This Day in History — November 18
The Jonestown Massacre occurred on November 18, 1978, when more than 900 members of an American cult called the Peoples Temple died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader Jim Jones.

Today is the 322nd day of 2022. There are 43 days left in the year.


1978: A total of 912 people die in Jonestown, Guyana, after People's Temple cult leader Jim Jones convinces most followers to kill themselves by drinking cyanide-laced punch. Others are shot to death or forcibly poisoned.


1626: St Peter's Basilica in Rome is consecrated by Pope Urban VIII.

1666: French capture Antigua, West Indies, from the British.

1820: US Navy Captain Nathaniel Palmer discovers the frozen continent of Antarctica.

1830: National Congress in Belgium decrees independence.

1883: The United States and Canada adopt a system of standard time zones.

1903: United States and Panama sign treaty granting the US rights to build the Panama Canal.

1905: Japan declares protectorate over Korea.

1910: The Mexican Revolution breaks out, lasting 10 years and killing more than one million people.

1928: Mickey Mouse makes his debut in the United States, in the first successful sound-synchronised cartoon, Steamboat Willie.

1936: Germany and Italy recognise General Francisco Franco's Government in Spain.

1941: British troops launch attack in West African desert in World War II.

1958: King Mohammed V calls for the "total and unconditional" withdrawal of US military bases, French and Spanish troops from Moroccan territory saying their presence is a menace to Morocco's Independence.

1966: US Roman Catholic bishops do away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.

1970: China names an ambassador to the Soviet Union, restoring top-level diplomatic relations for the first time in four years.

1976: Spain's Parliament approves a Bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.

1978: A total of 912 people die in Jonestown, Guyana, after People's Temple cult leader Jim Jones convinces most followers to kill themselves by drinking cyanide-laced punch. Others are shot to death or forcibly poisoned.

1987: Lawyers group reports systematic genocide, torture and use of chemical weapons by Soviet and allied troops in Afghanistan.

1991: British hostage Terry Waite and American Thomas Sutherland are freed by Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Beirut.

1993: Nigeria's new military ruler, General Sani Abacha, dissolves all democratic institutions.

1995: Hong Kong businesswoman Alexandra Manley becomes princess of Denmark in a glittering wedding to Prince Joachim, second in line to the throne.

1996: Russia's new space probe to Mars fails shortly after blast-off and comes crashing back into the Pacific Ocean near Easter Island.

1999: Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia sign a deal to build a US$2.4-billion pipeline that would move oil from the Caspian Sea to international markets without going through Russia or Iran.

2001: A Spanish investigative judge charges eight men with belonging to the al-Qaeda terror network.

2005: Two bombs are found planted at branches of a Spanish-owned bank on the outskirts of Mexico City, the latest in a series of attacks against foreign financial institutions in the area in recent years.

2007: A methane blast rips through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 70 miners.

2008: Belgium-based InBev SA forms the world's largest brewer with its euro 41-billion ($52 billion) takeover of US-based Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc.

2011: Tens of thousands of Islamists and young activists amass in Tahrir Square, confronting Egypt's ruling military council with the largest crowd in months to protest the general's attempt to give themselves special powers over a future elected government.

2013: Toronto's city council votes to strip scandal-plagued Mayor Rob Ford of many of his powers following a heated debate in which he knocked over a female councillor.

2014: Israel vows harsh retaliation for a Palestinian attack that killed five people in a Jerusalem synagogue.


William Hogarth, British artist (1697-1764); Carl Maria von Weber, German composer (1786-1826); Louis Daguerre, French photographic pioneer (1787-1851); W S Gilbert, British playwright (1836-1911); Ignacy Jan Paderewski, musician and first prime minister of Poland (1860-1941); Amelita Galli-Curci, Italian opera star (1890-1963); Peta Wilson, Australian actress (1970- ); Owen Wilson, US actor (1968- ); Chloe Sevigny, US actress (1974- )

— AP

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