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What Happened on March 18?

  • Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. (1766) The Stamp Act had been wildly unpopular in the US, causing riots and a boycott on British goods. Even after the act was repealed, the idea of taxation without representation remained a sore spot between the two countries.

  • The first spacewalk took place. (1965) Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov performed the first spacewalk on this day. He stayed outside his ship for 12 minutes, held to the ship by a tether. By the time his walk was over, his spacesuit had inflated so much in the vacuum of space that he could barely get back inside the ship.

  • Mohandas Gandhi was sentenced to prison. (1922) Gandhi was arrested for sedition because of his acts of non-cooperation, which included encouraging Indians to only purchase Indian goods. Though he was sentenced to six years in prison, he only served two before being released for an appendicitis operation.

  • A human-powered airplane flew for about half a mile. (1936) The Pedaliante was the first human-powered airplane to fly. The plane was built like a glider, but powered by a bicycle-like apparatus.

  • The War Relocation Authority was established in the US. (1942) The purpose of the Authority was to forcibly relocate all people of Japanese descent in the US to internment camps. Hundreds of thousands of people were relocated, though in 1990, they were all issued a formal apology from the US along with monetary compensation.

  • France and Algeria signed the Evian Accord. (1962) France and the leaders of the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) signed the Evian Accord today, ending more than seven years of fighting and 130 years of French colonial rule in Algeria.

  • Schick Inc. marketed its first electric razor. (1931) The razor was a bulky Bakelite product that cost $25 US Dollars (USD), the equivalent of about $350 USD in 21st century dollars.

  • Irving Berlin copyrighted "Alexander's Ragtime Band." (1911) The song was the first pop culture hit, and sold over 1.5 million copies of its sheet music within 18 months of its publication.

  • Wells Fargo and Company was established. (1852) The company went on to become the leading freight and courier company in the newly developed American West. Though the company's role in transport was undermined with the completion of the transcontinental railroad, it kept going strong in banking.

  • Nationalist Chinese forces invaded Mainland China. (1950) The Communist party in China had only been in power for less than a year when Nationalist forces from Taiwan made a surprise attack on Southern China. Though the attack had the support of the US, it eventually failed, and merely served to increase tensions between the US and the People's Republic of China.

Discussion Comments

By merlinus — On Mar 18, 2018

In 1847 William Henson invented the hoe-shaped razor that most of us have in our medicine cabinets, and in 1895 a traveling salesman named King Camp Gillette combined this shape with the idea of shaving with a disposable double-edged blade. Prior to that Alexander the Great's shaven image is displayed on the Alexander Mosaic, 2nd Century BCE. Around 3000 BCE when copper tools were developed, copper razors were invented.

By Euroxati — On Mar 22, 2014

@Viranty - Honestly, I don't think that was much of a problem, as some people didn't even shave. To give you an example, look at and research some of the famous people of the past. Have you noticed that they have long and scraggly beards? So yeah, I don't think it bothered them too much. However, thank goodness for electric shavers, huh? They're very efficient and really make shaving a lot less tedious. Not to mention that there's much less of a risk of cutting yourself.

By Viranty — On Mar 22, 2014

After reading the bullet point regarding the electric razor, I have this question. How did people shave before electric razors came to be? I imagine it must have been very difficult, especially when this was an issue years ago.

By RoyalSpyder — On Mar 21, 2014

I admire Mohandas Gandhi for his bravery and determination. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't have been able to stand up to the British Empire as well as he did. Though it's unfortunate that he had to serve prison time, on the bright side of things, he only got two years, instead of six. Things could have been a lot worse, that's for sure. Speaking of Gandhi, this question just popped up in my head. How did he die? Was he murdered, or he did he pass away of old age?

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