On This Day in History August 18

August 18 – Events:

  • 293 BC – The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica.
  • 1201 – The city of Riga is founded.
  • 1541 – A Portuguese ship drifts ashore in the ancient Japanese province of Higo (modern day Kumamoto Prefecture).
  • 1572 – Wedding in Paris of the Huguenot King Henry IV of Navarre with Marguerite de Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.
  • 1590 – John White, the governor of the Colony of Roanoke, returns from a supply-trip to England and finds his settlement deserted.
  • 1634 – Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, burned alive in Loudun, France.
  • 1636 – The Covenant of the Town of Dedham, Massachusetts was first signed.
  • 1775 – The Spanish established a presidio (fort) and the town came to be called Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1838 – The Wilkes Expedition, which would explore the Puget Sound and Antarctica, weighs anchor at Hampton Roads in 1838
  • 1848 – Camila O’Gorman and Ladislao Gutierrez executed on orders by Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern – Union forces try to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Weldon Railroad.
  • 1868 – French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovers helium.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Gravelotte is fought.
  •  1877 – Asaph Hall discovers Martian moon Phobos.
  • 1903 – German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.
  • 1904 – Chris Watson resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is succeeded by George Reid.
  • 1909 – Tokyo mayor Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River.
  • 1917 – A Great Fire in Thessaloniki, Greece destroys 32% of the city leaving 70,000 individuals homeless.
  • 1920 – Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.
  • 1938 – The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York State, United States with Ontario, Canada over the St. Lawrence River, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • 1941 – Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany’s systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and handicapped due to protests.
  • 1946 – Around 70 people died in the Vergarolla explosion.
  • 1950 – Julien Lahaut, the chairman of the Communist Party of Belgium is assassinated by far-right elements.
  • 1958 – Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.
  • 1963 – American civil rights movement: James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: Operation Starlite begins – United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.
  • 1966 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Tan occurs, when a patrol of Royal Australian Regiment encounter the Viet Cong.
  • 1968 – Two charter buses push into the Hida river on national highway route 41 in Japan, in an accident caused by heavy rain. 104 killed. This accident is worst road disaster in northeast Asia.
  • 1969 – Jimi Hendrix plays the unofficial last day of Woodstock.
  • 1971 – Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.
  • 1976 – In the Korean Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjeom, the Axe Murder Incident results in the death of two US soldiers.
  • 1977 – Steve Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 in King William’s Town, South Africa. He would later die of the injuries sustained during this arrest bringing attention to apartheid.
  • 1982 – Japanese election law is amended to allow for proportional representation.
  • 1983 – Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast, killing 22 people and causing over USD $1 billion in damage (1983 dollars).
  • 1989 – Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán is assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.
  • 1992 – Wang Laboratories files for bankruptcy.
  • 2000 – Federal jury found the US EPA guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later inspiring passage of the No FEAR Act.
  • 2002 – MTR Tseung Kwan O Line officially opened.
  • 2004 – In Dublin, Ireland the Dublin Port Tunnel excavation works are completed.
  • 2005 – Dennis Rader is sentenced to 175 years in prison for the BTK serial killings.
  • 2005 – Massive power blackout hits the Indonesian island of Java, affecting almost 100 million people.

August 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1414 – Jami, Persian poet (d. 1492)
  • 1450 – Marko Marulic, Croatian poet (d. 1524)
  • 1579 – Charlotte Flandrina of Nassau, Roman Catholic nun (died 1640)
  • 1587 – Virginia Dare, first English child born in North America (d. 1588)
  • 1596 – Jean Bolland, Flemish Jesuit writer (d. 1665)
  • 1605 – Henry Hammond, English churchman (d. 1660)
  • 1606 – Maria Anna of Spain, Holy Roman Empire Empress and Queen of Hungary (d. 1646)
  • 1611 – Ludwika Maria Gonzaga, queen of Poland (d. 1650)
  • 1657 – Ferdinando Galli Bibiena, Italian architect/designer (d. 1743)
  • 1685 – Brook Taylor, English mathematician (d. 1731)
  • 1692 – Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon, Prime Minister of France (d. 1740)
  • 1720 – Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers, English murderer (d. 1760)
  • 1750 – Antonio Salieri, Italian composer (d. 1825)
  • 1754 – François, marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat, French general (d. 1833)
  • 1774 – Meriwether Lewis, American explorer (d. 1809)
  • 1792 – John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1878)
  • 1803 – Nathan Clifford, American statesman, diplomat, and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d.  1881)
  • 1819 – Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaievna, Duchess of Leuchtenberg (d. 1876)
  • 1822 – Isaac P. Rodman, American Union general (d. 1862)
  • 1830 – Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria (d. 1916)
  • 1841 – William Halford, American naval officer (d. 1919)
  • 1855 – Alfred Wallis, English artist and mariner (d. 1942)
  • 1857 – Libert H. Boeynaems, Belgian Catholic prelate (d. 1926)
  • 1870 – Lavr Georgevich Kornilov, Russian general (d. 1918)
  • 1879 – Aleksandr Rodzyanko, Russian general (d. 1970)
  • 1890 – Walther Funk, German Nazi politician (d. 1960)
  • 1893 – Ernest MacMillan, Canadian musician (d. 1973)
  • 1893 – Burleigh Grimes, baseball player (d. 1985)
  • 1896 – Jack Pickford, Canadian-born actor (d. 1933)
  • 1900 – Glenn Albert Black, American archaeologist (d. 1964)
  • 1902 – Adamson-Eric, Estonian painter (d. 1968)
  • 1903 – Lucienne Boyer, French singer (d. 1983)
  • 1904 – Max Factor, Polish-born cosmetics entrepreneur (d. 1996)
  • 1906 – Marcel Carné, French film director (d. 1996)
  • 1908 – Edgar Faure, French politician and historian (d. 1988)
  • 1909 – Gérard Filion, French Canadian businessman and journalist (d. 2005)
  • 1913 – Romain Maes, Belgian cyclist (d. 1983)
  • 1915 – Max Lanier, baseball player (d. 2007)
  • 1916 – Dame Moura Lympany, British pianist (d. 2005)
  • 1917 – Caspar Weinberger, American politician (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – Walter Joseph Hickel, American politician
  • 1918 – Cisco Houston, American folk singer (d. 1961)
  • 1920 – Bob Kennedy, baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Shelley Winters, American actress (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Zdzislaw Zygulski, Jr., Polish art historian
  • 1922 – Alain Robbe-Grillet, French writer
  • 1925 – Brian Aldiss, English writer
  • 1925 – Pierre Grondin, French Canadian cardiac surgeon (d. 2006)
  • 1927 – Rosalynn Carter, First Lady of the United States
  • 1928 – Marge Schott, baseball team owner (d. 2004)
  • 1929 – Hugues Aufray, French singer
  • 1930 – Liviu Librescu, Israeli professor, killed in the Virginia Tech massacre
  • 1931 – Bramwell Tillsley, Canadian Salvation Army general
  • 1931 – Dick White, English footballer
  • 1932 – William R. Bennett, Premier of British Columbia
  • 1933 – Roman Polanski, French-born director and actor
  • 1933 – Just Fontaine, French footballer
  • 1934 – Vincent Bugliosi, American attorney
  • 1934 – Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican baseball player and humanitarian (d. 1972)
  • 1934 – Ronnie Carroll, British singer
  • 1935 – Rafer Johnson, American athlete
  • 1935 – Howard Morrison, New Zealand entertainer
  • 1936 – Robert Redford, American actor
  • 1939 – Robert Horton, British businessman
  • 1939 – Johnny Preston, American singer
  • 1943 – Martin Mull, American comedian
  • 1943 – Gianni Rivera, Italian footballer and politician
  • 1943 – Carl Wayne, English singer (d. 2004)
  • 1945 – Barbara Harris, American singer (Toys)
  • 1948 – Joseph Marcell, British actor
  • 1949 – Rudy Hartono, Indonesian badminton player
  • 1952 – Elayne Boosler, American comedian
  • 1952 – Patrick Swayze, American actor (d. 2009)
  • 1952 – Ricky Villa, Argentine former footballer
  • 1953 – Louie Gohmert, American politician
  • 1955 – Taher ElGamal, Egyptian scientist
  • 1956 – John Debney, American composer
  • 1956 – Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, American musician
  • 1957 – Carole Bouquet, French actress
  • 1957 – Denis Leary, American comedian and actor
  • 1958 – Madeleine Stowe, American actress
  • 1959 – Tom Prichard, American wrestler
  • 1960 – Fat Lever, American basketball player
  • 1960 – Mike LaValliere, baseball player
  • 1961 – Bob Woodruff, American journalist, anchor
  • 1962 – Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico
  • 1962 – Geoff Courtnall, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1964 – Edith Frost, American singer/songwriter
  • 1965 – Koji Kikkawa, Japanese singer
  • 1965 – Jim Florentine, American comedian
  • 1966 – Gustavo Charif, Argentine artist
  • 1966 – Kang Soo-yeon, South Korean actress
  • 1967 – Brian Michael Bendis, American comic book writer
  • 1967 – Daler Mehndi, Indian bhangra/pop singer
  • 1968 – Lee Seung-yeon, South Korean actress
  • 1968 – Dan Peters, American musician
  • 1969 – Masta Killa, American rapper
  • 1969 – Everlast, American musician
  • 1969 – Edward Norton, American actor
  • 1969 – Christian Slater, American actor
  • 1970 – Jessica Hsuan, Hong Kong actress
  • 1970 – Malcolm-Jamal Warner, American actor
  • 1971 – Richard D James, Irish-born musician (Aphex Twin)
  • 1972 – Keiko Yamada, Japanese singer
  • 1972 – Leo Ku, Hong Kong singer
  • 1972 – Shaun Wilson, Australian artist
  • 1976 – Daphnee Duplaix Samuel, American actress, Playboy Playmate
  • 1977 – Régine Chassagne, member of the Canadian rock band Arcade Fire
  • 1978 – Andy Samberg, American comedian
  • 1979 – Selena Silver, pornographic actress
  • 1980 – Esteban Cambiasso, Argentine footballer
  • 1980 – Preeti Jhangiani, Indian actress
  • 1980 – Rob Nguyen, Australian racing driver
  • 1980 – Athina Papayianni, Greek race walker
  • 1980 – Jeremy Shockey, American football Tight End
  • 1981 – César Delgado, Argentine footballer
  • 1981 – Jonathan Schneck, American musician (Relient K)
  • 1983 – Kris Boyd, Scottish footballer
  • 1983 – Mica Penniman (Mika), Lebanese-born musician
  • 1983 – Daniel Keith Swain (Danny!), American record producer/hip-hop artist
  • 1984 – Robert Huth, German footballer
  • 1987 – Mika Boorem, American actress
  • 1992 – Frances Bean Cobain, daughter Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
  • 1992 – Riko Narumi, Japanese actress
  • 1994 – Jessie Flower, American actress and voice actress
  • 1995 – Parker McKenna Posey, American actress

August 18 – Deaths:

  • 353 – Decentius, Roman usurper
  • 472 – Ricimer, Roman general
  • 849 – Walafrid Strabo, German monk and theologian
  • 1227 – Genghis Khan, Khagan of Mongol Empire
  • 1258 – Theodore II Lascaris, Emperor of the Empire of Nicaea
  • 1276 – Pope Adrian V
  • 1318 – Clare of Montefalco, Italian Abbess and religious leader (born c. 1268)
  • 1430 – Thomas de Ros, 9th Baron de Ros, English soldier and politician (drowned) (b. 1406)
  • 1503 – Pope Alexander VI (b. 1431)
  • 1559 – Pope Paul IV (b. 1476)
  • 1563 – Étienne de La Boétie, French judge and writer (b. 1530)
  • 1613 – Giovanni Artusi, Italian composer
  • 1620 – Wanli, Emperor of China (b. 1563)
  • 1634 – Urbain Grandier, French priest (b. 1590)
  • 1642 – Guido Reni, Italian painter (b. 1575)
  • 1645 – Eudoxia Streshneva, Tsarina of Mikhail I of Russia (b. 1608)
  • 1683 – Charles Hart, English actor (b. 1625)
  • 1707 – William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, English soldier and statesman (b. 1640)
  • 1712 – Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers, English soldier
  • 1765 – Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1708)
  • 1809 – Matthew Boulton, English manufacturer and engineer (b. 1728)
  • 1815 – Chauncey Goodrich, American politician (b. 1759)
  • 1842 – Louis de Freycinet, French explorer (b. 1779)
  • 1850 – Honoré de Balzac, French writer (b. 1799)
  • 1919 – Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian distillery founder (b. 1841)
  • 1940 – Walter P. Chrysler, American automobile executive (b. 1875)
  • 1943 – Ali-Agha Shikhlinski, Russian-Azerbaijani general (b. 1865)
  • 1949 – Paul Mares, American musician (b. 1900)
  • 1952 – Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Chilean Jesuit saint (b. 1901)
  • 1963 – Clifford Odets, American playwright (b. 1906)
  • 1981 – Anita Loos, American screenwriter (b. 1889)
  • 1983 – Nikolaus Pevsner, German-born art historian (b. 1902)
  • 1990 – Grethe Ingmann, Danish singer (b. 1938)
  • 1990 – B.F. Skinner, American psychological theorist (b. 1904)
  • 1992 – John Sturges, American film director (b. 1911)
  • 1994 – Martin Cahill, The General, infamous Dublin criminal (b. 1949)
  • 1998 – Persis Khambatta, Indian actress (b. 1950)
  • 2001 – David Peakall, British scientist (b. 1931)
  • 2002 – Dean Riesner, American film and television writer (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – Tony Jackson, English musician (The Searchers) (b. 1938)
  • 2004 – Elmer Bernstein, American composer (b. 1922)
  • 2005 – Christopher Bauman, American wrestler (b. 1982)
  • 2005 – Gao Xiumin, Chinese comedy actress (b. 1959)
  • 2006 – Fernand Gignac, Canadian singer and actor (b. 1934)
  • 2006 – Jamie Astaphan, Caribbean-born physician (b. 1946)
  • 2007 – Michael Deaver, Reagan Administration Deputy White House Chief of Staff (b. 1938)

August 18 – Holidays:

  • International Lighthouse Day
  • Australia – Long Tan Day (also called Vietnam Veterans’ Day) named after the Battle of Long Tan
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