May 18 in Pop Culture History

May 18 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

May 18 History Highlights

  • 1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
  • 1860 – Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward.
  • 1953 – Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.
  • If you were born on May 18th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… August 25th (prior year)

1980 Mount St. Helens Eruption

On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington erupted with a 5.1 magnitude, causing a massive avalanche and killed 57 people. David Johnson was a volcanologist studying Mt. St. Helens from 6 miles away when it erupted. He made a transmission stating: “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” as the volcano erupted. The transmission went dead at this point, and his body was never recovered.

Knowing he would not survive, photographer Robert Landsburg, photographed the event and rewound the film back into its case, put his camera in his backpack, and then laid himself on top of the backpack in an attempt to protect the film. His body was found 17 days later, buried in the ash with his backpack. The film was developed and has provided geologists with valuable documentation of the historic eruption.

May 18 is…

Cheese Soufflé Day
Museum Day
No Dirty Dishes Day

May 18 Birthday Quotes

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”
– Tina Fey

“When I was a kid, I would go to the record store, where there was a bin of things they didn’t know quite how to classify. Those were my choices.”
– Mark Mothersbaugh

“My only regret in life is that I didn’t spend as much time with my kids as I now wish I had.”
– Perry Como

Like a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a seafood store.
– Big Joe Turner

“No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan, has ever had the power that a filmmaker has; the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people for two hours in the dark.”
– Frank Capra

May 18 Birthdays

1822 – Mathew Brady, American photographer and journalist (died in 1896)
1855 – Francis Bellamy, American minister and author (died in 1931)
1897 – Frank Capra, Italian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (died in 1991)
1911 – Big Joe Turner, American blues artist, R&B singer (died in 1985)
1912 – Perry Como, American singer and television host (died in 2001)
1917 – Bill Everett, American comic book author and illustrator (died in 1973)
1931 – Don Martin, American cartoonist, Mad Magazine (died in 2000)
1950 – Mark Mothersbaugh, American singer-songwriter
1970 – Tina Fey, American actress, producer, and screenwriter
1992 – Adwoa Aboah, British fashion model

May 18 History

1910 – The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.

1912 – The first major Indian film, Shree Pundalik, by Dadasaheb Torne, is released in Mumbai.

1926 – In one of the first Media Frenzy’s of Popular Culture, Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while visiting a Venice, California beach.

1946 – A UFO, with living creatures inside, was reported by Gosta Carlsson, in Sweden.

1952 – Professor Willard F. Libby determined the age of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, England, at 1848 BC, give or take 275 years.

1958 – Team Lotus made its Formula One debut in the Monaco Grand Prix.

1959 # 1 Hit May 18, 1959 – May 31, 1959: Wilbert Harrison – Kansas City

1963 # 1 Hit May 18, 1963 – May 31, 1963: Jimmy Soul – If You Wanna Be Happy

1968 # 1 Hit May 18, 1968 – May 3, 1968: Archie Bell & the Drells – Tighten Up

1974 – India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon, becoming the sixth nation to do so.

1974 – # 1 Hit May 18, 1974 – June 7, 1974: Ray Stevens – The Streak

1980 – Ian Curtis of the post-punk band Joy Division committed suicide. The remaining members went on to form New Order.

1985 # 1 Hit May 18, 1985 – May 24, 1985: Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

1991 # 1 Hit May 18, 1991 – May 24, 1991: Hi-Five – I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)

1994 – Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip, ceding the area to the Palestinian National Authority to govern.

1996 # 1 Hit May 18, 1996 – July 12, 1996: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Tha Crossroads

1998 – Murphy Brown TV series ended on CBS.

2001 – Based on William Steig’s 1990 children’s book, Shrek was released in movie theaters.

2005 – A photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.

2013 # 1 Hit May 18, 2013 – June 21, 2013: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

The founder of Macy’s, Rowland Hussey, who was a Quaker, is credited with inventing the price tag. Quakers believed it was immoral to barter – charging people different prices for the same product.

“My phone vibrated in my pocket, as my mother sent me a photo via Messenger” sounds like a description of a Salvador Dali painting.

“Rope a dope” is a boxing technique where you allow your opponent to punch you heavily against the ropes, tiring them out. The ropes absorb most of the impact of the punches.

Jack Nicholson made $35 million from Batman Returns – and he doesn`t appear in the film at all!

Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to win an Oscar for playing the same character. The first played Vito Corleone in The Godfather; the second played Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

The Capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative)

“I brought you flours.” – Harold Crick in Stranger Than Fiction 

A doctor tells his patient he’s got only six months to live… but the patient doesn’t pay his bill on time, so the doctor gives him another six months. (ta-tish!)

17 out of the 20 tallest statues in the world are Buddhist

“What a dump.” – Rosa Moline (Bette Davis) in Beyond the Forest, 1949

The first porn film was A’Ecu d’Or in 1908.

In James Bond, when in Dr. No’s cave in the 1962 film, stops to notice a painting found on an easel next to the stairs. It is a copy of a Francisco de Goya painting of Duke Wellington that was stolen in 1961. It was recovered in 1965.

More Pop Culture History Resources

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