On This Day … 18 August

Events

  • 684 – Battle of Marj Rahit: Umayyad partisans defeat the supporters of Ibn al-Zubayr and cement Umayyad control of Syria.
  • 1304 – The Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle is fought to a draw between the French army and the Flemish militias.
  • 1487 – The Siege of Málaga ends with the taking of the city by Castilian and Aragonese forces.
  • 1590 – John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returns from a supply trip to England and finds his settlement deserted.
  • 1721 – The city of Shamakhi in Safavid Shirvan is sacked.
  • 1826 – Major Gordon Laing becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbuktu.
  • 1838 – The Wilkes Expedition, which would explore the Puget Sound and Antarctica, weighs anchor at Hampton Roads.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern: Union forces try to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Gravelotte is fought.
  • 1903 – German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright brothers.
  • 1940 – World War II: The Hardest Day air battle, part of the Battle of Britain. At that point, the largest aerial engagement in history with heavy losses sustained on both sides.
  • 1945 – Sukarno takes office as the first president of Indonesia, following the country’s declaration of independence the previous day.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: Operation Starlite begins: US Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.
  • 1966 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Tan ensues after a patrol from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment clashes with a Viet Cong force in Phước Tuy Province.
  • 1971 – Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.
  • 1976 – The Korean axe murder incident in Panmunjom results in the deaths of two US Army officers.
  • 2008 – War of Afghanistan: Uzbin Valley ambush occurs.
  • Armed Forces Day (Macedonia).
  • Long Tan Day, also called Vietnam Veterans’ Day (Australia).

People (Births)

  • 1305 – Ashikaga Takauji, Japanese Shōgun (d. 1358).
  • 1587 – Virginia Dare, granddaughter of Governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, first child born to English parents in the Americas (date of death unknown).
  • 1754 – François, marquis de Chasseloup-Laubat, French general and engineer (d. 1833).
  • 1774 – Meriwether Lewis, American soldier, explorer, and politician (d. 1809).
  • 1822 – Isaac P. Rodman, American general and politician (d. 1862).
  • 1841 – William Halford, English-American lieutenant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1919).
  • 1870 – Lavr Kornilov, Russian general and explorer (d. 1918).
  • 1879 – Alexander Rodzyanko, Russian general (d. 1970).
  • 1910 – Robert Winters, Canadian colonel, engineer, and politician, 26th Canadian Minister of Public Works (d. 1969).
  • 1912 – Otto Ernst Remer, German general (d. 1997).
  • 1914 – Lucy Ozarin, United States Navy lieutenant commander and psychiatrist (d. 2017).
  • 1917 – Caspar Weinberger, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 15th United States Secretary of Defence (d. 2006).
  • 1921 – Lydia Litvyak, Russian lieutenant and pilot (d. 1943).
  • 1945 – Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and author (d. 1994).
  • 1953 – Louie Gohmert, American captain, lawyer, and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • 353 – Decentius, Roman usurper.
  • 472 – Ricimer, Roman general and politician (b. 405).
  • 673 – Kim Yu-shin, general of Silla (b. 595).
  • 1430 – Thomas de Ros, 8th Baron de Ros, English soldier and politician (b. 1406).
  • 1707 – William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, English soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire (b. 1640).
  • 1712 – Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Essex (b. 1660).
  • 1943 – Ali-Agha Shikhlinski, Azerbaijani general (b. 1865).
  • 1950 – Julien Lahaut, Belgian soldier and politician (b. 1884).
  • 2004 – Hiram Fong, American soldier and politician (b. 1906).
  • 2007 – Michael Deaver, American soldier and politician, White House Deputy Chief of Staff (b. 1938).
  • 2009 – Kim Dae-jung, South Korean lieutenant and politician, 15th President of South Korea, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925).
  • 2014 – Gordon Faber, American soldier and politician, 39th Mayor of Hillsboro, Oregon (b. 1930).
  • 2014 – Jim Jeffords, American captain, lawyer, and politician (b. 1934).
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