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On This Day - November 18th

The holiday season edges ever closer, and it hardly seems like we've spent any time in November at all! However, here we are at the 18th – the weather’s turning colder, and the leaves are falling in the upper hemisphere, and as it happens, there's lots to unpack about today in history. If you're celebrating today, we have a few famous birthdays to share with you, too. Here are some facts about November 18th you might want to remember.

On this day

Facts of the Netherlands

The Southern Sea flooded.

In 1421, the Southern Sea flooded 72 villages in the Netherlands. The disaster killed around 10,000 people. It’s known to historians as the St. Elizabeth’s Flood, named after the feast day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary – which took place on November 19th, the day after the flood started.

Facts about St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated.

In 1626, St. Peter’s Basilica was officially consecrated. It replaced an earlier basilica in the same area and became the world’s biggest Christian basilica. St. Peter’s is known as one of the biggest and best showcases of Renaissance artwork, with the legendary Michelangelo being among several artists who made their mark here.

facts about time

North America formalized its time zones.

Up until November 18th, 1883, time zones differed between individual US and Canadian cities – pretty confusing stuff! Therefore, as of this date in history, Canada and the USA agreed on four specific new time zones that would impact the railroads. These time zones are somewhat close to what we use in the modern age!

Flag of Guyana

Members of the People’s Temple were murdered.

In 1978, 918 members of the People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, were murdered or committed suicide. This took place under the leadership of Jim Jones, a cult leader. To this day, the event is still known as the Jonestown Massacre.

Facts about South Africa

The new constitution was approved in South Africa.

In 1993, both black and white leaders in South Africa finally approved the democratic constitution – effectively bringing an end to decades of horrific apartheid policies. The face of anti-apartheid, Nelson Mandela, would become the country’s President in due course.

Special Days Falling on November 18th

This November 18th, why not celebrate with people all over the world? Here are some of the biggest events that take place today.
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The Start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Every November 18th to November 24th is World Antibiotic Awareness Week. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about antibiotic resistance and how to properly use these essential drugs. Antibiotics have proven to save lives time and time again, but only when being administered properly. Our bodies can become accustomed to them, rendering them practically useless in certain cases. It’s important, therefore, not to overuse or misuse them – or we might have a brand new medical fight on our hands.

Facts of Latvia

Latvia Independence Day

November 18th is also Latvia’s Independence Day! Back on this very day in 1918, Latvia finally declared its independence from Russia. However, 72 years later, the country would have to do it all over again. So, this day marks the struggle for that independence and the strive to maintain it, which continues.

Facts about Haiti

Battle of Vertières Day

For the people of Haiti, every November 18th is Battle of Vertières Day. The battle took place during the country’s war for independence and was the brutal final fight between the natives of the country and the French army. Following the battle, the Haitians gained their freedom, which is celebrated every year on this very date!

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This page was last modified on November 16, 2023. Suggest an edit

This month in history

In 1963, just three days after being killed in Dallas, Texas, assassinated US President John F. Kennedy was buried with full military honors. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Famous Birthdays on November 18th

Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Flemish general and statesman, born 1522

Margaret Atwood, Canadian author and poet, born 1939

Alan Moore, English comic book author, born 1953

Peter Schmeichel, Danish soccer legend, born 1963

Owen Wilson, American actor, born 1968

Scorpio Zodiac Sign Facts

If you were born on November 18th…


…you’re a Scorpio! You’re dependable, passionate, and more than a little mysterious. However, you’re also strong, funny, and creative. You’re also very honest when situations call for insight!


So, honestly, you should head over to our Scorpio facts page to learn more.

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