August 18 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 18.

August 18

Events on August 18

1823 Death of André Jacques Garnerin, the French balloonist and parachutist.

1850 Death of the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, author of over 40 novels, most notable of which are Eugènie Grandet and Le Père Goriot.

1939 The film The Wizard of Oz is released in New York.

1967 Boxer Muhammad Ali marries Belinda Boyd, daughter of a member of the “Fruit of Islam”, the karate-trained section of the Black Muslims.

1984 South Africa is banned from taking part in the Olympic Games because of its racial politics.

2002 Pope John Paul II draws crowds of two million at a Papal mass in Krakow, on his ninth visit to his native Poland.

Famous Birthdays on August 18

Virginia Dare 1587. American colonist, the first child of English parents to be born in the New World.

Meriwether Lewis 1774, American explorer who was joint leader with William Clark of the first overland expedition to the Pacific Northwest.

Franz-Joseph I 1830, Austro Hungarian emperor who invaded Serbia and helped initiate World War I.

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit 1900, Indian diplomat and politician, who became the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Alain Robbe-Grillet 1922, French novelist and scriptwriter who provided the script for Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad.

Roman Polanski 1933, Polish film director who has worked in Europe and the USA, directing films such as Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby and Tess.

Robert Redford 1937, American actor whose films include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Daler Mehndi 1967, Indian recording artist and performer, who helped popularize the Bhangra genre.

His first album Bolo Ta Ra Ra (1995) sold 20 million copies worldwide.

Historical News on August 18

Legacy of brutality

Legacy of brutality Genghis Khan on August 18
Legacy of brutality Genghis Khan

1227 The Mongol ruler Genghis Khan,conqueror of a vast empire that extends from the Pacific to the Dnieper River, died today after falling from his horse.

The son of Yesugei, a member of a royal Mongol clan, Genghis succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes of nomadic horsemen and harnessing them into a terrifyingly effective war machine.

The name Genghis Khan became synonymous with brutality as he pursued his goal of world conquest.

Genghis was adaptable and willing to learn, however.

Late in his career he came to recognize that power could be exercised without necessarily resorting to rape, murder and pillage.

The future of the Mongols is now the responsibility of Ögodei Khan, Genghis? chosen successor.

Power-Mad Pope Damaged Papacy

1503 Pope Alexander VI, Spanish-born pontiff, has died in Rome after succumbing to a fever.

He was 74.

A member of the powerful Borgia family, he made rapid headway in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, becoming a cardinal at the age of 25.

His election as pope in 1492 brought about no change in his magnificent lifestyle.

The murder of his favourite son, Juan, four years ago brought some curtailment of the decadence with which his court was associated, however.

Pope Alexander’s political and personal ambitions were never similarly held in check, and to his dying breath he used his energies in the pursuit of power.

Critics believe that he has irreparably damaged the prestige of the papacy.


1930 After seven years in the making the huge steel arch of the new Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed.

Some 38,390 tons of riveted, high-tensile silicon British steel has gone into the 1650-ft (503-m) arch, one of the largest in the world, Sydney Harbour is so deep that the bridge’s British designers, Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, had to find a novel way of supporting the structure.

The two halves were built out as cantilevers and supported by wire-rope anchorages situated on the north and south sides of the harbor.

A target date of March 1932 has been set for its completion.

Red Guards Play Mao's Game

Red Guards play Mao's game on August 18
Red Guards play Mao's game

1966 The systematic campaign by Chairman Mao to halt the trend towards right-wing thinking in every area of Chinese life is gathering pace.

The first of eight huge demonstrations by semi-military groups called Red Guards took place in Peking today.

These young radicals have poured into the capital from all over China to answer Mao’s call for the denunciation and removal of senior officials held responsible by Mao for dampening down revolutionary ideals among his countrymen.

The “great proletarian cultural revolution” launched by the 72-year-old Mao is committed to “purifying” the arts and education.

In place of the enemy within”, he is proposing his own administration.

1984 British civil servant Clive Ponting.

37, has been charged under the Official Secrets Act after admitting to leaking two Ministry of Defence documents to opposition Labour MP Mr Tam Dalyell.

Ponting’s defence is that his duty is to Parliament and not just to the government.

The documents related to the rules of engagement used in the controversial sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano in May 1982, during the Falklands War.

The case is the latest in a series of breaches of confidence by senior officials out of sympathy with Thatcher’s administration.

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