This Day in History - April 18

April 18

310 – St. Eusebius of Vercelli begins his reign as Catholic Pope

1025 – Boleslaw Chrobry is crowned the first King of Poland

1480 – Lucretia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, is born

1506 – Construction on the current St. Peter’s Basilica begins in Vatican City

1521 – Martin Luther confronts the Emperor Charles V, refusing to retract the views which led to his excommunication

1676 – Indians attack Sudbury, Massachusetts

1775 – American revolutionaries Paul Revere and William Dawes ride through the towns of Massachusetts warning that “the British are coming”

1791 – National Guardsmen prevent Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris

1817 – Philosophical writer George Henry Lewes is born

1818 – A regiment of Indians and blacks is defeated at the Battle of Suwannee in Florida, ending the First Seminole War

1834 – William Lamb becomes prime minister of England

1838 – The Wilkes’ expedition to the South Pole sets sail

1847 – US forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battles of the Mexican-American War

1853 – The first train in Asia begins running from Bombay to Tanna

1857 – Lawyer Clarence S. Darrow is born

1861 – Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down the command of the Union armies

1864 – Journalist Richard Harding Davis is born

1864 – Confederate soldiers under the command of General Samuel Maxey capture a Union forage train and massacre black troops escorting the expedition at Poison Spring, Arkansas

1880 – Missouri is hit by a string of deadly tornadoes, killing 151

1882 – Conductor Leopold Stokowski is born

1895 – The First Sino-Japanese War ends

1902 – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is born

1906 – A massive earthquake hits San Francisco, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale and kills an estimated 3,000 people and destroying nearly 30,000 buildings

1915 – A member of the German Bahnschutzwache, or Railway Protection Guard, shoots down the well-known French airman Roland Garros over Flanders, France

1918 – Founder of Cliff’s Notes, Clifton Keith Hillegass is born

1923 – Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1

1937 – Leon Trotsky calls for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin

1940 – Labor leader Ed Garvey is born

1942 – James H. Doolittle bombs Tokyo and other Japanese cities

1943 – Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters

1945 – Journalist Ernie Pyle, America’s most popular war correspondent, is killed by Japanese machine-gun fire at le Shima

1946 – The League of Nations dissolves

1949 – The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth

1950 – The first transatlantic jet passenger trip is completed

1951 – The European Coal and Steel Community, a precursor to the European Union, is established

1954 – Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power in Egypt

1955 – Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein dies

1956 – Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony

1958 – A federal court ruled Ezra Pound should no longer be held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, DC, where he was held on charges of treason

1961 – President John Kennedy denies Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s claim that the US was engaging in armed aggression against the communists in Cuba

1964 – Scottish historian Niall Ferguson is born

1964 – Screenwriter, director, producer Ben Hecht dies

1968 – The London Bridge was sold to an American and rebuilt in Arizona

1971 – Actor David Tennant is born

1973 – Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie is born

1974 – The Red Brigades kidnap Italian prosecutor Mario Sossi and demand a ransom for his release. After being duped by fellow prosecutor Francesco Coco, who failed at bringing the ransom after Sossi had been released, the terrorist organization went on to kidnap 26 wealthy men and women and extorting as much as $2 million for one person. The group finally killed Aldo Moro, a former Italian prime minister, after their ransom demands were denied, and then went on to kill seven more politicians. In the end, 63 people were charged with involvement in Moro’s murder, and in the early 80’s over 400 members were jailed, ending the terrorizing of Italy for good

1978 – The US Senate approves the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama

1980 – Zimbabwe’s (Rhodesia), formal independence from Britain, is proclaimed

1983 – A suicide car bomber kills 63 at the US Embassy in Lebanon

1983 – Joan Benoit wins her second Boston Marathon

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students continue to protest against government policies in the People’s Republic of China

2002 – Afghanistan’s former king, Mohammad Zahir Shah returned after 29 years in exile

2002 – Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl dies

2009 – Driver Mark Martin wins the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona, becoming the first 50-year-old to claim victory at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since Morgan Shepherd in 1993

2012 – TV personality and producer Dick Clark dies

2014 – 16 Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed in the single deadliest accident in the history of Mt. Everest when an avalanche occurs at the Khumbu Icefall

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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