Highlights of this day in History: Mount St. Helens explodes; US Supreme Court endorses "separate but equal" racial segregation; Pope John Paul II and Frank Capra are born; "Les Miserables" closes on Broadway after 16 years.
May 18th, 1980:
(SOT of Eyewitness)
In Washington State, Mount Saint Helens explodes, blasting away the top 13-hundred feet from its volcanic peak.
The eruption leaves 57 people dead or missing --- flattening forests and spewing volcanic ash for hundreds of miles.
The U.S. Supreme Court endorses what it calls "separate but equal" racial segregation with its decision in "Plessy versus Ferguson."
That ruling remains the law of the land, until the Court overturns it nearly 60 years later in "Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka."
(SOT of Pope John Paul II)
Pope John Paul the Second --- the first non-Italian pontiff in more than 450 years --- is born Karol Woytyla (KAH-rol voy-TEE-wah) in Wadowice (vah-duh-VEET'-seh), Poland.
Movie director Frank Capra --- whose films include "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" --- is born near Palermo, Italy.
(NAT of "Bring Him Home")
In New York, "Les Miserables" --- Broadway's third-longest running show --- closes after more than 16 years ... and 6,680 performances.
Today in History, May 18th --- ___ ___, The Associated Press.