34 fun facts for December, 18

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
December 18th is a notable day in history, marked by various events such as the first recognized land-speed record, the discovery of the "Piltdown Man," and the pop culture successes of Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" and James Cameron's "Avatar." International Migrants Day, Arabic Language Day, and Bake Cookies Day are observed globally to promote language, cultural understanding, and enjoy the sweetness of life.
34 Fun facts
  1. In 1898, Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the first recognized land-speed record: On December 18th, 1898, Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat, a French race car driver, set the first recognized land-speed record. He reached a top speed of 39.24 mph in a Jeantaud electric vehicle, breaking the existing record held by an electric vehicle.
  2. In 1912, Piltdown Man was discovered: On this day, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson discovered the first fragments of the Piltdown Man in Sussex, England. The Piltdown Man was believed to be an important missing link in human evolution, until it was exposed as a hoax in 1953.
  3. In 1916, the Battle of Verdun ends: The Battle of Verdun, the longest single battle of World War I, ended on December 18th, 1916. The battle lasted 303 days, and its casualties are estimated to be upwards of 700,000 soldiers. Though this fact mentions war, it highlights the importance of peace that the world has achieved since then.
  4. In 1932, the Chicago Bears win the first NFL Championship: On this day, the Chicago Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans in the first ever NFL Championship Game. The game was played indoors due to a blizzard, making it the first ever indoor professional football game.
  5. In 1956, Japan joined the United Nations: Japan's admission into the United Nations took place on December 18, 1956. Japan became the 80th member of the UN and has since contributed significantly to the organization's peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts.
  6. In 1957, The Shippingport Atomic Power Station began operations: The first large-scale civilian nuclear power plant in the United States, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, started generating electricity on December 18, 1957. The plant was located in Pennsylvania and opened during the "Atoms for Peace" era.
  7. In 1966, Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" premiered on TV: The classic animated television special, based on Dr. Seuss' children's book, made its television debut on December 18, 1966. The 26-minute-long story follows the Grinch's attempts to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville.
  8. In 1969, Project Blue Book concluded: The United States Air Force announced it was closing Project Blue Book on December 18, 1969. This government initiative aimed to investigate unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings and lasted for over 20 years.
  9. In 1971, The last issue of "Look magazine" was published: Look, a popular biweekly magazine that featured general-interest content, published its last issue on December 18, 1971. It was known for its large editorial photos and peaked in the 1960s with a circulation reaching 7.75 million.
  10. In 1987, Larry Bird scored his 20,000th career point: Larry Bird, a Hall of Fame basketball player and future coach, scored his 20,000th career NBA point on December 18, 1987. Bird is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
  11. In 1999, NASA launched Terra satellite: The Terra satellite, a joint mission of NASA and several international space agencies, was launched into Earth's orbit on December 18, 1999. Terra is designed to monitor the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land to study climate change and environmental conditions.
  12. In 2001, Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: The energy company Enron filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 18, 2001. This was the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history at the time and led to increased regulations and oversight of public companies.
  13. In 2002, California Governor Gray Davis announced a state fiscal emergency: On December 18, 2002, California Governor Gray Davis declared a state fiscal emergency in response to a severe budget crisis. This crisis resulted in significant cuts to public services and a recall election that ultimately led to Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.
  14. In 2009, Avatar premiered in theaters worldwide: Directed by James Cameron, this groundbreaking sci-fi film premiered on December 18, 2009. Known for its revolutionary visual effects and use of 3D technology, Avatar held the record as the highest-grossing movie of all time until 2019.
  15. December 18th is International Migrants Day: The United Nations designated December 18th as International Migrants Day to recognize the rights, contributions, and protection issues facing millions of migrants around the world.
  16. December 18th is Arabic Language Day: UNESCO established World Arabic Language Day to promote the Arabic language and acknowledge its vital role in the preservation and dissemination of human civilization and culture.
  17. December 18th is Bake Cookies Day: A festive holiday observed by baking and sharing various types of cookies with friends, family, and coworkers.
  18. In 1620, The Mayflower passengers come ashore on Plymouth Rock: On December 18, 1620, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, marking the beginning of the British colonization of North America.
  19. In 1941, Bram Stoker's first horror novel "Dracula" was copyrighted: On this day, Bram Stoker's groundbreaking horror novel, "Dracula," was finally copyrighted in the United States, 44 years after its initial publication.
  20. In 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest: The Burmese political leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, was released from house arrest on December 18, 2010. She had been detained by the ruling military government for 15 of the previous 21 years.
  21. In 2013, Qatar abolished the Kafala system: On December 18, 2013, Qatar approved significant labor law reforms that ended the Kafala system, a controversial sponsorship system that many say amounts to modern-day slavery for migrant workers.
  22. In 1849, the first-ever adhesive U.S. revenue stamps were issued: On this day, the United States issued the first-ever adhesive revenue stamps to collect taxes on items like alcohol, tobacco, and other luxury goods.
  23. In 1943, Keith Richards, guitarist of the Rolling Stones, was born: On this day, Keith Richards, the English musician and guitarist of the legendary rock band, the Rolling Stones, was born in Dartford, Kent, England.
  24. In 2014, Sony Pictures canceled the release of "The Interview": On December 18, 2014, Sony Pictures canceled the release of the comedy film "The Interview" following threats from hackers linked to North Korea. The movie was later released digitally and in select theaters.
  25. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): On this day, Clinton signed the trade agreement aiming to eliminate barriers to trade and investment among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  26. In 1980, Christina Aguilera was born: On December 18, 1980, American singer, songwriter, and actress Christina Aguilera was born in Staten Island, New York. She is a highly acclaimed artist with Grammy awards and millions of albums sold worldwide.
  27. In 1946, Steven Spielberg was born: On this day, acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Spielberg has directed and produced numerous successful films, including "Jaws," "E.T.," "Jurassic Park," and "Saving Private Ryan."
  28. In 2000, The UK government releases a new version of the pound coin: The United Kingdom introduced a redesigned version of the pound coin incorporating new security features to reduce the risk of counterfeit coins entering circulation.
  29. In 1976, George Harrison and Paul Simon performed together on SNL: The former Beatles members reunited for a memorable performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," on December 18, 1976.
  30. In 1997, the HTML 4.0 specification was published: On this day, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published the HTML 4.0 specification, which shaped the early development of the internet and is still in use today.
  31. In 2005, "King Kong" directed by Peter Jackson premiered: Peter Jackson's reimagining of the classic 1933 film, "King Kong," debuted on December 18, 2005, and starred Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody.
  32. In 2017, SpaceX's Falcon 9 launched and landed: On this day, Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 rocket for the first time, marking a milestone in reusable rocket technology.
  33. In 1961, India annexed the territory of Goa: On December 18, 1961, Indian forces took control of the Portuguese colony of Goa after a short, bloodless military action.
  34. In 1889, the Federal Indian asembly, also known as the Richomme Committee, was established: On this day, the Federal Indian Assembly was established under the leadership of G. Richomme. The committee aimed to improve the living conditions of the indigenous people of India.