July 18 64
Nero fiddles while Rome burns.
July 18 1290
After having imprisoned and ransomed 3,000 of them in 1287, King Edward I issues an edict expelling all Jews from England. The nation’s Jewry, which financed the crusade against the Saracens, had by this time outlived their usefulness as bankers and were given until the end of October to emigrate.
July 18 1870
At the end of Vatican I, Catholic popes are proclaimed infallible by chapter four of the papal bull Pastor Aeternus. His declarations on matters of faith are protected from error by the Holy Spirit. In a nutshell: whatever he says, goes. This is an interesting doctrine, considering how often St. Peter is himself contradicted by the Gospels.
July 18 1925
Max Amann publishes Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”), the book Adolf Hitler had dictated while under house arrest. The work happens to be just as tedious as its original title, Four and Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice.
July 18 1966
In Los Angeles, the beaten corpse of Bobby Fuller is found sprawled across the front seat of his mother’s Oldsmobile. Fuller, whose band The Bobby Fuller Four released the hit “I Fought The Law,” is found to have died from “forced inhalation of gasoline.” Technically, Fuller died from huffing… although circumstances point to murder.
July 18 1969
Driving home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy’s car goes over the side of Dike Bridge and flips over into a pond. Kennedy manages to free himself from the automobile, but his passenger, one Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns. For some reason, Kennedy tells no one about the accident for at least an hour, and waits until the following morning to notify local police.
July 18 1984
James Oliver Huberty walks into a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California and starts shooting. Carrying an Uzi carbine, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a Browning 9mm pistol, Huberty guns down 40 people. 21 of them, mostly children, die from their wounds. A San Diego police sniper finally solves the situation more than an hour later. Ultimately, the McDonald’s Corporation opts to bulldoze the franchise and build a community park there.
July 18 1988
Rock and Roll performer / heroin addict Nico wipes out on her bicycle on Ibiza and dies from a brain hemorrage combined with a lack of medical treatment.