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This Day in History: August 18


1587 – Virginia Dare, granddaughter of Governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, becomes the first English child born in the Americas.

1590 – John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returns from a supply trip to England and finds his settlement deserted.

1838 – The Wilkes Expedition, which would explore the Puget Sound and Antarctica, weighs anchor at Hampton Roads.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern: Union forces try to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

1903 – German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright brothers.

1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing women's suffrage.

1938 – The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York, United States with Ontario, Canada over the Saint Lawrence River, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1940 – World War II: The Hardest Day air battle, part of the Battle of Britain. At that point, the largest aerial engagement in history with heavy losses sustained on both sides.

1963 – American civil rights movement: James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

1965 – Vietnam War: Operation Starlite begins: United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.

1976 – In the Korean Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjom, the Axe murder incident results in the death of two US soldiers.

1983 – Hurricane Alicia hits the Texas coast, killing 22 people and causing over US$1 billion in damage (1983 dollars).


1774 – Meriwether Lewis, American soldier, explorer, and politician, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (d. 1809)

1834 – Marshall Field, American businessman, founded Marshall Field's (d. 1906)

1904 – Max Factor, Jr., American businessman (d. 1996)

1911 – Amelia Boynton Robinson, American activist (d. 2015)

1927 – Rosalynn Carter, American wife of Jimmy Carter, 41st First Lady of the United States

1928 – Marge Schott, American businesswoman (d. 2004)

1934 – Vincent Bugliosi, American lawyer and author (d. 2015)

1935 – Rafer Johnson, American decathlete and actor

1936 – Robert Redford, American actor, director, and producer

1945 – Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and author (d. 1994)

1961 – Bob Woodruff, American journalist and author


1940 – Walter Chrysler, American businessman, founded Chrysler (b. 1875)

1990 – B. F. Skinner, American psychologist and philosopher, invented the Skinner box (b. 1904)

1992 – Christopher McCandless, American adventurer and hiker, made famous by Jon Krakauer in his 1996 book Into the Wild (b. 1968)

2009 – Rose Friedman, Ukrainian-American economist and author (b. 1910)

2009 – Robert Novak, American journalist and author (b. 1931)

2014 – Don Pardo, American radio and television announcer (b. 1918)

2015 – Louis Stokes, American lawyer and politician (b. 1925)

2015 – Bud Yorkin, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1926)