Today in History: Dec. 18

by | December 18, 2016 12:00 am

Last Updated: December 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China.
1622 – Portuguese forces score a military victory over the Kingdom of Kongo at the Battle of Mbumbi in present-day Angola.
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.
1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the American rebels over British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga in October.
1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
1833 – The national anthem of the Russian Empire, “God Save the Tsar!”, is first performed.
1865 – US Secretary of State William Seward proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery throughout the USA.
1878 – The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar.
1892 – Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
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.
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.
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.
1917 – The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment to enact Prohibition is passed by the United States Congress.
1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans in the first NFL Championship Game.
1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.
1939 – World War II: The Battle of the Heligoland Bight, the first major air battle of the war, takes place.
1944 – World War II: Seventy-seven B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.
1958 – Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.
1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker.
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.
1973 – Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
1973 – The Islamic Development Bank is founded.
1981 – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world’s largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.
1990 – International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is adopted.
1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2002 – California gubernatorial 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.
2005 – The Chadian Civil War begins when rebel groups, allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launch an attack in Adré.
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.
2006 – United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections.
2015 – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closes.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by LP Temple

    December 18, 2016 at 09:36

    I believe you have an error in your citation of Battle of the Heligoland Bight – this was a naval battle, not an air battle, and was fought in WWI, not WWII, and was fought on 28 Aug 1914, not 18 Dec 1939. The rest looks okay, I guess, but not sure where the confusion lies.

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