On this day: Captain Scott reached the South Pole

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 18 January

Captain Scott and his party reached the South Pole in 1912, only to find Road Admundsen had arrived 35 days earlier. Picture: Getty
Captain Scott and his party reached the South Pole in 1912, only to find Road Admundsen had arrived 35 days earlier. Picture: Getty

1778: Captain Cook became the first European to visit Hawaii – originally the Sandwich Islands.

1788: A penal settlement was established in Botany Bay, Australia.

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1812: The Comet, built by John Wood and Co at Port Glasgow, the first Scottish passenger steamboat, made her trial trip from Glasgow to Greenock. She was designed by Henry Bell.

1911: United States pilot Eugene Ely, in a Curtiss aircraft, made the first landing on the deck of a ship, the cruiser Pennsylvania moored in San Francisco Bay.

1912: The British explorer Captain Scott reached the South Pole with Lawrence Oates, Lieutenant Bowers, Edward Wilson and Edgar Evans, only to find the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived 35 days earlier. All five died on the return journey.

1944: The 900-day siege of Leningrad ended.

1963: Charles de Gaulle’s government insisted that Britain be barred from the European Common Market.

1967: Albert DeSalvo, the Boston strangler, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, armed robbery, assault and sex offences.

1989: Knuckledusters, hand claws and other offensive weapons were officially banned by the Home Office.

1994: A packed public meeting in Edinburgh protested against plans of the trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland to establish a gallery of Scottish Art in Glasgow.

1997: In north-west Rwanda, Hutu militia members killed three Spanish aid workers and three soldiers and seriously wounded one other.

1997: Børge Ousland of Norway became the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.

2000: The Tagish Lake meteorite hit the Earth in British Columbia, Canada.

2002: Sierra Leone civil war was declared over.

2003: A bushfire killed four people and destroyed more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia.

2005: The Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial jet, was unveiled in Toulouse, France.

2007: The strongest storm in the United Kingdom in 17 years killed 14 people. Hurricane Kyrill caused more than 40 deaths across 20 countries in western Europe.

2009: Hamas announced they would accept the Israel Defense Forces’s offer of a ceasefire.


Jane Horrocks, actress, 50; Peter Beardsley, footballer, 53; Dr David Bellamy, botanist, 81; John Boorman, film director, 81; Raymond Briggs, children’s author and illustrator, 80; Kevin Costner, actor and director, 59; Richard Dunwoody MBE, jockey, 49; Estelle, singer, 34; Sir Rocco Forte, hotelier, 69; Paul Freeman, actor, 71; Paul Keating, Australian prime minister 1991-6, 70; Mark Rylance, artistic director, Globe Theatre 1995-2006, 54.


Births: 1689 Baron de Montesquieu, philosopher; 1779 Peter Roget, physician and lexicographer, compiler of the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases; 1813 Joseph Farwell Glidden, farmer and inventor of barbed wire; 1882 AA Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh; 1884 Arthur Ransome, novelist; 1904 Cary Grant, film actor.

Deaths: 1677 Jan van Riebeeck, founder of Cape Town; 1936 Rudyard Kipling, poet and novelist; 1980 Sir Cecil Beaton, photographer and theatrical designer; 1985 Lord Wolfenden, social reformer; 2009 Tony Hart, artist.