This Day In History : November 18

2013 United States

NASA Launched MAVEN Probe to Mars

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe was launched by NASA on November 18, 2013. MAVEN's primary mission is to study the Martian atmosphere, its interactions with the solar wind, and how these interactions have influenced the planet's climate over time.

Also on This Day in History November 18

Discover what happened on November 18 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, November 18
  • 1923 Alan B. Shepard Jr.

    American astronaut who was America's first man in space

  • 1839 August A. Kundt

    German physicist who researched sound vibration and invented the test of Kundt

  • 1897 Patrick M. S. Blackett

    British physicist (Nobel 1948 - nuclear reaction)

  • 1787 Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre

    French inventor and photographer (daguerreotype)

  • 1906 George Wald

    American physiologist and biologist (vitamin A in retina), Nobel Prize 1967

Deaths on This Day, November 18
  • 1886 Chester A. Arthur

    American General, lawyer and politician who became the 21st President of the United States

  • 1962 Niels Bohr

    Danish physicist who expanded quantum physics, Nobel Prize 1922

  • 2016 Denton A. Cooley

    American surgeon and heart-transplant pioneer who was the first to implant an artificial heart in a human

  • 1887 Gustav Theodor Fechner

    German psychologist and physicist (Weber–Fechner law)

  • 2010 Brian G. Marsden

    British astronomer and the longtime director of the Minor Planet Center (MPC) at the Center for Astrophysics


The first push button phone goes into service

The first push-button telephone, known as the Touch-Tone phone, went into service on November 18, 1963, in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA. This marked a significant advancement in telecommunications technology, replacing rotary dial phones with a more efficient and user-friendly dialing system based on push buttons.

William Caxton Prints First Dated English Book in London

On November 18, 1477, William Caxton, at his press in Westminster (London), published "Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers," marking the first dated printed book in English. This historic event played a crucial role in the early history of English printing, fostering the spread of knowledge and literature in the English language.

Latvia declares independence from Russia

On November 18, 1918, Latvia formally declared independence from Russia, marking the beginning of its sovereignty as a nation. This declaration followed the collapse of the Russian Empire after the Russian Revolution and World War I, leading Latvia to establish itself as an independent republic and embark on its own path of political and cultural development.

US Ranger 2 launched to Moon

On November 18, 1961, NASA launched the Ranger 2 spacecraft towards the Moon. Ranger 2 was part of the Ranger program, aiming to obtain close-up images of the lunar surface and transmit scientific data back to Earth. Though Ranger 2 experienced technical issues and did not achieve its primary mission objectives, it paved the way for future successful lunar missions and contributed valuable data to the early exploration of the Moon.
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