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

Events

in 1607

The Dutch fleet destroys...
The Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar. The naval Battle of Gibraltar took place on 25 April 1607 during the Eighty Years' War when a Dutch fleet surprised and engaged a Spanish fleet anchored at the Bay of Gibraltar. During the four hours of action, most of the Spanish fleet was destroyed.
naval battle, battle, Gibraltar, Eighty Years War

in 1792

Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier...
Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine. The guillotine is a device used for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame from which an angled blade is suspended. This blade is raised with a rope, and the condemned then places his or her head beneath it. The blade then falls rapidly, severing the head from the body. The device is noted for long being the main method of execution in France and, more particularly, for its use during the French Revolution, when it "became a part of popular culture, celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the Revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents." In spite of being primarily associated with the French Revolution, the guillotine continued to be used long after the French Revolution in several countries, including France, where it was the sole method of execution until the abolition of capital punishment in 1841.
guillotine

in 1916

Anzac Beach – Australian and New Zealand forces invade Turkey
Anzac Beach – Australian and New Zealand forces invade Turkey
Anzac Day is commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tonga. It is no longer observed as a national holiday in Samoa.
Anzac Day, Australian, New Zealand

Births

in 1769
Marc Isambard Brunel

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel was a French-born engineer who settled in England. He preferred the name Isambard, but is generally known to history as Marc to avoid confusion with his more famous son Isambard Kingdom Brunel. His most famous achievement was the construction of the Thames Tunnel.
in 1849
Felix Klein

Christian Felix Klein was a German mathematician, known for his work in group theory, complex analysis, non-Euclidean geometry, and on the connections between geometry and group theory. His 1872 Erlangen Program, classifying geometries by their underlying symmetry groups, was a hugely influential synthesis of much of the mathematics of the day.
in 1917
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald, also known as the "First Lady of Song," "Queen of Jazz," and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
in 1940
Al Pacino

Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy and Tony Montana in Scarface, though he has also appeared several times on the other side of the law — as a police officer, a detective and a lawyer. His role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 after receiving seven previous Oscar nominations.

Deaths

in 1595
Torquato Tasso

Torquato Tasso was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1580), in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. He suffered from mental illness and died a few days before he was due to be crowned as the king of poets by the Pope. Until the beginning of the 19th century, Tasso remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.
in 1996
Saul Bass

Saul Bass was a graphic designer and filmmaker, perhaps best known for his design of film posters and motion picture title sequences.
in 1998
Christian Mortensen

Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand Mortensen, known as an adult as Christian Mortensen, was a Danish supercentenarian. At the time of his death he was 115 years and 252 days old, the longest verified lifespan of any male in history. He was the first undisputed man to reach 114 and 115 years of age and one of only two verifiably known to reach 115, the other being Emiliano Mercado del Toro. Not counting disputed cases, Mortensen remains the 9th oldest verified person in history. In addition to being the oldest person born in Denmark, Mortensen is also distinctive as the oldest person ever of all the Nordic countries, the second-oldest person ever from Europe and the oldest emigrant ever.
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