This Day in History - January 18

January 18


532 – Between 30-40,000 die when the Nika uprising at Constantinople fails


1486 – Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York


1591 – King Naresuan of Siam kills Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in single combat


1689 – French philosopher Montesquieu is born


1701 – Frederick III becomes King of Prussia


1733 – The first polar bear was exhibited in America, in Boston


1776 – The Council of Safety in Savannah, Georgia issues an arrest warrant for the colony’s royal governor, James Wright and he is arrested by a group of Patriots


1778 – Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands and after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich, names them the ‘Sandwich Islands’


1782 – New Hampshire Congressman from Massachusetts and Secretary of State before the Civil War, Daniel Webster, is born


1788 – The First Fleet, carrying sheep and 736 convicts, arrives in Australia’s Botany Bay to setup a penal colony


1803 – President Thomas Jefferson requests money from Congress to fund the journey of Lewis and Clark


1813 – Inventor Joseph Glidden is born


1817 – Jose de San Martin leads a revolutionary army over the Andes to attack Spanish royalists in Chile


1836 – Jim Bowie arrives to assist the Texans at the Alamo


1858 – Physician who performed the first open heart surgery and founder of Chicago’s Provident Hospital, Daniel Hale Williams, is born


1862 – Former President John Tyler dies


1871 – Second German Empire is proclaimed by Kaiser Wilhelm I and Otto von Bismarck


1882 – Novelist, humorist, and journalist A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne is born


1886 – Modern day hockey is born with the foundation of The Hockey Association in England


1892 – Film comedian Oliver Hardy is born


1902 – The Isthmus Canal Commission chooses Panama over Nicaragua as a favored canal site


1904 – US film actor Cary Grant is born


1910 – Aviator Eugene Ely performs his first successful takeoff and landing from a ship in San Francisco


1912 – British explorer Robert Falcon Scott arrives at the South Pole only to find that Roald Amundsen had preceded him by a bit over a month


1913 – American actor Danny Kaye is born


1916 – The Russians drive the Turkish Third Army back to Erzurum


1919 – Post-World War I peace conference begins in Paris, France


1936 – Nobel Prize-winning English author and poet Rudyard Kipling dies


1942 – General MacArthur repels the Japanese in Bataan, as the US takes the lead in the Far East war criminals trials


1943 – The deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the concentration camp at Treblinka is resumed on orders from Heinrich Himmler, and within the first seven weeks of the order, more than 250,000 Jews were gassed to death there and six hundred were killed in the streets fighting against the German SS unit sent to round them up


1943 – The Soviets announce they have broken the siege of Leningrad by Nazi Germany


1945 – The German Army launches a second attempt to relieve Budapest from the advancing Red Army


1948 – Gandhi breaks a 121-hour fast after halting Muslim-Hindu riots


1950 – The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China formally recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and agree to furnish military assistance


1952 – American actor and comedian Curly Howard dies


1955 – American actor, singer, director and producer Kevin Costner is born


1956 – First President of Estonia, Konstantin Pats, dies


1958 – Hockey player Willie O’Ree of the Boston Bruins takes the ice against the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first black player to play in the NHL


1962 – The US begins spraying foliage with herbicides in South Vietnam in order to reveal Vietcong guerillas


1964 – Plans are disclosed for the World Trade Center in New York


1969 – Heavy rain begins in Southern California that results in a series of landslides and floods that kill nearly 100 and will become the worst weather-related disaster in California during the 20th century


1971 – Senator George S. McGovern begins his bid for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nomination, vowing to bring US soldiers home from Vietnam if elected.  While he won his party’s nomination, incumbent Richard Nixon defeated him


1978 – The CDC isolate the cause of Legionnaire’s disease


1985 – The US walked out in a World Court case concerning US paramilitary activities against the Nicaraguan government


1990 – Mayor Marion Barry of the District of Columbia is arrested and charged with drug possession and use of crack cocaine


1991 – Iraq starts firing Scud missiles at Israeli cities


1993 – All fifty states joined in the observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday


1997 – Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ousland becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided


2002 – The Sierra Leone Civil War ends


2009 – General Motors auctions off historic cars from its Heritage Collection


2011 – 21st US Ambassador to France, Sargent Shriver, dies

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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