On May 18, 1989, a crowd of protesters, estimated to number more than one million, marched through the streets of Beijing calling for a more democratic political system. Less than a month later, Chinese troops would forcibly remove protesters from Tiananmen Square, killing an estimated 2,500 and injuring as many as 10,000.
On May 18, 1917, six weeks after the United States formally entered the First World War, the U.S Congress passed the Selective Service Act, giving the president the power to conscript soldiers. Of the almost 4.8 million Americans who eventually served in the war, some 2.8 million were drafted.
On May 18, 1652, Rhode Island passed the first law in English-speaking North America making slavery illegal.