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Daily Trivia Facts - December 18

Births

1507 - Ouchi Yoshitaka, Japanese warlord (d. 1551)
1602 - Simonds d'Ewes, English antiquarian and politician (d. 1650)
1610 - Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange, French philologist (d. 1688)
1620 - Heinrich Roth, German Sanskrit scholar (d. 1668)
1661 - Christopher Polhem, Swedish scientist and inventor (d. 1751)
1662 - James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, Scottish politician (d. 1711)
1724 - Louise of Great Britain, wife of Frederick V of Denmark (d. 1751)
1725 - Johann Salomo Semler, German historian and Bible commentator (d. 1791)
1825 - Charles Griffin (general), American general (d. 1876)
1835 - Lyman Abbott, American author (d. 1922)
1847 - Augusta Holmès, French composer (d. 1903)
1856 - Sir J.J. Thomson, British physicist and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1940)
1863 - Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (d. 1914)
1870 - Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), British writer (d. 1916)
1873 - Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (d. 1957)
1878 - Josef Stalin (Ioseb Jughashvili), leader of the Soviet Union (d. 1953)
1879 - Paul Klee, Swiss-born painter and graphic artist (d. 1940)
1886 - Ty Cobb (Tyrus Raymond Cobb), American baseball player (d. 1961)
1888 - Robert Moses, American public works official (d. 1981)
1888 - Dame Gladys Cooper, British actress (d. 1971)
1890 - Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (d. 1954)
1897 - Fletcher Henderson, American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer (d. 1952)
1904 - George Stevens, American film director, producer, writer and cinematographer (d. 1975)
1907 - Bill Holland, American auto racer (d. 1984)
1912 - Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American General (d. 2002)
1913 - Alfred Bester, American author (d. 1987)
1913 - Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1992)
1913 - Ray Meyer, former head coach of DePaul University men's basketball team )(d. 2006)
1916 - Betty Grable, American actress (d. 1973)
1916 - Douglas Fraser, British-born trade unionist
1917 - Ossie Davis, American actor (d. 2005)
1927 - Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General
1927 - Romeo LeBlanc, 25th Governor General of Canada
1928 - Józef Glemp, Polish cardinal
1930 - Moose Skowron, baseball player
1931 - Allen Klein, rock and roll business manager
1934 - Boris Volynov, cosmonaut
1935 - Jacques Pépin, French chef
1938 - Roger E. Mosley, American actor
1939 - Michael Moorcock, British author
1939 - Harold E. Varmus, American scientist and Nobel Prize laureate
1940 - Bramwell Morrison, member of children's musical group Sharon, Lois & Bram
1943 - Keith Richards, British guitarist (The Rolling Stones)
1946 - Steven Spielberg, American film director
1946 - Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 1977)
1948 - Bill Nelson, British musician (Be Bop Deluxe)
1950 - Gillian Armstrong, Australian film director
1950 - Leonard Maltin, American film critic
1953 - Elliot Easton, American guitarist (The Cars)
1955 - Ray Liotta, American actor
1956 - Ron White, American comedian
1960 - Kazuhide Uekusa, Japanese economist
1961 - Brian Orser, Canadian figure skater
1963 - Karl Dorrell, American football coach
1963 - Brad Pitt, American actor
1964 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, American professional wrestler
1964 - Don Beebe, American football player
1964 - Robson Green, British actor and singer
1965 - Tommy Davidson, American actor
1968 - Casper Van Dien, American actor
1970 - DMX (Earl Simmons), American rapper and actor
1970 - Miles Marshall Lewis, American author
1970 - Rob Van Dam (Robert Szatkowski), American professional wrestler
1970 - Cowboy Troy (Troy Coleman), American rapper
1971 - Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Spanish tennis player
1972 - DJ Lethal (Leor Dimant), American DJ (House of Pain & Limp Bizkit)
1973 - Raymond Herrera, American drummer (Fear Factory)
1974 - Peter Boulware, American football player
1974 - Knut Euroboy Schreiner, Norwegian musician (Turbonegro)
1975 - Trish Stratus, Canadian professional wrestler
1975 - Masaki Sumitani, Japanese comedian
1976 - Koyuki (Koyuki Kato), Japanese actress and model
1978 - Curtis Taylor, "Bullycide" victim (d. 1993)
1978 - Katie Holmes, American actress
1980 - Christina Aguilera, American singer
1985 - Hana Soukupová, Czech supermodel
1987 - Miki Ando, Japanese figure skater
1989 - Ashley Benson, American actress

Deaths

821 - Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans
1133 - Hildebert, French writer
1290 - King Magnus I of Sweden (b. 1240)
1442 - Pierre Cauchon, French Catholic bishop (b. 1371)
1495 - King Alphonso II of Naples (b. 1448)
1692 - Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (b. 1626)
1737 - Antonio Stradivari, Italian violin maker (b. 1644)
1787 - Francis William Drake, British Admiral and Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1724)
1787 - Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)
1799 - Jean-Étienne Montucla, French mathematician (b. 1725)
1803 - Johann Gottfried Herder, German writer (b. 1744)
1843 - Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, British Viceroy of India (b. 1748)
1848 - Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1781)
1869 - Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American composer and pianist (b. 1829)
1936 - Andrija Mohorovičić, Austro-Hungarian-born Yugoslav seismologist (b. 1857)
1971 - Bobby Jones, American golfer (b. 1902)
1974 - Harry Hooper, American baseball player (b. 1887)
1975 - Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ukrainian geneticist (b. 1900)
1980 - Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the USSR (b. 1904)
1982 - Hans-Ulrich Rudel, German pilot (b. 1916)
1985 - Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese poet (b. 1916)
1990 - Paul Tortelier, French cellist and composer (b. 1914)
1991 - George Abecassis, British Formula 1 driver (b. 1913)
1992 - Mark Goodson, American game show producer (b. 1915)
1993 - Sam Wanamaker, American actor (b. 1919)
1994 - Roger Apéry, French mathematician (b. 1916)
1995 - Konrad Zuse, German engineer and computing pioneer (b. 1910)
1996 - Yulii Borisovich Khariton, Russian physicist (b. 1904)
1997 - Chris Farley, American actor and comedian (b. 1964)
1998 - Lev Demin, cosmonaut (b. 1926)
1999 - Robert Bresson, French film director (b. 1907)
2000 - Kirsty MacColl, British singer and songwriter (b. 1959)
2001 - Gilbert Bécaud, French singer (b. 1927)
2002 - Ray Hnatyshyn, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1934)
2004 - Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
2005 - Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (b. 1922)

Events

218 BC - Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia - Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.
1352 - Innocent VI is elected Pope.
1787 - New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1793 - Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by Frech royalists to Lord Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.
1892 - The first performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker is held at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
1900 - The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia opened for traffic.
1926 - The first performance of Leoš Janáček's opera The Makropulos Affair is held in Brno, Czechoslovakia.
1935 - The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Sri Lanka.
1961 - Indonesia invades Netherlands New Guinea.
1966 - Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
1969 - Capital punishment in the United Kingdom: Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion to remove the limit on the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act, which suspended the death penalty in England, Wales and Scotland for all crimes, except treason, piracy with violence, and certain crimes under the jurisdiction of the armed forces for a period of five years, is carried by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
1973 - Soviet Soyuz Programme: Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
1996 - The Oakland, California school board passes a resolution officially declaring "Ebonics" a language or dialect.
1997 - HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1999 - NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
2001 - The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, New York City, is damaged by fire.
2002 - 2003 California recall: Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.

Holidays

Roman festivals - Feast of Epona (during Saturnalia)
R.C. Saints - Gatianus of Tours
Also see December 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Niger - Republic Day (autonomous in 1958)
Greek Orthodox Church – Feast of Sebastian the Martyr
     
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