On This Day … 18 January

Events

  • 532 – Nika riots in Constantinople fail.
  • 1591 – King Naresuan of Siam kills Crown Prince Mingyi Swa of Burma in single combat, for which this date is now observed as Royal Thai Armed Forces day.
  • 1670 – Henry Morgan captures Panama.
  • 1701 – Frederick I crowns himself King of Prussia in Königsberg.
  • 1778 – James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the “Sandwich Islands”.
  • 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from Great Britain to Australia arrive at Botany Bay.
  • 1806 – Jan Willem Janssens surrenders the Dutch Cape Colony to the British.
  • 1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany is proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles (France) towards the end of the Franco-Prussian War.
    • Wilhelm already had the title of German Emperor since the constitution of 01 January 1871, but he had hesitated to accept the title.
  • 1896 – An X-ray generating machine is exhibited for the first time by H.L. Smith.
  • 1911 – Eugene B. Ely lands on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.
  • 1913 – First Balkan War: A Greek flotilla defeats the Ottoman Navy in the Naval Battle of Lemnos, securing the islands of the Northern Aegean Sea for Greece.
  • 1915 – Japan issues the “Twenty-One Demands” to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia.
  • 1919 – World War I: The Paris Peace Conference opens in Versailles, France.
  • 1919 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski becomes Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland.
  • 1941 – World War II: British troops launch a general counter-offensive against Italian East Africa.
  • 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • 1945 – World War II: Liberation of Kraków, Poland by the Red Army.
  • 1974 – A Disengagement of Forces agreement is signed between the Israeli and Egyptian governments, ending conflict on the Egyptian front of the Yom Kippur War.
  • 1976 – Lebanese Christian militias kill at least 1,000 in Karantina, Beirut.
  • 1977 – Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.
  • 2002 – The Sierra Leone Civil War is declared over.
  • Royal Thai Armed Forces Day (Thailand).

People (Births)

  • 1853 – Marthinus Nikolaas Ras, South African farmer, soldier, and gun-maker (d. 1900).
  • 1868 – Kantarō Suzuki, Japanese admiral and politician, 42nd Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948).
  • 1879 – Henri Giraud, French general and politician (d. 1949).
  • 1888 – Thomas Sopwith, English ice hockey player, sailor, and pilot (d. 1989).
  • 1892 – Bill Meanix, American hurdler and coach (d. 1957).
  • 1896 – Ville Ritola, Finnish-American runner (d. 1982).
  • 1915 – Santiago Carrillo, Spanish soldier and politician (d. 2012).
  • 1917 – Nicholas Oresko, American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 2013).
  • 1923 – John Graham, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Wales (d. 2012).
  • 1923 – Gerrit Voorting, Dutch cyclist (d. 2015).
  • 1925 – John V. Evans, American soldier and politician, 27th Governor of Idaho (d. 2014).
  • 1925 – Sol Yurick, American soldier and author (d. 2013).
  • 1931 – Chun Doo-hwan, South Korean general and politician, 5th President of South Korea.
  • 1963 – Martin O’Malley, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 61st Governor of Maryland.
  • 1970 – Peter Van Petegem, Belgian cyclist.
  • 1978 – Thor Hushovd, Norwegian cyclist.
  • 1982 – Mary Jepkosgei Keitany, Kenyan runner.
  • 1984 – Ioannis Drymonakos, Greek swimmer.
  • 1988 – Boy van Poppel, Dutch cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1589 – Magnus Heinason, Faroese naval hero (b. 1545).
  • 1677 – Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch politician, founded Cape Town (b. 1619).
  • 1973 – Irina Nikolaevna Levchenko, Russian tank commander (b. 1924).
  • 1984 – Panteleimon Ponomarenko, Belarusian general and politician (b. 1902).
  • 2012 – Georg Lassen, German captain (b. 1915).
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