This Day In History
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
On This Day

Events

in 1865

Battle of Five Forks...
Battle of Five Forks – In Siege of Petersburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee begins his final offensive. The Battle of Five Forks was fought on April 1, 1865, southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, around Five Forks, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, during the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War. The battle, sometimes referred to as the "Waterloo of the Confederacy," pitted Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan against Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett's loss at Five Forks triggered Lee's decision to abandon his entrenchments around Petersburg and begin the retreat that led to his surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9.
battle, Five Forks, American Civil War

in 1924

The Royal Canadian Air...
The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces. Commanded by Lieutenant-General André Deschamps, who is also Chief of the Air Force Staff, the RCAF has 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve airmen and airwomen, supported by 2,500 civilians.
Royal Canadian Air Force, air force

in 1946

Formation of the Malayan...
Formation of the Malayan Union. The Malayan Union was a federation of the Malay states and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca. It was the successor to British Malaya and was conceived to unify the Malay Peninsula under a single government so as to simplify administration. The Malayan Union later became the independent Federation of Malaya in 1948. The Federation of Malaya became the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, following the admission of Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak to the new federation. Singapore left the federation and became independent in 1965.
Malayan Union, Malay

Births

in 1776
Sophie Germain

Marie-Sophie Germain was a French mathematician, physicist and philosopher. Despite initial opposition from her parents and difficulties presented by a gender-biased society, she gained education from books in her father's library and from correspondence with famous mathematicians such as LaGrange, Legendre, and Gauss. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the grand prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject.
in 1815
Otto von Bismarck

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a German statesman who unified numerous German states into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership, then created a "balance of power" that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914.
in 1873
Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.

Deaths

in 1915
Johann Joseph Abert

Johann Joseph Abert was a German composer. An ethnic German from the Sudetenland, he is also known by his Czech name Jan Josef Abert.
in 1968
Lev Landau

Lev Davidovich Landau was a prominent Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. His accomplishments include the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics (alongside John von Neumann), the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitions, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, the theory of Fermi liquid, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, and the two-component theory of neutrinos. He received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II at a temperature below 2.17 K (−270.98 °C).
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