice Department orders John Lennon out of the country by September 10. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had denied the former Beatle an extension of his non-immigrant visa because of his guilty plea in England to a 1968 marijuana possession charge.
1981 – Kim Carnes enjoys her ninth and final week ruling the singles chart with “Bette Davis Eyes.” The track goes on to capture Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
1992 – Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” is in the midst of a five-week reign of the Billboard Hot 100.
2009 – The Black Eyed Peas rule the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Gotta Feeling.” The single holds the top spot for 14 weeks.