Today in History: Oct. 18
by Staff Reports | October 18, 2017 12:00 am
Last Updated: October 18, 2017 at 9:31 am
320 – Pappus of Alexandria, Greek philosopher, observes an eclipse of the Sun and writes a commentary on The Great Astronomer (Almagest).
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 excludes Jews from all civil employment in the Frankish Kingdom.
629 – Dagobert I is crowned King of the Franks.
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.
1016 – The Danes defeat the English in the Battle of Assandun.
1081 – The Normans defeat the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Dyrrhachium.
1356 – Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroys the town of Basel, Switzerland.
1540 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto’s forces destroy the fortified town of Mabila in present-day Alabama, killing Tuskaloosa.
1561 – In Japan the fourth Battle of Kawanakajima was fought between the forces of Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen; resulting in a draw.
1565 – Ships belonging to the Matsura clan of Japan fail to capture the Portuguese trading carrack in the Battle of Fukuda Bay, the first recorded naval battle between Japan and the West.
1599 – Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeats the Army of Andrew Báthory in the Battle of Șelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.
1648 – Boston Shoemakers form first American labor organization.
1748 – Signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession.
1775 – African-American poet Phillis Wheatley is freed from slavery.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Burning of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine).
1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Franco-American Siege of Savannah is lifted.
1797 – Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria
1851 – Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London.
1860 – The Second Opium War finally ends at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin, an unequal treaty.
1867 – United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.
1898 – The United States takes possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.
1912 – First Balkan War: King Peter I of Serbia issues a declaration “To the Serbian People”, as his country joins the war.
1914 – The Schoenstatt Movement is founded in Germany.
1921 – The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is formed as part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
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.
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.
1944 – World War II: Soviet Union begins the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany.
1944 – World War II: The state funeral of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel takes place in Ulm Germany.
1945 – The USSR’s nuclear program receives plans for the United States plutonium bomb from Klaus Fuchs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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 president Isaías Medina Angarita, who is overthrown by the end of the day.
1945 – Argentine military officer and politician Juan Perón marries actress Eva Duarte.
1951 – The Studio for Electronic Music was established at the West German Broadcasting facility in Cologne, Germany, making the first modern music studio.
1954 – Texas Instruments announces the first transistor radio.
1963 – Félicette, a black and white female Parisian stray cat becomes the first cat launched into space.
1967 – The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
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.
1979 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) begins allowing people to have home satellite earth stations without a federal government license.
1991 – The Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopts a declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
2003 – Bolivian gas conflict: Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, is forced to resign and leave Bolivia.
2007 – Karachi bombing: A suicide attack on a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto kills 139 and wounds 450 more. Bhutto herself is uninjured.