Kathrine Castor

Kathrine Castor

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Facts.net

Welcome to our daily series on historical events! In this edition, we explore the significant facts and events that took place on December 18th throughout history. This date has witnessed a range of notable moments across various fields, including politics, science, arts, and more. From groundbreaking discoveries to momentous milestones, these events have shaped the world we live in today. Join us as we dive into the past and uncover the intriguing stories behind December 18th. Gain a deeper understanding of how these events have influenced our world and appreciate the rich tapestry of history that continues to shape our present and future. Let’s take a journey back in time and explore the fascinating happenings of December 18th throughout the years.

Table of Contents


  • 1799: George Washington, the first President of the United States, dies at Mount Vernon.
  • 1865: The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery, is declared ratified by Secretary of State William H. Seward.
  • 1892: The first performance of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” takes place at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • 1912: The Piltdown Man, later exposed as a hoax, is announced by Charles Dawson in the journal “Nature.”
  • 1944: The U.S. Army announces the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.


  • 1620: The Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor and the Pilgrims settle in the New World.
  • 1833: The birth of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, the German physicist who discovered X-rays, in Lennep, Prussia.
  • 1903: The Wright brothers make their first powered flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1969: The American physicist and inventor, Vincent J. Schaefer, successfully creates artificial snow using cloud seeding.
  • 1996: The completion of NASA’s Mars Pathfinder mission, with the successful deployment of the Sojourner rover on the surface of Mars.


  • 1777: The United States celebrates its first national Thanksgiving Day, commemorating the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.
  • 1916: The Battle of Verdun comes to an end, marking one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War I.
  • 1979: The United Kingdom grants independence to Rhodesia, which is renamed Zimbabwe.
  • 1990: Democratic leader Václav Havel is elected President of Czechoslovakia, marking the end of 41 years of communist rule.
  • 2019: The United States House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.


  • 1843: Charles Dickens’ classic novella “A Christmas Carol” is first published in London, England.
  • 1863: The premiere performance of the opera “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi takes place at La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy.
  • 1966: The film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” based on Dr. Seuss’ book is first broadcasted on CBS as a TV special.
  • 1971: The rock band Pink Floyd releases their iconic album “Meddle,” featuring the 23-minute long track “Echoes.”
  • 2009: The movie “Avatar” directed by James Cameron is released, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.


  • 1879: Paul Klee, Swiss-German painter and graphic artist, known for his highly individual style and use of abstract forms.
  • 1888: Robert Moses, American urban planner who shaped the modern infrastructure of New York City.
  • 1913: Willy Brandt, German statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1963: Brad Pitt, American actor and film producer, known for his roles in movies such as “Fight Club” and “Moneyball.”
  • 1980: Christina Aguilera, American singer, songwriter, and actress, known for her powerful vocals and hits like “Genie in a Bottle.”


  • 1888: Richard Wagners, German composer known for his operas, including “Tristan und Isolde” and “The Ring Cycle.”
  • 1955: Honoré de Balzac, French novelist and playwright, considered one of the founders of realism in European literature.
  • 1971: Bobby Jones, American golfer who won 13 major championships and co-founded the Masters Tournament.
  • 2012: Ravi Shankar, Indian sitar virtuoso and composer, known for his collaborations with Western musicians and popularizing Indian classical music.
  • 2019: René Auberjonois, American actor known for his roles in TV shows like “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and films like “M.A.S.H.”


December 18th is a significant date in history that has witnessed numerous historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, and the births and deaths of notable individuals. From the death of George Washington, the first President of the United States, to the completion of NASA’s Mars Pathfinder mission, this date has been marked by significant occurrences that have shaped the world we live in. It is a reminder of the rich tapestry of human history and the milestones achieved by individuals and societies throughout time.


Q: What other historical events happened on December 18th?

A: Other historical events on December 18th include the first national Thanksgiving Day in the United States in 1777 and the end of the Battle of Verdun in 1916.

Q: Who are some notable individuals born on December 18th?

A: Some notable individuals born on December 18th include Swiss-German painter Paul Klee, American actor Brad Pitt, and American singer Christina Aguilera.

Q: Are there any significant cultural events associated with December 18th?

A: Yes, December 18th is the day when Charles Dickens’ classic novella “A Christmas Carol” was first published in London, and the rock band Pink Floyd released their album “Meddle” featuring the track “Echoes.”

Q: What scientific breakthroughs have happened on December 18th?

A: Some scientific breakthroughs on December 18th include the Wright brothers’ first powered flight in 1903 and the successful creation of artificial snow using cloud seeding in 1969.

Q: Which notable personalities passed away on December 18th?

A: Notable deaths on December 18th include German composer Richard Wagner, French novelist Honoré de Balzac, and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar.