It happened today – this day in history – August 18

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1227: Genghis Khan, Mongol emperor who conquered more than a million square miles of land, died after falling from his horse.

1587: Virginia Dare became the first child born of English parents in the New World – on Roanoke Island, North Carolina – seven days after Sir Walter Raleigh’s second expedition landed.

1948: Lester Piggott, aged just 12, rode his first winner on only his seventh ride.

1960: The birth control pill was launched in America.

1964: South Africa was banned from the Olympics because of its racial policies.

1966: The Tay road bridge was opened.

1971: 28-year-old disabled Eamon McDevitt was shot dead by the Army in Strabane, Northern Ireland.

2009: Former South Korean president and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kim Dae-jung died of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: A strong earthquake was reported to have hit southern Costa Rica near the border with Panama, toppling items from store shelves and knocking out power in places.

BIRTHDAYS: Roman Polanski, film director, 86; Robert Redford, actor, 83; Madeleine Stowe, actress, 61; Denis Leary, actor, 62, Edward Norton, actor, 50; Christian Slater, actor, 50; Mika, singer/songwriter, 36.