This Day in History - August 18
M G Smith, writer of the patriotic poem I Saw My Land in the Morning, which has been set to music, was born in Jamaica on Augist 18, 1921.

Today is the 230th day of 2023. There are 135 days left in the year.


1964: South Africa is banned from participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo for refusing to renounce its apartheid policies.


1527: French forces take Pavia and Genoa in Italy.

1649: Turkey's Sultan Ibrahim is deposed, assassinated and succeeded by Mohammed IV.

1812: Russian forces are defeated at Smolensk, which is occupied by the French under Napoleon.

1870: Western Australia is granted representative government.

1894: US Congress establishes the Bureau of Immigration.

1896: France annexes Madagascar.

1914: US President Woodrow Wilson proclaims American neutrality in World War I; Germany declares war on Russia.

1920: The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, giving women the right to vote.

1968: More than 100 women and children are killed when a landslide sweeps two sightseeing buses into rain-swollen river on Honshu Island in Japan.

1976: Two US Army officers are hacked to death by axe-wielding North Korean border guards at the truce village of Panmunjom.

1977: US President Jimmy Carter's Administration denounces as illegal Israel's decision to establish three new Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

1986: Sudanese rebel group claims responsibility for shooting down Sudan Airways passenger plane in which all 60 people aboard were killed.

1989: In Colombia, leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galan is assassinated outside Bogota, the Medellin drug cartel is suspected.

1990: The death toll from Sri Lanka's civil war is put at 3,350 persons. At least 2,000 are civilians. A 13-month ceasefire in the seven-year-old conflict between the army and ethnic Tamil separatist rebels was broken in June.

1994: A powerful earthquake rips through north-west Algeria, collapsing thousands of dwellings and killing at least 150 people.

1995: Flash floods in the Marrakesh region of Morocco kill at least 73 people.

1996: In Pakistan, gunmen fire on a group of Shiite worshippers in central Punjab province, killing 18 people and injuring 100.

1997: Typhoon Winnie begins a sweep through Asia, killing 28 in Taiwan, then hits China, causing at least US$2.6 billion in damage and killing as many as 56 people.

1998: Congolese rebels send President Laurent Kabila's troops fleeing as they advance to within 200 kilometres (125 miles) of the capital, now deprived of electricity.

2000: Indigenous people belonging to a tribe believed to have been decimated 80 years ago are located in the jungles of the Amazon state of Acre in Brazil.

2001: Wildfires burn 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in a drought-stricken Washington state. More than 93,000 acres have been destroyed across the state's arid east side in the past week.

2002: Heads of government from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia convene in Berlin to organize financial relief efforts after more than a week of the worst flooding that led to at least 109 deaths across Europe, and caused an estimated US$20 billion in damage.

2003: Fourteen European tourists kidnapped in late February and March by Algerian Islamic militants are freed in northern Mali.

2004: Prisoners clash with knives, sticks and rocks at a San Salvador jail, leaving at least 23 dead and two dozen injured.

2005: Security forces kill Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi, al-Qaeda's top leader in Saudi Arabia, and five other Islamic extremists in gunbattles in Medina in the first major anti-terror sweep since King Abdullah took the throne earlier in the month.

2006: UN and maritime agencies promise help to Lebanon to clean up an oil slick caused by Israeli bombing during a month-long fighting. The spill has been described as Lebanon's worst-ever environmental disaster.

2007: Two men hijack a Turkish passenger plane bound for Istanbul, holding several people hostage for more than four hours before surrendering, officials said.

2008: General Pervez Musharraf resigns as the president of Pakistan.

2009: A terminally ill Libyan man convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing moves closer to being allowed to die outside of his Scottish prison cell when a court agrees he can drop an appeal against his conviction.

2010: The US Central Intelligence Agency opens a counter-proliferation centre to combat the spread of dangerous weapons and technology, a move that comes as Iran is on the verge of fuelling up a new nuclear power plant.

2011: Pope Benedict XVI warns at the start of a visit to crisis-hit Spain that Europe will not be able to emerge from its economic woes unless it realises that economic policy cannot be guided by a profit-driven mentality alone but must take into account ethical considerations that look out for the common good.

2012: The death toll of a suspected al-Qaeda attack on a Yemeni intelligence headquarters rises to 20, in the worst such attack in a year.

2013: UN experts arrive in Damascus to begin their investigation into the purported use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war.

2014: Iraqi and Kurdish forces recapture Iraq's largest dam from Islamic militants following dozens of US air strikes in the extremists' first major defeat since they swept across the country this summer.


Antonio Salieri, Italian composer (1750-1825); Meriweather Lewis, American explorer (1774-1809); Lord John Russell, English statesman (1792-1878); Shelley Winters, US actress (1920-2006); Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican baseball player (1934-1972); Roman Polanski, Polish film director (1935- ); Robert Redford, US actor (1936- ); Michael Garfield (M G) Smith, Jamaican poet and anthropologist (1921-1993)

– AP/Jamaica Observer

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