On This Day in History May 18

May 18 – Events:

  • 1152 – Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • 1268 – The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.
  • 1302 – Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.
  • 1498 – Vasco da Gama reaches the port of Calicut, India
  • 1593 – Playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.
  • 1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.
  • 1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.
  • 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.
  • 1803 – Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.
  • 1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
  • 1811 – Las Piedras Battle: first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay leaded by Jose Artigas.
  • 1848 – Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins.
  • 1869 – Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan.
  • 1869 – The Public Credit Act is signed by Ulysses S. Grant, one of his first actions as President of the United States.
  • 1876 – Wyatt Earp starts work in Dodge City, Kansas.
  • 1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional.
  • 1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: a mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.
  • 1897 – Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker is published.
  • 1900 – The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.
  • 1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President the power of conscription.
  • 1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears while visiting a Venice, California, beach.
  • 1927 – The Bath School Disaster: Forty-five people are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.
  • 1933 – New Deal: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino – Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers (“Fallschirmjäger”) evacuate Monte Cassino.
  • 1944 – Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.
  • 1944 – World War II: SS troops burn down six villages in the Brkini hills in south western Slovenia.
  • 1948 – The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.
  • 1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.
  • 1958 – An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).
  • 1959 – Launching of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.
  • 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 launched.
  • 1974 – Nuclear test: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
  • 1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time. It later collapses on August 8, 1991.
  • 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
  • 1980 – Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms.
  • 1983 – In Ireland, the Government launched a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova being put off the air.
  • 1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record – 515.3km/h
  • 1991 – Helen Sharman from Sheffield becomes the first Briton to orbit in Space.
  • 1991 – Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is unrecognized by the international community.
  • 1992 – The Archivist of the United States officially announces the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1998 – United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 2006 – The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.

May 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1048 – Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher (d. 1131)
  • 1186 – Konstantin of Rostov, Prince of Novgorod (d. 1218)
  • 1474 – Isabella d’Este, Marquise of Mantua (d. 1539)
  • 1610 – Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker (d. 1664)
  • 1616 – Johann Jakob Froberger, German composer (d. 1667)
  • 1662 – George Smalridge, English bishop of Bristol (d. 1719)
  • 1692 – Joseph Butler, English bishop and philosopher (d. 1752)
  • 1711 – Ruder Josip Boškovic, Croatian atomic theorist (d. 1787)
  • 1778 – Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (d. 1854)
  • 1785 – John Wilson, Scottish writer (d. 1854)
  • 1797 – Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (d. 1854)
  • 1850 – Oliver Heaviside, English physicist (d. 1925)
  • 1851 – James Budd, Governor of California (d. 1908)
  • 1868 – Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov, Nicholas II, Last Emperor of Russia (d. 1918)
  • 1872 – Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, English mathematician, writer and philosopher, Nobel laureate (d. 1970)
  • 1876 – Hermann Müller, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1931)
  • 1882 – Babe Adams, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1883 – Eurico Gaspar Dutra, President of Brazil (d. 1974)
  • 1883 – Walter Gropius, German architect (d. 1969)
  • 1887 – Jeanie MacPherson, American actress and screenwriter (d. 1946)
  • 1889 – Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (d. 1944)
  • 1891 – Rudolf Carnap, German philosopher (d. 1970)
  • 1892 – Ezio Pinza, Italian-born bass (d. 1957)
  • 1897 – Frank Capra, American film producer, director, and writer (d. 1991)
  • 1901 – Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Meredith Willson, American composer (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Jacob K. Javits, American politician (d. 1986)
  • 1905 – Hedley Verity, English cricketer (d. 1943)
  • 1907 – Carl Mydans, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1909 – Fred Perry, British former tennis player (d. 1995)
  • 1911 – Big Joe Turner, American blues singer (d. 1985)
  • 1912 – Richard Brooks, American film director, writer and producer (d. 1992)
  • 1912 – Perry Como, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1912 – Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 2003)
  • 1913 – Jane Birdwood, British anti-Semitic activist (d. 2000)
  • 1913 – Charles Trenet, French singer and songwriter (d. 2001)
  • 1913 – Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Fifth President of India (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer (d. 1982)
  • 1918 – George Welch, American pilot and war hero (d. 1954)
  • 1918 – Massimo Girotti, Italian actor (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Pope John Paul II (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Lucia Mannucci, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1922 – Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (d. 2005)
  • 1922 – Bill Macy, American actor
  • 1922 – Kai Winding, Danish-born musician (d. 1983)
  • 1923 – Hugh Shearer, Prime Minister of Jamaica (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – Jean-Louis Roux, French Canadian actor and artistic director
  • 1924 – Priscilla Pointer, American actress
  • 1924 – Jack Whitaker, American sportscaster
  • 1926 – Dirch Passer, Danish actor (d. 1980)
  • 1928 – Pernell Roberts, American actor
  • 1929 – Jack Sanford, American baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Don Martin, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Robert Morse, American actor
  • 1933 – Bernadette Chirac, French politician
  • 1934 – Dwayne Hickman, American actor and television executive
  • 1937 – Brooks Robinson, American baseball player
  • 1937 – Jacques Santer, Luxembourg statesman
  • 1939 – Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1939 – Gordon O’Connor, Canadian politician
  • 1941 – Lobby Loyde, Australian guitarist and songwriter (d. 2007)
  • 1942 – Albert Hammond, British musician and composer
  • 1942 – Nobby Stiles, English footballer
  • 1943 – James Reiher, American professional wrestler
  • 1944 – W. G. Sebald, German-born writer (d. 2001)
  • 1946 – Bruce Gilbert, English musician (Wire)
  • 1946 – Frank Hsieh, former Premier of Taiwan
  • 1946 – Reggie Jackson, American baseball player
  • 1946 – Andreas Katsulas, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1947 – John Bruton, ninth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland
  • 1949 – Rick Wakeman, English composer and musician (Yes)
  • 1949 – Bill Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who)
  • 1950 – Thomas Gottschalk, German television show host
  • 1950 – Mark Mothersbaugh, American composer, musician, and singer (Devo)
  • 1952 – Diane Duane, American writer
  • 1952 – George Strait, American musician
  • 1952 – Jeana Yeager, American aviator
  • 1955 – Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong actor
  • 1957 – Michael Cretu, German musician (Enigma)
  • 1958 – Toyah Willcox, English actor and singer
  • 1959 – Jay Wells, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Jari Kurri, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Yannick Noah, French tennis player
  • 1962 – Mike Whitmarsh, American Volleyball Player
  • 1962 – Nanne Grönvall, Swedish singer
  • 1962 – Sandra Cretu, German singer
  • 1962 – Mike Darnell, American television executive
  • 1965 – Ingo Schwichtenberg, German drummer (d. 1995)
  • 1966 – Michael Tait, American musician (dc Talk, Tait)
  • 1967 – Heinz-Harald Frentzen, German F1 driver
  • 1969 – Martika, Cuban-American singer
  • 1970 – Tina Fey, American writer/actress
  • 1971 – Brad Friedel, American soccer player
  • 1971 – Nobuteru Taniguchi, Japanese racing driver
  • 1972 – Turner Stevenson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Dario Franchitti, American racecar driver (Indy Racing League)
  • 1975 – John Higgins, Scottish snooker player
  • 1975 – Jack Johnson, American musician
  • 1975 – Peter Iwers, Swedish bass player (In Flames)
  • 1976 – Oleg Tverdovsky, Ukrainian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Lee Hendrie, English footballer
  • 1977 – Danny Mills, English footballer
  • 1978 – Ricardo Carvalho, Portuguese footballer
  • 1979 – Mariusz Lewandowski, Polish footballer
  • 1979 – Michal Martikán, Slovak slalom canoeist
  • 1979 – Julián Speroni, Argentine footballer
  • 1980 – Jeff Roehl, American football player
  • 1980 – Ali Zafar, Pakistani singer and model
  • 1980 – Aileen Campbell, Scottish Politician
  • 1981 – Mahamadou Diarra, Malian footballer
  • 1982 – Jason Brown, English-born footballer
  • 1982 – Eric West, American singer and actor
  • 1983 – Gary O’Neil, English footballer
  • 1983 – Luis Terrero, Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – Vince Young, American football player
  • 1984 – Scarlett Keegan, Playboy Playmate
  • 1984 – Joakim Soria, Mexican baseball player
  • 1984 – Niki Terpstra, Dutch cyclist
  • 1986 – Ryan Lamb, English rugby union player
  • 1987 – Luisana Lopilato, Argentine actress and model
  • 1988 – Ryan Cooley, Canadian television actor
  • 1991 – Michael Edwards, Lacrosse player
  • 1992 – Spencer Breslin, American actor
  • 1997 – Alana Etheridge, American actress

May 18 – Deaths:

  • 1450 – Sejong the Great of Joseon, ruler of Korea (b. 1397)
  • 1550 – John, Cardinal of Lorraine, French churchman (b. 1498)
  • 1551 – Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter (d. 1486)
  • 1584 – Ikeda Motosuke, Japanese samurai commander (b. 1559)
  • 1675 – Stanislaw Lubieniecki, Polish astronomer (b. 1623)
  • 1675 – Jacques Marquette, French Jesuit missionary and explorer (b. 1637)
  • 1692 – Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian (b. 1617)
  • 1733 – Georg Böhm, German organist (b. 1761)
  • 1780 – Charles Hardy, British governor of Newfoundland
  • 1781 – Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian Indian revolutionary, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, Túpac Amaru (b. 1742)
  • 1799 – Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, French playwright (b. 1732)
  • 1800 – Alexander Suvorov, Russian general (b. 1729)
  • 1807 – John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters (b. 1721)
  • 1808 – Elijah Craig, American minister and inventor (b. 1738?)
  • 1829 – Maria Josepha of Saxony, queen consort of Spain (b. 1803)
  • 1844 – Richard McCarty, American politician (b. 1780)
  • 1889 – Isabella Glyn Dallas, Scottish Shakepearean actress (b. 1823)
  • 1900 – Jean Gaspard Felix Ravaisson-Mollien, French philosopher (b. 1813)
  • 1909 – George Meredith, English novelist and poet (b. 1828)
  • 1909 – Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1860)
  • 1910 – Pauline Garcia-Viardot, French mezzo-soprano and composer (b. 1821)
  • 1910 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish novelist (b.1841)
  • 1911 – Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer (b. 1860)
  • 1922 – Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, French physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1845)
  • 1927 – Andrew Kehoe, American mass murderer (b. 1872)
  • 1941 – Werner Sombart, German economist and sociologist (b. 1863)
  • 1955 – Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator and activist (b. 1875)
  • 1956 – Maurice Tate, English cricketer (b. 1895)
  • 1963 – Ernie Davis, American football player (b. 1939)
  • 1967 – Andy Clyde, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1971 – Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Russian mathematician (b. 1908)
  • 1973 – Jeannette Rankin, first U.S. Congresswoman (b. 1880)
  • 1975 – Leroy Anderson, American composer (b. 1908)
  • 1980 – Ian Curtis, English musician, singer and lyricist (Joy Division) (b. 1956)
  • 1980 – Harry Truman, victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1896)
  • 1980 – David A. Johnston, a U.S. Volcanoligist was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1949)
  • 1980 – Reid Blackburn, a photojournalist for National Geographic was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1952)
  • 1981 – Arthur O’Connell, American actor (b. 1908)
  • 1981 – William Saroyan, American author (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Daws Butler, American voice actor (b. 1916)
  • 1990 – Jill Ireland, English actress (b. 1936)
  • 1992 – Skip Stephenson, American TV personality (b. 1940)
  • 1992 – Marshall Thompson, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1995 – Elisha Cook, Jr., American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Alexander Godunov, Russian ballet dancer and actor (b. 1949)
  • 1995 – Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress (b. 1933)
  • 1997 – Bridgette Andersen, American actress (b. 1975)
  • 1999 – Augustus Pablo, Jamaican singer (b. 1954)
  • 1999 – Betty Robinson, American runner (b. 1911)
  • 2000 – Stephen M. Wolownik, Russian musician and arranger (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • 2003 – Anna Santisteban, Puerto Rican beauty contest organizer (b. 1914)
  • 2003 – Barb Tarbox, Canadian anti-smoking crusader (b. 1961)
  • 2004 – Elvin Jones, American jazz drummer (b. 1927)
  • 2004 – Serge Turgeon, Quebec actor and union leader (b. 1946)
  • 2006 – Andrew Martinez, U.C. Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” (b. 1972)
  • 2006 – Marissa Cooper, fictional character on FOX’s “The O.C.” (b. 1988)
  • 2007 – Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, French physicist (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Yoyoy Villame, Philippine novelty singer and movie actor (b. 1932)

May 18 – Holidays:

  • International Museum Day
  • Baltic Fleet Day in Russia
  • Renascence, Unity and Poetry Day of Makhtumkuli in Turkmenistan
  • Festival of the god Pan in Ancient Greece
  • Festival of Faunus in Ancient Rome
  • Liturgical feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Eric of Sweden
    • Saint Dioscorus
    • Felix of Cantalice
    • Pope John I
    • Venantius of Camerino
  • Feast day of Saint Alexandra in the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Flag Day in Haiti
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