It happened today – this day in history – October 18

1009: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the church’s foundations down to bedrock.

1356: The most significant historic earthquaket north of the Alps, destroys Basel in Switzerland.

1667: The English fleet plunders plantations in Suriname.

1685: Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes cancelling the rights of French Protestants.

1748: The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of Austrian Succession.

1855: Premiere of Franz Listz’s symphonic poem “Prometheus”.

1859: Birth of French philosopher Henri Bergson.

1860: The Second Opium War finally ends at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin.

1867: The US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia after paying $7.2million.

1871: Mathematician and inventor of the calculator, Charles Babbage, dies of renal failure aged 79.

1878: Thomas Edison makes electricity available for household use.

1892: The first commercial long-distance phone line opens between Chicago and New York.

1904: Gustav Mahler’s 5th symphony premieres in Cologne.

1908: Belgium annexes Congo Free State.

1910: Howard’s End by E.M. Forster is published.

1912: The Treaty of Lausanne ends the Italo-Turkish War. Italy annexes Libya. On the same day, the First Balkan War breaks out, with Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece against Turkey.

1918: Czechoslovakia declares independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1922: The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is founded, later called British Broadcasting Corporation.

1931: Gangster Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion. On the same day, inventor Thomas Edison dies aged 84.

1942: Adolf Hitler orders captured allied commandos to be killed.

1944: Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia.

1946: Premiere of Aaron Copeland’s 3rd Symphony.

1954: Texas Instruments Inc. announces the first transistor radio.

1956: 21-year old Elvis Presley pulls into a Memphis gas station where he attracts a crowd of autograph seekers. After repeatedly asking Elvis to move on so he can resume normal business, station manager Ed Hopper slaps Presley on the head and find himself on the receiving end of a Presley punch in the face. Employee Aubrey Brown tries to help his boss, but is no match for Presley. Hopper and Brown were charged with assault and fined $25 and $15 respectively.

1957: 16-year old Paul McCartney makes his first appearance with The Quarry Men at New Clubmoor Hall, Norris Green, Liverpool.

1961: A crisis is proclaimed in South Vietnam due to communist attack. On the same day, the film musical West Side Story is released.

1962: US President John F Kennedy meets with Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko. On the same day, NASA launches Ranger 5 to impact with the Moon. It misses. Also, James Watson, Malcolm Crick and Maurice Wilkins win the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work in determining the structure of DNA.

1963: Scottish Earl, Lord Home, wins a bitter contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party to become Britain’s prime minister. On the same day, the IOC votes for Mexico City to host the 1968 Olympics.

1964: The Beatles complete the recording of six album tracks for the Beatles For Sale album and the A-side of their next single: I Feel Fine. The beginning of the song is the first deliberate use of feedback on vinyl after John Lennon inadvertently leaned his Gibson J160E electric acoustic guitar against an amp. The band immediately decided to repeat the exercise and use it on the record.

1967: The Soviet Union sends a space probe beneath the cloud cover around Venus for the first time.

1968: American long jumper Bob Beamon sets an incredible world record (8.90m, 29′ 2½”) in high altitude at the Mexico Olympics. On the same day, John Lennon and Yoko Ono are taken to Paddington Green police station and charged with obstruction after cannabis is discovered at the apartment they were staying in.

1969: Rod Stewart joins The Faces.

1974: Singer Al Green is taking a shower at his Memphis home when his ex-girlfriend Mary Woodson bursts in and pours boiling hot grits over him before shooting herself dead.

1977: Andreas Baader, leader of the German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, dies in prison aged 34 from an apparent but much challenged suicide.

1979: Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini orders mass executions to stop.

1987: Singles chart:

  1. You Win Again – The Bee Gees
  2. Crockett’s Theme – Jan Hammer
  3. Full Metal Jacket (I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor) – Abigail Mead and Nigel Goulding
  4. Crazy Crazy Nights – Kiss
  5. Love In The First Degree – Bananarama
  6. Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S
  7. The Circus – Erasure
  8. Mony Mony – Billy Idol
  9. I Found Lovin’ – The Fatback Band
  10. Faith – George Michael
1987: Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel Of Love

Album chart:

  1. Nothing Like The Sun – Sting
  2. Tunnel Of Love – Bruce Springsteen
  3. Bad – Michael Jackson
  4. Tango In The Night – Fleetwood Mac
  5. ESP – The Bee Gees
  6. The Cream Of Eric Clapton – Eric Clapton
  7. Alphabet City – ABC
  8. Actually – The Pet Shop Boys
  9. Introducing The Hardline According To… – Terence Trent D’Arby
  10. Between The Lines – Five Star

1989: Communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, is forced to step down as leader of the country after a series of health problems.

2000: Singer and actress Julie London dies aged 74 after suffering a stroke. On the same day, Zach de la Rocha announces he is leaving Rage Against The Machine.

2002: After a 15 year court battle, New York State’s highest court rules that the Ronettes, do not have the right to share the money earned by their producer Phil Spector through the use of the group’s songs in movies, TV and advertising. Citing a 1963 contract signed by the group, the court also substantially reduces the amount they stood to gain from royalties on sales of records and compact discs.

2005: Band Aid co-founder Midge Ure received his OBE from the Queen for his music and charity work. On the same day, Fulham football legend Johnny Haynes dies of a brain haemorrhage aged 71.

2007: South African reggae star, Lucky Dube is shot dead by car thieves in a Johannesburg suburb. On the same day, after eight years in exile Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan.

2009: Mercedes driver Jenson Button finishes fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix to clinch the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

2013: Sir Paul McCartney gives an impromptu gig in Covent Garden to a crowd of more than 2,000 fans during the lunchtime rush. On the same day, Saudi Arabia becomes the first country to turn down a seat on the UN Security Council in protest over Syria.

2019: The first all-female spacewalk by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir outside the International Space Station.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Cox, bassist (Band of Gypsies) 81; Cynthia Weil, songwriter, 80; Pam Dawber, actress, 69; Timmy Mallett, TV presenter, 65; Martina Navratilova, tennis legend, 64; Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, boxer, 62; Jean-Claude van Damme, actor, 60; Wynton Marsalis, jazz trumpeter, 59; Curtis Stigers, singer/saxophonist, 55; Rhod Gilbert, comedian, 52; Robbie Savage, football pundat, 46; Simon Rix, bass, (Kaiser Chiefs) 43; Mike Tindall, rugby union star, 42; Ne-Yo, (Shaffer Chimere Smith), singer-songwriter, 38; Lindsey Vonn, alpine skier, 36; Freida Pinto, actress, 36; Zach Efron, actor, 33.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]