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18th August in History

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1487 – The Siege of Málaga ends with the taking of the city by Castilian and Aragonese forces.

1572 – Marriage in Paris, France, of the Huguenot King Henry III of Navarre to Margaret of Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.

1587 – Virginia Dare, granddaughter of Governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, becomes the first English child born in the Americas.

1590 – John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returns from a supply trip to England and finds his settlement deserted.

1612 – The trial of the Pendle witches, one of England’s most famous witch trials, begins at Lancaster Assizes.

1634 – Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, is burned alive in Loudun, France.

1783 – A huge fireball meteor is seen across Great Britain as it passes over the east coast.

1838 – The Wilkes Expedition, which would explore the Puget Sound and Antarctica, weighs anchor at Hampton Roads.

1848 – Camila O’Gorman and Ladislao Gutierrez are executed on the orders of Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern: Union forces try to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

1868 – French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovers helium.

1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Gravelotte is fought.

1891 – Major hurricane strikes Martinique, leaving 700 dead.

1903 – German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright brothers.

1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.

1938 – The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York, United States with Ontario, Canada over the Saint Lawrence River, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1940 – World War II: The Hardest Day air battle, part of the Battle of Britain. At that point, the largest aerial engagement in history with heavy losses sustained on both sides.

1945 – Sukarno takes office as the first president of Indonesia, following the country’s declaration of independence the previous day.

1950 – Julien Lahaut, the chairman of the Communist Party of Belgium is assassinated by far-right elements.

1958 – Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.

1958 – Brojen Das from Bangladesh swims across the English Channel in a competition, as the first Bengali and the first Asian to do so. He came first among 39 competitors.

1965 – Vietnam War: Operation Starlite begins: United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.

1966 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Tan ensues after a patrol from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment clashes with a Viet Cong force in Phước Tuy Province.

1971 – Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.

1976 – In the Korean Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjom, the Axe murder incident results in the death of two US soldiers.

1977 – Steve Biko is arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No. 83 of 1967 in King William’s Town, South Africa. He later dies from injuries sustained during this arrest bringing attention to South Africa’s apartheid policies.

1989 – Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán is assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia..

2008 – President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf resigns under threat of impeachment.

2008 – War of Afghanistan: Uzbin Valley ambush occurs.

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