What Happened On This Day – 18 February
1978 Hawaii hosts the first Ironman Triathlon
Contestants have to swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km), bike 112 miles (180.25 km) and complete a marathon run measuring 26.2 miles (42.2 km).
1977 The Space Shuttle takes off on its maiden flight
The “Enterprise” was mounted on a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft; the first free flight took place on August 12, 1977
1954 The first Church of Scientology is established
Despite many controversies, Scientology has gained thousands of members since its inception.
1943 The Gestapo arrests German resistance fighter Sophie Scholl and other White Rose activists
21-year-old student Scholl and her fellow campaigners were executed for having distributed flyers criticizing the Nazi regime.
1930 Pluto is discovered
Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet when sifting through photographs taken a month earlier.
Births On This Day – 18 February
1974 Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Russian tennis player
1967 Roberto Baggio
1954 John Travolta
American actor, singer, producer
1933 Yoko Ono
1838 Ernst Mach
Deaths On This Day – 18 February
1967 J. Robert Oppenheimer
1906 John Batterson Stetson
American businessman, founded the John B. Stetson Company
Italian painter, sculptor
1546 Martin Luther
German monk, priest, leader of the Protestant Reformation
1294 Kublai Khan