Today in History: May 18 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: May 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.


Today in History
May 18

526   St. John I ends his reign as Catholic Pope.
1643   Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, is granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king’s will.
1652   A law is passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies but it causes little stir and seems unlikely to be enforced.
1792   Russian troops invade Poland.
1802   Britain declares war on France.
1804   Napoleon Bonaparte becomes the Emperor of France.
1828   The Battle of Las Piedras, between Uruguay and Brazil, ends.
1860   Abraham Lincoln is nominated for president.
1863   The Siege of Vicksburg begins as part of the Union Army’s Anaconda Plan. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasizes a Union blockade of the Southern ports and calls for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1864   The fighting at Spotsylvania in Virginia, reaches its peak at the Bloody Angle.
1896   The Supreme Court’s decision on Plessy v. Ferguson upholds the “separate but equal” policy in the United States.
1904   Brigand Raisuli kidnaps American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.
1917   The U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service act, calling up soldiers to fight World War I.
1931   Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashes his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop. He is picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.
1933   President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.
1942   New York ends night baseball games for the rest of World War II.
1944   The Allies finally capture Monte Cassino in Italy.
1951   The United Nations moves its headquarters to New York city.
1969   Two battalions of the 101st Airborne Division assault Hill 937 but cannot reach the top because of muddy conditions.
1974   India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.
1980   After rumbling for two months, Mount Saint Helens, in Washington, erupts 3 times in 24 hours.
Born on May 18
1836   Wilhelm Steinitz, chess champion.
1868   Nicholas II, the last Russian czar.
1872   Bertrand Russell, English mathematician, philosopher and social reformer.
1897   Frank Capra, film director (It’s A Wonderful Life).
1902   Meredith Willson, composer and lyricist (The Music Man).
1911   Joseph Vernon “Big Joe” Turner, blues singer.
1918   John Paul II [Karol Jozef Wojtyla], Roman Catholic pope.
1919   Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer.