Today in History: January 18. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 18

1486   Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York.
1701   Frederick III, the elector of Brandenburg, becomes king of Prussia.
1778   Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, naming them the ‘Sandwich Islands’ after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich.
1836   Jim Bowie arrives at the Alamo to assist its Texas defenders.
1862   John Tyler, former president of the U.S., is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
1902   The Isthmus Canal Commission in Washington shifts its support from Nicaragua to Panama as a favored canal site.
1910   Aviator Eugene Ely performs his first successful take off and landing from a ship in San Francisco.
1916   The Russians force the Turkish 3rd Army back to Erzurum.
1942   General MacArthur repels the Japanese in Bataan. The United States took the lead in the Far East war criminal trials.
1945   The German Army launches its second attempt to relieve the besieged city of Budapest from the advancing Red Army.
1948   Ghandi breaks a 121-hour fast after halting Muslem-Hindu riots.
1962   The United States begins spraying foliage with herbicides in South Vietnam, in order to reveal the whereabouts of Vietcong guerrillas.
1964   Plans are disclosed for the World Trade Center in New York.
1978   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) isolate the cause of Legionnaire’s disease.
1991   Iraq starts firing Scud missiles at Israeli cities.
Born on January 18
1782   Daniel Webster, congressman from New Hampshire, Massachusetts senator, and secretary of state before the Civil War.
1813   Joseph Glidden, inventor.
1858   Daniel Hale Williams, physician who performed the first open heart surgery, founder of Chicago’s Provident Hospital.
1882   A.A. [Alan Alexander] Milne, novelist, humorist and journalist (Winnie the Pooh).
1892   Oliver Hardy, film comedian, one half of Laurel and Hardy.
1904   Cary Grant, U.S. film actor (Gunga Din, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest).

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