On This Day

Historical Events on May 18

  • 1096 Crusaders massacre Jews of Worms
  • 1268 The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch
  • 1291 After 100 years of Crusader control, Acre is the last Crusader stronghold reconquered and destroyed by the Mamluks under Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil
  • 1302 Bruges Matins; the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by local Flemish militia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1593 Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe

Dramatist and Playwright Thomas Kyd
Dramatist and Playwright
Thomas Kyd
  • 1596 Willem Barents leaves Amsterdam for Novaya Zemlya
  • 1619 Dutch jurist and scholar Hugo Grotius sentenced to life in prison in Loevestein Castle in the Netherlands (later escapes in a book chest)
  • 1631 English colony Massachusetts Bay grants Puritan voting right

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1631 John Winthrop is elected 1st Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop
Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1642 Ville-Marie (later Montreal), Canada, founded by the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal

Nurse and Settler of New France Jeanne Mance
Nurse and Settler of New France
Jeanne Mance
  • 1652 Rhode Island enacts 1st law declaring slavery illegal
  • 1703 Dutch & English troops occupy Cologne
  • 1756 Great Britain declares war on France at the start of the Seven Years' War
  • 1765 Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec
  • 1783 First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States
  • 1794 Battle of Tourcoing; French Republican army defeats a Habsburg coalition bear Lille, France, during War of the First Coalition
  • 1803 "Peace of Amiens" between French Republic and Great Britain ends as Britain declares war on France, due to France's imperialist policies in the West Indies, Italy, and Switzerland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1811 Battle of Las Piedras: The first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay lead by Jose Artigas

AssassinationAssassination of Spencer Perceval

1812 John Bellingham, a Liverpool merchant who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval on May 11, is hung for the crime at the Old Bailey in London

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British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham, drawing by John Heaviside Clark
British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham, drawing by John Heaviside Clark
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  • 1830 Edwin Budding of England signs an agreement for the manufacture of his invention, lawn mower. Saturdays are destroyed forever
  • 1843 United Free Church of Scotland forms
  • 1846 US troops attack Rio Grande occupying Matamoros
  • 1848 Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1851 Amsterdam-Nieuwediep telegraph connection linked
  • 1852 Massachusetts rules all school-age children must attend school

Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

1860 US Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for president

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 1861 Battle of Sewall's Point Virginia - 1st Federal offense against the South
  • 1861 Friedrich Hebbel's "Kriemhildes Rache" premieres in Weimar

BattleBattle of Interest

1863 US General Ulysses S. Grant begins siege on Vicksburg, Mississippi; after 47 days of battle siege, Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton’s troops surrender [1]

Union General and US President Ulysses S. Grant
Union General and US President
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1864 Battle of Yellow Bayou, Louisiana (Bayou de Glaize, Old Oaks)
  • 1866 Netherlands government of Isaäc Dignus Fransen De Putte resigns
  • 1869 Robert Tanner Freeman is 1st African American to graduate from Harvard Dental School
  • 1869 Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan
  • 1880 6th Kentucky Derby: George Lewis aboard Fonso wins in 2:37.5
  • 1887 Emmanuel Chabrier's opera "Le roi malgré lui" (King, in spite of himself) premieres at the Opéra-Comique in Paris; after 3 performances the theatre burns down

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1889 Jules Massenet's opera "Esclarmonde" premieres in Paris

Composer Jules Massenet
Jules Massenet
  • 1896 US Supreme court affirms legitimacy of racial separation (Plessy v Ferguson), a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal"

CrownRoyal Coronation

1896 Khodynka Tragedy: A mass panic on Khodynka Field, Moscow, during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, results in the deaths of 1,389 people

  • 1897 Irish Music Festival 1st held in Dublin
  • 1897 MLB American baseball New York Giants' Bill Joyce sets record of 4 triples in 1 game

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1897 Paul Dukas' symphonic scherzo "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice" (used in Disney's Fantasia film) premieres, based on poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Social Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Social Philosopher
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1897 Herbert Henry Dow founds Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan

Chemical Industrialist Herbert Henry Dow
Chemical Industrialist
Herbert Henry Dow
  • 1899 World Goodwill Day: 26 nations meet in 1st Hague Peace Conference
  • 1900 Britain proclaims protectorate over Kingdom of Tonga
  • 1904 In Morocco, a brigand, Raizuli, kidnaps Ion H. Perdicaris, an American citizen
  • 1911 President Jose Porfirio Diaz of Mexico's term ends

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1912 Philadelphia Athletics beat Tigers 24-2, who use amateurs in protest at Ty Cobbs suspension from the game

MLB Legend Ty Cobb
MLB Legend
Ty Cobb
  • 1912 Maurits Binger establishes 2 Dutch movie companies
  • 1916 US pilot Kiffin Rockwell shoots down German aircraft over Alsace in WWI
  • 1916 A British Royal Inquiry into the Easter Rising in Dublin is set up in London
  • 1917 Erik Satie, Leonide Massine and Pablo Picasso's ballet "Parade" premieres in Paris
  • 1917 US Congress passes Selective Service Act, authorizing the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into World War I through compulsory enlistment

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 First units of the American Expeditionary Force, commanded by General John J. Pershing, is ordered to France

US WW1 Commander John J. Pershing
US WW1 Commander
John J. Pershing
  • 1918 Dutch Indian Volksraad installed in Batavia
  • 1918 TNT explosion in chemical factory in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, kills 200
  • 1920 45th Preakness: Clarence Kummer aboard Man o' War wins in 1:51.6
  • 1922 Dutch 2nd Chamber agrees to 48 hour work week (was 45 hrs)
  • 1926 Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanishes in Venice, California She shows up a month later saying she's been kidnapped
  • 1927 "Slide Lake" in Gros Ventre, Wyoming, collapses
  • 1927 Grauman's Chinese Theater opens in Hollywood, California
  • 1927 Ritz Hotel opens in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1927 Bath School Disaster, Bath MI. Andrew Kehoe blows up Bath Consolidated School killing 38 children, 2 teachers.
  • 1929 55th Kentucky Derby: Linus McAtee on Clyde Van Dusen wins in 2:10.8
  • 1929 Dodgers beat Phillies 20-16 & lose 8-6 in 2nd game of a double header (record 50 runs)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933 Tennessee Valley Act (TVA) Act signed by FDR, to build dams

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1933 1st major league All-Star Game announced for July 6 at Comiskey Park It will be played as part of the Chicago World's Fair
  • 1933 Around 5,000 forced deportees in the Soviet Union arrive on Nazino Island; within thirteen weeks most of them will be dead due to disease, cannibalism and violence

Sports record brokenBaseball Event

1934 Jimmie Foxx hits 1st HR in Comiskey Park (Chicago) center field bleachers

MLB Hall of Fame 1st Baseman Jimmie Foxx
MLB Hall of Fame 1st Baseman
Jimmie Foxx
  • 1934 Trans-Word Airlines (TWA) begins commercial service
  • 1935 Harold Gimblett scores 123 in 80 mins on cricket debut for Somerset
  • 1940 German troops conquer Brussels
  • 1941 Italian army in Ethiopia under general Aosta surrenders to Britain
  • 1942 NYC ends night baseball games for rest of WW II
  • 1943 Allied bombers attack Pantelleria, an Italian island 100 km southwest of Sicily
  • 1944 Polish 2nd Army corps captures convent of Monte Cassino, Italy
  • 1944 Expulsion of more than 200,000 Tartars from Crimea by Soviet Union begins, they are accused of collaborating with the Germans
  • 1945 MLB Detroit Tigers & Philadelphia A's both have 7 straight games postponed due to rain
  • 1947 MLB Philadelphia A's catcher Warren Rosar catches his 147th game without an error
  • 1948 "Ballet Ballads" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 62 performances
  • 1948 Arab Legion captures fort on Mt Scopus during Arab-Israeli war
  • 1948 Saudi Arabia joins invasion of Israel
  • 1948 The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking
  • 1949 Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America incorporates
  • 1950 "Liar" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 12 performances
  • 1950 MLB St. Louis Cardinals baseman Tommy Glaviano makes 3 consecutive errors on grounders
  • 1951 US General Collins predicts use of atom bomb in Korea


1952 Professor WF Libby says Stonehenge dates back to 1848 BC

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Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England
Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England
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  • 1953 American Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier
  • 1955 28.7 cm rain falls at Lake Maloya New Mexico (state record)
  • 1955 Atkinson & Depeiaza take West Indies from 6-187 to 6-494 in day v Australia
  • 1955 Queen Juliana opens E55 fair in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 1956 Hungarian party leader Matyas Rákosi enforces his own policy

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1956 Mickey Mantle hits HR from both sides of plate for record 3rd time

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • 1956 Queen Juliana opens Rembrandt fairs in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957 82nd Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Bold Ruler wins in 1:56.2

Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Eddie Arcaro
Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
Eddie Arcaro
  • 1958 11th Cannes Film Festival: "The Cranes Are Flying" directed by Mikhail Kalatozov wins the Palme d'Or
  • 1959 "Castin' My Spell" by Johnny Otis Show hits #52
  • 1959 "Judy" by David Seville hits #86
  • 1959 "Russian Band Stand" by Spencer & Spencer hits #91
  • 1960 Eillen Fulton begins playing Lisa on As the World Turns (for almost 30 yrs)

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1960 Jean Genet's play "Le Balcon" (The Balcony) premieres in Paris

Novelist and Playwright Jean Genet
Novelist and Playwright
Jean Genet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 European Cup Final, Glasgow: Ferenc Puskás scores 4, Alfredo Di Stéfano 3 as Real Madrid routs Eintracht Frankfurt, 7-3; 5th consecutive title for Los Blancos

Soccer Player and Coach Alfredo Di Stéfano
Soccer Player and Coach
Alfredo Di Stéfano
  • 1961 "Donnybrook!" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 68 performances
  • 1961 14th Cannes Film Festival: "The Long Absence" directed by Henri Colpi and "Viridiana" directed by Luis Bunuel jointly awarded the Palme d'Or
  • 1963 "Beast in Me" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • 1963 "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul hits #1
  • 1963 88th Preakness: Bill Shoemaker aboard Candy Spots wins in 1:56.2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 David Frost interviews Paul McCartney on BBC

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
  • 1964 US Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional to deprive naturalized citizens of citizenship if they return to home country for more than 3 years
  • 1965 Gene Roddenberry suggests 16 names for Star Trek Captain; they include Kirk
  • 1965 WTAF TV channel 29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (IND) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 Ray Dolby founds Dolby Laboratories in London, England

Inventor Ray Dolby
Ray Dolby
  • 1967 Silver hits record $1.60 an ounce in London
  • 1967 Tennessee Governor Ellington approves repeal of the Butler Act (or "Monkey Law") - prohibiting the teaching of evolution, upheld in 1925 Scopes Trial
  • 1968 93rd Preakness: Ismael Valenzuela aboard Forward Pass wins in 1:56.8

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 AL Kaline hits his 307th HR, surpassing Hank Greenberg as a Tiger

Baseball Player Hank Greenberg
Baseball Player
Hank Greenberg
  • 1968 Frank Howard ties AL record with HR in his 6th consecutive game his 10 home runs in the most in 6 games
  • 1969 Apollo 10 launches from Kennedy Space Center and later transmits the 1st color pictures of Earth from space
  • 1969 "Canterbury Tales" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 122 performances
  • 1970 Beatles' last released LP, "Let It Be", released in US
  • 1971 4th ABA Championship: Utah Stars beat Kentucky Colonels, 4 games to 3
  • 1971 Bulgarian constitution goes into effect

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971 US President Richard Nixon rejects 60 demands of Congressional Black Caucus

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971 Stanley Cup Final, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: Henri Richard scores twice as Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago Black Hawks for a 4-3 series victory

Ice Hockey Great Henri Richard
Ice Hockey Great
Henri Richard
NHL Legend Frank Mahovlich
NHL Legend
Frank Mahovlich
  • 1971 Vampire rapist Wayne Boden's last victim found in Calgary, Alberta
  • 1972 "Me and The Chimp" an American TV sitcom last airs on CBS in the US
  • 1972 American basketball player John Sebastian makes 63 consecutive free throws while blindfolded
  • 1972 American pop rock band Looking Glass release their single "Brandy"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev visits West Germany

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
Soviet General Secretary
Leonid Brezhnev
  • 1973 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Dotty Fothergill
  • 1974 Novelty song "The Streak" by Ray Stevens hits #1
  • 1974 99th Preakness: Miguel Rivera aboard Current Little wins in 1:54.6
  • 1974 India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb
  • 1974 Nigeria announces 55 percent government participation in all oil concessions

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1977 Menachem Begin becomes Prime Minister of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin
  • 1977 US, USSR and other nations sign the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibits weather warfare having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects
  • 1978 Italy legalizes abortion
  • 1978 Russian dissident Yuri Orlov exiled to compulsory work
  • 1980 Belgium 3rd government of Martens forms
  • 1980 People's Republic of China launches 1st intercontinental rocket
  • 1980 Fernando Belaunde Terry elected president of Peru

Volcanic EruptionMount St. Helens Erupts

1980 Mount St Helens erupts in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history, killing 57 people and costing $1 billion in damage

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Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts
Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts
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  • 1980 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms
  • 1982 Tigers outfielder Larry Herndon is 14th to hit 4 consecutive HRs
  • 1982 Unification Church founder Rev Sun Myung Moon convicted of tax evasion
  • 1983 Senate revises immigration laws, gives millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program
  • 1985 "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head hits #3

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 110th Preakness: Pat Day aboard Tank's Prospect wins in 1:53.4

Jockey Pat Day
Pat Day
  • 1985 1st remote location for "Nightline" (South Africa)
  • 1986 "Singin' in the Rain" closes at Gershwin Theater NYC after 367 performances
  • 1986 David Goch finishes swimming 55,682 miles in a 25-yd pool
  • 1986 South African army occupies Botswana, Zimbabwe & Zambia
  • 1986 Chung Kwung Ying does 2,750 "atomic" hand-stand push-ups
  • 1988 In just Oakland's 39th of the season, pitcher Dave Stewart breaks record with his 12th balk en route to 16
  • 1990 East and West Germany sign a monetary union treaty
  • 1990 Cubs Ryne Sandberg ends 2nd baseman record 123 errorless game streak
  • 1990 Judy Carne arrested at JFK airport on an 11 year old drug warrant
  • 1990 TV movie "Return To Green Acres" airs

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Edmonton right wing Jari Kurri sets record for scoring in a Stanley Cup Finals game with 3 goals and 2 assists in 7-2 win at Boston Garden

NHL Star Jari Kurri
NHL Star
Jari Kurri
  • 1991 116th Preakness: Jerry Bailey aboard Hansel wins in 1:54
  • 1991 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1991 USSR launches 2 cosmonauts to MIR space station
  • 1992 US Supreme Court rules states could not force mentally unstable criminal defendants to take anti-psychotic drugs
  • 1992 45th Cannes Film Festival: "Den goda viljan" directed by Bille August wins the Palme d'Or
  • 1993 Danish people vote in favor of ratifying the Maastricht Treaty
  • 1993 Italian police arrest Mafia boss Benedetto "Nitto" Santapaola
  • 1994 Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip
  • 1994 Tropical Butterfly Garden at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • 1994 2nd UEFA Champions League Final: Milan beats Barcelona 4-0 at Athens
  • 1995 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Sandra Postma

Film release premierFilm Premier

1995 "Braveheart" directed by Mel Gibson and starring Mel Gibson and Sophie Marceau premieres at the Seattle Film Festival (Best Picture 1996)

Actor and Film Director Mel Gibson
Actor and Film Director
Mel Gibson
  • 1996 121st Preakness: Pat Day aboard Louis Quatorze wins in 1:53.2
  • 1996 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Lisa Wagner
  • 1996 41st Eurovision Song Contest: Eimear Quinn for Ireland wins singing "The Voice" in Oslo
  • 1997 "King David" opens at New Amsterdam Theater NYC

Sport awardLPGA Championship

1997 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, DuPont CC: Christa Johnson wins her only major title on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff over Leta Lindley

LPGA Golfer Christa Johnson
LPGA Golfer
Christa Johnson
  • 1997 50th Cannes Film Festival: "Taste of Cherry" directed by Abbas Kiarostami and "Unagi" directed by Shohei Imamura jointly awarded the Palme d'Or
  • 1998 United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 1998 44th British Academy Television Awards: "I'm Alan Partridge" Best Comedy, "Jonathan Creek" Best Drama
  • 1999 "Millennium" 3rd studio album by the Backstreet Boys is released - one of the best-selling albums of all time, over 30 million copies sold
  • 2001 101-year-old Harold Stilson becomes oldest golfer to record a hole-in-one when he aces the 108-yard, par-3, 16th hole at Deerfield CC, FL

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001 DreamWorks Pictures "Shrek", starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz in voice-over roles, debuts

Actor Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy
Actress Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz
Actor and Comedian Mike Myers
Actor and Comedian
Mike Myers
  • 2001 Saudi Arabia selects the eight foreign companies to take part in its "Gas Initiative," three core venture gas projects that have an anticipated worth of $25 billion
  • 2002 127th Preakness: Victor Espinoza aboard War Emblem wins in 1:56.36
  • 2002 Micky Ward beats Arturo Gatti by majority decision in a junior welterweight boxing bout in Uncasville, Connecticut; 'The Ring' Fight of the Year; first fight in their legendary trilogy
  • 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson becomes 16th pitcher to throw a perfect game (2-0 vs Atlanta)
  • 2006 The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country
  • 2008 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Pittsburgh Penguins beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 1

Music awardsMusic Awards

2008 43rd Academy of Country Music Awards: Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood win

Singer Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood
Country Singer Brad Paisley
Country Singer
Brad Paisley
  • 2009 Sri Lankan Civil War: The LTTE are defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.
  • 2010 Police officer James Crooker is asked to leave the Red and Black Café in Portland, Oregon after co-owner John Langley claimed Crooker's uniformed presence made him uncomfortable
  • 2013 RC Toulonnais defeat ASM Clermont Auvergne to win the rugby Heineken Cup final
  • 2013 138th Preakness: Gary Stevens aboard Oxbow wins in 1:57.54
  • 2013 58th Eurovision Song Contest: Emmelie de Forest for Denmark wins singing "Only Teardrops" in Malmo
  • 2014 Swiss voters reject a $25 per hour minimum wage
  • 2014 60th British Academy Television Awards: "A League of Their Own" Best Comedy, "Broadchurch" Best Drama
  • 2014 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, Shoal Creek G&CC: Kenny Perry wins his third of 4 Champions Tour majors by 1 stroke from Mark Calcavecchia
  • 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting; 17 year-old shooter kills 10 and injures 10 in Santa Fe, Texas
  • 2018 Mexican Damojh airlines flight crashes near Havana airport, Cuba, killing 110 with just 3 survivors