Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 18 February
National days of Gambia and Nepal.
1678: John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was published.
1685: La Salle, French explorer, established first settlement in Texas.
1915: German blockade of Britain by submarine began.
1921: Etienne Oehmichen made first helicopter flight.
1930: At Lowell Observatory in the US, Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto as a result of a series of pictures taken the previous month.
1945: Battle for Iwo Jima, in Pacific, began.
1949: Mrs Durand-Deacon became the eighth victim of “brides in the bath” murderer John George Haigh. Haigh was hanged on 6 August.
1956: The first ITV station outside London began broadcasting.
1972: Wilberforce Committee recommended pay increases of between £4.50 and £6 for miners, vindicating six-week-long strike demands, and humiliating the Prime Minister, Edward Heath.
1988: Boris Yeltsin was ousted from ruling Communist Party Politburo in Moscow.
1991: IRA bomb exploded in Victoria Station, London, at rush hour, killing one person and injuring 43.
1992: Private Eye founder Richard Ingrams launched The Oldie magazine.
1993: Unemployment hit 3,062,065 – only the third time since the First World War that the three million total had been passed.
1995: Scotland caused a major upset in the Five Nations Championship by beating France by 23-21 at Parc des Princes.
1996: An IRA bomber died when the bomb he was carrying blew up a bus in London’s Aldwych.
2001: FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
2009: Eighteen people were rescued after a Super Puma helicopter ditched into the sea about 125 miles east of Aberdeen on its way to a BP oil production platform.
2010: Nigerian rebels attacked the presidential palace in Niamey and replaced president Mamadou Tandja with a ruling junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy.
John Travolta, dancer, actor and singer, 60; Rob Andrew MBE, rugby player, 51; Michael Buerk, broadcaster, 68; Sinéad Cusack, actress, 66; Len Deighton, novelist, 85; Matt Dillon, actor, 50; Dr Dre, actor and rapper, 49; Miloš Forman, film director, 82; Graeme Garden OBE, Aberdeen-born performer and writer, 71; Colin Jackson CBE, hurdler, broadcaster, 47; Pru Leith CBE, cookery writer, 74; Yoko Ono, artist, 81; Molly Ringwald, actress, 46; Greta Scacchi, actress, 54; Cybill Shepherd, actress, 64; Francis Egerton, 7th Duke of Sutherland, 74.
Births: 1516 Queen Mary I (later known as “Mary Tudor” and “Bloody Mary”); 1784 Niccolo Paganini, composer-violinist; 1898 Enzo Ferrari, racing pioneer; 1922 Helen Gurley Brown, author and editor; 1933 Sir Bobby Robson CBE, football manager.
Deaths: 1546 Martin Luther, friar and leader of Protestant Reformation; 1564 Michelangelo Buonarroti, Renaissance artist and poet; 1883 Wilhelm Richard Wagner, composer; 1967 Robert Oppenheimer, physicist who expressed doubts after helping to develop US atomic bomb; 2013 Elspet Gray (Lady Rix), Inverness-born actress.