18 February 2020 (MIA)
1229 – The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signs a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.
1268 – The Livonian Order is defeated by Dovmont of Pskov in the Battle of Rakvere.
1332 – Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces.
1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is executed in private at the Tower of London.
1637 – Eighty Years’ War: Off the coast of Cornwall, England, a Spanish fleet intercepts an important Anglo-Dutch merchant convoy of 44 vessels escorted by 6 warships, destroying or capturing 20 of them.
1745 – The city of Surakarta, Central Java is founded on the banks of Bengawan Solo River, and becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Surakarta.
1766 – A mutiny by captive Malagasy begins at sea on the slave ship Meermin, leading to the ship’s destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators.
1781 – Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: Captain Thomas Shirley opens his expedition against Dutch colonial outposts on the Gold Coast of Africa (present-day Ghana).
1791 – Congress passes a law admitting the state of Vermont to the Union, effective 4 March 1791, after that state had existed for 14 years as a de facto independent largely unrecognized state.
1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: Sir Ralph Abercromby and a fleet of 18 British warships invade Trinidad.
1814 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Montereau.
1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America.
1861 – With Italian unification almost complete, Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.
1865 – American Civil War: Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia.
1873 – Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski is executed by hanging in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities.
1878 – John Tunstall is murdered by outlaw Jesse Evans, sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.
1900 – Second Boer War: Imperial forces suffer their worst single-day loss of life on Bloody Sunday, the first day of the Battle of Paardeberg.
1906 – Édouard de Laveleye forms the Belgian Olympic Committee in Brussels.
1911 – The first official flight with air mail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.
1913 – Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes; this is the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country.
1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.
1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
1932 – The Empire of Japan declares Manzhouguo (the obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China.
1938 – During the Nanking Massacre the Nanking Safety Zone International Committee is renamed “Nanking International Rescue Committee” and the safety zone in place for refugees falls apart.
1942 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Army begins the systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore.
1943 – The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.
1943 – Joseph Goebbels delivers his Sportpalast speech.
1946 – Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in Bombay harbour, from where the action spreads throughout the Provinces of British India, involving 78 ships, twenty shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.
1947 – First Indochina War: The French gain complete control of Hanoi after forcing the Viet Minh to withdraw to mountains.
1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.
1955 – Operation Teapot: Teapot test shot “Wasp” is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp is the first of fourteen shots in the Teapot series.
1957 – Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi is executed by the British colonial government.
1957 – Walter James Bolton becomes the last person legally executed in New Zealand.
1965 – The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
1969 – Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 crashes into Mount Whitney killing all on board.
1970 – The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
1972 – The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, (6 Cal.3d 628) invalidates the state’s death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment.
1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden “flight” on top of a Boeing 747.
1978 – The first Ironman Triathlon competition takes place on the island of Oahu and is won by Gordon Haller.
1979 – Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.
1983 – Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee massacre in Seattle. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.
1991 – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at Paddington station and Victoria station in London.
1992 – The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia passed a decision for establishment of the public enterprise Macedonian Information Agency – MIA on February 18, 1992. By the decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia on March 1998, MIA was formed as a public enterprise. The agency’s General Service began on September 30, 1998. MIA works 24 hours a day and has wide developed corresponding network in the Republic of Macedonia, which covers the entire information sphere in the country. MIA also has correspondents in Europe’s major centers and overseas countries. From the very beginning, MIA distributes the English language service and since May 12, 1999, the Albanian language service started to work.
1994 – Macedonia’s Government passed a decision on establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States on ambassadorial level.
2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He is ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
2001 – Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt dies in an accident during the Daytona 500.
2001 – Inter-ethnic violence between Dayaks and Madurese breaks out in Sampit, Indonesia, that will ultimately result in more than 500 deaths and 100,000 Madurese displaced from their homes.
2003 – Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.
2004 – Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Nishapur in Iran when a runaway freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer catches fire and explodes.
2007 – Terrorist bombs explode on the Samjhauta Express in Panipat, Haryana, India, killing 68 people.
2013 – Armed robbers steal a haul of diamonds worth $50 million during a raid at Brussels Airport in Belgium.
2014 – At least 76 people are killed and hundreds are injured in clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Kiev, Ukraine.