This Day in History - April 18
A Zimbabwean newspaper on April 18, 1980 announces Rhodesia becoming independent Zimbabwe.<strong id="strong-1"> </strong>

Today is the 108th day of 2022. There are 257 days left in the year.


1980: Rhodesia becomes independent Zimbabwe.


1328: Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV deposes Pope John XXII, but John stays on and the antipope Louis installed in Rome wins little support and abdicates two years later.

1663: Turks declare war against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

1775: Paul Revere makes his legendary ride to Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, conveying the warning that the British were coming.

1858: A 60-day-long rainfall begins in Chicago.

1906: Earthquake rocks San Francisco, touching off fires that almost destroy the city and killing about 700 people.

1924: Simon and Schuster publishes the first crossword puzzle book in the US.

1934: The first US coin-operated laundry opens in Fort Worth, Texas.

1942: Lieutenant General James Doolittle leads the first US air raid on Japan in World War II.

1946: The League of Nations comes to an end.

1965: Uganda becomes first non-communist nation to formally denounce US involvement in Vietnam.

1976: About 40,000 Israelis march into occupied West Bank, demanding that Israel annex the territory.

1978: The US Senate votes 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.

1983: Sixty-two people, including 17 Americans, are killed at the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.

1986: Angry crowds protest outside American embassies throughout the world as backlash continues against US attack on Libya.

1988: US Navy destroys two offshore Iranian oil platforms and bombs two Iranian Navy frigates in retaliation for a mine explosion that damaged US frigate.

1989: Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy try to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.

1990: Eleven schoolchildren and four others are killed when a school bus is set ablaze during street fighting in Beirut.

1991: Iraq submits list of chemical and biological weapons capabilities and nuclear facilities to the UN secretary general.

1993: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan of Pakistan dismisses the Government and dissolves parliament, the culmination of a bitter power struggle with the prime minister.

1994: President Richard M Nixon suffers a stroke at his home in New Jersey; he dies four days later at a New York hospital.

1996: A passenger train collides with a stopped freight train at a railroad station in central India, killing at least 60 people.

1998: The first official talks in four years between North and South Korea end with the two sides unable to resolve a dispute over aid to the starving North and reuniting families.

2002: A US Air National Guard fighter pilot, apparently in the mistaken belief that he was under attack, drops a bomb on Canadian soldiers carrying out a training exercise near Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing four Canadians and wounding eight others.

2003: The leaders of Taiwan’s two main opposition parties, Lien Chan of the Nationalist Party and James Soong of the People First Party, announce plans to run together, in a presidential election scheduled for March 2004, against incumbent Chen Shui-bian.

2006: The United Nations health agency says that about 9,300 people are likely to die of cancers caused by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, while a report from Greenpeace puts the potential toll 10 times higher.

2007: At least 183 people are killed when four large bombs explode in mostly Shiite locations of Baghdad, including a car bomb near the Sadriyah market that kills 127.

2008: The son of the Dutch defence chief General Peter van Uhm is killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, casting a cloud over Dutch involvement in NATO’s mission just months after the Netherlands reluctantly agreed to extend its mission.

2009: Iran convicts an American journalist of spying for the United States and sentences her to eight years in prison, complicating the Barack Obama Administration’s efforts to break a 30-year-old diplomatic deadlock with Tehran.

2010: Major airlines that sent test flights into European airspace find no damage from the volcanic ash that has paralysed aviation over the continent, raising pressure on governments to ease restrictions that have thrown global travel and commerce into chaos.

2011: More than 5,000 anti-government protesters in Syria take over the main square of the country’s third-largest city, vowing to occupy the site until President Bashar Assad is ousted and defying authorities who warn they will not be forced into reforms.

2012: Sudan’s president threatens to topple his rival Government to the south, harsh words that could escalate the conflict between the two nations as they intensify clashes over their shared border.

2013: Pope Francis, known for his frugal ways, decides Vatican employees will not be getting the bonus that traditionally comes with the election of a new pope.


Leopold Stokowski, English-born conductor (1882-1977); Franz von Suppe, Austrian-born composer (1819-1895); Ian Smith, Rhodesian leader (1919-2007); Tadeusz Mazowiecki, first post-communist prime minister of Poland (1927-2013)

— AP

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