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On This Day in History - 18th December


1707Charles Wesley, English evangelist and writer of 5,500 Hymns
1779Joseph Grimaldi, English creator of the original white faced clown
1861Lionel Monckton, English composer
1879Paul Klee, Swiss Painter
1913Willy Brandt, German statesman
1916Betty Grable, American actress, singer and dancer
1943Keith Richard, Guitarist with the Pop group 'The Rolling Stones'


1865Slavery was abolished throughout America
1890The newly electrified underground system, on Londons City and South London line, carried it's first passengers
1903The Panama Canal Zone was acquired 'in perpetuity', by the USA for an annual rent
1967The British traitor Kim Philby was made a 'Hero of the Soviet Union' in Moscow
1969The death penalty was abolished in Britain
1970In Italy, divorce was legalised
1979The land 'sound barrier' was broken by Stanley Barrett driving at 739.6mph, in California