Today in history, November 18: Mickey Mouse debuts

Highlights in history on this date:

1477: William Caxton produces the first printed book in the English language, The Dictes and Sayengis of the Phylosophers.

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

1910: The Mexican Revolution breaks out.

1916: In World War I, General Douglas Haig calls off the first Battle of the Somme after five months of futile battle including the first use of tanks.

1918: The Belgian army reoccupies Brussels after four years of German occupation.

1928: Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse makes his debut at the Colony Theatre in New York in a film called Steamboat Willie.

1936: Germany and Italy recognise General Francisco Franco’s government in Spain.

1941: Death of John Watson, Australia’s first Labor prime minister.

1947: Australia becomes a party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

1969: Death of Joseph P Kennedy, diplomat, ambassador and father of John, Robert and Edward.”/>
media_cameraJoseph P. Kennedy (centre) and his wife Rosemary Kennedy pose with their nine children in 1938. Picture: AP Photo/Boston Globe

1970: West Germany and Poland agree to restore relations, ending 31 years of enmity.

1976: Spain’s parliament approves a bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.

1987: Some 31 people die at Kings Cross station on the London Underground in a fire that starts on a wooden escalator.

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

1992: Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is flown home to Karachi after being arrested in Islamabad.

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

The failed Russian space probe being checked in October 1996. Picture: AP”/>
media_cameraThe failed Russian space probe being checked in October 1996. Picture: AP Photo

1998: UN weapons inspectors return to work in Iraq for the first time since August after the threat of US and British air strikes.

2001: A Spanish investigative judge charges eight men, most of them Spanish citizens from Muslim countries, with belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorist network involved in the preparation for September 11 terrorist attacks.

2002: A party with Islamic roots forms Turkey’s first majority government in 15 years.

2003: The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts rules the state cannot deny homosexuals the right to marry, making it the first US state to recognise gay marriage.

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

2010: The near-acquittal of the first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US court reignites the debate over whether to bring terrorism suspects to justice in the civilian legal system.

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.

Mayor Rob Ford, the day after Toronto’s council voted to strip him of his powers. Picture: AP Photo/Chris”/>
media_cameraMayor Rob Ford, the day after Toronto’s council voted to strip him of his powers. Picture: AP Photo/Chris Young

2014: Hong Kong authorities clear part of the city’s main pro-democracy protest camp, the first of several planned evictions.

2016: Two people are left fighting for their lives and dozens are treated for burns after Myanmar asylum seeker Nur Islam floods a Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne with petrol and sets it alight.

2017: Fiji pulls off the greatest upset in Rugby League World Cup history by eliminating New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

2018: A 17-year-old boy sustains “significant injuries” after he was attacked by a reef shark while spearfishing off Nhulunbuy, around 970 kilometres east of Darwin.

Happy Birthday, Owen Wilson!”/>
media_cameraHappy Birthday, Owen Wilson!


Ross Wilson, Australian rock star (1947); Peter Beattie, former Queensland premier (1952); Elizabeth Perkins, US actor (1960); Kim Wilde, British singer (1960); Kirk Hammett, US guitarist of Metallica fame (1962); Owen Wilson, US actor (1968); Merrick Watts, Australian comedian, actor and broadcaster (1973); Chloe Sevigny, US actor (1974); Matt Welsh, Australian swimmer (1976).


“‘It can’t happen here’ is number one on the list of famous last words.” – David Crosby, rock singer-musician (1941).

Originally published as Today in History: November 18

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