On This Day … 18 March


  • 1229 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, declares himself King of Jerusalem in the Sixth Crusade.
  • 1241 – First Mongol invasion of Poland: Mongols overwhelm Polish armies in Kraków in the Battle of Chmielnik and plunder the city.
  • 1314 – Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and final Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is burned at the stake.
  • 1644 – The Third Anglo-Powhatan War begins in the Colony of Virginia.
  • 1741 – New York governor George Clarke’s complex at Fort George is burned in an arson attack, starting the New York Conspiracy of 1741.
  • 1766 – American Revolution: The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act.
  • 1793 – The first modern republic in Germany, the Republic of Mainz (a product of the French Revolutionary Wars), is declared by Andreas Joseph Hofmann.
  • 1793 – Flanders Campaign of the French Revolution, Battle of Neerwinden.
  • 1834 – Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England are sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.
  • 1848 – March Revolution: In Berlin there is a struggle between citizens and military, costing about 300 lives.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The Congress of the Confederate States adjourns for the last time.
  • 1871 – Declaration of the Paris Commune; President of the French Republic, Adolphe Thiers, orders the evacuation of Paris.
  • 1913 – King George I of Greece is assassinated in the recently liberated city of Thessaloniki.
  • 1915 – World War I: During the Battle of Gallipoli, three battleships are sunk during a failed British and French naval attack on the Dardanelles.
  • 1921 – The second Peace of Riga is signed between Poland and the Soviet Union.
  • 1922 – In India, Mohandas Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience, of which he serves only two.
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: Spanish Republican forces defeat the Italians at the Battle of Guadalajara.
  • 1940 – World War II: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agree to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1942 – The War Relocation Authority is established in the United States to take Japanese Americans into custody.
  • 1948 – Soviet consultants leave Yugoslavia in the first sign of the Tito–Stalin Split.
  • 1959 – The Hawaii Admission Act is signed into law.
  • 1962 – The Évian Accords end the Algerian War of Independence, which had begun in 1954.
  • 1969 – The United States begins secretly bombing the Sihanouk Trail in Cambodia, used by communist forces to infiltrate South Vietnam.
  • 1970 – Lon Nol ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
  • 1980 – A Vostok-2M rocket at Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43 explodes during a fueling operation, killing 48 people.
  • 1990 – Germans in the German Democratic Republic vote in the first democratic elections in the former communist dictatorship.
  • 1994 – Bosnia’s Bosniaks and Croats sign the Washington Agreement, ending war between the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and establishing the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • 2014 – The parliaments of Russia and Crimea sign an accession treaty.
  • Gallipoli Memorial Day (Turkey).
  • Men’s and Soldiers’ Day (Mongolia).
  • Ordnance Factories’ Day (India).

People (Births)

  • 1395 – John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter, English military commander (d. 1447).
  • 1823 – Antoine Chanzy, French general (d. 1883).
  • 1846 – Kicking Bear, Native American tribal leader (d. 1904).
  • 1858 – Rudolf Diesel, German engineer, invented the Diesel engine (d. 1913).
  • 1913 – Werner Mölders, German colonel and pilot (d. 1941).
  • 1928 – Fidel V. Ramos, Filipino general and politician, 12th President of the Philippines.
  • 1944 – Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Israeli general and politician, 22nd Transportation Minister of Israel (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 1689 – John Dixwell, English soldier and politician (b. 1607).
  • 2012 – William R. Charette, American soldier, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1932).
  • 2012 – William G. Moore Jr., American general (b. 1920).
  • 2013 – Muhammad Mahmood Alam, Pakistani general and pilot (b. 1935).

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