Today In History, 18 February: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (February 18): Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Alessandro Volta and Dr. Dre were born, Michelangelo, Timur and J. Robert Oppenheimer died, a mutiny of the Royal Indian Navy occurred, the adventures were published from Huckleberry Finn, Pluto was discovered, first snowfall in the Sahara and more.

    This Day in History (February 18): Birth Anniversary of Ramakrishna Paramahansa

This Day in History (February 18): Birth Anniversary of Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Today in history, February 18: The Valentine’s season is almost over. Anti-Valentine’s Week continues and today is February 18, also known as Flirt Day.

This is aimed at those unfortunate souls who spent Valentine’s Day alone or were left alone that day. It’s good to move on and engage in some light-hearted, consensual flirting from time to time. But it’s also important to keep expanding your mind.

In that sense, learn about the historical significance of this day, February 18, here. It may not seem like it, but February 18 is an important day in world history. In this article, we cover the major events that occurred on February 18 in sports, politics, and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths on this day.

Historical events on this day

  • In 1229, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, signed a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, recovering Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem during the Sixth Crusade.
  • In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, largely responsible for the colonization of South America, left Cuba for the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, with 11 ships and 500 men.
  • In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia became the first king of Italy.
  • In 1905, Shyamji Krishnavarma founded the Indian Home Rule Society in London.
  • In 1911, the first official postal flight was made from Allahabad, British India, to Naini, and French pilot Henri Pequet delivered 6,000 cards and letters in his Humber biplane.
  • In 1930, Pluto was discovered by 24-year-old American Clyde W. Tombaugh, without any astronomical training.
  • In 1946, the Royal Indian Navy mutiny began in Mumbai against British commanders and soon spread to other parts of British India, involving 20,000 sailors.
  • In 1971, India established its first satellite contact with Britain through the Arvi satellite station.
  • In 1979 the first snowfall occurred in the Sahara Desert.
  • In 2007, 70 people were killed in the terrorist attack on the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express train.
  • In 2014, the Ukrainian Revolution began leading to deadly clashes between police and protesters. 76 people died and Parliament removed President Viktor Yanukovych.
  • In 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock samples.

Sports events today

  • In 1913, French artist Marcel Duchamp caused controversy in New York due to his modernist painting “Nude Descending a Staircase.”
  • In 1928, Sonja Henie of Norway won the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics, the first of three consecutive titles in the event.
  • In 1981, 20-year-old Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky, a future ice hockey legend, became the first player in NHL history to score five career hat-tricks before the age of 21.

Art and culture events today

  • In 1885, American author Mark Twain’s classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published.
  • In 1903, the first African-American musical to appear on Broadway, “In Dahomey,” premiered at the New York Theatre, starring George Walker and Bert Williams with music by Will Marion Cook.

Notable deaths on this day

No sir

Year of death




Kublai Khan, Mongol emperor known for founding the Yuan dynasty of China



Timur, Turko-Mongol ruler who founded the Timurid Empire and remained undefeated as a military commander.



Martin Luther, German priest, theologian and writer who sparked the Protestant Reformation.



Michelangelo, Italian sculptor, painter and architect considered one of the greatest artists in history and designed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.



Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, German mathematician who made important discoveries in the fields of elliptic functions, number theory, and ordinary and partial differential equations.



Joseph Gilbert Hamilton, American scientist and professor who pioneered the use of radioactive isotopes to treat humans.



J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist who is known as the “father of the atomic bomb” for creating the first nuclear weapons during World War II.



Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver who won 7 NASCAR championships, died in an accident during the Daytona 500

Famous birthdays on this day

No sir

Year of birth




Mary I, queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558, known for reversing the English Reformation and brutally persecuting religious dissidents.



Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist and chemist who invented the electric battery, discovered methane, and was honored with the SI unit of electrical potential.



Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Hindu spiritual leader, philosopher, and mystic who believed in the divine incarnation of the Supreme Being in all individuals and served as a teacher of Swami Vivekananda.



Enzo Ferrari, Italian racing driver, automobile manufacturer, and businessman who founded the Ferrari automobile company.



Hans Asperger, Austrian psychiatrist known for his studies of autism in children, which led to a new form of autism being named after him as Asperger syndrome.



Toni Morrison, American writer and first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for her famous works Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon.



Yoko Ono, Japanese singer and peace activist famous for her relationship with John Lennon and blamed for the breakup of The Beatles.



Gary Ridgway, American serial killer and sex offender responsible for the murder of nearly 50 women



John Hughes, American filmmaker who created some of the funniest and most memorable comedy films, including Home Alone, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.



John Travolta, American actor who rose to fame with the dance hits Grease and Saturday Night Fever but later ventured into the action and drama categories with films such as Pulp Fiction and Face Off.



Dr. Dre, American rapper and record producer who founded the rap group NWA and later Beats Electronics and launched other popular rappers such as Eminem and Snoop Dogg.

Related | Today in History (February 16)

Related | Today in History (February 17)

Categories: Optical Illusion

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