This Day in History - May 18

May 18

526 – St. John I ends his reign as Catholic Pope

1291 – Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil and his forces take the last Christian stronghold of Acre

1593 – After fellow writer Thomas Kyd accuses him of heresy, an arrest warrant is issued for Christopher Marlowe

1643 – Queen Anne is granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding her late husband’s, Louis XIII, will

1652 – A law is passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies, but it causes little stir and seems unlikely to be enforced

1783 – United Empire Loyalists arrive in Canada to take refuge under the British crown

1792 – Russian troops invade Poland

1799 – French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais dies

1802 – Britain declares war on France

1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte becomes Emperor of France

1828 – The Battle of Las Piedras, between Uruguay and Brazil, ends

1836 – Chess champion Wilhelm Steinitz, is born

1848 – The first German National Assembly gathers in Frankfurt

1860 – Abraham Lincoln is nominated for president

1861 – An obscure California newspaper criticizes Mary Todd Lincoln, painting her as a controlling figure who threw fits to override the president’s wishes, and even accusing her of flirting with a man she had met on a train, WS Wood. The accusations of flirtation were never substantiated

1863 – Union General Ulysses Grant surrounds Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River

1864 – The fighting at Spotsylvania in Virginia, reaches its peak at the Bloody Angle

1868 – The last Russian Czar Nicholas II, is born

1871 – The Kiowa Chief Satanta massacres a wagon train of Teamsters near the Red River in northeastern Texas

1872 – English mathematician, philosopher and social reformer, Bertrand Russell, is born

1895 – Nicaraguan rebel leader Augusto Cesar Sandino is born

1896 – The Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson upholds the “separate but equal” policy in the US

1896 – A mass panic on Khodynka Field, Moscow, during the coronation festivities for Russian Tsar Nicholas II, results in the deaths of 1,389

1897 – Film director Frank Capra is born

1902 – Composer and lyricist Meredith Willson is born

1904 – Brigand Raisuli kidnaps American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco

1909 – Spanish composer and pianist Isaac Albeniz dies

1911 – Blues singer Joseph Vernon “Big Joe” Turner is born

1911 – Austrian composer Gustav Mahler dies

1912 – Singer and actor Perry Como is born

1917 – The US Congress passes the Selective Service Act, calling up soldiers to fight WWI

1919 – English ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn is born

1920 – Pope John Paul II is born

1926 – Nationally known evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson, disappears from Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, along with radio announcer Kenneth Ormiston. When McPherson turned up in Agua Prieta, New Mexico, a month later, she concocted a story about having been kidnapped, but it was quickly proven she had been with Ormiston the whole time

1927 – A disgruntled school board member sets off several bombs at the Bath Consolidated School and other locations in Michigan, killing 45, in the US’ worst school massacre

1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashes his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop

1933 – President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act

1942 – New York ends night baseball games for the rest of WWII

1943 – Adolf Hitler launches Operation Alaric, the German occupation of Italy in the event its Axis partners either surrendered or switched allegiance

1944 – The Allies finally capture Monte Cassino in Italy

1951 – The UN moves its headquarters to New York City

1955 – Educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune dies

1969 – Two battalions of the 101st Airborne Division assault Hill 937 but cannot reach the top because of muddy conditions

1974 – India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb

1980 – After rumbling for two months, Mount Saint Helens, in Washington, erupts three times in 24 hours, killing 57

1980 – British singer Ian Curtis commits suicide

1989 – One million protesters take to the streets in Beijing, calling for a more democratic political system

2001 – Dreamworks SKG releases Shrek, its most successful film to date

2004 – Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game, against the Atlanta Braves

2004 – American drummer Elvis Jones dies

2009 – The Sir Lankan Civil War ends

2012 – Facebook holds its initial public offering, IPO, and raises $16 billion in the third-largest IPO ever in the US

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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