This Day in History – March 18

Today is the 77th day of 2021. There are 288 days left in the year.


1965: The first spacewalk takes place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov leaves his Voskhod 2 capsule and remains outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, secured by a tether.



1554: Britain’s Princess Elizabeth is sent to the Tower of London for suspected complicity in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion.

1766: Great Britain repeals the Stamp Act after Americans decried that taxation without representation was tyranny.

1776: George Washington’s troops occupy Boston, Massachusetts, after evacuation of British in American Revolutionary War.

1909: Einar Dessau of Denmark uses a short-wave transmitter to converse with a government radio post about 10 kilometres (6 miles) away in what is believed to have been the first broadcast by a “ham” operator.

1913: Greece’s King George I is assassinated in Salonika.

1922: Mahatma Gandhi is sentenced to six years in prison in India for civil disobedience.

1931: Schick Inc markets the first electric razor in the United States.

1937: A gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas, kills more than 400 people, most of them children.

1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hold a meeting at the Brenner Pass, during which the Italian dictator agrees to join in Germany’s war against France and Britain.

1946: Status of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana changes from French West Indian territories to Overseas Departments, making them parts of France.

1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is formed.

1959: US President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Hawaii statehood Bill.

1962: French and Algerian rebel delegations in Evian-les-Bains, France, sign ceasefire agreement in Algerian War.

1969: US President Richard Nixon orders secret bombing of Cambodia; US and Soviet Union propose international treaty to ban nuclear weapons from ocean floor.

1970: Cambodia’s Prince Norodom Sihanouk is deposed as chief of State while he is on a visit to Moscow.

1990: East German voters signal that they want unification with West Germany as soon as possible, giving the Conservative alliance 48 per cent of the vote in parliamentary elections.

1991: More than 70,000 people mass in the streets of several east German cities demanding an end to economic woes.

1992: An explosion destroys the Israeli Embassy near downtown Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding 252.

1994: The Bosnian Government and Croatia sign a federation accord.

1999: The Kosovo peace talks collapse after ethnic Albanian delegates unilaterally sign a peace accord that defiant Serbs reject.

2000: Aid arrives in Mozambique, where flooding left as many as 700 people dead and destroyed the homes or livelihood of another two million.

2001: In Paris, Socialists win municipal elections, ending nearly a century of unbroken rule by the right.

2004: Poland’s President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key US ally in Iraq, says that Poland was “misled” about whether Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction and was considering withdrawing its troops from Iraq several months earlier than envisaged.

2006: Thousands of anti-war protesters take to the streets around the world, marking the third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq with demands that coalition troops leave immediately.

2009: Austrian incest father Josef Fritzl abruptly pleads guilty to all charges against him, a surprising twist amid disclosures that the daughter he imprisoned for 24 years in a dungeon where she bore him seven children secretly sat in on the trial.

2010: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Russian counterpart clash openly over the planned launch in the summer of Iran’s first, Russian-built nuclear power plant, highlighting a split in views over how to steer Iran away from nuclear weapons.

2011: Sirens wail along a devastated coastline to mark exactly one week since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear emergency in Japan, and the Government acknowledges it was slow to respond to the disasters that the prime minister called a “great test for the Japanese people”.

2012: The Government discloses that more than 2,000 people have been killed in a year of political turmoil that led to the resignation of Yemen’s long-time president.

2013: A plan to seize up to 10 per cent of people’s savings in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus sends shock waves across Europe as households realise the money they have in the bank may not be safe.

2014: President Vladimir Putin adds Crimea to the map of Russia, describing the move as correcting a past injustice.

2015: Foreign tourists scramble in panic from a museum past security forces with guns drawn after militants kill 19 people in Tunisia’s capital.



Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer (1844-1908); Rudolf Diesel, German engineer (1858-1913); Neville Chamberlain, British statesman (1869-1940); F W de Klerk, former South African president, co-winner of 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (1936- ); Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier (1956- ); Irene Cara, US singer (1959- ); Queen Latifah, US rapper/actress (1970- )

– AP

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