It happened today – this day in history – December 18

218BC: Hannibal’s Carthaginian army heavily defeats Roman forces on Italian soil during the Second Punic War.

1621: Parliament unanimously accepts Protestation.

1773: A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, results in the deaths of two Māori and nine members of Captain James Cook’s expedition.

1778: Pantomime clown Joseph Grimaldi is born in London.

1783: George III dismisses the Duke of Portland’s government.

1849: William Bond takes the first photograph of the Moon through a telescope.

1852: George Hamilton-Gordon becomes Prime Minister of the UK after the fall of the Conservative government of Edward Smith-Stanley.

1863: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is born in Graz, Austria.

1878: Josef Stalin is born in Gori, Russia.

1879: Birth of abstract painter Paul Klee in Switzerland.

1892: Premiere of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker Suite”. On the same day, Anton Bruckner’s 8th Symphony premieres.

1898: The speed record for a car is set at 39mph.

1899: Field Marshal Lord Roberts is appointed British supreme commander in South Africa.

1902: Parliament passes the Education Act, which will come to be regarded as the most important legislation of Arthur Balfour’s government.

1912: Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is supposedly found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.

1915: US President Woodrow Wilson marries second wife Edith Bolling Galt, a descendant of Pocahontas.

1916: The Battle of Verdun ends in a German defeat after nine months of fighting and almost 1 million casualties.

1917: The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, authorizing the prohibition of alcohol, is approved by the US congress and sent to the states for ratification.

1939: The Finnish army recaptures Agläjärvi.

1941: Japanese troops land on Hong Kong.

1945: Uruguay joins the UN.

1953: Singles chart:

  1. Answer Me – Frankie Laine
  2. Answer Me – David Whitfield
  3. Let’s Have A Party – Winifred Atwell
  4. Swedish Rhapsody – Ray Martin
  5. Swedish Rhapsody – Mantovani
  6. Oh Mein Papa – Eddie Calvert
  7. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Beverly Sisters
  8. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Jimmy Boyd
  9. Chicka Boom – Guy Mitchell
  10. Crying In The Chapel – Lee Lawrence

1954: The only shared own goal in Football League history as in the First Division match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge, Leicester defenders Jack Froggatt and Stan Milburn each strike the ball at exactly the same time to send it past the Leicester ‘keeper in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory.


1956: Stanley Matthews wins the inaugural Ballon d’Or. On the same day, Japan is admitted to the UN.

1963: Premiere of The Pink Panther, Peter Sellers’ first appearance as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau.

1966: Guinness heir Tara Browne is killed when driving at high speed in his Lotus Elan after it collides with a parked lorry in South Kensington. His death is immortalised by John Lennon in the song A Day In The Life.

1971: Three members of the IRA die when the bomb they ware transporting explodes prematurely in Magherafelt, Co Derry.

1983: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards marries 27-year old model Patti Hansen on his 40th birthday. On the same day, James Brown’s long-term guitarist Jimmy Nolan, dies of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 47.

1985: Two Australians face the death penalty after their appeal against a conviction for smuggling heroin was rejected by a Malaysian court.

1988: Mike Peters of The Alarm is rushed to hospital after having his eyes burnt by spotlights during a gig in Chester, causing the remaining dates on their UK tour to be cancelled.

On TV today (Sunday)



10.00The World This Week

11.00The Waltons

12.00Treasure Hunt

13.00Lost In Space

14.00Film: Flesh And The Devil (1926)
Silent drama starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert

16.05World Within A Ring

16.40News Summary And Weather

16.45Sea Farmers

17.45American Football

19.00Taming The Flood


21.00The Media Show

22.00Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Musical fantasy starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and writer Richard O’Brien

23.55Tennis: The Davis Cup



09.25LWT Soccer


11.00Morning Worship

12.00The Walden Interview

13.00ITN News

13.10Regional News

13.15Police Five

13.30LWT Action


14.00The Human Factor

14.30Film: Pete’s Dragon (1977)
Fantasy featuring a mischievous dragon starring Helen Reddy, Jim Dale and Mickey Rooney.

Darts gameshow introduced by Jim Bowen

17.30Sunday Sunday

18.30ITN News

18.35LWT News


19.15Film: A Star is Dead (1976)
Feature length Quincy episode starring Jack Klugman

20.40ITN News

21.05The Beiderbecke Connection
Crime adventure starring James Bolam

22.05The South Bank Show

23.00Film: John and Yoko – A Love Story (1985)
TV movie starring Mark McGann as John Lennon


08.30The Flashing Blade



09.30Sunday Worship

10.00Working the System

10.10Spelling It Out

10.20British Sign Language Special

10.35Russian – Language and People


11.25British Sign Language

11.40See Hear!

12.30Country File



15.00Open Air Preview

15.40International Show Jumping

Festive edition of game of moral dilemmas hosted by Simon Mayo with guests Phillip Schofield , Cleo Rocos , Simon Fanshawe and Cyril Smith MP

17.15The Clothes Show

17.40The Chronicles of Narnia
Last in the six-part dramatisation of the C S Lewis tale



18.35Songs of Praise

19.15Film: The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)
Time travel adventure starring Michael Pare and Nancy Allen.


21.10The Rainbow
Last in a three-part film serial from the novel by D. H. L awrence starring Imogen Stubbs.


22.50International Show Jumping


09.00Pages from Ceefax

09.25Now on Two


12.50The Mind Machine

13.4040 Minutes

14.20The Week in the Lords

15.00Film: Meet Me at the Fair (1953)
Hollywood musical

16.25Music in Camera

17.00Rugby Special

17.55Ski Sunday

18.35The Money Programme

19.15The Great Rift

20.10Face to Face

20.40Sound on Film

21.25Hockey’s Golden Year
Barry Davies looks back on a memorable two weeks at the Seoul Olympics and talks to some of the British hockey team’s gold medal heroes.

22.10Film: Breathless (1983)
Neo-noir drama written and directed by Jim McBride starring Richard Gere.

1989: The Labour Party abandons its policy on trade union closed shops in line with European legislation.

1997: Scottish Secretary Donald Dewer unveils a blueprint for Scotland’s new parliament. On the same day, comedy actor Chris Farley dies of a drug overdose aged 33.

2000: Singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl is killed while swimming with her children off the coast of Mexico when a speedboat hits her.

2001: Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward dies aged 57 from multiple sclerosis. On the same day, Michael Owen wins the Ballon d’Or.

2003: Michael Jackson is formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of committing a crime.

2004: A Gibson SG guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon during the recording of the albums Revolver and The White Album sells for £294,000 at auction in New York.

2005: Gorillaz – Demon Days

2005: Album chart:

  1. Curtain Call: The Hits – Eminem
  2. Intensive Care – Robbie Williams
  3. Face To Face – Westlife
  4. Back To Bedlam – James Blunt
  5. Ancora – Il Divo
  6. Never Forget: The Ultimate Collection – Take That
  7. Confessions On A Dancefloor – Madonna
  8. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
  9. Demon Days – Gorillaz
  10. Piece By Piece – Katie Melua

2006: Flintstones and Tom & Jerry cartoonist Joseph Barbera dies aged 95.

2011: The last US troops withdraw from Iraq.

2013: Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, 36, is sentenced to 35 years in jail for a string of child sex offences.

2016: Actress Zsa Zsa (Sári) Gabor dies aged 99.

2017: Australia regains the Ashes taking a three-game lead at the WACA in Perth.

2018: A meteor explodes in a huge fireball over the Bering Sea with 10 times the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. On the same day, Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho and appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager.

2019: The US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

BIRTHDAYS: Michael Moorcock, sci-fi author, 81; Keith Richards, guitarist/songwriter (Rolling Stones) 78; Steven Spielberg, director, 75; Bill Nelson, guitarist/singer/songwriter, (Bebop Deluxe) 73; Rosie Vela, model/singer-songwriter, 69; Ray Liotta, actor, 67; Brad (William) Pitt, actor, 58; Robson Green, actor, 57; Andy Miller, guitarist/singer/songwriter (Dodgy) 53; (Aránzazu Isabel María) Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, tennis star, 50; Sia (Furler), singer-songwriter, 46; Katie Holmes, actress, 43; Josh Dallas, actor, 43; Christina Aguilera, singer, 41; Ashley Benson, actress, 32; Billie Eilish, singer-songwriter, 20.