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This Day in History - March 18

March 18

37 – The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula, emperor

978 – English King Edward the Martyr dies

1123 – 1st Lateran Council opens in Rome, where the agreements of the Concordat of Worms are ratified

1314 – Frankish knight Jacques de Molay dies by burning at the stake on orders from King Philip IV of France

1325 – According to legend and depiction on the Mexican coat of arms, Tenochtitlan is founded

1584 – Russian Czar Ivan IV, or Ivan “The Terrible” dies

1692 – William Penn is deprived of his governing powers

1745 – Prime Minister of the UK, Robert Walpole dies

1766 – The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act

1782 – US statesman John Calhoun is born

1834 – Six English agricultural laborers are sentenced to seven years of banishment to Australia’s New South Wales penal colony for trade union activities in England. The “Tolpuddle Martyrs,” as they were known, were widely supported by the public for refusing to take work for less than ten shillings a week

1837 – 22nd and 24th President of the US, Grover Cleveland, is born

1842 – French symbolist poet Stephane Mallarme is born

1844 – Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is born

1852 – Henry Wells and William Fargo join with investors to launch a banking and shipping company

1858 – German engineer who designed the compression-ignition engine, Rudolf Diesel is born

1863 – Confederate women riot in Salisbury, NC to protest the lack of flour and salt in the South

1864 – The US Sanitary Commission Fair closes with President Lincoln’s praises for their work on behalf of Union soldiers

1865 – The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourns for the last time

1869 – British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin is born

1874 – Hawaii signs a treaty giving exclusive trading rights with the islands to the US

1881 – Barnum and Bailey’s circus opens in Madison Square Garden

1892 – Lord Stanley of Preston pledges to donate a challenge cup for the best ice hockey team in Canada, leading to the Stanley Cup

1893 – World War I poet Wilfred Owen is born

1900 – Japan uses influence over Korea to deny Russian efforts to obtain a naval station at the Korean Port of Masampo, the lead up to the Russo-Japanese War

1911 – Theodore Roosevelt opens the Roosevelt Dam in Phoenix, Arizona, the largest in the US to date

1911 – Irving Berlin copyrights the biggest pop song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” of the early 20th century

1913 – Greek King George I is assassinated and Constantine I is to succeed

1915 – British and French forces attack Turkish forces in the Dardanelles

1916 – The Russians counter the Verdun assault with an attack at Lake Naroch on the Eastern Front

1917 – The Germans sink the US ships, City of Memphis, Vigilante, and the Illinois without warning

1922 – Mahatma Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience in India

1925 – The worst tornado in US history passes through eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana, killing 695 and injuring 13,000, as well as costing $17 million in property damages

1932 – American poet and novelist John Updike is born

1933 – Studebaker goes bankrupt, and a year later, the company’s president Albert Erskine will commit suicide

1936 – President of the Republic of South Africa, Frederik W. deKlerk is born

1936 – Prime Minister of Greece Eleftherios Venizelos dies

1937 – Nearly 300 students are killed by a natural gas explosion at the Consolidated School of New London in Texas. Ironically, after the explosion, a blackboard was found that read, Oil and natural gas are East Texas’ greatest natural gifts. Without them, this school would not be here, and none of us would be learning our lessons

1939 – Georgia ratifies the Bill of Rights, some 150 years after the birth of the federal government

1940 – Benito Mussolini joins Hitler in Germany’s war against France and Britain

1942 – The third military draft begins in the US

1942 – The War Relocation Authority is created to take Japanese into custody, prevent them from buying land and return to them to their former homes at the end of the war

1943 – Adolf Hitler calls off the offensive in the Caucasus

1943 – American forces take Gafsa in Tunisia

1944 – The Russians reach the Romanian border

1950 – Nationalist troops land on the mainland of China and capture Communist-held Sungmin

1953 – The Braves baseball team announce they are moving from Boston to Milwaukee

1962 – France and leaders from the Front de Liberation Nationale sign a truce to end the Algerian War, marking the end of French colonial rule in Algeria

1963 – The Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that public defenders must be provided for the indigent defendants in felony cases

1965 – Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first man to spacewalk

1967 – Oil tanker Torrey Canyon wrecks off the Cornish coast of England, dumping 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea

1969 – President Richard Nixon authorizes the secret bombing of Cambodia during Operation Menue

1970 – The US Postal Service is stopped by a postal strike

1970 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk is ousted as Cambodian chief of state in a bloodless coup by pro-western Lieutenant General premier and defense minister, Lon Nol and First Deputy Premier Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, who proclaim the establishment of the Khmer Republic

1971 – US helicopters airlift 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers out of Laos

1971 – A 100-foot wave destroys a Peruvian mining camp killing hundreds

1975 – South Vietnam abandons most of the Central Highlands to North Vietnamese forces

1977 – Congo President Marien Ngouabi is killed by a suicide commando

1981 – The US discloses biological weapons tests that took place in 1966 in Texas

1981 – Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara is born

1986 – Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson

1990 – East Germany holds its first and only free parliamentary election

1990 – The biggest art theft in US history occurs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and included loss of works by Vermeer and Rembrandt that were never recovered

1999 – Two women, Carole Sund and Silvina Pelosso, that had gone missing near Cedar Lodge near Yosemite National Park, were found dead in a remote, wooded area of Long Barn, California. Juli Sund, daughter of Carole, was found dead a week later. Not long after, Joie Ruth Armstrong was brutally murdered and decapitated near her cabin in the park. Investigators tracked down Cary Stayner at a nudist colony in Northern California. He confessed to all of the murders, was convicted and sentenced to death

2002 – Thirteen-year-old Brittanie Cecil dies two days after being hit in the head by a puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets ice hockey game, forcing the NHL to enforce new rules regarding spectator safety

2004 – A small asteroid made the closest approach to Earth ever recorded, about 26,500 miles away

2005 – Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed following a long legal battle, and she will die 13 days later

2008 – Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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