Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 18 Febbruary
1678: John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was published.
1685: La Salle, French explorer, established first settlement in Texas.
1743: First performance of Handel’s oratorio, Samson, at Covent Garden, London.
1884: General Charles Gordon reached Khartoum in Sudan, but the Mahdi rejected his offer to negotiate.
1911: First airmail flight, with 6,000 letters and cards flown from Allahabad to Naini, India.
1915: German blockade of Britain by submarine began.
1921: Etienne Oehmichen made first helicopter flight.
1930: At Lowell Observatory in the United States, Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto as a result of pictures taken the previous month.
1945: Battle for Iwo Jima, in Pacific, began.
1956: The first ITV station outside London began broadcasting.
1961: Committee of 100 formed out of hard-core splinter group from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
1964: Earthquakes rocked Azores in eastern Atlantic, and ships fought high waves to evacuate people from San Jorge Island.
1965: African nation of Gambia became independent within the Commonwealth.
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.
1972: Snow finally stopped falling on Paradise, a town in Mount Rainier, Washington, United States. During the preceding year 1,224 inches had fallen.
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.
1993: Unemployment hit 3,062,065.
1995: Scotland caused a major upset in the Five Nations Championship by beating France by 23-21 at Parc des Princes.
2005: Ban on hunting with dogs came into force in England and Wales.
2009: Eighteen people rescued after a Super Puma helicopter ditched into the sea about 125 miles east of Aberdeen.
John Travolta, dancer, actor and singer, 61; Len Deighton, novelist, 86; Rob Andrew MBE, English rugby union footballer, 52; Michael Buerk, broadcaster, 69; José-Maria Canizares, golfer, 68; Randy Crawford, singer, 63; Matt Dillon, actor, 51; Dr Dre, actor and rapper, 50; Miloš Forman, film director, 83; Sir Rocco Forte, hotelier, 70; Graeme Garden OBE, Aberdeen-born actor and scriptwriter, 72; Prue Leith CBE, cookery writer and restaurateur, 75; Yoko Ono, artist, widow of Beatle John Lennon, 82; Greta Scacchi, actress, 55; Cybill Shepherd, actress, 65; Francis Egerton, 7th Duke of Sutherland, 75;
Births: 1516 Queen Mary I daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon; 1784 Niccolo Paganini, composer-violinist; 1838 Ernst Mach, physicist; 1898 Enzo Ferrari, sports car builder and racing pioneer.
Deaths: 1546 Martin Luther, leader of Protestant Reformation; 1564 Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, artist and poet; 1883 Richard Wagner, composer; 1967 Robert Oppenheimer, physicist; 2013 Elspet Gray (Lady Rix), Inverness-born actress.