December 18th

2010
The Senate votes 65 to 31 in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Clinton-era military policy that forbids openly gay men and women from serving in the military.
Don't ask, don't tell
2009
Reality TV stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, parents of eight children, divorced.
Jon Gosselin
2008
A U.N. court in Tanzania convicted former Rwandan army Col. Theoneste Bagosora of genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding the killings of more than half a million people in a 100-day slaughter in 1994.
Théoneste Bagosora
2003
A jury in Chesapeake, Va., convicted teenager Lee Boyd Malvo of two counts of murder in the Washington-area sniper shootings. (He was later sentenced to life in prison without parole.).
Lee Boyd Malvo
2000
George W. Bush received 271 votes in the delayed Electoral College balloting.
United States presidential election, 2000
1987
Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider-trading scandal.
Ivan Boesky
1972
The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
1972 in the Vietnam War
1969
The British Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.
Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965
1966
Saturn's Moon, Epimetheus, discovered. One of Saturn's 150 natural satellites or moons, Epimetheus shares its orbit with another moon, Janus. Saturn's largest moon is Titan, which is the only natural satellite in the Solar System with an atmosphere.
Epimetheus (moon)
1958
World's first communication satellite launched. A product of a highly secretive project, SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was launched aboard the Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once in orbit, it relayed the first message sent to Earth from space - a short statement by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
SCORE (satellite)
1957
The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania became the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States.
Shippingport Atomic Power Station
1956
Japan was admitted to the United Nations.
Japan and the United Nations
1944
The Supreme Court upheld the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans.
Korematsu v. United States
1915
President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt.
Edith Wilson
1912
Piltdown Man Hoax. The announcement by British archeologist Charles Dawson at a conference of the Geological Society of London was received with very little skepticism in the field of paleoanthropology. The discovery of fossilized remains of an unidentified human ancestor in Piltdown, East Sussex, England, was thought to have provided valuable clues about human evolution. It wasn't until 1953 that the Piltdown Man was discovered to be a hoax - with the skull consisting of the jawbones of an orangutan and the cranium of an adult human being.
Piltdown Man
1892
The Nutcracker makes it debut in St. Petersburg, Russia. The two-part ballet was inspired by German author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann's novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Even though the ballet's score was composed by the famous Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, it did not get good reviews. It was only in the mid-20th century, that The Nutcracker gained popularity among theater goers, especially during Christmas time in the United States.
The Nutcracker
1886
Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was born in Narrows, Ga.
Ty Cobb
1865
Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution adopted. The first of the 3 Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. The other two Reconstruction Amendments – the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendments – extended citizenship rights, equal protection of the law, and the right to vote to all Americans irrespective of their "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
1787
New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
History of New Jersey
1737
Violin maker Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy.
Antonio Stradivari
1603
First fleet of the Dutch East India Compnay under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies.
Steven van der Hagen
1271
Kublai Khan renames his empire 'Yuan' (元 yuán), marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
Yuan dynasty