This Day In History, April 18th

What happened on this day in history: Paul Revere rides to Lexington to alert to the American colonial militia, Albert Einstein dies in 1955, and more.

1775: Paul Revere Embarks On His ‘Midnight Ride’

Paul Revere rides from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts. A silversmith and supporter of the nascent American Revolution, Revere and others were tasked with alerting local residents that British troops were on the move and warning Samuel Adams and John Hancock that they were in danger of being arrested. Revere’s “Midnight Ride” was made celebrated roughly a century later when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his famous — but somewhat inaccurate — poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” in 1861.

1894: Leonarda Cianciulli Is Born

Leonarda Cianciulli is born in Montella, Italy. An Italian serial killer called the “Soap-Maker of Correggio,” Cianciulli murdered three women between 1939 and 1940 and used their remains to make soap and teacakes. She allegedly decided to murder the women as human sacrifices, in hopes that doing so would keep her son, Giuseppe, safe from harm during World War II.

1906: The Great San Francisco Earthquake Takes Place

What Happened Today In History

Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesRuins in San Francisco, California, following the 1906 earthquake.

The “Great San Francisco Earthquake” strikes the city of San Francisco, California. Beginning around 5 AM, the 7.9 quake shook the city for 45 to 60 seconds, causing immediate damage. In the aftermath, a fire erupted which destroyed 500 blocks across the city center.

1912: Survivors From The Titanic Arrive In NYC

Seven hundred survivors from the RMS Titanic arrive in New York City. Three days earlier, in the wee hours of April 15, the luxury ocean liner had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew, just 706 people managed to survive.

1955: Albert Einstein Dies

Albert Einstein dies in Princeton, New Jersey, after suffering an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the age of 76. Though the famous physicist, perhaps best known for developing the theory of relativity, could have had surgery, he refused. “I want to go when I want,” Einstein said. “It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”

1965: Grace Kelly Marries Prince Rainier

Grace Kelly Marriage

Bettmann/Getty ImagesGrace Kelly and Prince Rainier leaving the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Monaco on their wedding day.

Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco in Monaco City. An American actress, Kelly had risen to fame due to her performance in movies like High Noon (1952) and Rear Window (1954). She left Hollywood to become Princess Grace, but her fairytale courtship and marriage took a tragic turn in 1982 when Kelly died in a car accident in Monaco.