August 18 in history

293 BC  The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica.

1572 Marriage in Paris of the future Huguenot King Henry IV of Navarre to Marguerite de Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.

1587 Virginia Dare, granddaughter of governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, became the first English child born in the Americas (d.?).

1634  Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, was burned alive in Loudun France.

1848  Camila O’Gorman and Ladislao Gutierrez were executed on the orders of Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern – Union forces tried to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

1868 – French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovered helium.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Gravelotte .

1877  Asaph Hall discovered Martian moon Phobos.

1885 Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist, was born  (d. 1964).

1891 Major hurricane struck Martinique, leaving 700 dead.

1903 German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flew his self-made, motored gliding aeroplane four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.

1904 – Max Factor, Polish-born cosmetics entrepreneur, was born  (d. 1996).

1909 Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presented Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees.

1917  A Great Fire in Thessaloniki, Greece destroyed 32% of the city leaving 70,000 individuals homeless.

1920 Shelley Winters, American actress, was born  (d. 2006).

1920 The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.

1935 Sir Howard Morrison, New Zealand entertainer, was born (d 2009).

1935 Robert Redford, American actor, was born.

1938  The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York State, United States with Ontario, Canada over the St. Lawrence River, was dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Adolf Hitler ordered a temporary halt to Nazi Germany’s systematic euthanasia of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests.

1950  Julien Lahaut, the chairman of the Communist Party of Belgium was assassinated by far-right elements.

1952 Patrick Swayze, American actor, was born  (d. 2009).

1955 – 20 year-old Edward Te Whiu was hanged for murder.

1958  Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita was published in the United States.

1963 American civil rights movement: James Meredith became the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

1965 Vietnam War: Operation Starlite began – United States Marines destroyed 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 – a patrol of 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment encountered the Viet Cong.

1969  Jimi Hendrix played the unofficial last day of the Woodstock festival.

1971 Prime Minister Keith Holyoake announced to Parliament the decision to withdraw New Zealand’s combat force from Vietnam before the end of the year.

Deadline for Vietnam pull-out announced

1976 In the Korean Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjeom, the Axe Murder Incident resulted in the death of two US soldiers.

1977  Steve Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 in King William’s Town, South Africa. He later died of the injuries sustained during this arrest.

1982  Japanese election law was amended to allow for proportional representation.

1983  Hurricane Alicia hit the Texas coast, killing 22 people and causing over USD $1 billion in damage (1983 dollars).

1989  Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán was assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.

2000 A Federal jury finds the US EPA  guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later inspiring passage of the No FEAR Act.

2005 Massive power blackout in  Java, affecting almost 100 million people.

2008 President Of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf resigned due to pressure from opposition.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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