February 18 events in history

1229 The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signs a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy
1268 The Livonian Brothers of the Sword are defeated by Dovmont of Pskov in the Battle of Rakvere
1332 Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces
1478 George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is executed in private at the Tower of London
1637 Eighty Years' War: Off the coast of Cornwall, England, a Spanish fleet intercepts an important Anglo-Dutch merchant convoy of 44 vessels escorted by 6 warships, destroying or capturing 20 of them
1745 The city of Surakarta, Central Java is founded on the banks of Bengawan Solo River, and becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Surakarta
1766 A mutiny by captive Malagasy begins at sea on the slave ship Meermin, leading to the ship's destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators
1781 Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: Captain Thomas Shirley opens his expedition against Dutch colonial outposts on the Gold Coast of Africa (present-day Ghana)
1797 French Revolutionary Wars: Sir Ralph Abercromby and a fleet of 18 British warships invade Trinidad
1814 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Montereau
1861 With Italian unification almost complete, Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy
1861 In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America
1865 American Civil War: Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia
1873 Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski is executed by hanging in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities
1878 John Tunstall is murdered by outlaw Jesse Evans, sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico
1885 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States
1900 Second Boer War: Imperial forces suffer their worst single-day loss of life on Bloody Sunday, the first day of the Battle of Paardeberg
1906 Edouard de Laveleye forms the Belgian Olympic Committee in Brussels
1911 The first official flight with air mail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away
1913 Pedro Lascuráin becomes President of Mexico for 45 minutes; this is the shortest term to date of any person as president of any country
1930 While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto
1930 Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft
1932 The Empire of Japan declares Manzhouguo (the obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China
1938 During the Nanking Massacre tha Nanking Safety Zone International Committee is renamed "Nanking International Rescue Committee" and the safety zone in place for refugees falls apart
1942 World War II: The Imperial Japanese Army begins the systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore
1943 The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement
1943 Joseph Goebbels delivers his Sportpalast speech
1946 Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in Bombay harbour, from where the action spreads throughout the Provinces of British India, involving 78 ships, twenty shore establishments and 20,000 sailors
1947 First Indochina War: The French gain complete control of Hanoi after forcing the Viet Minh to withdraw to mountains
1954 The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California
1955 Operation Teapot: Teapot test shot "Wasp" is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp is the first of fourteen shots in the Teapot series
1957 Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi is executed by the British colonial government
1957 Walter James Bolton becomes the last person legally executed in New Zealand
1965 The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom
1969 Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 crashes into Mount Whitney killing all on board
1970 The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1972 The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, (6 Cal.3d 628) invalidates the state's death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment
1977 The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747
1978 The first Ironman Triathlon competition takes place on the island of Oahu and is won by Gordon Haller
1979 Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history
1983 Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history
1991 The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at Paddington station and Victoria station in London
2001 FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He is ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment
2001 Inter-ethnic violence between Dayaks and Madurese breaks out in Sampit, Indonesia, that will ultimately result in more than 500 deaths and 100,000 Madurese displaced from their homes
2001 Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt dies in an accident during the Daytona 500
2003 Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea
2004 Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Neyshabur in Iran when a runaway freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer catches fire and explodes
2007 Terrorist bombs explode on the Samjhauta Express in Panipat, Haryana, India, killing 68 people
2014 At least 76 people are killed and hundreds are injured in clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Kiev, Ukraine