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18th April

1882 * Leopold Stanislaw Stokowski, English-born US conductor and composer.

1906 An earthquake in San Francisco destroyed 28,000 buildings and 450 people died.

1934 The first launderette was opened in Fort Worth, Texas.

1942 US aircraft bombed Tokyo for the first time using the aircraft carrier Hornet.

1946 * Hayley Mills, English actress and daughter of Sir John Mills.

1949 The Republic of Ireland Act came into force with the establishment of Eire.

1953 * Rick Moranis, US film actor.

1954 * Malcolm Marshall, West Indian cricketer and fast bowler.

1955 Eminent scientist Dr Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity, died in hospital aged 76.

1956 Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1960 At least 60,000 demonstrators gather in Trafalgar Square to mark the end of the Aldermaston to London "ban the bomb" march

1968 London Bridge was sold to an American. It was rebuilt in Arizona.

1978 The US Senate voted to hand over the Panama Canal to Panamanian control on 31 Dec 1999.

1988 A retired US car worker Ukraine-born John Demjanjuk 'Ivan the Terrible' was found guilty of Nazi war crimes.

1994 Aid officials said the ethnic violence in Rwandan capital Kigali was spreading throughout the country.

1996 Seventeen Greek tourists and an Egyptian tour guide were killed by gunmen in Cairo.

2002 Afghanistan’s former king, Mohammad Zahir Shah, returned after 29 years in exile.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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