On This Day in History February 18

February 18 – Events:

  • 1229 – The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signs a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.
  • 1268 – The Livonian Brothers of the Sword are defeated by Dovmont of Pskov in the Battle of Rakovor.
  • 1332 (or 1329) – Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces.
  • 1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is privately executed in the Tower of London.
  • 1678 – John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” is published.
  • 1685 – Fort St. Louis is established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France’s claim to Texas.
  • 1797 – Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.
  • 1814 – The Battle of Montereau occurs.
  • 1841 – The first ongoing filibuster in the United States Senate begins and lasts until March 11.
  • 1856 – The American Party (Know-Nothings) convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate their first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.
  • 1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America.
  • 1861 – With the Italian unification almost complete, King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.
  • 1865 – Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia.
  • 1878 – The Lincoln County War begins in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
  • 1885 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.
  • 1901 – Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the British House of Commons.
  • 1911 – The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away.
  • 1913 – Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France.
  • 1915 – Germany begins a blockade of England.
  • 1922 – Kenesaw Mountain Landis resigns his judgeship to become baseball commissioner.
  • 1929 – The first Academy Awards are announced.
  • 1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.
  • 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
  • 1932 – The Empire of Japan declares Manzhouguo (obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China.
  • 1943 – The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.
  • 1943 – Joseph Goebbels delivers the Sportpalast speech.
  • 1948 – Eamon de Valera resigns as Taoiseach of Ireland.
  • 1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1955 – The Shot Teapot-Wasp is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp would be the first of fourteen shots of the Teapot series.
  • 1957 – Dedan Kimathi, a Kenyan rebel leader is executed by the British colonial government.
  • 1960 – 8th Winter Olympic games open in Squaw Valley, California.
  • 1962 – France & Algerian Moslems negotiate truce to end 7 year war.
  • 1965 – The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • 1967 – Softball pitcher Eddie Feigner strikes out 6 straight major leaguers.
  • 1968 – British adopt year-round daylight savings time.
  • 1969 – The Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 disaster occurs, killing all on board.
  • 1970 – The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
  • 1972 – The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, 6 Cal.3d 628 invalidates the state’s death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison.
  • 1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle goes on its maiden “flight” while sitting on top of a Boeing 747.
  • 1978 – First Iron Man Triathlon (swim, bike ride, marathon) held, Kona, Hawaii.
  • 1979 – Miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations” premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1979 – Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the first and only recorded time in history.
  • 1983 – Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.
  • 1988 – Anthony M. Kennedy becomes a Supreme Court Justice.
  • 1991 – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London.
  • 1998 – Two white separatists are arrested in Nevada and accused of plotting a biological attack on New York City subways.
  • 2000 – Stjepan Mesic becomes the second president of Croatia.
  • 2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union.  He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
  • 2003 – Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.
  • 2003 – Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.
  • 2004 – Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Neyshabur in Iran when a run-away freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertiliser catches fire and explodes.

February 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1374 – Saint Jadwiga of Poland, queen of Poland (d. 1399)
  • 1486 – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Bengali saint, bhakti yoga developer
  • 1516 – Queen Mary I of England (d. 1558)
  • 1530 – Uesugi Kenshin, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1578)
  • 1543 – Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1608)
  • 1559 – Isaac Casaubon, French classical scholar (d. 1614)
  • 1602 – Per Brahe (the younger), Swedish soldier (d. 1680)
  • 1609 – Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, English historian (d. 1674)
  • 1635 – Johan Göransson Gyllenstierna, Swedish statesman (d. 1680)
  • 1642 – Marie Champmeslé, French actress (d. 1698)
  • 1658 – Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, French writer (d. 1743)
  • 1745 – Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist (d. 1827)
  • 1814 – Samuel Fenton Cary, U. S. Congressman (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Sri Ramakrishna, Bengali saint, guru of Swami Vivekananda (d. 1886)
  • 1838 – Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist (d. 1916)
  • 1846 – Wilson Barrett, English playwright (d. 1904)
  • 1848 – Louis Comfort Tiffany, American glass artist (d. 1933)
  • 1849 – Alexander Kielland, Norwegian author (d. 1906)
  • 1859 – Sholom Aleichem, Russian Yiddish humorist (d. 1916)
  • 1870 – William Laurel Harris, American mural painter, writer (d. 1924)
  • 1871 – Harry Brearley, English inventor (d. 1948)
  • 1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek author (d. 1957)
  • 1884 – Andrew Watson Myles, Canadian politician (d. 1970)
  • 1888 – George Papandreou, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1968)
  • 1890 – Edward Arnold, American actor (d. 1956)
  • 1890 – Adolphe Menjou, American actor (d. 1963)
  • 1892 – Wendell Willkie, American politician (d. 1944)
  • 1896 – Andre Breton, French writer (d. 1966)
  • 1897 – Charles Kuentz, WW1 veteran, changed nationality 4 times (d.2005)
  • 1898 – Enzo Ferrari, Italian race car driver (d. 1988)
  • 1898 – Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rican poet (d. 1980)
  • 1901 – Reginald Sheffield, British actor (d. 1957)
  • 1902 – Walter Herbert, German-born conductor and impresario (d. 1975)
  • 1903 – Nikolai Podgorny, President of the Soviet Union (d. 1983)
  • 1906 – Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician (d. 1980)
  • 1907 – Oscar Brodney, American screenwriter (d. 2008)
  • 1909 – Wallace Stegner, American writer (d. 1993)
  • 1914 – Pee Wee King, American country musician and songwriter (d. 2000)
  • 1915 – Phyllis Calvert, British actress (d. 2002)
  • 1916 – Jean Drapeau, Quebec politician, mayor of Montreal (d. 1999)
  • 1918 – Jane Loevinger, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1919 – Jack Palance, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1920 – Bill Cullen, American game show host (d. 1990)
  • 1920 – Eric Gairy, Grenadan politician (d. 1997)
  • 1922 – Helen Gurley Brown, American editor
  • 1922 – Allan Melvin, American actor (d. 2008)
  • 1922 – Juhan Smuul, Estonian author (d. 1971)
  • 1924 – Humberto Fernández Morán, Venezuelan scientist (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Louis Laberge, Quebec labour union leader (d. 2002)
  • 1925 – George Kennedy, American actor
  • 1925 – Marcel Barbeau, Quebec artist
  • 1927 – John Warner, American politician
  • 1927 – Luis Arroyo, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1928 – Tom Johnson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1929 – Len Deighton, British author
  • 1929 – André Mathieu, Quebec composer (d. 1968)
  • 1930 – Gahan Wilson, American cartoonist
  • 1931 – Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (d. 2007)
  • 1931 – Toni Morrison, American writer, Nobel laureate
  • 1931 – Bob St. Clair, American football player
  • 1932 – Miloš Forman, Czech film director
  • 1933 – Yoko Ono, Japanese-born singer
  • 1933 – Sir Bobby Robson, English football manager
  • 1933 – Mary Ure, Scottish actress (d. 1975)
  • 1935 – Michel Aoun, Lebanese prime minister
  • 1936 – Jean Auel, American writer
  • 1936 – Dick Duff, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1938 – István Szabó, Hungarian film director
  • 1938 – Manny Mota, Dominican baseball player
  • 1939 – Dal Maxvill, American baseball player
  • 1939 – Marek Janowski, Polish-born conductor
  • 1939 – Claude Ake, Nigerian political scientist
  • 1941 – Irma Thomas, American singer
  • 1943 – Graeme Garden, Scottish writer
  • 1944 – Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos
  • 1945 – Judy Rankin, American golfer
  • 1946 – Michael Buerk, British newsreader
  • 1946 – Jean-Claude Dreyfus, French actor
  • 1947 – Dennis DeYoung, American musician (STYX)
  • 1947 – Princess Christina of the Netherlands
  • 1947 – Carlos Lopes, Portuguese athlete
  • 1947 – Eliot Lance Engel, American politician
  • 1948 – Sinéad Cusack, Irish actress
  • 1948 – Keith Knudsen, American drummer and songwriter (The Doobie Brothers) (d. 2005)
  • 1949 – Gary Ridgway, American serial killer
  • 1950 – John Hughes, American director
  • 1950 – Cybill Shepherd, American actress
  • 1950 – Michel Gauthier, Quebec politician
  • 1951 – Isabel Preysler, Philippines-born Spanish socialite
  • 1952 – Maurice Lucas, American basketball player
  • 1952 – Juice Newton, American singer
  • 1953 – Robbie Bachman, Canadian drummer (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
  • 1954 – John Travolta, American actor
  • 1955 – Miles Tredinnick, English playwright
  • 1955 – Raymond Rougeau, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1956 – Ted Gärdestad, Swedish singer (d. 1997)
  • 1957 – Marita Koch, German athlete
  • 1957 – Vanna White, American game show presenter
  • 1958 – Giovanni Lavaggi, Italian racing driver
  • 1958 – Gar Samuelson, American drummer (d. 1999)
  • 1960 – Carol McGiffin, British TV and radio presenter
  • 1960 – Greta Scacchi, Australian actress
  • 1960 – Andy Moog, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1962 – Julie Strain, American actress
  • 1963 – Martin Treanor, Irish Writer
  • 1963 – Henry Winter, English football journalist
  • 1964 – Matt Dillon, American actor
  • 1964 – Paul Hanley, British musician (The Fall, Tom Hingley and the Lovers)
  • 1965 – Dr. Dre, American rapper
  • 1965 – Gregory Scott Johnson, American murderer (d. 2005)
  • 1966 – Guy Ferland, American television director
  • 1967 – Roberto Baggio, Italian footballer
  • 1967 – Tracey Edmonds, American film and television producer
  • 1968 – Molly Ringwald, American actress
  • 1968 – Tommy Scott, British musician (Space)
  • 1969 – Alexander Mogilny, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Jason Sutter, American drummer (Smash Mouth, American Hi-Fi)
  • 1970 – Raine Maida, Canadian musician (Our Lady Peace)
  • 1970 – Susan Egan, American actress
  • 1971 – Constantin Popa, Romanian-Israeli basketball player
  • 1973 – Claude Makélélé, French footballer
  • 1974 – Jamey Carroll, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Ruby Dhalla, Canadian politician
  • 1974 – Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Russian tennis player
  • 1975 – Sarah Brown, American actress
  • 1975 – Keith Gillespie, Irish footballer
  • 1975 – Gary Neville, English footballer
  • 1976 – Leilani Munter, American race car driver
  • 1977 – Kátia, Brazilian footballer
  • 1977 – Sean Watkins, American guitarist and songwriter
  • 1977 – Chrissie Wellington, British triathlete
  • 1978 – Josip Simunic, Croatian footballer
  • 1980 – Regina Spektor, Russian-born singer and songwriter
  • 1980 – Nikolai Antropov, Kazakh ice hockey player
  • 1981 – Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player
  • 1981 – Ivan Sproule, Irish footballer
  • 1981 – Kim Jae Won, South Korean actor
  • 1981 – Alex Rios, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Juelz Santana, American rapper
  • 1983 – Jermaine Jenas, English footballer
  • 1983 – Jason Maxiell, American basketball player
  • 1984 – Buddy Nielsen, American singer (Senses Fail)
  • 1985 – Lee Boyd Malvo, American serial killer
  • 1985 – Anton Ferdinand, English footballer
  • 1986 – Marc Torrejón, Spanish footballer
  • 1988 – Maiara Walsh, American actress

February 18 – Deaths:

  • 806 – Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (b. 730)
  • 814 – Angilbert, Frankish monk and confidant of Charlemagne
  • 901 – Thabit ibn Qurra, Arab astronomer and mathematician (b. 826)
  • 999 – Pope Gregory V (b. 972)
  • 1139 – Prince Yaropolk II of Kiev (b. 1082)
  • 1294 – Kublai Khan, Mongol Emperor (b. 1215)
  • 1379 – Albert II of Mecklenburg (b. 1318)
  • 1405 – Tamerlane, Mongol Emperor (b. 1336)
  • 1455 – Fra Angelico, Italian artist (b. 1395)
  • 1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1449)
  • 1535 – Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, astrologer and alchemist (b. 1486)
  • 1546 – Martin Luther, German religious reformer (b. 1483)
  • 1564 – Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian artist (b. 1475)
  • 1583 – Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Italian writer (b. 1503)
  • 1654 – Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, French writer (b. 1594)
  • 1683 – Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, Dutch painter (b. 1620)
  • 1712 – Louis, duc de Bourgogne, heir to the throne of France (b. 1682)
  • 1718 – Pierre Antoine Motteux, French-born English dramatist (b. 1663)
  • 1743 – Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, last of the Medicis (b. 1667)
  • 1748 – Otto Ferdinand von Abensberg und Traun, Austrian field marshal (b. 1677)
  • 1772 – Johann Hartwig Ernst, Count von Bernstorff, Danish statesman (b. 1712)
  • 1778 – Joseph Marie Terray, French statesman (b. 1715)
  • 1780 – Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lithuanian poet (b. 1714)
  • 1788 – John Whitehurst, English clockmaker and scientist (b. 1713)
  • 1803 – Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, German poet (b. 1719)
  • 1842 – Thomas Hazlehurst, English soap and alkali manufacturer (b. 1779)
  • 1851 – Carl Gustav Jakob Jacobi, German mathematician (b. 1804)
  • 1893 – Serranus Clinton Hastings, American politician (b. 1814)
  • 1895 – Karl Abs, German professional wrestler (b. 1851)
  • 1900 – Clinton L. Merriam, American politician (b. 1824)
  • 1902 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, American founder of Tiffany & Co. (b. 1812)
  • 1906 – John Batterson Stetson, American manufacturer (b. 1830)
  • 1911 – Billy Murdoch, Australian cricketer (b. 1854)
  • 1931 – Milan Šufflay, Croatian politician (b. 1879)
  • 1933 – James J. Corbett, American boxer (b. 1866)
  • 1938 – David King Udall, American politician (b. 1851)
  • 1942 – Albert Payson Terhune, American author (b. 1872)
  • 1945 – Ivan Chernyakhovsky, Russian general (b. 1906)
  • 1955 – Sadako Sasaki, School student(b. 1944)
  • 1956 – Gustave Charpentier, French composer (b. 1860)
  • 1957 – Dedan Kimathi, Kenyan rebel leader (b. 1920)
  • 1957 – Henry Norris Russell, American astronomer (b. 1877)
  • 1964 – Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Quebec inventor and industrialist (b. 1907)
  • 1966 – Robert Rossen, American screenwriter, producer, and director (b. 1908)
  • 1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (b. 1904)
  • 1973 – Frank Costello, Italian-born gangster (b. 1891)
  • 1977 – Andy Devine, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1978 – Maggie McNamara, American actress (b. 1928)
  • 1981 – John Knudsen Northrop, American aircraft manufacturer (b. 1895)
  • 1982 – Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand author (b. 1895)
  • 1993 – Kerry Von Erich, American professional wrestler (b. 1960)
  • 1993 – Jacqueline Hill, British actress (b. 1929)
  • 1995 – Bob Stinson, American guitarist (b.1959)
  • 1997 – Emily Hahn, American writer (b. 1905)
  • 1998 – Harry Caray, American baseball broadcaster (b. 1914)
  • 1998 – Robbie James, Welsh footballer (b. 1957)
  • 1999 – Noam Pitlik, American actor and director (b. 1932)
  • 2000 – Willy Maltaite, Belgian comics creator (b. 1927
  • 2001 – Balthus, Polish-born painter (b. 1908)
  • 2001 – Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver (b. 1951)
  • 2001 – Eddie Mathews, American baseball player (b. 1931)
  • 2003 – Isser Harel, Israeli Mossad leader (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Johnny Paycheck, American country singer/songwriter (b. 1938)
  • 2004 – Jean Rouch, French filmmaker and ethnologist (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Richard Bright, American actor (b. 1937)
  • 2008 – Sir Richard Knowles, British politician (b. 1917)
  • 2008 – Mihaela Mitrache, Romanian actress, (b. 1955)
  • 2008 – Mickey Renaud, Canadian professional ice hockey player (b. 1988)

February 18 – Holidays:

  • Gambian Independence Day
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