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

Events

in 1503

The Battle of Cerignola is fought. It is noted as the first battle in history won by small arms fire using gunpowder. The Battle of Cerignola was fought on April 28, 1503, between Spanish and French armies, in Cerignola, near Bari in Southern Italy. Spanish forces, under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, formed by 6,300 men, with more than 1,000 arquebusiers, and 20 cannon, defeated the French who had 6,000 men; mainly heavy gendarme cavalry and Swiss mercenary pikemen, with about 40 cannon, and led by Louis d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, who was killed.
battle, Cerignola

in 1789

The mutiny on the...
The mutiny on the Bounty was a mutiny that occurred aboard the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty on 28 April 1789, and has been commemorated by several books, films, and popular songs, many of which take considerable liberties with the facts. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against the commanding officer, William Bligh. According to most accounts, the sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island of Tahiti and repelled by the harsh treatment from their captain. Eighteen mutineers set Lieutenant Bligh and 18 of the 22 crew loyal to him afloat in a small boat. Mutineers then settled on Pitcairn Island or in Tahiti. The Bounty was subsequently burned off Pitcairn Island to avoid detection and to prevent desertion. Descendants of some of the mutineers and Tahitians still live on Pitcairn island. After Bligh and his crew of 18 made an epic and eventful journey in the small boat to Timor in the Dutch East Indies, he returned to England and reported the mutiny.
Bounty, mutiny

in 1947

Thor Heyerdahl and five...
Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia. The Kon-Tiki expedition was funded by private loans, along with donations of equipment from the United States Army. Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores. The trip began on April 28, 1947. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for 101 days over 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947. The crew made successful landfall and all returned safely.
Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki

Births

in 1753
Franz Karl Achard

Franz Karl Achard was a German chemist, physicist and biologist. His principal discovery was the production of sugar from sugar beets.
in 1916
Ferruccio Lamborghini

Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini was an Italian industrialist. Born to grape farmers from the comune of Renazzo di Cento in the Emilia-Romagna region, his mechanical know-how led him to enter the business of tractor manufacturing in 1948, when he founded Lamborghini Trattori, which quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the midst of Italy's post-war economic reform.
in 1937
Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and it's regional organisation Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region, which espoused a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism, Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power of Iraq.

Deaths

in 1853
Ludwig Tieck

Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, writer of Novellen, and critic, who was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
in 1945
Benito Mussolini

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party, ruling the country from 1922 to his ousting in 1943, and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of fascism.
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