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On this day: May 18

Today’s birthdays

Miriam Margolyes (pictured), actress, 77

Nobby Stiles, former footballer, 76

Rick Wakeman, rock musician, 69

Chow Yun-Fat, actor, 63

Toyah Willcox, singer/actress, 60

Nathaniel Parker, Inspector Lynley actor, 56

Holly Aird, Waking The Dead actress, 49

Martika, singer and actress, 49

Jack Johnson, singer-songwriter, 43

Tina Fey, actress/comedian/writer, 48

Danny Mills, former footballer, 41

It happened today…

1642: Montreal in Canada was founded.

1804: Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France.

1830: Lawnmower creator Edwin Budding, of Gloucestershire, signed an agreement for the manufacture of his invention. His first customer was Regent’s Park Zoo.

1872: Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, nuclear disarmer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Trelleck, Monmouthshire.

1882: The present Eddystone Lighthouse, the fourth in existence, was opened off Rame Head, Cornwall.

1909: Tennis star Fred Perry, three times Wimbledon men’s singles champion, was born.

1954: The European Convention on Human Rights came into force.

1961: The first London production of The Sound Of Music opened.

1980: Mount St Helens volcano in the American state of Washington erupted, killing 100 people. A cloud of ash 2,500 miles long and 1,000 miles wide was created.

1990: A treaty was signed in Bonn introducing economic and monetary union between East and West Germany.

Quote of the day

‘The human race should just slow down and think about what it is doing’ — TV’s Michael Palin

Thought of the day

‘For my first show at Saturday Night Live, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realised, “Okay, that happened, and I did not die.” You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it’ — Comedian and birthday girl Tina Fey