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- It happened today – this day in history – May 18 - 18/05/2021
1254: Death of Pope Innocent IV.
1703: A storm hits southern England killing thousands.
1732: The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden.
1783: The Theatre Royal opens in Covent Garden.
1787: Delaware is the first US state to ratify the American constitution.
1808: James Madison is elected the fourth President of the US.
1817: Death of William Bligh, former maptain of HMS Bounty, aged 63.
1836: Martin van Buren is elected the eighth President of the US.
1868: The Jesse James gang robs a bank in Gallatin Missouri, killing one.
1909: Inventor Leo Baekeland sparks the birth of the plastic industry when he patents Bakelite.
1916: David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister as Herbert Asquith resigns.
1917: The US becomes the 13th country to declare war on Austria during the First World War.
1926: The gas refrigerator is patented.
1941: The Imperial Japanese Navy with 353 planes attacks the US fleet at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, killing 2,403 people.
1949: Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek flees to Taiwan.
1960: The Ivory Coast claims independence from France.
1967: The Beatles’ clothing store “Apple Boutique” opens at 94 Baker Street, London. On the same day, Otis Redding records “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” in Memphis.
1972: Apollo 17, the final manned lunar landing mission, is launched. On the same day, Philippine first lady Imelda Marco is stabbed and wounded.
1975: The Indonesian army occupies East Timor.
1977: Inventor of the long playing record, Dr Peter Carl Goldmark, was killed in a car crash aged 71.
1979: Premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture 10 years after the TV series was cancelled.
1981: Spain becomes a member of NATO..
1982: Convicted murderer Charlie Brooks Jr became the first US prisoner to be executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas.
1983: Two jets collide at Madrid Airport, killing 93.
1985: Death of writer Robert Graves aged 90.
1986: President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees Haiti
1987: Beginning of the Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank.
1997: Death of former footballer Billy Bremner aged 54.
2005: The MBE medal that John Lennon returned to the Queen in 1969 was found in a royal vault at St James’ Palace.
2015: US Presidential candidate Donald Trump proposes banning all Muslims from entering the US.
2016: Death of Greg Lake from Emerson Lake and Palmer aged 69.
2017: Cristiano Ronaldo wins his fifth Ballon d’Or. On the same day, Former US gymnastics physician Larry Nasser is sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges.
BIRTHDAYS: Noam Chomsky. Philosopher/political activist, 91; Ellen Burstyn, actress, 87; Stan Boardman, comedian, 79; Tom Waits, singer/songwriter/actor,70; Mike Nolan, singer (Buck’s Fizz) 65; Jeffrey Wright, actor, 54; C Thomas Howell, actor 53; Damien Rice, singer/songwriter, 46; Nicole Appleton, singer (All Saints) 45; Dominic Howard, drummer (Muse) 42; Luke Donald, golfer, 42; Sara Bareilles, singer/songwriter, 40; John Terry, former footballer, 39; Robert Kubica, racing driver, 35; Emily Browning, actress, 31; Nicholas Hoult, actor, 30; Winston Marshall, musician (Mumford and Sons) 29.