Historical events from 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1979
(+9999) = Day count from end of World War Two in Europe (day zero = Tuesday)
31/12/1979, Monday (+12,655) (1) US President Carter announced that Soviet leader Leonid |Brezhnev had claimed that President Amin had invited Soviet forces in to protect from a 3rd country. However this was belied by the subsequent murder of President Amin after the invasion.
(2) In 1979 British airlines flew 47 billion passenger kilometres; this compares with 6 million passenger kilometres flown in 1936.
29/12/1979, Saturday (+12,653)
28/12/1979, Friday (+12,652) US President Carter condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
27/12/1979. Thursday (+12,651) President Hafizullah of Afghanistan was deposed and executed in a coup strongly backed by Soviet troops. On 8/1/1980 President Carter described the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as the greatest threat to world peace since World War Two. Muslim guerrillas were active against the pro-Soviet regime, and 5,000 Soviet troops were stationed in Afghanistan. The USSR feared a spread of Muslim insurgency to the Soviet Union itself.
25/12/1979, Tuesday (+12,649)
24/12/1979, Monday (+12,648) Soviet troops began an invasion of Afghanistan.
23/12/1979. Sunday (+12,647) In Czechoslovakia, playwright Vaclav Havel was convicted of subversion.
18/12/1979. Tuesday (+12,642) Stanley Barrett became the first man to break the sound barrier on land, driving in California at 739.5 mph.
12/12/1979. Wednesday (+12,636) Lord Soames arrived in southern Rhodesia as the official governor, ending 14 years of rebellion and UDI.
10/12/1979, Monday (+12,634) Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work helping the destitute in India. Born in Albania in 1910, she joined a convent at age 18 and taught in the convent’s Calcutta premises. In 1946 she began working the streets of Calcutta to relieve poverty.
7/12/1979. Friday (+12,631) Charles Haughey of Fianna Fail became the new Irish Prime Minister. This followed the resignation of Jack Lynch.
2/12/1979, Sunday (+12,626) Iran adopted a new Islamic constitution.
30/11/1979, Friday (+12,624) (1) In Dublin, Mrs Thatcher demanded a £1,000 million rebate from the EEC.
(2) Zeppo Marx, the agent of the Marx brothers, died in London.
27/11/1979, Tuesday (+12,621)
25/11/1979. Sunday (+12,619) The West Yorkshire Police Committee raised the price on the head of the Yorkshire Ripper to £20,000.
24/11/1979, Saturday (+12,618) Saudi troops stormed the Great Mosque in Mecca to evict Iranian religious fanatics.
23/11/1979, Friday (+12,617) (1) In Dublin, IRA member Thomas MacMahon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Lord Mountbatten.
(2) Militant Sunni Muslims occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca, holding out there until 4/12/1979. After false radio reports on 21/11/1979 that US forces had taken the Grand Mosque, the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, was attacked by a mob and set on fire, killing four people.
22/11/1979, Thursday (+12,616)
21/11/1979, Wednesday (+12,615) Khomeini warned that if the US attacked Iran the hostages would be killed.
20/11/1979. Tuesday (+12,614) Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, lost his knighthood after being exposed as a spy.
19/11/1979, Monday (+12,613)
17/11/1979, Saturday (+12,611) Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and Black hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran. However the remaining 53 were to stand trial for espionage.
16/11/1979, Friday (+12,610) Bucharest Metro Line One opened, from Timpur Noi to Semanatoarea, 8.63 kilometres.
15/11/1979, Thursday (+12,609)
13/11/1979, Tuesday (+12,607) The Times reappeared after a year’s absence.
12/11/1979, Monday (+12,606) The NASA probe Voyager 1 passed within 140,000 kilometres of Saturn, taking high-resolution pictures of the cloud tops.
4/11/1979. Sunday (+12,598) Iranian demonstrators, and 100 Revolutionary Guards, seized the American Embassy in Tehran, beginning a hostage crisis. 90 personnel, 63 of them Americans, were taken hostage as the return of the Shah for trial was demanded, see 8/3/1980. On 22/10/1979 the Shah had entered the US for hospital treatment and Iranian students wanted him extradited to Iran. On 12/11/1979 the US stopped all oil imports from Iran. On 14/11/1979 President Jimmy Carter ordered all Iranian assets within the US frozen.
30/10/1979, Tuesday (+12,593) The aeronautical engineer and inventor Sir Barnes Wallis died aged 92. He invented the bouncing bombs for the Dambusters raid.
27/10/1979. Saturday (+12,590) St Vincent and the Grenadines achieved independence.
22/10/1979, Monday (+12,585) The deposed Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, went to the USA for medical treatment, see 4/11/1979.
16/10/1979, Tuesday (+12,579) 23 people died when a tsunami hit Nice, France.
1/10/1979. Monday (+12,564) The USA handed back control of the Canal Zone to Panama.
29/9/1979, Saturday (+12,562) Pope John Paul II arrived in Ireland, the first ever papal visit there.
27/9/1979. Thursday (+12,560) BBC’s Question Time was broadcast for the first time, with Robin Day in the chair. He stayed with the show for 10 years.
25/9/1979, Tuesday (+12,558)
24/9/1979. Monday (+12,557) A remote control cordless telephone, imported from the USA to UK stores, was declared illegal in Britain as it had not been allocated a radio frequency. It was on sale for £260.
23/9/1979, Sunday (+12,556) A US satellite recorded a brilliant double flash over the ocean between South Africa and Antarctica. A South African Navy ship was in the area, but South Africa denied it had tested a nuclear weapon. Since the 1960s, South Africa had invested in nuclear power technology, despite having abundant coal reserves.
21/9/1979, Friday (+12,554)
20/9/1979, Thursday (+12,553) ‘Emperor’ Bokassa was deposed in Central Africa and a Republic restored under his cousin, David Dacko. Dacko had been President until Bokassa, then an army colonel, overthrew him in a coup in 1965. Bokassa now fled to France, amid accusations of child cannibalism, and he had wasted money on extravagant living.
19/9/1979, Wednesday (-12,552) Pol Pot, ex-dictator of Cambodia, was sentenced to death in his absence by the Vietnamese-backed Cambodian Government.
18/9/1979, Tuesday (+12,551) Corporal punishment was abolished in all inner London schools.
16/9/1979, Sunday (+12,549) Three families fled East Germany by balloon.
14/9/1979, Friday (+12,547) The UK Government announced plans to redevelop London’s Docklands.
10/9/1979, Monday (+12,543) The Lancaster House Conference in the future of Rhodesia opened.
1/9/1979, Saturday (+12,534) The US spacecraft Pioneer 1 visited Saturn, passing by the planet 210,000 kilometres away.
27/8/1979, Monday (+12,529) Earl Mountbatten, British Admiral of the Fleet, his 14 year old grandson Nicolas, and 15 year old boatman Paul Maxwell, were killed when an IRA bomb exploded in their boat near Mullaghmore, Sligo Bay, Ireland. Three others were seriously injured whilst 82-year old Lady Brabourne died the following day. In Ireland, on 30/8/1979, Francis McGirl and Thomas McMahon were charged with his murder in Dublin.
23/8/1979. Thursday (+12,525) In Iran, troops clashed with Kurdish rebels.
14/8/1979, Tuesday (+12,516) John Stonehouse was released from prison.
9/8/1979. Thursday (+12,511) Brighton established Britain’s first nudist beach.
5/8/1979, Sunday (+12,507) (1) British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher urged rebel leaders in Rhodesia to hold talks.
(2) The Forestry Commission reported the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which had already infected 3 million trees.
1/8/1979, Wednesday (+12,503) Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was installed as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the first woman to hold this office.
31/7/1979, Tuesday (+12,502) Nigeria seized British oil installations, in a bid to persuade Mrs Thatcher to take a harder line on Apartheid.
23/7/1979, Monday (+12,494) In Iran, Khomeini banned the broadcasting of music.
19/7/1979, Thursday (+12,490) Two oil tankers, the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided off Trinidad, spilling 300,000 tons of crude oil, the world’s largest oil spill.
16/7/1979, Monday (+12,487) Iraqi President Hasan al Bakr resigned. Vice President Saddam Hussein replaced him.
12/7/1979. Thursday (+12,483) Kiribati became independent. It was formerly known as the Gilbert Islands.
11/7/1979. Wednesday (+12,482) America’s Skylab I fell to earth after 34,981 orbits in six years. It had been launched on 14/5/1973. Debris landed in Australia.
9/7/1979, Monday (+12,480) General Somoza, whose family had ruled Nicaragua for 47 years, was overthrown by the Sandinistas. General Somoza had lost the support of conservative businessmen and the USA.
4/7/1979, Wednesday (+12,475) Algerian leader ben Bella was released after 14 years in jail.
3/7/1979, Tuesday (+12,474) US President Jimmy Carter signed the first secret directive for aid to be given to anti-Communist opponents of the Kabul government.
22/6/1979, Friday (+12,463) In Britain, Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe was cleared of conspiracy to murder homosexual Norman Scott.
18/6/1979. Monday (+12,459) US President Carter and USSR President Brezhnev signed the SALT 2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) in Vienna.
12/6/1979, Tuesday (+12,453) (1) Sir Geoffrey Howe, Chancellor of the Exchequer, introduced the new Conservative government’s first Budget. In a decisive change of political direction, direct taxes such as income tax were cut but indirect taxes increased. VAT was raised to 15%. Public spending was cut. Controls on pay, prices and dividends were scrapped, and incentives provided to businesspeople.
(2) The American Bryan Allen made the first man-powered flight across the English Channel. He pedalled his Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone to Cap Gris Nez in 2 hours 50 minutes.
11/6/1979. Monday (+12,452) The actor John Wayne died, aged 72.
8/6/1979, Friday (+12,449) British actor Michael Wilding died.
2/6/1979. Saturday (+12,443) Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland. He was the first Pope to visit a Communist country.
1/6/1979, Friday (+12,442) Rhodesia officially changed its name to Zimbabwe.
29/5/1979. Tuesday (+12,439) Bishop Abel Muzorewa became Rhodesia’s first Black Prime Minister.
23/5/1979. Wednesday (+12,433) Ten days into the new Conservative administration, the Secretary for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, put Britain’s six million council and New Town homes up for sale. Existing tenants could obtain discounts of up to 50%.
21/5/1979, Monday (+12,431) Elton John became the first Western rock star to perform in the Soviet Union.
13/5/1979. Sunday (+12,423) The Chief of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Court said that anyone who killed the Shah of Iran or his family or aides (all of whom had fled abroad) would be acting on the orders of his court. On 18/5/1979 an Iranian newspaper offered a free trip to Mecca for anyone who killed the exiled Shah.
10/5/1979, Thursday (+12,420) The Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing.
7/5/1979. Monday (+12,417) Tehran lowered the minimum age of marriage to 13 for boys and 15 for girls.
3/5/1979. Thursday (+12,413) General Election. The Conservatives defeated Labour and Mrs Margaret Hilda Thatcher, born 13/10/1925, becomes Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. The Conservative election majority was 43 seats. The Conservatives won 339 seats, Labour won 269 seats, the Liberals 11, Nationalists 4. Jeremy Thorpe lost his seat, conclusively ending his political career.
1/5/1979, Tuesday (+12,411) Denmark granted Greenland home rule.
30/4/1979, Monday (+12,410) Prince Charles opened the new Jubilee Line on the London Underground.
26/4/1979, Thursday (+12,406)
23/4/1979, Monday (+12,403) A teacher, Blair Peach, was killed, and 300 were arrested after violent clashes between the National Front and the anti-Nazi League in Southall, west London.
22/4/1979, Sunday (+12,402) Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones escaped a drugs conviction in return for performing a benefit concert for the Canadian National institute for the Blind.
20/4/1979, Friday (+12,400) The last Concorde to be built made its maiden flight. Only 16 of the aircraft were ever built; they were too noisy. Even the lawyer hired to secure landing rights publically admitted “Concorde is noisy as hell”.
17/4/1979, Tuesday (+12,397) In Northern Ireland 4 policemen were killed by a 1,000 lb. bomb, the IRA’s most powerful so far.
11/4/1979. Wednesday (+12,391) Kampala, capital of Uganda, was captured by Tanzanian forces who deposed General Idi Amin. Fighting continued in Uganda, and on 22/4/1979 Tanzanian forces captured Jinja, 50 miles from Kampala. Idi Amin fled to Libya as troops closed in on his capital.
9/4/1979, Monday (+12,389) Officials declared Three Mile Island nuclear power station to be safe, see 29/3/1979.
4/4/1979. Wednesday (+12,384) There were demonstrations in Pakistan as ex-Prime Minister Ali Bhutto was hanged. He was accused of conspiring to murder a political opponent. See 18/3/1978.
3/4/1979, Tuesday (+12,383)
2/4/1979, Monday (+12,382) Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin became the first Israeli leader to make an official visit to Egypt.
1/4/1979, Sunday (+12,381) Iranians voted by a 98% majority to make their country an Islamic Republic; the Shah was officially deposed.
31/3/1979, Saturday (+12,380) The British Royal Navy finally withdrew from Malta.
30/3/1979. Friday (+12,379) The MP and opposition spokesman on Northern Ireland, Airey Neave, was killed by an IRA car bomb, in the car park at the House of Commons.
29/3/1979, Thursday (+12,378) Valves in the cooling system at Three Mile Island nuclear reactor malfunctioned, and due to staff error part of the reactor was left without coolant and melted. Radioactive steam escaped outside. A meltdown was averted. This pushed public opinion in the USA and Europe strongly against nuclear power. See 9/4/1979.
28/3/1979. Wednesday (+12,377) The UK Labour government of James Callaghan collapsed over the Home Rule vote in Parliament, losing the vote by one vote, and Parliament was dissolved, see 1/3/1979.
27/3/1979, Tuesday (+12,376)
26/3/1979. Monday (+12,375) In Washington, USA, Mr Begin of Israel and President Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty. President Carter oversaw the signing.
22/3/1979. Thursday (+12,371) (1) The leader of the Conservative Opposition, Mrs Thatcher, put down a Motion of No Confidence in the ruling Labour administration, hoping to force a spring election.
(2) Ugandan Army troops surrounded the home of General Idi Amin but he slipped away undetected. Under Amin’s rule some 300,000 Ugandans were killed. Amin became President in 1972, overthrowing Milton Obote; his downfall came when he invaded northern Tanzania in 1971. President Nyerere retaliated, assisting Ugandan rebels to depose Amin.
6/3/1979, Tuesday (+12,355)
4/3/1979, Sunday (+12,353) Voyager 1 photographed Jupiter’s rings, approaching within 290,000 kilometres of the planet on 5/3/1979.
1/3/1979, Thursday (+12,350) 32.5% of Scottish voters voted in favour of devolution, short of the 40% required; however a majority of Scots who voted favoured devolution. The Welsh vote was overwhelmingly against devolution. This led to the defeat of the Labour government in a confidence motion, necessitating a General Election, see 28/3/1979. In a Welsh referendum, 11.9% of the electorate voted for independence and 46.9% voted against it.
22/2/1979. Thursday (+12,343) St Lucia became an independent member of the Commonwealth.
18/2/1979, Sunday (+12,339) The Sahara had a 30-minute snowfall.
17/2/1979, Saturday (+12,338) China launched an invasion of northern Vietnam. China had backed North Vietnam during the Vietnam war with the US-backed South, but since Hanoi’s victory in 1975, North Vietnam had aligned with the Soviet Union, and in January 1979 North Vietnam invaded Cambodia and ousted the Pol Pot regime, which China backed.
16/2/1979, Friday (+12,337)
15/2/1979. Thursday (+12,336) In Iran, 4 Iranian army generals were executed by firing squad; two members of the Shah’s government were executed the following day.
14/2/1979, Wednesday (+12,335) (1) In Britain, trades unions and the Government announced a Valentine’s day agreement to end the winter of discontent that had started with a 25% pay claim by the lorry drivers. The settlement of the claim by petrol tanker drivers merely encouraged other pay claims to breach the Government 5% ‘pay norm’. Rubbish piled up in the streets, the dead went unburied, hospitals turned away the sick, food and petrol supplies were disrupted.
(2) In Kabul, Muslim militants kidnapped the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs. He was killed the following day in a gunfight between the kidnappers and the police.
13/2/1979, Tuesday (+12,334)
12/2/1979, Monday (+12,333) In Britain, over 1,000 schools closed because of shortages of heating oil.
11/2/1979, Sunday (+12,332) In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini set up a provisional government.
10/2/1979, Saturday (+12,331) (1) The Iranian Army mutinied against its leader and joined the Iranian Revolution. Khomeini now also controlled the law courts and government administration.
(2) General Zia, ruler of Pakistan, introduced Islamic Shia law.
6/2/1979. Tuesday (+12,327) Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that the former Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, should be hanged for conspiring to murder an opponent. He was hanged in Rawalpindi on 4/4/1979, despite pleas from world leaders.
3/2/1979, Saturday (+12,324) Khomeini created the Council of the Iranian Revolution.
2/2/1979, Friday (+12,323) Sid Vicious (born as John Ritchie), former band member of the Sex Pistols, died of a heroin overdose at a party in New York, aged 21.
1/2/1979. Thursday (+12,322) Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 year’s exile in France.
31/1/1979, Wednesday (+12,321) Industrial disputes led to uncollected rubbish building up on Britain’s streets.
27/1/1979, Saturday (+12,317)
26/1/1979, Friday (+12,316) Nelson Rockerfeller, Republican politician and vice President to Gerald Ford, died.
25/1/1979, Thursday (+12,315) Pope John Paul II visited Latin America.
20/1/1979, Saturday (+12,310)
16/1/1979. Tuesday (+12,306) The Shah of Iran and Empress Farah fled to Egypt from Tehran, following months of riots.
15/1/1979, Monday (+12,305) A series of one-day rail strikes hit Britain.
13/1/1979, Saturday (+12,303) Concorde began a regular service between Washington DC and Dallas airports.
10/1/1979, Wednesday (+12,300) In Britain, Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan arrived back from a 4-day holiday in the West Indies to face the Winter of Discontent.
8/1/1979, Monday (+12,298) (1) The French oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in Bantry Bay, west Ireland, killing 49 people.
(2) In Cambodia, the Vietnamese took Phnom Penh; the Khmer Rouge regime fell.
7/1/1979. Sunday (+12,297) Rebel Cambodia forces, along with Vietnamese forces captured Phnom Penh, capital of Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia). Pol Pot and his Khmer rouge retreated to Thailand.
5/1/1979, Friday (+12,295) A lorry driver’s strike was causing chaos in Britain.
3/1/1979, Wednesday (+12,293) Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel Group and once married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, died.
1/1/1979. Monday (+12,291) (1) Diplomatic relations were established between China and the USA.
(2) The European Monetary System (EMS) was formed.
27/12/1978. Wednesday (+12,286) Spain became a democracy as a new Constitution was approved, after 40 years of dictatorship. See 8/1/1982.
25/12/1978, Monday (+12,284) Vietnam launched a major offensive against the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia.
17/12/1978, Sunday (+12,276) IRA bombs exploded in Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, and Coventry.
16/12/1978. Saturday (+12,275) (1) Civil war loomed in Iran as the Shah refused to abdicate.
(2) Ministers from Britain and Argentina met to discuss the Falkland Islands, to which Argentina had reiterated its claim. Films on release included Jaws II.
15/12/1978, Friday (+12,274) Cleveland, Ohio, became the first major US city to go into default since the great Depression, under mayor Dennis Kucinich.
14/12/1978. Thursday (+12,273) Newsweek looked at the growing influence of Islam in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
12/12/1978, Tuesday (+12,271)
10/12/1978. Sunday (+12,269) (1) In Iran, two million marched in protest against the Shah.
(2) Presidents Menachim Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt shared the Nobel Peace Prize. See 18/9/1978.
9/12/1978, Saturday (+12,268) Two US spacecraft reached Venus, sending back pictures of its surface hidden below clouds. On 5/12/1978 the Pioneer I craft went into orbit around Venus, analysing the atmosphere and mapping the surface by radar. This day the Pioneer 2 craft launched probes which landed, surviving the hellish conditions for four hours.
8/12/1978. Friday (+12,267) Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel 1969-1974, died, aged 80, in Jerusalem.
6/12/1978, Wednesday (+12,265)
5/12/1978. Tuesday (+12,264) The USSR signed a 20-year friendship treaty with Afghanistan. See 27/4/1978.
4/12/1978, Monday (+12,263) Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco’s first woman mayor, following the murder of mayor George Moscone. She served until 8/1/1988.
1/12/1978, Friday (+12,260)
30/11/1978, Thursday (+12,259) The Times stopped publication because of an industrial dispute. Industrial relations problems continued at The Times until 13/11/1979.
29/11/1978, Wednesday (+12,258) In Jonestown, Guyana, 914 bodies, including 276 children, were found, all believed to have committed suicide, at the premises of the People’s Temple sect. Jonestown was a communal village built by a cult leader, the Reverend Jim Jones (formerly a Methodist Minister). Jones persuaded most of his followers to drink cyanide in an act of “revolutionary suicide”. However not all the 1,100 persons there did so, and there were reports that some had been forced to drink the poison.
28/11/1978, Tuesday (+12,257) The Iranian Government banned religious marches.
25/11/1978. Saturday (+12,254) The trial of Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, accused along with three other men of conspiracy and incitement to murder a former male model, continued.
20/11/1978. Monday (+12,249) An attempted military coup in Spain failed.
11/11/1978, Saturday (+12,240) The TUC refused to endorse the UK Government’s 5% wage limit.
7/11/1978, Tuesday (+12,236) Indira Ghandi was re-elected to the Indian Parliament.
5/11/1978. Sunday (+12,234) Fierce fighting in Tehran; the Prime Minister, Sharif-Emami, resigned. The British Embassy in Tehran was sacked.
3/11/1978. Friday (+12,232) (1) The Caribbean island of Dominica became an independent member of the Commonwealth.
(2) Vietnam and the USA signed a 25-year treaty of friendship and co-operation in economic, scientific and technical endeavours.
1/11/1978, Wednesday (+12,230) The British newspaper The Daily Star went on sale in the north and midlands. It was owned by Express newspapers.
31/10/1978. Tuesday (+12,229) Iranian oil-workers’ strike halved production.
27/10/1978, Friday (+12,225) Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat were joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
23/10/1978, Monday (+12,221) The UK Government planned to replace GCE O levels and CSEs with a single exam, the GCSE.
16/10/1978. Monday (+12,214) Karol Wojtyla, from Poland, Archbishop of Cracow, became the first non-Italian Pope since 1542, as Pope John Paul II. See 28/9/1978, and 2/4/2005.
14/10/1978, Saturday (+12,212) Daniel Arap Moi became President of Kenya.
8/10/1978, Sunday (+12,206) Australia’s Ken Warby set a new world water speed record of 317.627 mph in The Spirit of Australia at Blowering Dam, Australia.
6/10/1978, Friday (+12,204) The first woman train driver on the London Underground began work.
1/10/1978.Sunday (+12,199) Vietnam attacked Cambodia.
30/9/1979, Saturday (+12,198) The Ellice Islands became the independent nation of Tuvalu.
29/9/1978, Friday (+12,197) Johannes Vorster became President of South Africa.
28/9/1978. Thursday (+12,196) (1) Pope John Paul I died, after just 33 days in office. See 26/8/1978, and 16/10/1978.
(2) Peter Botha became Prime Minister of South Africa.
18/9/1978. Monday (+12,186) President Menachim Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed the Camp David peace agreement in America, with President Carter of the US. See 10/12/1978. Other Arab leaders were appalled.
16/9/1978. Saturday (+12,184) (1) 25,000 died in a quake in Iran measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale around the town of Tabas.
(2) Zia ul Haq became head of state in Pakistan.
15/9/1978, Friday (+12,183) Wilhelm Messerschmitt, German aviation engineer and designer, died aged 80.
12/9/1978, Tuesday (+12,180)
11/9/1978. Monday (+12,179) (1) Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, a broadcaster on the BBC’s foreign service, was stabbed in the thigh with a poisoned umbrella in London. He soon collapsed into a coma, and died on 18/9/1979.
(2) The world’s last smallpox victim died. She was a medical school photographer in Birmingham, and had caught the virus on 30/8/1979 after it escaped from a laboratory located on the floor below her workplace. The Head of Department responsible for this laboratory later committed suicide by cutting his throat.
10/9/1978, Sunday (+12,178) Martial law was imposed in parts of Rhodesia.
8/9/1978. Friday (+12,176) In Iran, the Shah imposed martial law in an attempt to quell growing discontent; 122 died and 4,000 were wounded.. This followed demonstrations against the Shah in which 58 died.
6/9/1978, Wednesday (+12,174) Gerry Adams was released from jail after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove IRA membership.
5/9/1978, Tuesday (+12,173) The Camp David Accords; Menachim Begin and Anwar Sadat began peace talks at the Camp in Maryland.
4/9/1978, Monday (+12,172) In Rhodesia, guerrillas fighting the Ian Smith regime shot down an airliner with a Russian SAM-7 missile, then massacred the survivors of the crash; they claimed the aeroplane was a ‘legitimate military target’.
1/9/1978, Friday (+12,169)
26/8/1978. Saturday (+12,163) After the death of Pope Paul VI on 6/8/1978, Cardinal Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I, the 264th Pope. See 28/9/1978.
25/8/1978, Friday (+12,162) The Shroud of Turin went on public display for the first time in 45 years.
22/8/1978. Tuesday (+12,159) Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya since 1964, died in Mombasa aged 82.
20/8/1978. Sunday (+12,157) Gunmen opened fire on an El Al airline bus in London.
19/8/1978. Saturday (+12,156) Extremist Muslims in Abadan, Iran set fire to a cinema, killing nearly 400 people.
17/8/1978. Thursday (+12,154) The first crossing of the Atlantic by balloon. The huge black and silver balloon, Double Eagle II, landed in a wheat field at Miserey, near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Maine. It was flown by three Americans, Ben Abruzzo, Max Anderson and Larry Newman.
13/8/1978, Sunday (+12,150) A large bomb in Beirut killed 150 Palestinians.
12/8/1978, Saturday (+12,149) China and Japan signed a 10-year friendship treaty
11/8/1978, Friday (+12,148)
7/8/1978, Monday (+12,144) President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.
6/8/1978, Sunday (+12,143) Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) died, aged 80.
4/8/1978. Friday (+12,141) Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the Liberal Party, was charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Norman Scott. He was later cleared.
31/7/1978, Monday (+12,137) The Devolution Acts for Scotland and Wales received Royal Assent.
25/7/1978. Tuesday (+12,131) The world’s first test tube baby was born, in Britain. Louise Joy Brown was born by Caesarean section at Oldham General Hospital, Lancashire, to Lesley Brown. She had been conceived by combining the sperm and egg in a Petri Dish, because her mother’s Fallopian Tubes were blocked.
8/7/1978, Saturday (+12,114) Two German mountaineers, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeller, made the first ascent of Everest without oxygen.
7/7/1978. Friday (+12,113) (1) The EEC looked at proposals to link together its different currencies.
(2) The Solomon Islands became an independent republic within the Commonwealth. They had been a British protectorate since 1899.
30/6/1978, Friday (+12,106) Ethiopia began a major offensive in Eritrea.
27/6/1978, Tuesday (+12,103) The UK was expected to be self-sufficient in oil in two year’s time.
26/6/1978, Monday (+12,102) A bomb set off by Breton nationalists damaged Versailles.
24/6/1978, Saturday (+12,100)
23/6/1978, Friday (+12,099) Josip Broz Tito was nominated Yugoslav President for life.
22/6/1978, Thursday (+12,098) Charon, a satellite of Pluto, was discovered.
20/6/1978, Tuesday (+12,096) A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. An apartment block in the central district of Ippodrome collapsed, killing over 40 people.
9/6/1978, Friday (+12,085) Prince Charles opened new terminal facilities at Gatwick Airport.
6/6/1978, Tuesday (+12,082) Californians approved Proposition 13 – a proposal to cut property taxes by 60%.
1/6/1978. Thursday (+12,077) Bugging devices were found at the US embassy in Moscow.
25/5/1978, Thursday (+12,070) The Unabomber set off his first bomb, in the security section of Northwestern University, USA.
24/5/1978, Wednesday (+12,069) Princess Margaret obtained a divorce from Lord Snowdon.
20/5/1978. Saturday (+12,065) 5 terrorists and 2 policemen were killed at Orly Airport, Paris, after terrorists fired at passengers boarding an Israeli plane.
17/5/1978. Wednesday (+12,062) Compact Discs created by Philips.
15/5/1978 Monday (+12,060) Iranian students rioted in Tabriz; troops were called in to quell the disturbances.
11/5/1978. Thursday (+12,056) Rioting in Tehran as Muslims called for the removal of the Shah.
9/5/1978. Tuesday (+12,054) The body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in the boot of a car in central Rome, a victim of the Red Brigade.
7/5/1978. Sunday (+12,052) Mrs Thatcher, Conservative Opposition leader, announced that she had no intention of outlawing the closed shop.
6/5/1978, Saturday (+12,051) The UK recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
4/5/1978. Thursday (+12,049) South Africa raided SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) bases in Angola.
1/5/1978, Monday (+12,046) The first May Day bank holiday in Britain.
30/4/1978, Sunday (+12,045) The Soviet Union recognised the new regime in Afghanistan.
27/4/1978. Thursday (+12,042) A bloody coup overthrew the government of Afghanistan and replaced it with a pro-Soviet regime. Tanks and Mig-21 fighter planes attacked the Presidential palace in Kabul as Mohammed Daud was overthrown. The president and his family was massacred. All public meetings were banned and martial law imposed indefinitely.
15/4/1978, Saturday (+12,030) The death penalty was abolished in Spain.
7/4/1978. Friday (+12,022) (1) US President Carter pulled back from building a neutron bomb.
(2) A copy of the Gutenberg Bible sold in New York for US$ 2 million.
4/4/1978. Tuesday (+12,019) The Angolan government began an offensive against UNITA forces.
3/4/1978. Monday (+12,018) Regular BBC radio broadcasts of British Parliamentary proceedings began.
30/3/1978, Thursday (+12,014) Charles and Maurice Saatchi were recruited by Mrs Thatcher to help publicise her policies ahead of the General Election, then expected for autumn 1978.
25/3/1978, Saturday (+12,009) In the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, the Cambridge boat sank.
21/3/1978. Tuesday (+12,005) The first Black Ministers joined the government of Rhodesia. However Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were excluded.
18/3/1978. Saturday (+12,002) Former Pakistani PM, Zufilkar Ali Bhutto, was sentenced to death for ordering the murder of a political opponent in 1974, see 5/7/1977 and 4/4/1979.
17/3/1978. Friday (+12,001) The Amoco Cadiz oil tanker ran aground on the Brittany coast. She split in two on 24/3/1978; 220,000 tons of oil were spilled.
16/3/1978, Thursday (+12,000) In Rome, former Prime Minister Aldi Moro was kidnapped.
15/3/1978, Wednesday (+11,999)
14/3/1978, Tuesday (+11,998) Israeli forces, under Operation Litani, invaded Lebanon.
13/3/1978, Monday (+11,997) Moluccan terrorists held 72 people hostage in government buildings in Assen, Holland.
9/3/1978, Thursday (+11,993) Somalia left Ethiopian territory, so ending the Ogaden War.
5/3/1978. Sunday (+11,989) Ethiopian forces, backed by Russia and Cuba, completely retook the region of Ogaden seized by Somalia in September 1977.
3/3/1978, Friday (+11,987) Rhodesian forces attacked Zambia.
1/3/1978, Wednesday (+11,985) Charlie Chaplin’s coffin was stolen from a cemetery in Switzerland.
25/2/1978, Saturday (+11,981) Gerry Adams was charged with being a member of the IRA.
15/2/1978, Wednesday (+11,971) Rhodesia’s Ian Smith and three Black leaders agreed on a transfer to Black majority rule.
13/2/1978. Monday (+11,969) In the UK, Anna Ford became ITN’s first woman newscaster.
12/2/1978, Sunday (+11,968) In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas prepared for civil war.
8/2/1978, Wednesday (+11,964) BBC showed the first episode of the school drama Grange Hill.
30/1/1978, Monday (+11,955) (1) Mrs Thatcher said many in Britain feared ‘being swamped’ by people with a different culture.
(2) Blizzards in the US killed 30 people.
24/1/1978, Tuesday (+11,949) An orbiting Russian satellite crashed near Yellow Knife, North West Territory, Canada.
23/1/1978, Monday (+11,948) Sweden became the first country to ban aerosol sprays, because of the damage they cause to the ozone layer.
21/1/1978, Saturday (+11,946) Ethiopian forces began expelling Somali forces from the Ogaden, see 23/7/1977 and 5/3/1978.
13/1/1978, Friday (+11,938) Hubert Humphrey, Vice President to Lyndon Johnson, died.
7/1/1978, Saturday (+11,932) Emilio Palma was born in Antarctica; he was the first baby born on this continent.
3/1/1978. Tuesday (+11,928) Ex--Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was expelled from her Congress party.
31/12/1977, Saturday (+11,925) (1) For the first time since the invention of the internal combustion engine, the UK imported more cars than it made itself.
(2) Cambodia broke off diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and suspended air services between them. Fighting between the two countries had erupted in the Parrot’s Beak area, where Cambodia juts out into (South) Vietnam. The Chinese-backed Cambodian regime accused Vietnam of not being sufficiently ‘revolutionary’. Troubles began when many Cambodians moved across the border into the Mekong Delta area, after Saigon fell and before North Vietnam had fully established control of the area.
25/12/1977, Sunday (+11,919) Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland, aged 88.
24/12/1977, Saturday (+11,918) Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin began peace discussions with President Sadat of Egypt.
16/12/1977. Friday (+11,910) The Piccadilly Line was extended from Hatton Cross to London Heathrow Airport.
12/12/1977, Monday (+11,906) Lady Churchill, widow of Sir Winston Churchill, died.
6/12/1977, Tuesday (+11,900)
5/12/1977, Monday (+11,899) Egypt broke with Syria, Libya, Algeria, and South Yemen.
4/12/1977. Sunday (+11,898) In the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself Emperor.
25/11/1977, Friday (+11,889)
24/11/1977, Thursday (+11,888) Ian Smith said he accepted the idea of universal adult suffrage in Rhodesia, which would mean a Black Government.
23/11/1977, Wednesday (+11,887) Rhodesian troops entered Mozambique and killed over 1,000 alleged guerrillas.
22/11/1977, Tuesday (+11,886) British Airways began regular commercial services by Concorde between London and New York
20/11/1977. Sunday (+11,884) President Sadat of Egypt became the first Arab leader to visit Israel. He met Israeli PM Menachem begin in the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement. This outraged many Arabs.
9/11/1977, Wednesday (+11,873) The Israelis resumed the bombing of Lebanese villages, after a two-year break, in retaliation for Lebanese tolerance of the PLO in their country.
4/11/1977. Friday (+11,868) The UN banned arms sales to South Africa.
27/10/1977, Thursday (+11,860) Jeremy Thorpe denied any homosexual link with unemployed male model Norman Scott.
24/10/1977, Monday (+11,857) The transatlantic liner France was sold to Saudi Arabia for use as a floating hotel.
18/10/1977. Tuesday (+11,851) German anti-terror forces stormed a hijacked Lufthansa airliner at Mogadishu, Somalia, killing three Palestinian terrorists and freeing all the hostages. Three of the four hijackers were killed.
17/10/1977, Monday (+11,850) The US Supreme Court ruled that Concorde could use New York’s Kennedy Airport.
10/10/1977, Monday (+11,843) Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, co-founders of the Ulster Peace Movement, received the Nobel peace Prize in Oslo.
27/9/1977, Tuesday (+11,830)
25/9/1977. Sunday (+11,828) Freddie Lakers’ Skytrain service began between Gatwick and New York. One way fares London to New York cost £59, against the normal price of £190; no frills, with food extra.
13/9/1977, Tuesday (+11,816) Leopold Stokowski, organist and conductor, died in Nether Wallop, Hampshire.
12/9/1977. Monday (+11,815) The moderate South African black activist Steven Biko, 30, died after 6 days in police detention in Port Elizabeth. This event proved a focal point in internal and international opposition to the South African regime.
10/9/1977. Saturday (+11,813) The last official execution by guillotine in France; execution of Hamida Djandoubi. See 17/6/1939.
7/9/1977, Wednesday (+11,810) A treaty between the USA and Panama was signed; the US agreed to give Panama control of the Canal by 2000.
5/9/1977, Monday (+11,808) The US launched the Voyager 2 spacecraft to add to the information gathered by Voyager 1 on Saturn. It continued on to Uranus, then to Neptune, where it arrived in September 1989, its last planetary visit.
1/9/1977, Thursday (+11,804) Anglo-American proposals for a transition to legal rule in Rhodesia were published.
31/8/1977. Wednesday (+11,803) In Rhodesia, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front Party won an overwhelming victory.
23/8/1977, Tuesday (11,795)
20/8/1977. Saturday (+11,792) (1) The Voyager I space craft was launched on a journey via Jupiter and Saturn, later to become the first man-made object to leave the solar system.
(2) Julius, or Groucho Marx, US comedian of the famous Marx Brothers, died in Los Angeles.
19/8/1977, Friday (+11,791) Earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.
17/8/1977, Wednesday (+11,789)
16/8/1977. Tuesday (+11,788) The rock and roll star Elvis Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee, aged 42. He died in the bathroom of his home although he was actually pronounced dead at 3.30 pm in the emergency room of the Baptist Hospital, Memphis. Overweight, he died of heart failure. He was buried in Memphis on 18/8/1977. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, the survivor of twin boys, on 8/1/1935.
15/8/1977, Monday (+11,787) Radio astronomers at Ohio State University picked up a powerful radio burst at 1420 Megahertz. This was thought to be a frequency at which intelligent aliens might broadcast as it is a significant radio absorption and emission frequency of hydrogen atoms. It was dubbed the ‘Wow’ signal after the comment scribbled on the radio transcript document by Jerry Ehman. In 2016 astronomers decided it might have been from passing comets.
13/8/1977, Saturday (+11,785) The police used riot shields on the British mainland for the first time, during an anti-fascist demonstration in Lewisham, London.
3/8/1977, Wednesday (+11,775) Archbishop Makarios, religious leader and first President of Cyprus, died.
28/7/1977, Thursday (+11,769) (1) First oil through the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline reached Valdez, Alaska.
(2) Spain formally applied to join the EC.
26/7/1977, Tuesday (+11,767) Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin defied a plea from US President Jimmy Carter and ordered more settlements to be built on the West Bank.
23/7/1977, Saturday (+11,764) Somalia invaded the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, in support of the guerrillas of the ‘Western Somali Liberation Front’. See 21/1/1978.
22/7/1977. Friday (+11,763) The ‘Gang of Four’ were expelled from the Chinese Communist Party.
21/7/1977, Thursday (+11,762) Cambodia and Thailand fought in a border war.
13/7/1977, Wednesday (+11,754) The UK Government abandoned the Social Contract with the TUC as wages rose.
11/7/1977. Monday (+11,752) British magazine Gay News was fined £1,000 for publishing a poem about a homosexual Jesus.
5/7/1977. Tuesday (+11,746) In Pakistan, President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first democratically elected President of Pakistan, was overthrown, and then arrested, in a military coup by Zia, after rioting following accusations of vote rigging by Bhutto. Bhutto was later arrested and charged with treason, see 18/3/1978.
2/7/1977, Saturday (+11,743) UK miners sought £135 a week for a 4-day week.
1/7/1977, Friday (+11,742) A large loaf of white bread cost 22p. A lb of back bacon cost 96p. A pint of milk cost 11.5p. A lb of butter cost 54p. A lb of potatoes cost 4p. A lb of oranges cost 22p. A quarter lb loose tea cost 29p. A pint of beer cost 38p. 20 king-size cigarettes cost 55p. A sack of house coal cost £2.26.
26/6/1977. Sunday (+11,737) (1) Elvis Presley made his last ever live stage appearance at the Market Square Arena in Indianopolis.
(2) Lady Baden Powell, founder of the Girl Guides movement in 1910, died.
23/6/1977, Thursday (+11,734) Liam Cosgrave retired as President of Ireland.
22/6/1977. Wednesday (+11,733) The 7,000 mile Alaska Oil Pipeline opened.
20/6/1977, Monday (+11,731) The US Supreme Court ruled that States were not required to fund elective abortions on Medicaid.
17/6/1977. Friday (+11,728) (1) Britain’s unemployment figure rose to 1,450,055; 6.2% of the working population of 23.4 million. The average price of cigarettes was then 60p for 20.
(2) Britain recalled its last two ambassadors from Uganda after threats against them from President Idi Amin.
(3) The feminist claim that God is a woman was supported by no less than the Jesuit journal Civitta Cattolica, published fortnightly in Rome.
16/6/1977, Thursday (+11,727) Werner von Braun, German-born pioneer of rocketry who worked under the Nazis, then assisted in the American manned flights to the Moon programme, died in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
15/6/1977, Wednesday (+11,726) Spain held its first democratic elections, after 41 years of dictatorship under Franco.
14/6/1977, Tuesday (11,725)
8/6/1977. Wednesday (+11,719) The Commission for Racial Equality began work. Films on release included Blazing Saddles.
7/6/1977, Tuesday (+11,718) The Queen lit a bonfire in Windsor Park, starting a week of Royal Silver Jubilee celebrations.
6/6/1977, Monday (+11,717) Derby was designated a city, to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
5/6/1977, Sunday (+11,716) Apple 2 computers first went on sale.
31/5/1977, Tuesday (+11,711) The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed.
23/5/1977, Monday (+11,703) Scientists reported using bacteria to make insulin.
20/5/1977, Friday (+11,700) The Orient Express, between Paris and Istanbul, ran for the last time.
18/5/1977. Wednesday (+11,698) Menachem Begin became President of Israel after his centre-right Likud party coalition won elections, ending 29 years of Labour rule in Israel.
11/5/1977. Wednesday (+11,691) The USA said CFCs were to be banned as propellants in aerosol cans within two years, after worries about ozone depletion.
10/5/1977, Tuesday (+11,690) American film star Joan Crawford died.
8/5/1977, Sunday (+11,688) Dutch art dealer Peter Menten went on trial, charged with murdering Polish Jews in 1941 for financial gain.
29/4/1977, Friday (+11,679) Trades Unions were legalised in Spain for the first time since 1936.
28/4/1977, Thursday (+11,678) In Germany, the Baader Meinhof terrorists, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan Raspe, dedicated to the violent overthrow of capitalism, were jailed for life. The trial began on 21/5/1975.
20/4/1977, Wednesday (+11,670)
9/4/1977. Saturday (+11,659) Spain legalised the Communist Party after a 38-year ban.
8/4/1977, Friday (+11,658) The Dammed played in New York, the first punk band to play in the USA.
5/4/1977, Tuesday (+11,655)
2/4/1977, Saturday (+11,652) Red Rum became the first horse ever to win three Grand Nationals.
1/4/1977, Friday (+11,651) Hay on Wye declared ‘independence’.
30/3/1977, Wednesday (+11,649)
28/3/1977, Monday (+11,647) British Breakfast TV began as an experiment on Yorkshire TV, hosted by Bob Warman.
27/3/1977. Sunday (+11,646) Two jumbo jets collided on the ground at the single airstrip of Tenerife Airport, in the fog, killing 582 people. The collision between the KLM and the Pan Am, craft was the worst air disaster ever to date.
22/3/1977.Tuesday (+11,641) Indira Ghandi resigned as President of India after an election defeat.
13/3/1977, Sunday (+11,632) Czech secret police tortured to death the leader of the Charter 77 Movement, Jan Potocka.
7/3/1977. Monday (+11,626)Bhutto won the Pakistani general elections. However opposition to her had been so widespread that vote-rigging was suspected, and the Pakistani Army stepped in, led by Zia Ul Haq.
5/3/1977. Saturday (+11,624) The first Punk Rock LP, Dammed, Dammed, Dammed, was released.
4/3/1977, Friday (+11,623) Earthquake in Bucharest, magnitude 7.2, killed 1,500 people and injured 7,600.
18/2/1977, Friday (+11,609) The Space Shuttle Enterprise went on its maiden ‘flight’ on the top of a Boeing 747 plane.
16/2/1977, Wednesday (+11,607) The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Reverend Janani Luwum, was murdered by Idi Amin’s troops.
4/2/1977, Friday (+11,595) Police in Liverpool discovered an IRA bomb factory.
2/2/1977, Wednesday (+11,593) The Pompidou Centre of art and culture opened in Paris.
31/1/1977. Monday (+11,591) Wembley Conference Centre opened by the Duke of Kent.
29/1/1977. Saturday (+11,589) The IRA set off 7 bombs in London’s West End. No-one was killed.
25/1/1977, Tuesday (11,585)
24/1/1977, Monday (+11,584) The second round of Rhodesian talks failed; Ian Smith rejected British proposals for a transfer of power to Black majority rule.
20/1/1977. Thursday (+11,580) Jimmy Carter became 39th President of the USA.
19/1/1977, Wednesday (+11,579) Snow fell for the first recorded time in Florida.
18/1/1977, Tuesday (+11,578) The worst rail disaster in Australia occurred when a Sydney bound train derailed, killing 82 people.
17/1/1977. Monday (+11,577) The US restored the death penalty, after a ten year suspension, and Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in Utah.
14/1/1977. Friday (+11,574) Sir Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon and former UK Conservative Prime Minister 1955 – 1957, died aged 79.
8/1/1977. Saturday (+11,568) Charter 77 was issued by Czechoslovaks demanding more freedom under Russian rule.
6/1/1977. Thursday (+11,566) EMI dismissed the Sex Pistols due to their outrageous behaviour and foul language, with a £40,000 payoff. The resultant publicity boosted sales of the Sex Pistol’s album Anarchy in the UK; sales reached 50,000.
16/12/1976, Thursday (+11,545) The UK Government announced that Scotland and Wales were to have referendums on a greater measure of self-rule. From today, Scots could drink all day, pubs could stay open from 11am to 11pm.
6/12/1976, Monday (+11,535) Joao Goulart, President of Brazil, died.
4/12/1976. Saturday (+11,533) (1) Death of the composer Benjamin Britten, aged 63.
(2) The military ruler of the Central African Republic, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, declared the country a Parliamentary monarchy, the Central African Empire, with himself as monarch, Emperor Bokassa I.
3/12/1976, Friday (+11,532) The Sex Pistols, a punk rock group, ran riot on the BBC radio Today show.
2/12/1976. Thursday (+11,531) Museum of London opened by the Queen.
30/11/1976, Tuesday (+11,529)
27/11/1976, Saturday (+11,526) Over 30,000 people joined the Ulster Women’s Peace March.
26/11/1976, Friday (+11,525) An obscure company called Microsoft was officially registered in the US State of New Mexico.
24/11/1976. Wednesday (+11,523) The Turkish province of Van was devastated by an earthquake, and 3,700 people were killed.
19/11/1976, Friday (+11,518) Sir Basil Spence, designer of the new Coventry Cathedral, died in Eye, Suffolk.
15/11/1976. Monday (+11,514) The secessionist Party Quebecois wins the Quebec provincial elections.
2/11/1976. Tuesday (+11,501) President Jimmy ‘peanuts’ (James Earl) Carter became 39th (Democrat) President of the USA, defeating Republican incumbent Gerald Ford.
30/10/1976, Saturday (+11,498) The EEC agreed to introduce a 200-mile fishing zone from 1/1/1977.
28/10/1976, Thursday (+11,496) A conference on Rhodesia opened in Geneva.
27/10/1976, Wednesday (+11,495)
26/10/1976. Tuesday (+11,494) Transkei became the first South African Black homeland to gain ‘independence’.
25/10/1976, Monday (+11,493) Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the National Theatre on London’s South Bank.
21/10/1976, Thursday (+11,489) Michael Foot became deputy leader of the Labour Party.
11/10/1976. Monday (+11,479) In China the ‘Gang of Four’ were arrested, accused of plotting a coup.
4/10/1976, Monday (+11,472) The first Inter-City 125 mph train service began in Britain.
29/9/1976, Wednesday (+11,467) Britain, humiliatingly, was forced to ask the IMF for a £2.1 billion loan, the maximum allowed, to prop up the ailing Pound. There had been a run on the Pound following left wing successes at the Labour Party Annual Conference. The UK economy was also suffering from high inflation, high Government spending, an energy crisis, and high wage demands. Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan was resisting Left-wing demands for lower taxes and a bigger Welfare budget.
25/9/1976. Saturday (+11,463) (1) The government of Rhodesia, led by Mr Ian Smith, announced its acceptance of African rule within two years. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, became independent on 18/4/1980.
(2) It was announced that the Orient Express, which had run between Istanbul and Paris since 1883, was to be withdrawn. British Rail’s new High Speed Train reached 125 mph.
(3) The BBC called for a rise in the licence fee, from £18 to £27 for colour and from £8 to £12 for black and white. The licence fee stood at £145 in 2013.
(4) A Danish film director was planning a film on Jesus’ sex life.
17/9/1976. Friday (+11,455) The first female cadets were admitted to Dartmouth Naval College, UK.
9/9/1976. Thursday (+11,447) Mao Tse Tung, Chairman of the Chinese Communist party for 40 years, died of a series of strokes, aged 82.
6/9/1976, Monday (+11,444) Soviet air force pilot Viktor Belenko landed his MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate in Hokkaido and requested political asylum in the USA.
4/9/1976. Saturday (+11,442) In Northern Ireland, 25,000 Protestants and Catholics went on a peace march.
3/9/1976. Friday (+11,441) The US spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars after a journey lasting 359 days. It landed in the Utopia Planitia region and broadcast back the first colour pictures of the planet.
2/9/1976, Thursday (+11,440) The European Court of Human Rights said Britain was torturing Ulster detainees.
1/9/1976, Wednesday (+11,439) The worsening drought meant 750,000 homes in Yorkshire went on standpipes.
30/8/1976, Monday (+11,437) Over 100 police officers were taken to hospital after clashes at London’s Notting Hill Carnival.
25/8/1976, Wednesday (+11,432) UK unemployment passed the 1.5 million mark.
22/8/1976, Sunday (+11,429) Britain was suffering the worst drought for 500 years, and it was also the hottest summer since at least 1727.
21/8/1976. Saturday (+11,428) Mary Langdon, aged 25, joined the East Sussex Fire Brigade, becoming Britain’s first female firefighter.
19/8/1976, Thursday (+11,426)
18/8/1976, Wednesday (+11,425) In North Korea, at Panmunjom, two US soldiers were killed whilst trying to chop down a tree in the demilitarised zone; the tree had obscured their view.
17/8/1976. Tuesday (+11,424) In the Philippines a severe earthquake followed by tidal waves killed over 3,000 people.
10/8/1976, Tuesday (+11,417) A stolen vehicle driven by IRA gunmen hit and killed a family of pedestrians in south west |Belfast, whilst being pursued by British soldiers. A girl aged 8, a boy aged 2, and a 6 week old baby were killed. This tragedy, after many other deaths in Northern Ireland, started the Ulster Peace Movement. Two of its leaders, Mariead Corrigan and Betty Williams, were subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1976.
7/8/1976. Saturday (+11,414) The Viking 2 probe entered orbit around Mars.
6/8/1976, Friday (+11,413) The UK MP John Stonehouse began a seven-year sentence for fraud.
4/8/1976, Wednesday (+11,411) First recorded cases of Legionnaires Disease, at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, killed 29 people. Scientists isolated the previously unknown bacteria that caused this disease on 18/1/1977.
1/8/1976, Sunday (+11,408) Trinidad and Tobago became independent from Britain.
29/7/1976. Thursday (+11,405) Fire damaged the world’s longest pier, at Southend, Essex.
28/7/1976. Wednesday (+11,404) One of the greatest natural disasters of the 20th century occurred when an earthquake, magnitude 7.8, hit Tangshan in China, killing 255,000 – 750,000 people. At least 164,000 were injured.
27/7/1976, Tuesday (+11,403) (1) The UK broke off diplomatic relations with Uganda.
(2) The Soviet chess champion Korchnoi defected to the West.
22/7/1976, Thursday (+11,398)
21/7/1976, Wednesday (+11,397) In Eire, the British Ambassador to Dublin was killed by an IRA car bomb.
20/7/1976. Tuesday (+11,396) The US spacecraft Viking I landed on Mars after an 11-month journey from Earth. On 31/7/1976 NASA released the famous ‘face on Mars’ photograph.
18/7/1976. Sunday (+11,394) The 21st Olympic games opened in Montreal.
14/7/1976. Wednesday (+11,390) Parliament passed the ‘Drought Bill’ as Britain faced its worst drought in 250 years.
13/7/1976, Tuesday (+11,389) Roy Jenkins became President of the European Commission.
10/7/1976. Saturday (+11,386) After an explosion at a chemical plant at Seveso, Italy, a 7 km radius was contaminated with dioxin, a weed killer. Crops and 40,000 animals died, and the number of abnormal births rose dramatically.
7/7/1976. Wednesday (+11,383) David Steel was elected leader of the Liberal Party.
6/7/1976, Tuesday (+11,382) After the Soweto riots of 16/6/1976, the South Africa Minister for Education announced that plans for compulsory teaching in Afrikaans were to be dropped.
5/7/1976, Monday (+11,381)
3/7/1976. Saturday (+11,379) (1) Israeli commando raid at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, freed 103 hostages from a hijacked aircraft. An Air France airbus had been hijacked there by Palestinian guerrillas, on 27/6/1976, from Athens, on a flight to Paris, with 246 passengers and 12 crew. The Israeli commandos flew 2,500 miles and landed in three large transport aircraft in the dark. In just 35 minutes they had killed all the hijackers and the 20 Ugandan troops guarding them as hostages. 31 lives were lost; 3 hostages, 1 Israeli, 20 Ugandan soldiers, and 7 hijackers. 11 Ugandan aircraft, Russian-made Migs, were destroyed, as the Israelis and the 103 rescued hostages made for Nairobi, where they refuelled and flew to Tel Aviv. In response the Ugandans murdered Dora Bloch, a hostage who had been removed to a Kampala hospital after choking whilst on board the aircraft.
(2) The Supreme Court of the USA, in the case of Gregg vs. Georgia, ruled that the death penalty was not cruel or unusual punishment and was constitutionally acceptable.
2/7/1976. Friday (+11,378) North and South Vietnam were reunited to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
1/7/1976, Thursday (+11,377) Average pay in the UK was £3,340 per year. GPs got £6,344, 190% of average. Teachers got £4,576, 137% of average. Train drivers got £3,900, 116% of average. Factory workers got £3,172, 95% of average. Average UK house price was £11,866.
30/6/1976, Wednesday (+11,376)
29/7/1976, Tuesday (+11,375) The hijackers (see 27/6/1976 and 3/7/1976) demanded the release of 53 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the 98 Jewish hostages they were holding in Entebbe.
28/6/1976. Monday (+11,374) Seychelles became independent. They had been ceded to Britain as a colony in 1814.
27/6/1976, Sunday (+11.373) An Air France airbus on a flight from Athens to Tel Aviv was hijacked by terrorists from the ‘Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine’ and forced to fly to Libya, where all non-Jewish passengers were released. The hijackers then flew to Entebbe, Uganda, see 29/7/1976 and 3/7/1976.
26/6/1976. Saturday (+11,372) London recorded a record high temperature of 35 degrees C, or 95 F.
25/6/1976. Friday (+11,371) In Uganda, Idi Amin declared himself President for life.
24/6/1976, Thursday (+11,370) (1) In Poland, Jaroszewicz announced large food price increases, believing that one sudden large rise was better than a number of smaller ones, Basic food prices would rise some 60% from 27/6/1976. Sugar would be up 100%, meat an average 69%, and butter and cheese up 30%. Low wage earners and OAPs would receive pay rises to compensate, and farmers would be paid more for their produce. On 25/6/1976 there were riots, some violent, across Poland. Many rioters suffered arrest, police brutality, summary imprisonment, and dismissal from their jobs. However an amnesty in July 1977 meant most were released from jail.
(2) At a government conference in Hanoi, the unification of North and South Vietnam was approved, as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, see 30/4/1975.
20/6/1976, Sunday (+11,366) Unrest in Lebanon following the murder of the US ambassador forced the evacuation of hundreds of Western tourists to Syria by the US military.
16/6/1976. Wednesday (+11,362) Schoolchildren in the black township of Soweto, South Africa, began protesting against having to learn Afrikaans, the language of the then ruling white minority. Police open fire and killed a 13 year old, Hector Peterson. Nationwide demonstrations began, met by more police brutality. By February 1977 over 570 people, mostly black schoolchildren, had been killed. Resistance against apartheid hardened. Apartheid had developed in the 1930s by the Afrikaans rulers as a way of segregating blacks and whites. When the Afrikaaners gained power in 1948 they made apartheid part of the South African legal system.
6/6/1976, Sunday (+11,352) Paul Getty, American oil tycoon, reputed to be the richest man on earth, died aged 83 at his home, Sutton Place, outside London. He was worth around US$ 4 billion.
1/6/1976. Tuesday (+11,347) Britain and Iceland signed an agreement in Oslo to end the Cod War. Up to 24 British trawlers would be permitted to fish within the 200-mile zone claimed by Iceland.
24/5/1976. Monday (+11,339) Concorde made its first commercial transatlantic flight, from London to Washington DC.
10/5/1976. Monday (+11,325) Jeremy Thorpe, born 29/4/1929, resigned as leader of the Liberal Party, which he had led since 18/1/1967. David Steele was the new Party leader from 7/7/1976.
6/5/1976. Thursday (+11,321) Major earthquake in northern Italy killed 2,000.
27/4/1976, Tuesday (+11,312) Britain began exporting North Sea Oil.
25/4/1976. Sunday (+11,310) (1) The Post Office in Britain stopped Sunday collections; these were partly resumed in 1990.
(2) Portugal held its first free elections for fifty years.
16/4/1976. Friday (+11,301) India, to curb population growth, raised the minimum age for marriage to 21 for men and 18 for women.
5/4/1976. Monday (+11,290) (1) James Callaghan, born 27/3/1912, succeeded Harold Wilson, who had resigned, as prime minister. Callaghan defeated Michael Foot in the final ballot for leadership of the labour Party by 176 votes to 137. Callaghan remained Prime Minister until the General Election of 1979. See 4/4/1974.
(2) The multi-millionaire Howard Hughes died on his private jet going to a hospital at Houston, Texas leaving a fortune of US$ 2,000 million. He was aged 71.
4/4/1976, Sunday (+11,289) Prince Norodom Sihanouk resigned as leader of Cambodia and was placed under house arrest.
1/4/1976, Thursday (+11,286) Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the Apple computer company.
27/3/1976, Saturday (+11,281) The first 4.6 miles of the Washington DC subway system opened.
24/3/1976, Wednesday (+11,278) (1) Bernard, Viscount Montgomery, Irish-born British Army Field Marshall in World War II, died aged 88.
(2) Isabel Peron, third wife of former President Juan Peron, was ousted as President of Argentina in a bloodless military coup.
23/3/1976, Tuesday (+11,277) Ian Smith rejected Harold Wilson’s conditions for a Rhodesian settlement.
16/3/1976. Tuesday (+11,270) Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced his retirement from UK politics. James Callaghan became new Labour Prime Minister on 5/4/1976. Callaghan, aged 64, had defeated Michael Foot in the leadership contest by 176 votes to 137.
2/3/1976, Tuesday (+11,256) Brent Cross shopping centre, N W London, was opened; it was the first regional shopping centre in Europe.
1/3/1976, Monday (+11,255) In Britain, wearing seat belts in cars became compulsory under the Road Traffic Bill.
27/2/1976, Friday (+11,252) The Western Sahara declared its independence. Spain gave up its territories in the Sahara but retained the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.
24/2/1976, Tuesday (+11,249) Britain sent a fourth gunboat to Iceland.
23/2/1976, Monday (+11,248) The painter L S (Lawrence Stephen) Lowry, noted for his matchstick people, died in Glossop, Derbyshire.
19/2/1976. Thursday (+11,244) (1) The Cuban backed MPLA won the Angolan civil war, and was recognised by most other countries. See 10/11/1975.
(2) Iceland broke off diplomatic relations with Britain after the two countries failed to reach agreement on fishing limits in the ‘Cod War’ dispute. Conflict began in 1958 when Iceland extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles; Britain finally recognised this limit in 1961. In 1972 Iceland claimed a further extension to 50 miles; Britain ignored this, and Icelandic gunboats sank two British trawlers. In January 1976 an Icelandic gunboat rammed the Royal Navy frigate Andromeda, which had been protecting British fishing boats.
4/2/1976. Wednesday (+11,229) A major earthquake devastated parts of Guatemala and Honduras, killing over 23,000 people.
3/2/1976, Tuesday (+11,228)
2/2/1976. Monday (+11,227) The 310 acre National Exhibition Centre was opened by the Queen at Bickenhill, Birmingham.
25/1/1976, Sunday (+11,219) 12 IRA bombs exploded in London’s East End.
24/1/1976. Saturday (+11,218) (1) Mrs Thatcher was dubbed the Iron Lady in the soviet newspaper Red Star after a speech about the Communist threat.
(2) The oil tanker Olympic Bravery spilled 250,000 tons of oil off Brittany.
23/1/1976, Friday (+11,217)
22/1/1976, Thursday (+11,216) Ceasefire agreement in Lebanon.
21/1/1976. Wednesday (+11,215) (1) The Financial Times and New York Times went on sale in the USSR.
(2) The British Airways and French Concorde aircraft made their first commercial flights, from London to Bahrain and from Paris to Rio de Janeiro. See 9/1/1969 and 24/10/2003.
15/1/1976. Thursday (+11,209) The Roman Catholic Church condemned sex outside marriage and said homosexuality could not be condoned.
12/1/1976, Monday (+11,206) (1) The UN Security Council voted 12-1 to admit the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
(2) Dame Agatha Christie, English crime story writer and creator of the Belgian detective character Hercule Poirot, died. She was born in Torquay on 15/9/1890.
8/1/1976, Thursday (+11,202) Zhou En Lai, Chinese revolutionary and Prime Minister of China, 1949-76, died.
7/1/1976, Wednesday (+11,201) In Armagh, the SAS were deployed to combat rising violence; 15 died in sectarian violence the previous week.
6/1/1976, Tuesday (+11,200)
2/1/1976, Friday (+11,196) Britain granted the Solomon Islands internal self-government.
27/12/1975, Saturday (+11,190) In the UK, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act came into force.
21/12/1975, Sunday (+11,184) Left wing terrorists, including Carlos The Jackal, kidnapped delegates of an OPEC conference in Vienna. They killed three hostages, extorted US$ 3 million, and vanished into the Middle East.
16/12/1975, Tuesday (+11,179)
14/12/1975, Sunday (+11,177) The terrorist seizure of a Dutch express train at Beilen, near Assen, ended. On 2/12/1975 south Moluccan extremists seized the train to protest against the Dutch Government’s failure to ensure an independent Republic of South Molucca when The Netherlands granted independence to Indonesia. Indonesia gained independence in 1950; the South Moluccans, who had fought fiercely for the Dutch against the Japanese in World War Two, had also resisted the Indonesian independence movement, and in 1950 feared reprisals from Indonesia. 15,000 South Moluccans fled to the Netherlands, and from 1970 onwards more extremist members of the community had begun to carry out terrorist attacks within Holland, such as petrol-bombing the Indonesia Embassy in The Hague. On 2/12/1975 six Moluccans boarded the train at Groningen. They stopped the train at Beilen and shot the driver, 30-year-old Hans Braam. The passengers were forced into one carriage; one man tried to escape but was also shot. Dutch forces laid siege to the train, which was in open countryside and hard to approach unnoticed. Some hostages were released in return for food and warm clothing, but the Dutch Government refused to cooperate with the terrorists’ demands for international broadcasts of their cause. Finally, as the Dutch winter closed in and the train under siege from over 1,000 armed police and military, the Moluccans surrendered and gave up their last 25 hostages.
10/12/1975, Wednesday (+11,173) The first shots were fired in the Cod war between Britain and Iceland.
7/12/1975, Sunday (+11,170) Indonesia invaded East Timor. See 28/11/1975. On 17/7/1976 East Timor was declared the 27th province of Indonesia.
6/12/1975, Saturday (+11,169) The Balcombe Street siege began; IRA terrorists held Mr and Mrs Andrews hostage in their London flat. The siege ended on 11/12/1975.
2/12/1975, Tuesday (+11,165) Following the fall of Saigon, Vietnam, to the Communists the Pathet Lao in Laos took over the entire government, effectively abrogating a coalition agreement with the Lao government made in 21/2/1973. The King of Laos abdicated and Laos was proclaimed a People’s Democratic Republic.
28/11/1975, Friday (+11,161) Portuguese Timor declared independence from Portugal, as East Timor. See 7/12/1975.
27/11/1975. Thursday (+11,160) (1) Devolution was discussed on the TV programme Newsday. TV programmes ceased at 12.25 am with What did you learn at School Today? on ITV.
(2) Provisional IRA gunmen killed Ross McWhirter, co-editor of the Guinness Book of Records. He had launched a ‘Beat the Bombers’ campaign three weeks earlier, offering rewards to informers on the IRA.
26/11/1975, Wednesday (+11,159)
25/11/1975, Tuesday (+11,158) (1) The UK Government authorised the sending of three Royal Navy frigates to protect British trawlers fishing in disputed waters off Iceland.
(2) Surinam became independent from The Netherlands. It was formerly known as Dutch Guiana.
24/11/1975. Monday (+11,157) Civil war began in Angola.
22/11/1975. Saturday (+11,155) The Spanish monarchy was restored following the death of General Franco. King Juan Carlos II became King of Spain on 27/11/1975. See 30/10/1975.
20/11/1975. Thursday (+11,153) General Franco, Spanish Head of State from 1936, died aged 82. He became leader of Spain following the Spanish Civil War (1935-39), due to lack of intervention by other European countries and the backing of Fascist Italy and Germany. Franco stayed out of World War Two because Adolf Hitler would not agree to cede France’s North African territories to Spain. In 1949 Franco declared Spain to be a monarchy, although there was no monarch until, in 1954, he declared that his heir would be Juan Carlos, grandson of the last Spanish King. Carlos took Spain in a different political direction from Franco, adopting a democratic constitution in 1978 after referendum showed 90% of Spaniards in favour of this.
14/11/1975, Friday (+11,147) Spain pulled out of the Western Sahara.
12/11/1975, Wednesday (+11,145) An IRA bomb exploded at Scott’s Restaurant in London, killing one man. Two more people were killed by another IRA bomb on 18/11/1975 at Walton’s Restaurant, London.
11/11/1975. Tuesday (+11,144) Angola became independent from Portugal, but three different liberation factions were fighting for control. 320 years of Portuguese occupation ended. Civil was began between the Cuban-backed MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) and the Western backed UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) and the South African backed FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola). See 19/2/1976.
6/11/1975. Thursday (+11,139) The punk rock band Sex Pistols played their first gig at St Martin’s College of Art in London.
3/11/1975, Monday (+11,136) Queen Elizabeth II officially opened a pipeline that was to bring 400,000 barrels of North Sea Oil ashore every day at the Grangemouth refinery. North Sea Oil had been discovered in the 1960s; the first exploited oilfield was Ekofisk, tapped from 1969. The global oil crisis of 1974 intensified the need to develop North Sea resources.
1/11/1975, Saturday (+11,134) 3 died and 6 were injured in an explosion aboard the Ekofisk A oil rig.
31/10/1975, Friday (+11,133) The Provisional Sinn Fein leader Seamus McCusker was shot dead by the official IRA.
30/10/1975. Thursday (+11,132) (1) The Forestry Commission said more than 16 million trees had been destroyed in Britain because of Dutch Elm Disease.
(2) Prince Juan Carlos became acting Head of State in Spain after dictator Franco became ill. See 20/11/1975.
29/10/1975, Wednesday (+11,131) The Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, committed his first murder, Wilma McCann.
27/10/1975, Monday (+11,129) 18 year old Robert Poulin began shooting at the Pius X High School in Ottawa, Canada, killing 1 and injuring 5. He then shot himself.
23/10/1975, Thursday (+11,125) Professor Farley, a leading cancer expert, was killed by a n IRA car bomb intended for Hugh Fraser MP.
21/10/1975. Tuesday (+11,123) Spain’s 82 year old General Franco suffered his third heart attack in five days. He died on 20/11/1975. See 22/11/1975.
16/10/1975, Thursday (+11,118) Indonesian forces on a raid into Portuguese Timor killed 5 Australian-based journalists.
15/10/1975, Wednesday (+11,117) Iceland unilaterally extended its fishing grounds to 200 miles, leading to a resumption of the Cod war with Britain.
9/10/1975, Thursday (+11,111) An IRA bomb exploded at Green Park tube station, London, killing 1 and injuring 20.
3/10/1975, Friday (+11,105) The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was banned.
2/10/1975, Thursday (+11,104) Protestant revenge killings left 11 dead.
30/9/1975, Tuesday (+11,102)
28/9/1975, Sunday (+11,100) Spanish dictator General Franco executed five Basque terrorists.
27/9/1975, Saturday (+11,099) The National Rail Museum in York opened.
24/9/1975. Wednesday (+11,096) The south-west face of Everest was climbed for the first time by Douglas Haston and Doug Scott.
22/9/1975. Monday (+11,094) The US President, Gerald Ford, survived a second assassination attempt in 17 days, when a woman, Sara Jane Moore, fired at him as he left a hotel in San Francisco. On 5/9/1975 Lynette Fromme had attempted an assassination but had been thwarted by a Secret Service agent. On 15/1/1976 Ms Moore was sentenced to life imprisonment.
19/9/1975. Friday (+11,091) The first episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast by the BBC.
16/9/1975. Tuesday (+11,088) Papua New Guinea became independent from Australia.
15/9/1975. Monday (+11,087) Civil war broke out in Beirut between Christians and Muslims.
14/9/1975, Sunday (+11,086) Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was canonised by Pope Paul VI to become the first American ‘saint’.
9/9/1975. Tuesday (+11,081) The Czech tennis player Martina Navratilova defected to the West.
6/9/1975. Saturday (+11,078) A major earthquake in Lice, Turkey, killed nearly 3,000 people.
5/9/1975, Friday (+11,077) Lynette Fromme, a Charles Manson (cult leader and killer) follower, made an assassination attempt on US President Ford, in Sacramento.
1/9/1975, Monday (+11,073) Kissinger arranged an accord between Israel and Egypt on Sinai.
29/8/1975, Friday (+11,070) Eamon De Valera, leader of the Irish rising 1916, three times Prime Minister of Ireland and President of Ireland 1959 – 1973, died aged 92. His place of birth, New York, to a Spanish father and Irish mother, saved him from execution in 1916.
27/8/1975. Wednesday (+11,068) Haile Selassie, deposed Emperor of Ethiopia, nicknamed ‘the Lion of Judah’, died in exile. In 1916 he had become Ras (Prince) Tafari, and in 1930 became Emperor of Ethiopia. He was seen as the Messiah by Rastafarians, who saw Ethiopia as the Promised Land. He was exiled to England during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, 1935-39, but returned to Ethiopia in 1941. He helped found the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) but faced considerable opposition within Ethiopia and was deposed in 1974.
24/8/1975, Sunday (+11,065) The officers responsible for the military coup in Greece were sentenced to death in Athens – this was later commuted to life imprisonment.
21/8/1975, Thursday (+11,062) British unemployment figures reached 1.25 million.
20/8/1975, Wednesday (+11,061) NASA launched the Viking I probe towards Mars.
15/8/1975. Friday (+11,056) (1) The Birmingham Six were sentenced to life imprisonment for planting bombs that killed 21 people in Birmingham. Their convictions were later overturned.
(2) In a military coup in Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rhaman was overthrown; he and his family were murdered.
11/8/1975, Monday (+11,052) (1) British Leyland was taken under UK Government control.
(2) Mario Lemos Pires, Governor of Portuguese Timor, was forced to abandon the capital, Dili, due to civil war between UDT and Fretilin.
9/8/1975. Saturday (+11,050) Death of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.
8/8/1975, Friday (+11,049) The Banqiao Dam in China failed during a freak typhoon, killing over 200,000 people.
1/8/1975, Friday (+11,042) Britain signed the Helsinki Agreement on closer co-operation with Europe.
29/7/1975, Tuesday (+11,039) A military coup in Nigeria.
22/7/1975. Tuesday (+11,032) (1) Britain’s unemployment figures, at 1,087, 869, were the worst since World War Two.
(2) It was announced that the fixed £2 parking fine – set in 1960 and by then regarded as a good buy by some motorists – would be increased to £6 in September.
18/7/1975. Friday (+11,028) John Stonehouse, former Labour minister, returned to Britain to face 21 charges of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy. On 6/8/1976 he was convicted of theft and conspiracy and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.
17/7/1975. Thursday (+11,027) The crews of Apollo 18 (USA) and Soyuz 19 (USSR) visited each other’s capsules in the first such joint space venture between the two countries. They shook hands 140 miles over the south coast of Britain. The Apollo 18 mission was reckoned to have cost US$ 500 million, and the expense of this put an end to the Apollo project.
15/7/1975, Tuesday (+11,025) Apollo 18 was launched, crewed by Vance Brand, Thomas Stafford, and Donald Slayton.
13/7/1975. Sunday (+11,023) President Idi Amin of Uganda was promoted from General to Field Marshall.
12/7/1975, Saturday (+11,022) Sao Tome and Principe declared independence from Portugal.
11/7/1975, Friday (+11,021) (1) Inflation reached 25% in Britain. The Government limited annual pay rises to £6 a week, and to zero for those earning over £8,500 a year. Firms would be fined of they passed on higher wage costs in price rises. Prime Minister Harold Wilson called the plan tough but essential.
(2) Chinese archaeologists unearthed a terracotta army of 8,000 figures and horses, buried over 2,000 years ago near Xi’an. They belonged to Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, who first united China and built the Great Wall. The artisans who built the tomb were walled up within it, to safeguard its secrets.
7/7/1975, Monday (+11,017)
6/7/1975, Sunday (+11,016) The Comoros declared their independence from France.
5/7/1975, Saturday (+11,015) Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal after nearly 500 years of colonial rule.
1/7/1975, Tuesday (+11,011) Australia broke up the Postmaster-General’s Department into Telecom Australia and Australia Post.
25/6/1975. Wednesday (+11,005) Mozambique became independent from Portugal. This followed a ten-year war against Portuguese colonial rule.
19/6/1975. Thursday (+10,999) Lord Lucan was found guilty of murdering his nanny, but he was still missing.
18/6/1975. Wednesday (+10,998) The first North Sea Oil, from the Argyll field, came ashore from a Liberian tanker.
12/6/1975. Thursday (+10,992) Greece applied to join the EEC.
9/6/1975. Monday (+10,989) Live radio broadcasting from the House of Commons began. On 12/6/1989, TV broadcasts from the House of Commons began.
8/6/1975, Sunday (+10,988) The USSR launched the Venera 9 probe towards Venus. It landed on the surface, transmitting data and pictures for 53 minutes.
7/6/1975, Saturday (+10,987) Sony introduced the Betamax home videotape recorder.
5/6/1975. Thursday (+10,985) (1) A referendum in the UK showed a 67.2% majority in favour of remaining in the EEC. 17, 378,581 (67.2%) voted for Europe, and 8,470,073 (32.8%) voted no. The only areas in the UK to have a ‘no’ majority were the Shetlands and the Western Isles of Scotland.
(2) President Sadat opened the Suez Canal reopened to all international maritime traffic except Israeli shipping, after eight years of total closure since the Six-Day War.
3/6/1975, Tuesday (+10,983)
1/6/1975, Sunday (+10,981) Snow fell on London in June, for the first time since records began.
28/5/1975, Wednesday (+10,977) 15 West African states signed the Treaty of Lagos, setting up the Economic Community of West African States.
26/5/1975, Monday (+10,975) The stuntman Evel Knievel suffered severe spinal injuries whilst attempting to jump 13 buses in his car.
21/5/1975, Wednesday (+10,970) The trial of the Baader Meinhof terrorist group began. On 28/4/1977 they were sentenced to life imprisonment.
18/5/1975, Sunday (+10,967) Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
16/5/1975, Friday (+10,965) India annexed Sikkim.
30/4/1975. Wednesday (+10,949) Saigon surrendered to the North Vietnamese, so ending the 15-year Vietnam War. This had been the longest conflict of the 20th century.
29/4/1975. Tuesday (+10,948) A US helicopter evacuated Americans and a few lucky Vietnamese from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon to a nearby US warship a day before Saigon fell to the Vietcong. The picture of the helicopter evacuation became an iconic symbol of US humiliation in Vietnam.
28/4/1973, Monday (+10,947) North Vietnamese forces encircled Saigon and shelled its airfield, ending the evacuation by aeroplane. See 23 and 29/4/1975.
27/4/1975, Sunday (+10,946)
26/4/1975, Saturday (+10,945) In Portugal’s first free elections for 50 years, former exile Mario Soares won for the Portuguese Socialist Party.
25/4/1975, Friday (+10,944) The Australian Embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, shut as North Vietnamese forces closed in.
23/4/1975, Wednesday (+10,942) US President Ford announced that US involvement in Vietnam was to end. US forces began the final evacuation of personnel from Saigon by aeroplane, see 28 and 29/4/1973.
17/4/1975. Thursday (+10,936) In Cambodia, the capital Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge. The civil war there ended. Pol Pot proclaimed the ‘Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, and became its Prime Minister, from 1975 to 1979.
13/4/1975. Sunday (+10,932) Fighting broke out in Beirut between Christians and Moslems. The fighting was sparked by a Phalangist attack on a Palestinian bus in Ain El Remmeneh, and led to 13 years of civil war in Lebanon.
8/4/1975, Tuesday (+10,927) Pagers were launched in Britain.
6/4/1975, Sunday (+10,925) A plane carrying 99 Vietnamese orphans landed at Heathrow Airport, London.
5/4/1975. Saturday (+10,924) The Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai Shek died in Taiwan, aged 87.
30/3/1975. Sunday (+10,918) (1) North Vietnamese forces captured the port of Da Nang. Ships attempted to rescue over 1 million refugees.
(2) The Great Train Robbers Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards and James White were released on bail after serving 9 years in gaol.
(3) The Provisional IRA council planned to meet to discuss the future of a ceasefire declared on 10/2/1975. Films on release included Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
25/3/1975. Tuesday (+10,913) In Saudi Arabia, King Faisal was assassinated by his 31-year-old mentally deranged nephew, and Crown Prince Khalid Ibn Abdul Aziz acceded to the throne. The US had regarded Faisal as a moderating influence in the unstable Middle East.
21/3/1975, Friday (+10,909) (1) Ethiopia abolished the monarchy.
(2) John Stonehouse, the disappeared MP, was arrested in Australia for theft, fraud, and deception.
15/3/1975, Saturday (+10,903) (1) Troops in Glasgow cleared 70,000 tons of refuse that had built up during the dustmen’s strike.
(2) Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate and Olympic Airways operator, second husband of Jacqueline Kennedy, died.
9/3/1975, Sunday (+10,897) Construction of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline began.
5/3/1975. Wednesday (+10,893) Palestinian guerrillas raided a hotel at Tel Aviv, taking 30 hostages. Israeli troops stormed the hotel, killing 7 of the 8 terrorists, and 11 other lives were lost.
4/3/1975, Tuesday (+10,892) Queen Elizabeth II knighted the actor Charlie Chaplin.
2/3/1975, Sunday (+10.890)
1/3/1975, Saturday (+10,889) Colour TV broadcasting began in Australia.
28/2/1975. Friday (+10,888) (1) A London Underground train from Drayton Park crashed through the buffers at Moorgate, killing 42 people. The driver, Leslie Newton, was bringing in his 8.37 train when instead of braking he accelerated into a 72 metre blind tunnel. The front 4.5 metres of the leading carriage were crushed into 60 centimetres.
(2) The Watergate scandal continued as 3 Nixon aides were sentenced for their role.
(3) The Lome Convention was signed in Lome, capital of Togo, between the EC and 46 developing nations. The agreement provided for free access for the export of these 46 countries into the EC, also for aid and investment. It laid the foundation for the post imperialistic (colonial) relations between Europe and Africa.
25/2/1975, Tuesday (+10,885)
24/2/1975, Monday (+10,884) Nikolai Bulganin, Soviet Prime Minister from 1955 to 1958, died.
23/2/1975, Sunday (+10,883) In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time began two months early in the USA.
21/2/1975. Friday (+10,881) Those convicted of offences in the Watergate affair received sentences of between 30 months and 8 years.
13/2/1975, Thursday (+10,873) The UK miners accepted a pay rise of 35%.
4/2/1975. Tuesday (+10,864) Edward Heath resigned as leader of the Conservative Party. Mrs Thatcher became the first woman to lead a political party on 11/2/1975. Aged 49, she was the wife of a wealthy businessman and the mother of twins. She had defeated 4 other male challengers for the position of leader of the Conservatives. 146 MPs had voted for her, against just 79 for her nearest rival, William Whitelaw. Geoffrey Howe, James Prior, and John Peyton were far behind.
27/1/1975, Monday (+10,856) Five IRA bombs exploded in London.
24/1/1975, Friday (+10,853) Dr Donald Coggan was enthroned as the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Michael Ramsey.
20/1/1975. Monday (+10,849) The Channel Tunnel project was abandoned by the British Government.
16/1/1975, Thursday (+10,845) The IRA ended its 25-day truce.
10/1/1975, Friday (+10,839) The Portuguese Government agreed on independence for Angola.
7/1/1975, Tuesday (+10,836) (1) OPEC agreed to raise crude oil prices by 10%.
(2) (SEAsia, USA) North Vietnamese forces captured the southern province of Phuoc Long (see 29/3/1973). There was no reaction from the US. On 10/3/1975 North Vietnam captured the strategic town of Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands. Within four days South Vietnam decided to abandon the entire Central Highlands to concentrate on the defence of Saigon. This strategic withdrawal became a rout, woith hundreds of thousands of cicilians, and fleeing soldiers, clogging the roads as the Communists advanced. By 1/4/1975 half of South Vietnam was occupied by the North and the South Vietnamese army was disintegrating. US Congress had no intention of further aid to the South; they did not even intend to organise an evacuation of US citizens and pro-US Vietnamese, instead hoping to persuade the North to stop short of total conquest and accept a coalition government in Saigon. President Thieu of South Vietnam resigned on 28/4/1975 and was replaced by the neutralist General Duong Van Minh. By then North Vietnamese forces were in the suburbs of Saigon. A few fortunate personnel were evacuated from the roof of the US Embassy by helicopter (see 29/4/1975). However in the last-minute chaos nobody thought to destroy the records of South Vietnamese who had supported the US. On 30/4/1975 a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon and a soldier raised the North Vietnamese flag. Then the event was repeated for the benefit of TV cameras who had missed the original. Meanwhile in Cambodia the Khmer Rouge had entered Phnom Penh and begub deporting hundreds of thousands of its population to the killing fields. The defeat of the US was total and complete.
5/1/1975, Sunday (+10,834) The Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, came under siege by Khmer Rouge forces (led by Pol Pot), despite heavy US military aid to the Cambodian leader, Lon Nol.
3/1/1975. Friday (+10,832) The Turkish president, Mr Bulent Ecevic, received a hero’s welcome as he arrived in Famagusta, northern Cyprus. He had ordered the Turkish invasion of part of the island 6 months earlier.
25/12/1974, Wednesday (+10,823) Darwin, capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, was devastated by Cyclone Tracy.
24/12/1974. Tuesday (+10,822) The Beatles’ legal partnership was formally dissolved.
13/12/1974. Friday (+10,811) Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth.
12/12/1974, Thursday (+10,810) Jimmy Carter said he would run for US Presidency.
8/12/1974, Sunday (+10,806) Greece voted to abolish the monarchy.
5/12/1974, Thursday (+10,803) The last episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was broadcast by the BBC.
29/11/1974. Friday (+10,797) (1) The IRA was outlawed in Britain.
(2) Ironside was on TV. In the cinema the new sensurround film Earthquake made its debut.
24/11/1974, Sunday (+10,792) (1) U Thant, Burmese diplomat and Secretary-General to the UN 1962-71, died.
(2) The MP John Stonehouse disappeared from as Miami beach; it was assumed he had drowned.
21/11/1974. Thursday (+10,789) IRA bombs exploded in two Birmingham pubs, killing 21 and injuring a further 182. On 14/11/1974 an IRA bomber, James McDade, was blown up by his own bomb which he had intended to plant at Coventry telephone exchange. The UK Government banned demonstrations in his memory, and the IRA bombed Birmingham in retaliation. The Birmingham bombings triggered the Prevention of Terrorism Act, giving the UK police extensive powers to investigate suspects; unfortunately they misused this to ensure charges were pinned on someone, innocent or guilty.
17/11/1974. Sunday (+10,785) The rule of the colonels ended in Greece, and Karamanlis became Prime Minister.
12/11/1974. Tuesday (+10,780) A salmon was caught in the Thames, the first since around 1840. It was retrieved from the filters of West Thurrock power station.
8/11/1974. Friday (+10,776) Covent Garden Market moved from central London to Nine Elms, after 300 years in the West End
7/11/1974. Thursday (+10,775) (1) An IRA nail bomb exploded at the Kings Arms pub in Woolwich, London. The pub was opposite the Woolwich Barracks. Two died and 34 were injured.
( 2) Lord Lucan, 7th Earl of Lucan, disappeared following the murder of his children’s nanny. The nanny had been found bludgeoned to death on the 6th November, and his estranged wife was also brutally attacked. Police arrived at Lucan’s flat but he was not there; his bloodstained car was found in Sussex, and some suspected he had drowned himself. His body however was never found. Several alleged sightings of him occurred in the following years. In 2015 his heir, George Bingham, attempted to have him legally declared dead but the family of the murdered nanny lodged an objection.
21/10/1974, Monday (+10,758) Liverpool City radio went on air.
18/10/1974, Friday (+10,755) A unit in Whitehall; was set up to prepare for devolution of power to Wales and Scotland.
14/10/1974, Monday (+10,751) The United Nations recognised the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
12/10/1974, Saturday (+10,750) Ladbrokes gave odds of 50 to 1 against Mrs Thatcher being the successor to Edward Heath.
11/10/1974. Friday (+10,748) Labour won the British elections with a tiny majority of three seats. Labour won 319 seats, Conservatives won 277, Liberals 13, Scottish Nationalists 11.
8/10/1974, Tuesday (+10,745)
5/10/1974. Saturday (+10,742) 5 died and 65 were injured when the IRA bombed two pubs in Guildford.
4/10/1974, Friday (+10.741) The American, David Kunst, completed the first round the world trip on foot, 14,450 miles, having started in 1970.
2/10/1974, Wednesday (+10,739)
1/10/1974. Tuesday (10,738) (1) The first McDonalds opened in London, heralding the fast-food revolution.
30/9/1974. Monday (+10,737) A report by the Royal Society for the prevention of accidents showed that the 50 mph speed limit imposed on Britain’s roads during the 1973 fuel crisis had reduced road accident casualties by over 6,000. The TV show Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em was showing.
23/9/1974. Monday (+10,730) The world’s first Ceefax service began, operated by the BBC.
14/9/1974. Saturday (+10,721) China sent two giant pandas, Chia-Chia and Ching-Ching, to London Zoo.
12/9/1974. Thursday (+10,719) In Ethiopia, President Haile Selassie was deposed by leaders of the armed forces. He was taken to prison where he died on 27/8/1975. A famine in 1972 in which 200,000 Ethiopians died had exposed the organisational inadequacies of the Ethiopian Government. From early 1974 Ethiopia saw strikes, army mutinies, demonstrations by students and peasants revolts. In June 1974 a committee of junior army officers was formed, known as the Derg, and it was this body who overthrew the President. Unfortunately rule by the Derg proved more autocratic and oppressive than under Haile Selassie.
10/9/1974, Tuesday (+10,717) Guinea Bissau became independent.
8/9/1974, Sunday (+10,715) President Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, issued Nixon an unconditional pardon for any crimes committed whilst in office.
6/9/1974. Friday (+10,713) The stuntman Evel Knievel, a 34 year old former salesman, failed in his attempt to fly a rocket across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. He plunged 1,500 feet into the river 30 seconds after take off. Charles Kray, elder brother of the Kray twins, left Maidstone Prison for 5 days ‘acclimatisation leave’. Mary Whitehouse described as ‘completely irresponsible’ a sketch on the BBC children’s programme Jackanory in which a actors walked away unharmed after blowing up a car. At least one Japanese soldier was reported to be still roaming the forests of the central Philippines, left behind after World War Two.
4/9/1974. Wednesday (+10,711) The USA established diplomatic relations with East Germany.
1/9/1974, Sunday (+10,708) General Somoza was elected as President of Nicaragua.
27/8/1974, Tuesday (+10,703)
26/8/1974, Monday (+10,702) Charles Lindbergh, US aviator, the first to fly across the Atlantic solo non-stop in 1927, died.
14/8/1974, Wednesday (+10,690) Clarksons and |Horizon Holidays collapsed, leaving over 5,000 stranded abroad.
9/8/1974. Friday (+10,685) Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th President of the USA. He succeeded Richard Nixon, who had resigned over Watergate, hence Ford became the first President not chosen by the US people in an election. See 8/9/1974.
8/8/1974. Thursday (+10,684) Richard Nixon announced his resignation as US President after his implication in the Watergate scandal. President Ford granted a pardon to Nixon for any offences he might have committed in the Watergate affair. Nixon was the first American President to resign. See 9/5/1974. President Gerald Ford takes office as the 38th president. He was the first person not to have been elected by ballot to the Presidency or Vice Presidency.
5/8/1974. Monday (+10,681) President Nixon admitted his complicity in the Watergate affair. See 27/7/1974 and 8/8/1974.
27/7/1974. Saturday (+10,672) (1) Greek military leaders handed political power to a civilian government.
(2) A Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon for obstructing justice in the Watergate affair. See 20/10/1973 and 5/8/1974.
26/7/1974, Friday (+10,671) An IRA bomb exploded in a Heathrow car park.
25/7/1974, Thursday (+10,670) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that Britain was not bound to observe Iceland’s unilateral extension of its fishing rights from 12 to 50 miles in 1972.
24/7/1974, Wednesday (+10,669) Sir James Chadwick, physicist and discoverer of the neutron, Nobel Prize winner, died aged 82.
23/7/1974, Tuesday (+10,668) The Greek ‘Colonels’ military junta resigned. Civilian rule returned to Greece.
22/7/1974. Monday (+10,667) Greece and Turkey agreed to a ceasefire in Cyprus. On 23/7/1974 Sampson was replaced as President by Glafkos Clerides. 2,000 British and foreign residents and tourists were evacuated by the Royal Navy. 20/7/1974. Saturday (+10,665) Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, after the overthrow of Makarios. See 15/7/1974.
18/7/1974, Thursday (+10,663) The Maplin project, which would have created a seaport and airport combined the size of Rotterdam off the Essex coast, was scrapped.
17/7/1974, Wednesday (+10,662) An IRA bomb exploded at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41.
15/7/1974. Monday (+10,660) In Cyprus. Archbishop Makarios was deposed as President in a coup by officers of the Greek National Guard. Nicos Sampson was installed as President. Makarios, nearly assassinated, went into exile for 6 months. Cyprus descended into near-anarchy, and Turkey took advantage of this to invade (see 20/7/1974). By August 1974 Turkey occupied the northern 40% of Cyprus; Greeks were forced to leave this area.
1/7/1974. Monday (+10,646) (1) A loaf of bread cost 15p, and beer rose on the budget by 1p to 15p a pint.
(2) General Juan Peron, President of Argentina, died aged 78. He was succeeded by his wife, Maria Estela Peron. However she was deposed in a military coup in March 1976 and sentenced to five years in prison for alleged corruption.
30/6/1974, Sunday (+10,645) France formally left SEATO. At a meeting of ministers in New York at the end of September 1975 it was decided to ‘phase out’ SEATO because of changed conditions in the region.
26/6/1974, Wednesday (+10,641) In the UK, Labour and the TUC agreed on the ‘Social Contract’, to restrain pay claims.
21/6/1974. Friday (+10,636) (1) The destroyer HMS Coventry was launched at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.
(2) TV showed The Wombles.
19/6/1974. Wednesday (+10,634) The Pink Panther Show entertained the young on TV, whilst later on, grown ups had The Two Ronnies. The Best of Les Dawson provided relief after seven hours of World Cup Grandstand.
18/6/1974, Tuesday (+10,633)
17/6/1974. Monday (+10,632) Two large IRA bombs exploded in London. The first went off at the Houses of Parliament just before 8.30a.m. and caused fire damage to the 800 year-old Westminster Hall. The second, larger, bomb, went off at The Tower of London later in the day when there were many tourists there, and there were serious casualties.
12/6/1974. Wednesday (+10,627) The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, opened.
3/6/1974, Monday (+10,618) Yitzhak Rabin became Prime Minister of Israel.
1/6/1974, Saturday (+10,616) A major explosion at the Nypro chemical works at Flixborough, Lincolnshire, killed 29 people. 2,000 houses were damaged and a large cloud of toxic cyclohexane gas escaped. Cyclohexane was used to manufacture nylon. A pipe at Nypro had sprung a leak, leading to 40 tons of cyclohexane gas escaping in about one minute, this gas cloud then ignited.
31/5/1974, Friday (+10,615) Israel signed a truce with Syria.
29/5/1974, Wednesday (+10,613) Northern Irish intransigence caused the Northern Ireland Assembly to collapse, see 28/6/1973.
24/5/1974, Friday (+10,608) Duke Ellington, jazz musician, died of lung cancer aged 75.
23/5/1974. Thursday (+10,607) The Avonmouth M.5 Bridge was opened.
19/5/1974, Sunday (+10,603) (1) Valery Giscard d’Estaing was elected President of France.
(2) A state of emergency was declared in Northern Ireland. An IRA bomb exploded at a Heathrow car park.
18/5/1974. Saturday (+10,602) India exploded its first nuclear bomb. Pakistan, which lost its third war with India in 1970, was nervous.
17/5/1974, Friday (+10,601) Car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan killed 28 people and injured over 100.
16/5/1974, Thursday (+10,600) Helmut Schmidt became Chancellor of West Germany. Chancellor Brandt had resigned on 6/5/1974 over a spy scandal.
15/5/1974, Wednesday (+10,599) General Spinola became ruler of Portugal, see 25/4/1974. A moderate conservative senior army officer, Spinola was unable to block the rise of the Communists in Portugal and he resigned in September 1974. Spinola attempted a counter-coup against the Communists in March 1975 but this failed. In April 1975 Mario Soares’s moderate socialist party won elections, but power remained with the Supreme Revolutionary Council of Marxist Officers, led by Captain Otelo de Carvalho. Portugal seemed to be on the way to becoming a Communist state, but in November 1975 moderate socialists under Colonel Ramalho Eanes arrested Carvalho and other communist officers, with little resistance. Eanes became president in 1976 with Soares as Prime Minister, restoring democracy.
14/5/1974, Tuesday (+10,598) Dr Donald Coggan was made Archbishop of Canterbury.
12/5/1974, Sunday (+10,596)
11/5/1974. Saturday (+10,595) Big earthquake killed 20,000 in Sichuan, China.
10/5/1974, Friday (+10,594) Anatoly Karpov defeated Boris Spassky to become world chess champion.
9/5/1974. Thursday (+10,593) Impeachment proceedings were opened against President Nixon – see 2/3/1974 and 8/8/1974.
8/5/1974, Wednesday (+10,592) UK nurses began a strike over low pay.
6/5/1974, Monday (+10,590) Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, was forced to resign after he unwittingly employed an East German spy as a secretary. There had been warnings fro 4 years that Gunter Guillaume was a spy. Brandt became Foreign Minister in 1966 and West Germany’s first Social Democratic Chancellor in 1969. In 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price for his policies of detente with the Communist bloc.
25/4/1974, Thursday (+10,579) A military coup in Portugal. PM Marcello Caetano was overthrown in an almost bloodless military coup organised by left-wing junior officers of the secret Movimento das Forcas Armadas (MFA). There was dissatisfaction with Portugal’s demoralising colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique. The coup provoked rejoicing in Lisbon and the red carnation was adopted as symbpl of the revolution. See 15/5/1974.
20/4/1974, Saturday (+10,574) A Catholic became the thousandth person to die in ‘The Troubles’.
12/4/1974. Friday (+10,566) Israeli soldiers destroyed several houses in Lebanon in retaliation for an Arab guerrilla attack on the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona in which 18 people died. Films on release included Last Tango in Paris and The Exorcist.
10/4/1974. Wednesday (+10,564) Golda Meir resigned as Israeli Prime Minister. Yitzhak Rabin of the Labour party replaced her on 22/4/1974.
6/4/1974, Saturday (+10,560) Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Waterloo.
2/4/1974. Tuesday (+10,556) Georges Pompidou, French president from 1969, died in office, from cancer, aged 62.
1/4/1974. Monday (+10,555) Major reorganisation of British Local Authorities. Rutland disappeared, and 4 new counties were created. They were Avon, Cleveland, Humberside, and Cumbria.
29/3/1974. Friday (10,552) The US spacecraft Mariner sent back the first photos of the planet Mercury.
25/3/1974. Monday (+10,548) Fifty army officers were killed after a failed coup attempt against President Idi Amin of Uganda.
20/3/1974, Wednesday (+10,543) A kidnap attempt was made on Princess Anne, in The Mall, London. The perpetrator, Ian Ball, was making a bizarre attempt to draw attention to the decline in medical services for mental patients in Britain.
13/3/1974, Wednesday (+10,536) Sir Eric Gairy, Prime Minister of Grenada, was ousted in a coup by 33-year-old Marxist, Maurice Bishop, whilst Gairy was away in New York.
10/3/1974, Sunday (+10,533) A Japanese soldier was found hiding on Lubang Island in the Philippines; he believed World War Two was ongoing and was waiting for relief by his own side.
9/3/1974, Saturday (+10,532) Britain’s 3-day-week ended. The three-day week had begun in December 1973 to conserve fuel supplies. Oil supplies from the Middle East had been disrupted due to an Arab-Israeli war.
8/3/1974, Friday (+10,531) Charles de Gaulle airport at Paris was opened.
6/3/1974. Wednesday (+10,529) Harold Wilson formed a minority Labour government. Mr Denis Winston Healey became Chancellor of the Exchequer. The UK coal miners were offered a 35% pay increase, and returned to work. Labour had 301 seats, the Conservatives had 297, the Liberals 14, 9 were held by Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, and 12 to Northern Ireland.
4/3/1974, Monday (+10,527) Edward Heath resigned as Prime Minister.
3/3/1974, Sunday (+10,526) A Turkish Airlines DC10 crashed into a wood near Paris, killing all 344 people on board.
2/3/1974. Saturday (+10,525) A USA Grand Jury decided Richard Nixon was involved in the Watergate cover up see 9/5/1974.
1/3/1974. Friday (+10,524) 7 of President Nixon’s advisors were arrested over charges to obstruct justice in the Watergate investigation.
28/2/1974. Thursday (+10,523) (1) General Election in the UK. 4/3/1974. Harold Wilson, born 11/3/1916, succeeded Edward Heath as Prime Minister. There was no overall majority; Labour gained 301 seats, the Conservatives 296, and the Liberals, 14 seats. Other parties gained 9 seats. See 13/12/1973, 4/2/1975 and 5/4/1976. Edward Heath had tried to make a coalition with the Liberals on 7/2/1974 but they refused. The Conservatives gained 225,789 more votes than Labour did, but fewer seats.
(2) The USA and Egypt resumed diplomatic relations after a break of 7 years.
23/2/1974, Saturday (+19,518)
22/2/1974. Friday (+10,517) Pakistan recognised Bangladesh.
21/2/1974, Thursday (+10,516) The last Israeli military units left the west bank of the Suez Canal.
15/2/1974, Friday (+10,510) Fierce fighting on the Golan Heights between Israel and |Syria.
13/2/1974. Wednesday (+10,508) (Russia) Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1970, was expelled from the USSR. This was a result of the publication of his work, The Gulag Archipelago, a study of the Stalinist prison camp system. Solzhenitsyn himself had spent time in these camps between 1945 and 1953.
8/2/1974, Friday (+10,503) America’s final Skylab mission ended after 84 days, as Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson, and William Pogue returned to Earth.
7/2/1974, Thursday (+10,502) Grenada, in the Windward Islands, became an independent state within the Commonwealth, with Eric Gairy as its first Prime Minister. It had been a British colony since 1783.
6/2/1974, Wednesday (+10,501)
5/2/1974. Tuesday (+10,500) The US spacecraft Mariner 10 sent back pictures of Venus.
4/2/1974, Monday (+10,499) (1) 12 men were killed as an IRA bomb went off on their army coach whilst on the M.62 near Bradford, Yorkshire; 11 died.
(2) Heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped.
2/2/1974, Saturday (+10,497)
1/2/1974. Friday (+10,496) Ronald Biggs, who had escaped from London’s Wandsworth Prison n 1965, was arrested in Rio De Janeiro, but extradition was refused. Biggs had been serving 30 years for his part in the Great Train Robbery.
31/1/1974, Thursday (+10,495) Sam Goldwyn, Polish-born US film producer, died aged 91.
13/1/1974, Sunday (+10,477) The world’s largest airport opened, at Dallas, Texas, USA.
11/1/1974. Friday (+10,475) The first surviving sextuplets were born to Mrs Sue Rosenberg in Cape Town, South Africa.
8/1/1974. Tuesday (+10,472) In Rome, youths protested against the film Jesus Christ Superstar. The film’s makers protested that this film should not be confused with the Danish film Jesus Christ Superstud.
7/1/1974, Monday (+10,471) In response to fuel shortages (see 4/11/1973 and 17/10/1073), The Netherlands introduced petrol rationing.
4/1/1974. Friday (+10,468) On TV, whilst Holiday ’74 compared the rival delights of Blackpool and Benidorm, Dad’s Army also entertained viewers. The James Bond film Live and let Die was released in South Africa. Teachers requested that 16 year old ‘bovver boys’ (“they don’t even speak English, they just grunt”) should be allowed to leave school as soon as exams were over rather than having to stay on till the end of term.
1/1/1974, Tuesday (+10,465) (1) Direct Rule in Northern Ireland ended as a new Ulster Executive took control; however Direct Rule was reinstated later in 1974.
(2) New Year’s Day was a public holiday for the first time in the UK.
(3) Golda Meir was re-elected Prime Minister of Israel.
30/12/1973, Sunday (+10,463) In London, Joseph Seiff, Jewish head of Marks and Spencer, was shot and injured by an Arab terrorist.
23/12/1973. Sunday (+10,456) OPEC quadrupled the price of crude oil.
20/12/1973, Thursday (+10,453) The Spanish Prime Minister, Luis Carrero Blanca, was killed in Madrid by a Basque ETA bomb which blew his car up.
17/12/1973. Monday (+10,450) 31 people died after Arab guerrillas hijacked a West German airliner at Rome Airport.
14/12/1973. Friday (+10,447) John Paul Getty II was freed by kidnappers after his grandfather paid a US$ 750,000 ransom.
13/12/1973. Thursday (+10,446) A three day working week, beginning from 1/1/1974, was ordered by Edward Heath’s government because of the Arab oil embargo and the coal miner’s industrial action. See 5/12/1973 and 8/1/1974. Use of electricity for much of industry and commerce was restricted, and TV had to close down at 10.30 pm. The miners had rejected a 13% pay offer and staged an overtime ban, and fighting in the Middle East had massively raised oil prices. Coal supplies to the power stations dropped by 40%. Disruption to the coal mines, power stations, and railways forced a General Election, on 28/2/1974, which the Conservatives lost.
Within 1 week 320,000 workers in the Midlands alone registered as temporary unemployed; nationwide the unemployment total rose to 1.5 million. However many smaller Black Country companies just carried on with a normal work week. Officially, five-day working recommenced on 9/3/1974.
11/12/1973, Tuesday (+10,444)
9/12/1973, Sunday (+10,442) A 4-day conference ended at Sunningdale with an historic Anglo-Irish agreement to set up a Council of Ireland, There would be cooperation between Dublin and Belfast in areas such as trade and tourism. The Irish Republic agreed there could be no change in the status of Northern Ireland without majority consent. Northern Ireland Loyalists remained opposed to any power sharing with Dublin.
7/12/1973, Friday (+10,440)
6/12/1973. Thursday (+10,439) Gerald Ford sworn in as US Vice President.
5/12/1973, Wednesday (+10,438) The UK government announced a nation-wide speed limit of 50 mph to conserve oil stocks, see 13/12/1973.
1/12/1973. Saturday (+10,434) (1) Death of the Israeli statesman David Ben Gurion. Born in 1886 he was one of the founders of the State of Israel and its first President from 1948 to 1963.
(2) Papua New Guinea became internally self-governing, see 16/9/1975.
27/11/1973, Tuesday (+10,430)
25/11/1973, Sunday (+10,428) The 200th British soldier died in Northern Ireland.
14/11/1973, Wednesday (+10,417) Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.
13/11/1973, Tuesday (+10,416) In the UK, a state of emergency was declared as miners and power workers went on strike.
11/11/1973. Sunday (+10,414) Egypt and Israel signed a ceasefire agreement.
9/11/1973. Friday (+10,412) Six Watergate burglars jailed in the US.
8/11/1973, Thursday (+10,411) The Cod War between Britain and Iceland ended.
7/11/1973, Wednesday (+10,410) Pakistan formally left SEATO.
4/11/1973, Sunday (+10,407) In response to fuel shortages caused by an Arab oil embargo (see 17/10/1973), The Netherlands introduced car-less Sundays (Autoloze Zondags), when all motor vehicles were banned from the road, see also 7/1/1974. By the end of November 1973 Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and West Germany had also introduced car-less Sundays. Only emergency vehicles, taxis, and some exempt drivers such as doctors and diplomats were allowed to drive on the roads.
1/11/1973. Thursday (+10,404) The new bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill was unveiled in Parliament Square by the Queen, the Queen Mother, and five Prime Ministers. These were Heath, Wilson, Douglas – Home, MacMillan, and Eden. The Royal Commission on the constitution completely rejected the case for separate sovereign parliaments for Scotland and Wales. The Watergate Tapes case continued with President Richard Nixon in Washington.
31/10/1973, Wednesday (+10,403) Three provisional IRA leaders were sprung from Mountjoy Prison with a hi-jacked helicopter.
26/10/1973, Friday (+10,398) US President Nixon considered an attack on the Soviet Union, after hearing that the USSR was arming Arab nations in the Middle East.
21/10/1973. Sunday (+10,393) The Sydney Opera House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II. It was designed by Danish architect Joern Utzon. Costs had soared from AU$ 7 million (UK£ 3 million) to AU$ 100 million (UK£ 43 million). The orchestra pit was criticised for being too small.
20/10/1973, Saturday (+10,392) (1) Sixteen impeachment orders were raised in the US House of Representatives after President Nixon ordered the removal from office of a special prosecutor who had refused to do a deal over the Watergate tapes, see 16/7/1973 and 27/7/1974.
(2) The Dalai Lama first visited Britain.
19/10/1973, Friday (+10,391) Severe floods in Spain killed 500.
17/10/1973. Wednesday (+10,389) Oil prices suddenly rose 70%. Saudi Arabia and several other oil-rich Arab countries voted to cut off supplies to America, and on 19/10/1973 Libya said it would also cut supplies to the USA and raise the price of oil to other countries from $4.90 a barrel to $8.25 a barrel. On 21/10/1973 Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait also cut US supplies. This was OPEC’s first major action since it was founded in 1960. Western experts predicted oil prices of over $100 a barrel by 2000. In fact in 2003 prices were around $30 a barrel. However they were rising through US$ 60 in June 2005, and just over US$ 100 a barrel in 2013.
13/10/1973, Saturday (+10,385) The Polish Sejm (Parliament) passed a Bill adopting a national system of education, 11 years from ages 7 to 18, 3 years primary, 5 years secondary, and 3 years specialised secondary for certain careers.
12/10/1973. Friday (+10,384) (1) In the US, President Richard Nixon nominated Gerald Ford as Vice President.
(2) Students jostled the Queen when she visited Stirling University.
8/10/1973. Monday (+10,380) Britain’s first legal commercial radio station, LBC (London Broadcasting Company) Radio in London, began transmission.
6/10/1973. Saturday (+10,378) Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War. Syria also attacked Israel on a second front. Israeli civilians had to be mobilised before the Syrians could be halted. Egyptian tanks entered the Sinai, but on 15/10/1773 the Israeli General Sharon crossed on to the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal and cut off the Egyptian 100,000 – strong Third Army. Fighting ceased on 23/10/1973. This war strained relations between the USA and the USSR, who backed Israel and the Arabs respectively. The USSR was forced to threaten ‘unilateral military action’ if the USA did not enforce a ceasefire, when it was clear the Israelis were winning.
1/10/1973, Monday (+10,373) Denis Healey promised that Labour will tax the rich ‘until the pips squeak’.
26/9/1973, Wednesday (+10,368) a French Concorde flew non-stop from Washington to Paris in 3 hours 32 minutes. Now Concorde is out of service the same flight takes over eight hours.
24/9/1973, Monday (+10,366) Guinea Bissau became independent.
23/9/1973. Sunday (+10,365) General Juan Peron was elected President of Argentina.
20/9/1973, Thursday (+10,362) An IRA bomb exploded at Chelsea Barracks, London.
18/9/1973, Tuesday (+10,360)
15/9/1973, Saturday (+10,357) Gustavus VI, King of Sweden since 1950, died aged 90.
11/9/1973. Tuesday (+10,353) A military junta took control in Chile after President Salvador Allende, elected leader of a left-wing government, was deposed. He committed suicide as his palace was bombarded by planes and tanks. The coup was mounted by General Augusto Pinochet, and backed by the USA. This was the prelude to a savage repression in Chile in which at least 3,000 civilians were killed, and tens of thousands tortured or exiled. A majority of Chileans had probably favoured the overthrow of Allende, but did not support the repression that followed. Allende had attempted to run a Socialist government but with parliamentary democracy; however there was widespread unrest from business interests, and a major lorry drivers strike in 1972-3, backed by the CIA. Coups swiftly followed in Uruguay and Argentina, where 30,000 were killed by the dictatorship.
Due to Pinochet’s rule, and that of Mexico’s Carlos Salinas and Peru’s Alberto Fujimori, many Latin Americans in 2003 associate free-market economics with authoritarian rule. Augusto Pinochet ruled for 17 years. His free-market reforms led to rapid economic growth for Chile, but at great cost to human life and rights.
10/9/1973, Monday (+10,352) IRA bombs exploded at several London railway stations, injuring 13 people.
5/9/1973, Wednesday (+10,347)
4/9/1973. Tuesday (+10,346) (1) BBC2 was still broadcasting for less than 7 hours a day, including the antique –lover’s show Collector’s World. ITV began at 11.15 am with Galloping Gourmet. Other programmes of the day included A TUC Special, Crossroads, and the sitcom Up The Workers. Emmerdale Farm was also on, and schedules closed at 12.15 am after The Evangelists. The Rolling Stones played in London for the first time in 2 ½ years, and then attended a party at Buckingham Palace which Mick Jagger described as ‘very dull’.
(2) First class stamps rose to 3 ½ pence and second class to 3p, and the price of half a dozen eggs rose by 2p, making them between 37p and 42p for six.
(3) IRA Bombs exploded in London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
3/9/1973, Monday (+10,345) In the UK, 20 Trade Unions were expelled from the TUC.
2/9/1973, Sunday (+10,344) J R R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, died at Bournemouth.
31/8/1973. Friday (+10,342) (1) The growing drugs menace in Britain was investigated by the TV programme Midweek on Drugs.
(2) The IRA exploded a large bomb in London’s West End after a security drive by Scotland Yard. There were no casualties but thousands of guests were evacuated from nearby hotels and a large number of cars were wrecked.
28/8/1973. Tuesday (+10,339) 500 killed in Mexican earthquake.
20/8/1973, Monday (+10,331) (1) IRA bombs exploded in London.
(2) On TV, an account was shown of how the local community was resisting the new 6-lane Archway Road, north London.
5/8/1973, Sunday (+10,316) A terrorist attack at Athens Airport left 3 dead and 55 wounded.
2/8/1973. Thursday (+10,313) 46 people died and 80 were injured when fire swept through the Summerland amusement centre at Douglas, Isle of Man. The acrylic sheeting covering the structure caught fire and melted onto the people below.
31/7/1973, Tuesday (+10,311) The first, tumultuous, meeting of the new Northern Ireland Assembly took place in Belfast.
30/7/1973, Monday (+10,310) Families of thalidomide victims won £20 million damages after an 11-year court case fought on their behalf by The Sunday Times newspaper. Babies had been born with missing or malformed limbs after their pregnant mothers took the drug for morning sickness.
20/7/1973. Friday (+10,300) A Japanese Boeing 747 with 123 passengers and 22 crew was hijacked over Holland and forced to fly to Dubai. Later, at Benghazi, the aircraft was blown up by the hijackers. A girl hijacker was killed by a grenade explosion, but all passengers and crew escaped.
16/7/1973, Monday (+10,296) A former White House aide revealed that all conversations in the White House had been recorded, at President Nixon’s request, see 25/6/1973. Nixon flouted several subsequent court orders to release the tapes, see 20/10/1973.
15/7/1973. Sunday (+10,295) Paul Getty III was kidnapped
10/7/1973. Tuesday (+10,290) The Bahamas became independent from Britain and joined the Commonwealth. They had been British colony since 1783.
5//7/1973, Thursday (+10,285) Rioting at Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
1/7/1973, Sunday (+10,281) A pint of draught lager cost 14p. A 800g white loaf of bread cost 11p. 1kg dessert apples cost 28p. A pint of milk cost 6p. 1kg pork sausages cost 58p. 250g UK butter cost 13p. 1kg carrots cost 11p. 1kg granulated sugar cost 11p. 100g instant coffee cost 28p. A dozen eggs cost 33p. 1.5kg self-raising flour cost 15p. 1 litre diesel cost 14p. An average detached house cost £16,980. Gold was £34 per troy ounce.
28/6/1973, Thursday (+10,278) A Northern Ireland Assembly was elected, but collapsed, see 29/5/1974.
25/6/1973, Monday (+20,275) US President Nixon’s former legal counsel, John Dean, gave evidence at the Ervin Committee that directly contradicted Nixon’s statement regarding Watergate that he had made on 22/5/1973, see also 16/7/1973.
24/6/1973. Sunday (+10,274) Irish President De Valera resigned at the age of 90; he had been President since 1959. Erskine Childers succeeded him. De Valera died on 29/8/1975.
23/6/1973, Saturday (+10,273) The first graduates from the Open University received their degrees at a ceremony at Alexandra Palace, London.
22/6/1973. Friday (+10,272) East and West Germany were accepted into the UN.
20/6/1973, Wednesday (+10,270) Juan Peron returned to Argentina as President after 20 years exile.
19/6/1973, Tuesday (+10,269)
8/6/1973, Friday (+10,258) Enoch Powell said people should vote Labour to protest against Britain joining the EEC.
7/6/1973, Thursday (+10,257) The West German Chancellor Willy Brandt visited Israel.
6/6/1973, Wednesday (+10,256)
4/6/1973. Monday (+10,254) A Soviet version of Concorde crashed at the Paris Air Show. All six crew, and 27 spectators, were killed. Sabotage was suspected.
3/6/1973, Sunday (+10,253) Israel freed 96 Arab prisoners in exchange for 3 pilots.
1/6/1973. Friday (+10,251) (1) The Greek monarchy was abolished and George Papadopoulos became first president of the Republic. The Greek Colonels (see 21/4/1967 and 13/12/1967) alleged that ex-King Constantine II was plotting to overthrow their regime from exile.
(2) The British colony of British Honduras was officially renamed Belize. See 21/1/1981.
26/5/1973. Saturday (+10,245) An Icelandic gunboat shelled and holed a British trawler.
24/5/1973. Thursday (+10,243) The Cod War continued between Britain and Iceland. In Reykjavik several hundred protesters, in a crowd of several thousand, threw stones, eggs, and paint at the British Embassy. Reykjavik’s 150 police officers were hopelessly outnumbered.
22/5/1973, Tuesday (+10,241) President Nixon admitted concealing evidence of wrongdoing regarding Watergate (see 17/5/1973 and 25//6/1973), but denied knowing of the burglary before it took place.
21/5/1973, Monday (+10,240) A British warship and an Icelandic frigate played cat and mouse in the first Royal Navy action of the Cod War. The British frigate Cleopatra and the Icelandic gunboat Thor were shadowing each other when the Thor suddenly turned and chased after a German trawler; the Cleopatra followed. The Thor suddenly turned and confronted the Cleopatra; Cleopatra retreated, with Thor in chase. As darkness fell the two ships were still dodging each other.
20/2/1973, Sunday (+10,239)
18/5/1973, Friday (+10,237) Royal Navy frigates were sent to protect British trawlers fishing in disputed waters near Iceland.
17/5/1973. Wednesday (+10,236) US Senate hearings over Watergate began. See 30/1/1973 and 22/5/1973.
14/5/1973. Monday (+10,233) The US put Skylab I into orbit. It eventually returned to Earth on 11 July 1979 after 34,981 orbits.
8/5/1973, Tuesday (+10,227)
4/5/1973, Friday (+10,223) The Sears Tower in Chicago, then the world’s tallest office building at 1,454 feet and 110 storeys was ‘topped out’ when the highest storey was completed.
1/5/1973, Tuesday (+10,220) A TUC 1-day strike in protest at pay restraint was supported by 1.6 million workers.
30/4/1973. Monday (+10,219) 4 of Nixon’s aides resigned over Watergate.
24/4/1973, Tuesday (+10,213) An Icelandic gunboat opened fire on two British trawlers.
16/4/1973. Monday (+10,205) (1) US bombing raids resumed on Laos.
(2) Criminal indictments were expected to be issued against senior members of President Nixon’s staff over the Watergate affair. The Church of England said that practising homosexuals would not be accepted for training as priests after a radio statement by the Archbishop of York said that many clergymen were homosexuals.
9/4/1973. Monday (+10,198) Arab terrorists attempted to hijack an Israeli plane at Nicosia. One Arab was killed and 7 captured.
8/4/1973. Sunday (+10,197) (1) Indian troops annexed Sikkim in the Himalayas.
(2) The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso died of a heart attack, aged 91. He was famous for his Cubist style.
3/4/1973, Tuesday (+10,192) The world’s first ever mobile phone call was made, in New York.
1/4/1973. Sunday (+10,190) VAT, or Value Added Tax, was introduced in Britain. It replaced Purchase Tax and Selective Employment Tax; this latter tax was meant to favour manufacturing jobs over services, and so prop up the UK’s old staple industries, but was doomed to failure.
29/3/1973, Thursday (+10,187) (SE Asia, USA) US pulled its last troops out of South Vietnam. The quadrupling of oil prices by OPEC worsened the finances of the USA. Nixon was in trouble with Watergate and Congress reasserted its power over US foreign policy. The War Powers Resolution of November 1973 removed the President’s power to make war without prior Congressional approval, nullifying Nixon’s promise to send troops to support South Vietnam if the Communists threatened again. In 1974 Congress slashed the budget for the war in Vietnam. US influence also declined in Cambodia, where extensive bombing had disrupted society and promoted the growth of the Communist Khmer Rouge, backed by Prince Sihanouk. Many Cambodians regarded Sihanouk as their legitimate leader, and by 1974 Sihanouk’s US-backed replacement, General Lon Nol, controlled just one third of Cambodia. In Laos an extensive bombing campaign to destroy the Ho Chi Minh trail, a network of routes used to supply the Communist Vietcong, simply resulted in the strengthening of the Pathet Lao, the Laotian Communists. Throughout 1974 the North Vietnamese quietly built up strength in the border regions of South Vietnam, and on 7/1/1975 they captured the South Vietnamese province of Phuoc Long.
28/3/1973, Wednesday (+10,186) Marlon Brando refused an Oscar because of Hollywood’s abuses of the American Indians.
26/3/1973. Monday (+10,184) Women were allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time. Mrs Susan Shaw stepped onto the floor, the first woman in the 171-year history of the Stock Exchange.
20/3/1973, Tuesday (+10,178) Trial without jury was introduced for terrorist offences on Northern Ireland.
16/3/1973. Friday (+10,174) The new London Bridge was opened by the Queen. In 23/9/1968 the foundation stone of the old London Bridge had been laid at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
9/3/1973, Friday (+10,167) A referendum in Northern Ireland showed 592,000 in favour of retaining links with the UK; 6,000 voted for union with Ireland. Most Catholics boycotted the vote.
8/3/1973. Thursday (+10,166) (1) The IRA set off two bombs in London, outside the Old Bailey and in Whitehall. One person was killed and 244 injured.
7/3/1973, Wednesday (+10,165)
6/3/1973, Tuesday (+10,164) The UK government budget introduced VAT and car tax.
5/3/1973, Monday (+10,163) 68 people died when two Spanish airliners collided over France, during a French air traffic controllers strike.
3/3/1973, Saturday (+10,161)
1/3/1973, Thursday (+10,159) An IRA bomb exploded in London, killing one and injuring 238.
28/2/1973, Wednesday (+10,158) US Indians took hostages at Wounded Knee. They challenged the US Government to ‘repeat the massacre of Sioux Indians’ that happened there over 80 years earlier.
21/2/1973, Wednesday (+10,151) A ceasefire agreement was signed in Vientiane, capital of Laos, between the Pathet Lao Communist guerrillas and the Lao Government. By now the Communists occupied much of Laos. See 2/12/1975.
14/2/1973, Wednesday (+10,144) An Israeli fighter jet shot down a Libyan passenger plane over the Sinai Desert, killing 74 passengers and crew.
12/2/1973, Monday (+10,142) The first group of American POWs was released from North Vietnam.
8/2/1973. Thursday (+10,138) Makarios was re-elected President of Cyprus.
7/2/1973, Wednesday (+10,137) Unionists in Northern Ireland called a 1-day strike.
5/2/1973, Monday (+10,135) 20,000 Black workers went on strike in South Africa.
1/2/1973, Thursday (+10,131) The Common Agricultural Policy of the EEC came into operation.
30/1/1973, Tuesday (+10,129) G Gordon and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping, and attempted bugging of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Building in Washington. The men were part of the Campaign to Re Elect the President (CREEP) campaign (President Nixon). See 17/6/1972 and 17/5/1973.
29/1/1973, Monday (+10,128) The USA’s balance of payments deficit for 1972 was estimated at US$ 6 – 7 billion; the Dollar collapsed.
28/1/1973, Sunday (+10,127) Police in Londonderry fired rubber bullets on a crowd marking the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
27/1//1973. Saturday (+10,126) The war in Vietnam ended, as President Nixon signed the ceasefire agreement in Paris. One million combatants had been killed. The last US troops left Vietnam on 29/3/1972. This was just days before the Watergate scandal erupted. US astronauts were preparing for the launch of Skylab. However fighting later continued between North and South Vietnam, see 30/4/1975.
25/1/1973, Thursday (-10,124)
23/1/1973. Tuesday (+10,122) 5,000 evacuated from the island of Heimay in Iceland as volcano erupted.
22/1/1973, Monday (+10,121) (1) The US Supreme Court ruled, in Roe vs Wade; a ruling that resulted in the liberalisation of abortion laws, so women had the freedom to choose a private abortion. Abortion was subsequently legalised in France (1975) and Italy (1977). The actual case was between Henry Wade, Dallas County District Attorney, and Norma McCorvey; McCorvey’s name was disguised as Jane Roe.
(2) Lyndon Johnson, US Democrat President from 1963 to 1969, died of a heart attack in San Antonio, Texas.
20/1/1973. Saturday (+10,119) Disc Jockey Jimmy Saville ran his ‘clunk click every time’ seat belt campaign.
17/1/1973. Wednesday (+10,116) President Marcos of the Philippines extended his term indefinitely.
15/1/1973. Monday (+10,114) Bombing of North Vietnam halted by Nixon, as he ordered a ceasefire. This followed an intensive US bombing campaign of Hanoi over Christmas 1972, in which a hospital was destroyed and 1,600 civilians killed as 36,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the city, leaving much of it in ruins. US Congress was hostile to further bombing raids.
12/1/1973. Friday (+10,111) Yasser Arafat was re-elected leader of the PLO.
11/1/1973. Thursday (+10,110) The Open University awarded its first degrees. See 23/7/1969.
9/1/1973, Tuesday (+10,108)
1/1/1973. Monday (+10,100) Britain, Denmark, and Ireland joined the EEC, enlarging it from 6 to 9 countries.
31/12/1972, Sunday (+10,099) (1) Sinclair were selling a pocket calculator for £79, or US$ 195.
(2) Casualties in the Northern Ireland conflict over 1972 amounted to 467, including 103 British soldiers.
30/12/1972, Saturday (+10,098) The Tutankhamen exhibition closed in London; 1.6 million had visited since it opened on 29/3/1972.
28/12/1972, Thursday (+10,096)
27/12/1972, Wednesday (+10,095) Death of Lester Pearson, Canadian politician and Liberal Prime Minister 1963-8.
26/12/1972. Tuesday (+10,094) Harry S Truman, Democrat, 23rd US President 1945-53, died in Independence, Missouri, aged 88.
25/12/1972. Monday (+10,093) In Managua, Nicaragua, over 10,000 people were killed in an earthquake.
18/12/1972. Monday (+10,086) Heavy bombing of Hanoi by US B-52s.
7/12/1972, Thursday (+10,075) The US spacecraft Apollo 17 was launched, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, Dr Harrison Schmitt. Cernan and Schmitt made the 6th Moon landing.
1/12/1972, Friday (+10,069) Two IRA bombs exploded in Belfast, killing two people and injuring 127.
30/11/1972, Thursday (+10,068) The UK Government cancelled a planned £10 million loan to Uganda because of Amin’s treatment of the Asians there.
28/11/1972, Tuesday (+10,066) North and South Yemen agreed to unify.
26/11/1972, Sunday (+10,064) The Race Relations Act became UK law; employers were now not allowed to discriminate on grounds of race.
22/11/1972. Wednesday (+10,060) The first US B-52 bomber was shot down over Vietnam.
15/11/1972. Wednesday (+10,053) The RAF museum at Hendon opened.
9/11/1972. Thursday (+10,047) New London Stock Exchange opened by the Queen.
7/11/1972. Tuesday (+10,045) Richard Nixon was re-elected President of the USA for a second four year term.
6/11/1972, Monday (+10,044) The UK faced continued large pay claims, such as the miners settlement of a 22% rise in February 1972 backdated to November 1971. Rising inflation was an ongoing threat. On this day the Prime Minister announced a compulsory freeze on prices, pay, dividends and rents for a period of 90 days, with a possible extension of a further 60 days.
29/10/1972, Sunday (+10,036) Black September terrorists hijacked a Lufthansa aircraft and successfully negotiated the release of the three terrorists being held in Germany for the Munich bombing.
26/10/1972, Thursday (+10,033) Igor Sikorsky, Russian-born US aeronautical engineer who developed the first successful helicopter in 1939, died in Easton, Connecticut.
25/10/1972. Wednesday (+10,032) Iceland boycotted British goods as part of the Cod War.
18/10/1972, Wednesday (+10,025)
17/10/1972. Tuesday (+10,024) European Communities Bill received Royal Assent.
16/10/1972. Monday (+10,023) Protesters demanded compensation from the makers of the drug Thalidomide. Venereal Disease cases amongst under 16s were up 10% on last year. BBC1’s daytime TV included Pebble Mill At One and The Magic Roundabout as well as Blue Peter. Soaps included Crossroads, filmed in a Birmingham warehouse. Z Cars and Mastermind were also on the TV schedules. ITV was offering Opportunity Knocks and Coronation Street. Films included Steven Spielberg’s Duel.
13/10/1972. Friday (+10,020) In Britain, the ‘Minimum Lending Rate’ replaced the ‘Bank Rate’.
10/10/1972. Tuesday (+10,017) Sir John Betjeman, born 28/8/1906, was appointed Poet Laureate.
5/10/1972. Thursday (+10,012) The Congregational Church and the Presbyterian Church of England combined to form the United Reformed Church.
2/10/1972. Monday (+10,009) Denmark voted in a referendum to join the Common Market.
1/10/1972, Sunday (+10,008) The archaeologist and anthropologist David Leakey died. He had worked on human fossils in Africa to trace the history of mankind.
26/9/1972. Tuesday (+10,003) (1) Norway voted in a referendum against joining the Common Market.
(2) President Nixon opened the Museum of Immigration, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, New York.
22/9/1972, Friday (+9,999) Idi Amin gave the remaining 80,000 Ugandan Asians 48 hours to leave Uganda.
17/9/1972, Sunday (+9,994) The first Asians fleeing Idi Amin arrived in the UK.
15/9/1972, Friday (+9,992) Seven men were indicted in Washington over the Watergate burglary on 17/6/1972. They were charged with burglary, wiretapping and conspiracy. Five of the seven were arrested at the scene, attempting to install bugging devices. All seven were members of the Republican committee to re-elect President Nixon.
11/9/1972. Monday (+9,988) The BBC quiz Mastermind was first broadcast.
8/9/1972. Friday (+9,985) In retaliation for Munich, Israeli jets attacked 10 guerrilla bases in Lebanon.
5/9/1972. Tuesday (+9,982) Arab terrorists from the Black September terrorist group massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Initially 2 athletes were killed and 9 taken hostage as the terrorists broke into dormitory, and after negotiations with the German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, the kidnappers and their hostages were flown to Furstenfeld military airfield, 25 miles from Munich. Later the terrorists were stormed by German police, and all 9 hostages were killed plus a German policeman and 5 terrorists. 3 terrorists were captured; one terrorist escaped. Police had stormed the kidnappers as they attempted to board a waiting aircraft. The Munich Olympic Games continued.
1/9/1972, Friday (+9,978) Iceland extended its fishing limit from 12 to 50 miles.
26/8/1972. Saturday (+9,972) (1) The 20th Olympic Games at Munich opened.
(2) Sir Francis Chichester, English round the world yachtsman, died in Plymouth, Devon.
6/8/1972. Sunday (+9,952) Idi Amin began expelling 50,000 British Asians from Uganda. He gave all Ugandan Asians who were not citizens of Uganda 90 days in which to leave the country.
27/7/1972, Thursday (+9,942) Work began on the Humber Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge with a central span of 4,626 feet. Queen Elizabeth II opened it on 17/7/1981.
25/7/1972, Tuesday (+9,940)
21/7/1972. Friday (+9,936) The IRA set off 19 bombs in Belfast city centre, killing 9 and injuring 130. This day became known as Bloody Friday, and lost the Provisionals much support amongst Roman Catholics. On 31/7/1972 the British army was able to sweep aside the barricades and enter the ‘no-go’ zones with little resistance. British troops were permanently stationed at strongpoints inside Catholic districts. The loss of these safe havens was a major blow to the IRA and their military capability was severely reduced.
14/7/1972, Friday (+9,929) 4 died in Belfast as the IRA ended its 2-week ceasefire.
9/7/1972, Sunday (+9,924) Martin McGuiness from the IRA met William Whitelaw from the British Government in secret talks in London.
7/7/1972, Friday (+9,922) Talal bin Abdullah, King of Jordan, died.
1/7/1972, Saturday (+9,916) Annual fees at Eton public school were £800.
29/6/1972. Thursday (+9,914) The US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.
23/6/1972, Friday (+9,908) Anthony Barber, UK Chancellor, announced he would float the Pound to try and curb inflation.
22/6/1972, Thursday (+9,907) The IRA agreed to a ceasefire.
20/6/1972, Tuesday (+9,905)
17/6/1972. Saturday (+9,902) American biggest political scandal, Watergate, began when five burglars were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office complex, Washington DC, with photographic and surveillance equipment. See 30/1/1973.
16/6/1972, Friday (+9,901) German police captured Ulrike Meinhof, the last member of the Baader Meinhof gang still at large.
11/6/1972. Sunday (+9,896) Gaddafi said Libya was aiding the IRA.
3/6/1972, Saturday (+9,888) In Cincinnati, Sally Priesand was inaugurated as the first woman rabbi.
1/6/1972. Thursday (+9,886) Iraq nationalised the Iraq Petroleum Company.
30/5/1972, Tuesday (+9,884) Terrorists opened fire on passengers at Lod Airport, Israel, killing 26 and injuring hundreds. Two of the terrorists were shot dead by security guards, and the third was arrested. 116 passengers had just arrived on the Air France plane and filed into the airport baggage area; amongst them were three Japanese belonging to the ‘Red Army’, a terrorist organisation with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They opened their luggage which contained submachine guns, ammunition and grenades and proceeded to sweep the airport with gunfire, throwing grenades into huddled groups of passengers, as security guards struggled to respond. The massacre lasted four minutes. Two terrorists died in the baggage hall, one killed by his own grenade. The third ran out onto the runway, discarding his weapon, but was caught by an El-Al mechanic.
29/5/1972. Monday (+9,883) Brezhnev and Nixon signed SALT-2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).
28/5/1972. Sunday (+9,882) The Duke of Windsor, the abdicated King Edward VIII, died in Paris aged 77.
24/5/1972. Wednesday (+9,878) Spaghetti Junction opened in Birmingham. It was expected to handle 40,000 vehicles a day when opened, but in 2002, 140,000 vehicles used the junction every day. This was part of the Midlands Link, opened this day, a seven mile stretch opened by Peter Walker, Secretary of State for the Environment. There was now continuous motorway from London to Carlisle.
22/5/1972. Monday (+9,876) (1) Ceylon, a self-governing dominion since 4/2/1948, became a republic within The Commonwealth, and adopted the new name of Sri Lanka.
16/5/1972, Tuesday (+9,870)
(2) US President Richard Nixon arrived in Moscow, the first visit to the Soviet Union by an American President.
15/5/1972, Monday (+9,869) George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, was shot and injured by a White assailant, Arthur Bremer, aged 21. Wallace, known for his racist and segregationist policies (see 2/9/1963), was campaigning for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination.
9/5/1972, Tuesday (+9,863) Israeli troops stormed a hijacked jet at Jerusalem, freeing 92 passengers held hostage by Black September Palestinian terrorists.
2/5./1972, Tuesday (+9,856) J Edgar Hoover, American founder of and head of the FBI, died in Washington DC.
27/4/1972, Thursday (+9,851) Kwame Nkrumah, former Ghanaian president and Prime Minister, died. Ousted in a military coup in 1966 whilst he was in China, he died in Bucharest, Hungary.
22/4/1972. Saturday (+9,846) John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook arrived in Australia, having become the first people to row across the Pacific.
20/4/1972. Thursday (+9,844) Apollo 16 landed on the Moon.
19/4/1972, Wednesday (+9,843) An inquiry into ‘Bloody Sunday’ found troops were provoked, but then fired recklessly.
18/4/1972. Tuesday (+9,842) Pakistan became a member of the Commonwealth again. See 30/1/1972.
17/4/1972, Monday (+9,841, Bangladesh formally seceded from Pakistan. See 26/3/1971.
16/4/1972, Sunday (+9,840) Apollo 16 was launched with John Young, Charles Duke, and Thomas Mattingley. Young and Duke made the 5th Moon landing.
15/4/1972, Saturday (+9,839) US bombers made heavy raids on North Vietnam.
13/4/1972, Thursday (+9,837) 23 IRA bombs went off in Ulster in the worst day of violence since Direct Rule was imposed.
10/4/1972. Monday (+9,834) Earthquakes in Iran killed over 3,000 people.
1/4/1972. Saturday (+9,825) Hounslow Borough Council began to offer free contraception on the rates. There was no restriction on the type of contraception nor on the marital status of the applicants; they only had to be aged 16 or over and resident in Hounslow.
30/3/1972, Thursday (+9,823) North Vietnam launched a major attack on the South. On 15/4/1972 the US made heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam.
29/3/1972, Wednesday (+9,822) J Arthur Rank, British film entrepreneur, created a peer in 1957, died.
25/3/1972. Saturday (+9,818) Edward Heath announced Direct Rule for Northern Ireland from 30/3/1972.
20/3/1972, Monday (+9,813) An IRA bomb exploded in Belfast, killing 6 and injuring 47.
19/3/1972. Sunday (+9,812) Bangladesh signed a treaty of friendship with India.
7/3/1972, Tuesday (+9,800)
2/3/1972, Thursday (+9,795) The US spacecraft Pioneer 10 blasted off to Mars and Jupiter, a 21-month long mission.
1/3/1972, Wednesday (+9,794) A 14-year-old boy, Timothy Davey, from London was convicted of conspiring to sell cannabis in Turkey.
28/2/1972. Monday (+9,792) The British miners returned to work, after 7 weeks, after agreeing to a wage increase.
25/2/1972, Friday (+9,789) UK miners voted to return to work, accepting by a vote of 27 to 1 the pay offer of 18/2/1972.
22/2/1972. Tuesday (+9,786) Seven, including a gardener, five cleaning women and a Catholic chaplain, were killed when an IRA bomb went off at the Paratroopers HQ at Aldershot. This was in response to the Bloody Sunday incident of 30/1/1972.
21/2/1972, Monday (+9,785) US President Nixon landed in China to forge links with Prime Minister Chou En Lai and Chairman Mao Tse Tung. China still objected to US support for the Taiwan regime.
19/2/1972, Saturday (+9,783)
18/2/1972, Friday (+9,782) British miners were offered a £6 a week pay increase. See 25/2/1972.
17/2/1972, Thursday (+9,781) The German Volkswagen Beetle outsold the US Ford Model T, with over 15 million cars sold.
16/2/1972, Wednesday (+9,780) Power cuts lasting up to 9 hours hit Britain as the miners strike continued.
12/2/1972, Saturday (+9,776)
9/2/1972. Wednesday (+9,773) Due to the month-long miner’s strike, Britain declared a state of emergency. A three-day week was imposed.
8/2/1972, Tuesday (+9,772) Fans demonstrated outside the Albert Hall, London, after Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention concert was cancelled due to obscenities in one of their songs.
2/2/1972, Wednesday (+9,766) Demonstrators protesting over the Bloody Sunday killings of 30/1/1972 burnt down the British Embassy in Dublin. Angry protestors prevented firemen from reaching the building until the roof had fallen in.
30/1/1972. Sunday (+9,763) (1) Pakistan, under Zulfiqar Bhutto, withdrew from the Commonwealth, after Britain, Australia, and New Zealand recognised the independence of Bangladesh. See 18/4/1972.
(2) Bloody Sunday incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 13 people were killed and 29 wounded on an illegal 15,000-strong civil rights march, shot by British soldiers. The marchers, Catholics, were protesting against the British policy of internment without trial, introduced in 1971. When the march was diverted from its planned route by the British Army some of the marchers began throwing stones. British troops pursued the stone throwers and opened fire near the Rossville Flats.
22/1/1972. Saturday (+9,755) Britain, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland signed the EEC Treaty – to join January 1973. Norway later withdrew after a referendum showed a majority of Norwegians were against membership. See 1/1/1973. As the British Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Brussels, he had ink thrown over him by protestors against the redevelopment of Covent Garden Market.
20/1/1972, Thursday (+9,753) UK unemployment passed the 1 million mark.
18/1/1972, Tuesday (+9,751) The first plastic warship, the minehunter HMS Wilton, was launched at Southampton.
17/1/1972, Monday (+9,750) 350 Soviet Jews arrived in Israel.
14/1/1972, Friday (+9,747) In Denmark, Margrethe II became Queen, succeeding her father King Frederick IX.
12/1/1972, Wednesday (+9,745) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
10/1/1972, Monday (+9,743) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to a heroes welcome in Dacca, Bangladesh.
9/1/1972, Sunday (+9,742) (1) UK miners strike began; the first miner’s strike since 1926. The UK Government planned coal rationing.
(2) The liner Queen Elizabeth, which had been moored at Hong Kong and served as a floating marine university, caught fire and sank. There were suspicions that the fire had been started deliberately, because the university project was failing. The Queen Elizabeth had been launched in 1938; she left the trans-Atlantic cruise business in 1969, when jet airliners had killed this business.
4/1/1972. Tuesday (+9,737) Rose Heilbron became Britain’s first woman judge at the Old Bailey.
30/12/1971. Thursday (+9,732) (1) A bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring over 60 in a narrow street.
(2) The James Bond film Diamonds are Forever was on release.
27/12/1971, Monday (+9,729) Kofi Busia, Prime Minister of Ghana, signed an agreement with the IMF for economic aid on condition that he massively devalue the Ghanaian currency. Previously Busia had artificially manipulated prices in Ghana, keeping agricultural prices low so as to keep urbanites happy and boost Government revenue. However this resulted in a huge balance of payments deficit and foreign exchange shortage.
26/12/1971. Sunday (+9,728) The US resumed bombing of North Vietnam.
21/12/1971, Tuesday (+9,723) Kurt Waldheim succeeded U Thant as Secretary-General to the UN.
20/12/1971. Monday (+9,722) (1) The IRA began a Christmas bombing campaign in Northern Ireland.
(2) In Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became President in place of Yahya Khan.
18/12/1971, Saturday (+9,720) Bangladesh formally came into existence after East Pakistan surrendered in the war with India.
16/12/1971. Thursday (+9,718) All eastern Pakistani troops surrendered to India.
11/12/1971, Saturday (+9,713) Geoffrey Rippon signed terms with the EEC for the protection of fishing limits after the UK was to join the EEC; these later turned out not to protect UK fishing interests.
9/12/1971, Thursday (+9,711) Indian planes bombed an orphanage in Dacca, East Pakistan, killing 300 children.
8/12/1971. Wednesday (+9,710) Indian troops advanced to within 30 miles of Dacca, East Pakistan.
6/12/1971. Monday (+9,708) India recognised Bangladesh as an independent republic.
3/12/1971. Friday (+9,705) India was on a war footing with fighting on its western border with Pakistan. Yahya Khan knew he could not defend secessionist East Pakistan against India; India and Pakistan were hostile, and it was in India’s interests to see Bangladesh secede from Pakistan. Yahya Khan therefore tried to seize the initiative by attacking India from West Pakistan, hoping that a favourable outcome for Pakistan would force India to accept Pakistan’s terms in the East. On this day Pakistan launched air strikes into India. India responded decisively, completely overrunning East Pakistan The Pakistani offensive in the West petered out.
2/12/1971. Thursday (+9,704) United Arab Emirates established.
29/11/1971, Monday (+9,701) The British Government announced a fund of £3 million for the victims of thalidomide.
15/11/1971. Monday (+9,687) TV viewers were entertained by Steptoe and Son.
31/10/1971. Sunday (+9,672) An IRA bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower, London.
30/10/1971, Saturday (+9,671) An opinion poll found most of the British electorate opposed membership of the EEC.
29/10/1971, Friday (+9,670)
28/10/1971. Thursday (+9,669) The House of Commons voted in favour of Britain joining the Common Market with a majority of 112. Votes were 356 for against 244 anti. 69 Labour MPs voted with the Conservative Government for membership.
27/10/1971 Wednesday (+9,668) Congo changed its name to Zaire, under President Mobutu.
25/10/1971, Monday (+9,666) China was admitted to the United Nations; Taiwan was expelled from the UN to accommodate this, see 25/10/1952.
18/10/1971. Monday (+9,659) UK unemployment approached one million, whilst statistics showed that one in six women and one in nine men would enter hospital at least once in their lifetime due to mental illness.
TV shows Blue Peter and The Magic Roundabout entertained the children.
15/10/1971, Friday (+9,656) The UK passed legislation to curb immigration.
13/10/1971, Wednesday (+9,654) The Conservative Party Conference voted overwhelmingly for EEC membership.
8/10/1971, Friday (+9,649) The USSR expelled 5 Britons and refused another 13 entry in retaliation for the expulsions of 24/9/1971.
7/10/1971, Thursday (+9,648) (1) A further 1,000 British troops were sent to Northern Ireland.
(2) Israel refused entry to 21 Jewish Black Americans.
6/10/1971, Wednesday (+6,947)
5/10/1971, Tuesday (+6,946) Emperor Hirohito of Japan arrived in Britain on a tour of Europe. He was the first Japanese sovereign to leave Japan for over 2,000 years. He left the UK on 7/10/1971.
4/10/1971, Monday (+9,645) The Labour Party Conference voted overwhelmingly against EEC membership.
1/10/1971. Friday (+9,642) Disneyworld opened in Florida.
24/9/1971, Friday (+9,635) Britain expelled 90 Soviet diplomats after a KGB defector, Oleg Lyalin, passed information to British Intelligence. See 8/10/1971. The UK had also granted asylum to the Soviet defector and space expert Anatol Fedoseyev in June 1971.
11/9/1971, Saturday (+9,622) Nikita Kruschev, President of the USSR from 1958 to 1964, died aged 77 near Moscow.
7/9/1971, Tuesday (+9,618) The Troubles in Northern Ireland claimed their 100th civilian victim when a teenage girl was shot during a gun battle.
2/9/1971, Thursday (+9,613) Egypt discontinued its use of the title United Arab Republic and reverted to its old name. See 29/9/1961.
1/9/1971, Wednesday (+9,612) (1) The old British penny and three penny coins ceased to be legal tender.
(2) Qatar became independent.
14/8/1971. Saturday (+9,594) Bahrain became independent.
11/8/1971, Wednesday (+9,591) Violence erupted in Belfast after internment was reintroduced.
10/8/1971, Tuesday (+9,590)
9/8/1971, Monday (+9,589) Internment without trial began in Northern Ireland.
6/8/1971, Friday (+9,586) British sailor Chay Blyth became the first person to sail single-handed east to west around the world.
31/7/1971, Saturday (+9,580) David Scott and James Irwin became the first to ride on the Moon, in their Lunar Roving Vehicle.
30/7/1971. Friday (+9,579) Apollo 15 landed on the Moon. David Scott and James Irwin rode on the Moon in a buggy.2 days later.
29/7/1971. Thursday (+9,578) Tito was re-elected president of Yugoslavia.
27/7/1971, Tuesday (+9,576)
26/7/1961, Monday (+9,575) The US launched Apollo 15, crewed by David Scott, James Irwin, and Alfred Worden. Scott and Irwin made the 4th Moon landing.
25/7/1971. Sunday (+9,574) The first heart and lung transplant was performed.
7/7/1971, Wednesday (+9,556)The UK Government published its terms for entry into the EEC.
2/7/1971. Friday (+9,551) The Erskine Bridge over the Clyde was opened.
1/7/1971, Thursday (+9,550) The average UK new house cost £5,632 (£67,843 in 2013 prices). The average wage was £2,000 (£24,000 in 2013 prices). A pint of beer cost 15p (£1.80 in 2013 prices). A pint of milk cost 6p (72p in 2013 prices).A large loaf of bread cost 10p (£1.20 in 2013 prices). A pack of 20 cigarettes cost 27p (£3.24 in 2013 prices). 1 kg sugar cost 9p (£1.08 in 2013 prices). 2.5 kg chicken cost £1.17p (£14.02 in 2013 prices).
30/6/1971. Wednesday (+9,549) (1) The 26th amendment to the US constitution was passed, lowering the voting age to 18.
(2) The USSR spacecraft Soyuz 11 returned to earth but the 3 cosmonauts were found dead in their seats.
24/6/1971. Thursday (+9,543) In Liverpool, the first tube of the second Mersey Tunnel opened.
21/6/1971, Monday (+9,540) The International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled, by 13 votes to 2, that South Africa’s continued presence in Namibia was illegal.
19/6/1971. Saturday (+9,538) Opportunity Knocks was the UK’s most popular TV programme.
16/6/1971, Wednesday (+9,535) The BBC’s first chief, Lord Reith, died.
15/6/1971, Tuesday (+9,534) The UK Education Secretary, Mrs Thatcher, said she planned to end free school milk. The Conservative Government warned it would reduce financial support for any local council that continued to illegally supply milk, contrary to the Education (Milk) Bill. This Bill passed its Commons vote by 281 to 248 against. The Bill was intended to free up resources to replace older primary schools.
14/6/1971, Monday (+9,533) The UK Government said no public money would be provided to save Upper Clyde shipbuilders from liquidation. 4,000 jobs were at risk, and employees planned a ‘work-in’.
10/6/1971. Thursday (+9,529) Joe Gormley was elected President of the National Union of Miners.
30/5/1971, Sunday (+9,518) Mariner 9 was launched by the US at Cape Kennedy on a mission to Mars.
21/5/1971. Friday (+9,509) French President Pompidou said the UK could join the EEC.
11/5/1971. Tuesday (+9,499) The British newspaper, The Daily Sketch, appeared for the last time. It was merged with the Daily Mail, which had changed from broadsheet to tabloid format.
1/5/1971, Saturday (+9,489) Amtrak, the US rail operator, began operations.
24/4/1971, Saturday (+9,482) The Russian spacecraft Soyuz 10 linked up with the orbiting Salyut space station.
21/4/1971. Wednesday (+9,479) The Haitian dictator Papa Doc Duvalier, or Francois Duvalier, died in his bed aged 64, after ruling for 14 years. He survived six assassination attempts.
19/4/1971, Monday (+9,477) The Soviet Union launched the world’s first space station, Salyut 1.
7/4/1971, Wednesday (+9,465) US President Nixon promised to withdraw 100,000 troops from Vietnam by Christmas.
(2) UK unemployment rose to 814,819, the highest since 1940.
6/4/1971. Tuesday (+9,464) Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York City aged 88.
5/4/1971, Monday (+9,463) Mrs Fran Phipps became the first woman to reach the North Pole.
31/3/1971, Wednesday (+9,458)
26/3/1971, Friday (+9,453) Sheikh Mujibur declared the independence of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) from Pakistan. The Pakistan Army easily overcame East Pakistani resistance by end-April. Assisted by Islamic fundamentalist groups, the Army then massacred all those deemed in favour of independence, including Awami league members, Hindus (about 10% of the population), also students and intellectuals, including teachers, lecturers and doctors. Between one and three million people were massacred; a further ten million fled to India. Many more died in the makeshift refugee camps. Bangladesh could only attain independence win Indian intervention, which did occur later in 1971.
25/3/1971, Thursday (+9,452) Yahya Khan, leader of Pakistan, announced a ‘restore law and order’ campaign in East Pakistan (see 23/3/1971). Members of the Awami League were arrested.
23/3/1971. Tuesday (+9,450) Bangladesh (meaning ‘The Bengal Nation’), formerly East Pakistan, proclaimed its independence under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This started a civil war on 26/3/1971 between Pakistan and East Pakistan, or Bangladesh, in which India intervened on to help Bangladesh become independent. India helped defeat Pakistan on 17/12/1971. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was reported killed on 28/3/1970 and 7,000 people killed in the uprising against the government in West Pakistan. See 17/4/1972.
Sheikh Mujibur had been imprisoned in 1968 by Field Marshal Ayub Khan, military leader of Pakistan 1958-69, for demanding more autonomy for East Pakistan. However in 1969 Ayub Khan was overthrown and his successor General Yahya Khan released Sheikh Mujibur. Yahya Khan organised free elections, but had underestimated the degree of resentment in Bengal against Pakistani rule. In November 1970 a major cyclone and tidal wave had hit Bengal, and the Pakistani Government was perceived to have made an inadequate response to this catastrophe.
The elections in East Pakistan produced an overwhelming victory for the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur, which supported secession from Pakistan. In March 1971 Yahya Khan responded by indefinitely suspending the National Parliament. Sheikh Mujibur called a General Strike, see 25/3/1971.
18/3/1971, Thursday (+9,445) More troops were sent to Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 9,700.
16/3/1971, Tuesday (+9,443) In Britain the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was set up.
8/3/1971, Monday (+9,435) The British postal strike ended. See 20/1/1971.
6/3/1971. Saturday (+9,433) Over 4,000 women’s liberation marchers demonstrated in London. They marched from Hyde Park to 10 Downing Street.
26/2/1971. Friday (+9,425) Two policemen were shot dead and four other seriously injured during riots in Belfast. Hammersmith Borough Council launched a lurid and aggressive campaign against the spread of venereal diseases such as syphilis. Films on release included Death in Venice.
24/2/1971, Wednesday (+9,423) The Immigration Bill was introduced in the UK; this ended the right of Commonwealth citizens to settle in Britain.
18/2/1971. Thursday (-9,417) Rupert Murdoch took control of London Weekend Television.
16/2/1971, Tuesday (-9,415)
15/2/1971. Monday (+9,414) Decimal coins adopted in Britain, see 23/4/1968. New coins issued were the 2p, 1p, and 1/2p. Old pennies and threepenny bits ceased to be legal tender on 1/9/1971.
13/2/1971, Saturday (+9,412) South Vietnamese troops, with US aircraft and artillery backing, entered Laos.
7/2/1971, Sunday (+9,406) Swiss men voted in favour of women being allowed to vote in federal elections and to stand for Parliament. See 1/2/1959.
6/2/1971, Saturday (+9,405) British soldier Gunner Curtis became the first British fatality in the Northern Ireland conflict, when he was shot dead by an IRA sniper.
5/2/1971. Friday (+9,404) US spacecraft Apollo 14, launched on 31/1/1971, landed on the Moon.
4/2/1971. Thursday (+9,403) Rolls Royce declared bankrupt in the UK.
3/2/1971, Wednesday (+9,402)
2/2/1971, Tuesday (+9,401) Idi Amin dissolved the Ugandan Parliament and formed a Defence Council with himself as Chairman. Idi Amin’s rule favoured the Muslims of northern Uganda, amongst whom he had originated.
1/2/1971. Monday (+9,400) (1) Licences for radios abolished in the UK. See 1/11/1922).
(2) Israeli troops made a raid into Lebanon.
31/1/1971, Sunday (+9,399) The US spacecraft, Apollo 14, the third mission to the Moon, was launched with a three-man crew. On board were Alan Shephard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell. Shephard and Mitchell made the 3rd Moon landing.
25/1/1971. Monday (+9,393) Major General Idi Amin seized power in Uganda, deposing President Milton Obote whilst he was abroad at the Singaporean meeting of the Commonwealth. In March 1979 Uganda was invaded by Tanzanian and dissident Ugandan forces, deposing Idi Amin.
20/1/1971, Wednesday (+9,388) (1) UK postal workers went on strike for a 19.5% pay claim. See 8/3/1971.
(2) The RAF Red Arrows aerial display team collided in mid-air, killing four.
15/1/1971, Friday (+9,383) The Aswan High Dam on the Nile, built with Soviet finance and expertise, was officially opened by President Sadat, and Podgorny.
10/1/1971. Sunday (+9,378) Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and one of the most influential couturiers of the twentieth century, died aged 87.
8/1/1971, Friday (+9,376) The British Ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, was kidnapped by left-wing Tupumaros guerrillas.
5/1/1971, Tuesday (+9,373) International One Day Cricket began when England played Australia in Melbourne.
3/1/1971, Sunday (+9,371) The Open University began TV broadcasts. Regular courses commenced from Sunday 10/1/1971.
2/1/1971. Saturday (+9,370) 66 people were crushed to death when a barrier collapsed at Glasgow Ranger’s Ibrox Park ground.
31/12/1970, Thursday (+9,368) US Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (see 7/8/1964), thereby denying President Nixon any further authority to widen the Vietnam War. Nixon, however, ordered further offensives. See 27/1/1973.
20/12/1970 Sunday (+9,357) The Polish leader Gomulka resigned after more rioting, to be replaced by Edward Gierek.
18/12/1970. Friday (+9,355) Divorce became legal in Italy.
17/12/1970. Thursday (+9,354) The Soviet paper Pravda attacked writer Solzhenitsyn as ‘hostile’.
16/12/1970. Wednesday (+9,353) Six killed in riots at the Gdansk shipyard, Poland.
15/12/1970, Tuesday (+9,352) Food riots in Poland. Poor weather conditions caused bad harvests in 1969 and 1970, and imports of grain to feed animals had virtually ceased because Gomulka wanted Poland to be self-sufficient in animal feed by 1970. Pig and cattle numbers fell dramatically and meat prices soared. Heavy price rises on consumer goods came in just before Christmas 1970.
2/12/1970, Wednesday (+9,339) The UK Parliament voted against retaining British Summer Time over the winter.
27/11/1970. Friday (+9,334) (1) The Gay Liberation Front marched in London for the first time.
(2) Pope Paul II was unharmed after a knife-wielding assailant dressed as a priest attempted to attack him at Manila Airport.
26/11/1970. Thursday (+9,333) The first year of Edward Heath’s government was marked by the most days lost to strikes since 1926, the year of the General Strike. 8.8 million working days were lost.
20/11/1970. Friday (+9,327) In the UK, the 10 shilling note went out of circulation.
17/11/1970. Tuesday (+9,324) (1) The Sun published its first ‘page three girl’, Stephanie Rahn.
(2) The unmanned Russian spacecraft Luna 17 landed on the Moon and released the first moon walker vehicle.
(3) A US patent was granted to Doug Engelbart for his invention of the computer mouse – so called because of its long cable tail.
13/11/1970. Friday (+9,320) In Bangladesh (East Pakistan) a cyclone and tidal waves killed over 500,000 people.
9/11/1970. Monday (+9,316) Charles De Gaulle died, aged 79 of a heart attack, in Colombey les deux Eglises. See 28/4/1969. He had been President of France between 1944 and 1945, and between 1959 and his resignation on 28/4/1969.
3/11/1970. Tuesday (+9,310) (1) Allende became President of Chile.
(2) Peter II, King of Yugoslavia, died.
23/10/1970, Friday (+9,299) American Gary Gabelich achieved a world land speed record of 631.367 mph in a rocket engine powered car on Bonneville salt flats in Utah.
19/10/1970. Monday (+9,295) BP announced the first oil find in the UK sector of the North Sea.
16/10/1970. Friday (+9,292) State of insurrection proclaimed in Quebec. The Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) was outlawed and 250 of its members arrested.
10/10/1970. Saturday (+9,286) Fiji became independent from Britain. It had been a British colony since 1874.
9/10/1970, Friday (+9,285) The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, dissident Soviet writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, declined to attend the ceremony in Stockholm in December for ‘personal reasons’. It was unclear whether the Soviet authorities had prevented him from leaving, or had threatened not to readmit him if he went.
5/10/1970. Monday (+9,281) (1) Passenger services on the Louth to Grimsby line were withdrawn.
(2) Anwar Sadat became president of Egypt, succeeding Abdel Nasser.
30/9/1970, Wednesday (+9,276) Britain swapped hijack hostages seized by the PLO for the Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled.
28/9/1970. Monday (+9,274) President Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt since 1954, died of a heart attack aged 52, after mediating in the Jordan civil war.
27/9/1970, Sunday (+9,273) PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed a truce with King Hussein of Jordan after the PLO had been ejected from Jordan in a 10-day fight known to the PLO as Black September.
26/9/1970, Saturday (+9,272)
13/9/1970. Sunday (+9,259) Concorde landed at Heathrow for the first time, to complaints about the noise.
12/9/1970. Saturday (+9,258) Palestinians blew up three hijacked planes. The hijacked British, Swiss, and American planes were taken by the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and flown to Dawson’s Field, a remote desert airstrip outside Amman, Jordan. After days of negotiation, the 300 passengers were released in exchange for 7 Arab detainees. In response King Hussein of Jordan declared martial law and ordered the Palestinian Liberation Organisation to be ejected from his country.
9/9/1970, Wednesday (+9,255) The British Ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, kidnapped on 8/1/1970, was released.
6/9/1970. Sunday (+9,252) In one day, 4 aircraft were hijacked in Europe by Arabs. A Swissair DC-8 and a Trans-World 707 were forced to fly to Jordan; a Pan-Am jumbo was blown up in Cairo; and am El-Al 707 hijacking failed after a terrorist was shot dead. On 9/9/1970 a BOAC VC-10 was hijacked en route from Bombay to London. It was forced to land and refuel at Beirut and then fly to Jordan to join the other 2 planes held hostage there.
4/9/1970, Friday (+9,250) Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile.
26/8/1970, Wednesday (+9,241) A National Women’s Strike caused chaos in New York.
24/8/1970. Monday (+9,239) Radioactive leak at Windscale, Cumbria.
19/8/1970. Wednesday (+9,234) Coronation Street showed its 1,000th episode.
9/8/1970. Sunday (+9,224) Police and Black protestors clashed in Notting Hill, London.
3/8/1970, Monday (+9,218) Miriam Hargreave, of Wakefield, Yorkshire, passed her driving test at the record 44th attempt, after 212 lessons.
2/8/1970. Sunday (+9,217) The British Army in Belfast used rubber bullets for the first time, to quell a disturbance.
31/7/1970, Friday (+9,215) (1) In Northern Ireland, a house-to-house search by 3,000 British troops discovered 107 firearms, 110 kg of explosives, 100 home-made bombs and 21,000 rounds of ammunition. However this search further antagonised the Catholic population.
(2) The British Royal navy ended its 200-year-old tradition of a daily rum ration for the sailors.
27/7/1970, Monday (+9,211) The Portuguese Fascist dictator Antonio Salazar died.
23/7/1970. Thursday (+9,207) Membership negotiations opened in Brussels between the EEC and the UK, Denmark, Ireland, and Norway. See 22/1/1972.
21/7/1970. Tuesday (+9,205) The Aswan Dam in Egypt was completed. The annual Nile flooding could now be controlled, and hydro-electric power produced; the 111 metre high dam also created a significant fishing industry.
17/7/1970, Friday (+9,201) The sex comedy Oh! Calcutta! opened in London.
16/7/1970. Thursday (+9,200) The first State of emergency in Britain since 1926 was called by Prime Minister Edward Heath as the dock workers went on strike. The docks strike lasted until 3/8/1970.
15/7/1970. Wednesday (+9,199) An experimental pacemaker was fitted to a 56 year old woman at the National Heart Centre in London.
12/7/1970. Sunday (+9,196) Thor Heyerdal and a crew of 7 crossed the Atlantic, from Morocco to Bridgetown, Barbados, on a papyrus raft called Ra-2. Thor Heyerdal had crossed from Peru to the Pacific island of Argutu, 4,300 miles, in 101 days in a balsawood craft of ancient South American design. He wanted to prove that the Polynesian islands could have been settled by prehistoric South American people. In 1970 he built a papyrus boat to cross the Atlantic but it broke up and sank after 2,000 miles. His second boat made the Atlantic crossing from Safi in Morocco to Mogador in Barbados in 57 days. This was to show that ancient Egyptians could have introduced pyramid building to pre-Columbian Americans.
9/7/1970. Thursday (+9,193) The Bank of England issued £20 notes again; the last £20 notes had been withdrawn in 1945.
8/7/1970. Wednesday (+9,192) Roy Jenkins was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
7/7/1970, Tuesday (+9,191) Sir Allen Lane, publisher and founder of Penguin paperback books in 1936, died.
3/7/1970, Friday (+9,187)
2/7/1970. Thursday (+9,186) The UK Government , fearing a descent into full scale civil war in Northern Ireland, moved in large numbers of troops, including 7,000 soldiers into Belfast alone. The London Tourist Board spoke out against young tourists roughing it in London, sleeping out around the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park, causing ‘squalor and moral problems’. 250 seal pups were shot in The Wash in the last cull of the open season, before the Conservation of Seals Act finally outlawed the seal killing on 29/8/1970. The BBC ran a late night programme called Decimal shops: preparing for decimal money.
1/7/1970. Wednesday (+9,185) (1) A curfew was imposed in Belfast but did not stop the growing violence. Troops there were ordered to shoot to kill after a grenade was use against them.
(2) A pint of milk cost 5p, a loaf of bread cost 9p (2004 = 53p) and the average weekly wage was £32 (2004 = £475). The average house price was £4,975, compared to nearly £140,000 in 2004 and £185,000 in 2006. The range Rover, launched in 1970, cost £1,998; in 2004 a 4.4 litre Range Rover costs £57,700. The Mini, introduced in 1959, cost £600; its redesigned 2004 version cost £10,500 in 2004. Petrol was 7.3p a litre, or 33p a gallon, as against 90p a litre in late 2006. A trip for two to the cinema cost under 90p (2004 = £9.00) and a bottle of average wine cost £1.00 (2004 = £4.50). A bottle of whisky cost £2.69 (2004 = £12.00). A pint of beer cost 10.7p, a pint of lager cost 20p (2004 = £2.10) and cigarettes were 20p for 20 (2004 = £4.65 for 20). Average UK life expectancy was 72, as against 77 in 2004.
30/6/1970. Tuesday (+9,184) Britain began negotiations to join the EEC, following De Gaulle’s resignation in May 1969. Ireland, Denmark and Norway also began negotiations to join.
29/6/1970, Monday (+9,183) US troops completed their withdrawal from Cambodia.
28/6/1970, Sunday (+9,182)
27/6/1970, Saturday (+9,181) Violent disturbances occurred in Londonderry and Belfast.
26/6/1970, Friday (+9,180) Dubcek was expelled from the Czech Communist Party.
25/6/1970, Thursday (+9,179)
23/6/1970, Tuesday (+9,177) Brunel’s 320 foot ship, Great Britain, the first all-metal ocean liner, returned to Britain from the Falkland Islands where it had lain rusting since 1886.
22/6/1970, Monday (+9,176) The Methodist Church said it would ordain female ministers.
20/6/1970, Saturday (9,174)
18/6/1970. Thursday (+9,172) General Election in the UK. Edward Heath became Conservative Prime Minister. The Conservatives won 330 seats, against 287 for Labour, 6 for the Liberals and 1 Scottish Nationalist, an overall Conservative majority of 31.
17/6/1970. Wednesday (+9,171) (1) The UK issued decimal postage stamps. Stamps were in denominations of 10p, 20p, and 50p.
(2) Edwin Land patented the first Polaroid camera.
11/6/1970, Thursday (+9,165) Alexander Kerensky, Russian political leader overthrown by the Bolsheviks in 1917, died in New York City aged 89.
7/6/1970, Sunday (+9,161) E M Forster, novelist, died.
4/6/1970. Thursday (+9,158) Tonga (The Friendly Islands) became an independent member of the Commonwealth. It had been a British Protectorate since 1900.
31/5/1970. Sunday (+9,154) A major earthquake, magnitude 7.5, at Mount Huascaran in Peru, killed 70,000 people.
24/5/1970, Sunday (+9,147) The Menai tubular railway bridge linking Anglesey and Wales was severely damaged by fire.
22/5/1970, Friday (+9,145) The Middlesex Cricket Club, under UK Government pressure, cancelled a South African tour of England.
12/5/1970. Tuesday (+9,135) 12 Black protestors died in race riots in Georgia, USA.
8/5/1970. Friday (+9,131) The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, was released.
4/5/1970. Monday (+9,127) 4 students were shot dead at Kent State University, Ohio. There had been a wave of campus protests over the entry of US troops into Cambodia. On 4/5/1970 between 1,500 and 3,000 students gathered on the campus at Kent University, contravening an order by Ohio State Governor banning all protests, peaceful or otherwise. At about midday, the National Guard began to use tear gas to break up the demonstration. Some of the students picked up the canisters and hurled them back, and also threw stones. The Guardsmen then opened fire without warning, killing two male and two female students who were not actually involved in the demonstration.
30/4/1970. Thursday (+9,123) US troops sent to Cambodia to attack Communist bases. They withdrew from Cambodia on 29/6/1970.
24/4/1970, Friday (+9,117) (1) China launched its first satellite.
(2) After a national referendum, Gambia, which had been a British colony since 1843, became a Republic within the Commonwealth.
20/4/1970. Monday (+9,113) President Nixon announced that a further 150,000 troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam.
17/4/1970, Friday (+9,110) The Apollo 13 astronauts were rescued after their craft failed 200,000 miles from Earth and they had to navigate back home by the Sun. They crashed into the Pacific Ocean and were picked up by the US Navy. Apollo 13 was launched on 11/4/1970. An oxygen tank in the service module exploded, destroying both oxygen tanks and blowing the side off the service module; this was later determined by NASA to have been caused by wires in a fan thermostat having been tested at too high a voltage, burning off the insulation and causing a short circuit when the fan was activated. There was now insufficient oxygen for both power and breathing. The three astronauts retreated to the lunar module, designed only for two people, and shut down the main module until required for the Earth landing. Having reported the famous words “Houston we have a problem” the astronauts had no option but to continue out to orbit the Moon, being out of Earth contact for a period, until returning home.
16/4/1970. Thursday (+9,109) Ian Paisley won the Bannside by-election in Northern Ireland. Britain announced it would send another 500 troops to join the 6,000 already there.
11/4/1970, Saturday (+9,104) The US spacecraft Apollo 13 was launched, see 17/4/1970.
9/4/1970, Thursday (+9,102) The Beatles pop group disbanded.
23/3/1970, Monday (+9,085) In the UK, the High Court awarded £370,000 damages to 18 children born with birth defects due to thalidomide, against Distillers (Biochemicals). Five children born with tiny ‘flipper’ arms, the worst-disabled, received £28,000 each.
16/3/1970, Monday (+9,078) The New English Bible was released, and quickly sold out.
13/3/1970. Friday (+9,075) English schoolgirl Susan Wallace became the first 18 - year old eligible to vote. See 12/5/1969.
3/2/1970, Tuesday (+9,065)
2/3/1970. Monday (+9,064) (1) Rhodesia was declared a republic. Formerly the colony of Southern Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian Smith declared UDI.
(2) Israel and Syria in the heaviest fighting since the 6-Day War.
23/2/1970, Monday (+9,057) (1) The colony of Guyana, South America, became independent of the UK. The first President of the Republic of Guyana was Arthur Chung.
(2) Passenger services began on the railway between Perth and Sydney, Australia, a distance of 2,461 miles.
19/2/1970. Thursday (+9,053) Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Charles would join the Royal Navy.
15/2/1970, Sunday (+9,049) Lord Dowding, British Air Chief Marshall and head of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, died aged 87.
11/2/1970, Wednesday (+9,045) Japan launched its first Earth satellite.
9/2/1970, Monday (+9,043) (1) The UK Parliament said men and women would receive equal pay by 1976.
(2) The PLO leader Yasser Arafat visited Moscow for talks.
2/2/1970. Monday (+9,036) Death of the philosopher Bertrand Russell, aged 97. He was also a peace campaigner and mathematician.
25/1/1970. Sunday (+9,028) Eleven arrests were made as police clashed with anti – Vietnam War protesters at the entrance to Downing Street. Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs for possessing cannabis resin. Mary Crosby, inventor of the bra, died in Rome aged 77.
21/1/1970, Wednesday (+9,024) The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet entered commercial service, see 9/2/1969.
19/1/1970. Monday (+9,022) India’s first nuclear power station opened.
16/1/1970, Friday (+9,019) Colonel Ghaddafi became Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council in Libya.
12/1/1970. Monday (+9,015) Nigeria’s civil war ended when the Biafran Army surrendered. The expected massacre of Biafrans by Nigerian soldiers never occurred; Gowon pursued a policy or reconciliation, with the line that Biafra had been ‘led astray’ by Ojukwu.
10/1/1970, Saturday (+9,013) At the last meeting of the Biafran Cabinet, General Ojukwu handed command to his Chief of Staff, General Effiong, and fled to Cote D’Ivoire. Morale in the Biafran Army finally cracked, with soldiers discarding their uniforms and mingling with refugees.
9/1/1970, Friday (+9,012) In Britain, Hong Kong Flu claimed 2,850 lives in a week.
1/1/1970. Thursday (+9,004) In the UK the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18. The half-crown coin (2 shillings and 6 pence, or 12 1/2p) ceased to be legal tender in the UK
23/12/1969, Tuesday (+8,995)
18/12/1969. Thursday (+8,990) The death penalty for murder was formally abolished in Britain.
15/12/1969. Monday (+8,987) (1) Dubcek was made Czechoslovak Ambassador to Turkey. He was expelled from the Czech Communist party on 26/6/1970.
(2) Swansea received City Status.
10/12/1969, Wednesday (+8,982) A Nobel Prize was added for Economics.
6/12/1969. Saturday (+8,978) A free concert given by the Rolling Stones, at Altamont, California, ended in tragedy when Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death.
25/11/1969, Tuesday (+8,967) John Lennon returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace, in protest at British involvement in the Biafra civil war in Nigeria.
19/11/1969. Wednesday (+8,961) Second landing on the Moon. See 20/7/1969.
15/11/1969. Saturday (+8,957) (1) The first colour TV advert went on British television – for Birds Eye peas.
(2) Huge anti Vietnam War demonstration in Washington.
14/11/1969. Friday (+8,956) (1) Ghaddaffi nationalised all foreign banks in Libya.
(2) The US launched Apollo 12, crewed by Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon, and Alan Bean. Conrad and Bean made the 2nd Moon landing.
13/11/1969, Thursday (+8,955) In London, a woman had quintuplets after fertility drug treatment.
11/11/1969, Tuesday (+8,953) The owners of the Torrey Canyon agreed to pay £1.5 million compensation to Britain and France.
5/11/1969, Wednesday (+8,947) Anti-Apartheid demonstrators invaded the pitch at Twickenham, during a game by the touring South African Springboks.
21/10/1969. Tuesday (+8,932) Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of West Germany.
15/10/1969, Wednesday (+8,926) The biggest anti-Vietnam-War demonstration to date took place in America. The war so far had cost the USA the lives of 40,000 servicemen, over 8 years.
14/10/1969. Tuesday (+8,925) The 7-sided 50p coin came into circulation in Britain, replacing the 10-shilling note.
10/10/1969, Friday (+8,921) (1) The Hunt Commission on Northern Ireland recommended disarming the police and disbanding the ‘B Specials’.
(2) Concorde 001 broke the sound barrier for the first time during a test flight over Paris.
1/10/1969, Wednesday (+8,912) The first line of the Beijing Metro, 24 km long, opened. Construction had been approved in 1965.
28/9/1969, Sunday (+8,909) Police in Belfast erected a ‘peace wall’ between Protestant and Catholic communities.
16/9/1969. Tuesday (+8,897) President Nixon announced the withdrawal of a further 36,000 troops from Vietnam by mid-December.
12/9/1969. Friday (+8,893) President Nixon continued B52 bombing raids on Vietnam.
3/9/1969. Wednesday (+8,884) Ho Chi Minh, President of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, died of a heart attack aged 79.
2/9/1969. Tuesday (+8,883) ITV began broadcasting in colour.
1/9/1969. Monday (+8,882) President Ghaddaffi ousted King Idris of Libya in a military coup.
31/8/1969, Sunday (+8,881) Bob Dylan starred in a pop festival on the Isle of Wight, drawing in 150,000 fans.
29/8/1969. Friday (+8,879) Arab guerrillas hijacked a TWA aircraft en route from Rome to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Damascus.
19/8/1969, Tuesday (+8,869) The British Army took over security and policing in Northern Ireland.
15/8/1969. Friday (+8,865) The famous American rock festival, Woodstock, began. It was attended by 400,000.
14/8/1969, Thursday (+8,864) British troops moved into Londonderry to stop rioting between Catholics and Protestants. This was known as ‘The Troubles’, and the police were initially welcomed by Catholics, hoping for protection from extremist Protestants. However the Catholics were to come to see the police themselves as oppressors.
10/8/1969, Sunday (+8,860)
9/8/1969. Saturday (+8,859) The Royal Ulster Constabulary used tear gas for the first time in its history. Thus followed nine hours of rioting by the Roman Catholics in Bogside, Londonderry. Eighty police were injured in these riots.
8/8/1969, Friday (+8,858) The French Franc was devalued by 11.1%, and Sterling came under pressure.
4/8/1969, Monday (+8,854)
1/8/1969. Friday (+8,851) The British pre-decimal halfpenny ceased to be legal tender.
24/7/1969, Thursday (+8,843) The Apollo 11 astronauts returned successfully to earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
23/7/1969. Wednesday (+8,842) The Open University was established at Milton Keynes. See 11/1/1973.
22/7/1969, Tuesday (+8,841) (1) Apollo 11 left the Moon.
(2) Spanish dictator General Franco named Juan Carlos, grandson of King Alfonso XIII, as his heir apparent.
20/7/1969. Sunday (+8,839) Neil Armstrong became the first man on the Moon. He said, as he emerged from the Eagle lunar module, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. The Eagle had separated from the Apollo 11 spacecraft. See 7/10/1968 and 19/11/1969. The mission had launched from Cape Canaveral on 16/7/1969, and the astronauts returned to earth, splashing down in the Pacific, on 24/7/1969.
18/7/1969. Friday (+8,837) Senator Edward Kennedy crashed his car into the Chappaquidick River on the east coast of the USA. Kennedy escaped but his companion Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy didn’t report the incident for ten hours and was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident.
16/7/1969, Wednesday (+8,835) The US launched Apollo 11, crewed by Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
5/7/1969, Saturday (+8,824) (1) Tom Mboya, leader of the campaign for Kenyan independence from Britain, was assassinated in Nairobi.
(2) Sir Walter Gropius, architect, founder of the Bauhaus school of design, died.
4//7/1969. Friday (+8,823) Franco offered Gibraltarians Spanish citizenship.
3/7/1969, Thursday (+8,822)
1/7/1969. Tuesday (+8,820) Prince Charles was formally invested as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. This event was watched by a TV audience of some 200 million worldwide. The Daily Mail cost 5d (2p).
30/6/1969, Monday (+8,819) The Nigerian Government seized control of all relief for Biafra.
29/6/1969, Sunday (+8,818) Tshombe died of a heart attack, in an Algerian prison.
24/6/1969. Tuesday (+8,813) The 20 year old Prince Charles tackled the ‘awfully difficult’ question of his future marriage. ‘You have to chose somebody very carefully, I think’ said the Prince.
20/6/1969, Friday (+8,809) High-grade oil was discovered in the North Sea.
17/6/1969, Tuesday (+8,806) Boris Spassky became world chess champion when he beat Tigran Petrosian.
16/6/1969, Monday(+8,805) Earl Alexander of Tunis, British military commander who led the invasion of Italy in WW2, died.
15/6/1969, Sunday (+8,804) Pompidou became President of France, see 28/4/1969.
14/6/1969, Saturday (+8,803) Steffi Graf, tennis champion, was born.
13/6/1969, Friday (+8,802) In the UK, the Divorce Reform Bill received its third reading. It provided for a divorce after 2 years separation with mutual consent, or after five years without this consent.
10/6/1969, Tuesday (+8,799)
9/6/1969, Monday (+8,798) Enoch Powell proposed voluntary repatriation of immigrants, causing a storm of protest.
8/6/1969. Sunday (+8,797) President Nixon announced that 25,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam by the end of August.
30/5/1969, Friday (+8,788) Rioting over low wages and unemployment broke out in Curacao. Shops were looted and burnt. From 1955 the oil refineries had begun to replace labour with automation, and began to contract out services such as cleaning and construction, and contractors paid lower wages than the refinery had done.
26/5/1969. Monday (+8,784) John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a ‘bed – in’ at a Montreal hotel in aid of world peace. See 8/12/1980.
25/5/1969, Sunday (+8,783) The Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl set sail with seven crew from the Moroccan port of Safi in a reed boat in order to prove that The ancient Egyptians could have reached America, accounting for the Pyramids in central America. He used 12 tons of papyrus reeds, and traditional boat builders from Chad made the vessel. The boat did not sink, and Heyerdahl completed the voyage; in 1948 he successfully completed a voyage from Polynesia to Peru to prove that Pacific Islanders could have settled South America.
24/5/1969. Saturday (+8,782) The Black and White Minstrel Show at London’s Victoria Palace closed after 4,354 performances over seven years. It was the longest running musical show in Britain.
20/5/1969, Tuesday (+8,778)
18/5/1969, Sunday (+8,776) Apollo 10 was launched, crewed by Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan.
17/5/1969. Saturday (+8,775) Dubliner Tom McLean completed the first solo transatlantic crossing by rowing boat, from Newfoundland to Ireland.
16/5/1969, Friday (+8,774) The Russian spacecraft Venus 5 touched down on Venus.
12/5/1969. Monday (+8,770) The voting age in Britain was lowered to 18 from 21. See 2/7/1928, 13/3/1970.
2/5/1969. Friday (+8,760) The Queen Elizabeth II sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage.
28/4/1969. Monday (8,756) General De Gaulle, 79 years old, resigned as Prime Minister of France. President Pompidou, who became French President on 15/6/1969, succeeded him. De Gaulle lost a referendum on changes to French regional institutions. De Gaulle was resented for high taxation to pay for the French military, whilst health, education, and social services were neglected, leading to French student riots in spring 1968. De Gaulle retired to Colombey. See 9/11/1970.
22/4/1969. Tuesday (+8,750) IRA bombs hit the main post office and bus station in Belfast.
18/4/1969, Friday (+8,746) Bernadette Devlin became Britain’s youngest MP for nearly 200 years when she was elected for Mid-Ulster, 6 days before her 22nd birthday.
17/4/1969, Thursday (+8,745) Alexander Dubcek was replaced as First Secretary of the Czech Communist Party.
16/4/1969. Wednesday (+8,744) Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican artist to top the UK charts with The Israelites.
15/4/1969, Tuesday (+8,743) The Woodstock music festival began in Bethel, New York.
9/4/1969, Wednesday (+8,737) (1) Sikh bus drivers in Wolverhampton won the right to wear turbans.
(2) Concord’s first trial flight from Bristol to Fairford. See 21/1/1976. The French Concorde made its first flight on 2/3/1969. The Concorde project had begun in 1962 between the British and French governments to develop a supersonic aircraft. Sceptics doubted that it was possible to build a passenger aircraft with over 100 seats that travelled as fast as a military fighter. However Concorde halved flight times across the Atlantic.
2/4/1969, Wednesday (+8,730) Jim Morrison, of pop group ‘The Doors’ was arrested in the USA.
1/4/1969. Tuesday (+8,729) France formally left NATO.
31/3/1969, Monday (+8,728) An airline pilots strike grounded all BOAC flights.
28/3/1969, Friday (+8,725) Dwight D Eisenhower, American Army Commander and Republican 34th President 1953 to 1961, died in Washington.
22/3/1969. Saturday (+8,719) Soccer hooligans ran riot on the London Underground, causing thousands of pounds of damage.
20/3/1969. Thursday (+8,717) The Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
19/3/1969. Wednesday (+8,716) British forces landed on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The rebel government set up self-appointed President Ronald Webster offered no resistance. Many of the 6,000 islanders welcomed the British invasion force, whose arrival had already been announced by the BBC.
15/3/1969, Saturday (+8,712)
11/3/1969. Tuesday (+8,708) (1) Golda Meir, aged 70, became Prime Minister of Israel after the death of Levi Eshkol. Mrs Meir remained Prime Minister until her resignation in 1974.
(2) The author John Wyndham died.
10/3/1969, Monday (+8,707) James Ray Earl pleaded guilty to the murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and was sentenced to 99 years in jail.
7/3/1969, Friday (+8,704) London’s Victoria Line opened, from Warren Street to Victoria, see 3/11/1968.
5/3/1969. Wednesday (+8,702) The gangland twins Ronald and Roger Kray, 35, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey and given life sentences. The judge said they should not be released for 30 years.
3/3/1969, Monday (+8,700) Apollo 9 was launched, manned by James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart.
2/3/1969. Sunday (+8,699) (1) The French built Concorde made its maiden flight from Toulouse Airport. See 9/1/1969. It was piloted by Andre Turcat, chief test pilot of Sud Aviation; he got the plane to 300 mph.
(2) Soviet and Chinese troops clashed on their border.
28/2/1969, Friday (+8,697)
26/2/1969, Wednesday (+8,695) Levi Eshkol, Prime Minister of Israel, died.
25/2/1969, Tuesday (+8,,694) Mariner 6 was launched from Cape Canaveral, to fly by Mars.
22/2/1969. Saturday (+8,691) President Nixon arrived in Britain for talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
On TV a wheelchair bound detective called Ironside battled San Francisco’s crooks. Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.
18/2/1969. Tuesday (+8,687) At Zurich an Israeli aircraft was attacked by four Arabs, injuring 6 passengers; one Arab was killed.
13/2/1969. Thursday (+8,682) Scientists in Cambridge announced the first successful in-vitro fertilisation of a human being.
11/2/1969. Tuesday (+8,680) In the UK, female workers at the Ford car plant won equal pay with male workers.
9/2/1969, Sunday (+8,678) The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet made its maiden flight. See 21/1/1970.
5/2/1969. Wednesday (+8,674) The Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, declared a state of ‘extreme emergency’ at the university campus at Berkeley after violent struggles there between students and police. On BBC1 All Gas and Gaiters was a comedy about a young Church of England priest, Derek Nimmo.
3/2/1969. Monday (+8,672) In Cairo, Yasser Arafat became leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the PLO.
30/1/1969. Thursday (+8,668) The Beatles performed together for the last time.
27/1/1969. Monday (+8,665) In Northern Ireland, the Protestant leader, Ian Paisley was jailed.
23/1/1969, Thursday (+8,661) The British Government rejected proposals to cut penalties for smoking cannabis.
20/1/1969. Monday (+8,658) President Nixon was sworn in as US President.
19/1/1969, Sunday (+8,657) A 21-year-old student, Jan Palach, set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square, Prague, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
6/1/1969, Monday (+8,644) The rail service between Edinburgh and Carlisle via Hawick closed.
2/1/1969, Thursday (+8,640) A civil rights march from Belfast to London ended in violence.
1/1/1969. Wednesday (+8,639) Sir Learie Constantine became Britain’s first Black peer.
31/12/1968, Tuesday (+8,638) (1) Russia’s TU144 flew, becoming the world’s first supersonic aircraft.
(2) The ‘lion’ ceased to be stamped on British eggs. The practice began on 30/6/1957.
30/12/1968, Monday (+8,637) Trygve Lie, Norwegian ambassador and Secretary-General to the UN, 1946 to 1952, died.
28/12/1968. Saturday (+8,635) Israeli commandos in helicopters raided Beirut Airport, destroying 13 Lebanese aircraft. This was in retaliation for alleged Lebanese toleration of guerrilla raids into northern Israel.
26/12/1968. Thursday (+8,633) Two Arab gunmen, killing one passenger, attacked an Israeli Boeing 707 in Athens.
22/12/1968, Sunday (+8,629) The captain and crew of the Pueblo were released by the North Koreans at Panmunjom.
21/12/1968. Saturday (+8,628) The first flight of a man around the Moon, when Apollo 8 was launched. It was crewed by Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders.
20/12/1968. Friday (+8,627) (1) Franco banished Prince Carlos from Spain.
(2) John Steinbeck, American author who wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Nobel Prize Winner in 1962, died in New York City.
4/12/1968. Wednesday (+8,611) On TV Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men still entertained children 16 years after their initial appearance. The weak willed pair still lived in fear of the gardener and were mercilessly bullied by Weed.
30/11/1968. Saturday (+8,607) The Trades Descriptions Act came into force.
28/11/1968. Thursday (+8,605) Enid Blyton, creator of Noddy and Big Ears, died. She was born on 11/8/1897 in East Dulwich. In the mid 1930s she began writing her stories, which featured Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.
26/11/1968, Tuesday (+8,603) In Britain the Race Relations Act came into force, banning racial discrimination at work.
15/11/1968. Friday (+8,592) Cunard’s flagship liner the Queen Elizabeth docked at Southampton for the last time. Launched in September 1938, she was used during the War as a troopship based in Sydney, Australia. Her first commercial voyage was from Southampton in 1946. She was replaced by the Queen Elizabeth II.
12/11/1968. Tuesday (+8,589) One thousand people attended the first public meeting of the Greater London Council. Ideas discussed included a monorail down Oxford Street by 1972 and an ‘end to the architecture of totalitarianism’. The Milton Keynes Development Corporation announced that the first blueprint for the new city would be available by February 1969. On TV Z Cars patrolled Merseyside whilst Trumpton kept watch at the Fire Station.
5/11/1968 Tuesday (+8,582) (1) Richard Milhous Nixon, born 9/1/1913, won the 37th Presidency of the USA by a narrow majority. He had stood for election in 1960 but was defeated by John F Kennedy. J F Kennedy was born on 29/5/1917.
(2) The first Black woman was elected to the US House of Representatives.
3/11/1968. Sunday (+8,580) (1) The second section of London’s Victoria Line opened, from Highbury to Warren Street, see 1/9/1968 and 7/3/1969.
(2) Severe storms and floods in northern Italy killed over 100 people.
1/11/1968, Friday (+8,578) Georgios Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, died.
31/10/1968. Thursday (+8,577) President Johnson of the USA ordered a total halt to US bombing of North Vietnam.
27/10/1968, Sunday (+8,573) Violent anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.
16/10/1968, Wednesday (+8,562) (1) In Britain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices merged.
(2) The Czechoslovak Government signed, under duress, an agreement that Warsaw Pact troops would remain in the country indefinitely.
14/10/1968, Monday (+8,560) The new Euston Station in London was opened by the Queen. Work had begun in 1963.
13/10/1968, Sunday (+8,559) The Chinese Cultural Revolution ended when President Liu was dismissed from his posts in the Party and the Republic. The Cultural Revolution (see 3/9/1965), encouraging a return to basic Maoist principles, but also public criticism of all party members, had been too disruptive to China’s government and economy.
12/10/1968. Saturday (+8,558) (1) Equatorial Guinea became independent.
(2) The 19th Olympic Games opened in Mexico City.
11/10/1968, Friday (+8,557) The USA’s Apollo 7 spacecraft was launched flawlessly by its 700 ton Saturn 1B rocket and began 10 days and 21 hours in space. It was crewed by Walter Schirra, Don Eiselle and Walter Cunningham.
10/10/1968, Thursday (+8,556) Enoch Powell warned that immigration might ‘change the character of England’
9/10/1968, Wednesday (+8,555) Harold Wilson, British PM, met Ian Smith for further talks about Rhodesian independence aboard HMS Fearless moored off Gibraltar. The talks failed to resolve the situation.
7/10/1968. Monday (+8,553) Rhodesia’s leader Ian Smith announced that there would be no majority rule in Rhodesia in his lifetime. He continued with talks between himself and Prime Minister Harold Wilson; but Mr Smith said that ‘ordinary Africans were incapable of answering the simplest question regarding a constitution’.
Films on release included 2001: A Space Odyssey.
5/10/1968, Saturday (+8,551) Police in Londonderry broke up a Protestant civil rights march using water cannon and batons.
1/10/1968, Tuesday (+8,547) The University of Ulster, at Coleraine, opened.
27/9/1968, Friday (+8,543) (1) The French again vetoed UK membership of the EEC.
(2) Antonio Salazar resigned as Prime Minister of Portugal, after holding the office for 36 years and 84 days, the longest term of office of any politician.
(3) The Rock musical Hair with 13 naked actors opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after the Theatres Act lifted censorship of it.
19/9/1968, Thursday (+8,535) (1) Death of Chester Carlson, US inventor of the Xerox photocopier.
(2) The TV Times, a weekly magazine for British independent TV, was first published.
16/9/1968. Monday (+8,532) Britain adopted a two tier postal system, stamps cost 5d or 4d.
15/9/1968, Sunday (+8,531) Severe flooding in south east England, the worst since 1953.
13/9/1968, Friday (+8,529) (1) British banks announced plans to cease Saturday opening.
(2) Press censorship was reimposed in Czechoslovakia.
6/9/1968. Friday (+8,522) Swaziland became independent from Britain.
2/9/1968. Monday (+8,518) A major earthquake in Iran killed over 20,000 people.
1/9/1968, Sunday (+8,517) The first section of London’s new Victoria line opened, from Walthamstow to Highbury, see 3/11/1968.
27/8/1968. Tuesday (+8,512) Russian patrols watched the streets of Prague after a failed anti – Communist uprising. Tanks had first entered Czechoslovakia on 20/8/1968. The Soviets overthrow President Dubcek, and 175,000 troops, mostly Russian, occupied the major cities of Czechoslovakia. Prague was put under curfew. 20 people were reported dead and at least 200 injured, many of them students, after the anti-Soviet protests.
25/8/1968, Sunday (+8,510) The French exploded their first Hydrogen Bomb.
22/8/1968, Thursday (+8,507) Soviet tanks entered Prague.
21/8/1968, Wednesday (+8,506) President Dubcek was arrested and taken to Moscow. He returned to Czechoslovakia on 27/8/1968, having agreed to Soviet demands.
20/8/1968. Tuesday (+8,505) Russia sent tanks into Czechoslovakia. Dubcek had said on 18/7/1968 he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 5/4/1968.
16/8/1968, Friday (+8,501)
12/8/1968. Monday (+8,497) Race riots in Watts, Los Angeles.
11/8/1968, Sunday (+8,496) The last main line passenger steam train ran on British Railways. Called the Fifteen Guinea Special, it ran from Manchester to Carlisle.
5/8/1968, Monday (+8,490) The southern railway branch from Tooting to Wimbledon was closed to goods traffic, see 3/3/1929.
3/8/1968, Saturday (+8,488) (1) The last scheduled normal service steam train ran on British Railways. It ran from Preston to Liverpool.
(2) The Countryside Act allowed local authorities to designate National Parks.
1/8/1968. Thursday (+8,486) (1) President Nixon said the Vietnam War should be scaled down.
(2) The Princess Margaret inaugurated the hovercraft service between Dover and Boulogne.
29/7/1968, Monday (+8,483) (1) The Pope condemned all forms of birth control.
(2) President Dubcek met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in the village of Cierna nad Tisou (on the Czech-USSR border). Brezhnev agreed that Czechoslovakia could follow ‘its own road to Socialism’ and Dubcek promised ‘Socialist solidarity’. The meeting closed on 1/8/1968.
23/7/1968. Tuesday (+8,477) An Israeli Boeing 707, flying from Rome to Tel Aviv, was hijacked and flown to Algeria.
18/7/1968, Thursday (+8,472) Dubcek said he would not go back on his progressive policies, see 20/8/1968.
1/7/1968. Monday (+8,455) The USA and the USSR signed the Non-Proliferation treaty regarding nuclear weapons (see 5/8/1963). This bound its signatories not to transfer nuclear weapons or knowledge to non-nuclear countries. This was a recognition that both the USA and the USSR had interests in not assisting China to become nuclear.
30/6/1968. Sunday (+8,454) De Gaulle won massive support in French elections.
25/6/1968. Tuesday (+8,449) Comedian Tony Hancock killed himself in a hotel bathroom in Sydney, Australia.
10/6/1968, Monday (+8,434) NHS prescription charges were reintroduced. See 1/2/1965.
8/6/1968, Saturday (+8,432) Bermuda achieved internal self-government.
5/6/1968. Wednesday (+8,429) A Jordanian-Arab called Sirhan Bishara Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy, US Senator (born 1925), in the Hotel Ambassador, Los Angeles. Kennedy, younger brother of President Kennedy, died 25 hours later. Sirhan was arrested. He was protesting against Kennedy’s outspoken support for Israel, on the first anniversary of the Six Day War.
30/5/1968, Thursday (+8,423) French President De Gaulle announced he would not resign, and called a General Election.
27/5/1968, Monday (+8,420) The trial of the executives of the Chemie-Grunenthal company, responsible for the Thalidomide disaster that killed 80,000 babies and maimed 20,000 more, opened in Alsdorf, near Aachen. The trail was expected to last at least three years, but was shut down on 18/12/11970. All defendants were granted immunity from prosecution. The German Government and Grunenthal agreed a compensation scheme that many parents regarded as inadequate. Thalidomide was launched as a wonder cure for morning sickness on 1/10/1957; it was withdrawn on 27/11/1961. It was sold as Distaval in the UK, as Contergan in Germany. It emerged that no tests were done for effects on embryos; the executives claimed nobody in te 1950s realised that drugs taken by the mother could affect the foetus, which claim was untrue even then. Adults who took thalidomide as a sedative in 1959 had suffered serious nerve damage.
25/5/1968. Saturday (+8,418) Riots continued in Paris. Demonstrators erected barricades and students stormed the Bourse and set fire to the interior. In London a demonstration of support for the rioters was made outside the French Embassy; the police moved in and arrests were made, resulting in fines totalling £145 for 17 people. In north London, students at Hornsey College of Art continued a sit in of the main building, demanding ‘a change to the college’s educational system’.
22/5/1968. Wednesday (+8,415) Striking French workers now numbered 9 million.
19/5/1968. Sunday (+8,412) (1) Nigerian forces captured Port Harcourt in the civil war against the breakaway region of Biafra.
(2) Two million workers in France were on strike.
17/5/1968. Friday (+8,410) French president Georges Pompidou appealed to ordinary Parisians to help stop the anarchy as student riots continued in Paris. However the Cannes Film Festival collapsed in chaos as striking technicians and directors caused film screenings to be cancelled, and three days later the number of striking French workers had risen to about six million. Three people died in east London when 22 floors of a block of flats collapsed at Ronan Point, Newham, following a gas explosion. Council officials met with solid resistance when they suggested that the 80 families evacuated after the disaster should return to their flats. The director of the Transport studies centre predicted that in the future people would be ‘piped’ in high speed pneumatic trains like oil and gas. TV viewers could watch The Saint, Danger Man, or The Avengers.
16/5/1968, Thursday (+8,409) The Ronan Point block of flats collapsed in London’s East End. Three died when the 22-storey flats in Butcher’s Road, Plaistow, were brought down by a gas explosion in a flat on the 18th floor. The pre-fabricated ‘system building’ technique used to construct the flats meant that every flat on that corner then collapsed.
14/5/1968, Tuesday (+8,407) French workers called a one-day strike to support the students. The French Franc plummeted.
10/5/1968. Friday (+8,403) (1) Student clashes with police continued in Paris, with 30,000 people involved in a day and a night of violence. Students at The Sorbonne were locked out of campus, causing further unrest; the demonstrations were against the Vietnam War.
(2) Peace talks began between the USA and North Vietnam in Paris. The talks failed because North Vietnam wanted the country unified under the Vietcong, whilst the United States wanted North Vietnam to withdraw from the South which would remain an independent state. Eventually the North agreed to Southern independence and the US agreed not to demand the withdrawal of Communist forces from the North. However the North was to invade the South two years later as US forces withdrew from the South.
6/5/1968, Monday (+8,399) (1) An opinion poll suggested 74% of Britons supported Enoch Powell’s views on immigration. Enoch Powell made his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, see 20/4/1968.
(2) The Vietnam War continued with house to house fighting in Saigon. The Kray Twins were charged with ten offences including two of conspiracy to murder. The Home Secretary James Callaghan told the Ministry of Public Building and Works that he had no power to deport Tariq Ali back to his native Pakistan. Mr Ali was a member of the Vietnam Solidarity campaign in Britain. Ironside was on TV, and the films 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes were showing.
(3) Spain closed its border with Gibraltar to all but Spaniards.
3/5/1968. Friday (+8,396) (1) French police evicted striking students from campus, sparking large street demonstrations.
(2) Britain’s first heart transplant.
2/5/1968, Thursday (+8,395) Students rioted in Paris.
1/5/1968. Wednesday (+8,394) Legoland Family Park, the Danish toy maker’s answer to Disneyland, opened at Billund in Denmark.
30/4/1968, Tuesday (+8,393) Frankie Lymon, US pop star, died of a heroin overdose.
27/4/1968. Saturday (+8,390) Abortion was legalised in Britain, as the 1967 Abortion Act became Law. The Liberal MP David Steel had introduced the Abortion Act to Parliament.
23/4/1968. Tuesday (+8,386) First decimal coins, the 5p and 10p coins, appeared in Britain, see 15/2/1971. On 14/10/1969, 50 pence pieces replaced ten shilling notes; these notes ceased to be legal tender on 21/11/1970.
20/4/1968, Saturday (+8,383) Enoch Powell, Conservative MP for south-west Wolverhampton, made his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech about the dangers of immigration at a hotel in Birmingham. See 6/5/1968.
18/4/1968. Thursday (+8,381) London Bridge was sold for £1million to oil tycoon Robert McCullough. He had it rebuilt at Lake Havasu in the USA. It was rumoured that he thought he was buying Tower Bridge.
7/4/1968, Sunday (+8,370) US President Johnson ordered a slowdown in the bombing of North Vietnam.
6/4/1968, Saturday (+8,369) Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada.
5/4/1968, Friday (+8,368) In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek began a programme of reform which was to lead to a measure of political democracy and restoration of personal freedoms, see 5/1/1968 and 20/8/1968.
4/4/1968. Thursday (+8,367) Martin Luther King, 39, was assassinated, shot dead by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He was on a trip to support striking sanitation workers in Memphis. The funeral was attended by Jacqueline Kennedy. White and Black were briefly united in anger, and there were riots in hundreds of towns across America. Martin Luther King had campaigned on civil rights for Black people, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964.
1/4/1968, Monday (+8,364) Speculation in the gold market; gold was US$ 38 in London.
27/3/1968. Wednesday (+8,359) (1) The UK foreign secretary said the Falklands will stay British.
(2) Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space in 1961, was killed in a plane crash near Moscow, on a routine training flight.
23/3/1968, Saturday (+8,355) President Dubcek was summoned to an emergency Warsaw Pact meeting to try and stop his liberal policies in Czechoslovakia.
21/3/1968, Thursday (+8.353) (1) In Britain, road deaths fell 23% in the three months after introduction of breath tests. See 8/10/1967.
(2) Students at Nanterre University, Paris, began a sit-in, which soon spread to other French universities.
20/3/1968, Wednesday (+8,352) Six French students were arrested in Paris during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.
19/3/1968, Tuesday (+8,351)
17/3/1968, Sunday (+8,349) Violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the US Embassy in London.
16/3/1968. Saturday (+8,348) The My Lai massacre; US soldiers massacred 700 Vietnamese civilians in a raid on hamlets in Son My district, where Communist Vietcong rebels were suspected to be hiding out. US forces believed that 250 Vietcong guerrillas were hiding in My Lai and that all civilians would have left for market. As the 30 US troops went in under the command of Lieutenant William Calley they threw grenades and deployed flamethrowers on the thatched roof huts; it was soon clear that only women, children and the elderly were present. There was no counter fire. However a ‘contagion of slaughter’ had set in and the rape and murder continued. Senior US army officials turned a blind eye to the event; only five people were ever court-martialled, with just one, Lieutenant Calley, found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but served 3 ½ years before release on parole. This event turned many civilians within the US against the Vietnam War.
15/3/1968, Friday (+8,347)
13/3/1968. Wednesday (+8,345) Dubcek abolished press censorship in Czechoslovakia.
12/3/1968, Tuesday (+8,344) Mauritius, a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, became independent from the UK, and joined the Commonwealth. It had been a British colony since 1810.
8/3/1968, Friday (+8,340) Student unrest in Poland intensified. On 30/1/1968 a play by Mickiewicz, Dziady (The Forefathers) was shown at the Warsaw National Theatre for the last time; the authorities were concerned that the play provoked anti-Soviet sentiments in its audience. On the occasion of its last showing, Warsaw University students staged a street demonstration. The organisers of the demonstration were arrested; meanwhile the Warsaw branch of the Writers Union, supported by well-known personalities such as Slonimski, Jastrun, Andrzejewksi, Kolakowski and Jasienica protested the decision to close Dziady as Party censorship curtailing creativity. On 8/3/1968 a student protest meeting was brutally broken up by police and paramilitaries. Unrest spread onto the streets of Warsaw and to other Polish universities. The intelligentsia supported the students but the workers, influenced by official propaganda, opposed them. Around 1,200 students were arrested but only a small number were tried and received jail terms. Some were temporarily suspended from their university, Some academics also lost their posts, entire university departments were closed, new academic appointments were made on political grounds not ability, and overall, academic freedom was replaced by repression and suspicion, at least while Gomulka held power in Poland.
22/2/1968, Thursday (+8,325) The UK Government was concerned at the level of immigration of Asians from East Africa.
21/2/1968, Wednesday (+8,324) Lord Florey, Australian-born British pathologist who made possible the large-scale production of penicillin, died.
20/2/1968, Tuesday (+8,323) In Britain, the provision of free school milk at secondary schools ceased.
4/2/1968. Sunday (+8,307) The world’s largest hovercraft, 165 tonnes, was launched at Cowes.
31/1/1968. Wednesday (+8,303) Nauru became independent from Britain.
30/1/1968. Tuesday (+8,302) The Vietcong launched the great Tet Offensive against South Vietnam, named after the Tet holiday of January 31, when south Vietnamese soldiers would be off-guard. Militarily the Tet offensive was disastrous for the North; they held none of the towns they captured. The last town, Hue, was recaptured by US Marines three weeks after the Tet Offensive began. However the North won the propaganda war, with massive damage inflicted on the South during the Offensive, much of by US forces whilst evicting the Communists. Martial law was proclaimed in Vietnam. US casualties now amounted to 1,000 per day. Questions were asked why the US and South were suffering so many losses without obvious success in the war.
26/1/1968. Friday (+8,298) The two British banks, the National Provincial and the Westminster, merged to form the National Westminster Bank.
23/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,295) The USS Pueblo, an intelligence ship, and its 89 man crew was seized by the North Koreans in the Sea of Japan.
21/1/1968, Sunday (+8,293) North Korean commandos made an assassination attempt upon President Park of South Korea, getting within 300 metres of the Presidential Palace.
16/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,288) The UK government announced public expenditure cuts of £700 million. This included postponing a rise in the school-leaving age, and re-imposing prescription charges.
11/1/1968. Thursday (+8,283) Emigration from Britain exceeded immigration by 30,000 in the second quarter on 1967. The world’s fifth heart transplant was performed in New York. A new magazine, Student, hit Britain’s newsstands. Its publisher, Richard Branson, hoped the new magazine would become the voice of Britain’s youth.
Children were entertained on TV by The Magic Roundabout and Blue Peter.
5/1/1968. Friday (+8, 277) Alexander Dubcek became the Czech leader, replacing Novotny. Czech discontent at oppressive government from Prague and economic exploitation by the USSR led to criticism of the Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Novotny (see 25/2/1948), at a Workers Union Congress in June 1967, and to student demonstrations in October 1967. See 5/4/1968.
2/1/1968, Tuesday (+8,274) Christiaan Barnard performed a second heart transplant; the recipient Philip Blaiberg survived 594 days, proving the technique was feasible.
31/12/1967, Sunday (+8,272) Hippies embraced love, flower power, LSD and the Rolling Stones as a cure for the world’s ills.
21/12/1967, Thursday (+8,262) Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, was born.
19/12/1967. Tuesday (+8,260) Second French veto by De Gaulle on British membership of the E.E.C. The pound was devalued, and Harold Wilson made his ‘pound in your pocket’ television speech.
13/12/1967. Wednesday (+8,254) King Constantine II fled Greece after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the military junta, see 21/4/1967, and 1/6/1973.
11/12/1967. Monday (+8,252) The prototype of the world’s first supersonic airliner, Concorde, was revealed in Toulouse, France. It first flew from Bristol on 9/1/1969.
9/12/1967. Saturday (+8,250) Nicolae Ceausescu became President of Romania.
5/12/1967. Tuesday (+8,246) The Beatles opened their Apple store on Baker Street.
2/12/1967. Saturday (+8,243) Professor Christian Barnard, born 1923, performed the world’s first heart transplant in Cape Town. The recipient, a 53-year old grocer called Waskansky, who received the heart of a 25 year old traffic casualty, died 18 days later of pneumonia. The drugs given to suppress rejection compromised Waskansky’s immune system. A second heart transplant patient (see 2/1/1968) survived much longer.
30/11/1967. Thursday (+8,241) The British withdraw from Aden, and the Republic of South Yemen was formed.
29/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,240) Roy Jenkins succeeded James Callaghan as Chancellor.
28/11/1967. Tuesday (+8,239) Horseracing was suspended in Britain because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.
27/11/1967, Monday (+8,238) De Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the EEC.
26/11/1967, Sunday (+8,237)
23/11/1967. Thursday (+8,234) The UK government was about to ban meat imports from Europe because of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease there. TV shows included a debate on The Roman Catholic Church has no place in the 20th Century and The Man from UNCLE.
22/11/1967. Wednesday (+8,233) The UN passed the famous Resolution 242. It promised secure Israeli borders in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, and stated the need for a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. However no timetable was given for achieving these aims.
18/11/1967. Saturday (+8,229) Devaluation of Sterling. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr James Callaghan, announced a 14.3% devaluation, from $2.80 to $2.40 to the pound. He resigned the Chancellorship eleven days later.
8/11/1967. Wednesday (+8,219) The first local radio station in the UK, Radio Leicester, went on the air. It was opened by the Postmaster-General, Edward Short.
5/11/1967, Sunday (+8,216) 49 people were killed at a rail crash at Hither Green, south London.
2/11/1967, Thursday (+8,213) The first Scottish Nationalist Party candidate took their seat at Westminster. In the by-election at Hamilton, Winifred Ewing took the seat for the SNP, a party formed in 1934.
1/11/1967, Wednesday (+8,212) Rolling Stone Magazine started publication, the first Rock’n’Roll periodical in the USA.
31/10/1967, Tuesday (+8,211) The Expo ’67 exhibition in Montreal closed; it had opened on 27/4/1967.
30/10/1967. Monday (+8,210) Statistics showed that the number of Britain’s drug addicts under 20 rose from 145 in 1965 to 329 in 1966. Captain Scarlet merchandise hit the shops. TV showed Bewitched, Dr Finlays Casebook, The Saint, and Z Cars.
29/10/1967, Sunday (+8,209)
27/10/1967, Friday (+8,207) The UK’s Abortion Act received Royal Assent.
26/10/1967. Thursday (+8,206) The Shah of Iran and his wife were crowned in Tehran.
25/10/1967. Wednesday (+8,205) UK Parliament passed the Abortion Act, decriminalising abortion.
24/10/1967. Tuesday (+8,204) Israeli artillery destroyed a petrol refinery at Port Suez.
21/10/1967. Saturday (+8,201) The Israeli destroyer Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missiles
18/10/1967, Wednesday (+8,198) The Soviet space probe Venera 4 made the first soft landing on Venus.
15/10/1967. Sunday (+8,195) Henry Pu Yi, the last emperor of China from the age of 2, died in Peking aged 61. The Guardian offered its readers ‘the first binary computer kit’ called Digi-Comp 1, for £3 10 shillings. Meanwhile in Tokyo the Nippon Electric Co was offering the world’s first commercial television telephone. TV viewers saw Steptoe and Son, whilst Patrick McGoohan was unable to accept his lot in North Wales as The Prisoner. Ironside the wheelchair bound detective propelled himself around the streets of San Francisco.
9/10/1967. Monday (+8,189) The revolutionary Marxist leader Che Guevara was captured in Bolivia and shot. Bolivian troops killed Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and six other guerrillas they had cornered in the village of La Higuera near Vallegrande. The Argentine born hero of Latin American revolutionaries, Guevara was a prominent figure in Fidel Castro’s successful Cuban Revolution of the 1950s and 60s. Guevara then decided to join other struggles of ‘liberation’. Guevara came from a middle class family and his travels convinced him that only violent revolution would solve the economic, political, and poverty problems facing many Latin American countries. The French philosopher Jean Paul Satre described him as ‘the most complete human being of our age’.
8/10/1967. Sunday (+8,188) (1) A motorist in Flax Bourton, Somerset became the first person to be breathalysed in Britain. See 21/3/1968.
(2) Clement Atlee, British Prime Minister 1945-51, died aged 84.
5/10/1967, Thursday (+8,185) The first majority verdict was recorded in a UK court, 10 to 2, at Brighton Quarter Sessions.
30/9/1967. Saturday (+8,180) BBC Radio was reorganised. BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, and 4 began broadcasting, with Tony Blackburn introducing The Breakfast Show. His first record was Flowers In The Rain by The Move.
27/9/1967, Wednesday (+8,177) The liner Queen Mary arrived at Southampton, at the end of her last transatlantic voyage.
20/9/1967. Wednesday (+8,170) The Queen launched the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth II, at Clydebank, Scotland.
18/9/1967, Monday (+8,168) Sir John Cockroft, British scientist who along with Ernest Walton split the atom, died.
12/9/1967. Tuesday (+8,162) Governor Reagan called for an escalation of the Vietnam War.
10/9/1967. Sunday (+8,160) Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to stay British. 12,318 voted for Britain, and 44 for Spanish rule. In 2002 the British government was considering sharing sovereignty with Spain but the Gibraltarian governor was to hold an unauthorised referendum, which he believed would show the majority wished to stay British.
8/9/1967, Friday (+8,158) Uganda became a republic, with Milton Obote as the first President.
3/9/1967. Sunday (+8,153) Sweden switched over from driving on the left to driving on the right. All traffic was banned from Sweden’s roads between 1.am. and 6.am. that day. This reduced accidents since neighbouring Norway and Denmark already drove on the right. An earlier referendum, in 1955, had rejected the switchover but the Swedish Government finally approved the change in 1963.
1/9/1967, Friday (+8,151) At a meeting in Khartoum, the Arabs decided to lift the oil embargo that had been imposed on the West since the Six Day War.
28/8/1967, Monday (+8,147) Death of Charles Darrow, US inventor of the board game Monopoly.
27/8/1967, Sunday (+8,146) Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles rise to rock stardom, died in a swimming pool accident.
23/8/1967, Wednesday (+8,142) Race riots in Detroit.
15/8/1967. Tuesday (+8,134) The Marine Broadcasting Act came into force in the UK, outlawing pop pirate radio stations.
28/7/1967, Friday (+8,116) The UK steel industry was nationalised.
27/7/1967. Thursday (+8,115) Robin Scott, the man in charge of the brand new Radio One, announced that should pop music prove to be a passing fad, he would devote the station’s output to ‘sweet music’.
24/7/1967, Monday (+8,112) Graham Greene, Francis Crick, and The Beatles were among those who signed a full-page advertisement in The Times, saying the law against marijuana was ‘immoral in principle and unworkable in practice’.
21/7/1967, Friday (+8,109) Majority verdicts were now allowed in UK courts.
18/7/1967, Tuesday (+8,106) British forces were to withdraw from areas east of Suez by the mid-1970s,
14/7/1967. Friday (+8,102) Parliament in the UK voted to legalise abortion. This was after a record 64 hour debate.
8/7/1967, Saturday (+8,096) Fatima Jinnah, Pakistani politician, died.
7/7/1967. Friday (+8,095) (1) Nigerian troops invaded the breakaway region of Biafra, see 30/5/1967. The Biafrans had, initially, the main oil reserves and the refinery at Port Harcourt, so were able to secure help and weapons from abroad. However they faced an overwhelmingly larger Federal Nigerian Army. The ruler of Nigeria, Gowon, faced the threat of regional secession and was determined to maintain the unity of his country.
(2) Using Sir Francis Drake’s sword, the Queen knighted Sir Francis Chichester, who had sailed solo around the world in Gypsy Moth IV.
3/7/1967, Monday (+8,091) In Britain, ITV launched News at Ten.
1/7/1967. Saturday (+8,089) BBC 2 began colour broadcasting in Britain. Wimbledon was covered in colour for the first time.
29/6/1967. Thursday (+8,087) The American child psychologist Dr Benjamin Spock led a march of nearly 5,000 people in London in protest against the Vietnam War. Eighteen people were arrested as the march headed towards the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The Magic Roundabout continued on TV, as did The Man from UNCLE as he battled with the evil THRUSH organisation.
27/6/1967. Tuesday (+8,085) Barclay’s Bank, in Enfield, north London, opened Britain’s first cash dispenser.
17/6/1967. Saturday (+8,075) China exploded its first hydrogen bomb.
15/6/1967. Thursday (+8,073) (1) Race riots shook New Jersey, USA, following the arrest of a black taxi driver for a traffic offence. The riots lasted for four nights 1,600 people were arrested, 1,100 were injured, and 22 died.
(2) The US spacecraft Mariner 4 sent back the first close-up pictures of Mars.
(3) In Britain the Latey Commission reported that the voting age should be lowered to 18. Films included The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy. The Guardian TV critic complained that ‘with the basically green and white Wimbledon being followed by Late Night Line Up with everyone wearing basically black and white’ people paying nearly £2 a week to rent the colour sets should be getting ‘the occasional dazzle’. Whickers World and Till Death do us Part formed part of the TV schedules.
14/6/1967. Wednesday (+8,072) At a telecommunications conference in London, the Postmaster General predicted shopping by picture television and news reports by computer before the end of the century. He went on to discuss the imminent arrival of household robots. Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers expressed concern over the effects of the mini skirt on wool prices, which were down 6d a pound on the last season. On TV, ‘Games without Frontiers’ was on. It’s a Knockout and The Likely Lads was also on.
12/6/1967, Monday (+8,070)
10/6/1967, Saturday (+8,068) The White House, Washington, received a threat from the USSR over the ‘hotline’ that Russia would get involved in the Israel-Arab conflict to prevent a total Israeli victory. Moscow, ally of Egypt, had moved naval forces from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean and was planning an invasion of Israel from the coast. The world was in danger of a new World War between the USSR and USA, Israel’s ally. Russia’s ultimate failure to intervene caused it to lose some credibility with its other allies such as Cuba. This daya Moscow severed diplomatic relations with Israel.
9/6/1967, Friday (+8,067) As Egypt was heavily defeated in the Six Day war, Nasser resigned.
5/6/1967. Monday (+8,063) The Six Day War began between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Israel routed the armies of three Arab nations and occupied an area larger than the entire State of Israel in just six days. The war began after Colonel Nasser, having formed a pact with Syria and Jordan, moved his forces into Sinai and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Early on the morning of 5/6/1967 Israel made lightning strikes against Arab airbases, and within 24 hours the Egyptian and other Arab air forces were destroyed. Three Israeli tank divisions moved into the Sinai Desert. The Sinai capital El Arish fell on 6/6/1967 and by then the Egyptian army was in total disarray. By 7/6/1967 King Hussein's Jordanian forces were also routed and most of the West bank, including the Old City of Jerusalem, was in Israeli hands. On 9/6/1967, amid calls for a ceasefire, Israeli forces pressed on to the Suez Canal. Israel also launched an attack on the Golan Heights and by 10/6/12967 had taken these from Syria.
3/6/1967, Saturday (+8,061) Appleby station, on the line between Scunthorpe and Grimsby, closed.
1/6/1967. Thursday (+8,059) Moshe Dayan appointed the Israeli Defence Minister.
31/5/1967. Wednesday (+8,058) The President of Iraq stated, “The existence of Israel is an error that must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy that has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map”.
30/5/1967. Tuesday (+8,057) Biafra, 44,000 square miles, seceded from Nigeria under the military commander of the Eastern Ibo region, Odumegwu Ojukwu, starting a civil war. See 7/7/1967, 19/5/1968, and 12/1/1970. Nigeria at independence in 1960 had a population of around 50 million, consisting mainly of Muslim Hausa and Fulani in the north, Catholic Ibos in the east, and Muslim Yorubas in the west. There was considerable enmity between the Ibos and the Muslims. In January 1966 a coup by Major-General Johnson Ironsi, an Ibo, replaced the civilian post-independence government, This coup provoked a massacre of Ibos in the northern Muslim regions. At end July 1966 a second coup, by northern Army officers, deposed Ironsi, who was then tortured and murdered. General Yakubu Gowon, a Christian from a minority tribe, now came to power. He tried to reassure the Ibos but hundreds of thousands of them fled to the eastern Ibo region for safety. Gowon planned to institute a 12-region federal structure for Nigeria, but the military Governor of the eastern region, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, refused to accept this. Ojukwu was a wealthy Ibo, Oxford-educated, who declared the oil-rich Eastern Region independent on 30/5/1967 as Biafra, hoping for support from the oil multinationals. However Nigerian troops overran Biafra, over an extended time period, making Biafra a byword for mass starvation.
Biafran-controlled territory shrank, by September 1968, to a landlocked enclave 100km by 50 km. Ojukwu hired a Swiss public relations firm, Markpress, to plead his cause to the world. Markpress played the religious factor, painting (to the West) Ojukwu as a Christian under Muslim threat; Gowon countered that many on the Nigerian side, including Gowon himself, were also Christian. From August 1968 aid agencies began sending food aid to the starving Biafrans. France backed the Biafran side and sent military aid via Gabon and Cote D’Ivoire. Britain and Russia both backed the Nigerian side. Mercenaries under Colonel Rolf Steiner arrived to bolster the Biafran forces; this held back the Nogerian forces, however only prolonging the suffering of the Biafran people. Nigeria, unable to overcome Steiner’s men, settled upon bombing raids and blockade. Gowon blocked food aid, arguing it was being used as a cover for arms shipments.
29/5/1967, Monday (+8,056)
28/5/1967. Sunday (+8,055) Sir Francis Chichester arrived in Plymouth after a solo voyage around the world in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV. See 27/8/1966.
27/5/1967. Saturday (+8,054) President Nasser, nine days before the Six Day War began, declared, “Our objective will be the destruction of Israel”.
23/5/1967, Tuesday (+8,050)
15/5/1967, Monday (+8,042) In the village of Naxalbari, West Bengal, peasants rebelled against landowners. This was the start of the Maoist rebel Naxalite movement in eastern India.
14/5/1967. Sunday (+8,041) Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated.
27/4/1967, Thursday (+8,024) The Expo ’67 exhibition opened in Montreal. It closed on 31/10/1967.
24/4/1967. Monday (+8,021) The first space casualty occurred when Vladimir Komarov was killed as the Russian spacecraft Soyuz I crashed to earth after leaving orbit. It came to earth on the Steppes of Orenburg.
21/4/1967. Friday (+8,018) Colonels in Greece under Papadopolous took power in a military coup; parliamentary democracy was suspended. King Constantine II initially collaborated with the colonels until 13/12/1967 but then unsuccessfully attempted a counter coup. He later fled to Rome.
19/4/1967, Wednesday (+8,016) Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963, died.
15/4/1967. Saturday (+8,012) 100,000 protested against the Vietnam War in New York.
12/4/1967. Wednesday (+8,009) The UK£ reached parity with the US$.
4/4/1967, Tuesday (+8,001) Martin Luther King denounced the Vietnam War.
1/4/1967. Saturday (+7,998) (1) The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserves formed.
(2) Britain’s first Ombudsman was created, Sir Edmund Compton.
30/3/1967, Thursday (+7,996) The Torrey Canyon was finally destroyed by RAF bombing.
26/3/1967. Sunday (+7,992) 10,000 hippies held a rally in New York's Central Park.
18/3/1967. Saturday (+7,984) The Torrey Canyon runs aground on the Seven Stones reef off Lands End. The 975 foot tanker spilled 117,000 tons of Kuwaiti crude oil that was bound for Milford Haven. Within six days 30,000 tons of oil had escaped producing a 260 square mile slick. Thousands of gallons of detergent were dumped on the slick, but two days later the tanker broke her back during a salvage attempt, releasing a further 30,000 tons of oil. On 28 and 29 March the RAF took emergency action, and tried to burn off the oil. They dumped aviation fuel, high explosive bombs, rockets, and napalm onto the slick. The six hour bombardment was a success but by then the oil had fouled 100 miles of Cornish coastline.
12/3/1967. Sunday (+7,978) Mrs Ghandi re-elected Prime Minister of India.
10/3/1967. Friday (+7.976) The US bombed industrial targets in North Vietnam.
9/3/1967, Thursday (+7,975) Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, defected to the West, requesting political asylum at the US Embassy in India..
26/2/1967, Sunday (+7,964) The US stepped up the Vietnam war with an attack on the Vietcong HQ.
22/2/1967, Wednesday (+7,960) Suharto replaced Sukarno as President of Indonesia.
18/2/1967, Saturday (+7,956) Robert Oppenheiner, American scientist who developed the US atom bomb, died in Princeton, New Jersey.
14/2/1967. Tuesday (+7,952) 100 Labour MPs in Westminster condemned the US bombing of Vietnam. On 26/2/1967 the US stepped up the war by attacking the Vietcong's HQ.
27/1/1967, Friday (+7,934) Fire broke out on the spacecraft Apollo I during ground tests at Cape Kennedy. Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were killed. Normally fire-resistant plastics ignited in the pure oxygen used by the astronauts.
18/1/1967. Wednesday (+7,925) Jeremy Thorpe, born on 29/4/1929, became leader of the Liberal Party, replacing Joe Grimond. Thorpe resigned on 10/5/1976.
12/1/1967, Thursday (+7,919) Plans were announced for a new city at Milton Keynes.
8/1/1967, Sunday (+7,915) Rioting in Shanghai, China, as workers went on strike.
4/1/1967. Wednesday (+7,911) Donald Campbell died attempting to break his own water speed record of 276.33 mph on Coniston Water in the Lake District. He had made one run, then turned for another run too soon, and his boat hit its own wake and catapulted out of the water. His boat was called Bluebird K 7.
3/1/1967, Tuesday (+7,910) Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President Kennedy, died of natural causes at a Dallas hospital. Mr Ruby was awaiting the retrial of his murder case.
2/1/1967. Monday (+7,909) Ronald Reagan sworn in as Governor of California.
28/12/1966, Wednesday (+7,904) Westminster Abbey celebrated its 900th anniversary.
22/12/1966, Thursday (+7,898) Rhodesia left the Commonwealth.
15/12/1966, Thursday (+7,891) Walt Disney, US film producer and leader in animation, died.
6/12/1966. Tuesday (+7,882) Ian Smith of Rhodesia refused UK government proposals to end UDI. Rhodesia left the Commonwealth on 22/12/1966.
2/12/1966, Friday (+7,878) British Prime Minister Harold Wilson met Ian Smith on HMS Tiger off Gibraltar, for talks on the independence of Rhodesia.
1/12/1966, Thursday (+7,877) Britain’s Post Offices issued the first Christmas Stamps.
30/11/1966, Wednesday (+7,876) Barbados proclaimed full independence.
26/11/1966. Saturday (+7,872) Charles De Gaulle in Brittany opened the world’s first tidal power station. It was in the Rance Estuary, in the Golfe de St Malo. The station, first planned in 1955, cost French Francs 420 million (UK£ 42 million) to build.
10/11/1966, Thursday (+7,856) The UK held discussions about entry to the EEC.
9/11/1966. Wednesday (+7,855) Severe flooding hit Florence, ruining many art treasures. The River Arno burst its banks after heavy rain upstream from the city which was situated in a narrow valley, and 100 people died.
8/11/1966. Tuesday (+7,854) Edward Brooke became the USA’s first black senator.
26/10/1966. Wednesday (+7,841) US President Johnson visited US troops in Vietnam.
23/10/1966, Sunday (+7,838) BP announced the discovery of large gas fields in the North Sea.
22/10/1966. Saturday (+7,837) KGB master spy George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs, using a home-made rope ladder to scale the high perimeter wall, He had been serving a 42-year sentence for espionage meted out in 1962, one year for each of the lives his treachery was estimated to have cost. On 20/11/1966 he arrived in East Berlin.
21/10/1966. Friday (+7,836) The Aberfan disaster. A coal waste tip collapsed at 9.30am, burying a school in the Welsh Valleys, shortly after the children had arrived for morning assembly. It was a half day and by midday the schools would have been empty again for the half term holiday. 2 million tons of rock and sludge engulfed both the infants and junior schools. Also engulfed were a row of cottages and a farm; 147 people, 116 of them children, were killed. Aberfan was a close-knit community, and now had just five surviving children. The National Coal Board was blamed for siting the colliery waste tip on top of a natural spring; heavy rain had further destabilised the waste heap.
18/10/1966. Tuesday (+7,833) (1) Death of the cosmetic company founder, Elizabeth Arden.
(2) The hanged Timothy Evans won a posthumous Royal Pardon, see 15/7/1953.
6/10/1966, Thursday (+7,821) The EEC published an adverse report on the UK economy; the UK was trying to join the EEC.
4/10/1966. Tuesday (+7,819) Lesotho became independent. It had been formerly known as Basutoland, and had been a British Protectorate since 1868.
30/9/1966. Friday (+7,815) Botswana became independent. It had formerly been called Bechuenaland. Sir Setese Khama was its first President.
29/9/1966. Thursday (+7,814) Argentina raided the Falkland Islands.
23/9/1966. Friday (+7,808) USA planes dropped tons of herbicides on Vietnam turning the demilitarised zone between North and South Vietnam into a barren wasteland.
Mr Joe Kagan, raincoat maker to Mr Harold Wilson, suggested that by the 1980s men would be wearing something like a mini skirt with a toga over it in cold weather. On TV Emergency Ward Ten was on as Patrick Mc Goohan’s Danger Man was about to give way to The Prisoner.
16/9/1966, Friday (+7,801) Britain’s first Polaris nuclear submarine, the Resolution, was launched by the Queen Mother.
10/9/1966, Saturday (+7,795) (1) Ireland said it would introduce free post-primary education from 1967.
(2) Sir Seretse Khama became President of the new Republic of Ghana.
8/9/1966. Thursday (+7,793) (1) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Severn Bridge. The career of ferryman Enoch Williams, who had carried passengers and cars across the Severn estuary since starting his business on the first day of the general Strike 1926, ended.
(2) Star Trek was first broadcast.
6/9/1966, Tuesday (+7,791) South African Prime Minister Dr Hendrik Voerwoerd, aged 65, was assassinated, stabbed four times in the chest by a White Parliamentary messenger, with a stiletto, because ‘his Government didn’t do enough for Whites’. Voerwoerd had, since 1950, created semi-independent and poverty stricken ‘homelands’ for South Africa’s 73% Black majority, covering just 13% of South African territory; effectively creating a White majority in the remainder of the country.
3/9/1966, Saturday (+7,788) Captain Ridgeway and Sergeant Blyth became the first Britons to row across the Atlantic. The journey, in English Rose III, took 91 days.
29/8/1966. Monday (+7,783) The Beatles gave their last live concert performance in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
27/8/1966, Saturday (+7,781) Francis Chichester left Plymouth on his solo round the world voyage in the yacht Gypsy Moth IV. He arrived back in Plymouth on 28/5/1967.
23/8/1966, Tuesday (+7,777) The Cotswolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
18/8/1966. Thursday (+7,772) The Queen Mother opened the Tay Road Bridge.
13/8/1966. Saturday (+7,767) Chairman Mao of China announced a 'cultural revolution'. On 18/8/1966 Mao appeared on the gallery of the Tiananmen Gate in Peking to a crowd of over a million Red Guards. Then the student Red Guards spread out into China to radicalise the towns and countryside.
11/8/1966. Thursday (+7,765) Malaysia and Indonesia ended a 3 year war.
10/8/1966, Wednesday (+7,764) America’s first Moon satellite, Orbiter 1, was launched.
4/8/1966, Thursday (+7,758) John Lennon suggested that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’. Within days US radio stations had banned their music and there were public bonfires of their records.
1/8/1966, Monday (+7,755) Military coup in Nigeria.
31/7/1966, Sunday (+7,754) In the US, there were race riots in Chicago, New York, and Cleveland.
30/7/1966. Saturday (+7,753) England beat West Germany 4 – 2 in extra time (towards the end of normal time England were 2-1 ahead, but Germany secured a last-minute equaliser) to win the World Cup at Wembley Stadium, London.
28/7/1966, Thursday (+7,751) Florence Nagle, 70, became the first woman racecourse trainer.
21/7/1966, Thursday (+7,744) The first Welsh Nationalist MP, Gwynfor Evans, took his seat in Parliament after a by-election.
20/7/1966. Wednesday (+7,743) (1) Harold Wilson imposed a wages freeze in the UK. Inflation was high.
(2) Racial unrest continued in Brooklyn, New York, resulting in the fatal stabbing of an 11 year old boy. There were other racial tensions across the USA.
(3) Reverend Ian Paisley was jailed for breaching the peace at a church assembly in June.
18/7/1966, Monday (+7,741) The US launched the Gemini 10 spacecraft, crewed by John Young and Michael Collins.
16/7/1966. Saturday (+7,739) Race riots in Chicago caused Governor Kerner to call out 3,000 men from the Illinois National Guard who supplemented 900 police facing 5,000 rioters.
The Home Secretary Roy Jenkins decided that the drug LSD-25 should be controlled under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, following a rise in use of the drug by young people.
Doctor Who continued to entertain on TV, and scare kids into hiding behind the sofa so the Daleks wouldn’t get them.
5/7/1966. Tuesday (+7,728) Dozens of captured USA airmen in the Vietnam War were paraded through the streets of Hanoi to shouts of ‘death to the American air pirates’.
3/7/1966. Sunday (+7,726) Anti-Vietnam war protests outside the US Embassy, London.
1/7/1966, Friday (+7,724) (1) In the UK, the average wage for teachers was £1,400 per year (152% of average pay). A top league footballer earned £5,200, and a manual worker was on £1,040 a year, 112% of average. A GP earned £2,964, 320% of average. A train driver earned £884, 95% of average pay. Average pay in 1966 was £1,220 for men, and £630 for women. The average annual wage was £926. A pint of beer cost 2 shillings (10p). A two bedroom terraced house in Northampton cost £1,150. A gallon of petrol cost 5s 3d (26p). An off-the-peg Burton’s suit cost £15.
(2) France withdrew its armed forces from NATO.
29/6/1966, Wednesday (+7,722) Barclaycard, the first British credit card, was introduced.
26/6/1966, Sunday (+7,719) The last scheduled steam train left Scunthorpe railway depot. It was a freight train to west Yorkshire. All subsequent scheduled trains were diesel hauled, although some steam services from the Yorkshire area ran to Scunthorpe until Spring 1967.
6/6/1966, Monday (+7,699) Britain outlawed the Ulster Volunteer Force.
2/6/1966. Thursday (+7,695) (1) Eamon de Valera was re-elected president of Eire, now aged 83.
(2) The US unmanned spacecraft Surveyor made the first soft landing on the Moon.
(3) Philips Petroleum found a large gas field off the Humber estuary.
1/6/1966. Wednesday (+7,694) Folk music fans at the Albert Hall booed Bob Dylan for performing with an electric guitar.
26/5/1966. Thursday (+7,688) Guyana became independent, under President Burnham. It was formerly known as British Guyana.
23/5/1966, Monday (+7,685) In Britain, a State of Emergency was declared in response to the Seamen’s strike.
16/5/1966. Monday (+7,678) Post Office Tower, London, opened to the public.
6/5/1966. Friday (+7,668) The Moors murderers Ian Brady, 28, and Myra Hindley, 24, were found guilty of murder at Chester Crown Court and jailed for life.
30/4/1966. Saturday (+7,662) A regular hovercraft service began across the English Channel between Calais and Ramsgate.
21/4/1966, Thursday (+7,653) The opening of the UK Parliament was televised for the first time.
19/4/1966. Tuesday (+7,651) Australia sent 4,500 soldiers to fight in Vietnam.
15/4/1966, Friday (+7,647) Time Magazine declared London ‘the city of the decade’, for its fashion, and opportunities for young people.
14/4/1966, Thursday (+7,646) The South Downs was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
10/4/1966, Sunday (+7,643)
5/4/1966, Tuesday (+7.637) Shell announced the discovery of oil off Great Yarmouth.
4/4/1966. Monday (+7,636) Soviet spacecraft orbited the Moon.
2/4/1966, Saturday (+7,634)
1/4/1966, Friday (+7,633) The newly-created British Airports Authority took responsibility for London’s’ Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.
31/3/1966. Thursday (+7,632) General Election in the UK. Labour under Harold Wilson won a landslide victory, gaining a majority of 66. Labour won 363 seats, the Conservatives won 253 seats, and the Liberals won 12.
23/3/1966. Wednesday (+7,624) (1) In Rome the first official meeting for 400 years between the heads of the Catholic and Anglican Churches took place, Pope Paul VI met with Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.
(2) In New York, 20,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue demanding an end to the Vietnam War.
17/3/1966. Thursday (+7,618) US astronauts docked in space.
15/3/1966, Tuesday (+7,616) The US spacecraft Gemini 8 was launched, with Neil Armstrong and David Scott.
14/3/1966, Monday (+7,615) Britain’s first Asian policeman, Muhammad Yusuf, was sworn in to the Coventry force
12/3/1966. Saturday (+7,613) General Suharto assumed power in an army coup in Indonesia.
5/3/1966. Saturday (+7,606) The IRA destroyed the Nelson Column in Dublin by a bomb.
1/3/1966, Tuesday (+7,602) The Russian spacecraft Venus III became the first man-made object to land on another planet when it made a hard landing on Venus. It had been launched on 16/11/1965.
28/2/1966, Monday (+7,601) The Cavern Club, where The Beatles first played, went into liquidation.
24/2/1966, Thursday (+7,597) Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana since its independence in 1957, was overthrown by an army coup and went into exile in Guinea.
20/2/1966, Sunday (+7,593) Chester Nimitz, American General and Pacific Fleet Commander in World War II, died in San Francisco, four days before his 81st birthday.
19/2/1966. Saturday (+7,592) A 26 year old man was gassed as he attempted to cook a dinner for his wife. He had failed to realise that you had to ignite the gas. Lord Silkin’s Bill to legalise abortion ran into difficulties in the House of Lords. The Ministry of Public Works revealed plans to build an underground cafe, ticket office, and sales room, beneath Stonehenge. Statistics in the Ministry of Labour Gazette revealed the weekly average income for a British household as £24 2s 11d.
TV shows included Bewitched and Dixon of Dock Green. Thunderbirds was on at 6pm, and The Morecambe and Wise Show at 9.20 pm.
17/2/1966, Thursday (+7,590) The UK protested to South Africa about petrol supplies to Rhodesia.
9/2/1966, Wednesday (+7.582) Sophie Tucker, last of the ‘red hot mamas’, died.
8/2/1966. Tuesday (+7,581) Freddie Laker formed a cut-price transatlantic airline.
3/2/1966, Thursday (+7,576) The Soviet unmanned spacecraft, Luna IX, made the first soft landing on the Moon.
22/1/1966, Saturday (+7,564) Martin Luther King moved to a tenement flat in a deprived part of Chicago to draw attention to Black urban poverty.
19/1/1966. Wednesday (+7,561) Indira Ghandi (no relation to Mahatma Gandhi) became prime Minister of India. She succeeded her father Jawaharlal Nehru. She had been leader of the National Congress Party since 1959.
17/1/1966, Monday (+7,555) A US bomber aircraft on exercises was attempting to refuel mid-air over Spain when an error resulted in the fuel boom from the other aircraft clipping the bomber’s wing. The bomber crashed in flames; its crew parachuted to safety. However the bomber was carrying four Hydrogen Bombs. The Bombs were not armed so the electrical sequence necessary to detonate the fission bomb that would have set off the Hydrogen bomb never initiated. In other fortunate events, the parachutes on the bombs failed so they buried themselves deep in the soil, limiting radiation dispersal, and a breeze carried much of the radiation out to see as flaming bits of aircraft rained down in the area.
11/1/1966. Tuesday (+7,553) Barclays announced plans to go into the credit card business with its Barclaycard, available free to both customers and non customers of the bank. The card would have a limit of £25, and higher amounts could be spent following a telephone check. Hoteliers objected vigorously since promoters make their profit by taking a discount from the amount charged to the card, typically 5% to 10%. Barclays announced that the discount would be 3% to 5%.
8/1/1966. Saturday (+7,550) US launched biggest offensive to date in Vietnam.
1/1/1966. Saturday (+7,543) Bokassa took over as leader of the Central African Republic. In 1977 he organised a lavish coronation ceremony., appointing himself ‘emperor’, which cost US$20million, a quarter of his country’s annual income.
30/12/1965, Thursday (+7,541) In the Philippines, Ferdinand E Marcos became President.
29/12/1965. Wednesday (+7,540) North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh rejected US peace talks.
28/12/1965. Tuesday (+7,539) (1) A British magistrate who was also a rally driver said he would refuse to sit on the bench when motorists were charged with exceeding the speed limit unless injury or damage was also alleged.
(2) On TV, Phil Silvers starred in Sergeant Bilko.
27/12/1965. Monday (+7,538) The North Sea oilrig Sea Gem collapsed into the sea, killing 13 people.
22/12/1965. Wednesday (+7,533) The UK introduced a national 70mph speed limit. See 24/11/1965.
19/12/1965. Sunday (+7,530) De Gaulle was re-elected president of France.
15/12/1965, Wednesday (+7,526) US astronauts achieved the first rendezvous of two vehicles in space. Gemini 6, crewed by Walter P Shirra and Thomas P Stafford, met alongside Gemini 7, crewed by Frank Borman and James A Lovell. The two craft then orbited together, about 3 metres apart, completing two earth orbits at an altitude of 315 kilometres. This exercise was vital in planning the manned lunar programme, where a lunar module would detach from the command ship to land on the Moon, then rejoin the main ship to return to Earth.
6/12/1965. Monday (+7,517) The Redundancy Payments Act came into force; it was described as a major step in the modernisation of British industry. General De Gaulle failed to win the French presidential Election outright, necessitating a second ballot between him and Monsieur Mitterand. The Governor of California received a report on the necessity of stimulating employment and education among the Black population as a means of avoiding race riots.
4/12/1965, Saturday (+7,515) The US spacecraft Gemini 7 was launched, crewed by Frank Borman and James Lovell.
29/11/1965. Monday (+7,510) Mary Whitehouse began her clean up campaign concerning TV broadcasts, by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners Association to tackle ‘bad taste and irresponsibility’.
24/11/1965. Wednesday (+7,505) The UK government imposed an experimental 70mph speed limit on the motorways (see 22/12/1965). UK motorways, the first of which was a stretch of the M6 known then as the Preston by-pass, had had no speed limits since their inception in 1958. However early one morning in June 1964 the makers of the AC Cobra sports car decided to take their Le Mans contender out for a spin on the M1 and got it up to 185 mph. This led to questions in Parliament and the 70 mph national speed limit.
16/11/1965, Tuesday (+7,497) The Russians launched Venus III on a voyage to Venus, see 1/3/1966.
15/11/1965, Monday (+7,496) In the USA, Craig Breedlove set a new land speed record of 613 mph at Bonneville salt flats.
11/11/1965. Thursday (+7,492) Rhodesia declared UDI from Britain under Ian Smith, the Prime Minister. The opposition leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were in jail. The British Prime Minister Harold Wilson imposed trade sanctions and an oil embargo. However South Africa, and the neighbouring Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola, assisted Mr Smith in overcoming sanctions, and large multinationals evaded them anyway. However the end of Portuguese rule in Angola and Mozambique in 1975 undermined Mr Smith’s regime and assisted the transfer to Black majority rule there.
9/11/1965. Tuesday (+7,489) (1) A transmission relay in New York City failed, sparking a domino effect that led to a blackout across New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New England, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Pennsylvania and Ontario.
(2) The Act legally abolishing capital punishment in the UK came into force. This Act was largely due to the efforts of Sidney Silverman MP.
30/10/1965, Saturday (+7,480) In North Lincolnshire, all intermediate stations on the Barnetby to Lincoln line except Market Rasen closed. The stations closed to passengers were North Kelsey, Howsham, Reepham, Langworth, Snelland, Wickenby, Holton-le-Moor and Moortown. These halts remained open for goods traffic only.
28/10/1965. Thursday (+7,478) The Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, were charged with murdering a 13-year old giel, Lesley Ann Downey, whose body had been found on the moors on 15/10/1965.
26/10/1965. Tuesday (+7,476) The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBE’s.
25/10/1965. Monday (+7,475) Harold Wilson went to Rhodesia for talks with Ian Smith. But see 11/11/1965.
17/10/1965. Sunday (+7,467) Anti-Vietnam War protests in the UK and USA.
12/10/1965, Tuesday (+7,462) Paul Muller, the Swiss chemist who formulated the insecticide DDT in 1939, died in Basle.
8/10/1965, Friday (+7,458) (1) Edward Heath said he would take Britain into the European Community.
(2) The Prime Minister Harold Wilson made the first telephone call as the £2 million, 620 foot tall, Post Office Tower in London’s Tottenham Court Road opened.
7/10/1965. Thursday (+7,457) Ian Smith met Harold Wilson for talks at 10 Downing Street; the talks failed to avert UDI by Rhodesia on 11/11/1965.
4/10/1965, Monday (+7,454) Pope Paul VI visited New York City; the first Papal visit to America.
22/9/1965. Wednesday (+7,442) India and Pakistan halted fighting in Kashmir.
21/9/1965, Tuesday (+7,441) BP (British Petroleum) became the first company to discover oil in the North Sea.
14/9/1965, Tuesday (+7,434) The comprehensive school in Market Drayton, Shropshire, opened, replacing the town’s old secondary modern and grammar schools.
10/9/1965, Friday (+7,430) Yale University published a map showing that the Vikings discovered America in the 11th century.
6/9/1965. Monday (+7,426) India invaded West Pakistan. A three-pronged attack threatened the Pakistani city of Lahore. Pakistan parachuted troops in behind Indian lines. The conflict in Kashmir escalated.
4/9/1965. Saturday (+7,424) Albert Schweitzer, French medical missionary, died aged 90 in Lambarene, Gabon, in the village where he had opened his hospital for natives in 1913. He was aged 90, and won the Nobel Prize in 1952.
3/9/1965, Friday (+7,423) The Cultural Revolution began in China. A reassertion of Maoist principles, it began with a speech by Marshal Lin Piao urging pupils in schools and colleges to return to the basics of the Chinese Revolution and to purge liberal and Kruschevian trends in the Chinese Communist Party. See 13/10/1968.
1/9/1965. Wednesday (+7,421) Pakistani troops crossed into Kashmir over the cease-fire line.
27/8/1965. Friday (+7,416) The Swiss architect Le Corbusier died.
21/8/1965, Saturday (+7,410) The US launched the spacecraft Gemini 5, crewed by Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad. It orbited the Earth for 8 days before a safe splashdown in the Atlantic.
13/8/1965, Friday (+7,402) Ikeda Hayato, Prime Minister of Japan, died.
11/8/1965, Wednesday (+7,400) Race riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles, USA. A local Black woman, Marquette Fry, was arrested by White police officers on suspicion of drunk-driving and then beaten up. Over the next two nights rioting in the predominantly Black area spread to involve some 130 square kilometres, with cars and shops being looted and burnt. On 13/8/1965 2,000 national Guardsmen arrived to support the thousands of police in enforcing an 8.pm curfew for the next three nights. The riots saw the deaths of 34 people, mostly Black civilians shot by National Guards or police.
9/8/1965. Monday (+7,398) Singapore seceded from the Federation of Malaysia. It became an independent Republic within the Commonwealth.
6/8/1965, Friday (+7,395) US Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawing racial discrimination in voting procedures.
2/8/1965, Monday (+7,391) A UK White Paper limited immigration from the Commonwealth.
31/7/1965, Saturday (+7,389) (1) The last advert for cigarettes appeared on British TV.
(2) J K Rowling, British author of the Harry Potter series, was born.
30/7/1965, Friday (+7,388) Coronation Street was the top TV show
29/7/1965, Thursday (+7,387)
28/7/1965. Wednesday (+7,386) (1) US President Lyndon Johnson sent a further 50,000 ground troops to Vietnam. The US now had 175,000 troops in Vietnam.
(2) Edward Heath, born 9/7/1916, became leader of the Conservative Party. Sir Alec Douglas Home had resigned as leader on 22/5/1965. Heath was leader until 1975 when Mrs Thatcher became Party leader (11/2/1975). Heath received 155 votes against 133 for Reginald Maudling and 15 for Enoch Powell. At 49 Heath was the youngest leader of the Conservative Party for a century.
27/7/1965, Tuesday (+7,385) The Maldives Islands became independent, having been a British Protectorate since 1887.
26/7/1965, Monday (+7,384) The Post Office announced that in future UK telephone numbers would not include letters.
19/7/1965, Monday (+7,377) Syngman Rhee, first President of the Republic of Korea (1948-60) died in Hawaii.
16/7/1965. Friday (+7,374) The seven-mile Mont Blanc road tunnel opened, linking France with Italy. This road tunnel had first been proposed by French engineer Lepiney back in 1870. The tunnel took 6 years to build.
30/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,358) India and Pakistan agreed a ceasefire.
29/6/1965, Tuesday (+7,357) The first US military ground action began in Vietnam.
27/6/1965, Sunday (+7,355)
24/6/1965, Thursday (+7,352) South Vietnam severed relations with France.
23/6/1965, Wednesday (+7,351) The USSR rejected a Vietnam peace initiative proposed by Harold Wilson.
21/6/1965, Monday (+7,349) The UK government announced that the Broad Street to Richmond railway service, earmarked for closure by Beeching, would be reprieved.
19/6/1965, Saturday (+7,347) The President of Algeria, Ben Bella, was overthrown in a military coup by his Minister of Defence, Colonel Houari Boumedienne.
18/6/1965, Friday (+7,346) An alcohol limit was to be set for UK drivers.
12/6/1965. Saturday (+7,340) The Beatles were made MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours. A number of other holders of the medal returned theirs in disgust.
10/6/1965, Thursday (+7,338) A British European Airways De Havilland jet airliner flying from Paris to London made the first landing by automatic control.
3/6/1965, Thursday (+7,331) Gemini IV was launched, crewed by James McDivitt and Edward White. During the flight, Edward H White became the first man to walk in space, for 20 minutes.
31/5/1965. Monday (+7,328) Major US air strikes in Vietnam saved the South Vietnamese forces from annihilation, reported The Guardian.
Within a day of moving into a semi detached house on a Staffordshire housing estate a Jamaican family was approached by the resident’ association with an offer to buy them out. ‘We are not against coloured people’ said the chairman, ‘but we are concerned about maintaining the value of our house’.
Duty free cigarettes went on sale at Heathrow Airport at £1 for 200. A spokesman for Tetley’s, Britain’s biggest teabag manufacturer, said they would have 25% of the market by 1975.
24/5/1965, Monday (+7,321) Westminster announced that Britain was to switch to metric measurements.
21/5/1965. Friday (+7,318) Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer who was knighted n 1944, died in Stanmore, Middlesex.
12/5/1965. Wednesday (+7,309) West Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel.
3/5/1965, Monday (+7,300) Major earthquake hit San Salvador City, El Salvador.
2/5/1965. Sunday (+7,299) The British satellite, Early Bird, began transmitting TV programmes to 300 million viewers in 24 countries.
28/4/1965, Wednesday (+7,295) US forces invaded the Dominican Republic. This country had been in political turmoil since the death of the longstanding dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961. Free elections in December 1962 brought the mildly left-wing Juan Bosch to power, but he was quickly deposed in a military coup. This right-wing military junta was itself deposed in a further coup led by Colonel Francisco Caama, and Bosch was invited to return from exile and restore democracy. However the US was extremely wary, after Cuba, of any more leftist regimes being established in the Caribbean. On 28/4 US troops occupied the western half of the capital, Santo Domingo, whilst in the east right-wing generals took over the San isidro air base, which was then opened to US military flights. However the US did not want to undertake a permanent occupation of the Dominican Republic; US troops were replaced by a Pan-American force under Brazilian command, and free elections organised in 1966, won by President Joaquin Balaguer.
23/4/1965. Friday (+7,290) (1) Heavy US air raids on North Vietnam.
(2) The Pennine Way, 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in Roxburghshire, opened. This was the first long distance footpath in Britain.
17/4/1965, Saturday (+7,284) US students protested against US bombing in Vietnam.
16/4/1965, Friday (+7,283) the Ditton Priors branch railway, Shropshire, closed.
13/4/1965, Tuesday (+7,280)
9/4/1965. Friday (+7,276) Border clashes between India and Pakistan.
4/4/1965. Sunday (+7,271) US jets shot down by North Vietnam.
1/4/1965, Thursday (+7,268) Greater London was created, from the City of London and 32 boroughs.
29/3/1965, Monday (+7,265) The railway from West Drayton to Staines, west London, was closed to passengers.
28/3/1965. Sunday (+7,264) Major earthquake in Chile.
27/3/1965, Saturday (+7,263)
24/3/1965. Wednesday (+7,260) David Steel became Britain’s youngest MP at the age of 26.
23/3/1965, Tuesday (+7,259) US spacecraft Gemini I was launched, crewed by Virgil Grissom and John Young.
18/3/1965. Thursday (+7,254) (1) The first walk in space, lasting about 10 minutes, was made by Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, from the spaceship Voskhod 2.
(2) Farouk I, King of Egypt from 1936 to 1952, died in exile in Italy.
15/3/1965. Monday (+7,251) Doctor Martin Luther King led a Freedom March in Selma, Alabama, in defiance of a court ban. State police stopped the procession with tear gas.
8/3/1965, Monday (+7,244) The US stepped up military action in Vietnam. 3,500 American Marines, the first combat troops to arrive in Vietnam, landed, welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd. By July 1965 there were 75,000 US troops in Vietnam, by end-1965 184,000, and by early 1968, 510,000.
7/3/1965, Sunday (+7,243) US State Troopers and police attacked some 600 Civil Rights marchers with clubs, whips, and tear gas on the Selma Freedom March from Selma, Alabama, to the State capital, Alabama. 17 marchers were hospitalised and scores more injured.
23/2/1965, Tuesday (+7,231) Stan Laurel, English-born American film comedian along with Oliver Hardy, died aged 74.
21/2/1965. Sunday (+7,229) American Black leader Malcolm X was shot dead whilst addressing a meeting in New York. He was shot 15 times at point-blank range by three gunmen, and was dead on arrival at hospital. Born on 19/5/1925 in Nebraska, Malcolm X was the son of a Baptist minister, Earl Little, who was a supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Little received death threats and in 1931 his body was found, mutilated. Malcolm dropped out of school and by 1942 was involved in the criminal gangs of Harlem, New York. He was imprisoned for burglary in 1946 and in the same year converted to an Islamic sect led by Elijah Mohammed. Malcolm changed his surname to X because he viewed Little as a slave name. Out on parole in 1952, Malcolm preached for the sect, supporting Black separatism and violence. He made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 and then changed his views to supporting all races. He founded the Organisation of Afro-American Unity and toured many countries before he was assassinated.
18/2/1965. Thursday (+7,226) The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, became an independent monarchy. It had been a British colony since 1843.
16/2/1965, Tuesday (+7,224) British Rail published plans, based on Beeching’s, to halve the rail network.
8/2/1965. Monday (+7,216) The British Government, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson, announced a ban on cigarette advertising on TV, to take effect on 31/7/1965.
7/2/1965. Sunday (+7,215) US aircraft bombed North Vietnam. The US hoped that by relying on a sustained air bombing campaign, US casualties would be minimised.
3/2/1965, Wednesday (+7,211) Spain began a blockade of Gibraltar.
1/2/1965, Monday (+7,209) In the UK, NHS prescription charges were removed. They were re-introduced on 10/6/1968.
30/1/1965, Saturday (+7,207) State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, see 24/1/1965.
24/1/1965. Sunday (+7,201) Sir Winston Churchill died, aged 90, exactly 70 years after his father died. He was buried in Bladon churchyard, within sight of Blenheim Palace, his birthplace. He was born, on 30/11/1874, a descendant of the Duke of Marlborough, in Blenheim Palace. His funeral was on 30/1/1965, when Big Ben was silenced.
20/1/1965, Wednesday (+7,197) (1) LB Johnson was inaugurated as US President.
(2) American disc jockey Alan Freed died in California. He created the phrase ‘Rock’n’Roll’.
7/1/1965. Thursday (+7,184) Indonesia left the United Nations, under President Sukarno.
4/1/1965. Monday (+7,181) The poet and playwright T S Eliot died. He was born on 26/9/1888 in Saint Loius, Missouri. After studying at Harvard University he went to Paris in 1910 to teach French literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Later, after the start of World War One, he went to Merton College, Oxford, to read Greek Philosophy. In 1915 he married Vivien Haigh-Wood and in 1919 became a British citizen. His first volume of poetry, Prufrock and other Observations, was published in 1917 followed by Poems in 1919. In 1922 The Waste Land, regarded as his greatest poem, reflected the discontent that followed the trauma of the Great War. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
30/12/1964. Wednesday (+7,176) 500 were arrested in India on suspicion of spying for China.
21/12/1964. Monday (+7,167) The UK Commons voted to end capital punishment.
12/12/1964. Saturday (7,158) Kenya became a republic in the Commonwealth. Kenyatta continued as head of state, see 12/12/1963.
10/12/1964, Thursday (+7,156) Dorothy Hodgkin became the first British woman to win a Nobel Prize. She researched the structure of proteins such as insulin.
9/12/1964, Wednesday (+7,155) English poet Dame Edith Sitwell died, aged 77.
8/12/1964, Tuesday (+7,154) Simon Marks, successful retailer in conjunction with Thomas Spencer, knighted in 1944, and made a peer in 1961, died in London at his head office.
7/12/1964, Monday (+7,153) In London, the railway from Edmonton to Angel Road closed.
28/11/1964, Saturday (+7,144) Mariner 4 was launched; 228 days later it passed within 9,700 kilometres of Mars.
23/11/1964, Monday (+7,139) (1) In an attempt to avert a Sterling Crisis, the Bank of England raised rates from 5% to 7%. This was merely seen by the markets as a sign of panic and the next day, a massive sell off of Sterling began. On 26/10/1964 a temporary 15% charge was placed on imports to the UK to rectify the balance of trade deficit. On 2/12/1964 the UK was forced to draw US$ 1 billion from the IMF. Further IMF funds were drawn during 1965. The import charge was reduced to 10% on 22/2/1965.
(2) The first British commercial radio station, Radio Manx, began broadcasting.
21/11/1964, Saturday (+7,137) The Verrazano Narrows suspension bridge, across the entrance to New York Harbour, opened to traffic.
19/11/1964. Thursday (+7,135) Major offensive by South Vietnam against the North began.
17/11/1964, Tuesday (+7,133) The UK imposed an arms embargo on South Africa because of its apartheid policy.
11/11/1964, Wednesday (+7,127) In the UK, the new Labour Chancellor introduced a mildly deflationary budget. Measures included 6d a gallon more tax on petrol.
4/11/1964. Wednesday (+7,120) Lyndon B Johnson was elected 36th US President.
2/11/1964. Monday (+7,118) (1) King Faisal became King of Saudi Arabia, succeeding his brother.
(2) First showing of the TV serial Crossroads.
29/10/1964, Thursday (+7,114) The name of Tanzania was officially adopted, for the union this day of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
28/10/1964, Wednesday (+7,113) Rioting in Catholic areas of Belfast after a Republican flag was removed by the police.
27/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,112) Wilson warned Rhodesia that a declaration of UDI would be treason.
24/10/1964. Saturday (+7,109) Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda was the first President. This ended 75 years of British rule.
20/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,105) Herbert Hoover, American Republican and 31st President from 1929 to 1933, died in New York City aged 90.
16/10/1964, Friday (+7,101) China exploded a nuclear weapon at Lop Nor.
15/10/1964. Thursday (+7,100) (1) Labour won the UK General Election with a majority of 4. Labour had 317 seats, the Conservatives 304, and the Liberals 9. Harold Wilson was the new Prime Minister. He inherited a balance of payments deficit of nearly £700 million.
(2) Nikita Khrushchev was replaced, in the USSR, as First Secretary of the Communist Party by Leonid Brezhnev and as Prime Minister by Alexei Kosygin.
14/10/1964. Wednesday (+7,099) Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize.
12/10/1964. Monday (+7,097) Russia launched the first three man space ship.
10/10/1964. Saturday (+7,095) The 18th Olympic Games opened in Tokyo.
9/10/1964. Friday (+7,094) A planned tour by the Rolling Stones to South Africa was cancelled due to the British Musician’s Union’s anti-apartheid embargo.
6/10/1964, Tuesday (+7,091)
5/10/1964, Monday (+7.090) Passenger services between Belmont and Harrow, north London, ceased, see 15/9/1952.
4/10/1964, Sunday (+7,089) Services on the Moorgate to Finsbury Park line, north London, were cut back to Drayton Park to allow for Victoria Line trains at Finsbury Park, see 1/9/1968.
28/9/1964. Monday (+7,083) Harpo Marx, the silent one who chased girls and played the harp, died aged 75.
21/9/1964. Monday (+7,076) Malta became independent of Britain, after 164 years of British rule.
15/9/1964, Tuesday (+7,070) The Sun was first published.
14/9/1964. Monday (+7,069) The British daily newspaper, The Herald, closed and was replaced by The Sun.
6/9/1964, Sunday (+7,061) (1) Ian Smith arrived in the UK for talks on independence.
(2) Trains from Waterloo Station, London, ceased to serve destinations beyond Exeter St David’s.
4//9/1964. Friday (+7,059) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Forth Road Bridge. It was 6,156 feet long, with a centre span of 3,300 feet. Construction began 21/11/1958.
3/9/1964, Thursday (+7,058) Britain agreed to support Malaysia against threats from Indonesia.
1/9/1964, Tuesday (+7,056)
22/8/1964, Saturday (+7,046) BBC2 first broadcast Match of the Day; Arsenal played Liverpool at their Anfield ground, watched by a TV audience of 20,000 in black and white. Over 40,000 actually attended the ground. In 2014 BBC1’s Match of the Day has a TV audience of 3.6 million. In 1964 each of the Football League Clubs made £136 from the TV programme; in 2014 each Club made £3 million from the show.
21/8/1964, Friday (+7,045) In London, three women were found guilty of indecency for wearing ‘topless’ dresses.
20/8/1964. Thursday (+7,044) South Africa was banned from the Olympics because of its apartheid policy.
17/8/1964, Monday (+7,041) Greece withdrew its forces from NATO because of tension with Turkey over Cyprus.
13/8/1964. Thursday (+7,037) The last hangings in Britain took place – the murderers Peter Anthony Allen at Walton Prison, Liverpool, and John Robson Walby at Strangeways Prison, Manchester.
12/8/1964, Wednesday (+7,036) Ian Fleming, British author and creator of James Bond, died aged 56.
10/8/1964. Monday (+7,034) An emergency casualty station had to be set up in Brighton to deal with a constant stream of hysterical girls overcome during a performance of the Rolling Stones.
8/8/1964. Saturday (+7,032) Turkish planes attacked Cyprus.
2/8/1964, Sunday (+7,026) (1) North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the US destroyer Maddox, which was patrolling 16 km off the North Vietnamese coast. One Vietnamese boat was sunk, another badly damaged; the Maddox was undamaged and continued her patrol. On the stormy night of 4-5/8/1964 the radar allegedly spotted five Vietnamese boats in ‘attack formation’; in fact these boats almost certainly did not exist. Either the radar image was misinterpreted, or were fabricated to justify further US actions in Vietnam. US President Johnson got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed through Congress; authorising ‘any necessary measures’ to repel attacks on US forces or US allies, including South Vietnam. This resolution justified a large escalation in US activity in Vietnam from 1965 onwards.
(2) US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act 1964.
31/7/1964, Friday (+7,024) NASA succeeded in landing the Ranger 7 probe on the Moon.
27/7/1964. Monday (+7,020) Sir Winston Churchill last appeared in the House of Commons. He died on 24/1/1965.
17/7/1964. Friday (+7,010) Donald Campbell set a world land speed record of 403mph. He was driving a car called Bluebird, on the salt flats at Lake Eyre, South Australia.
16/7/1964, Thursday (+7,009) The Rolling Stones had their first UK No.1 hit with It’s All Over Now.
13/7/1964, Monday (+7,006) Freight traffic ceased on the West Drayton to Vine Street (Uxbridge) line, closing it completely, see 10/9/1962.
10/7/1964, Friday (+7,003) The Bahamas became independent from Britain.
6/7/1964. Monday (+6,999) Malawi, formerly Nyasaland, became independent. It had been a British Protectorate since 1891.
2/7/1964. Thursday (+6,995) President Johnson of the USA signed the Civil Rights Bill prohibiting racial discrimination.
30/6/1964, Tuesday (+6,993) UN troops ceased fighting in the Congo.
15/6/1964, Monday (+6,978) Courtney Cox, US actress, was born.
14/6/1964. Sunday (+6,977) Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island, seven miles off Cape Town. There were international protests. See 27/1/1963.
9/6/1964. Tuesday (+6,972) British newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook died, aged 85.
5/6/1964, Friday (+6,968) The first British space flight, as the Blue Streak rocket took off from Woomera in Australia.
3/6/1964, Wednesday (+6,966) The Rolling Stones began their first US tour.
2/6/1964. Tuesday (+6,965) The PLO was created in Jerusalem.
27/5/1964 Wednesday (+6,959) The Indian statesman 'Pandit' Nehru died, having been the first Prime Minister of India since independence in 1947.
18/5/1964, Monday (+6,950) Mods and Rockers clashed at UK south coast resorts.
17/5/1964, Sunday (+6,949) Bob Dylan made his first major London appearance, at the Royal Albert Hall.
14/5/1964. Thursday (+6,946) Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser opened the first stage of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. The Nile had been diverted four years earlier to build the dam, which will create a lake 6 miles wide and 350 miles long, displacing 100,000 people but irrigating a million acres of desert for farmland. Many of Egypt’s historic sites were also flooded, but the buildings were moved to safe locations.
2/5/1964, Saturday (+6,934) Nancy, Lady Astor, the first woman to sit in the House of Commons in 1919, died aged 84.
26/4/1964. Sunday (+6,928) Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as Tanzania. Julius Nyerere was the first President.
22/4/1964, Wednesday (+6,924) British businesswoman Greville Wynne who had been imprisoned in the USSR for a year on spying charges was exchanged for the Soviet agent Gordon Lonsdale.
21/4/1964. Tuesday (+6,923) BBC2 began transmission. The first programme was Play School.
19/4/1964, Sunday (+6,921)
17/4/1964, Friday (+6,919) The Rolling Stones released their first LP.
16/4/1964. Thursday (+6,918) Twelve members of the Great Train Robbers were sentenced to a total of 307 years in jail.
13/4/1964. Monday (+6,915) Ian Smith became Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He succeeded Winston Field, who had resigned.
9/4/1964. Thursday (+6,911) The first driverless trains ran on the London Underground. They were first trialled on the Central Line between Woodford and Hainault.
5/4/1964, Sunday (+6,907) Douglas MacArthur, American General and commander in the Pacific during World War Two, died in Washington DC aged 84.
4/4/1964, Saturday (-6,906) (1) Archbishop Makarios rejected the 1960 treaty; fighting broke out in Cyprus.
(2) The last goods train ran from Mill Hill East to Edgware; the tracks were lifted later that year.
30/3/1964, Monday (+6,901) Mods and Rockers clashed on the seafront at Clacton.
28/3/1964. Saturday (+6,899) (1) Radio Caroline, Britain’s first private radio broadcasting station, began broadcasting from The Channel outside British waters.
27/3/1964. Friday (+6,898) (1) A UN peace force took over in Cyprus.
(2) Powerful earthquake, magnitude 9.2, hit Alaska, 139 died
24/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,895) Stanstead, Essex, was provisionally chosen as the site of London’s third airport.
22/3/1964. Sunday (+6,893) Anti-Muslim violence broke out in India.
20/3/1964, Friday (+6,891) Irish playwright Brendan Behan died.
19/3/1964. Thursday (+6,890) Harold Wilson presented each of The Beatles with a silver heart as joint winners of the Show Business Personality of 1963 award.
14/3/1964. Saturday (+6,885) Jack Ruby, aged 52, was found guilty in Dallas of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy (see 22/11/1963). He was sentenced to death but died of a blood clot on the lung in 1967.
11/3/1964, Wednesday (+6,882) South Africa left the International Labour Organisation
10/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,881) Prince Edward (Edward Antony Richard Louis) was born in Buckingham Palace, the third son of Elizabeth II.
6/3/1964, Friday (+6,877) Constantine II became king of the Hellenes, succeeding his father Paul I.
3/3/1964, Tuesday (+6,874) The UK government announced plans for closure of many rail lines.
2/3/1964, Monday (+6,873) Blyton railway station, Lincolnshire, closed to freight. Passenger services had been withdrawn in February 1959.
21/2/1964. Friday (-6,863) £10 notes were issued for the first time since World War Two.
11/2/1964. Tuesday (+6,853) Fighting broke out at Limassol, Cyprus, between Greeks and Turks.
8/2/1964, Saturday (+6,850) The Beatles began their first US tour.
7/2/1964, Friday (+6,849) 25,000 fans gathered at Kennedy Airport to greet the Beatles on their first visit to America.
6/2/1964. Thursday (+6,848) Britain and France reaffirmed agreement to build a Channel Tunnel.
3/2/1964. Monday (+6,845) China challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist world.
1/2/1964. Saturday (+6,843) The mayor of Notasulga, Alabama, turned away six black pupils from an all white school.
EMI’s managing director announced that The Beatles were making over £500,000 a month. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called for unauthorised possession of amphetamines to be made an offence.
27/1/1964. Monday (+6,,838) France recognised Communist China.
20/1/1964. Monday (+6,831) In the UK, the trial of the Great Train Robbers began.
17/1/1964, Friday (+6,828) The top UK TV programme was Steptoe and Son.
13/1/1964. Monday (+6,824) (1) In Calcutta, 200 died in Muslim-Hindu riots.
(2) The Beatles entered the US Charts at no. 45 with I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
12/1/1964, Sunday (+6,823) Zanzibar was proclaimed a republic. The Sultan of Zanzibar was banished from the country.
11/1/1964. Saturday (+6,822) Health experts in America published the first warnings that cigarettes could be dangerous for your health.
7/1/1964, Tuesday (+6,818)
6/1/1964. Monday (+6,817) Pope Paul VI finished a three-day tour of the Holy Land, the first Pope to visit there since Christianity began. He was also the first Pope to leave Italy for over 150 years. On 5/1/1964 Pope Paul VI met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Jerusalem, the first meeting between the heads of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for 500 years.
5/1/1964, Sunday (+6,816) The first automatic ticket barrier on the London Underground was installed, at Stamford Brook station.
1/1/1964. Wednesday (+6,812) The first Top of the Pops was broadcast, with Jimmy Savile as its presenter.
22/12/1963, Sunday (+6.802) Violent clashes between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus; UN Peace Forces intervened.
21/12/1963, Saturday (+6,801) Leeds Rugby Club, the first with undersoil heating, used it during a game with Dewsbury.
15/12/1963, Sunday (+6,795)
12/12/1963. Thursday (+6,792) Kenya became independent, with Kenyatta as President.
11/12/1963, Wednesday (+6,791) In Los Angeles, Frank Sinatra Jr was set free after his father paid kidnappers a US$ 240,000 ransom.
10/12/1963. Tuesday (+6,790) Zanzibar became independent. It had been a British Protectorate since 1890.
8/12/1963, Sunday (+6,788) Sarit Dhanarajata, Prime Minister of Thailand, died.
25/11/1963, Monday (+6,775) State funeral of President Kennedy.
24/11/1963, Sunday (+6,774) Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby.
23/11/1963. Saturday (+6,773) The BBC screened the first episode of Dr Who. The doctor was played by William Hartnell.
22/11/1963. Friday (+6,772) John F Kennedy was assassinated, in Dallas, Texas, during the run up to the 1964 USA presidential election. He had become President of the USA in 1960, defeating Richard M Nixon. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man charged with the killing, was shot on 24/11/1963 by club owner Jack Ruby at Dallas Police headquarters. Vice President Lyndon Johnson completed the remainder of his term. See 14/3/1964.
18/11/1963. Monday (+6,768) (1) The Dartford Tunnel was opened.
(2) The push button phone was introduced.
14/11/1963. Thursday (+6,764) The island of Surtsey, off Iceland, was born as an undersea volcano erupted.
9/11/1963, Saturday (+6,759) A mining disaster at Omuta, Japan, killed 442.
2/11/1963, Saturday (+6,752) The first President of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, was assassinated, along with his brother, in a military coup encouraged by the CIA.
19/10/1963. Saturday (+6,738) Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Conservative, became Prime Minister. Harold Macmillan resigned as Prime Minister on 18/10/1963.
10/10/1963, Thursday (+6,729) Harold Macmillan announced he would resign as Prime Minister, due to ill-health and the Profumo Affair; see 5/6/1963 and 19/10/1963.
9/10/1963, Wednesday (+6,728) Three thousand were killed as the Vaijont Dam burst in the Italian Alps. Despite warnings that the valley sides were being destabilised as the dam filled, work continued until a rock slide hit the site.
1/10/1963. Tuesday (+6,720) Nigeria became a republic within the Commonwealth.
20/9/1963, Friday (+6,709) The first pre-natal blood transfusion was performed at the National Women’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, by Professor George Green, on a child born to Mrs E McLeod.
19/9/1963, Thursday (+6,708) France and Britain agreed to build a Channel Tunnel.
16/9/1963. Monday (+6,705) Malaysia became independent from Britain; a mob of over 100,000 burned down the British Embassy. The name Malaysia was adopted, from the previous name, Federation of Malaya, when joined by Singapore and Sarawak.
10/9/1963. Tuesday (+6,699) The people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to remain under British rule.
5/9/1963. Thursday (+6,694) Christine Keeler, one of the girls at the centre of the Profumo scandal, was arrested and charged with perjury. She was sentenced to nine months on 6/12/1963. See 5/6/1963.
4/9/1963, Wednesday (+6,693) (1) Desegregation riots in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
(2) Robert Schuman, French Prime Minister, died.
2/9/1963, Monday (+6,691) George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, halted integration of Black and White students by surrounding Tuskegee High School with state troopers. See 15/5/1972.
31/8/1963, Saturday (+6,689) The ‘hot line’, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into operation.
30/8/1963, Friday (+6,688) Guy Burgess, Cambridge spy who worked for the Soviet Union, died.
28/8/1963. Wednesday (+6,686) Black civil rights leader Martin Luther King made his famous speech, “I have a dream…” to a rally of 200,000 people in Washington DC, demonstrating for civil rights for Blacks. On 4/9/1963 there were desegregation riots at Birmingham, Alabama.
22/8/1963, Thursday (+6,680) Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Motors, died, aged 84.
21/8/1963, Wednesday (+6,679) Martial law was declared in South Vietnam.
13/8/1963, Tuesday (+6671)
8/8/1963. Thursday (+6,666) The Great Train Robbery took place at Sear’s Crossing, Mentmore, near Cheddington, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. A gang of 15 men stole over £2.5million. Their haul was £2.5 million in banknotes scheduled for destruction. The robbery was well planned. They used batteries and a light to simulate a red stop signal for the Glasgow to London mail train. When the train stopped they coshed the driver, Jack Mills, decoupled the engine and some of the carriages, and drove them to Bridego bridge further up the line. Here the loot was loaded onto a lorry and taken to a farm nearby, which the police quickly found. Charlie Wilson, the first of the robbers, was arrested and charged later the same month. The train driver was coshed on the head and died six years later, never fully regaining his health.
5/8/1963. Monday (+6,663) President Kennedy signed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Washington. This treaty forbade testing in the atmosphere, outer space, or underwater, and was aimed at preventing other nations than the USA or USSR developing nuclear weapons. However to allow America and Russia to develop their nuclear weapons, underground testing was allowed under this treaty (see 1/7/1968).
3/8/1963. Saturday (+6,661) The Beatles played in The Cavern, Liverpool, for the last time.
1/8/1963, Thursday (+6,659) The minimum age for prison in the UK was raised to 17.
30/7/1963. Tuesday (+6,657) The ‘third man’, Kim Philby, turned up in Moscow after escaping arrest in Britain for spying. He had defected to Russia on 23/1/1963.
26/7/1963. Friday (+6,653) Big earthquake hit Skopje, Yugoslavia, killing 1,100.
22/7/1963, Monday (+6,649) In Britain, a commission into slum housing was set up.
3/7/1963, Wednesday (+6,630) The Clyde Road Tunnel, Glasgow, opened; construction began in 1957.
1/7/1963, Monday (+6,628) Kim Philby, British spy, was revealed as the ‘third man’.
30/6/1963. Sunday (+6,627) Coronation of Giovanni Batista Montini as Pope Paul VI.
26/6/1963. Wednesday (+6,623) President Kennedy made his famous ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech. He meant to say ‘I am a Berliner’, to indicate US support for the freedom of West Germany. However what he actually said translated as ‘I am a doughnut’.
21/6/1963, Friday (+6,618) (1) France withdrew its navy from NATO.
(2) Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Pope Paul VI.
20/6/1963. Thursday (+6,617) The White House and the Kremlin agreed to set up a ‘hot line’.
19/6/1963, Wednesday (+6,616) In Britain, the contraceptive pill was made available free on the NHS.
18/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,615)
17/6/1963, Monday (+6,614) The USSR achieved the first link-up of two spacecraft in space. Valentina Tereshkova (26) aboard the Vostok 6 rocket met with Valery Bykovsky (28) who had been orbiting Earth aboard Vostok 5 for two days. Crowds celebrated in the streets of Moscow.
16/6/1963. Sunday (+6,613) Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. She was born to a peasant family in Maslennikovo, Russia, in 1937, and made her first parachute jump aged 22 with a local aviation club. Her enthusiasm for skydiving brought her to the attention of the soviet space programme, which wanted a woman in space in the early 1960s. Tereshkova was launched into space on 16/6/1993 from Tyaturum aboard Vostok 6, guided by an automatic control system. After just under 3 days in space, and 48 Earth orbits, Vostok 6 re-entered the atmosphere and Tereshkova successfully parachuted to Earth after ejecting at 20,000 feet. She later received the Order of Lenin and Hero of the Soviet Union awards.
14/6/1963, Friday (+6,611)
12/6/1963, Wednesday (+6,609) Civil Rights lawyer Medgar Evers was murdered by White segregationists in Mississippi.
11/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,608) George C Wallace, Governor of Alabama, barred the path of two Black students, James A Hood and Vivian J Malone, who were attempting to enrol at the University of Alabama.
8/6/1963, Saturday (+6,605)
5/6/1963. Wednesday (+6,602) War Minister John Profumo resigned, admitting he misled the Commons about his relationship with a call girl called Christine Keeler, who had links to a Russian diplomat. See 5/9/1963.
4/6/1963, Tuesday (+6,601) At the World Food Congress, John F Kennedy said “The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation”.
3/6/1963, Monday (+6,600) Pope John XXIII, Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli, died.
1/6/1963, Saturday (+6,598) Jomo Kenyatta became the first Prime Minister of a self-governing Kenya.
22/5/1963, Wednesday (+6,588) The Organisation for African Unity was formed.
14/5/1963, Tuesday (+6,580) Kuwait was admitted to the United Nations.
10/5/1963, Friday (+6,576) African-Americans were finally allowed to use the shops and public services in Birmingham, Alabama, after the ‘Birmingham Campaign’ led by Martin Luther King.
28/4/1963, Sunday (+6,564) Cuban President Fidel Castro visited the USA.
17/4/1963, Wednesday (+6,553) The Royal Navy’s first nuclear powered submarine, Dreadnought, was commissioned.
13/4/1963, Saturday (+6,549) Gary Kasparov, Russian world chess champion, was born.
9/4/1963, Tuesday (+6,545) Winston Churchill was given honorary US citizenship.
6/4/1963, Saturday (+6,542) Anglo-US Polaris weapons agreement signed.
5/4/1963, Friday (+6,541) Bradwell nuclear power station opened in the UK.
2/4/1963, Tuesday (+6,538) A Black Civil Rights campaign began in the USA.
27/3/1963, Wednesday (+6,532) Beeching published his report, recommending extensive cuts to the UK rail network. He proposed closing a quarter of the rail network, closing 2,128 stations, scrapping 8,000 rail coaches, and axing 67,700 jobs. There would be no rail service north of Inverness, and most branch lines in north and central Wales and the West Country would close.
25/3/1963, Monday (+6,530) The Co-op on Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe, converted from counter service to self service. Now 24 of the 35 Co-ops in the area were self service, and just three remained offering counter service in Scunthorpe itself.
21/3/1963. Thursday (+6,526) (1) Alcatraz, the notorious prison in San Francisco Bay, was closed. It had been a maximum-security prison since 1934.
(2) Aden joined the South Arabian Federation.
17/3/1963. Sunday (+6,522) (1) A volcano erupted in Bali, killing 11,000.
(2) The first of the Tristan da Cunha islanders returned home from Britain.
16/3/1963. Saturday (+6,521) Lord Beveridge, founder of the Welfare State, died.
6/3/1963, Wednesday (+6,511) Britain had its first frost-free night since December, after a very cold winter.
19/2/1963. Tuesday (+6,496) The USSR agreed to withdraw troops from Cuba.
14/2/1963 Thursday (+6,491) Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party, see 18/1/1963. Other candidates were James Callaghan and George Brown. See 18/1/1963.
8/2/1973, Friday (+6,485) The Beatles were asked to leave the Carlisle Golf Club because they were wearing leather jackets.
5/2/1963, Tuesday (+6,482) Maarten Schmidt identified red shifts in quasars.
4/2/1963. Monday (+6,481) In the UK, a learner-driver was fined for driving on after the instructor had jumped out of the car for fear of his life.
1/2/1963, Friday (+6,478) Nyasaland became independent, later to be called Malawi.
27/1/1963. Sunday (+6,473) Mrs Winnie Mandela was served with an injunction preventing her seeing her imprisoned husband Mandela. See 14/6/1964. Films on release included Cape Fear.
23/1/1963, Wednesday (+6,469) Kim Philby was officially reported as ‘missing’ after failing to meet his wife at a dinner party in Beirut. Formerly a high-ranking British intelligence officer, he had been accused of spying for the USSR in 1955 but had been exonerated by Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. Philby’s accomplices Guy Burgess and Donald McClean had fled to Moscow in 1951; MacMillan insisted there was no ‘third man’.
22/1/1963. Tuesday (+6,468) UK unemployment was it its highest since World War Two, at 814,632. TV showed The Flintstones at the prime slot of 7pm. TV closed down around midnight. On 19/1/1963 snow and ice meant only 9 out of 63 League Cup Football matches were played, and two of those were abandoned.
18/1/1963. Friday (+6,464) Hugh Gaitskell, former UK Labour Party leader from 1955 to 1963, died unexpectedly. See 14/2/1963.