On this day: Key events in history on May 18, From India’s first nuclear test in 1974 to eruption of Mount St. Helens

India conducted its first nuclear test, 'Smiling Buddha,' in 1974, making it the sixth nuclear power in the world under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's leadership.

Livemint
First Published18 May 2024
India's 1st nuclear test was conducted under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi—photo by PIB. (File)
India’s 1st nuclear test was conducted under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi—photo by PIB. (File)

On May 18, several significant events occurred in history and in world geography. Take a look:

India's Ist nuclear test, 1974

On May 18, 1974, India conducted its first successful nuclear test, code-named “Smiling Buddha,” at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. This significant event marked India as the world's sixth nuclear power. 

The test was carried out under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and involved a team of 75 scientists and engineers, led by notable figures such as Raja Ramanna, P.K. Iyengar, and Homi Sethna.

Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980

Mount St. Helens, located in Washington state, erupted catastrophically following a magnitude 5.1 earthquake. This eruption was one of the most influential volcanic events in North American history, leading to widespread destruction and loss of life​.

Pope John Paul II Born, 1920

Karol Józef Wojtyła, who would later become Pope John Paul II, was born in Wadowice, Poland. He was a significant religious leader who played a crucial role in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

The Selective Service Act Passed, 1917

During World War I, the U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which authorized the federal government to raise a national army through conscription

Birthdays today

Sonalee Kulkarni (born 1988)

An Indian actress known for her work in Marathi and Hindi cinema, turning 36 years old today​.

Ali Zafar (born 1980)

A Pakistani actor, singer, and songwriter who has worked extensively in Bollywood, turning 44 years old​.

Jack Johnson (1975)

An American singer-songwriter, known for his acoustic pop and soft rock songs, as well as his environmental activism.

Chow Yun-Fat (1955)

A celebrated Hong Kong actor, known for his roles in films like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and “The Killer”.

George Strait (1952)

An iconic American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and producer, often referred to as the "King of Country"

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