Today in History …
by Staff Reports | May 18, 2016 12:00 am
Last Updated: May 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm
332 – Constantine the Great announced free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.
1096 – First Crusade: Around 800 Jews are massacred in Worms, Germany
1152 – Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1268 – The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Siege of Antioch.
1291 – Fall of Acre, the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land
1302 – Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.
1388 – During the Battle of Buyur Lake, General Lan Yu led a Chinese army forward to crush the Mongol hordes of Tögüs Temür, the Khan of Northern Yuan.
1499 – Alonso de Ojeda sets sail from Cádiz on his voyage to what is now Venezuela.
1565 – The Great Siege of Malta begins, in which Ottoman forces attempt and fail to conquer Malta.
1565 – The Royal Audiencia of Concepción is created by a decree of Philip II of Spain.
1593 – Playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.
1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.
1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in English-speaking North America making slavery illegal.
1756 – The Seven Years’ War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.
1763 – Fire destroys a large part of Montreal
1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown (later called Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States.
1803 – Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.
1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
1811 – Battle of Las Piedras: The first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay led by José Artigas.
1812 – John Bellingham is found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.
1843 – The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland.
1848 – Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the United States Secretary of State.
1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins.
1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that the “separate but equal” doctrine is constitutional.
1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II results in the deaths of 1,389 people.
1900 – The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.
1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
1912 – The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne is released in Mumbai.
1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears while visiting a Venice, California beach.
1927 – The Bath School disaster: Forty-five people are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.
1927 – After being founded for 20 years, the Government of the Republic of China approves Tongji University to be among the first national universities of the Republic of China.
1933 – New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
1944 – World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino: Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers evacuate Monte Cassino.
1944 – Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.
1948 – The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.
1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.
1955 – Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War, ends.
1956 – First ascent of Lhotse 8,516 meters, by a Swiss team.
1958 – An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).
1959 – Launch of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.
1965 – Israeli spy Eli Cohen was hanged in Damascus, Syria.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 is launched.
1974 – Nuclear test: under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time. It collapsed on August 8, 1991.
1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
1980 – Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations calling for democratic reforms.
1983 – In Ireland, the government launches a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova being put off the air.
1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.2 mph).
1991 – Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is not recognized by the international community.
1993 – Riots in Nørrebro, Copenhagen caused by the approval of the four Danish exceptions in the Maastricht Treaty referendum. Police opened fire against civilians for the first time since World War II and injured 11 demonstrators. In total 113 bullets are fired.
2005 – A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.
2006 – The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.
2009 – Sri Lankan Civil War: The LTTE are defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.
2011 – Twenty-two people are killed when Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 crashes in southern Argentina.
2015 – At least 78 people die in a landslides caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.