It happened today – this day in history – March 18

37AD: Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) becomes emperor of Rome.

1496: Birth of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII.

1532: Parliament bans payments by the English church to Rome.

1662: The world’s first public bus service begins in Paris.

1748: Death of Robert Walpole, first Prime Minister of Great Britain aged 68.

1754: Thomas Pelham-Holles becomes Prime Minister on the death of his brother Henry Pelham.

1773: Oliver Goldsmith’s play “She Stoops to Conquer” premieres in London.

1791: Robert Burns’ poem “Tam o’ Shanter,” is published in the Edinburgh Herald.

1834: Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, are sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.

1881: Barnum & Bailey Circus, travelling as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, debuts in New York City.

1882: Morgan Earp is assassinated by outlaws while playing billiards in a saloon in Tombstone, Arizona.

1890: German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, resigns after 19 years after a disagreement with Kaiser Wilhelm II.

1893: Birth of poet Wilfred Owen in Oswestry, Shropshire.

1899: Phoebe, a moon of Saturn is discovered by William Pickering.

1902: Enrico Caruso becomes the first well-known performer to make a record.

1913: King George I of Greece is assassinated in the recently liberated city of Thessaloniki.

1922: British magistrates in India sentence Mahatma Gandhi to six years imprisonment for disobedience.

1931: The first electric shavers go on sale in the US.

1940: Mussolini meets with Hitler and agrees that Italy will join Germany in the war against Britain and France.

1944: Nazi Germany occupies Hungary.

1945: 1,250 US bombers attack Berlin.

1950: The Belgian government collapses over a referendum on the return from exile of King Leopold III.

1965: Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov steps out of Voskhod 2 to become the first man to walk in space.

1967: The supertanker Torrey Canyon runs aground between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles, leaking oil into the sea.


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1973: Singles chart:

  1. Cum On Feel The Noize – Slade
  2. The Twelfth Of Never – Donny Osmond
  3. 20th Century Boy – T Rex
  4. Power To All Our Friends – Cliff Richard
  5. Feel The Need In Me – The Detroit Emeralds
  6. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack
  7. Get Down – Gilbrt O’Sullivan
  8. Hello Hurray – Alice Cooper
  9. Cindy Incidentally – The Faces
  10. Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse – Jimmy Helms
1973: Focus – Moving Waves

Album chart:

  1. Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper
  2. Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – Elton John
  3. Greatest Hits – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. Clockwork Orange – Original Soundtrack
  5. Moving Waves – Focus
  6. Bursting At The Seams – The Strawbs
  7. Slayed? – Slade
  8. Rock Me Baby – David Cassidy
  9. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  10. Focus III – Focus

1974: Two Israeli soldiers are killed and three others injured in clashes along the Golan Heights.

1978: Former Pakistani premier Ali Bhutto is sentenced to death. On the same day, Wales beat France, 16-7 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch its 20th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship, a record eighth Grand Slam and record third consecutive Triple Crown.

1979: Three die and eight are seriously injured in an explosion at Golborne colliery near Wigan in Lancashire.

1980: A Vostok rocket explodes on the launch pad of the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny while being refuelled, killing 50.

1982: Charges of gross indecency brought by campaigner Mary Whitehouse against a National Theatre director over the play Romans In Britain end after intervention by the Attorney-General. On the same day, 1982: Singer Teddy Pendergrass’ spinal cord is severed in a car accident in Philadelphia.

1989: A 4,400-year-old mummy is found in the Pyramid of Cheops, Egypt.

1990: Conservatives beat Communists in the first free elections in East Germany.

1991: Following an in-store promo appearance U2 are fined £500 after being found guilty of selling condoms illegally at the Virgin Megastore, Dublin.

1992: White South Africans back an overwhelming mandate for political reforms to end apartheid.

2000: England clinch the inaugural Six Nations Rugby Championship with a 59-12 thrashing of Italy at Stadio Flaminio, Rome.

2001: Singer-songwriter John Phillips of Mamas and The Papas dies of heart failure aged 65. On the same day, four girls die and two others are seriously injured when fans of British boy band A1 stampede during an in store appearance in Jakarta, Indonesia.

2007: Former England Test cricketer, and Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer is found dead one day after his team’s defeat to Ireland puts them out of the World Cup in the West Indies.

2008: Death of director Anthony Minghella aged 54.

2009: Actress Natasha Richardson dies from a traumatic brain injury following a skiing accident.

2011: Jet (Terence) Harris, bass guitarist for The Shadows, dies from throat cancer at the age of 71.

2012: A football match between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos is abandoned after fans set fire to Athens’ Olympic Stadium.

2014: Russia formally annexes Crimea, previously part of Ukraine. by signing Treaty on Accession. On the same day, the US closes the Syrian embassy in Washington and expels all Syrian diplomats.

2017: Rock n roll legend Chuck Berry dies aged 90.

2018: Vladimir Putin is elected to a new six-year term as Russian President with 76% of the vote – his fourth term.

2021: President Joe Biden describes Vladimir Putin as a “killer” in an ABC News interview. Putin answers days later: “It takes one to know one”.

Lily Collins (Photo: Condé Nast)

BIRTHDAYS: Ron Atkinson, football manager, 85; Bill Frisell, jazz guitarist, 73; Jeff Stelling, sports presenter, 69; Luc Besson, director/screenwriter, 65; Vanessa Williams, actress/singer, 61; Courtney Pine, saxophonist, 60; Peter Jones, entrepreneur, 58; Jerry Cantrell, guitarist (Alice In Chains) 58; Queen Latifah (Dana Owens), rapper/actress, 54; Michael Rapaport, actor, 54; Emma Willis, TV presenter, 48; Danny Murphy, football pundit, 47; Alex Jones, TV presenter, 47; Adam Levine, singer (Maroon 5) 45; Marvin Humes, singer (JLS)/TV presenter, 39; Lily Collins, actress, 35.