Today is Thursday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2018. There are 74 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 18, 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).

On this date:

In 1648, Boston shoemakers were authorized to form a guild to protect their interests; it's the first American labor organization on record.

In 1767, the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary between colonial Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, was set as astronomers Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey.

In 1898, the American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U-S.

In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 84.

In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.

In 1962, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

In 1968, the U-S Olympic Committee suspended Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving a "black power" salute as a protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City.

In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1982, former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Missouri, at age 97.

In 1997, a monument honoring American servicewomen, past and present, was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2001, CBS News announced that an employee in anchorman Dan Rather's office had tested positive for skin anthrax. Four disciples of Osama bin Laden were sentenced in New York to life without parole for their roles in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking at Camp David, said he would host an international summit in response to the global financial crisis, but did not set a date or place for the meeting. Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraq's parliament to reject a pact that would extend U.S. presence in Iraq for three years. Soul singer Dee Dee Warwick died in Essex County, N.J. at age 63.

Five years ago: People in the San Francisco Bay area faced a frustrating Friday commute as workers for the region's largest transit system walked off the job for the second time in four months. President Barack Obama nominated the Pentagon's former top lawyer, Jeh (jay) C. Johnson, to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security. In a stunning about-face, Saudi Arabia rejected a coveted seat on the U.N. Security Council, denouncing the body for failing to resolve world conflicts such as Syria's civil war. The St. Louis Cardinals advanced to their second World Series in three seasons by roughing up the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the NL championship series.

One year ago: President Donald Trump rejected claims that he had been disrespectful to the grieving family of a slain U.S. soldier in a phone call to the family. Instead of accepting awards at the CMT Artists of the Year show in Nashville, singer Jason Aldean and other stars honored the victims of the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas. At a meeting of NFL owners in New York, Commissioner Roger Goodell said there was no discussion of changing the league's national anthem policy to require players to stand. After a day of modest gains on Wall Street, the Dow industrials finished above 23,000 for the first time.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Dawn Wells is 80. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is 79. Singer-musician Russ Giguere is 75. Actor Joe Morton is 71. Actress Pam Dawber is 68. Author Terry McMillan is 67. Writer-producer Chuck Lorre is 66. Gospel singer Vickie Winans is 65. Director-screenwriter David Twohy (TOO'-ee) is 63. International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova is 62. International Hall of Fame boxer Thomas Hearns is 60. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 58. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 57. Actor Vincent Spano is 56. Rock musician Tim Cross is 52. Former tennis player Michael Stich (shteek) is 50. Singer Nonchalant is 45. Actress Joy Bryant is 44. Rock musician Peter Svenson (The Cardigans) is 44. Actor Wesley Jonathan is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Ne-Yo is 39. Country singer Josh Gracin is 38. Country musician Jesse Littleton (Marshall Dyllon) is 37. Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn is 34. Jazz singer-musician Esperanza Spalding is 34. Actress-model Freida Pinto is 34. Actor Zac Efron is 31. Actress Joy Lauren is 29. TV personality Bristol Palin is 28. Actor Tyler Posey is 27. Actor Toby Regbo is 27.

Thought for Today: "The strongest are those who renounce their own times and become a living part of those yet to come. The strongest, and the rarest." — Milovan Djilas (1911-1995), Yugoslav author and politician.