What Happened on July 18?

  • Nadia Comaneci became the first gymnastics competitor ever to score a perfect 10 in the Olympics. (1976) The 1976 Olympics were also her first Olympics. She would go on to win many medals before she retired in 1981. She is considered one of the most well-known gymnasts and is credited for helping make the sport popular throughout the world.

  • The 14th perfect game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history was pitched. (1999) David Cone pitched the historic perfect game for the New York Yankees, playing against the Montreal Expos. Only 20 perfect games have been pitched since the MLB was founded in 1869.

  • Ty Cobb hit his 4,000th career hit. (1927) Cobb is considered one of the best Major League Baseball players in history, having set 90 league records throughout his career. He still holds the highest career batting average at 0.366. His total career hits, 4,189, remained the record until 1985.

  • US President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term — a first in US presidential history. (1940) In November of 1941, President Roosevelt became the only president in history to be elected to a third term. He served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

  • An unexpected tsunami killed almost 3,000 people on the coast of Papua New Guinea. (1998) The 59-foot (15-meter) waves were spawned from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Two villages, Arop and Warapu, were destroyed.

  • A gunman entered a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California, and shot and killed 21 people. (1984) In what became known as the "San Ysidro McDonald's massacre," James Oliver Huberty was ultimately shot and killed by police after killing 21 people.

  • American Actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. (1989) Schaeffer was murdered by Robert John Bardo, who had been stalking her for three years. Her death led to the first anti-stalking law in the US.

  • The Boeing 747 airplane got its first female captain. (1984) Beverly Lynn Burns captained her first flight on this day as she flew from New York to Los Angeles. When she retired years later, she had captained for 27 years and clocked more than 25,000 flight hours.

  • Hitler published Mein Kampf, Volume 1. (1925) Part autobiography and part political manifesto, the book was originally published in two volumes, one in 1925 and one in 1926, and later was combined into one book. By the end of the war, more than 10 million copies were in circulation — including the free copies given to all newly-married couples. It remains a highly controversial book today.

  • Rome burned to the ground. (64) The fire, which burned for five and half days, destroyed all but four of Rome's 14 districts. Historians aren't certain how the fire got started.

Discussion Comments


@Oceana – The crazy thing is that her stalker got her address from the DMV! He had to pay $250 for it, but still, he should not have been able to get it.

The law that got passed as a result made it illegal for the DMV to share personal addresses with anyone. I can't believe they ever let this information slip in the first place!

What's also messed up is that her stalker didn't even interact with her once he found her. He just shot her and left. That doesn't sound like something a person in love would do.


I remember hearing about that horrible tsunami in New Guinea back in 1998. I was in college at the time, and our geography teacher gave us the news that day.

What is really disturbing and amazing is that three days after it happened, only half of the people who lived there had been found. Out of nearly 10,000 people, over a thousand had been buried, and about 5,000 remained missing.

I don't know if these people were ever found. I would imagine that more bodies washed up on shore as time went on, but I never heard.


While the 1989 death of Rebecca Schaeffer was tragic, it brought about something good. I think it is so important for people to have access to legal protection from stalkers.

I was stalked for a few months by my ex-boyfriend, and it was scary. I did have to eventually go to the police, because I was scared he might try to harm me.

This happened in 1998, so stalking had already been made illegal. I'm sorry that she died, but at least Rebecca's death had a greater purpose.


It's a bit of a shocker to see the year 64 out beside one of these events. All of the others happened in the 20th century, so this one seems way out of place!

Also, many people who are alive today can remember most of the others, with the possible exception of the two from the 1920s. However, my grandparents were born in 1918, so they were actually alive when the two events listed here that occurred in the 1920s happened.

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