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 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.

1948: Saudi Arabia joins the invasion of Israel.

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

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

1967: Pink Floyd begin recording ‘See Emily Play’ at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea. Syd Barrett wrote the song about fan Emily Young, (who is now a renowned sculptor).

1968: The first Miami Pop event took place with an estimated 100,000 people attending. Bands included 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.

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: Joy Division singer Ian Curtis hangs himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, aged 23. On the same day, Mount St Helens erupts in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history, killing 57 people.

1988: Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear 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.

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 U.S. 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 ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ sold for $237,132 at an auction in the US. The sheet also includes the opening lines of ‘She’s Leaving Home’, a song always thought to have been written solely by Paul McCartney.

2017: Soundgarden singer and songwriter Chris Cornell commits suicide in Detroit after performing with the band.

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.

BIRTHDAYS: Miriam Margolyes, actress, 79; Nobby Stiles, football legend, 78; Albert Hammond, singer/songwriter, 78; Rick Wakeman, keyboardist (Yes) 71; Mark Mothersbaugh, musician/TV Theme composer (Devo), 70; George Strait, country artist, 68; Wreckless Eric (Goulden), singer, 66; Toyah (Wilcock-Fripp), singer, 62; Russell Senior, musician (Pulp), 59; Tina Fey, comedian/actress/writer, 50; Jack Johnson, singer/songwriter, 45; John Higgins, snooker player, 45; Danny Mills, former footballer, 43.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]