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On December 18th...

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1707 Charles Welsey, clergyman and author of hymns, was born.

Empress Elizabeth1709 Empress Elizabeth of Russia was born.

1737 Violin maker Antonio Stradivari died.

New Jersey1787 New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1796 The Baltimore Monitor became the first U.S. newspaper to be published on Sunday.

Jean Baptiste Lamarck1829 Naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck died.

1849 William Bond obtained the first photograph of the Moon through a telescope.

1859 South Carolina declared itself an "independent commonwealth."

Edward MacDowell1860 Composer Edward MacDowell was born.

1863 Franz Ferdinand of Austria was born.

1865 The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ending slavery, was proclaimed.
1865 The first U.S. cattle importation law was passed.

1878 Soviet leader Josef Stalin was born.

1886 Baseball player Ty Cobb was born.

Peter Tchaikovsky1892 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Richard Owen1892 Comparative anatomist Richard Owen died.

1897 Jazz musician Fletcher Henderson was born.

1898 An automobile speed record of 39 mph was set.

1907 Playwright Christopher Fry was born.

1910 Playwright Abe Burrows was born.

1913 German Chancellor Willy Brandt was born.

1916 Actress Betty Grable was born.

1917 Actor Ossie Davis was born.

Ramsey Clark1927 U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was born.

1936 The first giant panda to come to the United States from China arrived in San Francisco; her name was Su-Lin.

1940 Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

1943 Guitarist Keith Richards was born.

1944 The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans.

Steven Spielberg1946 Motion picture director and producer Steven Spielberg was born.

1950 Drummer Randy Castillo was born.

1954 Actor Ray Liotta was born.

1955 The Beech Model 73A Jet Mentor, the first Beech jet, was test flown by T.G. Gillespie.

1956 "To Tell the Truth" debuted on CBS-TV.
Comedian Ron White was born.

1957 The United States successfully test-fired a Jupiter intermediate ballistic missile.
Shippingport Nuclear Power Plant1957 Shippingport Nuclear Power Plant went into operation as the first full-scale nuclear plant in the United States solely for commercial use.
1957 A tornado that ripped across southern Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana killed at least 26 persons.

1958 A truck fell into a 150-foot-deep chasm in southern Turkey, killing 28 persons.
1958 The United States launched an 8,800-pound Atlas earth satellite.

1961 India annexed the Portuguese colonies of Goa, Damao, and Diu.

1963 Actor Brad Pitt was born.

1964 "The Pink Panther" cartoon series premiered.
Wrestler Steve Austin was born.

1965 The Paris-to-Lisbon Sud Express and a local train collided head-on at Villar De Los Alamos, Spain, killing at least 24 persons.

1966 "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" aired for the first time, on CBS-TV.

1969 The film On Her Majesty's Secret Service" premiered in London, England.

1971 Jesse Jackson founded People United to Save Humanity (PUSH).

1972 The United States began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets.

1974 Television personality Kari Byron was born.

1976 The film A Star is Born premiered.
1976 "Wonder Woman" debuted on ABC-TV.

1979 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 25 persons and injuring 200.

1980 Singer Christina Aguilera was born.
Alexei N. Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union, died.

1992 Film and television producer Mark Goodson died.

2003 Author Charles Berlitz died.

2006 Cartoonist Joseph Barbera died.

2008 Actress Majel Barrett died.
2008 W. Mark Felt, Associate Director of the FBI and Watergate informant known as "Deep Throat," died.

2009 The film "Avatar" was released.

2011 The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, formally ending the Iraq War.
Vaclav Havel2011 Playwright Vaclav Havel died.

2016 Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor died.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on December 18, 2018.