TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: NOV 18
1307 William Tell shoots apple off his son’s head
1477 William Claxton publishes the first dated book printed in England. It is a translation from the French of The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosopers by Earl Rivers.
1626 St. Peter’s Basilica is consecrated, replacing an earlier basilica on the same site and becoming the world’s largest Christian basilica
1805 30 women meet at Mrs Silas Lee’s home in Wiscasset, Maine, organizes Female Charitable Society, the first woman’s club in America
1820 Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to sight the continent of Antarctica.
1861 The first provisional meeting of the Confederate Congress is held in Richmond, Virginia.
1865 Mark Twain publishes “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”
1883 Canadian and American railroads adopt time zones. Prior to this, most cities had their own local time, making it difficult for railways to be on time and confusing passengers.
1901 The second Hay-Pauncefote Treaty is signed. The United States is given extensive rights by Britain for building and operating a canal through Central America.
1906 Anarchists bomb St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
1916 British General Douglas Haig finally calls off the 1st Battle of the Somme in World War I after more than 1 million soldiers had been killed or wounded
1921 New York City considers varying work hours to avoid long traffic jams.
1928 Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie.
1939 The Irish Republican Army explodes three bombs in Piccadilly Circus.
1940 George Matesky Mad Bomber’s first time bomb
1950 The Bureau of Mines discloses its first production of oil from coal in practical amounts.
1963 Push button phones are used for the first time
1964 J Edgar Hoover describes Martin Luther King as “most notorious liar”
1966 U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
1976 Spain’s parliament approved a bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
1978 Peoples Temple cult leader Jim Jones leads his followers to a mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, hours after cult member killed Congressman Leo J. Ryan of California.
1983 Argentina announces its ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
1987 The U.S. Congress issued the Iran-Contra Affair report. The report said that President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.
1993 Twenty-one political parties approve a new constitution for South Africa that expands voter rights and ends the rule of the country’s white minority.
1993 The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving legislation aimed at protecting abortion facilities, staff and patients.
2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules the state’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional; the legislature fails to act within the mandated 180 days, and on May 17, 2004, Massachusetts becomes the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage.
REFERENCES: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeoplehistory.com, timeandate.com, factmonster.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com