It happened today – this day in history – February 18

1294: Death of Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan.

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.

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 first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.

1959: Ray Charles recorded ‘What’d I Say’, in New York.

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

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

1965: The Gambia becomes independent from the UK.

1966: Brian Wilson recorded Good Vibrations with top session musicians including Hal Blaine and Carol Kane while The Beach Boys were away on tour.

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

1968: David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd.

1969: Lulu married Maurice Gibb at St. James’ Church, Gerrard’s Cross.

1977: Peter Sellers marries Lynne Frederick.

1979: Snow falls in the Sahara Desert.

1990: Freddie Mercury made his final public appearance on stage when he joined the rest of Queen to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

1995: Guitarist Bob Stinson from The Replacements died from a drug overdose in his Minneapolic apartment.

1998: Noel Gallagher’s Epiphone Supernova guitar raised £4,600 in aid of Children In Need at auction.On the same day, Andrea Bocelli makes his operatic debut as Rodolfo in “La Bohème” at the Teatro Comunale in Cagliari.

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

BIRTHDAYS: Yoko Ono, artist, 87; Paco Rabanne, perfumier, 86; Bobby Hart, songwriter, 81; Michael Buerk, newsreader, 74; Dennis DeYoung, musician/singer (Styx) 73; Sinead Cusack, actress, 72; Cybill Shepherd, actress, 70; Randy Crawford, singer, 68; John Travolta, actor, 66; Brian James, guitarist (The Damned) 65; Carol McGiffin, broadcaster, 60; Great Scacchi, actress, 60; Rob Andrew, former rugby player, 57; Matt Dillon, actor, 56; Dr Dre (Andre Young), rapper, 55; Colin Jackson, former athlete, 53; Molly Ringwald, actress, 52; Claude Makélélé, former French footballer, 47; Gary Neville, football pundit, 45; Regina Spektor, singer/songwriter, 40; Courtney Act (Shane Jenek) drag artist, 38; Jermaine Jenas, football pundit, 37; Anton Ferdinand, former footballer, 35.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]