This Day in History - July 18

July 18

    64 – The great fire of Rome breaks out, destroying much of the city

1789 – Robespierre, a deputy from Arras, France, decides to back the French Revolution

1792 – Naval hero from the Revolutionary War, John Paul Jones, dies

1811 – English novelist and satirist, William Makepeace Thackeray, is born

1812 – Great Britain signs the Treaty of Orebro, making peace with Russia and Sweden

1817 – English author, Jane Austen, dies

1830 – Uruguay adopts a liberal constitution

1861 – Union and Confederate troops skirmish at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia, in a prelude to the Battle of Bull Run

1863 – Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 272 of his troops are killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina

1872 – The Ballot Act is passed in Great Britain, providing for secret election ballots

1872 – 25th President of Mexico, Benito Juarez, dies

1877 – Inventor, Thomas Edison, records the human voice for the first time

1887 – Norwegian politician and Nazi collaborator during WWII, Vidkun Quisling, is born

1902 – American author, Jessamyn West, is born

1906 – Playwright, Clifford Odets, is born

1913 – American comedian and actor, “Red” Skelton, is born

1914 – Singing Wobbly, Joe Hill, is sentenced to death, convicted of murder on meager evidence.  Hill had been a lead singer for the International Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies

1918 – Allied forces launch a major counterattack against Germany in France, ending the Second Battle of the Marne and turning the tide of WWI toward an Allied victory

1918 – Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by The Rhine dies

1918 – First black president of South Africa, civil rights activist, Nelson Mandela, is born

1921 – American pilot, astronaut, and politician, John Glenn, Jr., is born

1925 – Nazi leader Adolf Hitler publishes his first volume of his personal manifesto, Mein Kampf, which will later serve as the bible of Germany’s Nazi Party

1929 – American blues singer, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, is born

1929 – Pioneer of “gonzo” journalism, Hunter Thompson, is born

1933 – Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, is born

1935 – Ethiopian King Haile Selassie urges his countrymen to fight to the last man against the invading Italian army

1936 – General Francisco Franco of Spain revolts against the Republican government, starting the Spanish Civil War

1939 – Journalist, Hunter Thompson, is born

1940 – Franklin Roosevelt is nominated for a third term.  He will eventually be elected to a record four terms-the only US president to serve more than two terms

1942 – The German Me-262, the first jet-propelled aircraft to fly in combat, makes its first flight

1945 – In testimony before the House Military Affairs subcommittee, the chief counsel, H. Ralph Burton, accuses 16 officers and non-commissioned officers in the US Army have communist pasts

1947 – President, Harry Truman, signs the Presidential Succession Act

1950 – Canadian politician, Jack Layton, is born

1950 – English businessman, Richard Branson, is born

1955 – The Soviet Union announces that it will grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid

1962 – Congress votes in favor of preserving former President Teddy Roosevelt’s birthplace and former home in Manhattan, as well as an estate called Sagamore Hill, where he lived from 1885 until his death

1968 – President Lyndon Johnson meets with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu in Honolulu to discuss relations between Washington and Saigon

1969 – Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond on Chappaquiddick Island, shortly after leaving a party.  Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but Mary Jo Kopechne, his passenger, did not. Kennedy failed to report the accident for ten hours

1971 – New Zealand and Australia announce they will pull out of Vietnam

1980 – Actress, Kristen Bell, is born

1984 – James Oliver Huberty opens fire in a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 and wounding 19 others, and is killed by a SWAT team sharpshooter

1986 – New close-up videotape of the sunken ocean liner Titanic is released to the public

1988 – German singer, songwriter, model, and actress, Nico, dies

1994 – In Buenos Aires, a massive car bomb kills 96 people

1999 – New York Yankee David Cone pitches the 16th perfect game in MLB history against the Montreal Expos


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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