On this day: Nadia Comaneci scored perfect ten

On this day in 1976 Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic history to score a perfect ten in gymnastics. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1976 Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic history to score a perfect ten in gymnastics. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 18 July

AD64: The Great Fire of Rome occurred during the reign of Emperor Nero. He played the lyre, not the violin (which had not been invented), and was 50 miles away at his villa in Antium when he heard the news; the town was razed by the time he arrived.

1290: By the Treaty of Birgham, king Edward I guaranteed the survival of Scotland “separate, apart and free without subjection to the English nation”.

1536: Authority of Pope was declared void in England.

1593: King James VI of Scotland was taken prisoner by the Earl of Bothwell at Holyrood.

1872: Britain introduced voting by secret ballot.

1919: The Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall was unveiled. The First World War memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and would later do double duty for the Second World War.

1923: Matrimonial Causes Act gave women equality in divorce suits.

1925: Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which Adolf Hitler wrote while in jail, was published.

1940: The first successful helicopter flight took place in Stratford, Connecticut.

1951: At the age of 37, Jersey Joe Walcott knocked out Ezzard Charles in the seventh round to set a new record as the oldest boxer to win a world heavyweight title.

1953: Elvis Presley made his first recording in Sun studios, Memphis.

1955: The first electric power generated from atomic energy was sold commercially.

1966: Gemini X, America’s 16th manned space flight, splashed down with astronauts John Young and Michael Collins aboard.

1969: Senator Edward Kennedy crashed his car into the Chappaquidick River near Martha’s Vineyard on America’s east coast. Kennedy escaped, but his companion, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. He did not report the incident for ten hours and was later found guilty of leaving the scene of the accident and given a two-month suspended sentence.

1976: Nadia Comaneci of Romania became the first competitor in Olympic history to score a perfect ten in gymnastics.

1980: Rohini I, the first Indian satellite, was launched into orbit.

1982: Tom Watson won the Open Championship at Royal Troon.

1986: Greg Norman won the Open championship at Turnberry.

1989: Tim Waterstone made about £8 million when he sold his chain of bookstores to WH Smith, the firm that had sacked him seven years previously.

1993: Afghanistan president Ishaq Khan and premier Nawaz Sharif resigned.

1994: Eight-six people were killed in a bomb attack on a Jewish Centre in Buenos Aires.

1995: A report by the Board of Banking Supervisors into the Barings Bank crash with £827m losses, heaped blame on jailed trader Nick Leeson and the failure of Barings’ internal controls.

1997: Eight thousand low-caste Indians rioted in Mumbai following the funeral for ten children who had been killed by police.

1999: Scottish golfer Paul Lawrie won the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

2012: Kim Jong-un was appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea and given the rank of marshal in the Korean People’s Army.

2013: The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy with debts of 18.5 billion dollars.


Elizabeth McGovern, actress, 54; Edward Bond, playwright and director, 81; Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group, 65; Sir Nicholas Faldo MBE, golfer, 58; John Glenn, astronaut and politician, 94; David Hemery CBE, Olympic 400 metres hurdles gold medallist 1968, 71; Martha Reeves, soul singer, 74; Jim Watt, Scottish former world lightweight boxing champion, 67; Vin Diesel, actor and director, 48; James Brolin, actor, producer and director, 75; Alan Pardew, football manager, 54; Elizabeth McGovern, actress, 54; Michael Medwin OBE, actor, 92; Burt Kwouk, actor, 85; Elizabeth Gilbert, author, 46.


Births: 1794 Feargus O’Connor, leader of English Chartist movement; 1848 William Gilbert Grace, cricketer; 1864 Philip Snowden, first Viscount Snowden, Labour statesman; 1867 “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown, philanthropist, Titanic survivor; 1887 Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian politician and Nazi collaborator (executed for treason); 1898 John Stuart, Edinburgh-born silent movie actor; 1938 Ian Stewart, Pittenweem-born musician (The Rolling Stones).

Deaths: 1610 Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, artist; 1792 John Paul Jones, Kirkcudbrightshire-born naval hero of the American Revolution; 1817 Jane Austen, novelist; 1892 Thomas Cook, travel agent pioneer; 1986 Sir Stanley Rous, former football referee and president of Fifa; 1988 Nico, model and singer (Velvet Underground); 2004 Paul Foot, journalist.