It happened today – this day on history – July 18

64: The Great Fire of Rome begins under Emperor Nero.

1290: Edward I orders the expulsion of Jews from England – an edict that lasts for 350 years.

1536: The Pope’s authority is declared void in England.

1610: Death of Italian painter Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) aged 38.

1696: Tsar Peter I’s fleet occupies Azov, Russia, at the mouth of the Don River.

1716: A decree orders all Jews expelled from Brussels.

1811: Birth of British novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in India.

1817: Death of novelist Jane Austen aged 41.

1848: Birth of legendary cricket all rounder W G Grace in Bristol.

1870: Pope Pius IX and the First Vatican Council officially proclaim the concept of papal infallibility.

1872: The Ballot Act introduces the secret ballot in elections in Britain.

1892: The first human test of a vaccine against cholera. Ukrainian bacteriologist Waldemar Huffkine risks his life by testing it on himself.

1907: French troops occupy Casablanca.

1914: Mahatma Gandhi leaves South Africa after successfully leading campaigns of passive resistance.

1915: In the First World War, The Second Battle of Isonzo begins and ends with over 80,000 casualties.

1918: US and French forces launch the Aisne-Marne offensive in the First World War.

1923: The House of Lords accepts new divorce law.

1925: Adolf Hitler publishes “Mein Kampf”

1926: South African author and journalist, Herman Charles Bosman, shoots and kills his stepbrother David Russell during an argument. On the same day, the Tour de France is won by Lucien Buysse of Belgium.

1936: General Franco issues his manifesto and leads an uprising in the Spanish army stationed in Morocco. On the same day, New York gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano is sentenced to 30-50 years in state prison.

1938: Pilot Douglas Corrigan arrives in Ireland after a 28 hours flight. His destination from New York was supposed to be California but by mistake he had flown in the opposite direction.

1944: British troops occupy the Bourquebus hill range in Normandy.

1947: George VI signs the Indian Independence Act. On the same day, US President Harry Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act.

1951: Jersey Joe Walcott becomes the oldest heavyweight boxing champion at 37.

1953: Truck driver Elvis Presley, 18, makes his first ever recording, paying $3.98 at the Memphis recording service to sing two songs, My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin. The so-called vanity disc, was a gift for his mother.

1955: Eddie Firmani moves from Charlton Athletic to Sampdoria in Italy for a record transfer fee of £35,000.

1958: The British Empire and Commonwealth Games open in Cardiff.

1959: The Tour de France is won by Federico Bahamontes of Spain.

1960: UN troops arrive in the Congo.

1963: Failed military coup in Syria. On the same day, the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid releases its second interim report pressing for international sanctions against South Africa, particularly the supply of arms, ammunition and petroleum.


1964: A race riot in Harlem, New York, spreads to Brooklyn.

1966: US police charge seaman Richard Speck with the murder of eight student nurses in their hostel in Chicago. On the same day, Bobby Fuller, leader of The Bobby Fuller Four is found dead aged 23 in his car outside his apartment in LA. Also, Gemini 10 is launched with astronauts John Young and Michael Collins.

1968: Working on the White Album at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles record Cry Baby Cry and Helter Skelter, the latter played in a cramped side room with one take lasting more than 27 minutes as the foursome revelled in playing closely together as a band.

1969: Working on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, Ringo Starr records his vocal for his song Octopus’s Garden.

1970: Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, Kevin Ayers, and the Edgar Broughton Band appear at a free concert held in Hyde Park, London. On the same day, Radio 1 DJ Kenny Everett is sacked after joking on air that the wife of the conservative transport minister, Mary Peyton, had “crammed a fiver into the examiner’s hand”, when taking her driving test. Also, singer Arthur Brown is arrested for stripping on stage in Palemo, Sicily.

1972: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat throws out 20,000 Russian military aides. On the same day, the 100th British soldier to die in the “troubles” is shot by a sniper in Belfast.

1974: The US Justice Department orders John Lennon out of the country by September 10.

1976: Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Sirius” premieres in New York. On the same day, Nadia Comăneci of Romania becomes the first gymnast in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 at the Montreal Games. Also, Lucien Van Impe of Belgium wins the Tour de France.

Singles chart:

  1. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
  2. A Little Bit More – Dr Hook
  3. The Roussos Phenomenon (EP) – Demis Roussos
  4. Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton
  5. Kidd And Say Goodbye – The Manhattans
  6. Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore
  7. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  8. You’re My Best Friend – Queen
  9. It Only Takes A Minute – 100 Ton and a Feather
  10. Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry
1976: ABBA – Greatest Hits

Album chart:

  1. 20 Golden Greats – The Beach Boys
  2. Changesonebowie – David Bowie
  3. A Night On The Town – Rod Stewart
  4. Greatest Hits – ABBA
  5. Forever And Ever – Demis Roussos
  6. Laughter And Tears – Neil Sedaka
  7. Passport – Nana Mouskouri
  8. Happy To Be – Demis Roussos
  9. A Kind Of Hush – The Carpenters
  10. Beautiful Noise – Neil Diamond

1977: Vietnam becomes a member of the United Nations.

1981: Violence erupts at a hunger strike protest in Dublin.

1982: Golfer Tom Watson wins his fourth British Open at Royal Troon.

1984: Walter Mondale wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination in San Francisco. On the same day, 21 people, including the gunman, James Oliver Huberty, are killed and 19 injured in a massacre at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California.

1988: Ike Turner is sentenced to one year in jail for possessing and transporting cocaine. On the same day, Nico (Christa Päffgen) dies aged 49 after suffering a heart attack while riding a bicycle on holiday in Ibiza. Also, golfer Seve Ballesteros wins his third British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s.

1990: Teenagers Patricia Cahill and Karen Smith are held in Thailand on drugs smuggling charges.

1992: Whitney Houston marries Bobby Brown at her New Jersey estate. On the same day, Lady Helen Windsor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent marries art dealer Timothy Taylor at Windsor Castle.

1993: Afghan President Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign.

1998: Nelson Mandela marries third wife, Graça Machel, on his 80th birthday.

2000: Police confirm the body they found in a West Sussex field the day before is that of missing eight-year old Sarah Payne.

2002: Rolling Stones crew chief, Royden Magee, 54, who had worked with the band for 30 years, dies during a rehearsal in Toronto. On the same day, rapper Mystikal and two other men are arrested on suspicion of raping a 40-year-old woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2003: The body of government scientist Dr David Kelly is found in an Oxfordshire field.

2004: Death of journalist Paul Foot aged 66.

2010: South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen wins the British Open at St Andrews.

2012: A Syrian suicide bomber kills three high profile government officials, including Syria’s Minister of Defence. On the same day, Kim Jong-un is officially appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea.

2017: Singer R Kelly denies allegations that he is holding several young women in an “abusive cult”.

2018: Google is fined a record $5.1 billion by the EU for abusing its power in the mobile phone market. On the same day, 17 men are charged with the gang-rape of a 12-year old girl in Chennai, India. Also, Cliff Richard wins his privacy case against the BBC, for reporting he was being investigated over historic child sexual assaults.

2019: One of world’s earliest mosques at 1,200 years old is discovered by archaeologists in Israel’s Negev Desert.

2021: Defending champion Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia becomes youngest rider to win the Tour de France twice.

Kelly Reilly

BIRTHDAYS: Paul Verhoeven, director, 85; Brian Auger, keyboards, 84; Dion Dimucci, singer-songwriter, 84; James Brolin, actor, 83; Martha Reeves, singer, 82; David Hemery, athlete, 79; Dennis Lillee, Australian cricketer, 74; Richard Branson, Virgin founder, 73; Margo Martindale, actress, 72; Terry Chambers, drummer (XTC) 68; Keith Levene guitarist, 66; Alan Pardew, football manager, 62; Wendy Williams, US broadcaster, 59; Sir Nick Faldo, golfer, 66; Pauline Quirke, actress, 64; Elizabeth McGovern, actress, 62; Vin Diesel (Mark Sinclair) 56; Gruf Rhys, singer/guitarist (Super Fury Animals) 53; Daron Malakian, guitarist (System of a Down) 48; Elsa Pataky (Hemsworth) model/actress, 47; Kelly Reilly, actress, 46; Kristen Bell, actress, 43; Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, 41; Chace Crawford, actor, 38; James Norton, actor, 38.