Historical events from 1 January 1970 to 31 December 1979
(+9999) = Day count from end of World War Two in Europe. Easter Sundays derived from https://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/easter/easter_text2b.htm
31/12/1979, Monday (+12,655) In 1979 British airlines flew 47 billion passenger kilometres; this compares with 6 million passenger kilometres flown in 1936.
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.
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.
6/10/1979, Saturday (+12,569) (Price) Inflationary pressures were mounting in response to oil price hikes, after a cold winter 1978/9 and cuts in Iranian production after the Iranian Revolution. Bankers, to protect the real value of their capital, pressured the US Government to intervene. This day the US Federal Reserve announced it would use interest rates to rein in inflation, which in the USA stood at 13.3%, up from 9% a year earlier, and peaked at 21.5% in December 1980. In response US GDP growth fell from +5% in 1978 to -3% in 1982 before rising again. Meanwhile the UK also hiked its Bank Rate by 3% to a record 17% in November 1979, causing the loss of 1 million manufacturing jobs. The global oil price fell back to 1978 levels in real terms and UK inflation, never below 8% throughout the 70s, fell back to 5%.
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.
16/8/1979, Thursday (+12,518) John George Diefenbaker, Canadian Prime Minister (born 18.9.1895 in rural Ontario) died.
15/8/1979, Wednesday (+12,517) Peter Shukoff, US comedian and musician, was born.
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.
27/6/1979, Wednesday (+12,468) Brian Weber lost a reverse discrimination case against his union (US Supreme Court, United Steel Workers v Weber), which had recruited Black and White workers in equal numbers to a training programme, although White workers outnumbered Black ones.
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.
15/4/1979, Sunday (+12,395) Easter Sunday.
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.
10/4/1979, Tuesday (+12,390) Cambodia recognised the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
9/4/1979, Monday (+12,389) Officials declared Three Mile Island nuclear power station to be safe, see 29/3/1979.
7/4/1979, Saturday (+12,387)
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) China warned the USSR it would not seek to renew the 1950 Treaty of Friendship when it expired in1980.
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) (1) The BBC screened the first episode of The Antiques Roadshow, hosted by Bruce Parker, Arthur Negus and Angela Rippon.
(2) 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.
30/1/1979, Tuesday (+12,320) White voters in Rhodesia voted to ratify the new Constitution.
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.
6/11/1979, Monday (+12,235) As disorder increased in Iran, a military government was appointed.
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. General Gholam Ali Oveissi was appointed military governor of Tehran. Reviled as the ‘butcher of Tehran’ after his brutal response to riots in 1963, he continued in that pattern. His security forces met a peaceful demonstration in Jaleh Square with a hail of bullets, an incident known as ‘Black Friday’.
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 86. He was succeeded as leader by Daniel Mori.
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.
25/6/1978, Sunday (+12,101) Argentina won the World Cup.
24/6/1978, Saturday (+12,100) The President of North Yemen was killed by a bomb as he received the Credentials of a new ambassador from South Yemen.
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.
26/3/1978, Sunday (+12,010) Easter Sunday
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) (1) Riots erupted in the Iranian city of Qom after a government controlled newspaper made crude accusations against Khomeini, alleging that he had spied for the British and written erotic poetry.
(2) 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.
9/12/1977, Friday (+11,903) Concorde began a short-lived thrice weekly service between London Heathrow and Singapore via Bahrain. The service was initially suspended on 13/12/1977, after just three flights, because of complaints from Malaysia about sonic booms over the Strait of Malacca. On 24/1/1979 the route resumed, with take-offs out to sea from Singapore avoiding Malaysia. However the route was losing £2 million a year due to inadequate demand as was permanently withdrawn on 1/11/1980.
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.
21/11/1977, Tuesday (+11,886) British Airways began regular commercial services by Concorde between London and New York.
21/11/1977, Monday (+11,885) Yolande James, Canadian lawyer and politician, was born.
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.
19/11/1977, Saturday (+11,883) Iranian police broke up a peaceful middle class and student protest at Ayramehr University, where intellectuals had begun to challenge the rule of the Shah through letter writing, pamphlets and poetry readings. Students then protested on the streets, where they were met by the Savak security forces.
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 3 weeks in police detention in Port Elizabeth. He received a head injury during police interrogation and became unconscious; a police doctor recommended hospitalisation. Instead, on 11/9/1977 Biko was taken on a 1,200 mile journey to Pretoria Central prison, naked in the back of a Land Rover, where he died on the 12th. This event proved a focal point in internal and international opposition to the South African regime. Steve Biko’s funeral was held on 25/9/1977. Heavy tactics were used to prevent Black mourners from attending, bus travel permits were denied, roadblocks employed, and Black mourners taken off buses and beaten with truncheons.
11/9/1977, Sunday (+11,814) Atari, Inc. released its Video Computer System in North America.
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.
3/9/1977, Saturday (+11,806) In Pakistan, Bhutto was arrested on charges of conspiring to murder Ahmad Kasuri in 1974.
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)
21/8/1977, Sunday (+11,793) South African Black civil rights activist Steve Biko was arrested on suspicion of promoting unrest in Port Elizabeth and of distributing leaflets calling for ‘violence and arson’.
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.
9/7/1977, Saturday (+11,750) Death of women’s suffrage campaigner Alice Paul (born 11/1/1885 in Moorestown, New Jersey, USA).
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) (1) UK miners sought £135 a week for a 4-day week.
(2) In China Deng Xiaoping, 73, was restored to power.
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)
10/4/1977, Sunday (+11,660) Easter Sunday.
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.
7/4/1977, Thursday (+11,657) In Germany, terrorists murdered the Attorney-General who was prosecuting the Baader-Meinhof gang.
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.
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.
7/1/1977, Friday (+11,567) Civil Rights campaigners in Czechoslovakia published their Charter 77, following the signing by the Czechoslovak Government of the International Convention on Human Rights in 1976. In practice, many civil rights such as freedom of expression had been suppressed following the ‘normalisation’ that followed the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The Charter’s signatories included Jiri Hajek, who was Czechoslovak Foreign Minister in 1968, and the writer Vaclav Havel. The signatories were greatly harassed by the Communist administration, but the Charter contributed to the downfall of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, when Havel became President.
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.
2/12/1976. Thursday (+11,531) Museum of London opened by the Queen.
1/12/1976, Wednesday (+11,530) The Sex Pistols, a punk rock group, were interviewed by Bill Grundy on Thames TV Today.
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.
17/6/1976, Thursday (+11,363) The US Ambassador to Lebanon, Francis Meloy, was assassinated in Beirut. Washington advised all US citizens to leave Lebanon.
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.
9/5/1976, Sunday (+11,324) The terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, 42, hanged herself in her prison cell in Stuttgart.
6/5/1976. Thursday (+11,321) Major earthquake in northern Italy killed 2,000.
3/5/1976, Monday (+11,318) The Haltwhistle branch railway closed.
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.
14/4/1976, Wednesday (+11,299) Spain withdrew the last of its troops from the Spanish Sahara. This allowed Morocco to annex the phosphate-rich country.
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. It sold its first Apple-1 computer in July 1976 for US$666.66, with 8 kB RAM.
28/3/1976, Sunday (+11,282) The Minehead branch railway reopened as a preserved line.
27/3/1976, Saturday (+11,281) The first 4.6 miles of the Washington DC subway system opened.
25/3/1976, Thursday (+11,279)
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.
3/3/1976, Wednesday (+11,257) The newly-independent country of Mozambique closed its border with Rhodesia, as a protest against the illegal regime there.
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.
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. Aged 77, he was succeeded by Hua Goufeng.
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 under the Madrid Accord. However this left the territory vulnerable to occupation by Morocco.
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.
28/8/1975, Thursday (+11,069) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on the use of polyvinyl chloride plastic for packaging of certain foods, because of its potential for causing cancer. At the time, PVC was the second most-used plastic in American food packaging. Although PVC film wrapping of meat and fruits was still permitted, the use of hard PVC plastic on lunch meat packages, and for bottles of liquids, was to be prohibited.
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) 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.
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.
3/7/1975, Thursday (+11,013)
1/7/1975, Tuesday (+11,011) Australia broke up the Postmaster-General’s Department into Telecom Australia and Australia Post.
30/6/1975, Monday (+11,010) In India, Indira Gandhi imposed press censorship, to suppress dissent.
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.
15/6/1975, Sunday (+10,995)
12/6/1975. Thursday (+10,992) Greece applied to join the EEC.
11/6/1975, Wednesday (+10,991) The High Court in India ruled that Indira Gandhi had used unfair practices to win the election and must stand down. She refused to go.
10/6/1975, Tuesday (+10,990)
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.
5/5/1975, Monday (+10,954) The Bridport (Dorset) branch railway closed.
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. In the US Embassy, some Vietnamese women quickly ‘married’ Americans in order to gain a place in the evacuation; the marriage ceremony was rather brief, “Do you? I do”. Conditions in the embassy corridors quickly deteriorated as the air conditioning broke down. In all, 1,373 Americans, 5,595 South Vietnamese and 85 other nationals were evacuated in the last days of the war.
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.
21/4/1975, Monday (+10.940) President Thieu of South Vietnam, aware that the North would never negotiate with him, resigned in a last ditch attempt to find an agreement by appointing a new leader in his place. Thieu escaped to Taipei with 3.5 tons of gold. General Duong Van Minh became leader in his place.
20/4/1975, Sunday (+10,939) South Vietnamese forces were now driven back to Long Binh and Bien Hoa airbases, just 12 miles from Saigon. Saigon was now surrounded by 15 divisions, and defended by just four.
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.
4/4/1975, Friday (+10,923) A Galaxy transport plane carrying 243 Vietnamese orphans from Saigon to the US crashed shortly after take-off, killing over 200 children and 44 adults.
30/3/1975. Sunday (+10,918) Easter Sunday (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) (1) In South Vietnam, Hue fell to the North.
(2) 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.
19/3/1975, Wednesday (+10.907) In South Vietnam, Quang Tri Province fell to the North, leaving the provincial capital of Hue exposed.
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.
6/3/1975, Thursday (+10,894) Large demonstrations in New Delhi against Indira Gandhi.
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.
19/1/1975, Sunday (+10.848) Thomas Hart Benton, US painter, died in Kansas City, Missouri..
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.
6/1/1975, Monday (+10,835) Burton K. Wheeler, 92, U.S. Senator, died.
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.
4/1/1975, Saturday (+10,833) U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation making 55 miles per hour the maximum speed limit across the United States, making permanent what had been a temporary order in 1973 by President Nixon.
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.
28/12/1974, Saturday (+10,926) An earthquake in northern Pakistan killed over 5,000 people.
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.
22/12/1974, Sunday (+10,820) The North Vietnamese General Van Tra, to prove that the South Vietnamese Army was on the point of collapse, made a ferocious attack on Don Luan. The town fell within four days, enabling the North to push on southwards towards Phuoc Long province.
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.
10/12/1974, Tuesday (+10,808)
8/12/1974, Sunday (+10,806) Greece voted to abolish the monarchy.
7/12/1974, Saturday (+10,805) President Makarios returned to Cyprus; however almost half of it was occupied by Turkey.
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.
25/11/1974, Monday (+10,793) U Thant, Burmese diplomat and Secretary-General to the UN 1962-71, died in New York.
24/11/1974, Sunday (+10,792) 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.
16/11/1974, Saturday (+10,784) The Arecibo radio telescope beamed a message towards the M13 star cluster encoding information about mankind, in case any aliens are there to receive it.
14/11/1974, Thursday (+10,782)
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.
11/11/1974, Monday (+10,779) In Pakistan, Ahmad Kasuri, an outspoken critic of President Zufilkar al Bhutto, was assassinated by members of Bhutto’s security forces.
10/11/1974, Sunday (+10,778)
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) (1) The first use of barcodes in a supermarket. A pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit was scanned at a March’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
(2) 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’.
14/4/1974, Sunday (+10,568) Easter Sunday.
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) (1) The US spacecraft Mariner sent back the first photos of the planet Mercury.
(2) Chinese peasants digging a well 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.
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.
18/3/1974, Monday (+10,541) India announced that it had successfully tested an atom bomb.
17/3/1974, Sunday (+10,540) The Arab oil embargo, imposed om the US in 1973 in retaliation for US support for Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, was lifted.
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, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanca, was killed in Madrid by a Basque ETA bomb which blew his car up. Every day Blanca attended Mass at the same church at the same time then took the same route beck to his office. This predictability enabled a group of five young ETA men, pretending to be arts students, to rent a ground floor flat on his route then dig a tunnel out under the road and detonate 80 kg of explosives as his car passed overhead. The car seemed to have completely disappeared; it had in fact been blasted over a four-storey building to land in the internal courtyard.
Luis Blanca had been chosen by General Franco as his successor, and had promised to continue Franco’s policies. Many Spaniards disliked this, not just the Basques, and after the event jokes circulated about ‘Spain’s first astronaut’ and a folk song went “Whoops, there he goes”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15/10/1973, Monday (+10,387) Moscow announced it would give all help possible to Arab nations to assist them to recover territory lost to Israel in the Six Day War.
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.
(3) Israeli forces advanced to within 29 km of Damascus.
8/10/1973. Monday (+10,380) (1) The first TV commercial in Britain for frozen fish fingers was broadcast.
(2) 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. Israel was heavily outgunned on the Golan, with its 2 brigades, 11 artillery batteries and 180 tanks facing a Syrian force of 5 divisions, 188 artillery batteries and 1,300 tanks. Only with mass mobilisation of its reserve forces did Israel turn the tide on 8/3/1973, forcing Syrians back beyond their initial positions by 10/10/1073. Meanwhile on the Egyptian front, Arab forces possessed state of the art SAM missiles that were highly effective at destroying Israeli fighter planes, in contrast to 1967. The Egyptians captured the Israeli / Sinai town of Qantara on 8/10/1973; they actually advanced too far, beyond air defence range, enabling Israeli aircraft to destroy their ground forces. 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.
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.
15/9/1973, Saturday (+10,357) Gustavus VI, King of Sweden since 1950, died aged 90.
14/9/1973, Friday (+10,356) Most Chileans supported the coup by Pinochet, believing he had saved the country from a Left-wing coup. Pinochet began a savage repression of Allende’s supporters. Many were executed without trial, or simply ‘disappeared’. Congress was dismissed and strict Press control began. This repression was to continue for the next sixteen years.
12/9/1973, Wednesday (+10,354)
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. Pinochet had made a show of loyalty towards Allende right up till the moment it was clear the military coup was going to succeed.
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.
1/9/1973, Saturday (+10,343) Ram Kapoor, Indian actor, was born in New Delhi
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.
22/8/1973, Wednesday (+10,333) the Chilean Interior Minister, General Carlos Prats, warned Allende that a coup was now inevitable. Prats resigned, and reassured Allende that his replacement, General Pinochet, was loyal to him. However Prats also warned Allende that the momentum for a coup by the Army was now so strong that any officer who tried to resist it would be powerless.
21/8/1973, Tuesday (+10,332) The coroner in the Bloody Sunday inquest accused the British army of "sheer unadulterated murder" after the jury returned an open verdict.
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.
1/8/1973, Wednesday (+10,312) The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was inaugurated.
31/7/1973, Tuesday (+10,311) (1) US Congress voted to cut off funds for US military action anywhere in Indochina.
(2) 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.
26/7/1973, Thursday (+10,306) A truckers strike began in Chile, backed by the CIA. After 2 months the strike was estimated to have cost the Chilean economy some US$ 100 million, and inflation reached 320%. The Chamber of Deputies called on the Chilean Army to stage a coup to overthrow Allende, and unlike in 1970 (see 17/9/1970) the Army generals were happy to comply, fearing a Left-wing coup. The Deputies hoped that after the coup the Army would retire and civilian rule resume.
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.
17/7/1973, Tuesday (+10,297) Daoud, supported by the Parcham Party, ousted his cousin King Mohammed Zabiur Shah, who had rued Afghanistan since 1933. Daoud proclaimed himself President of the new Republic of Afghanistan.
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.
25/5/1973, Friday (+10,244) The Peronist Hector Campora was elected President of Argentina.
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.
23/5/1973, Wednesday (+10,240)
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.
20/5/1973, 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.
10/5/1973, Thursday (+10,229) The Polisario was founded by radical students at Ain Bentili. Its aim was to free the Western Sahara from Spanish, then Moroccan, control.
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.
22/4/1973, Sunday (+10,211) Easter Sunday.
18/4/1973, Wednesday (+10,207) Nixon told Haldemann, a White House aide, to destroy the Watergate tapes. Had he done so, Nixon would probably have avoided having to resign.
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.
10/4/1973, Tuesday (+10,199) Israeli special forces completed an operation in Lebanon to attack terrorist targets there.
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) Comet Kohoutek was discovered by Czech astronomer Luboš Kohoutek.
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.
29/11/1972, Wednesday (+10,067) Carl W. Stalling, US composer, died aged 81.
28/11/1972, Tuesday (+10,066) North and South Yemen agreed to unify.
27/11/1972, Monday (+10,065) In the first episode of the fourth season of Sesame Street, the character of "The Count" (officially Count von Count) was introduced. True to his name, the friendly children's show puppet vampire (performed by Jerry Nelson) helped children count.
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.
8/11/1972, Wednesday (+10,046) East and West Germany signed the Basic Treaty, agreeing to respect each other’s independence and sovereignty. The East claimed that this Treaty finalised the division of Germany; the West claimed it did not preclude the possible later reunification of Germany should the Cold War come to an end. In any case the Treaty was a political triumph for Chancellor Willy Brandt and his policy of Ostpolitik, allowing for personal contact between the leaders of East and West Germany.
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) (1) 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.
(2) A Coptic Christian church was set alight during sectarian violence in the northern Cairo suburb of Khanka.
1/11/1972, Wednesday (+10,039)
30/10/1972, Monday (+10,037) The Paignton to Kingswear railway closed.
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.
28/10/1972, Saturday (+10,035)
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.
31/7/1972, Monday (+9,946) Paul Spaak died, aged 73. He had been one of the chief architects of the European Community (EC).
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.
11/5/1972, Thursday (+9,865) In West Germany, The ‘Red Army Faction’ set off a bomb at the American 5th Army Corps base.
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.
2/4/1972, Sunday (+9.826) Easter Sunday.
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.
31/3/1972, Friday (+9,824)
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.
6/3/1972, Monday (+9,799) The Keswick to Penrith railway closed.
3/3/1972, Friday (+9,796) Beijing, at a UN speech, claimed the territory of Hong Kong.
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.
26/1/1972, Wednesday (+9,757) Henry Kissinger, attempting to mediate a peace deal in Vietnam, complained that the North Vietnamese were only pretending to negotiate whilst in fact holding out until the US tired of the War and allowed the North to take over South Vietnam by force. This was indeed the North’s strategy, and Kissinger’s complaint did not alter its effectiveness. US President Nixon was concerned about the image of the USA and its power should it fail in Vietnam.
25/1/1972, Tuesday (+9,756) In London, the National Organ Matching And Distribution Service (NOMDS) was established.
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.
15/1/1972, Saturday (+9,748)
14/1/1972, Friday (+9,747) In Denmark, Margrethe II (31) became Queen, succeeding her father King Frederick IX, who died aged 72.
13/1/1972, Thursday (+9,746) Kofi Busha, ruler of Ghana, was overthrown in a coup led by Ignatius Katu Acheampong (1931-79). Acheampong was himself overthrown (1978) and executed in 1979.
12/1/1972, Wednesday (+9,745) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
11/1/1972, Tuesday (+9,744)
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) A bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring over 60 in a narrow street.
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.
24/12/1971, Friday (+9,726)
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.
19/12/1971, Sunday (+9,721) Intelsat IV (F3) was launched; it entered commercial service over the Atlantic Ocean on February 18, 1972.
18/12/1971, Saturday (+9,720) Bangladesh formally came into existence after East Pakistan surrendered in the war with India.
17/12/1971, Friday (+9,719) The James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, was released in the US and Denmark
16/12/1971. Thursday (+9,718) All eastern Pakistani troops surrendered to India.
13/12/1971, Monday (+9,715)
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.
10/12/1971, Friday (+9,712) The John Sinclair Freedom Rally is held at the University of Michigan. Performers included John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
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.
7/12/1971, Tuesday (+9,709) Fernando Quiroga y Palacios, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, died aged 71.
6/12/1971. Monday (+9,708) India recognised Bangladesh as an independent republic.
4/12/1971, Saturday (+9,706)
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) (1) The Labour Party Conference voted overwhelmingly against EEC membership.
(2) The Wareham to Swanage railway closed.
1/10/1971. Friday (+9,642) (1) The first CT scan was performed, on a patient’s brain, at the Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London,
(2) 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.
13/9/1971, Monday (+9,624) Lin Paio, 65, Chinese Defence Minister who led an abortive coup against Mao Tse Tung, died in a plane crash in Mongolia as he attempted to escape.
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.
20/8/1971, Friday (+9,600)
15/8/1971, Sunday (+9,595) President Richard Nixon closed the ‘gold window’ under which US Dollars could still be exchanged for gold. The ancient link between money and precious metal was now completely severed,
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 from 21 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.
20/6/1971, Sunday (+9,539) Britain announced that Soviet space scientist Anatoli Fedoseyev had been granted political asylum.
19/6/1971. Saturday (+9,538) Opportunity Knocks was the UK’s most popular TV programme.
18/6/1971, Friday (+9,537)
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. He was succeeded by his son, 19-year old Jean Claude.
20/4/1971, Tuesday (+9,478) Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol resigned, but remained in power until the next elections.
19/4/1971, Monday (+9,477) The Soviet Union launched the world’s first space station, Salyut 1.
11/4/1971, Sunday (+9,469) Easter Sunday.
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) (1) A 70-day eruption of Mount Etna, lasting until 14/6/1971, began.
(2) 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.
24/3/1971, Wednesday (+9,451) Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect, died aged 69.
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. West Pakistani troops killed anyone deemed ‘Bengali’, even teenage boys, as well as any Hindus they came across; rape was also widespread. The USA had been a close ally of Pakistan, to counter the Soviet-india axis, and was now embarrassed to see its arms being used to massacre Bengalis. In rural areas of East Pakistan Aawami supporters used local knowledge to outflank Pakistani troops, forcing them back into the cities; the troops and their supporters were massacred as brutally as the Bengalis had been. Meanwhile India faced a major refugee crisis as ten million Bengalis fled into the country.
20/3/1971, Saturday (+9,447)
18/3/1971, Thursday (+9,445) More troops were sent to Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 9,700.
17/3/1971, Wednesday (+9,444) In Norway, Per Borten's Cabinet ended its term in government, replaced by Bratteli's First Cabinet.
16/3/1971, Tuesday (+9,443) In Britain the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was set up.
10/3/1971, Wednesday (+9,437)
8/3/1971, Monday (+9,435) The British postal strike ended. See 20/1/1971.
7/3/1971, Sunday (+9,434) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, political leader of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), delivered his famous speech in the Racecourse Field in Dhaka, calling on the masses to be prepared to fight for national independence.
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.
1/3/1971, Monday (+9,428)
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.
25/2/1971, Thursday (+9,424) Sean Astin, US actor, was born in Santa Monica, California.
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.
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.
14/2/1971, Sunday (+9,413) President Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House. It was on this system that the Watergate tapes were recorded.
13/2/1971, Saturday (+9,412) South Vietnamese troops, with US aircraft and artillery backing, entered Laos, to eradicate North Vietnamese supply depots. However they were repelled with heavy casualties.
10/2/1971, Wednesday (+9,409) An earthquake, 6.6 on the Richter Scale, hit Los Angeles, killing 51 people.
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) Andrew Truxal, US academic, died aged 71.
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.
11/1/1971, Monday (+9,379) The first recorded use of the term ‘Silicon Valley’, in the weekly trade publication Electronic News. The term became widespread in the early 1980s as personal computers became more commonplace. The original name of the valley where the IT products are now made was ‘Valley of Heart’s Delight’, referring to the many orchards once present there.
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.
9/1/1971, Saturday (+9,377) Uruguayan president Jorge Pacheco Areco demanded emergency powers for 90 days due to kidnappings. He received them the next day.
8/1/1971, Friday (+9,376) The British Ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, was kidnapped by left-wing Tupumaros guerrillas.
6/1/1971, Wednesday (+9,374)
5/1/1971, Tuesday (+9,373) International One Day Cricket began when England played Australia in Melbourne.
4/1/1971, Monday, (+9,372) The Minehead branch railway closed.
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.
1/1/1971, Friday (+9,369) Kalabhavan Mani, Indian actor and singer, was born in Chalakudy, Kerala
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.
7/12/1970, Monday (+9,344) In the Pakistani elections, the Awami League (inevitably) won 160 of the 162 seats reserved for Eastern candidates (see 23/9/1969). In the west of the country, Benazhir Bhutto did well, gaining 81 of the remaining 138 seats, but this still left the Awami League as clear election winner. Bhutto, backed by Yahya Khan, immediately announced that he would not countenance implementation of the Awami ‘Six Point’ plan. Rahman responded by proposing that he govern East Pakistan whilst Bhutto governed the West; a proposal tantamount to secession. Rejection of Rahman’s proposal precipitated widespread rioting across East Pakistan. In early March 1971 Yahya Khan announced an indefinite postponement of the convening of the newly-elected National Assembly and appointed General Tikka Khan as Military Governor of East Pakistan. Mujib responded by calling on his supporters to turn Pakistan’s Republic Day (23 March) into ‘Resistance Day’.
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 IV 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.
25/11/1970, Wednesday (+9,332) The Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima harangued 1,000 troops on the disgrace of losing World War Two, then tried to persuade them to form a private army and launch a military coup. When he realised this was not going to happen, Mishima committed seppuku, ritual suicide.
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. Yahya Khan’s response was seen by East Bengalis as grossly inadequate. Only one military transport plane and three small aircraft were mobilised by Khan, leaving Bengalis more dependent on aid from Britain. Western aid arrived faster than aid from West Pakistan.
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.
14/10/1970, Wednesday (+9,260) Nasser’s associate, Anwar Sadat, aged 51, was elected President of Egypt.
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) Passenger services on the Firsby Junction to Louth to Grimsby line were withdrawn. Barnstaple to Ilfracombe closed. Willoughby to Mablethorpe closed. The Woodhall Junction to Little Steeping railway closed. Boston to Spalding closed.
30/9/1970, Wednesday (+9,276) Britain swapped hijack hostages seized by the PLO for the Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled.
29/9/1970, Tuesday (+9,275) The U.S. Congress gave President Richard Nixon authority to sell arms to Israel.
28/9/1970. Monday (+9,274) (1) President Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt since 1954, died of a heart attack aged 52, after mediating in the Jordan civil war.
(2) John Dos Passos, US writer, died in Baltimore, Maryland.
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.
22/9/1970, Thursday (+9,268) In Chile, Viaux’s operatives severely injured Schneider (see 17/9/1970); he died three days later. However no coup resulted from this assassination, and Vaux’s supporters melted away. To the great relief of Nixon, no US connection was uncovered by the Chileans. Allende was duly elected President by Congress, with 153 votes for him and just 42 against or abstaining.
17/9/1970, Saturday (+9,263) The CIA began investigating ways to stop Allende becoming President of Chile (see 4/9/1970). The Chilean military were unhappy with the prospect of Allende as leader. A Chilean General, Roberto Viaux, ambitious but recently dismissed from service, was willing to assassinate Allende, but the Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, General Rene Schneider, was too principled and would not interfere with the democratic process, even if it had produced Allende as winner. The danger was that the coup would fail, the connection to the CIA would be exposed, and the US would suffer a setback comparable to the failed Bay of Pigs adventure in Cuba, a failed 12961 attempt to oust Fidel Castro. The US administration was coming around to playing the long game, living with the Allende administration until 1976 when the next elections were due and he would no longer be President. See 22/9/1970.
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, Communist, was elected President of Chile. In the 1964 Chilean elections the Right wing Christian Democrat, Eduardo Frei, had won 56% of the vote, against Allende’s 39.4%. However Frei had raised unfulfilled expectations regarding the alleviation of serious underdevelopment in Chile; he had also lost support by taxing the rich, Chilean debt and inflation had worsened as Frei overborrowed, Yet he still had sufficient support to win in 1970, but under Chilean law he could not run for a second term, so the Right chose the uncharismatic Radomiro Tomic as candidate. The US administration and CIA did not believe Allende would win and spent only a small amount – US$ 400,000 – on influencing the Chilean electorate. President Nixon did not want to be seen to overtly intervene in the election. A US company, ITT, with interests in Chile, offered the CIA US$ 1 million to stop Allende but this was turned down. Allende actually won with 36.3% of the vote, a smaller share than he got in 1964, because a third candidate split the opposition vote. The US administration now decided they had until 24/10/1970, 7 weeks, until the Chilean Congress conformed the Presidency, to stop Chile going Communist. Nixon feared that with Communists in both Chile and Cuba, South America would become a ‘Red sandwich’.
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, aged 81. He was replaced by Marcello Caerano.
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.
14/5/1970, Thursday (+9,137) The UK Minister of Housing and Local Government announced that potash mining would be allowed from beneath the North York Moors National Park at Boulby, under strict environmental conditions.
13/5/1970, Wednesday (+9,136) Northern Romania received a third of its average annual rainfall in just two days (13/14th May) destroying 11,000 houses and damaging another 72,000. These floods were worse than those of 1840 in the same area.
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) (1) 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.
(2) The Bourne End to High Wycombe railway closed. Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth closed.
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.
29/3/1970, Sunday (+9,091) Easter Sunday.
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.
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.
4/2/1970, Wednesday (+9,038) The Liberian oil tanker Arrow ran aground off Nova Scotia, with 16,000 tons of oil on board. Eight days later she broke in half in a storm, causing oil pollution up to 160 km away.
2/2/1970. Monday (+9,036) (1) Death of the philosopher Bertrand Russell, aged 97. He was also a peace campaigner and mathematician.
(2) The Colne to Skipton railway closed.
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.
5/1/1970, Monday (+9,008) The Bangor to Caernarvon railway closed. Bewdley to Kidderminster and Bewdley to Hartlebury closed.
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