TODAY IN HISTORY
May 18, 1953,
Jacqueline Cochran, 47, became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, California.
ALSO ON THIS DATE
The Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists.
Rhode Island became the first American colony to pass a law abolishing African slavery; however, the law was apparently never enforced.
Peruvian revolutionary Tupac Amaru II, 43, was forced to witness the execution of his relatives by the Spanish in the main plaza of Cuzco before being beheaded.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept renounced 58 years later by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.