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On This Day, July 18: Sen. Ted Kennedy drives off bridge, killing Mary Jo Kopechne


Mourners throw flowers off the Dike Bridge on July 19, 1979, the 10th anniversary of the day Sen. Edward Kennedy’s car plunged off the bridge, killing Mary Jo Kopechne. UPI File Photo | License Photo

July 18 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1925, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf was published. The book hit bookstores in Germany for the first time in 70 years in 2016 and became a best-seller. The new version included 3,500 annotations and 2,000 pages versus the original’s 800.

In 1938, Douglas Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York for a return flight to California but lost his bearings in the clouds, he said, and flew instead to Ireland. He became an instant celebrity called “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

In 1939, after a sneak preview of The Wizard of Oz, producers debated about removing “Over the Rainbow” because it seemed to slow things down. The song later contributed to the evolution of the rainbow flag as a gay icon.

In 1947, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Florence Blanchfield lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent military rank.

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged from a bridge into a tidal pond at Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.

UPI File Photo

In 1976, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to be awarded the score of a perfect 10 in gymnastics.

In 1977, Vietnam was admitted to the United Nations.

In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people.

In 1989, My Sister Sam actor Rebecca Schaeffer was shot to death in her Los Angeles apartment. Her death led to the passage of an anti-stalking law in California.

In 1994, a car bombing in Buenos Aires killed about 100 people in or near a building that housed Jewish organizations.

In 2007, Michael Vick, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League, was indicted on federal charges related to an illegal dogfighting operation. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 months in prison.

File Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari/UPI

In 2012, victims of a suicide bomb at Syria’s National Security Bureau included Defense Minister Daoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat (President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law), former Defense Minister Hassan Turkomani and NSB chief Hisham Ikhtiar.

In 2013, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy.

In 2019, an arson attack on Kyoto Animation studio in Japan killed 33 people.

File Photo courtesy of EPA-EFE


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