On This Day in History December 18

December 18 – Events:

  • 218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
  • 1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan,” officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
  • 1620 – The Mayflower lands in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts delivering 102 Pilgrims.
  • 1642 – Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand.
  • 1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, celebrating the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October
  • 1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French royalists to Lord Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: In the Battle of Lexington, General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union force under Colonel Robert Ingersoll.
  • 1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified by Georgia, fulfilling the two-thirds requirement for ratification, and abolishing Slavery in the United States.
  • 1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.
  • 1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde.
  • 1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the new land speed record going 39.245 mph, in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognized land speed record.
  • 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.
  • 1912 -The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is supposedly found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.
  • 1915 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.
  • 1916 – World War I: The Battle of Verdun ends when forces under Chief of Staff Erich Von Falkenhayn suffers 337,000 casualties by the French.
  • 1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. Because of a blizzard, the game was moved from Wrigley Field to the Chicago Stadium, the field measuring 80 yards long.
  • 1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.
  • 1941 – Japan invades Hong Kong after British governor of Hong Kong, Mark Aitchison Young refuses to surrender to Japanese forces.
  • 1944 – World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.
  • 1961 – Indonesia invades Netherlands New Guinea.
  • 1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
  • 1969 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan’s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years, is carried by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.
  • 1973 – Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
  • 1982 – A large Tacoa power plant starts burning in Venezuela, eventually killing 128.
  • 1987 – Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
  • 1987 – Ivan Boesky is sentenced to three years in prison for insider trading.
  • 1996 – The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring “Ebonics” a language or dialect.
  • 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.
  • 2002 – 2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.

December 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1507 – Ouchi Yoshitaka, Japanese warlord (d. 1551)
  • 1602 – Simonds d’Ewes, English antiquarian and politician (d. 1650)
  • 1610 – Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange, French philologist (d. 1688)
  • 1615 – Kasandra Kulas Serbian Warrior (d. 1701)
  • 1620 – Heinrich Roth, German Sanskrit scholar (d. 1668)
  • 1661 – Christopher Polhem, Swedish scientist and inventor (d. 1751)
  • 1662 – James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, Scottish politician (d. 1711)
  • 1707 – Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist (d. 1788)
  • 1725 – Johann Salomo Semler, German historian and Bible commentator (d. 1791)
  • 1825 – Charles Griffin (general), American general (d. 1876)
  • 1835 – Lyman Abbott, American author (d. 1922)
  • 1847 – Augusta Holmès, French composer (d. 1903)
  • 1851 – Graciano Lopez Jaena, Filipino hero, orator and satirist (d. 1896)
  • 1856 – Sir J. J. Thomson, English physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1940)
  • 1860 – Edward MacDowell, American composer and pianist (d. 1908)
  • 1863 – Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (d. 1914)
  • 1870 – Saki, English writer (d. 1916)
  • 1873 – Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (d. 1957)
  • 1878 – Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union (d. 1953)
  • 1879 – Paul Klee, Swiss-born painter (d. 1940)
  • 1886 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (d. 1961)
  • 1888 – Dame Gladys Cooper, English actress (d. 1971)
  • 1888 – Robert Moses, American public works official (d. 1981)
  • 1890 – Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (d. 1954)
  • 1897 – Fletcher Henderson, American arranger and composer (d. 1952)
  • 1904 – George Stevens, American film director (d. 1975)
  • 1907 – Bill Holland, American auto racer (d. 1984)
  • 1908 – Paul Siple, American Antarctic explorer (d. 1969)
  • 1910 – Abe Burrows, American playwright (d. 1985)
  • 1911 – Jules Dassin, American film director
  • 1912 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American General (d. 2002)
  • 1913 – Alfred Bester, American author (d. 1987)
  • 1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1992)
  • 1913 – Ray Meyer, American basketball coach (d. 2006)
  • 1916 – Douglas Fraser, Scottish-born American trade unionist
  • 1916 – Betty Grable, American actress (d. 1973)
  • 1917 – Ossie Davis, American actor and activist (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General
  • 1927 – Roméo LeBlanc, 25th Governor General of Canada
  • 1928 – Józef Glemp, Polish cardinal
  • 1929 – Gino Cimoli, American baseball player
  • 1930 – Moose Skowron, American baseball player
  • 1931 – Allen Klein, American rock and roll business manager
  • 1931 – Alison Plowden, English historian (d. 2007)
  • 1932 – Roger Smith, American actor
  • 1933 – Arthur Leigh Allen, Suspected Zodiac serial killer (d. 1992)
  • 1934 – Boris Volynov, Soviet cosmonaut
  • 1935 – Jacques Pépin, French chef
  • 1936 – Malcolm Kirk, English professional wrestler (d. 1987)
  • 1938 – Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals) (d. 1996)
  • 1938 – Joel Hirschhorn, American songwriter and composer (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – Roger E. Mosley, American actor
  • 1939 – Michael Moorcock, English author
  • 1939 – Harold E. Varmus, American scientist, Nobel laureate
  • 1940 – Bramwell Morrison, member of Sharon, Lois & Bram
  • 1941 – Wadada Leo Smith, American trumpeter and composer
  • 1942 – Harvey Atkin, Canadian actor
  • 1943 – Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones)
  • 1943 – Alan Rudolph, American film director and screenwriter
  • 1945 – Jean Pronovost, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1946 – Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 1977)
  • 1946 – Steven Spielberg, American film director
  • 1948 – Bill Nelson, English musician (Be Bop Deluxe)
  • 1948 – Laurent Voulzy, French singer and composer
  • 1949 – David A. Johnston, American volcanologist, first to report 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens (d. 1980)
  • 1950 – Gillian Armstrong, Australian film director
  • 1950 – Randy Castillo, American drummer (Ozzy Osbourne) (d. 2002)
  • 1950 – Leonard Maltin, American film critic
  • 1953 – Elliot Easton, American guitarist (The Cars)
  • 1953 – Khas-Magomed Hadjimuradov, Chechen bard
  • 1955 – Ray Liotta, American actor
  • 1956 – Ron White, American comedian
  • 1960 – Kazuhide Uekusa, Japanese economist
  • 1961 – Brian Orser, Canadian figure skater
  • 1963 – Karl Dorrell, American football coach
  • 1963 – Charles Oakley, American basketball player
  • 1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor
  • 1963 – Pauline Ester, French singer
  • 1964 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, American professional wrestler
  • 1964 – Don Beebe, American football player
  • 1964 – Robson Green, English actor and singer
  • 1965 – Mick Collins, American musician (The Gories, The Dirtbombs)
  • 1965 – Tommy Davidson, American actor
  • 1966 – Makiko Esumi, Japanese actress
  • 1966 – Mille Petrozza, German singer (Kreator)
  • 1967 – Toine van Peperstraten, Dutch sports journalist
  • 1968 – Rachel Griffiths, Australian actress
  • 1968 – Alejandro Sanz, Spanish singer
  • 1968 – Casper Van Dien, American actor
  • 1969 – Santiago Cañizares, Spanish footballer
  • 1969 – Justin Edinburgh, English footballer
  • 1969 – Akira Iida, Japanese racing driver
  • 1970 – Anthony Catanzaro, American fitness model
  • 1970 – Cowboy Troy, American rapper
  • 1970 – DMX, American rapper and actor
  • 1970 – Miles Marshall Lewis, American author
  • 1970 – Victoria Pratt, Canadian actress and fitness model
  • 1970 – Rob Van Dam, American professional wrestler
  • 1970 – Johnny Yeo, English artist
  • 1971 – Barkha Dutt, Indian journalist
  • 1971 – Noriko Matsueda, Japanese composer
  • 1971 – Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Spanish tennis player
  • 1972 – DJ Lethal, Latvian-born American DJ (House of Pain, Limp Bizkit)
  • 1972 – Raymond Herrera, American drummer (Fear Factory) and businessman
  • 1974 – Peter Boulware, American football player
  • 1974 – Kari Byron, artist and television personality
  • 1974 – Euroboy, Norwegian musician (Turbonegro)
  • 1975 – Trish Stratus, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1975 – Masaki Sumitani, Japanese comedian
  • 1976 – Koyuki, Japanese actress and model
  • 1977 – José Acevedo, Dominican baseball player
  • 1978 – Daniel Cleary, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1978 – Ali Curtis, American soccer player
  • 1978 – Katie Holmes, American actress
  • 1979 – Carlos, Portuguese footballer
  • 1980 – Christina Aguilera, American singer
  • 1982 – Dave Luetkenhoelter, American bassist (Kutless)
  • 1983 – Darren Carter, English footballer
  • 1985 – Tara Conner, 2006 Miss USA
  • 1985 – Hana Soukupová, Czech supermodel
  • 1987 – Miki Ando, Japanese figure skater
  • 1987 – Ayaka, Japanese singer
  • 1987 – Fernando Jara, Panamanian-American jockey
  • 1989 – Ashley Benson, American actress
  • 1989 – Ashley Slanina-Davies, Hollyoaks actress

December 18 – Deaths:

  • 821 – Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans
  • 1133 – Hildebert, French writer
  • 1290 – King Magnus I of Sweden (b. 1240)
  • 1442 – Pierre Cauchon, French Catholic bishop (b. 1371)
  • 1495 – King Alphonso II of Naples (b. 1448)
  • 1692 – Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (b. 1626)
  • 1737 – Antonio Stradivari, Italian violin maker (b. 1644)
  • 1787 – Francis William Drake, British Admiral and Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1724)
  • 1787 – Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)
  • 1799 – Jean-Étienne Montucla, French mathematician (b. 1725)
  • 1803 – Johann Gottfried Herder, German writer (b. 1744)
  • 1829 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French scientist (b. 1744)
  • 1843 – Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, British Viceroy of India (b. 1748)
  • 1848 – Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1781)
  • 1869 – Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American composer and pianist (b. 1829)
  • 1880 – Michel Chasles, French mathematician (b. 1793)
  • 1936 – Andrija Mohorovicic, Austro-Hungarian-born Yugoslav seismologist (b. 1857)
  • 1966 – Tara Browne, British socialite (b. 1945)
  • 1971 – Bobby Jones, American golfer (b. 1902)
  • 1971 – Diana Lynn, American actress (b. 1926)
  • 1973 – Allama Rasheed Turabi, Pakistani scholar, orator and philosopher (b. 1908)
  • 1974 – Harry Hooper, American baseball player (b. 1887)
  • 1975 – Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ukrainian geneticist (b. 1900)
  • 1980 – Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the USSR (b. 1904)
  • 1982 – Hans-Ulrich Rudel, German pilot (b. 1916)
  • 1985 – Xuân Diu, Vietnamese poet (b. 1916)
  • 1987 – Conny Plank, German record producer and musician (b. 1940)
  • 1990 – Anne Revere, American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1990 – Paul Tortelier, French cellist and composer (b. 1914)
  • 1991 – George Abecassis, English Formula 1 driver (b. 1913)
  • 1992 – Mark Goodson, American game show producer (b. 1915)
  • 1993 – Charizma, American rapper (b. 1973)
  • 1993 – Sam Wanamaker, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 1994 – Roger Apéry, Greek-French mathematician (b. 1916)
  • 1995 – Konrad Zuse, German engineer and computing pioneer (b. 1910)
  • 1996 – Yulii Borisovich Khariton, Russian physicist (b. 1904)
  • 1997 – Chris Farley, American actor and comedian (b. 1964)
  • 1998 – Lev Demin, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
  • 1999 – Robert Bresson, French film director (b. 1907)
  • 2000 – Stan Fox, American race car driver (b. 1952)
  • 2000 – Randolph Apperson Hearst, son of W. Randolph Hearst and father of Patty (b.

1915)

  • 2000 – Kirsty MacColl, English singer and songwriter (b. 1959)
  • 2001 – Gilbert Bécaud, French singer (b. 1927)
  • 2001 – Dimitris Dragatakis, Greek composer (b. 1914)
  • 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)
  • 2006 – Joseph Barbera, American cartoonist (b. 1911)
  • 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 – Jack Linkletter, American television host, son of Art Linkletter (b. 1937)
  • 2007 – Bill Strauss, American writer on generations, satirist, and founder of the Capitol Steps (b. 1947)

December 18 – Holidays:

  • New Jersey Day – A celebration to New Jersey’s admission to the union
  • Roman festivals – Feast of Epona (during Saturnalia)
  • C. Saints – Gatianus of Tours, O Adonai, Our Lady of Expectation
  • Niger – Republic Day (autonomous in 1958)
  • Greek Orthodox Church – Feast of Sebastian the Martyr
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