Today is Wednesday, Aug. 18, the 231st day of 2004. There are 135 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 18, 1983, Hurricane Alicia slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 22 dead and causing more than $1 billion worth of damage.

On this date:

In 1587, Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil, on what is now Roanoke Island, N.C.

In 1846, U.S. forces led by Gen. Stephen W. Kearney captured Santa Fe, N.M.

In 1894, Congress established the Bureau of Immigration.

In 1914, President Wilson issued his "Proclamation of Neutrality," aimed at keeping the United States out of World War I.

In 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of all American women to vote.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Thousand Islands Bridge connecting the United States and Canada.

In 1954, 50 years ago, during the Eisenhower administration, Assistant Secretary of Labor James E. Wilkins became the first black to attend a meeting of a president's Cabinet as he sat in for Labor Secretary James P. Mitchell.

In 1958, the novel "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov was published.

In 1963, James Meredith became the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

In 1982, for the first time, volume on the New York Stock exchange topped the 100 million level as 132.69 million shares were traded.

Ten years ago: Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles declared an immigration emergency and demanded federal help to cope with the largest surge of Cuban refugees since the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Five years ago: A day after a deadly earthquake struck western Turkey, survivors denounced the rescue effort as sluggish and disorganized. (The death toll eventually topped 17,000.)

One year ago: A senior French health official resigned after France's health minister admitted that up to 5,000 people might have died in a heat wave. The Liberian government and rebels signed a peace accord. Islamic extremists freed 14 European tourists six months after they were kidnapped by an al-Qaida-linked group in the Algerian desert.

Today's Birthdays: Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger is 87. Actress Shelley Winters is 84. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is 77. Movie director Roman Polanski is 71. Actor Robert Redford is 67. Singer Johnny Preston is 65. Actor Christopher Jones is 63. Actor Henry G. Sanders is 62. Actor-comedian Martin Mull is 61. Singer Nona Hendryx is 59. Actor Patrick Swayze is 52. Country singer Steve Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 49. Actor Denis Leary is 47. Actress Madeleine Stowe is 46. Actor Craig Bierko is 39. Rock singer-musician Zac Maloy (The Nixons) is 36. Hip-hop artist Everlast is 35. Actor Christian Slater is 35. Actor Edward Norton is 35. Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner is 34. Rock musician Dirk Lance is 28. Actor Mika Boorem is 16. Actress Parker McKenna Posey is 9.

Thought for Today: "New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common." - John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704).

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