Today in History: May 18
by Staff Reports | May 18, 2018 12:00 am
Last Updated: May 18, 2018 at 4:47 am
332 – Constantine the Great announced free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.
872 – Louis II of Italy is crowned for the second time as Roman Emperor at Rome, at the age of 47. His first coronation was 28 years earlier, in 844, during the reign of his father Lothair I.
1096 – First Crusade: Around 800 Jews are massacred in Worms, Germany.
1152 – The future Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. He would become king 2 years later, after the death of his cousin once removed King Stephen of England.
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 leads 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.
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.
1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown (later called Saint John, New Brunswick), Canada, after leaving the United States.
1794 – Battle of Tourcoing during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition.
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.
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 in Venice, California.
1927 – The Bath School disaster: Forty-five people, including many children, 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.
1965 – Israeli spy Eli Cohen is hanged in Damascus, Syria.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 is launched.
1974 – Nuclear weapons testing: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
1980 – Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations calling for democratic reforms.
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 open fire against civilians for the first time since World War II and injure 11 demonstrators.
1994 – Israeli troops finish retreating from the Gaza Strip after occupying it, giving the area to the Palestinians to govern.
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 – The LTTE are defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.
2015 – At least 78 people die in a landslide caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.