July 18, 1961
JFK WANTS INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy asked Congress today to pass a bill authorizing the creation of a National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
The agency would be a part of the US Public Health Services.
The President also requested the bill be put on a “fast track” for quick passage.
JFK hopes that the success experienced by the Public Health Service in other areas will be applied to issues relating especially to children.
JFK said the law will:
“enable the Children’s Bureau to carry out more efficiently its responsibility to guarantee the welfare of children.”*
*Today the agency is known as the Eunice Kennedy Shriver (JFK’s sister) National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
July 18, 1962
JFK HONORS X-15 TEST PILOTS
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy honored 4 test pilots of the experimental X-15 rocket today at the White House.
The pilots, flying the X-15 yesterday, reached an altitude of 60 miles & flew at 3800 mph.
X15 In Flight
July 18, 1960
SINGER BRENDA LEE HAS #1 POP HIT “I’M SORRY”
15 year old singer Brenda Lee’s recording “I’m Sorry” reached the #1 slot on the pop charts today.
Miss Lee, 15 years old, is 4’9″ tall & weighs all of 90 pounds.
She was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944.*
*Brenda Lee went on to earn 27 more top 40 hits in the 1960s, more than any other solo entertainer of the decade.
In the late 1980s, we were having dinner at a buffet restaurant in Dollywood. As we were going down the buffet line, standing next to me was Brenda Lee who had a singing engagement at the park.
Brenda Lee & Peter Denton
Peter Denton Photo
April 8, 1962
July 18, 1969
TED KENNEDY DRIVES OFF BRIDGE AT CHAPPAQUIDDICK
Edgartown, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy drove off the Dike Bridge this evening & his Oldsmobile submerged into the water.
The Senator was able to escape but his passenger, 28 year old Mary Jo Kopechne, a Kennedy campaign worker, drowned.
The incident happened just after 11 p.m. Eastern time.*
*On July 25, Senator Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. He received a 2 month suspended sentence & had his driver’s license suspended for one year. Ted said that his repeated efforts to save Mary Jo failed.
Dike Bridge at Chappaquiddick
Photo by Arwcheek (2008)
July 18, 1947
TRUMAN SIGNS SUCCESSION ACT INTO LAW
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Harry S Truman signed into law today the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 for which he has lobbied since taking over for the late Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945.
The act will reinstate the order of President succession which had 1st been established by Congress in 1792, but it moves the Speaker of the House to next in line for the Presidency behind the Vice-President with the President of the Senate following.
The Presidential cabinet, in order of departmental creation (except Secretary of Defense), follows.
July 18, 1940
FDR NOMINATED FOR THIRD TERM
Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated here this evening by the delegates of the Democratic National Convention for an unprecedented 3rd term as President of the United States.
While there is currently no law prohibiting a US President from serving more than 2 terms, there is no precedent for doing so.
After 2 terms, George Washington retired to Mount Vernon & no subsequent President has broken that example or tradition.*
*By the 22nd Amendment (1947), no President may serve more than 2 terms of office. JFK voted for the proposal to restrict Presidents to 2 terms.
In 1962, President Kennedy was asked would he still support the restriction. His answer was “YES, TWO TERMS ARE ENOUGH!”
July 18, 1863
54TH MASSACHUSETTS STOPPED IN VALIANT EFFORT TO TAKE FORT WAGNER, SC
Charleston, South Carolina (JFK+50) The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, made up of African-American soldiers commanded by white officers, failed in a valiant effort today to take Confederate Fort Wagner.
Fort Wagner, on Morris Island, is a Confederate earth work 600 feet wide & 30 feet high.
The 54th was led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who is from a family of prominent Boston abolitionists.
The attack began at 7:45 p.m. with Shaw’s regiment marching down the beach.
The 54th suffered 1500 casualties including Colonel Shaw who was killed with 222 for the Confederates.*
*The story of the 54th Massachusetts is presented in the Academy Award winning 1990 film “Glory” starring Mathew Broderick, Denzel Washington & Morgan Freeman.
“The Old Flag Never
Touches the Ground”
by Rick Reeves (2004)
July 18, 1855
DAUGHTER BORN TO BOSTON KENNEDYS
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Patrick Kennedy & Bridget (Murphy) Kennedy announce today the birth of their 3rd daughter & 4th child.
The baby girl is named Margaret.
She was born at the family’s home on Eutaw Street in East Boston.