November 18th

2009
Two days before turning 92, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., became the longest-serving lawmaker in congressional history, at 56 years, 320 days.
Robert Byrd
2006
Actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes were married in Italy. (The couple divorced in 2012.).
Katie Holmes
2004
The UN Security Council held a two-day session in Nairobi. This was the first time it had convened outside of New York headquarters.
Doha Development Round
2003
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-3 that the state constitution guarantees gay couples the right to marry.
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
2002
U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus, calling on Saddam Hussein's government to cooperate with their search for weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq disarmament timeline 1990–2003
1993
Black & white leaders in South Africa approve new democratic constitution.
Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
1988
President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating a Cabinet-level drug czar and providing the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.
War on Drugs
1987
The congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore 'ultimate responsibility' for wrongdoing by his aides.
Foreign policy of the Ronald Reagan administration
1978
Mass suicides in Jonestown. Over 900 people committed suicide at the behest of Jim Jones the founder and head of a group called Peoples Temple. Formed in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the mid-1050s, members of the group moved to Guyana in 1974 and set up a settlement outside Georgetown and called in Jonestown.
Jonestown
1976
Spain's parliament approved a bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
History of Spain (1975–present)
1969
Financier and diplomat Joseph P. Kennedy died in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 81.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
1966
U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
November 1966
1963
Push button phones are used for the first time. Bell systems started replacing rotary dial phones by push button phone in the United States. Push button phones use keys or buttons to dial a number.
Push-button telephone
1936
Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
German involvement in the Spanish Civil War
1928
The first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon, Walt Disney's 'Steamboat Willie' starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
Steamboat Willie
1923
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., the first American in space, was born in East Derry, N.H.
Alan Shepard
1916
End of the Somme Offensive. The battle was bought between German forces on one side and British and French forces on the other during the First World War. Thought to be one of the bloodiest battles of the 20th century - the conflict started on July 1, 1916, and was fought on the banks of the river Somme in France.
Battle of the Somme
1903
Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty signed between Panama and the US. The treaty created the Panama Canal Zone and set up the terms for the construction of the Panama Canal. Until 1979, the Panama Canal Zone was a territory of the United States. The French began construction on the Panama Canal in 1881 but had to stop due to engineering problems. The US took over the construction in 1904 and finished building the canal in 1914.
Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty
1886
Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president of the United States (1881–1885), died in New York at 56.
Chester A. Arthur
1883
Canadian and American railroads adopt time zones. Prior to this, most cities had their own local time, making it difficult for railways to be on time and confusing passengers. To solve this problem, private railways decided to divide the continent into 4 distinct time zones - the lines of which are very close to the time zone lines today.
Standard time
1820
Captain Nathaniel Palmer discovered Antarctica.
Nathaniel Palmer
1626
St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated, replacing earlier basilica, world's largest Christian basilica.
St. Peter's Basilica
1477
First English dated printed book "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers" by William Caxton.
Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers