On This Day … 18 April


  • 796 – King Æthelred I of Northumbria is murdered in Corbridge by a group led by his ealdormen, Ealdred and Wada. The patrician Osbald is crowned, but abdicates within 27 days.
  • 1689 – Bostonians rise up in rebellion against Sir Edmund Andros.
  • 1775 – American Revolution: The British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and other riders warn the countryside of the troop movements.
  • 1783 – Three-Fifths Compro
  • mise: the first instance of black slaves in the United States of America being counted as three fifths of persons (for the purpose of taxation), in a resolution of the Congress of the Confederation. This was later adopted in the 1787 Constitution.
  • 1847 – American victory at the battle of Cerro Gordo opens the way for invasion of Mexico.
  • 1864 – Battle of Dybbøl: A Prussian-Austrian army defeats Denmark and gains control of Schleswig. Denmark surrenders the province in the following peace settlement.
  • 1897 – The Greco-Turkish War is declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1915 – French pilot Roland Garros is shot down and glides to a landing on the German side of the lines during World War I.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Doolittle Raid on Japan: Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagoya are bombed.
  • 1942 – Pierre Laval becomes Prime Minister of Vichy France.
  • 1943 – World War II: Operation Vengeance, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is killed when his aircraft is shot down by US fighters over Bougainville Island.
  • 1945 – Over 1,000 bombers attack the small island of Heligoland, Germany.
  • 1946 – The International Court of Justice holds its inaugural meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • 1949 – The Republic of Ireland Act comes into effect.
  • 1949 – The keel for the aircraft carrier USS United States is laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding. However, construction is cancelled five days later, resulting in the Revolt of the Admirals.
  • 1954 – Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes power in Egypt.
  • 1988 – The United States launches Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.
  • 1996 – In Lebanon, at least 106 civilians are killed when the Israel Defence Forces shell the United Nations compound at Qana where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.
  • Army Day (Iran).
  • Victory over the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of the Ice (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1898 – Patrick Hennessy, Irish soldier and businessman (d. 1981).
  • 1924 – Roy Mason, English miner and politician, Secretary of State for Defence (d. 2015).
  • 1929 – Peter Hordern, English soldier and politician.
  • 1947 – Moses Blah, Liberian general and politician, 23rd President of Liberia (d. 2013).

People (Deaths)

  • 727 – Agallianos Kontoskeles, Byzantine commander and rebel leader.
  • 1742 – Arvid Horn, Swedish general and politician (b. 1664).
  • 1943 – Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese admiral (b. 1884).
  • 1945 – Ernie Pyle, American journalist and soldier (b. 1900).
  • 1951 – Óscar Carmona, Portuguese field marshal and politician, 11th President of Portugal (b. 1869).
  • 1958 – Maurice Gamelin, Belgian-French general (b. 1872).
  • 1986 – Marcel Dassault, French businessman, founded Dassault Aviation (b. 1892).
  • 1998 – Terry Sanford, American lieutenant and politician, 65th Governor of North Carolina (b. 1917).
  • 2003 – Edgar F. Codd, English-American soldier, pilot, and computer scientist (b. 1923).
  • 2013 – Steuart Pringle, English general (b. 1928).

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