On This Day in History for December 18

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 116

  • 218 BC Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia - Hannibal's Carthaginian army heavily defeat Roman forces on Italian soil
  • 1118 Alfonso van Aragon occupies Saragossa on Almoraviden

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1271 Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元 yuán), marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China

Mongolian Emperor and Founder of the Yuan Dynasty Kublai Khan
Mongolian Emperor and Founder of the Yuan Dynasty
Kublai Khan
  • 1352 Etienne Aubert elected as Pope Innocentius VI
  • 1385 Peace of Tournai (Dutch - Doornik) signed between the Burgundian Duke Philip II and the rebellious city of Ghent
  • 1406 Anton of Burgundy becomes Duke of Brabant
  • 1603 First fleet of the Dutch East India Compnay under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies
  • 1621 English parliament accept unanimously, Protestation

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1642 Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori in New Zealand

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman
Explorer and Seafarer
Abel Tasman
  • 1719 Thomas Fleet publishes "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children"
  • 1773 A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound results in the deaths of two Māori and nine members of Cook's expedition, New Zealand
  • 1774 Empress Maria Theresa expels Jews from Prague, Bohemia and Moravia
  • 1777 1st national Thanksgiving Day, commemorating Burgoyne's surrender
  • 1783 British King George III dismisses Duke of Portland's government

AgreementConstitution of the United States

1787 New Jersey becomes 3rd state to ratify US constitution

  • 1793 Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French royalists to Lord Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck
  • 1796 1st US newspaper to appear on Sunday (Baltimore Monitor)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1799 George Washington's body interred at Mount Vernon

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1813 British take Fort Niagara in War of 1812

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1832 Charles Darwins visits Vurland

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Naturalist
Charles Darwin
  • 1839 1st celestial photograph (of Moon) made in US by John Draper in New York City
  • 1849 William Bond obtains 1st photograph of Moon through a telescope

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1852 George Hamilton-Gordon becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after the downfall of the Conservative government of Edward Smith-Stanley

British Prime Minister George Hamilton-Gordon
British Prime Minister
George Hamilton-Gordon
British Prime Minister Edward Smith-Stanley
British Prime Minister
Edward Smith-Stanley
  • 1858 Passy, at Paris: 1st "Samedi soir" i/d villa of lovers Rossini
  • 1859 South Carolina declared an "independent commonwealth"
  • 1862 Battle at Lexington, Tennessee (Forrest's Second Raid)
  • 1865 1st US cattle importation law passed
  • 1867 Around 49 victims of "Angola Horror" train wreck burn to death in Angola, New York
  • 1869 Canada's Hamilton Foot Ball Club plays its 1st game
  • 1878 French SS Byzantin sinks after collision in Dardanelles, 210 killed
  • 1878 John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires, is executed in Pennsylvania
  • 1888 Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde, Colorado
  • 1890 Lugards expedition to Meng and Kampala, Uganda
  • 1898 Automobile speed record set-63 kph (39 mph)
  • 1899 Field Marshal Lord Roberts appointed British supreme commander in South Africa
  • 1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1902 British parliament passes the Education Act, which will come to be regarded as the most important legislation of Arthur Balfour's government

British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
British Prime Minister
Arthur Balfour
  • 1905 H V Hordern takes 8-81 in 2nd innings of F-C debut (NSW v Qld)
  • 1912 Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is supposedly found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.
  • 1913 The Indian Inquiry Commission, also known as the Solomon Commission, commences its sittings in Pretoria

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 Soviet regiment (Stalin/Lenin) declares Finland Independent

Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader
Vladimir Lenin
Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1917 The 18th Amendment, authorizing prohibition of alcohol, is approved by the US congress and sent to the states for ratification
  • 1920 1st US postage stamps printed without the words United States or US
  • 1923 International zone of Tangier set up in Morocco
  • 1935 Edward Benes becomes president of Czechoslovakia
  • 1935 The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon
  • 1936 Su-Lin, 1st giant panda to come to US from China, arrives in San Francisco
  • 1939 Finnish army recaptures Agläjärvi
  • 1941 German submarine U-434 sinks
  • 1941 Japanese troops land on Hong Kong
  • 1944 US Destroyers Hull, Spence & Monaghan sink in typhoon (Philippines)

  • 1944 Nazi occupiers of Amsterdam destroy electricity plants
  • 1945 Uruguay joins the United Nations
  • 1946 TV's 1st network dramatic serial "Faraway Hill" ends 2 month run in US
  • 1947 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Optissima Pax
  • 1948 Indonesia begins its 2nd political election
  • 1956 Israeli flag hoisted on Mount Sinai
  • 1956 Japan admitted to UN
  • 1957 World's 1st full scale nuclear power plant begins to generate electricity, at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania
  • 1958 1st test project of Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equip
  • 1958 Project SCORE, world’s first communications satellite launched from Cape Canaveral
  • 1958 Niger gains autonomy within French Community (National Day)
  • 1960 General Meeting of UN condemns apartheid
  • 1961 India annexes Portuguese colonies of Goa, Damao & Diu
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1963 Clarke runs world record 10k (28:15.6)
  • 1963 Muskegon, Michigan gets 3' of snow
  • 1964 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 Frank Borman and Jim Lovell Splash down in Atlantic after two week Gemini VII mission

Astronaut Frank Borman
Astronaut
Frank Borman
  • 1965 Kenneth LeBel jumps 17 barrels on ice skates
  • 1966 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1966 Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
  • 1968 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1969 House of Lords votes to abolish the death penalty in England, Wales and Scotland (Northern Ireland 25 July 1973)
  • 1969 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1970 Polish uprising fails
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1971 1st Candlelight Processional at the EPCOT Center, Disney World
  • 1971 People United To Save Humanity (PUSH) formed by Jesse Jackson in Chicago
  • 1971 US dollar devalued 7.9% in Holland ($1=Ÿ3,245)
  • 1971 Three members of the Irish Republican Army die when the bomb they were transporting explodes prematurely in King Street, Magherafelt, County Derry.
  • 1973 Soyuz 13 launched into Earth orbit for 8 days
  • 1973 Yanks sign Dick Williams as manager, overturned later by AL Pres
  • 1974 San Francisco Visitors Center at City Hall opens
  • 1976 Soviet dissident Viktor Bukovskiexchanged for Chile CP-leader Corvalan
  • 1977 Dutch Antilles: premier Boy Rozendal points independence off
  • 1978 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1978 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1979 Stanley Barrett 1st to exceed land sonic speed (739.666 MPH)
  • 1980 Bruce Sprinsteen's concert at Madison Square Garden
  • 1980 Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts minister Van Agts abortion laws
  • 1980 IRA's Sean McKenna becomes critically ill, ends hunger strike
  • 1980 Vietnam adopts constitution
  • 1982 Flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines; 20 seconds
  • 1985 UN Security Council unanimously condemns "acts of hostage-taking"
  • 1987 Ivan F Boesky sentenced to 3 years for insider trading
  • 1988 5th meeting of Giants-Jets, Jets win & eliminate Giants from playoffs
  • 1989 "I Love Lucy" Christmas episode, shown for 1st time in over 30 years
  • 1989 Athol Fugard's "My Children, My Africa" premieres in NYC
  • 1990 NL announces Buffalo, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Tampa-St Petersburg, & Washington, D.C. as 6 finalist for 1993 expansion (Miami & Denver win)

Birthdays in History

  • 1507 Ōuchi Yoshitaka, Japanese warlord (d. 1551)
  • 1602 Simonds d'Ewes, English antiquarian and politician (d. 1650)
  • 1610 Charles Du Fresne Du Cange, French scholar/philologist
  • 1620 Heinrich Roth, German Sanskrit scholar (d. 1668)
  • 1633 Adriaen Melar, Flemish engraver, baptised
  • 1633 Willem van de Velde the Young, Dutch seascape painter, baptised
  • 1635 Antonius Matthaeus, Dutch lawyer/historian
  • 1661 Christopher Polhem, Swedish scientist and inventor (d. 1751)
  • 1662 James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, Scottish politician (d. 1711)
  • 1707 Charles Wesley, co-founder (Methodist movement)
  • 1725 Johann Salomo Semler, German historian and Bible commentator (d. 1791)
  • 1760 Knud L Rahbek, Danish literary (Om sku skuespillerkunsten)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1779 Joseph Grimaldi, English pantomimist and the "greatest clown in history", born in London (d. 1837)

Greatest Clown in History Joseph Grimaldi
Greatest Clown in History
Joseph Grimaldi

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1800 Charles Goodyear, American inventor (vulcanization process for rubber), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1860)

  • 1803 William Allen, (Rep/Gov-Oh)
  • 1811 Alexander Sandor Asboth, Hungarian-American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Keszthely, Hungary (d. 1868)
  • 1816 Alfred Elzey Jones, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1871)
  • 1819 Yakov Petrovich Polonsky, Russian poet (Stichotvorenija)
  • 1825 Charles Griffin, American Major General (Union Army), born in Granville, Ohio (d. 1867)
  • 1826 Charles-A Chatrian, [Erckmann-C], French writer (L'ami Fritz)
  • 1826 Mercer Brooke John, (Confederate Navy), (d. 1906)
  • 1835 George Dashiell Bayard, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Seneca Falls, New York (d. 1862)
  • 1835 Lyman Abbott, American author (d. 1922)
  • 1837 A Adolf Daens, Belgian priest/Dutch party founder (CVP)
  • 1844 Lujo [Ludwig J von] Brentano, German economist
  • 1851 Graciano Lopez Jaena, Filipino hero, orator and satirist (d. 1896)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1856 J. J. Thomson, English physicist who discovered the electron (Nobel 1906), born in Manchester, England (d. 1940)

Physicist J. J. Thomson
Physicist
J. J. Thomson

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1863 Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria whose assassination in 1914 led to declarations of war in WWI, born in Graz, Austria (d. 1914)

Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand
Archduke of Austria
Franz Ferdinand
  • 1867 Antoon van Welie, Dutch painter
  • 1870 Saki, [Hector Hugo Munro], Burma, author (Reginald, When William Came)
  • 1873 Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (d. 1957)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1878 Joseph Stalin, Dictator and General Secretary of the Soviet Union (1941-53), born in Gori, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1953)

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1879 Paul Klee, Münchenbuchsee Switzerland, Swiss/German abstract painter (Twittering Machine)
  • 1884 Philippe van Isacker, Belgian minister
  • 1888 Robert Moses, power broker (built Long Island & NYC parks & roads)
  • 1890 Edwin Howard Armstrong, American radio pioneer inventor (FM), born in NYC, New York
  • 1897 Fernand J Collin, Belgian economist/banker
  • 1898 Jacob Kruijt, Dutch sociologist
  • 1904 George Stevens, US director (Alice Adams, Penny Serenade)
  • 1907 Christopher Fry, Bristol England, playwright (Ring Around the Moon)
  • 1911 Helen Vlachos, journalist
  • 1911 Jules Dassin, Middletown CT, director (Circle of Two, Never on Sunday)
  • 1912 Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American General (d. 2002)
  • 1913 Alfred Bester, American sci-fi author (Decievers, Starlight)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1913 Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany (1969-74, Nobel 1971) born in Lübeck, Germany (d. 1992)

Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt
Chancellor of West Germany
Willy Brandt
  • 1914 Jerry Zipkin, socialite
  • 1923 Lotti [Charlotte] van der Gaag, Dutch sculptor/painter
  • 1927 Ramsey Clark, US attorney General (1967-69)
  • 1927 Sterling Lanier, American writer (Hiero's Journey)
  • 1927 Roméo LeBlanc, 25th Governor General of Canada
  • 1928 Józef Glemp, Polish cardinal
  • 1931 Alison Plowden, English historian (d. 2007)
  • 1933 Arthur Leigh Allen, Suspected Zodiac serial killer (d. 1992)
  • 1934 Boris Valentinovich Volynov, USSR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 5, 21)
  • 1935 Jacques Pépin, French chef
  • 1939 Christoffel "Stoffel" van de Merwe, South African minister of Education
  • 1939 Michael J Moorcock, England, sci-fi author (Alien Heat, Bull & Spear)
  • 1939 Harold E. Varmus, American scientist, Nobel laureate
  • 1940 Bramwell Morrison, member of Sharon, Lois & Bram
  • 1942 William HAF, English prince/grandson of George V
  • 1945 Birenda Bir Bikram, King of Nepal (1972- )
  • 1946 Stephen (Steve) Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, born in Ginsberg Township (d. 1977)
  • 1947 Eddie Antar, founder and CEO (Crazy Eddie Electronics Store), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2016)
  • 1950 Gillian Armstrong, Australian director (High Tide, Mrs Soffel), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • 1951 Andrew S Thomas, Adelaide Australia, PhD/astronaut (STS 77, STS 89/91)
  • 1953 Khas-Magomed Hadjimuradov, Chechen bard
  • 1956 Reinhold Ewald, German cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-25)
  • 1960 Kazuhide Uekusa, Japanese economist
  • 1961 Thomas Strittmatter, writer
  • 1970 Miles Marshall Lewis, American author
  • 1970 Johnny Yeo, English artist
  • 1971 Barkha Dutt, Indian journalist
  • 1972 Trevor Chowning, American Pop Artist
  • 1972 DJ Lethal, Latvian-born American DJ (House of Pain, Limp Bizkit)

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1915 28th US President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before marries second wife Edith Bolling Galt, a descendant of native American Pocahontas

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson

HeartWedding of Interest

1932 Civil rights activist Rosa Parks (19) weds Raymond Parks (29) in Montgomery, Alabama

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks

HeartWedding of Interest

1987 Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's future Prime Minister, marries Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistani Politican Benazir Bhutto
Pakistani Politican
Benazir Bhutto

Deaths in History

  • 468 Huna Mari bar Mar Zutra, rabbi, executed in Pumpedita
  • 821 Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans
  • 1133 Hildebert, French writer and bishop
  • 1290 King Magnus I of Sweden (b. 1240)
  • 1442 Pierre Cauchon, French Catholic bishop (b. 1371)
  • 1495 King Alphonso II of Naples (b. 1448)
  • 1505 John IX van Horne, prince-bishop of Lieges, executed
  • 1565 Benedetto Varchi, Italian humanist/historian (L'Ercolano), dies at 62
  • 1577 Anna, duchess of Saxon/wife of prince Willem of Orange, dies at 32
  • 1597 Barbara Blomberg, German mistress of emperor Karel, dies at 67
  • 1633 Theodoor Galle, Flemish engraver, buried at 62
  • 1638 Le Pere Joseph, French mystic, dies
  • 1651 Francisco the Melo, Portuguese/Spanish earl of Assumar, dies at 54
  • 1692 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (b. 1626)
  • 1710 Peter Codde, apostile vicar (1688-1704), dies at 62
  • 1737 Antonio Stradivari, renowned violin-maker, dies in Cremona Italy at 93
  • 1751 Kilian I von Dientzenhofer, builder (Nepomukkerk, Prague), dies at 62
  • 1787 Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)
  • 1799 Jean-Étienne Montucla, French mathematician, dies at 74
  • 1803 Johann G von Herder, German philosopher, theologist and poet, dies at 59

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1829 Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, French naturalist, dies at 85

French Naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
French Naturalist
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
  • 1831 Willem Bilderdijk, Dutch poet/literary (My Relief), dies at 75
  • 1843 Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, British Viceroy of India (b. 1748)
  • 1848 Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1781)
  • 1862 Johnson Kelly Duncan, architect/Confederate brig-generaal, dies at 35 of malarial fever
  • 1892 Richard Owen, English zoologist (Dinosauria), dies at 88
  • 1897 Carlo A Alfieri, Italian Member of parliament, dies at 70
  • 1915 Henry Enfield Roscoe, English Chemist, dies at 82
  • 1919 John Alcock, English pilot (1st non-stop over Atlantic), dies in crash at 27
  • 1931 John T "Legs" Diamond, US gangster, murdered at 35
  • 1932 Eduard "Ede" Bernstein, German marxist/revisionist, dies at 82
  • 1935 Juan V Gomez, general/dictator of Venezuela (1908-35), dies
  • 1936 Andrija Mohorovičić, Austro-Hungarian-born Yugoslav seismologist (b. 1857)
  • 1939 Matthew Brown, Journalist, dies at 51
  • 1948 Janet Fay, hammered to death by Honeymoon Killers
  • 1959 Dorothy L Sayers, writer, dies at 66
  • 1966 Gene Gauntier, dies in Cuernavaca Mexico
  • 1971 Aleksandr T Tvardovski, Russ editor in chief (Novyj Mir), dies at 61
  • 1973 Allama Rasheed Turabi, Pakistani scholar, orator and philosopher (b. 1908)
  • 1975 Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian-American genetist, evolutionary biologist and author (Mankind Evolving), dies at 75
  • 1977 Louis Untermeyer, poet/critic/TV panelist (What's My Line), dies at 92
  • 1980 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76
  • 1981 Mehmet Shehu, PM Albania (1954-81)/"US-Russ spy", commits suicide
  • 1982 Hans-Ulrich Rudel, German pilot (b. 1916)
  • 1985 Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese poet (b. 1916)
  • 1992 Mark Goodson, TV game show producer (Goodson-Toddman), dies at 77
  • 1992 Mother Clare Hale, cared for NYC AIDS babies (Hale House), dies at 87
  • 1994 Peter Hebblethwaite, English editor-in-chief (The Month), dies at 64
  • 1994 Roger Apéry, Greek-French mathematician (b. 1916)
  • 1995 Chaim Pearl, rabbi, dies at 76
  • 1995 Georgio Fini, restaurateur, dies at 70
  • 1995 Ross Thomas, author, dies at 69
  • 1995 Konrad Zuse, German engineer and computing pioneer (b. 1910)
  • 1998 Lev Demin, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
  • 2000 Randolph Apperson Hearst, American newspaper publisher (Hearst Newspapers), dies at 85
  • 2002 Ray Hnatyshyn, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1934)
  • 2002 Wayne Owens, former U.S. Congressman (D-Utah) (b. 1937)
  • 2004 Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
  • 2005 Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (b. 1922)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2006 Joseph Barbera, American cartoonist (Hanna-Barbera - Tom and Jerry, Flintstones), dies at 95

Animator Joseph Barbera
Animator
Joseph Barbera
  • 2006 Ruth Bernhard, American photographer (1905)
  • 2006 Mike Dickin, British radio broadcaster (b. 1943)
  • 2006 Shaukat Siddiqui, Pakistani author, journalist and political activist (b. 1923)
  • 2007 Gerald Le Dain, Canadian Supreme Court judge (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Bill Strauss, American writer on generations, satirist, and founder of the Capitol Steps (b. 1947)
  • 2008 Mark Felt, the infamous "Deep Throat", American FBI official and whistle blower during the Watergate Scandal dies aged 95
  • 2010 Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Italian banker and economist (b. 1940)
  • 2010 Jacqueline de Romilly, French philologist and classical scholar (b. 1913)
  • 2010 James Pickles, English jurist and columnist (b. 1925)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2011 Václav Havel, Czech politician (President of Czechoslovakia, 1990-2, Czech Republic, 1993-2003), dies at 75

Politician and Author Václav Havel
Politician and Author
Václav Havel
  • 2012 Marcus Worsley, British Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, dies at 87
  • 2017 Susan Travers, English-French Foreign Legion soldier, dies at 94