Home   On This Day   On this day in history - May 18

On this day in history - May 18

What Happened On This Day – May 18

  • 2009 The Sri Lankan Civil War ends

    The 25-year conflict between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers had claimed up to 100,000 lives. It ended with the Tigers' defeat.

  • 1980 Mount St. Helens erupts

    The eruption killed 57 people. A large part of the previously cone-shaped volcano was replaced by a massive crater; its summit is now some 1300 feet (400 meters) lower than before the eruption.

  • 1927 45 people die in the United States' worst school massacre

    In the Bath school disaster, a disgruntled school board member set off several bombs at the Bath Consolidated School and other locations in Michigan.

  • 1848 The first German National Assembly gathers in Frankfurt

    The assembly constituted the first freely elected parliament of Germany. It produced a constitution that provided the basis for today's constitution of Germany (Grundgesetz).

  • 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte is appointed Emperor of the French

    Even today, the French leader, a native of Corsica, is widely known for his successful military campaigns - and his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
May 18

  • 1920 Pope John Paul II

  • 1912 Perry Como

    American singer, actor

  • 1897 Frank Capra

    Italian/American director, producer, screenwriter

  • 1895 Augusto César Sandino

    Nicaraguan rebel leader

  • 1868 Nicholas II of Russia

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
May 18

  • 2004 Elvin Jones

    American drummer

  • 1955 Mary McLeod Bethune

    American educator, activist

  • 1911 Gustav Mahler

    Austrian composer

  • 1909 Isaac Albéniz

    Spanish pianist, composer

  • 1799 Pierre Beaumarchais

    French playwright