It happened today – on this day in history – February 18

1294: Death of Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan.

1478: George, Duke of Clarence, is convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV and is privately executed in the Tower of London (allegedly by being drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine).

1503: Henry Tudor (later Henry VIII) is made Prince of Wales.

1516: Birth of Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary)

1519: Conquistador Hernan Cortes leaves Cuba for the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico with 11 ships and 500 men.

1546: Death of theologian Martin Luther.

1564: Death of Michelangelo.

1587: Mary, Queen of Scots is beheaded

1678: John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is published in London.

1745: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s troops occupy Inverness.

1814: The Battle of Montereau; victory of French under Napoleon Bonaparte against Austrians and Württembergers under the King of Württemberg.

1861: Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes first King of Italy.

1876: A direct telegraph link is established between Britain and New Zealand.

1884: General Charles Gordon arrives in Khartoum.

1885: Mark Twain publishes the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in the US.

1901: Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

1915: Germany begins a blockade of Britain. On the same day, US outlaw Frank James dies aged 72.

1921: British troops occupy Dublin.

1930: Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto .

1942: Japanese troops land on Bali

1943: German Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbells demands “total war” from German citizens in speech at Berlin Sportpalast.

1951: Nepal becomes a constitutional monarchy.

1954: The Secretary of the US army orders two generals subpoenaed by anti-Communist senator Joseph McCarthy to ignore the summons. On the same day, The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.


1959: Ray Charles records What’d I Say in New York.

1960: The Winter Olympic Games open in Squaw Valley, California.

1963: Hugh Gaitskell, leader of the Labour Party, dies aged 56.

1965: The Beatles record You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away and Tell Me What You See for the Help! Album at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, St John’s Wood. On the same day, Gambia becomes independent from the UK.

1966: Brian Wilson begins recording Good Vibrations with the Wrecking Crew of top session musicians while The Beach Boys are away on tour..

1967: Death of theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer – father of the atomic bomb, aged 62.

1968: David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd.

1968: The Beatles – Sgt Pepper

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits – The Supremes
  2. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  3. Greatest Hits – The Four Tops
  4. British Motown Chartbusters – Various Artists
  5. Breakthrough – Various Artists
  6. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
  7. 13 Smash Hits – Tom Jones
  8. The Last Waltz – Engelbert Humperdinck
  9. Reach Out – The Four Tops
  10. Pisces Aquarius Capricorn and Jones – The Monkees

1969: Singer Lulu marries Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees in Bucks.

1977: Peter Sellers marries Lynne Frederick.

1979: Snow falls in the Sahara Desert.

1981: Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government withdraws plans to close 23 coal pits in its first major U-turn since coming to power.

1990: Freddie Mercury makes his final public appearance on stage when he joins the rest of Queen to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. People are shocked by his gaunt aappearance.

1996: IRA bomber Edward O’Brien dies when the device he is carrying explodes prematurely on board a London bus.

1998: Tenor Andrea Bocelli makes his operatic debut as Rodolfo in “La Bohème” at the Teatro Comunale in Cagliari.

2003: More than 200 people die in a subway fire in South Korea.

2005: Hunting with dogs becomes illegal in England and Wales.

2007: Singles chart:

  1. Grace Kelly – Mika
  2. Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs
  3. I Wanna Loove You – Akon – ft Snoop Dogg
  4. Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack
  5. This Ain’t A Scene It’s An Arms Race – Fall Out Boy
  6. Exceeder – Mason
  7. How To Save A Life – The Fray
  8. The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani ft Akon
  9. Too Little Too Late – Jojo
  10. Patience – Take That

2009: Author Terry Pratchett is knighted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

2014: Revolution breaks out in the Ukrane capital Kiev.

2020: The Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits.

BIRTHDAYS: Yoko Ono, avant garde artist, 88; Paco Rabanne (Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo), fashion designer, 87; Michael Buerk, newsreader, 75; Cybill Shepherd, actress, 71; Randy Crawford, singer, 69; John Travolta, actor, 67; Brian James, guitarist (The Damned) 66; Carol McGiffin, broadcaster, 61; Great Scacchi, actress, 61; Rob Andrew, former rugby player, 58; Matt Dillon, actor, 57; Dr Dre (Andre Young) rapper, 56; Roberto Baggio, Italian footballer, 54; Colin Jackson, former athlete, 54; Molly Ringwald, actress, 53; Gary Neville, football pundit, 46; Jermaine Jenas, football pundit, 38.