Today In History, 18 January

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1586, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake devastated Honshu, Japan, killing 8,000 people and triggering a massive tsunami.
  • In 1778, English explorer and naval captain James Cook became the first European to discover the Hawaiian Archipelago.
  • In 1871, the German Empire was founded, and Wilhelm I was proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm after the end of the Franco-Prussian War.
  • In 1896, the first X-ray generating machine was exhibited by Henry Louis Smith.
  • In 1911, American pilot Eugene Ely performed the first aircraft landing on a ship’s flight deck, on the battleship Pennsylvania.
  • In 1919, the Paris Peace Conference began in Versailles, France, to formally end World War II and dictate terms for the defeated axis powers.
  • In 1919, the iconic luxury automobile company Bentley Motors Limited was founded in London by Walter Owen Bentley.
  • In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted of killing multiple women and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • In 1993, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was officially observed for the first time in the USA.
  • In 2002, the decade-long Sierra Leone Civil War was declared over.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1886, modern field hockey was born with the formation of the Hockey Association in England.
  • In 1983, the International Olympic Authority (IOC) restored the Olympic medals of American athlete Jim Thorpe after stripping him in 1913 for “breaking amateurism rules.”
  • In 2015, South African cricketer AB de Villiers made the fastest century in ODI cricket, scoring a hundred in 31 balls in a match against the West Indies.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1974, the popular television series “$6 Million Man,” starring Lee Majors, premiered on ABC TV.
  • In 2008, popular Hollywood celebrity George Clooney was announced as a UN messenger of peace.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr NoDeath YearPersonality
11936Rudyard Kipling, British author and poet, known for writing about stories of British India like the iconic children’s book The Jungle Book and The Man Who Would Be King
21949Charles Ponzi, Italian con artist who orchestrated one of the biggest get rich frauds in history, which was later named after him as “Ponzi scheme”
31955Saadat Hasan Manto, Pakistani writer and playwright who mainly wrote in Urdu and is known for his many stories, essays, mostly opposing the partition of India
41996N.T. Rama Rao, Indian actor, filmmaker and politician who enjoyed a successful career in Telugu film industry and later served as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
52003Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Indian poet and writer who is one of the most prominent figures in Hindi literature and also the father of renowned Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr NoBirth YearPersonality
11689Montesquieu, French philosopher whose theory of separation of powers has been implemented in many constitutions in the world
21882A.A Milne, English writer who created the beloved children’s characters Christopher Robin and his bear, Winnie-the-Pooh
31904Cary Grant, English-American actor and popular Hollywood star in the early 20th century who starred in popular films like North by Northwest, Charade and To Catch a Thief
41952Veerappan, Indian bandit, poacher and smuggler who terrorized the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for over two decades
51955Kevin Costner, veteran American actor and film director who is a recipient of two Academy Awards and is known for western films and tv shows like Dances with Wolves and Yellowstone
61969Dave Bautista, American actor and former professional wrester who is known for his dramatic and comedic roles in blockbuster films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Dune and Blade Runner 2049
71971Pep Guardiola, former Spanish football player and manager who coached famous clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City