Today In History, 18 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (18 December): The birthday of Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and Joseph Stalin; Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI debut; the release of Avatar, demise of Joseph Barbera, end of Battle of Verdun, and more.
This day in history (18 Dec): Birth of Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg & Joseph Stalin
This day in history (18 Dec): Birth of Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg & Joseph Stalin

Today in History: We’re past the midway point of December, and another wonderful year is on the horizon. Today is 18 December. Although it seems to be another chilly day of the winter, December 18 holds a major place in world history. Many crucial events happened on this day (18 Dec).

From the births of a famous Hollywood star, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and a Soviet communist leader, the end of the longest battle of World War I and the debut of an Indian cricket legend to the release of the highest-grossing movie of all time, December 18 is an important day in history.

Read on to learn what happened on this day (Dec. 18) in sports, politics, and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1271, Mongolian Emperor Kublai Khan renamed his empire "Yuan," giving rise to the Yuan Dynasty of China.
  • In 1865, the United States Constitution adopted the 13th Amendment, officially abolishing slavery.
  • In 1912, the Piltdown Man, a key evolutionary link between man and ape, was discovered. However, it was proven to be a hoax in 1953.
  • In 1916, the longest battle of World War I, the Battle of Verdun, officially ended with Germany’s defeat and almost a million casualties.
  • In 1966, astronomer Richard Walker discovered Saturn’s moon Epimetheus.
  • In 1969, the death penalty was abolished in England, Wales and Scotland in the UK.
  • In 2002, American fashion designer Calvin Klein announced the sale of the company to the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation.
  • In 2008, the first vertical launch of the BrahMos supersonic missile was conducted from INS Ranvir.
  • In 2019, President Donald Trump became the third sitting US president to be impeached for charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1989, Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar made his ODI debut in a match against Pakistan.
  • In 2001, Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen was named the best footballer in Europe after winning the Ballon d’Or trophy.
  • In 2018, English pro football club Manchester United sacked manager Jose Mourinho due to conflicts with the players.

Music and Cinema Events Today

  • In 1892, acclaimed Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker was first presented at the Mariinsky theatre in St. Petersburg.
  • In 1966, the iconic TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, based on Dr Seuss’s classic children’s book, premiered.
  • In 2009, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, was released in theaters.

Important Days

  • International Migrants Day 

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French biologist who proposed the now-rejected theory of evolution that acquired traits over one’s lifetime can be passed on to their offspring



Richard Owen, British biologist and paleontologist who make significant contributions in the study of fossils and dinosaurs



Joseph Barbera, American animator and cartoonist who co-created Tom and Jerry



Mark Felt, American FBI agent and informant who kept his identity as the “deep throat” source who provided information about the Watergate scandal to the press



Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian-American actress and socialite who starred in films like Moulin Rouge and Queen of Outer Space

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Guru Ghasidas, Indian saint and teacher of the Satnampanth and an opponent of caste system



J.J. Thomson, English physicist and Nobel laureate best known for his work on the atomic structure and discovering the electron



Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, whose assassination sparked World War I



Saki, Scottish author known for his witty and satirical short stories



Joseph Stalin, Georgian political leader who led the Soviet Union as the General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1922 to 1952.



Steven Spielberg, American director who is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers in history due to his iconic films Jaws, Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List



Ray Liotta, American actor who starred in films Goodfellas and Cop Land



Brad Pitt, prolific American actor and a force in Hollywood who is renowned globally for his charming personality and brilliant performances in films like Fight Club, Inglorious Basterds and Troy



Steve “Stone Cold” Austin, American professional wrestler and actor



DMX aka Earl Simmons, American rapper and actor who gained commercial success in the 1990s and 2000s



Christina Aguilera, American pop singer who rose to prominence in the late ‘90s with her hit numbers “Genie in a Bottle” and “Hurt”



Billie Eilish, American singer known for her sombre music and influence on youngsters

Also Read: Today in History (17 December)

Also Read: Today in History (16 December)

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