● April 18 in History
1906 — A massive earthquake shakes San Francisco, California, at 5.12am. It lasts less than a minute, but its impact is devastating. It ignites several fires around the city that burn for three days and destroy nearly 500 city blocks. The earthquake and fires kill an estimated 3,000 people and leave half of the city’s 400,000 residents homeless.
1909 — The beatification ceremony for Joan of Arc (1412-1431) is held in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. 1912 — The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrives in New York City with 705 survivors of the rival White Star Line’s RMS Titanic.
1946 — Hayley Mills, the daughter of actor Sir John Mills and actress/writer Mary Hayley Bell, is born in London. She begins her acting career as a child, winning the Bafta Award for her performance in the British crime drama “Tiger Bay” (1959) and the Academy Juvenile Award for “Pollyanna” (1960).
1951 — Some of the main World War 2 enemies — Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, West Germany, Italy and France — sign the Treaty of Paris, an agreement on the pooling of coal and steel resources. They describe it as “the birth to Europe”, the founding document of what would become the European Union in 1993.
1958 — Malcolm Marshall, West Indian cricketer (1978-92) widely regarded as the greatest and most accomplished fast bowler of the modern era in Test cricket — 81 Tests, 376 wickets, average 20.94; 136 ODIs, 157 wickets, average 26.96 — and coach, is born in Bridgetown, Barbados.
1962 — Nick Farr-Jones, Australian rugby player (63 Tests as scrumhalf, 1984-93) and sportscaster, is born in Caringbah, New South Wales.
1980 — The Republic of Zimbabwe officially becomes independent from Britain.
2007 — The Kaz II, a 9.8m catamaran, is found drifting 163km off the northeastern coast of Australia in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef with the sails up, engine running and food on the table. The fate of its three-man crew from Perth — Derek Batten, 56, Peter Tunstead, 69, and James Tunstead, 63, — remains unknown. They left Airlie Beach, Queensland, on the 15th on a journey meant to take them around Northern Australia to Western Australia.
2014 — Spanish art dealer José Carlos Bergantiños Díaz, wanted in the US in a multimillion-dollar artfraud scandal, is arrested at a luxury hotel in Seville. His girlfriend, Glafira Rosales, pleaded guilty in 2012 to selling over 60 fake “undiscovered works by world-renowned artists” to two NYC galleries. Díaz avoids extradition to the US. The forger who painted the fakes, Pei-Shen Qian, flees to China.