On October 18:
1009 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church’s foundations down to bedrock.
1016 The Danes defeated the Saxons in the Battle of Ashingdon.
1081 The Normans defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Dyrrhachium.
1210 Pope Innocent III excommunicated German leader Otto IV.
1356 Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroyed the town of Basel.
1386 Opening of the University of Heidelberg.
1561 Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima – Takeda Shingen defeated Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts.
1599 Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeated the Army of Andrew Bathory in the Battle of Şelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.
1648 Boston Shoemakers formed the first U.S. labour organization.
1748The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of the Austrian Succession.
1767 Mason-Dixon line, survey separating Maryland from Pennsylvania was completed.
1775 African-American poet Phillis Wheatley freed from slavery.
1851 Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was first published as The Whale.
1860 The Second Opium War ended at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin, an unequal treaty.
1867 United States took possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.
1898 United States took possession of Puerto Rico.
1912 The First Balkan War began.
1914 The Schoenstatt Movement was founded in Germany.
1919 Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada, was born (d. 2000).
1921 The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed as part of the RSFSR.
1922 The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) was founded.
1924 Amateur radio operator Frank Bell sent the first trans-global radio transmission from Shag Valley, East Otago to London were it was received and replied to by amateur operator Cecil Goyder.
1925 The Grand Ole Opry opened in Nashville, Tennessee.
1926 Chuck Berry, American musician, was born.
1927 George C. Scott, American actor, was born (d. 1999).
1929 Women were considered “Persons” under Canadian law.
1929 Violeta Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, was born.
1934 Inger Stevens, Swedish actress, was born (d. 1970).
1936 Adolf Hitler announced the Four Year Economic Plan to the German people. The plan details the rebuilding of the German military from 1936 to 1940.
1939 Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy, was born (d. 1963).
1944 – Adolf Hitler ordered the public funeral procession of Nazi field Marshall Erwin Rommel, commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps
1945 The USSR’s nuclear programme received plans for the United States plutonium bomb from Klaus Fuchs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
1945 – A group of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, led by Mario Vargas, Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, staged a coup d’état against then president Isaías Medina Angarita.
1954 The New Zealand Opera Group (later renamed NZ Opera Company) had its first opening night when it performed The Telephone in Wellington.
1954 Texas Instruments announced the first Transistor radio.
1967 The Soviet probe Venera 4 reached Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
1968 Bob Beamon set a world record of 8.90 m in the long jump at the Mexico City games.
1989 East German leader Erich Honecker resigned.
1991 Azerbaijan declared independence from USSR.
2003 Bolivian Gas War: President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, was forced to resign and leave Bolivia.
2007 Karachi bombings: attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia