18 February in Indian and World History

OV Digital Desk

18 February in Indian and World History is celebrated, observed, and remembered for various reasons. 18 February is the birth anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, and Jai Narayan Vyas.

18 February is also observed as the death anniversary of Abdul Rashid Khan.

Birth Anniversary on 18 February

18 February in Indian history is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the following personalities:

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (18 February 1486 – 1534), was one of the prominent sages of the Bhakti period. He laid the foundation stone of the Gaudiya sect of Vaishnavas. Gave birth to a new style of Bhajan singing and emphasized the harmony of Hindu-Muslim unity in the days of political instability, taught to remove the feeling of caste, creed, high and low, and resettled the extinct Vrindavan and lived his life. He spent the last part of it there. He was born on 18 February 1486.

Ramakrishna Paramhansa (18 February 1836 – 15 August 1886), was a great saint and thinker of India. He emphasized the unity of all religions. He believed since childhood that God can be seen. Therefore, he spent a life of rigorous spiritual practice and devotion to the attainment of God. Ramakrishna was a priest of humanity. As a result of his spiritual practice, he concluded that all the religions of the world are true and there is no difference in them. They are just different means of reaching God. He was born on 18 February 1836 in Kamarpukur Village, Hooghly District, West Bengal.

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai (18 February 1894 – 24 October 1954), was a freedom fighter and a prominent politician of the country. When the Swarajya Party was formed within the Congress, Kidwai joined it. In 1926, he was elected a member of the Central Legislative Assembly on a Swaraj Party ticket and was made the chief whip of the Swarajya Party there. He was born on 18 February 1894.

Jai Narayan Vyas (18 February 1899 – 14 March 1963), was a prominent freedom fighter of India, former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, and a famous politician of the ‘Indian National Congress. Due to his revolutionary activities, he was sentenced to jail several times. After the independence of the country, Jaynarayan Ji was the President of the ‘Provincial Congress Committee’ from the year 1956 to 1957. He also adorned the post of Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He was born on 18 February 1899 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Read More: 17 February in Indian and World History

Death Anniversary on 18 February

18 February in Indian history is observed as the death anniversary of the following personalities:

Abdul Rashid Khan (19 August 1908 – 18 February 2016), is a famous Hindustani classical singer. He was from Gwalior Gharana. He has been awarded Padma Bhushan (2013), and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2009). He died on 18 February 2016.

Read More: 16 February in Indian and World History

Notable events on 18 February in Indian and World History

18 February 1884 – British forces under the leadership of Charles Golden reached Sudan.

18 February 1905 – Shyamji Krishna Varma founded the India Home Rule Society in London.

18 February 1911 – the work of delivering mail by plane for the first time was done in India.

18 February 1915 – Germany blocked England in World War I.

18 February 1925 – Krishna Sobti, an Indian Hindi-language fiction writer, was born.

18 February 1931 – Toni Morrison, an American novelist, editor,  professor, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

18 February 1943 – The Nazi army arrested members of the White Rose movement.

18 February 1945 – The fighting for Iwa Jima began during World War II.

18 February 1965 – The Gambia gained independence from British rule.

18 February 1971 – India established the first satellite connectivity with Britain through the Arvi satellite station.

18 February 1979 – The US gave a check of Rs 1664 crore to India, which is considered to be the largest amount in the world.

18 February 1979 – The first snowfall occurred in the Sahara Desert for the last time on record.

18 February 1982  Ngaio Marsh – a New Zealand mystery writer and theatre director – died.

18 February 1989 – The Afghan government declared a state of emergency.

18 February 1991 – The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the explosion at Victoria Station, which resulted in several casualties.

18 February 2001 – FBI agent Robert Hansen was arrested on charges of spying for the Soviet Union and, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to life in prison.

18 February 2001 – a massive bomb blast took place in the Samjhauta Express going from Delhi to Lahore, in which about 68 people died.

18 February 2002 – the president commuted the death sentence of Fiji rebel leader Georges Spat to life imprisonment.

18 February 2003 – a subway train caught fire in Taegu, South Korea’s main city, killing 134 people.

18 February 2006 – The president of Palestine asked Hamas leader Ismail Hinayya to form a new government.

18 February 2006 – India’s first flu case was reported at a poultry farm in Maharashtra.

18 February 2006 – Thar Express started between India and Pakistan.

18 February 2008 – The Reserve Bank of India allowed Swiss bank UDC AG to conduct business in the country.

18 February 2014 – a fierce clash broke out between police and protesters in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, in which at least 76 people died and many were badly injured.

18 February 2018 – Gunter Blobel, a renowned German American biologist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, died.

18 February Historical Significance

On February 18th, several significant events have unfolded throughout history. One notable occurrence took place in 1885, when Mark Twain published “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” a novel often considered one of the greatest works of American literature. In 1930, Pluto, the ninth planet in our solar system at the time, was discovered by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Fast forward to 1977, when the Space Shuttle Enterprise, NASA’s first space shuttle orbiter, made its maiden flight atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. February 18th also marks the anniversary of the formal end of the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 during World War II, a pivotal moment in the Pacific Theater. Finally, in 2001, Dale Earnhardt Sr., a legendary NASCAR driver, tragically lost his life during the Daytona 500 race. These events collectively illustrate the diverse historical significance associated with February 18th.

Important Days of 18 February in History

International Asperger’s Day: This day is dedicated to raising awareness about Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum.

National Battery Day (United States): Celebrated to promote awareness about the role of batteries in our daily lives and to encourage proper disposal and recycling practices.

Independence Day of The Gambia: Commemorates the independence of The Gambia from the United Kingdom in 1965.

Parinirvana Day (Buddhist): Also known as Nirvana Day, it commemorates the death of Gautama Buddha and his attainment of Parinirvana, the final nirvana, upon his death.