This Day in History - October 18

October 18

1469 – Ferdinand of Aragon marries Isabella of Castile in Valladolid, beginning the cooperative reign that would unite all the dominions of Spain and elevate the nation to a dominant world power

1541 – English wife of James IV of Scotland, Margaret Tudor, dies

1648 – The “shoemakers of Boston”-the first labor organization in what would become the US, was authorized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony

1685 – The Huguenots religious liberties via the Edict of Nantes that guaranteed them, as well as civil rights and security, are revoked by Louis XIV

1744 – Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, dies

1767 – Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon complete their survey of the boundary between colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would become Delaware and West Virginia, hence the Mason-Dixon Line

1813 – The Allies defeat Napoleon Bonaparte at Leipzig

1860 – British troops occupying Peking, China loot and burn the Yuanmingyuan, the summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century

1863 – General Daniel Sickles returns to visit his old command, the Third Corps of the Army of Potomac, after recovering from the loss of his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War

1867 – The Alaska territory is formally transferred to the US from Russian control

1867 – The rules for American football are formulated at a meeting in New York among delegates from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale

1871 – English mathematician and engineer, Charles Babbage, dies

1883 – The weather station at the top of Ben Nevis, Scotland, the highest mountain in Britain, is declared open

1898 – The US takes control over Puerto Rico

1896 – HL Davis, novelist and poet, is born

1904 – Journalist and author AJ Libeling is born

1910 – M. Baudry is the first to fly a dirigible across the English Channel from La Motte-Breil to Wormwood Scrubs

1915 – In the eastern sector of the Italian front in World War I, the Italians launch their third offensive of the year, known as the Third Battle of the Isonzo

1918 – Czechs seize Prague and renounce Hapsburg’s rule

1919 – Madrid opens a subway system

1919 – 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau is born

1921 – Russians grant Crimean independence

1921 – American politician, Jesse Helms, is born

1926 – Rock ‘n roll performer, Chuck Berry, is born

1926 – Poet, playwright and novelist, Ntozake Shange (Paulette Williams) is born

1931 – Thomas Edison dies in West Orange, New Jersey

1939 – Assassin of President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, is born

1939 – President Franklin Roosevelt bans war submarines from US ports and waters

1942 – During World War II, Vice. Adm. William F. Halsey replaces Vice Adm. Robert L. Ghormley as commander, South Pacific

1944 – Lt. General Joseph Stilwell is recalled from China by President Roosevelt

1950 – Playwright, Wendy Wasserstein, is born

1950 – The First Turkish Brigade arrives in Korea to assist the UN forces fighting there

1951 – Novelist, Terry McMillan, is born

1952 – TV writer, director, producer and composer Chuck Lorre (Charles Levine) is born

1952 – Vietnamese author, Bao Ninh, is born

1955 – It is announced that Emperor Bao Dai has dismissed Ngo Dinh Diem from the premiership and annulled his powers during the Vietnam War

1956 – Animator and writer Craig Bartlett is born

1956 – Czechoslovakian-born tennis player who won a record 9 Wimbledon singles competitions, Martina Navratilova, is born

1960 – Actress, Erin Moran, is born

1960 – Martial artist, actor, and director, Jean-Claude Van Damme, is born

1961 – Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, is born

1962 – President John F. Kennedy records his impression of the day’s meetings regarding the recently discovered presence of Soviet ballistic missiles on the island of Cuba. The ensuing Cuban Missile Crisis brought America to the brink of nuclear war

1967 – A Russian unmanned spacecraft makes the first landing on the surface of Venus

1968 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono are arrested for drug possession at their home near Montagu Square in London

1968 – Rumors that the Johnson administration will soon announce a bombing halt send sales volume on the New York Stock Exchange soaring

1970 – American terrorist convicted of conspiring overseas with terrorists in death plots, held from May 2002 as an enemy combatant, and then tried in a civilian court in 2006, Jose Padilla, is born

1973 – German and American philosopher, Leo Strauss, dies

1974 – Mary Woodson, an ex-girlfriend, burst in on soul musician Al Green in the bath and poured a pot of scalding hot grits on his back before retreating to a bedroom and shooting herself dead with Green’s own gun. The event so shook Green, he renounced R&B for a time and became a born-again Christian and a practicing ordained Baptist minister

1977 – In the sixth game of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson hits three home runs in a row off of three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers

1984 – American skier, Lindsey Vonn, is born

1987 – American actor and singer Zac Efron, is born

1988 – Roseanne debuts on ABC

1989 – The Iron Curtain nations of East Germany and Hungary take significant steps toward ending the communist domination of their countries to replace it with more democratic politics and free market economies

1998 – A pipeline explosion in Jesse, Nigeria kills 700 people

2003 – Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigns in the wake of protests centered around Bolivia’s natural gas resources

2007 – Suicide attack on a motorcade in Karachi, Pakistan kills at least 139 and wounds 450; the subject of the attack is Pakistan’s former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who is not harmed


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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