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On This Day: In 1977, nations sign pact banning artificial use of weather as weapon of war

Following are some of the major events to have occurred on May 18:

1911 – The Czech-born Austrian composer Gustav Mahler died. He had completed nine symphonies and several song cycles, notably “Das Lied von der Erde” (The Song of the Earth).

1944 – A Polish-led Allied force finally evicted German troops from Monte Cassino, Italy, after four months of siege.

1974 – India successfully tested its first nuclear device, in the Rajasthan Desert.

1977 – The United States, the Soviet Union and 29 other nations signed a U.N. pact banning artificial use of the weather as a weapon of war, pledging they would never attack each other with man-made storms, earthquakes or tidal waves.

1980 – The Mount St. Helens volcano in the U.S. state of Washington erupted, creating a cloud of ash 2,500 miles (4,000 km) long and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) wide.

1993 – Danes voted in a referendum to ratify the Maastricht Treaty, a year after rejecting it in a previous vote.

2003 – World’s first bottle-nose dolphin conceived through artificial insemination using frozen-then-thawed semen is born, named “Charlie”.

2005 – U.S. actor and master impressionist Frank Gorshin, best known for his maniacally menacing turn as the Riddler on the 1960s TV series “Batman”, died aged 72.

2006 – Nepal’s parliament approved a plan to curtail the powers of the king, including his control of the army, a historic move for a country that has traditionally considered the monarch to be a god.

2009 – Sri Lanka declared total victory in one of the world’s most intractable wars, after killing the separatist Tamil Tigers’ leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and taking control of the entire country for the first time since 1983.

2015 – Landslide kills dozens in Colombia’s northwest mountains.

(Reuters/Photo from the Ann Arbor District Library)

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