December 18th

This day in historyDecember 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 13 days remaining until the end of the year.


In 218 BC,  Second Punic War: Battle of the TrebiaHannibal‘s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.

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Edith z Wessexu

In 1075, – Edith of Wessex died (b. 1025) She married King Edward the Confessor of England on 23 January 1045. Unlike most wives of kings of England in the 10th and 11th centuries, she was crowned queen.

In 1271,  Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

In 1622,  Portuguese forces score a military victory over the Kingdom of Kongo at the Battle of Mbumbi in present-day Angola.

In 1642,  Abel Tasman becomes first European to sight New Zealand.

In 1655, The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290.

In 1777,  The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over British General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.

In 1787,  New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1793,  Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.

In 1878,  John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.

In 1878,  The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar

In 1888,  Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.

In 1892,  Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

In 1898,  Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.[1]

In 1900, The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Victoria Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.

In 1912,  The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is announced by Charles Dawson.

In 1916,  World War I: The Battle of Verdun ends when German forces under Chief of staff Erich von Falkenhayn are defeated by the French, and suffer 337,000 casualties.

In 1917,  The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment to enact Prohibition is passed by the United States Congress.

In 1932,  The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. Because of a blizzard, the game is moved from Wrigley Field to the Chicago Stadium, the field measuring 80 yards (73 m) long.

In 1935,  The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.

In 1939,  World War II: The Battle of the Heligoland Bight, the first major air battle of the war, takes place.

In 1944,  World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.

In 1956,  Japan joins the United Nations.

In 1958,  Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.

In 1966,  Saturn‘s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.

In 1969,  Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan‘s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.

In 1971,  Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.

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Bobby Jones

In 1971,  Bobby Jones, died (b. 1902). Jones was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete on a national and international level. During his peak as a golfer from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world’s best professional golfers. Jones often beat stars such as Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, the era’s top pros. Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer, and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer.

In 1972,  Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.

In 1973,  Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

In 1973,  The Islamic Development Bank is founded.

In 1978,  Dominica joins the United Nations.

In 1987,  Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.

In 1989,  The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation.

In 1997,  HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

In 1999,  NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

In 2002,  2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.

In 2005,  The civil war in Chad begins when rebel groups, allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launch an attack in Adré.

In 2006,  The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding is at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.

In 2006,  United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections.

In 2010,  Anti-government protests begin in Tunisia, heralding the Arab Spring.


  1. ^ J.R. Holthusen (1999). The Fastest Men on Earth. Sutton Publishing. p. 6.
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