Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18 Events

218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.
1642 – Abel Tasman becomes first European to land in New Zealand.
1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.
1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
1878 – John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires is executed in Pennsylvania.
1878 – The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar
1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.
1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.
1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.
1912 – The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is announced by Charles Dawson.
1915 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Bolling Galt Wilson while president of the United States.
1916 – World War I: The Battle of Verdun ends when German forces under Chief of Staff Erich Von Falkenhayn are defeated by the French, and suffer 337,000 casualties.
1917 – The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment to enact Prohibition is passed by the United States Congress.
1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game. Because of a blizzard, the game is moved from Wrigley Field to the Chicago Stadium, the field measuring 80 yards (73 m) long.
1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.
1944 – World War II: 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.
1956 – Japan joins the United Nations.
1958 – Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, is launched.
1966 – Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
1969 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.
1971 – Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.
1972 – Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will 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 Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
1973 – The Islamic Development Bank is founded.
1978 – Dominica joins the United Nations.
1987 – Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.
1989 – The European Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation.
1996 – The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring "Ebonics" a language or dialect.
1997 – HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2002 – 2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.
2006 – The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding is at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.
2006 – United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections.
2010 – Governmental protests begin in Tunisia, beginning the 2010-2011 Middle East and North Africa protests

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