December 18 in history

218 BC – Second Punic WarBattle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic.

1271  – Kublai Khan renamed his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

1642  Abel Tasman and his men had the first known European encounter with Maori.

First contact between Maori and Europeans

1707 – Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist, was born (d. 1788).

1777 The United States celebrated its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.

1849 – Henrietta Edwards, Canadian activist and author was born (d. 1931).

1863  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, was born (d. 1914).

1878 – Joseph Stalin,  leader of the Soviet Union, was born  (d. 1953).

1890 Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (FM radio) was born (d. 1954).

1898  Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the new land speed record going 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognised land speed record.

1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria opened.

1908  – Celia Johnson, English actress, was born (d. 1982).

1910 –Eric Tindill, New Zealand cricketer and rugby player, was born  (d. 2010).

1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1992).

1916  Betty Grable,  American actress, was born  (d. 1973).

1935 – Jacques Pépin, French chef, was born.

1938 Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals), was born (d. 1996).

1943  Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1946   Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born  (d. 1977).

1946 – – Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded DreamWorks , was born.

1963   – Brad Pitt, American actor and producer was born.

1966  – Saturn‘s moon Epimetheus was discovered by astronomer Richard Walker.

1972 – Vietnam WarPresident Richard Nixon announced that the United States would engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.

1973 – – Soviet Soyuz ProgrammeSoyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

1973 – The Islamic Development Bank was founded.

1981  – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world’s largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.

1999 NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

2006 – The first of a series of floods struck Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding was at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.

2009 – The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference closed with the signing of the Copenhagen Accord.

2010 – Anti-government protests began in Tunisia, heralding the Arab Spring.

2015  – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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