May 18 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

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

May-18

Events on May 18

1652 Slavery is banned in Rhode Island.

1803 Britain abandons the Treaty of Amiens signed only the year before and declares war on France.

1832 In Paris French novelist George Sand publishes her first novel, Indiana in which she makes a plea for women’s right to independence.

1909 Death of British poet and novelist George Meredith.

1909 Death of Isaac Albeniz Spanish composer and pianist best-known for Iberia, a collection of 12 piano pieces.

1954 The European Convention on Human Rights comes into effect.

1981 Iraqi Exocet missiles hit the US naval frigate Stark, killing 26 Baghdad says it is an accident.

1988 Operation Blue Star, a 5-day siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India has ended with the surrender of 46 Sikh militants.

1991 Muriel Box, British writer, feminist publisher and director of many films including Rattle of a Simple Man and The Happy Family, dies aged 85.

Famous Birthdays on May 18

Nicholas II 1868, Russian tsar who was forced to abdicate at the beginning of the Revolution and was subsequently executed.

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell 1872, British philosopher, mathematician and pacifist winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950 who claimed that “longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for mankind” were the ruling passions of his life.

Frank Capra 1897, Italian American director whose films include the Oscar-winning It Happened One Night and You Can’t Take It With You.

Rick Wakeman 1949, British pop musician.

Quotes from Legend

This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain at the same time.

- Aneurin Bevan, opposition Labor politician, in a speech at Blackpool, 1945.

Quotes from Legend

It is neither fitting nor safe that all the keys should hang from the belt of one woman.

- Thomas Brinton, Bishop of Rochester, on the influence of the unscrupulous Alice Perrers over her ageing lover, King Edward III, 1376.

Historical News on May 18

Mahler Dies

Gustav Mahler dies on May 18
Gustav Mahler dies on May 18

1911 Gustav Mahler, the inspired Austrian conductor, and composer has died of heart disease.

He was 51. Mahler had been expecting to die since he learned of his condition four years ago, yet he kept up a busy touring schedule in Europe and in New York, where is charged with emotion that many find overpowering.

Mahler always tended towards the magnificent, his symphonies are long works requiring huge orchestras, music on a monumental scale not heard before.

They are awe-inspiring, but only the Second Symphony has yet gained any popularity.

Mahler was born a Jew but converted to the Catholic faith to qualify as conductor of the Vienna Court Opera.

His 10 years in the post are already seen as a high point of the art and his early death is an immense loss to German music.

1990 In the face of strong Soviet disapproval, West and East Germany took the first step towards unity today when their two finance ministers met in Bonn To sign a formal accord on monetary union. From July 1 the two countries will have one currency, West Germany’s Deutschmark.

Tigers Defeated

2009 After a 26-year long military campaign, Commander of the Sri Lankan Army Sarath Fonseka has today declared the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant organization that sought independence for part of the north and east of Sri Lanka.

This marks the end of the Civil War in Sri Lanka which, since 1983, has had a significant impact on the economy and infrastructure of the island as well as civilian casualties which are estimated as up to 80,000.

India Goes Nuclear

1974 India has set off a nuclear device ironically code-named Smiling Buddha at the Pokhran test range.

The testing was done primarily by the Bhabha Atomic Research center.

In part, the indigenous nuclear program was spurred on by India’s defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian war and China’s subsequent nuclear test at Lop Nur.

While the test heralds India’s arrival into the nuclear club, further testing will be halted in the face of international criticism and sanctions.

Junko Tabei Reach Mount Everest

Junko Tabei reached mount Everest on May 18
Junko Tabei reached mount Everest on May 18

1975 Unstoppable Japanese climber Junko Tabei was today the first woman to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak, the treacherous 29,029-ft (8,848-m) Mount Everest in Nepal.

Napoleon Claims Crown

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was to be crowned Emperor of France, 14 years after the Revolution guillotined King Louis XVI, ending the monarchy.

Napoleon was asked to take the throne in a petition by his senate following the outcry in February over a royalist attempt to assassinate him.

He has ruled as a virtual king since he was made consul for life two years ago when a referendum brought him more than three million votes with only a few thousand against him.

Napoleon has built a new order in France that has revolutionized law, education.

Industry and government balanced the budget, restored the economy, and established France as the major world power, and the French love him for it.

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