May 18 – On this day: 62 years since the Paris East/West summit breakdown reveal

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Talks had already got off to a bad start when the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev demanded an apology from US President Eisenhower because of the row over an American U-2 spy plane shot down by the Russians. Pilot Gary Powers bailed out but was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in a Soviet prison.

42 years ago (1980) Mount St Helens erupted in Washington State, killing 57 people and causing £2.4billion worth of damage, making it the deadliest volcanic event in US history.

The eruption triggered a 5.1-magnitude earthquake which destroyed 250 homes, 47 bridges and 185 miles of road.

31 years ago (1991) Dr Helen Sharman, 27, became Britain’s first astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir Space Station.

She was launched into space from Kazakhstan on board a Russian Soyuz TM-12 capsule as part of a joint UK-Russian programme.

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