Almanac – February 18

1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, was “executed in private” at the Tower of London.
A tradition grew up that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. This may have originated in a joke, based on his reputation as a heavy drinker. However, a butt was equal to three hogsheads — 477.3 litres (105 imperial gallons) easily enough to drown in.

A body, believed to be that of Clarence, which was later exhumed, showed no indications of beheading, the normal method of execution for those of noble birth at that time.

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1930 – Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft,  doing so as part of the International Air Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.

On the same trip, which covered 72 miles in a Ford Trimotor airplane from Bismarck, Missouri to St. Louis, she also became the first cow milked in flight. This was done ostensibly to allow scientists to observe midair effects on animals, as well as for publicity purposes.

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1941 – Irma Thomas born. American singer,  known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans“.  A contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but while never experiencing  their level of commercial success, she still  has a large cult following among soul aficionados.

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