A Brief History
This article presents a chronological list of notable events that happened on May 18th. For each date below, please click on the date to be taken to an article covering that date’s event.
On May 18, 1096, Christians in Europe heeded the call of Pope Urban II and joined up with the throngs following local noblemen in a Crusade to regain the Holy Land of Jerusalem from the Muslims that occupied what is now Israel and the Levant, but on this day the Crusading zeal went in a horribly different direction.
On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that “separate but equal” was a legal doctrine for segregating Caucasian Americans from Americans of sub-Saharan African descent, especially regarding school children.
On May 18, 1926, radio evangelist preacher Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared from Venice Beach in southern California.
On May 18, 1926, the most famous radio evangelist in the country disappeared from a public beach, and no one noticed.
On May 18, 1927, Andrew Kehoe committed the worst mass murder in an American school ever, proving that this type of tragedy is not just something started recently.
On May 18, 1936, Sada Abe, a Japanese prostitute, strangled her lover and cut his genitals off, carrying them around in her purse for three days before she was caught.
On May 18, 1953, 46-year-old Jackie Cochran, a world famous female racing pilot, while flying a Canadian Air Force F-86 Sabre over Rogers Dry Lake, California at a record speed of 652.3 mph, took the plane in a dive, causing the tell-tale “sonic boom,” thereby becoming the first woman to pilot an airplane at a supersonic speed.
On May 18, 1958, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter set the world speed record for an airplane by flying 1404.19 mph over a 15 mile course, at the same time becoming the first aircraft ever to hold both the world speed record and the world altitude record at the same time (91,243 feet on May 7, 1958).
On May 18, 1974, India’s Operation Smiling Buddha resulted in the successful detonation of a nuclear weapon, becoming the sixth nation to explode a nuclear device.
On May 18, 2008, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for $10,894,900 at an auction.
On May 18, 2016, it seemed to us that the once wildly popular Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert airing at 11 PM and 11:30 PM (Eastern Time) on weeknights on Comedy Central had flopped miserably with the replacement hosts.
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, a limited number of you had a chance at watching a virtual screening of Pink: All I Know So Far at 7:00PM.
Question for students (and subscribers): Which event that occurred on today’s date would you like to learn more about? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Andrews, John and Matt Baker. Timeline of World History. Thunder Bay Press, 2020.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.