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18th October

1469 Ferdinand II of Aragón married Isabella of Castile, uniting Spain and making it a dominant world power.

1697 * Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canale), Italian painter of scenes from Venice.

1873 The rules of American football were formulated in New York.

1887 Russia transferred Alaska to the USA for $7,200,000.

1922 The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) was formed.

1926 * Chuck Berry, US singer who sang the song 'Roll Over, Beethoven'.

1927 * George C. Scott, US actor who won an Oscar for the film Patten (1970).

1931 Inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey at age 84.

1956 * Martina Navratilova, Czech-born US tennis player who won Wimbledon 9 times.

1963 Harold Macmillan resigned as British Prime Minister and was succeeded by Lord Home.

1967 The Soviet Union successfully sent a space probe into the atmosphere of the planet Venus for the first time.

1968 The US Olympic Committee suspended two black athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a 'black power' salute during a victory ceremony at the Mexico City games.

1976 The funeral of Carlo Gambino, American Mafia boss took place in New York.

1989 After a series of health problems, Communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, was forced to step down as leader of the country.

2000 The 35-year-old actress Liz Hurley outraged fellow actors by filming an advert during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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