This Day in History — January 18

Friday, January 18, 2019

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Today is the 18th day of 2019. There are 347 days left in the year.


2007: A woman who disappeared in the jungles of north-eastern Cambodia is found 19 years later. The woman — identified as Rochom P'ngieng, 27 — does not speak any intelligible language, but is recognised by a village policeman who claims to be her father.


1535: The city of Lima, capital of present-day Peru, is founded by Spanish conquistadors on the central Pacific coast of South America.

1778: English navigator Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the “Sandwich Islands”.

1788: The first English settlers arrive in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

1912: English explorer Robert F Scott and his expedition reach the South Pole, only to discover Norwegian Roald Amundsen had got there first.

1915: With the European powers preoccupied with World War I, Japan secretly presents China with Twenty-one Demands for privileges.

1918: The first democratically elected national legislature in Russia opens in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks soon shut it down, marking the start of Communist dictatorship.

1919: The World War I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France.

1943: The Soviets announce they had broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

1967: Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler”, is convicted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of armed robbery, assault and sex offences.

1976: France expels at least 40 Soviet officials on grounds they have worked as spies.

1977: Australia's worst rail crash, at Granville, Sydney, kills 83 when train hits concrete bridge.

1989: Thousands of Czechoslovaks converge on Prague's central Wenceslas Square chanting “freedom”, “truth”, and “human rights” on fourth-consecutive day of public dissent.

1990: Peggy McMartin Buckey is cleared of 52 child molestation charges.

1991: Jordan's Parliament denounces allied attacks on Iraq and urges Arab and Islamic nations to strike back at US and coalition partners.

1992: More than 100,000 people attend Kenya's first legal anti-government rally in 22 years.

1995: A US jury awards more than 9,000 victims of torture under the regime of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with US$766 million from the Marcos estate.

1997: Norway's Boerge Ousland emerges on the Pacific edge of Antarctica to become the first person to cross the continent alone and unaided.

2000: Helmut Kohl resigns as honorary chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, brought down by a campaign financing scandal that marks the stunning denouement of one of Europe's most respected statesmen and the man who reunited Germany.

2002: The Sierra Leone Government declares the country's 11-year-old civil war, which killed about 50,000 people, over.

2006: President Laurent Gbagbo calls on his supporters to end days of violent street protests that have roiled Ivory Coast's Government-held south, telling protesters to go home and asking fearful workers to return to their jobs.

2008: Maasai fighters in Kenya battle rival tribesmen loyal to President Mwai Kibaki on the third, final and bloodiest day of protests over Kenya's disputed election.

2009: Israeli troops begin to withdraw from Gaza after their government and Hamas militants declare an end to a three-week war.

2011: The UN tribunal investigating the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister warns against speculating about the sealed indictment as a quiet show of force by Hezbollah rattles nerves amid fears the militant group will react violently if accused.

2012: Italians tally 11 dead, 21 missing from cruise ship disaster in which the $450-million Costa Concordia, carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, slammed into a reef and flopped on its side off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorised detour on his route.


Francois Michel Detellier, French statesman (1641-1691); Cary Grant, English-American actor (1904-1986); Chun Doo-hwan, former South Korean president (1931- ); Paul Keating, former Australian prime minister (1944- ); Kevin Costner, US actor/director (1955- ); Jesse L Martin, US actor (1969- )

— AP

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