[Daily article] July 18: Columbia River

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region
of North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains, it flows south into
Washington, then turns west to form most of that state’s border with
Oregon before emptying into the Pacific, 1,243 miles (2,000 km) from
its source. By volume it is the fourth-largest river in the US and the
largest in North America that enters the Pacific. The river system hosts
salmon and other fish that migrate between freshwater habitats and the
saline waters of the Pacific Ocean. In the late 18th century, a private
American ship became the first non-indigenous vessel to enter the river.
Overland explorers entered the Willamette Valley through the scenic but
treacherous Columbia River Gorge. Railroads were built in the valley in
the late 19th century, many running along the river. Since the early
20th century, the river has been dammed for power generation,
navigation, irrigation, and flood control. The 14 hydroelectric dams on
the Columbia (Bonneville Dam pictured), the Snake River, and the
Columbia’s other tributaries produce more than 44 percent of total US
hydroelectric power.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


A gunpowder magazine explosion in Birgu, Malta, killed around
200 people.


Pedro II, the last Emperor of Brazil, having reigned in
minority since 1831, was acclaimed, crowned and consecrated.


After a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, United
States Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge, killing his
passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign worker.


At the Olympic Games in Montreal, Nadia Comăneci became the
first person to score a perfect 10 in a modern Olympics gymnastics


A suicide bomber attacked an Israeli tour bus at Burgas
Airport, Bulgaria, which led the European Union to list the military
branch of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

hostis humani generis:
(international law) A person who has committed a criminal act so
grave – originally maritime piracy and slave-trading, and now
torture as well – that any nation may put on trial and, upon
conviction, punish him or her.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  When I first made Night of the Living Dead, it got analyzed and
overanalyzed way out of proportion. The zombies were written about as if
they represented Nixon’s Silent Majority or whatever. But I never
thought about it that way. My stories are about humans and how they
react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I’m pointing the finger at
us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathize with the zombies
as much as possible.  
–George A. Romero

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