THIS DAY IN HISTORY- 18TH MAY

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This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened on 18th May!

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 18th May”.

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1912: First Indian feature-length film released

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Shree Pundalik, the first feature-length production in India, was released on this day in 1912. It was a silent film, based on a Marathi play, directed by Ram Chandra Gopal Torne. The film was more of a recorded theatre production shot with a fixed camera, but it grabbed the attention of the Indian audience. The film had a runtime of 22 minutes and the reels were sent to London for processing.

Shree Pundalik
Advertisement in The Times of India of 25 May 1912 announcing the screening of the first feature film of India. Source: Wikipedia

1953: Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier

Jacqueline Cochran was an American aviator one of the pioneering women of aeronautics. Cochran held more speed, distance, and altitude records than any other flyer during her career. On 18th May 1953, she flew a Royal Canadian Air Force F-86 Sabrejet over Rogers Dry Lake, California, past Mach 1 becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier.

Jackie Cochran
Jackie Cochran

1974: Operation Smiling Buddha

Operation Smiling Buddha was India’s first nuclear test, conducted in Rajasthan’s Pokhran. India hence became the sixth country in the world to conduct a nuclear test. The test was supervised by Raja Ramanna, who was then the director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It was codenamed Operation Smiling Buddha because it was conducted on Buddha Purnima that year.

Operation Smiling Buddha
Indira Gandhi at the Pokhran test site

1980: Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Mount Saint Helens is a volcanic peak in the Cascade Range, southwestern Washington, U.S. It was dormant since 1857, however, its eruption on this day in 1980 is considered one of the greatest volcanic explosions ever recorded in North America. A total of 57 people died in the incident. Moreover, thousands of animals were also killed and trees over an area of some 200 square miles were blown down.

1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens

2012: Facebook IPO

Facebook, Inc., the famous American technology company, went public with its initial public offering (IPO) on May 18th, 2012. At that time, it was the largest technology IPO in U.S. history. Facebook offered 421,233,615 shares at a price of $38 per share and raised $16 billion by the offering.

Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg (CEO), Sheryl Sandberg (COO), and company on the day of the IPO. Photographer: Zef Nikolla/Facebook via Bloomberg

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