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18th February

1546 Martin Luther, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, died.

1564 Michelangelo Buonarotti, Italian painter, sculptor, and architect, died.

1678 Pilgrim's Progress, written by John Bunyan was published.

1861 Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed King of a united Italy.

1876 The first direct telegraph link from Britain to New Zealand was set up.

1898 * Enzo Ferrari, legendary Italian sports car builder and motor racing pioneer.

1911 The first official airmail sent from Allahabad to Nainin Junction in India by Henri Pecquet.

1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto at the Lowell Observatory in the US.

1933 * Bobby Robson, former England soccer manager.

1949 * Cybill Shepherd, US actress best known for her role in the TV series Moonlighting.

1953 The first 3-D movie, Bwana Devil, opened in New York.

1954 * John Travolta, US film star who starred in the film Saturday Night Fever (1977).

1965 The Gambia became an independent country within the Commonwealth.

1967 Robert Oppenheimer, the American inventor of the atomic bomb, died.

1969 Hundreds of people clamoured to see the marriage of pop stars Lulu and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees in St James' Church in Gerrards Cross.

1981 In a major U-turn, Mrs Thatcher's Conservative Government withdrew plans to close 23 pits.

2005 Hunting with dogs in England and Wales became illegal as the "Hunting ban" came into force.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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