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1643

May 18, Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, was granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king’s will.

 1926

May 18, Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif.; she reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.

1953

May 18, 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.

1955

May 18, Queen Juliana opened the E55 fair in Amsterdam.

1956

May 18, Queen Juliana opened the Rembrandt fairs in Amsterdam.

1976

May 18, In San Francisco Jenny Read (29), an artist and sculptor, was raped and killed at her Potrero Hill home. She was stabbed 13 times. In 2013 DNA evidence led to the conviction of James Mayfield (67) for her murder.

1990

May 18, In the face of heated student protests, the trustees of all-women Mills College in Oakland, Ca., voted to rescind their earlier decision to admit men.
(AP, 5/18/00)
1990

May 18, Jill Ireland (54), actress (Carry on Nurse, Family), died of cancer.
(SC, 5/18/02)

1991 

May 18, Helen Sharman became the first Briton to rocket into space as she flew aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft with two cosmonauts on an eight-day mission.

2004

May 18, In France Myriam Delay, an unemployed mother, stunned a courtroom in the northern French town of Outreau saying she lied in accusing the 13 people of pedophilia, one of whom committed suicide behind bars. A week later she again reversed her testimony: “I was there and I saw everything… We ruined children’s lives.” 10 of 17 defendants were convicted in July. 6 of the 10 convicted were acquitted in 2005.

2004

May 18, Sonia Gandhi announced she would “humbly decline” to be the next prime minister of India. Manmohan Singh (71), a respected Oxford-educated economist, was reported to be Gandhi’s choice to become PM.
 2008

May 18, An American woman (28) was among four people found dead in the Mexican beach town of Playas de Rosarito, near border with California.

2009

May 18, In Lithuania Pres.-elect Dalia Grybauskaite said she would consider replacing up to five ministers in PM AndriusKubilius’ center-right Cabinet after she takes office on July 12. “They have underestimated the real scale of recession,” she said. “The budget was way too optimistic and needs to be revised in nearest time. We must save money.” To lead by example said she would only take half of her presidential salary of 312,000 litas ($120,000) a year.

2010

May 18, A female American aid worker, Flavia Wagner (35), and two Sudanese colleagues were ambushed and abducted by gunmen in Abu Ajura, South Darfur state. On Aug 30 the foreign ministry said police had freed Wagner in the Abu Agora area south of Nyala.

2011

May 18, Missing journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who was held by Iranian authorities after being detained in Syria, arrived in her company’s home base of Qatar after winning her freedom.

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