Today in History – November 18

1095 – The Council of Clermont began.  It was called by Pope Urban II and led to the First Crusade to the Holy Land.

1421 – A dike in the Grote Hollandse Waard in the Netherlands broke and flooded 72 villages.  It killed about 10,000 people. This event is known as St Elizabeth’s flood.

1493 – Christopher Columbus first sighted the island now known as Puerto Rico.

1809 – In a naval action during the Napoleonic Wars, French frigates defeated British East Indiamen in the Bay of Bengal.

1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Krasnoi ended in French defeat, but Marshal of France Michel Ney’s leadership led to him becoming known as “the bravest of the brave”.

1872 – Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women were arrested for voting illegally in the United States presidential election of 1872.

1883 – American and Canadian railroads instituted five standard continental time zones thus ending the confusion of thousands of local times.

1901 – Britain and the United States signed the Hay–Pauncefote Treaty, which nullified the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty and withdrew British objections to an American-controlled canal in Panama.

1903 – The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed by the United States and Panama.  It gave the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.

1909 – Two United States warships were sent to Nicaragua after 500 revolutionaries (including two Americans) were executed by order of José Santos Zelaya.

1910 – In their campaign for women’s voting rights, hundreds of suffragettes marched to the British Parliament in London. Several were beaten by police, newspaper attention embarrassed the authorities, and the march was dubbed Black Friday.

1928 – Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. This is considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey’s birthday.

1943 – World War II: Battle of Berlin: Four hundred and forty Royal Air Force planes bombed Berlin which caused only light damage and killed 131. The RAF lost nine aircraft and 53 air crew.

1956 – Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and performed his hit “Blueberry Hill.”

1961 – United States President John F. Kennedy sent 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.

1963 – The first push-button telephone went into service.

1964 – The Supremes and The Righteous Brothers appeared on the show Shindig!

1970 – U.S. President Richard Nixon asked the U.S. Congress for $155 million in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government.

1978 – The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet made its first flight, at the Naval Air Test Center in Maryland, United States.

1978 – In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple to a mass murder–suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in Jonestown itself, including over 270 children. Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered by members of the Peoples Temple hours earlier.

1987 – King’s Cross fire: In London, 31 people died in a fire at the city’s busiest underground station, King’s Cross St Pancras.

1987 – U2 opened for itself by pretending to be a country-rock group called The Dalton Brothers during a concert in Los Angeles, CA.

1988 – War on Drugs: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law which allowed the death penalty for drug traffickers.

1990 – Paul McCartney’s birth certificate sold for $18,000 in an auction.

1993 – In the United States, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was approved by the House of Representatives.

1995 – The Rolling Stones become the first act to broadcast a major concert on the Internet.

1996 – A fire occurred on a train traveling through the Channel Tunnel from France to England which caused several injuries and damaged approximately 500 metres (1,600 ft) of tunnel.

1999 – At Texas A&M University, the Aggie Bonfire collapsed and killed 12 students and injured 27 others.

2003 – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4–3 in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and gave the state legislature 180 days to change the law making Massachusetts the first state in the United States to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples.

2013 – NASA launched the MAVEN probe to Mars.

2020 – The Utah monolith, built sometime in 2016, was discovered by state biologists of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

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