Today in History: December 18

Today in History: December 18

Pick a day:

December 17 December 19

1118

Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captures Saragossa, Spain, causing a major blow to Muslim Spain.

1812

Napoleon Bonaparte arrives in Paris after his disastrous campaign in Russia.

1862

Nathan Bedford Forrest engages and defeats a Federal cavalry force near Lexington in his continued effort to disrupt supply lines.

1862

Union General Ulysses S. Grant announces the organization of his army in the West. Sherman, Hurlbut, McPherson, and McClernand are to be corps commanders.

1865

Slavery is abolished in the United States. The 13th Amendment is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

1915

In a single night, about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops withdraw from Gallipoli, Turkey, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.

1916

The Battle of Verdun ends with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months. It was the longest engagement of World War I.

1925

Soviet leaders Lev Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev break with Joseph Stalin.

1940

Adolf Hitler issues his secret plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union--Operation Barbarossa.

1941

Japan invades Hong Kong.

1941

Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam falls to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.

1942

Adolf Hitler meets with Benito Mussolini and Pierre Laval.

1944

Japanese forces are repelled from northern Burma by British troops.

1951

North Koreans give the United Nations a list of 3,100 POWs.

1956

Japan is admitted to the United Nations.

1960

A rightist government is installed under Prince Boun Oum in Laos as the United States resumes arms shipments.

1965

U.S. Marines attack VC units in the Que Son Valley during Operation Harvest Moon.

1970

An atomic leak in Nevada forces hundreds of citizens to flee the test site.

1972

President Richard M. Nixon declares that the bombing of North Vietnam will continue until an accord can be reached (Operation Linebacker II).

1989

The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and economic communication.

2002

California Gov. Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit; the looming $35 billion shortfall is almost double the amount reported a month earlier during the state's gubernatorial campaign.

2005

Civil war begins in Chad with a rebel assault on Adre; the rebels are believed to be backed by Chad's neighbor, Sudan.

2008

United Arab Emirates holds it first-ever elections.

2010

In an opening act of Arab Spring, anti-government protests erupt in Tunisia.