Today in History: April 18 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: April 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.


April 18

310   St. Eusebius of Vercelli begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
1521   Martin Luther confronts the emperor Charles V, refusing to retract the views which led to his excommunication.
1676   Sudbury, Massachusetts is attacked by Indians.
1775   American revolutionaries Paul Revere and William Dawes ride though the towns of Massachusetts warning that “the British are coming.”
1791   National Guardsmen prevent Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.
1818   A regiment of Indians and blacks is defeated at the Battle of Suwannee, in Florida, ending the First Seminole War.
1834   William Lamb becomes prime minister of England.
1838   The Wilkes’ expedition to the South Pole sets sail.
1847   Major General Winfield Scott defeats superior Mexican forces under the command of Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. It is the decisive engagement of the Veracruz campaign, and Mexico City will fall by August. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1853   The first train in Asia begins running from Bombay to Tanna.
1861   Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down an offer to command the Union armies.
1895   The First Sino-Japanese War ends.
1906   A massive earthquake hits San Francisco, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale.
1923   Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1.
1937   Leon Trotsky calls for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1942   James H. Doolittle bombs Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
1943   Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters.
1946   The League of Nations dissolves.
1949   The Republic of Ireland withdraws from British Commonwealth.
1950   The first transatlantic jet passenger trip is completed.
1954   Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power in Egypt.
1978   The U.S. Senate approves the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1980   Zimbabwe’s (Rhodesia) formal independence from Britain is proclaimed.
1983   A suicide bomber kills U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.
Born on April 18
1480   Lucretia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI and a patron of the arts.
1817   George Henry Lewes, philosophical writer.
1857   Clarence S. Darrow, lawyer.
1864   Richard Harding Davis, journalist.
1918   Clifton Keith Hillegass, founder of the study guides known as Cliff’s Notes.
1940   Ed Garvey, labor leader.