On July 18…

64 – According to legend, Rome’s Emperor Nero decided to target Christians by starting a series of fires.

The Torches of Nero, by Henryk Siemiradzki.

1811 – Author William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair, Pendennis) was born in Calcutta, India.

1913 – Actor – comedian Red Skelton (The Red Skelton Show) was born in Vincennes, Indiana.

1936 – The Spanish Civil War began as a revolt by right-wing Spanish military officials in Morocco spread to mainland Spain.

1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term in office at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago.

1976 – Nadia Comaneci, a 14-year-old Romanian girl, became the first gymnast to score a perfect ‘10’ in Olympic competition at the Summer Games in Montréal.  Nadia went on to collect seven perfect scores; winning three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

1986 – Close-up videotape images of the Titanic wreckage were released to the public.

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