It happened today – this day in history – April 18

1480: Birth of Lucretia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI.

1506: The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica is laid in the Vatican by Pope Julius II.

1775: Paul Revere and William Dawes ride from Charlestown to Lexington warning the “regulars are coming!”

1783: Fighting ceases in the American Revolution, eight years to the day when it began.

1809: First run of 2,000 guineas horse race at Newmarket.

1835: Lord Melbourne becomes Prime Minister after Robert Peel resigns out of frustration.

1861: Col Robert E Lee turns down offer to command Union armies in the American Civil War.

1906: San Francisco earthquake and fire kills nearly 4,000 while destroying 75 per cent of the city.

1908: Tommy Burns KOs Jewy Smith in Round 5 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1923: Poland annexes Central Lithuania.

1924: The first crossword puzzle book is published by Simon & Schuster.

1927: Chiang Kai-shek forms anti-government in China.

1930: BBC news announcer announces “there is no news” at 20:45 news bulletin, plays music instead.

1934: The first washateria (laundromat) opens in Fort Worth, Texas. On the same day, Adolf Hitler appoints Joachom von Robbentrop Ambassador for Disarmament.

1935: Gene Sarazen’s double eagle on 15th, wins him his second US Masters.

1943: US Army Air Force P-38G fighter aircraft ambush and shoot down the transport bomber aircraft of Isokoru Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor attack.

1948: International Court of Justice opens at The Hague Netherlands.

1949: The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the Commonwealth.

1954: Colonel Gamal Abdal Nasser seizes power and becomes Prime Minister of Egypt.

1955: Albert Einstein dies of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at 76.

1956: US film actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

1958: A US federal court rules that poet Ezra Pound can be released from an insane asylum.

1963: Dr James Campbell performs the world’s first human nerve transplant in the US.

1972: The Widgery Report on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Northern Ireland is published, causing outrage among the people of Derry who call it the “Widgery Whitewash”.

1974: The Red Brigade kidnaps Italian attorney general Mario Sossi.

1975: Four Bay City Rollers fans were taken to hospital and 35 others required on site treatment after they attempted to swim across a lake to meet their heroes at a BBC Radio 1 fun day. At Mallory Park.

1977: Alex Haley, author of “Roots” is awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

1980: Zimbabwe declares independence from the UK.

1982: The Zimbabwean capital Salisbury is renamed Harare.

1983: A suicide bomber kills 63 at te US Embassy in Lebanon.

1984: Michael Jackson undergoes surgery in a Los Angeles hospital to repair damage done after his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.

1994: Cricketer Brian Lara hits 375 runs in one day for the West Iindies vs England to beat Gary Sobers’ world record. On the same day, former US President Richard Nixon suffers a stroke.

1995: Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll was told by phone that he was being sacked from the group.

1996: Bernard Edwards, bass guitarist and producer from Chic, died of pneumonia in a Tokyo Hotel room. On the same day, at least 106 civilians are killed when the Israel Defense Forces accidentally shell the UN compound at Quana in Lebanon.

1998: The Full Monty wins best film at the BAFTAS.

2002: Explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl dies aged 87.

2013: Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork include Pink Floyd’s albums Atom Heart Mother, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, died aged 69.

2017 Prime Minister Teresa May announces she will seek a “snap” election.

2019: Journalist Lyra McKee is shot and killed while covering riots in Derry, Northern Ireland.

BIRTHDAYS: Glen D Hardin, pianist, 81; Mike Vickers, musician (Manfred Mann) 78; Hayley Mills, actress, 74; James Woods, actor, 73; Rick Moranis, actor, 67; Eric Roberts, actor, 64; Jane Leeves, actress, 59; Shirlie Kemp (Holliman) singer, 58; Conan O’Brien, TV chatshow host, 57; Eric McCormack, actor, 57; Bez (Mark Berry) dancer (Happy Mondays) 56; Maria Bello, actress, 53; David Tennant (McDonald), actor, 49; Eli Roth, director/actor, 48; Haile Gebrselassie, athlete, 47; Mark Tremonti, guitarist (Creed) 46; Edgar Wright, director, 46; Madeleine Peyroux, singer, 46; Mellissa Joan Hart, actress, 44; Matthew Upson, former footballer, 41; Kourtney Kardashian, reality TV star, 41; America Ferrera, actress, 36; Łukasz Fabiański, goalkeeper, 35.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]