October 18th in History

This day in historyOctober 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 74 days remaining until the end of the year.

This is Necktie Day (Croatia)

Other Holidays


In 320, Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the sun and writes a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest).

In 614,  King Chlothar II promulgates the Edict of Paris (Edictum Chlotacharii), a sort of Frankish Magna Carta that defend the rights of the Frankish nobles while it exclude Jews from all civil employment in the Frankish Kingdom.

In 629, King Dagobert I is crowned King of the Franks.

Al-Hakim.jpgIn 1009, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the Church’s foundations down to bedrock.

In 1016, The Danes defeat the Saxons in the Battle of Assandun.

In 1081, The Normans defeat the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Dyrrhachium.

In 1210, Pope Innocent III excommunicates German leader Otto IV.

In 1356, Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroys the town of Basel, Switzerland.

In 1386, Opening of the University of Heidelberg.

Tuskaloosa HRoe 2002.jpg

Chief Tuskaloosa. Illustration by H. Roe

In 1540, Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto‘s forces destroy the fortified town of Mabila in present-day Alabama, killing Tuskaloosa.

In 1599, Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeats the Army of Andrew Bathory in the Battle of Şelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.

In 1648, Boston Shoemakers form first U.S. labor organization.

In 1748, Signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1775, African-American poet Phillis Wheatley freed from slavery.

In 1775, American Revolutionary War: The Burning of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) prompts the Continental Congress to establish the Continental Navy. It was an attack by a fleet of Royal Navy vessels on the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts (site of the modern city of Portland, Maine, and not to be confused with the modern towns of Falmouth, Massachusetts or Falmouth, Maine). The fleet was commanded by Captain Henry Mowat. The attack began with a naval bombardment which included incendiary shot, followed by a landing party meant to complete the town’s destruction. The attack was the only major event in what was supposed to be a campaign of retaliation against ports that supported Patriot activities in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. Among the colonies, news of the attack led to rejection of British authority and the establishment of independent governments. It also led the Second Continental Congress to contest British Naval dominance by forming a Continental Navy. Both Mowat and his superior, Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves, who had ordered Mowat’s expedition, suffered professionally as a consequence of the act.

In 1779, American Revolutionary War: The Franco-American Siege of Savannah is lifted.

In 1797, Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria

In 1851, Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London.

In 1860, The Second Opium War finally ends at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin, an unequal treaty.

In 1867, United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.

In 1898, United States takes possession of Puerto Rico.

In 1912, First Balkan War: Peter I of Serbia issues a declaration “To the Serbian People”, as Serbia joins the war.

In 1914, The Schoenstatt Movement is founded in Germany.

In 1918, Happy Birthday to Bobby Troup, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (d. 1999)

In 1921, The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is formed as part of the RSFSR.

In 1922, The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) is founded by a consortium, to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters to provide a national broadcasting service.

In 1929, The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council overrules the Supreme Court of Canada in Edwards v. Canada when it declares that women are considered “Persons” under Canadian law.

In 1944, Soviet Union begins liberation of Czechoslovakia.

In 1945, The USSR‘s nuclear program receives plans for the United States plutonium bomb from Klaus Fuchs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In 1945, A group of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, led by Mario Vargas, Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, stages a coup d’état against then president Isaías Medina Angarita, who is overthrown by the end of the day.

In 1945, Argentine military officer and politician Juan Perón marries actress Eva Perón.

In 1954, Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio.

In 1964, The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair closes for its first season after a six-month run.

In 1967, The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.

In 1968, The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving a “black power” salute during a victory ceremony at the Mexico City games.

In 1977, German Autumn: a set of events revolving around the kidnapping of Hanns-Martin Schleyer and the hijacking of a Lufthansa flight by the Red Army Faction (RAF) comes to an end when Schleyer is murdered and various RAF members allegedly commit suicide.

In 1991, The Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopts a declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.

In 2003, Bolivian Gas War: President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, is forced to resign and leave Bolivia.

In 2004, Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt is ousted and placed under house arrest by the State Peace and Development Council on charges of corruption.

In 2007, Karachi bombings: A suicide attack on a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto kills 139 and wounds 450 more. Bhutto herself is not injured.

In 2007, The Senate is once again tried to pass the much-opposed DREAM Act of 2007. Earlier in 2007, the DREAM Act (a scaled-down amnesty approach) was added to the defense authorization bill (H.R. 1585) for Fiscal 2008 as an amendment but never reached a floor vote. Eventually the DREAM Act was pulled from the bill, but supporters of the act warned that they would try and introduce it again. The DREAM Act was offered as an amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill (H.R. 3043) as S. 2205. It failed to pass on October 24th, 2007.

The bill was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch, and has since been reintroduced several times (see legislative history) but has failed to pass.

In 2011, An Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit of the Israel Defense Forces is released by Hamas as part of a prisoner exchange deal, after being held captive for over five years.

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