Events in History on May 18

Roman Empire

332 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great institutes free daily bread rations in Constantinople

  • 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
  • 1565 Turkish Armada arrives to begin the Great Siege of Malta, aiming to establish the island as their gateway for the conquest of Europe

Historic Event

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

  • 1596 Willem Barents leaves Amsterdam for Novaya Zemlya

Historic Event

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

Election of Interest

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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate

  • 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

Assassination 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

  • 1830 Edwin Budding of England signs an agreement for the manufacture of his invention, a 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

Presidential Convention

1860 US Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for president

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

Battle 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]

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

Historic Event

1897 Herbert Henry Dow founds Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan

  • 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
  • 1916 A British Royal Inquiry into the Easter Rising in Dublin is set up in London
  • 1916 US pilot Kiffin Rockwell shoots down German aircraft over Alsace in WWI
  • 1917 Erik Satie, Leonide Massine and Pablo Picasso's ballet "Parade" premieres in Paris

Historic Event

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

  • 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
  • 1918 Dutch Indian Volksraad installed in Batavia
  • 1918 TNT explosion in chemical factory in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, kills 200
  • 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 Bath School Disaster, Bath MI. Andrew Kehoe blows up Bath Consolidated School killing 38 children, 2 teachers.
  • 1927 Ritz Hotel opens in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 1934 Trans-Word Airlines (TWA) begins commercial service
  • 1940 WWII: German troops conquer Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1941 Italian army in Ethiopia under general Aosta surrenders to Britain
  • 1943 Allied bombers attack Pantelleria, an Italian island 100 km southwest of Sicily
  • 1944 Expulsion of more than 200,000 Tartars from Crimea by Soviet Union begins, they are accused of collaborating with the Germans
  • 1944 Polish 2nd Army corps captures convent of Monte Cassino, Italy
  • 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
  • 1951 US General Collins predicts use of atom bomb in Korea


1952 Professor WF Libby says Stonehenge dates back to 1848 BC

  • 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
  • 1956 Queen Juliana opens Rembrandt fairs in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 1960 Eillen Fulton begins playing Lisa on As the World Turns (for almost 30 yrs)

Theater Premiere

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

  • 1964 US Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional to deprive naturalized citizens of citizenship if they return to home country for more than 3 years

Historic Event

1965 American engineer Ray Dolby founds Dolby Laboratories in London, England

  • 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 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
  • 1971 Bulgarian constitution goes into effect

Historic Event

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

  • 1971 Vampire rapist Wayne Boden's last victim found in Calgary, Alberta

Historic Event

1973 Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev visits West Germany

  • 1973 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Dotty Fothergill
  • 1974 India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb
  • 1974 Nigeria announces 55 percent government participation in all oil concessions

Election of Interest

1977 Menachem Begin becomes Prime Minister of Israel

  • 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 Fernando Belaunde Terry elected president of Peru
  • 1980 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms

Mount 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

  • 1980 People's Republic of China launches 1st intercontinental rocket
  • 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
  • 1986 Chung Kwung Ying does 2,750 "atomic" hand-stand push-ups
  • 1986 South African army occupies Botswana, Zimbabwe & Zambia
  • 1990 East and West Germany sign a monetary union treaty
  • 1990 Judy Carne arrested at JFK airport on an 11 year old drug warrant
  • 1991 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1991 Republic of Somaliland declares independence from Somalia
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 1995 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Sandra Postma
  • 1996 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Lisa Wagner
  • 1998 United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 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
  • 2006 The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country
  • 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
  • 2014 Swiss voters reject a $25 per hour minimum wage

Historic Event

2018 All of Chile's 34 Roman Catholic bishops offer their resignation to Pope Francis in wake of child sex scandal

  • 2018 Mexican Damojh airlines flight crashes near Havana airport, Cuba, killing 110 with just 3 survivors
  • 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting; 17 year-old shooter kills 10 and injures 10 in Santa Fe, Texas

Election of Interest

2019 Australian federal elections won by Scott Morrison's coalition government in a surprise result

COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 US President Donald Trump confirms he is taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19

  • 2020 WHO member states agree to set up an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic, including looking at the WHO itself
  • 2021 India records the highest recorded daily COVID-19 death toll to date in the world with 4,529 deaths

Historic Event

2022 Amid a nationwide US baby formula shortage, President Joe Biden invokes the Defense Production Act, requiring suppliers to fulfil orders to baby formula manufacturers first [1]