On July 18 in …
64 A.D. –- The Great Fire of Rome begins, and will rage for six days, causing widespread devastation that will destroy half of the city. Emperor Nero will counter widespread rumors that the fire was started at his behest to clear the way for his new projects by blaming the devastation on the Christian community in the city. That will initiate the Roman Empire’s first persecution of the Christians.
1290 –- King Edward I of England issues the “Edict of Expulsion,” banishing all of England’s 16,000 Jews from the land. This is called Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
1925 –- Adolf Hitler publishes his personal manifesto, “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”).
1969 -– After a party on Chappaquiddick Island at Martha’s Vineyard, Senator Ted Kennedy, D-MA, drives his car off a bridge and his young passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, dies.
1976 –- Nadia Comăneci of Romania becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics during the Montreal Summer Olympics.