Today in History: March 18 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: March 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.


37   The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor.
1692   William Penn is deprived of his governing powers.
1863   Confederate women riot in Salisbury, NC to protest the lack of flour and salt in the South.
1865   The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourns for the last time.
1874   Hawaii signs a treaty giving exclusive trading rights with the islands to the United States.
1881   Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth opens in Madison Square Garden.
1911   Theodore Roosevelt opens the Roosevelt Dam in Phoenix, AZ, the largest dam in the United States to that date.
1913   Greek King George I is killed by an assassin. Constantine I succeeds him.
1916   On the Eastern Front, the Russians counter the Verdun assault with an attack at Lake Naroch. The Russians lose 100,000 men and the Germans lose 20,000.
1917   The Germans sink the U.S. ships, the City of Memphis, the Vigilante and the Illinois without any type of warning.
1921   The second Peace of Riga takes effect ending the Polish-Soviet War. In the aftermath of the war, the Poles gained land previously held by the Soviets.

Prior to the outbreak of WWII, the Soviets refused to enter into an alliance with Britain and France without guaranteed passage through Poland to allow access to mainland Europe, in the event of a war. The Poles, due to anxiety about a Soviet presence in their territory, denied the USSR access. This denial helped to foil any alliance between the three nations.

The treaty became null after the Soviet’s invaded Poland on September 18, 1939. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]

1922   Mahatma Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience in India.
1939   Georgia finally ratifies the Bill of Rights, 150 years after the birth of the federal government. Connecticut and Massachusetts, the only other states to hold out, also ratify the Bill of Rights in this year.
1942   The third military draft begins in the United States.
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 Sungmen.
1953   The Braves baseball team announces that they are moving from Boston to Milwaukee.
1965   Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov becomes the first man to spacewalk when he exits his Voskhod 2 space capsule while in orbit around the Earth.
1969   President Richard M. Nixon authorizes Operation Menu, the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia.
1970   The U.S. Postal Service is paralyzed by the first postal strike.
1971   U.S. helicopters airlift 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers out of Laos.
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 United States discloses biological weapons tests in Texas in 1966.
1986   Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson.
Born on March 18
1782   John C. Calhoun, U.S. statesman.
1837   Stephen Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States (1885-1889 and 1893-1897); the only U.S. president elected for two nonconsecutive terms.
1842   Stephane Mallarme, French symbolist poet.
1858   Rudolf Diesel, German engineer who designed the compression-ignition engine.
1869   Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister (1937-40).
1893   Wilfred Owen, World War I poet.
1932   John Updike, American poet and novelist.
1936   Frederik W. de Klerk, President of the Republic of South Africa.