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This Day in Military History: July 18

America has thousands of years of rich and diverse history dating back before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. In a world that has changed so much, do you ever wonder what happened on this day in U.S. history? On this day, July 18th…


Fairfax County, Virginia, adopts the Fairfax Resolves, a set of resolutions that rejected the British Parliament’s claim of supreme authority over the American colonies.


Revolutionary War naval hero, John Paul Jones dies in Paris. Remembered as one of the most daring and successful naval commanders of the American Revolution.


The Revenue Cutter, Active, captured the pirate vessel, India Libre, in the Chesapeake Bay


The Skirmish at Blackburn’s Ford began in Fairfax County, Virginia as part of the Manassas Campaign of the American Civil War. A Union brigade was ordered to probe the Confederate defenses along Bull Run. At Blackburn’s Ford, the brigade attempted to cross but Confederate fire broke up the attack and the Union commanders decided to cross the creek further upstream.


Union Colonel Robert Shaw and 272 of his troops were killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina. Colonel Shaw was the commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, one of the most famous regiment of African-American troops during the Civil War.

Confederate Major General, William Dorsey Pender, dies from his wounds received at the battle of Gettysburg. Pender received a shrapnel wound in his leg. His leg then became infected and was later amputated but Pender died following the operation.


Proclamation 116: President Abraham Lincoln called for 500,000 volunteers for military service


Congress authorized Coast Guard officers to search vehicles and persons suspected of concealing contraband. It was the belief of Congress that greater authority was required in order to police the frontiers and control rampant smuggling.


Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving official status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.


Various French, British and U.S. forces launch a counterattack against German forces in the second Battle of the Marne. This battle was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during WWI.  


Naval aircraft sink ex-German cruiser Frankfurt in target practice.


Clarence Samuels assumed command of Coast Guard Patrol Boat AB-15. Samuels was the first Hispanic American of African descent in the U.S. Coast guard to command a cutter and the first of his descent to be a commanding officer of a Coast guard vessel during wartime.


The first jet-propelled aircraft, the German Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, made its first flight in combat.


An aircraft carrying Admiral Yamamoto, the Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, was shot down, killing Yamamoto. This was a result of a message interception announcing Yamamoto’s visit.

German submarine shot down K-47, the first and only U.S. airship lost during WWII.


Hideki Tojo, general of the Imperial Japanese Army, resigned his post as prime minister and Chief of Staff of the Army.


Potsdam Conference continues. Attended by Churchill, Truman and Stalin, the conference was intended to establish postwar order, resolve peace and treaty issues, and counter the effects of the war.

Aircraft from the American carrier Wasp attack Japanese positions on Wake Island.

U.S. Far East Air Force bombers, based in Okinawa, bomb Kiangwan airfield near Shanghai.

Ralph Burton, the House of Military Affairs subcommittee’s chief counsel charges 16 commissioned and noncommissioned U.S. Army officers with having pasts that reflect communism. This was a result of the end of WWII and Cold War animosities between the U.S. and the Soviet Union beginning to arise.


President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act which placed the Speaker of the House and the Senate next in line of succession after the Vice President.

President Truman delegates responsibility for the civil administration of former Japanese mandated islands to the Secretary of the Navy.


The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended the Army authorized strength be increased to 834,000 for use in Korea. President Truman approved the request.


New Zealand and Australia announced their decision to pull their troops from Vietnam.


Chinese President Zemin and Russia’s President Putin denounced the U.S. proposed missile defense program, claiming it was a violation of the 1972 ABM treaty. Under the terms of the ABM treaty, each party was limited to two ABM (anti-ballistic missile) complexes, each of which was limited to 100 anti-ballistic missiles.


Eight Afghan soldiers were killed when their vehicle was blown apart by a remote controlled mine.


Essam al-Dijaili, Iraq’s head of military supply department, was killed by militants in a drive-by shooting as he walked into his house in Baghdad.

“American Revolution Timeline – 1774 to 1776.” Alpha History American Revolution. 2018. Web.

Greg Shelton, The United States Coast Guard’s Law Enforcement Authority Under 14 U.S.C. § 89: Smugglers’ Blues or Boaters’ Nightmare?, 34 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 933 (1993),

“This Day in History: July 18.” 2018. Web.

“July 18.” This Day In U.S. Military History. 2018. Web.

“Timeline 1700’s – 1800’s.” United States Coast Guard. 2018. Web.

“(William) Dorsey Pender.” Ehistory. Ohio State University. 2018. Web.

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