On This Day

Historical Events on December 18

  • 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 Company under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies
  • 1621 English parliament accept unanimously, Protestation

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1783 British King George III dismisses Duke of Portland's government

King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover George III
King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
George III

USAConstitution of the United States

1787 New Jersey becomes 3rd state to ratify US constitution
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Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States
  • 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 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard reaches Tierra del Fuego for the first time

Naturalist Charles Darwin
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
  • 1860 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1892 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet "Nutcracker Suite" premieres

  • 1892 Anton Bruckner's 8th Symphony premieres
  • 1894 Cricket day 4, 1st test Australia v England, England following on 4-268, 7 in front

  • 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
  • 1916 Battle of Verdun, longest of World War I, officially ends in German defeat after nine months of fighting and almost 1 million total casualties

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 The Soviet government issues a decree recognizing Finland's newly-declared independence [N.S. December 31]

Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader
Vladimir Lenin
Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin

USAProhibition is Ratified

1917 The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, authorizing prohibition of alcohol, is approved by the US congress and sent to the states for ratification
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The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established prohibition
The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established prohibition
  • 1920 1st US postage stamps printed without the words United States or US
  • 1923 International zone of Tangier set up in Morocco
  • 1932 National Football League Championship; Playoff, Chicago Stadium: Chicago Bears beat Portsmouth Spartans, 9-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1935 Bradman scores 117 in his 1st Shield cricket match for South Australia

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1935 Edward Benes becomes president of Czechoslovakia
  • 1935 The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon
  • 1936 Queensland cricket all out for 49 v Vic, Fleetwood-Smith 7-17
  • 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
  • 1948 WDSU TV channel 6 in New Orleans, LA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1949 National Football League Championship, Philadelphia Eagles beat Los Angeles Rams, 14-0; played in driving rain that caused field to become a mud pit
  • 1952 Ellis W Ryan resigns as Cleveland Indians president
  • 1953 KATV TV channel 7 in Little Rock, AR (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 KMID TV channel 2 in Midland & Odessa, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1956 "To Tell the Truth" debuts on CBS-TV
  • 1956 Israeli flag hoisted on Mount Sinai
  • 1956 Japan admitted to UN
  • 1956 Phil Rizzuto signs as NY Yankee radio-TV announcer
  • 1956 Ballon d'Or: Blackpool & England winger Stanley Matthews wins inaugural award for best football player in Europe; beats Real Madrid pair Alfredo Di Stéfano & Raymond Kopa
  • 1957 World's 1st full scale nuclear power plant for only peacetime use begins to generate electricity, at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania
  • 1958 Project SCORE, world’s 1st communications satellite launched from Cape Canaveral
  • 1958 Niger gains autonomy within French Community (National Day)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 Sammy Baugh named 1st coach of NY Titans (AFL)

American Football Player and Coach Sammy Baugh
American Football Player and Coach
Sammy Baugh
  • 1960 General Meeting of UN condemns apartheid
  • 1961 Britain's EMI Records originally rejects the Beatles
  • 1961 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year
  • 1961 India annexes Portuguese colonies of Goa, Damao & Diu
  • 1961 KAIL TV channel 53 in Fresno, CA (IND) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78 points vs LA

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1962 Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony premieres in Moscow

  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1962 WAIQ TV channel 26 in Montgomery, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1962 Ballon d'Or: Dukler Prague midfielder Josef Masopust wins award for best European football player; beats Benfica striker Eusébio and FC Köln defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
  • 1963 Clarke runs world record 10k (28:15.6)
  • 1963 Muskegon, Michigan gets 3' of snow

Film release premierFilm Premier

1963 "The Pink Panther" film premieres directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers and David Niven with theme by Henry Mancini

Actor and Comedian Peter Sellers
Actor and Comedian
Peter Sellers
Composer and Conductor Henry Mancini
Composer and Conductor
Henry Mancini
Actor David Niven
David Niven
  • 1964 "I Had a BaIl" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 199 performances

  • 1964 "The Pink Panther" cartoon series premieres (Pink Phink)
  • 1964 During funeral service held for soul singer Sam Cooke, fans cause damage to funeral home
  • 1964 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1965 "La Grusse Valise" closes at 54th St Theater NYC after 7 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Astronaut Frank Borman
Frank Borman
  • 1965 Kenneth LeBel jumps 17 barrels on ice skates

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" airs for 1st time on CBS

Children's Author Dr. Seuss
Children's Author
Dr. Seuss
  • 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 "Coco" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 333 performances
  • 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
  • 1969 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", 6th James Bond Film starring George Lazenby and Diana Rigg, premieres in London
  • 1970 "Me Nobody Knows" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 587 performances
  • 1970 Polish uprising fails
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1971 1st Candlelight Processional at the EPCOT Center, Disney World
  • 1971 CBS radio cancels Saturday morning band concerts
  • 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.
  • 1972 US launches Operation Linebacker II, its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam, as negotiations to end the Vietnam War collapse
  • 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

Film release premierFilm Premier

1976 "A Star is Born" film directed by Frank Pierson with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, premieres

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • 1976 "Wonder Woman" debuts on ABC
  • 1976 Soviet dissident Viktor Bukovskiexchanged for Chile CP-leader Corvalan
  • 1977 Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 42, Nate Thumond

  • 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
  • 1983 NBA San Diego Clippers ends 29 game road losing streak
  • 1984 73rd Davis Cup: Sweden beats USA in Gothenburg (4-1)

Film release premierFilm Premier

1984 "A Christmas Carol" directed by Clive Donner starring George C. Scott premieres in the US

  • 1985 "Jerry's Girls" opens at St James Theater NYC for 139 performances
  • 1985 UN Security Council unanimously condemns "acts of hostage-taking"
  • 1987 Ivan F Boesky sentenced to 3 years for insider trading
  • 1988 Seattle Seahawks win their 1st ever division title with 9-7 record
  • 1988 Cricket Women's World Cup: Australia defeats England by 8 wickets
  • 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)
  • 1990 Bush reiterates his "no concessions" stance against Iraq
  • 1991 DeForest Kelly (Dr McCoy on Star Trek) gets a star in Hollywood
  • 1991 General Motors announces closing of 21 plants
  • 1992 FCC vote 4-1 to allow Infinity to purchase Cook Inlet stations
  • 1993 Kevin Scott skates world record 1K (1:12.54)
  • 1994 "Comedy Tonight" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • 1994 "What's Wrong With this Pic?" closes at Circle in Sq NYC after 12 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Darryl Strawberry pleads not guilty on tax evasion charges

Baseball Player Darryl Strawberry
Baseball Player
Darryl Strawberry
  • 1994 Socialist Party (ex-communist) wins Bulgaria parliamentary election
  • 1996 Start of 1st Test Cricket match between Zimbabwe & England

  • 1996 US TV industry execs agree to adopt a ratings system
  • 1996 The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring "Ebonics" a language or dialect.
  • 1996 During a press conference, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Maleki states that Iran supports the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, but reserves the option of closing off the shipping route if it is threatened
  • 1997 HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium
  • 1999 NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
  • 2001 Ballon d'Or: Liverpool forward Michael Owen is named best football player in Europe ahead of Real Madrid striker Raúl and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn
  • 2002 Governor of California Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier

Film release premierFilm Release

2002 "The Two Towers", 2nd of the Lord of the Rings films is released. Makes US$62 opening weekend and $926 million total worldwide.

Actress Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler
Writer and Academic J. R. R. Tolkien
Writer and Academic
J. R. R. Tolkien

Film release premierFilm Premier

2002 "The Hours" premieres in the US, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham and starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2002 Fashion designer Calvin Klein announces he is selling his company to shirt-maker Phillips-Van Heusen for $430 million

Fashion Designer Calvin Klein
Fashion Designer
Calvin Klein

Film release premierFilm Release

2009 James Cameron's "Avatar" starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, released in the US, becomes highest-grossing film of all time

Actress Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana
Film Director James Cameron
Film Director
James Cameron
Actress Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
  • 2011 The last US troops withdraw from Iraq, formally ending the Iraq War
  • 2012 4 people are killed and 11 are injured after an apartment block collapses in Palermo, Italy
  • 2012 6 health workers dispensing polio vaccinations are gunned down in Pakistan
  • 2012 The Seleka rebel coalition kills 15 people during its capture of Bria, the Central African Republic
  • 2017 South Africa's ANC selects Cyril Ramaphosa as leader, to succeed President Jacob Zuma
  • 2017 Australia regains cricket's Ashes against England, winning by an innings to take 3 game lead at the Wacca in Perth
  • 2017 Austria swears in new coalition government with Sebastian Kurz aged 31 of the People's Party made Chancellor
  • 2018 Manchester United sacks high profile Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho; United in 6th place in EPL, 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer new caretaker manager
  • 2018 Nevada becomes the first US state with a female-majority legislature with new appointments taking it to 51%
  • 2018 Fire destroys 600 stilt homes in Manaus, northwestern Brazil
  • 2018 Meteor explodes in huge fireball over the Bering Sea with 10 times the energy of Hiroshima atomic bomb , 2nd largest in last 30 yrs