This Day In History : September 18

1959 United States

Vanguard 3 is launched into Earth's orbit

Vanguard 3 was launched into Earth's orbit on September 18, 1959, as part of the Vanguard program by the United States. This satellite was designed to study the Earth's magnetic field and radiation belts, contributing valuable data to early space research efforts.

Also on This Day in History September 18

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

Births on This Day, September 18
  • 1907 Edwin McMillan

    Edwin Mattison McMillan was an American nuclear physicist who shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1951 (with Glenn T. Seaborg) for his discovery of element 93.

  • 1854 Richard Tetley Glazebrook

    English physicist who was the first director of the UK National Physical Laboratory, from 1 Jan 1900 until his retirement in Sep 1919.

  • 1831 Siegfried Marcus

    German-Austrian inventor who built four of the world's earliest gasoline-powered automobiles.

  • 1819 Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault

    French physicist whose Foucault Pendulum experimentally proved that the Earth rotates on its axis (6 Jan 1851).

  • 1752 Adrien-Marie Legendre

    French mathematician who contributed to number theory, celestial mechanics and elliptic functions.

Deaths on This Day, September 18
  • 1896 Armand-Hippolyte-Louis Fizeau

    French physicist who was the first to measure the speed of light successfully without using astronomical calculations (1849).

  • 1967 John Cockcroft

    Sir John Douglas Cockcroft was a British physicist, who shared (with Ernest T.S. Walton of Ireland) the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics for pioneering the use of particle accelerators to study the atomic nucleus.

  • 1860 Joseph Locke

    English civil engineer who build many significant early main-line railways.

  • 1891 William Ferrel

    American meteorologist who was an important contributor to the understanding of oceanic and atmospheric circulation.

  • 2009 Mahlon Bush Hoagland

    American biochemist who helped discover transfer RNA.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is founded

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was founded on September 18, 1998. It was established to oversee the global coordination of the Internet's unique identifiers, such as domain names and IP addresses, ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. This organization plays a crucial role in managing the Internet's domain name system (DNS) and promoting competition and innovation in the domain name industry.

First Latin American in space

On September 18, 1980, Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo-Mendéz made history as the first person of color and the first Latin American to travel into space. He flew aboard Soyuz 38 and spent approximately 188.7 hours in space during the mission.

Chile declares independence from Spain

On September 18, 1810, Chile initiated its movement towards independence from Spain. This pivotal event was sparked by a junta (a government council) formed in Santiago, led by notable figures such as José Miguel Carrera, José de San Martín, and Bernardo O'Higgins. The junta's aim was to establish autonomous rule for Chile amid political and economic tensions with the Spanish colonial authorities.

The Central Intelligence Agency officially comes into existence

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officially came into existence on September 18, 1947, with the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman. This Act established the CIA as an independent agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers.
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