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This Day in History - 18th August


1587 An expedition led by Sir Walter Raleigh landed at what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Seven days later, Virginia Dare, granddaughter of governor John White, became the first child of English parentage to be born in America.

1783 A huge fireball meteor was seen across Britain. Analysis of observations indicated that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere over the North Sea, before passing over the east coast of Scotland and England and the English Channel. It finally broke up, after a passage within the atmosphere of around a thousand miles over south-western France or northern Italy.

1882 Castlerigg stone circle, close to Keswick in Cumbria, was designated a scheduled monument. Praised by architects for its beauty and its natural environment, archaeologist John Waterhouse declared it "one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain."

1941 Britain's National Fire Service was established.

1948 Jockey Lester Piggott, aged 12, rode his first winner on only his seventh ride.

1948 The Australian cricket team completed a 4–0 Ashes series win over England during their undefeated 'Invincibles' tour.

1959 The proposed route of the M1 was altered to save a forest from destruction.

1962 Ringo Starr joined The Beatles - Lennon, McCartney and Harrison - as drummer, and made his debut with them at the horticultural society dance in Birkenhead.

1966 The Tay road bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

1967 The luxury liner Queen Mary was sold to the Southern Californian town of Long Beach.

1982 The City of Liverpool named four Streets after the fab four, John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close and Ringo Starr Drive.

1989 Manchester United Football Club was sold for £20m in the biggest takeover deal in the history of British football.

1998 Pilot Peter Diamond was jailed for 2 years for helping businessman fraudster Azil Nadir (Polly Peck company) escape from Britain in May 1993.

2003 The death of Tony Jackson, lead singer and bass player with the Searchers on their first two UK hits, 'Sweets for My Sweet" and 'Sugar and Spice'. Jackson was inspired by the skiffle sound of Lonnie Donegan, and then by Buddy Holly and other US 'rollers'.

2012 The death of Winnie Johnson, mother of Keith Bennett. He was murdered, along with three others, by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964. For decades she had fought tirelessly to find the location of the grave of her son on Saddleworth Moor. Experts suspected that Brady had manipulated her and the media by promising information about the grave location and then withholding it.

2014 The final piece of an aircraft carrier left BAE Systems at Portsmouth, signalling the end of shipbuilding in the city by the end of 2015, with heavy job losses there and in Scotland.