May 18 1843
“I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left.” — Joseph Smith, prophet of God and founder of the Mormon church
May 18 1904
In Paris, 12 nations ratify the International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Trade. Another 48 countries and territories follow suit over the next six years. Conspicuously absent from the list of signatories is the United States of America.
May 18 1936
Tokyo gangster Kichizo Ishida is accidentally strangled by his mistress during a session of rough sex. Ishida had been a “gasper,” someone who enjoys the sexual effects of asphyxiation. The woman, Sada Abe, indulged him by wrapping her pink kimono belt around his neck. After her lover’s death, Abe cuts off Ishida’s penis and scrotum with a meat cleaver and carries them around until she is finally arrested, three days later.
May 18 1980
The body of Ian Curtis, lead singer of dirge band Joy Division, is discovered hanging in the kitchen by his wife. Curtis killed himself on the eve of Joy Division’s U.S. tour. His surviving bandmates go on to form New Order.
May 18 1980
After a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Washington state, 57 people are killed in an avalanche of volcanic mud in the eruption of Mount St. Helens. The volcano spews out 200 million cubic yards of of pumice, ash, and debris which covers 24 square miles of the valley below.