It happened today – this day in history – May 18

1048: Birth of Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher Omar Khayam.

1152: Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Henri of Anjou, handing the future Henry II of England most of France, allowing future kings of England to claim France for centuries after.

1291: After 100 years of Crusader control, Acre is the last Crusader stronghold reconquered and destroyed by the Mamluks under Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil.

1765: Fire destroys a large part of Montreal.

1803: Britain declares war on France after Napoleon Bonaparte continues interfering in Italy and Switzerland.

1804:Napoleon is proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate.

1868: Birth of Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia.

1872: Birth of philosopher Bertrand Russell.

1896: A mass panic on Khodynka Field, Moscow, during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II results in the deaths of 1,389 people.

1897: Dracula by Bram Stoker is published.

1900: Britain proclaims protectorate over Tonga.

1911: Death of composer Gustav Mahler aged 50.

1917: US Congress passes the Selective Service Act, authorizing the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into the First World War through compulsory enlistment. On the same day, the first units of the American Expeditionary Force are ordered to France.

1944: Monte Cassino falls to the Allies.

1948: Saudi Arabia joins the invasion of Israel.

1950: Twelve nations agree on a permanent defence organisation for the US and Europe – NATO.

1953: American pilot Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1958: Album chart

  1. My Fair Lady – Original Broadway Cast
  2. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  3. The Duke Wore Jeans – Original Soundtrack
  4. The King And I – Original Soundtrack
  5. Pal Joey – Original Soundtrack

1960: The legendary Real Madrid team, featuring Alfredo Di Stefano (4) and Ferenc Puskas (3), beat Eintracht Frankfurt, 7-3 at Hampden Park in one of the most famous club games in the history of football to win the team’s fifth consecutive European Cup.

1961: Singles chart:

  1. On The Rebound – Floyd Cramer
  2. You’re Driving Me Crazy – The Temperance Seven
  3. Blue Moon – The Marcels
  4. More Than I Can Say – Bobby Vee
  5. Don’t Treat Me Like A Child – Helen Shapiro
  6. Wooden Heart – Elvis Presley
  7. Theme Froom Dixie – Duane Eddy
  8. Runaway – Del Shannon
  9. Frightened City – The Shadows
  10. 100 Pounds Of Clay – Craig Douglas

1964: Scores of youths are given prison sentences following violent clashes between gangs of mods and rockers at a number of south coast seaside resorts.

1967: Pink Floyd begin recording their forthcoming single See Emily Play at Sound Techniques Studios in Chelsea. Syd Barrett wrote the song about Floyd fan Emily Young, who is now a renowned sculptor.

1968: The first Miami Pop event takes place with an estimated 100,000 people attending. Bands include The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Mothers of Invention, Steppenwolf and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

1969: Apollo 10 launches from Kennedy Space Centre and later transmits the first colour pictures of Earth from space.


1970: England captain Bobby Moore is arrested in Bogota, Colombia, on a trumped up theft charge as the England squad prepare for the World Cup finals in Mexico. All charges are eventually dropped.

1972: Guitarist Danny Whitten dies of a drug overdose aged 29.

1973: Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev visits West Germany.

1974: India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.

1978: Italy legalizes abortion.

1980: On the eve of their first trip to the US, Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis hangs himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield at the age of 23. On the same day, Mount St Helens erupts in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history, killing 57 people.

1986: The South African army occupies Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

1988: Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear, Deputy Dawg and Huckleberry Hound, dies aged 71.

1990: East and West Germany sign a monetary union treaty. On the same day, actress Jill Ireland, wife of Charles Bronson, dies of cancer aged 54.

1991: Helen Sharman, 27, from Sheffield, becomes Britain’s first astronaut aboard a Soviet Soyuz capsule. On the same day, Paul Gascoigne is carried off with a torn anterior cruciate ligament after a wild tackle on Forest’s Gary Charles at the Spurs v Nottingham Forest FA Cup Final. Spurs win 2-1.

On TV (Saturday)


05.30ITN Morning News


09.25Ghost Train

11.30The ITV Chart Show

12.00ITN News and Weather

12.05LWT News and Weather

12.10Film: In Search of the Castaways (1962)

14.10Film: The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

17.00ITN News

17.05LWT News


18.10Wayne Dobson: A Kind of Magic

18.40Bob’s Your Uncle

The Adventure of the Clapham Cook starring David Suchet

20.25Duty Free
Comedy series starring Keith Baron and Brenda Blethyn

20.55ITN News and Weather

21.15B.L. Stryker


23.40Film: The Crater Lake Monster (1977)
A prehistoric creature unleashes terror upon the residents of a town in Oregon.


06.00Comic Book

07.30Pet World

08.00Trans World Sport

09.00Channel 4 Racing

09.25Sing and Swing

09.30Listening Eye


10.30Wagon Train

11.30World League of American Football

12.30The Munsters

13.00Film: Hollywood Party (1934)

14.20Film: Fancy Pants (1950)
An American actor impersonating an English butler is hired by a woman from New Mexico to refine her husband and headstrong daughter. Comedy starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball.


17.05Brookside Omnibus

18.30Right to Reply

19.00Sound Stuff

20.00Adventures Kakadu – Land of the Crocodile


22.00Film: Aparajito (1956)

23.55On the Other Hand


06.40Open University



08.15The 8.15 from Manchester
With guests New Kids on the Block, Linda Hartley (Kerry Bishop of Neighbours), the Definition of Sound, pop singer Sonia, poet John Hegley and manager of Oldham Athletic football club, Joe Royle.

10.55Film: Flight of Dragons
Animated adventure.


12.30Cup Final Grandstand
Introduced from Wembley by Desmond Lynam featuring the FA Cup Final Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur.

17.10Pink Panther Show

17.30News and Weather

17.40Regional News and Sport

17.45The Flying Doctors

18.30That’s Showbusiness
Showbiz quiz as Gloria Hunniford welcomes Wendy Richard and Barbara Windsor, while Kenny Everett is joined by Irish actor Bryan Murray and writer Barry Cryer.

19.00You Gotta Be Jokin’
The team work their way through a host of impressions. With Shane Richards, Billy Pearce, George Marshall, Maddi Cryer and Annette Law.

19.30Columbo: How to Dial Murder
Starring Peter Falk

20.40One Foot in the Grave
Comedy series starring Richard Wilson as grumpy Victor Meldrew and Annette Crosbie as long suffering wife Margaret.

21.10News and Sport


22.20Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley

23.20Film: Cat’s Eye (1985)
A series of terrifying stories from the mind of Stephen King involving a company that will stop you smoking – or kill you in the process, a gangster with a macabre sense of humour, and an evil monster behind the skirting board of a little girl’s bedroom. Starring Drew Barrymore James Woods.


06.50Open University


15.25Northern Lights

15.35Film: A Passage to India (1984)
Directed by David Lean and starring Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee and Peggy Ashcroft.

18.15Late Again

19.00News and Sport

19.15AJPTaylor-How Wars Begin


21.10Comic Strip Presents: South Atlantic Raiders
When the Raiders land on the Falklands, they find that their leader, Stan, is in love with the wrong girl. Written by Peter Richardson/Pete Richens and starring Robbie Coltrane, Ade Edmonson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Nigel Planer.

21.45The Wolvis Family

22.15Video Diaries

23.15Twin Peaks
David Lynch series starring Kyle MacLachlan. Cooper gets disturbing news from the Log Lady.

1994: Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip.

1995: Actress Elizabeth Montgomery dies of cancer aged 62.

1998: The United States Department of Justice and 20 US states file an antitrust case against Microsoft. On the same day, “I’m Alan Partridge” wins best comedy at the BAFTA TV awards.

2004: Death of jazz drummer Elvin Jones aged 72.

2011: John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for the Beatles song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – the single sheet also includes the opening words for She’s Leaving Home, a song long presumed to have been written by Paul McCartney alone – sells for $237,132 (£145,644) at an auction in the US.

2017: Singer Chris Cornell commits suicide in Detroit after a Soundgarden gig.

2018: A 17 year-old gunman kills ten at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

2019: Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling each score twice as Manchester City thrash Watford, 6-0 to win the FA Cup, completing an unprecedented domestic treble.

2020: US President Donald Trump confirms he is taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.

2021: Actor and writer Charles Grodin dies aged 86.

2023: Harrison Ford is presented with an honorary Palme d’Or lifetime achievement award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Rick Wakeman (Photo: Stéphane Gallay)

BIRTHDAYS: Miriam Margolyes, actress, 83; Albert Hammond, singer-songwriter, 80; Rick Wakeman, keyboardist/composer, 75; Mark Mothersbaugh, musician/songwriter (Devo) /TV theme composer, 74; George Strait, country artist, 72; Wreckless Eric (Goulden) singer-songwriter, 70; Jimmy Case, footballer, 70; Chow Yun-fat, actor, 69; Toyah Wilcox (Fripp), singer/actress, 66; Hugh Whittaker, drummer (The Housemartins), 63; Russell Senior, musician (Pulp) 63; Martin Duffy, musician (Primal Scream) 57; Tina (Elizabeth Stamatina) Fay, comedian/actress/writer, 54; Brad Friedel, goalkeeper, 53; Martika (Marta Marrero), singer-songwriter, 53; Jack Johnson, singer-songwriter, 49; John Higgins, snooker player, 49; Danny Mills, footballer, 47; Gary O’Neil, Wolves manager, 43; Conor Washington, footballer, 32; Ryan Sessegnon, footballer, 25.