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.
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
Deaths On This Day – May 18
2004 Elvin Jones
1955 Mary McLeod Bethune
American educator, activist
1911 Gustav Mahler
1909 Isaac Albéniz
Spanish pianist, composer
1799 Pierre Beaumarchais