Historical events from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1999

 

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(+9999) = Day count from end of World War Two in Europe

 

31/12/1999, Friday (+19,960) Boris Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia and was replaced by Vladimir Putin. Putin, 47, was elected President on 26/3/2000.

20/12/1999, Monday (+19,949) Macau was handed back to China by Portugal.

10/12/1999, Friday (+19,939) Franjo Tudjman, President of Croatia, died.

2/12/1999, Thursday (+19,931) The UK government devolved power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive. Dublin withdrew its territorial claim to Northern Ireland.

30/11/1999, Tuesday (+19,929) In Seattle, a large-scale protest by the anti-globalisation movement caught the authorities unaware and forced the cancellation on a WTO meeting.

29/11/1999, Monday (+19,928) The Northern Ireland power-sharing executive was set up.

20/11/1999, Saturday (+19,919)

12/11/1999, Friday (+19,911) A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Duzce, north-west Turkey, killing 845 and injuring 4,948.

11/11/1999, Thursday (+19,910) 752 hereditary peers lost their voting rights in the House of Lords. They had formed a majority of the 1330 House. However 92 of the hereditaries had a stay of execution, until reforms of the House of lords were completed.

6/11/1999, Saturday (+19,905) The Australians voted to keep the British queen as Head of State.

12/10/1999, Tuesday (+19,880) (1) According to the UN, the world population reached 6 billion.

(2) General Pervez Musharraf (born 1943) took control of Pakistan in a military coup.

5/10/1999. Tuesday (+19,873) A serious rail crash at Ladbroke Grove, outside Paddington, London, killed 31 people. Over 100 were injured. The 8.06 from Paddington to Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, was cut in half by the express from Cheltenham at 8.11 am. The newly-privatised rail companies were criticised for not spending enough on signalling.

21/9/1999, Tuesday (+19,859) Central Japan was hit by an earthquake; 2,400 were killed.

20/9/1999, Monday (+19,858) Timor L’Este appealed for help from the international community.

7/9/1999, Tuesday (+19,845) A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Athens, killing 143 people and injuring over 2,000.

3/9/1999, Friday (+19,841) After an 18-month French judicial inquiry, paparazzi press were cleared of responsibility for the car crash which killed Diana.

26/8/1999, Thursday (+19,833) Russia began the Second Chechen War following the invasion of Dagestan.

19/8/1999, Thursday (+19,826) In Belgrade, thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of President Slobodan Milosevic.

17/8/1999. Tuesday (+19,824) 17,800 killed as an earthquake hit the Turkish cities of Izmit and Istanbul. The quake measured 7.4 on the Richter Scale.  17,000 were killed and 44,000 injured.

12/8/1999, Thursday (+19,819) Local sheep farmers in Millau, S France, led by Mr. Jose Bove, attacked and demolished a partly-built McDonalds restaurant. This was in response to US restrictions on the import of Roquefort cheese, which was itself in retaliation for European restrictions on imports of hormone-fed beef, which affected US farmers. Roquefort production employed some 1,300 people in the Millau area and annual sales to the US were 440 tonnes. The US imposed a 100% import duty on Roquefort, sending its price in Washington DC up from US$ 30 to US$ 60 per kilo, and US sales of this cheese dwindled to zero.

11/8/1999, Wednesday (+19,818) A total eclipse of the Sun was visible in south west England. However the weather was cloudy.

10/8/1999, Tuesday (+19,817) A Pakistani plane intruding into Indian airspace was shot down.

9/8/1999, Monday (+19,816) Charles Kennedy, 39, was elected as new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

8/8/1999, Sunday (+19,815) ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ was first screened; contestants could win up to US$1,000,000.

20/7/1999, Tuesday (+19,796) The death of King Hassan II of Morocco prompted widespread mourning across the Arab world.

12/7/1999. Monday (+19,788) The three richest men in the world, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Warren Buffett, were collectively richer than the world’s poorest 43 nations.

11/7/1999, Sunday (+19,787) India recaptured the town of Kargil from Pakistan, after two months of conflict.

1/7/1999, Thursday (+19,777) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Scottish Assembly. The average UK house price was £71,122.

26/6/1999. Saturday (+19,772) There were problems at the UK’s Passport Office, with queues for passports reaching a record 530,000.

18/6/1999, Friday (+19,764) Anti-Globalisation protests in many cities around the world, some of which became riots.

16/6/1999, Wednesday (+19,762) Screaming Lord Sutch (born 1940), committed suicide.

12/6/1999, Saturday (+19,758) The UN and NATO peacekeeping force KFOR entered Kosovo.

10/6/1999, Thursday (+19,756) NATO suspended air strikes against the Serbs after Slobodan Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.

9/6/1999, Wednesday (+19,755) In the Kosovo War, Yugoslavia and NATO signed a peace treaty.

8/6/1999, Tuesday (+19,754) Jonathan Aitken, former British Government Minister, was jailed for perjury.

2/6/1999, Wednesday (+19,748) (1) Thabo Mbeki became President of South Africa.

(2) After decades of resisting external technological influences such as television, the King of Bhutan allowed TV broadcasts in the Kingdom for the first time, to coincide with his silver jubilee.

1/6/1999, Tuesday (+19,747) Napster was released, enabling users to share music files and changing forever the music industry.

26/5/1999, Wednesday (+19,741) (1) The first Welsh Assembly for 600 years opened in Cardiff.

(2) Indian air force planes attacked Pakistani intruders in Kashmir, sparking the Kargil War.

20/5/1999, Thursday (+19,735) Bluetooth was announced.

17/5/1999, Monday (+19,732) Ehud Barak was elected President of Israel.

13/5/1999, Thursday (+19,728) The World Trade Organisation, having condemned the EU ban on imports of hormone-treated beef, had set a deadline of this day for the EU to revoke the ban. This deadline was not met, see 12/8/1999.

9/5/1999, Sunday (+19,724) Widespread protests in cities across China over the US accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.

8/5/1999, Saturday (+19,723) British film star Dirk Bogarde died, aged 78.

7/5/1999, Friday (+19,722) In Yugoslavia, three Chinese Embassy workers were killed and twenty wounded when a NATO aircraft mistakenly bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

6/5/1999, Thursday (+19,721) Elections to the new Welsh and Scottish Assemblies were held.

5/5/1999, Wednesday (+19,720) Microsoft released Windows 98 Second edition.

3/5/1999. Monday (+19,718) A tornado in Oklahoma City registered the fastest winds so far recorded on Earth, at 318 mph.

30/4/1999, Friday (+19,715) (1) Cambodia joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), bringing the total number of members to ten.

(2) Another nail bomb exploded, (see 17/4/1999), in the Admiral Duncan pub in Old Compton Street, Soho, London.  A pregnant woman and two friends were killed, and seventy injured.  This was part of a hate campaign against gays and ethnic minorities by David Copeland.

26/4/1999, Monday (+19,711) BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was shot dead on the doorstep of her Fulham house in London. Barry George, a loner obsessed with guns and celebrities, was convicted of the murder in 2001.

20/4/1999, Tuesday (+19,705) US teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took two submachine guns to Columbine High School, for an attack planned for Hitler’s birthday. 15 children were killed or injured before the two killed themselves.

19/4/1999, Monday (+19,704) The German Parliament returned to the new Reichstag buildings in Berlin.

17/4/1999, Saturday (+19,702) A nail bomb exploded in a busy market in Brixton, south London.  See 30/4/1999.

9/4/1999, Friday (+19,694) The President of Niger, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was assassinated.

6/4/1999, Tuesday (+19,691) The UK Government scrapped PEPs (Personal Equity Plans) in favour of ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts).

5/4/1999, Monday (+19,690) Two Libyans suspected of the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in 1988 were handed over to the Scottish authorities for eventual trial in The Netherlands.  The UN suspended sanctions against Libya.

1/4/1999, Thursday (+19,686) (1) The UK introduced a National Minimum wage, of £3.60 an hour, or £3,00 for those aged 18-21.

(2) Nunavut, an Inuit homeland, part of the Northwest territories, was formed.

26/3/1999, Friday (+19,680) The Melissa worm attacked the Internet.

25/3/1999, Thursday (+19,679) (1) The European Union adopted the Common Agricultural Policy, at a meeting in Berlin.

(2) A fire in the Mont Blanc road tunnel killed 39 people.  The tunnel was closed for nearly three years.

24/3/1999. Wednesday (+19,678) (1) NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia.  This was the first attack by NATO on a sovereign country. In Kosovo, there was escalating violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, and President Slobodan Milosevic was accused of ethnic cleansing, driving thousands of Albanians from their homes. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was to curb Serbian military activities.

(2) Britain’s trade deficit was at an all-time high of £2.8 billion.

22/3/1999, Monday (+19,676) Jack Kevorkian, pro-euthanasia doctor, went on trial for murder in Pontiac, Michigan.  He was later convicted of second-degree murder.

20/3/1999, Saturday (+19,674) Serbs launched an offensive in Kosovo.

12/3/1999, Friday (+19,666) Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic joined NATO.

8/3/1999. Monday (+19,662) Monica Lewisnky arrived in Britain for a book-signing tour, beginning at Harrods.

24/2/1999, Wednesday (+19,650) 38 died when two avalanches hit the Alpine town of Galtuer in Western Austria.

18/2/1999, Thursday (+19,644) The UK Government decided GM crops would not be grown commercially until field trials proved they were harmless.

12/2/1999, Friday (+19,638) President Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial.

10/2/1998, Wednesday (+19,636) Maurice Schumann, European statesman, died.

7/2/1999, Sunday (+19,633) King Hussein of Jordan (born 1935) died of cancer.  His son became King Adbullah II of Jordan.

5/2/1999, Friday (+19,631) The Russian economist Wassily Leontief, Nobel Prize winner, born 1906, died.

25/1/1999, Monday (+19,620) A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit western California, killing over 1,000 people.

20/1/1999, Wednesday (+19,615) China announced restrictions on Internet use, aimed especially at Internet cafes.

7/1/1999, Thursday (+19,602) The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton began in Washington DC

1/1/1999, Friday (+19,596) The Euro currency was introduced. 11 countries adopted it.

16/12/1998.  Wednesday (+19,580) Unscom withdrew weapons inspectors from Iraq after continued obstruction from visiting various sites. Between 16 and 19 December, US and Britain bombed Iraq  (Operation Desert Fox) to destroy its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programmes.

11/12/1998, Friday (+19,575) The Mars Climate Orbiter was launched from Cape Canaveral; the craft was later lost because one team was using metric and another using imperial measurements.

26/11/1998, Thursday (+19,560) (1) Japan and China signed a joint declaration of friendship and economic development.

(2) Tony Blair became the first UK Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament.

23/11/1998, Monday (+19,557) European Agriculture Ministers met to lift the ban on UK beef exports that had followed the BSE crisis.

19/11/1998, Thursday (+19,553) The US Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.  President Clinton was impeached on 19/12/1998.

1/11/1998, Sunday (+19,535) The European Court of Human Rights was instituted.

31/10/1998. Saturday (+19,534) Iraq ceased all co-operation with the UN Special Commission which was set up to oversee the destruction of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (Unscom).

27/10/1998, Tuesday (+19,530)

18/10/1998, Sunday (+19,521) 700 people died in a fire in southern Nigeria as they scavenged oil leaking from a pipeline.

16/10/1998, Friday (+19,519) British police placed Augusto Pinochet under house arrest during his medical treatment in Britain. Spain wanted to charge him with crimes of murder and torture.

14/10/1998, Wednesday (+19,517) Labour announced its intention to remove the 700 year old voting rights of the hereditary peers in the House of Lords. Of the 1,165 members of the House of Lords, 476 were committed Tories against 175 for Labour, Amongst the hereditary peers, there were 304 for the Tories against 18 regular Labour supporters. In 1999 Labour announced a compromise whereby 91 hereditary peers could remain in a ‘transition’ House of Lords, whilst a Royal Commission decided its eventual form.

5/10/1998, Monday (+19,508) The US Congressional Committee debated whether to impeach president Clinton overt the Monica Lewinsky affair, over allegations he had abused power and tampered with witnesses.

3/10/1998, Saturday (+19,506)Al Qaeda joined with local Somali tribesmen in battle with US forces, and shot down two US helicopters, an incident known as ‘Black Hawk Down’.

29/9/1998, Tuesday (+19,502) The US passed the Iraq Liberation Act, stating the US intention to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace his regime with a democratic government.

24/9/1998, Thursday (+19,497) Tehran lifted the fatwa imposed on author Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

18/9/1998, Friday (+19.491) ICANN, the Internet naming company, was formed.

16/9/1998, Wednesday (+19,498) The Basque guerrilla group ETA announced a ‘total and indefinite ceasefire’ to take effect from 18/9/1998

7/9/1998, Monday (+19,480) Google was founded.

2/9/1998, Wednesday (+19,475) Swissair flight 111, flying from New York to Geneva, crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 229 on board.

20/8/1998, Thursday (+19,462) The USA launched attacks against the Al Shifa pharmaceuticals and chemical plant  in Sudan and cruise missile attacks against Al Quaeda bases in Afghanistan in retaliation for the 7/8/1998 embassy bombs.

17/8/1998, Monday (+19,459) President Bill Clinton gave evidence to a Grand Jury about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

15/8/1998, Saturday (+19,457) The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 and injuring over 200.

13/8/1998, Thursday (+19,455) UK authorities warned of a rat invasion, saying there were 750,000 rat-infested homes in Britain.

7/8/1998. Friday (+19,449) (1) Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terrorists bombed the USA embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, and wounding over 4,000.

(2) The Yangtse River in China flooded, killing 12,000 people.

5/8/1998, Wednesday (+19,447) Iraq suspended all co-operation with UNSCOM officials.

30/7/1998, Thursday (+19,441) The conviction of Derek Bentley fir the murder of a policeman in 1952 was posthumously rescinded; Bentley was hanged in 1953.

23/7/1998, Thursday (+19,434) A team of scientists at the University of Hawaii, led by Ryuzo Yanagimachi, announced they had produced three generations of cloned mice.

6/7/1998, Monday (+19,417) The new airport at Chek Lai Kok, Hong Kong, opened.

1/7/1998, Wednesday (+19,412) 500g of streaky bacon cost £2.10  500g of beef cost £1.99.  250g of cheddar cheese cost £1.25.  250g of butter cost 85p.  500g of margarine cost 83p.  1 kg old potatoes cost 77p.  125g of loose tea cost 76p.   6 eggs cost 76p.  1 kg granulated sugar cost 67p.  800g sliced white bread cost 52p. The average UK house price was £65,201.

25/6/1998, Thursday (+19,406) Microsoft released Windows 98 (first edition).

22/6/1998, Monday (+19,403) Tony Blair praised the £758 million London Millennium Dome, erected on a former gasworks site, as a ‘symbol of Britain’s creativity. Construction of the Dome had begun on 22/6/1997.

11/6/1998, Thursday (+19,392) The UN officially declared a famine in Ethiopia, as one million faced starvation.

30/5/1998, Saturday (+19,380) (1) Pakistan conducted further nuclear tests.

(2) A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan, killing 5,000 people.

28/5/1998, Thursday (+19,378) Pakistan test-exploded five nuclear devices in retaliation for India’s nuclear tests earlier in the month.  The US, Japan, and other nations imposed sanctions on Pakistan.

22/5/1998, Friday (+19,372) Voters approved the Good Friday Agreement of 10/4/1998 by a majority of 71.12%, in Northern Ireland and by 94.39% in the Republic of Ireland.

21/5/1998, Thursday (+19,371) President Suharto of Indonesia resigned as the country’s economy worsened.

18/5/1998, Monday (+19,368)

15/5/1998, Friday (+19,365) Frank Sinatra died.

14/5/1998, Thursday (+19,364) The US sitcom Seinfeld was first broadcast.

13/5/1998, Wednesday (+19,363) The US and Japan imposed economic sanctions on India because of its nuclear test.

12/5/1993, Tuesday (+19,362)

11/5/1998, Monday (+19,361) India conducted a nuclear test in the Rajasthan Desert, its first such test since 1974.  Pakistan, which already had nuclear weapons, was angered.

10/5/1998, Sunday (+19,360) Members of Sinn Fein, political wing of the IRA, voted to accept the Good Friday peace agreement.

8/5/1998, Friday (+19,358) The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Microsoft Corporation, claiming it had abused its monopoly power by tying its Web browser, Internet Explorer, to its operating system, Windows.

20/4/1998, Monday (+19,340) In Germany, the Red Army Faction announced that it was ceasing operations and winding up, as it no longer had a political reason to exist.

15/4/1998, Wednesday (+19,335) Pol Pot died, aged 70. He had been dictator of Kampuchea (Cambodia), and murdered thousands of people.

10/4/1998. Friday (+19,330) The Good Friday agreement was signed. Two years of negotiation produced an agreement on plans for a Northern Ireland Assembly and cross-border co-operation with the Irish Republic. A referendum for the proposals was scheduled for May 1998.

31/3/1998, Tuesday (+19,320) The RAF withdrew its nuclear bombs from service, leaving submarine-based Trident missiles as the UK’s only nuclear deterrent.

14/3/1998, Saturday (+19,303) A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit south eastern Iran.

6/3/1998, Friday (+19,295) The South Crofty tin mine closed, the last tin mine in Cornwall. The 800 metre deep mine had bee operating since the 16th century and tin had been mined on Cornwall for 3,000 years. In 1983 the tin industry in Cornwall had employed 20,000, but the collapse in world tin prices had ruined the industry.

2/3/1998, Monday (+19,291) Data sent from the Galileo probe indicated that Jupiter’s Moon Europa had an ocean of liquid water beneath a frozen crust of ice.

1/3/1998, Sunday (+19,290) 250,000 pro-foxhunting demonstrators marched through the centre of London.

10/2/1998, Tuesday (+19,271) Voters in Maine repealed a gay rights law made in 1997, becoming the first US State to abandon such a law.

4/2/1998, Wednesday (+19,265) A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit north-east Afghanistan, killing over 5,000 people.

3/2/1998, Tuesday (+19,264) The FTSE 100 closed at a record high of 5612.8; the companies on the index were valued at over UK£ 1,000 billion for the first time ever.

29/1/1998, Thursday (+19,259) Tony Blair announced an inquiry into the ‘Bloody Sunday’ events in Londonderry on 30/1/1972.

21/1/1998, Wednesday (+19,251) US President Clinton denied he had any sexual relationship with 24-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Rumours had circulated in the Press of an 18-month affair in 1995.

10/1/1998, Saturday (+19,240) An earthquake in China killed 50 and injured 10,000.

8/1/1998, Thursday (+19,238) Scientists announced that the expansion rate of the universe was increasing.

1/1/1998, Thursday (+19,231) California banned smoking in all its bars and restaurants.

31/12/1997, Wednesday (+19,230) The US retail chain Wal-Mart announced its intention to expand into Europe, by acquiring the German retailer Werkauf with its 21 supermarkets.

23/12/1997, Tuesday (+19,222) Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal was sentenced to life imprisonment, after being arrested in Sudan.

8/11/1997, Saturday (+19,177) The main channel of China’s Yangtze River was blocked as construction work continued on the Three Gorges Dam.

29/10/1997, Wednesday (+19,167) Iraq banned UN weapons inspectors from its territory.

21/10/1997, Tuesday (+19,159) Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’, a tribute to Diana Princess of Wales, sold 31.8 million copies, the best seller ever.

15/10/1997, Wednesday (+19,153) Andy Green drove the land vehicle, Thrust SSC,  at faster than sound, in the Nevada Desert. He achieved 763.035 mph, and produced a sonic boom.

13/10/1997, Monday (+19,151) Tony Blair shook hands with Gerry Adams at Stormont Castle, the first meeting between a British Prime Minister and a Sinn  Fein leader since the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty in 1921.

9/10/1997. Thursday (+19,147) Hurricane Pauline hit Acapulco, Mexico, killing 250 people.

2/10/1997, Thursday (+19,140) The treaty of Amsterdam was signed, further integrating the European Union.

27/9/1997, Saturday (+19,135) The Pathfinder probe on Mars ceased functioning, after 2 months on the planet’s surface.

25/9/1997, Thursday (+19,133) The British Thrust supersonic car set a new world land speed record of 714.1 mph in Nevada.

19/9/1997, Friday (+19,127) An inter-city express collided with a freight train at Southall, west London, killing 7 people.

18/9/1997, Thursday (+19,126) Wales voted in favour of devolution and a National Assembly. The ‘yes’ vote was much narrower than in Scotland, with a majority of just 6,721 votes in favour.

11/9/1997, Thursday (+19,119) Scotland voted in favour of a devolved Assembly. In Scotland, 73.4% of those voting favoured a National Assembly, and 63.5% favoured the Assembly having tax-raising powers.

6/9/1997, Saturday (+19,114) Funeral of Diana Princess of Wales in Westminster Abbey.  It was watched on television worldwide by over one billion people.

5/9/1997, Friday (+19,113) Mother Teresa died in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, aged 87.

31/8/1997. Sunday (+19,108) Death of Diana, Princess of Wales, born 1961, along with Dodi Al Fayed, born 1955, in a car ‘accident’ in a road tunnel in Paris. See 28/8/1996.

19/7/1997, Saturday (+19,065) The IRA announced a new ceasefire, the second in three years. It said this was the ‘unequivocal restoration of the August 1994 ceasefire’, broken in February 1996.

15/7/1997, Tuesday (+19,061) Gianni Versace, clothes designer, was shot dead at the age of 50. The chief suspect was Andrew Cunanan, a gay serial killer; the FBI believed Versace was shot in revenge for infecting other men with HIV. Cunanan was found dead on a houseboat at Miami Beach, having committed suicide when the police arrived. However there were rumours of a mafia money-laundering connection, and that Cunanan had been killed to hide the true killer’s identity.

14/7/1997. Monday (+19,060) In California a Bill was signed allowing women to breast feed in public.

8/7/1997, Tuesday (+19,054) NATO invited they Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.

4/7/1997, Friday (+19,050) NASA’s Pathfinder probe landed on the surface of Mars.

3/7/1997, Thursday (+19,049) Sir Gordon Downey’s report into the ‘cash for questions’ scandal in the found that two former Conservative ministers, Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, received payment from Mohammed el Fayed in return for asking questions in the House of Commons.

2/7/1997. Wednesday (+19,048)  (1) The British Medical Association announced that drugs derived from cannabis were to be made legally available for cancer patients and others suffering from debilitating diseases.

(2) Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave Labour’s first Budget speech for 18 years.

1/7/1997. Tuesday (+19,047) (1) Hong Kong was handed back to China. 

(2) A pint of milk cost 35p.  A dozen large eggs cost £1.59.  A loaf of white sliced bread cost 52p.  A kg of minced beef cost £3.72.  A kg of potatoes cost 20p.  A kg of apples cost 51p.  A pint of beer cost £1.63.  20 cigarettes cost £2.94. Road tax for a car cost £145. The average UK house price was £58,403. A 6-bed house in Wimbledon cost £775,000 (13.27 x average). 2 weeks in Lucerne cost £815. A ,man’s watch cost £29.50. The Observer newspaper cost £1.00.

30/6/1997, Monday (+19,046) The first book in the award-winning Harry Potter series by J K Rowling was published.

25/6/1997, Wednesday (+19,041) Jacques Cousteau, French underwater explorer, died.

19/6/1997, Thursday (+19,035) (1) Following the resignation of John Major as Conservative leader, William Hague, 36, became its youngest leader since 1783.

(2) The fast food chain McDonalds won a partial victory in its McLibel case against two environmental campaigners.  The judge derided it was true that McDonalds targeted its advertising at children, who then pestered their parents to visit McDonalds.

12/6/1997, Thursday (+19,028) The new Globe Theatre, London, opened.

11/6/1997, Wednesday (+19,027) The UK Parliament voted for a total ban on handguns.

2/6/1997, Monday (+19,018) (1) Alban Maginness of the SDLP became the first Catholic to be elected Mayor of Belfast.

(2) Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 15 charges of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P Murragh building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  On 13/6/1997 he was sentenced to death.

16/5/1997, Friday (+19,001) The Mobutu regime in Zaire collapsed.

12/5/1997 Monday (+18,997) The Russian-Chechen peace treaty was signed.

10/5/1997, Saturday (+18,995) An earthquake near Ardekul, north east Iran, killed over 2,400 people.

6/5/1997. Tuesday (+18,991) Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown granted the Bank of England independence in setting interest rates.

3/5/1997. Saturday (+18,988) (1) Tony Blair was officially sworn in as Prime Minister. Tony’s father was the son of music hall artists Charles Parsons and Gussie Bridson. He was illegitimate however, so was adopted by a Glasgow shipyard worker, James Blair.

(2) The former Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, was admitted to hospital with chest pains days after the General Election. It was announced that he would not be contesting the Conservative leadership.

1/5/1997. Thursday (+18,986) (1) New Labour won the UK general election, defeating John Major’s Conservative Party. Tony Blair, 43, became the youngest Prime Minister since 1812, with a majority of 179. Labour won 410 seats against the Conservative’s 169. The Conservative administration had, at 18 years, been the longest serving government of the 20th century.

(2) Tasmania became the last Australian State to decriminalise homosexuality.

22/4/1997, Tuesday (+18.977) The siege of the Japanese Embassy in Peru by Tupac Amaru guerrillas was ended violently by government troops. 14 guerrillas and one Japanese citizen were killed; the remaining 71 hostages were rescued. The guerrillas wanted the release of 440 of their comrades.

15/4/1997, Tuesday (+18,970) A fire in a tent camp at the Haj in Mecca killed 340 and injured over 1,500.

14/4/1997, Monday (+18,969) Former Nazi SS Captain Eric Priebke was retried; on 22/7/1997 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

31/3/1997. Monday (+18,955) The Pioneer space probe ended its useful life 6 billion miles from Earth.

26/3/1997. Wednesday (+18,950) Two IRA bombs exploded near Wilmslow railway station, injuring no-one.

7/3/1997. Friday (+18,931) Albania dissolved into chaos, and military firearms depots were looted.

24/2/1997. Monday (+18,920) The cloned sheep, Dolly, was presented to the public. She had been cloned from a single cell of her mother at the Royal Institute in Edinburgh. There was moral panic about the possibility of cloning humans, but some saw it as a useful way to create organs for transplant.

19/2/1997, Wednesday (+18,915) The last of the Chinese revolutionaries, Deng Xiaoping, died aged 92 (born 1904); weeks of mourning followed.

30/1/1997. Thursday (+18,895) An underground protest came to an end as the last protestor, known as Swampy, emerged from a tunnel under the proposed A.30.

24/1/1997. Friday (+18,889) The Archers celebrated its 12,000th episode. The Radio 4 series drew an average of 4.5 million listeners each week.

22/1/1997, Wednesday (+18,887) Madeleine Albright became the first female US Secretary of State after confirmation of her appointment by the US Senate.

20/1/1997, Monday (+18,885) President Clinton began his second term of office.

19/1/1997, Sunday (+18,884) Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron after an absence of over 30 years.  There were major celebrations as the Israelis handed over the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.

3/1/1997. Friday (-18,868) The death toll in Europe’s big freeze hit 220 as temperatures plunged to –10 C from Britain to central Russia.

27/12/1996, Friday (+18,861) Taliban forces retook the important Bagram air base, consolidating their territory around Kabul.

13/12/1996, Friday (+18,847) Kofi Anan became the 7th Secretary General of the UN.

12/12/1996, Thursday (+18,846) After Labour won the Barnsley East by election, the Conservatives no longer had a majority in the House of Commons.

4/12/1996, Wednesday (18,838) NASA launched the Pathfinder probe towards Mars.

18/11/1996. Monday (+18,822) Serious fire on Channel Tunnel train. The train was 12 miles inside the Tunnel, and the open latticework of the lorry carriages may have had a blowtorch effect on the fire which could have started before the train entered the Tunnel. Eight people suffered smoke inhalation injuries and the Tunnel was closed for months.

15/11/1996. Friday (+18,819) Mass migration as Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda.

6/11/1996, Wednesday (+18,810) A cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh, India, killing 2,000.

5/11/1996. Tuesday (+18,809) Bill Clinton won the US elections. He was re-elected for a second term, seeing off a challenge by the Republican Bob Dole. Clinton was better at attracting the female than male vote. However only 49% of the electorate bothered to vote at all, the lowest turnout since 1924.

16/10/1996. Wednesday (+18,789) Proposals to ban most handguns in the UK, in the aftermath of the Dunblane massacre.

26/9/1996. Thursday (+18,769) (1) The Taleban captured Kabul. They drove out the former President, Burhanuddin Rabbani and executed Mohammad Najibullah. See 3/11/1994.

(2) The first death under legalised euthanasia in Australia.

19/9/1996. Thursday (+18,762) The US spacecraft Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir.

17/9/1996, Tuesday (+18,760)

3/9/1996. Tuesday (+18,746) The US extended the southern Iraq no-fly-zone, established on 26/8/1992 south of 32 degrees, up to 33 degrees, just south of Baghdad.

31/8/1996, Saturday (+18,743) Iraqi forces launched a major offensive into the northern no-fly-zone and captured the city of Erbil from the Kurds.

29/8/1996. Thursday (+18,741) British forces began to leave Hong Kong.

28/8/1996. Wednesday  (+18,740) The Prince of Wales, Charles, and Princess, Diana Spencer, divorced. See 31/8/1997.

26/8/1996. Monday (+18,738) The courts in Sweden heard their first ever case of dangerous handling of a shopping trolley.

27/7/1996, Saturday (+18,708) A nail bomb exploded at the Atlanta Olympics, killing two people and injuring over 100.

19/7/1996, Friday (+18,700) Muhammad Ali lit the flame for the 26th Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

12/7/1996. Friday (+18,693) Saddam Hussein, Iraqi President, was reported to have foiled a coup attempt by 50 military officers.

5/7/1996, Friday (+18,686) Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult stem cell. Lamb 6LL3 was named after Dolly Parton. The animal died prematurely in February 2003.

1/7/1996, Monday (+18,682) (1) The Northern Territory in Australia legalised voluntary euthanasia.

(2) The average wage in the UK was £18,307 per year. GPs got £44,304, 242% of average. Teachers got £23,088, 126% of average. Train drivers got £22,308, 122% of average. Factory workers got £14,612, 80% of average. The average UK house price was £53,394.

25/6/1996. Tuesday (+18,676) Bin Laden’s Al Quaeda group bombed the Khobar Towers HQ of the US Air Force in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 19 Americans died.

23/6/1996, Sunday (+18,674) Andreas Papandreou, Greek statesman, born 1919, died.

15/6/1996, Saturday (+18,666) A large IRA bomb destroyed Manchester city centre.

10/6/1996, Monday (+18,661) Talks on the future of Northern Ireland opened at Stormont Castle; the Sinn Fein was excluded until the IRA renewed its ceasefire.

27/5/1996, Monday (+18,647) Russian President Boris Yeltsin met Chechnya rebels for the first time and negotiated a ceasefire.

11/4/1996, Thursday (+18,601) A treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-free zone was signed in Cairo.

3/4/1996, Wednesday (+18,593) Theodore Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor, was arrested and charged with being the Unabomber. Overall he was reckoned to have committed 16 bombings, killing 23. His motive was to persuade the world of the unsustainability of modern technology as a threat to the planet.

27/3/1996, Wednesday (+18,586) The European Commission imposed a total ban on the export of UK beef, worldwide, in the wake of the fatal CJD outbreak, linked to BSE or ‘mad cow’ disease.

26/3/1996, Tuesday (+18,585) The International Monetary Fund approved a US$ 10.2 billion loan to Russia for economic reforms.

22/3/1996. Friday (+18,581) The War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague made its first indictment; three Muslims and a Croat were charged with torture, rape, and murder of Serbs.

20/3/1996. Wednesday (+18,579) British beef was banned in Europe over BSE scares.

19/3/1996, Tuesday (+18,578) Sarajevo was reunited when Bosniak authorities took control of the last district occupied by Serbs.

13/3/1996. Wednesday (+18,572) The Dunblane Massacre in Scotland; 16 children and a teacher died; a further 12 children were injured. The unstable misfit Thomas Hamilton, 43, entered Dunblane Primary School and shot a teacher and 16 children in the gym, injured another teacher and 5 children, then shot and killed himself. This began a debate in the UK and other countries on banning handguns.

7/3/1996, Thursday (+18,566) Genetically-modified sheep Megan and Morag were introduced to the world.

4/3/1996. Monday (+18,563) UN forces left Rwanda as the UN mandate ended.

2/3/1996, Saturday (+18,561) In Australia the Labour Party finally lost an election, having won the previous five contests, in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1993.

29/2/1996, Thursday (+18,559) (1) The siege of Sarajevo ended.

(2) Bailiffs began evicting the Newbury by-pass protestors who had been protesting that the route ran through environmentally-sensitive areas. Contractors had been due to start work on 10/1/1996.

28/2/1996. Wednesday (+18,558) (1) Russia became a member of the Council of Europe.

(2) The Princess of Wales, Diana, announced that she had agreed to divorce Prince Charles.

18/2/1996. Sunday (+18,548) The World Health Organisation sent experts to Gabon where ten people had died of the Ebola virus.

10/2/1996, Saturday (+18,540) The computer programme Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess, the first victory by a computer over a human.

9/2/1996. Friday (+18,539) The IRA ended its ceasefire with a bomb in London’s Docklands. The bomb contained about half a ton of explosive and was planted under the Docklands Light railway at South Quays, exploding at 7.01 p.m. 2 people were killed and at least 100 injured. The widespread damage to houses, shops, and offices amounted to over £100 million. UK Prime Minister John Major said ‘there is now a dark shadow of doubt where optimism had been’.

5/2/1996, Monday (+18,535) The first privately-run trains for nearly 50 years ran on British Railways. South West Trains and Great Western won the first franchises; under the 1993 Railway Act. A third franchise, London Tilbury and Southend, was cancelled amidst allegations of ticketing fraud. British Railways had been nationalised on 1/1/1948.

29/1/1996. Monday (+18,528) France announced it had ended the current series of atomic tests.

25/1/1996, Thursday (+18,524) In the UK, the results of the first National School Tests sat in May 1995 showed that over 50% of 11-year-olds failed to reach expected standards in English and Maths.

24/1/1996, Wednesday (+18,523) The report of the international decommissioning agency for Northern Ireland under US Senator George Mitchell dismissed British demands that the IRA hand over its weapons before joining talks.

20/1/1996, Saturday (+18,519) Yasser Arafat was re-elected President of the PLO.

18/1/1996, Thursday (+18,517) A service in Coventry Cathedral marking the centenary of the motor car was disrupted by a naked woman claiming to be Lady Godiva protesting about the thousands of deaths caused by motor vehicles.

9/1/1996. Tuesday (+18,508) Chechen insurgents seized 3,000 civilian hostages.

8/1/1996. Monday (+18,507) French President, Mitterrand, (born 1916) died of cancer.

2/1/1996, Tuesday (+18,501) UN troops entered Bosnia on a peacekeeping mission.

15/12/1995, Friday (+18,483) In Northern Ireland, the Arms Decommissioning Panel, headed by former US Senator George Mitchell, began work.

14/12/1995, Thursday (+18,482) The Dayton Peace Accord was signed in Paris, ending the Yugoslav conflict.

7/12/1995. Thursday (+18,475) A link was revealed between BSE in cattle and CJD in humans.

4/12/1995, Monday (+18,472) NATO troops landed in the Balkans.

2/12/1995, Saturday (+18,470) In Singapore, rogue trader Nick Leeson was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison. He had been extradited from Germany and pleaded guilty to fraud and forgery.

27/11/1995, Monday (+18,465) In Ireland, voters narrowly approved a limited no-fault provision for divorce, for couples who had lived apart for four of the previous five years, by a majority of 9,114 out of 1.63 million votes. There had been a constitutional ban on divorce since 1937.

25/11/1995, Saturday (+18,463) A ceasefire was declared in the Republics of former Yugoslavia, following a peace agreement signed at Dayton, Ohio. Bosnia would be a united Republic comprising the Muslim-Croat areas and the Serb Republic, unifying the city of Sarajevo. Individuals charged with war crimes were banned from holding public office.

22/11/1995, Wednesday (+18,460) (1) A magnitude 7.2 quake hit Israel, Egypt, and was felt over much of the Mediterranean and North Africa.

(2) Rosemary West, aged 41, was sentenced to life for killing 10 women and girls, including her daughter and stepdaughter. Lodgers at their house at 25 Cromwell Street Gloucester had also been murdered. Rosemary’s husband Fred West, 53, had hanged himself whilst in custody at Winson Green prison, Birmingham, on 1/1/1995.

16/11/1995, Thursday (+18,454) The UN tribunal charged Radovan Karadic and Ratko Mladic with genocide during the Bosnian War.

13/11/1995, Monday (+18,451) Seven died as a bomb exploded at a US military base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

12/11/1995, Sunday (+18,450) The Northern Ireland Peace Process was faltering, with disagreement over whether to begin all-party talks before the IRA had decommissioned its weapons. All sides were keen to make progress before US President Bill Clinton visited on 30/11/1995.

10/11/1995, Friday (+18,448) (1) The Nigerian military government hanged the dissident Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists. They had been protesting against the exploitation of the Ogoni people and their lands by large oil companies. In particular, an oil leak from an old pipeline in August 1995 had polluted Ogoni lands. Oil and gas had been discovered in the Niger delta in 1957 and commercial exploitation began a year later. In 1995 oil accounted for 80% of Nigerian government earnings and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

(2) Iraqi disarmament crisis; the UN intercepted 240 Russian gyroscopes and accelerometers en route from Russia to Iraq.

7/11/1995, Tuesday (+18,445)

4/11/1995. Saturday (+18,442) Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister, was assassinated. Moments after attending a peace rally in the Square of the Kings, he was killed by a 27 year old Jewish law student, Yigal Amir. Mr Rabin had been the target of a hate campaign since he shook hands with Mr Yasser Arafat, PLO leader, on the steps of the White House.

1/11/1995, Wednesday (+18,439) Participants in the Yugoslav War began negotiations at the Wright  -Patterson air force base, Ohio, USA.

30/10/1995. Monday (+18,437) Quebec separatists narrowly lost a referendum to regain independence from Canada.

16/10/1995, Monday (+18,423) The Million Man march was held in Washington DC.  It was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

15/10/1995, Sunday (+18,422) The road bridge between Skye and the Scottish mainland opened.

9/10/1995, Monday (+18,416) Sir Alec Douglas Home, British Conservative Prime Minister 1963-4, died (born 2/7/1903).

6/10/1995, Friday (+18,413) Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the discovery of the first extra-solar planet, 51 Pegasi b.

24/9/1995. Sunday (+18,401) Israel and the PLO agree to extend self-rule to most of the West Bank.

7/9/1994, Thursday (+18,384) The American flag was lowered over the US HQ in Berlin, formally ending American presence on the city after almost 50 years.

31/8/1995, Thursday (+18,377) The London Meteorological Office announced that August 1995 had been the hottest month since 1659.

30/8/1995. Wednesday (+18,376) UN forces attacked key Serb positions in Bosnia.  The NATO campaign continued into October.

28/8/1995, Monday (+18,374) Serbian mortar bomb near Sarajevo market killed 37 civilians.

24/8/1995, Thursday (+18,370) Microsoft launched Windows 5.

18/8/1995, Friday (+18,364) The largest traditional stone-built Hindu temple in the world outside India opened in Neasden, N W London.

6/8/1995, Sunday (+18,352) British licensing laws were relaxed to allow pubs to open from 12 noon on Sundays onwards.

5/8/1995, Saturday (+18,351) Croatian forces captured the town of Knin.

4/8/1995, Friday (+18,350) Croatians launched Operation Storm, against Serbian forces in Krajina, compelling them to retreat to Bosnia.

25/7/1995. Tuesday (+18,340) A bomb exploded on a train at the St Michel Metro station in Paris, killing seven people.

11/7/1995. Tuesday (+18,326) (1) Bosnian Serbs marched into Srebrenica as Dutch UN peacekeepers left. Later; large numbers of Bosniak men and boys were massacred.

(2) US resumed full diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

10/7/1995. Monday (+18,325) The Burmese Nobel Peace prize winner, Aung San Kyi, was released, from six years house arrest. Amnesty International reported that the Human Rights situation in Burma remained ‘desperate’.

8/7/1995, Saturday (+18,323) Volcanic eruption began on the island of Montserrat.

4/7/1995, Tuesday (+18,319) John Major won the battle to lead the Conservative Party, beating John Redwood by 218 votes to 89.

1/7/1995, Saturday (+18,316)  The average UK house price was £51,245.

30/6/1995. Friday (+18,315) Military accord to end fighting in Chechnya.

29/6/1995, Thursday (+18,314) The space shuttle Columbia docked for the first time with the Russian Mir space station.

20/6/1995, Tuesday (+18,305) Shell Oil Company caved in to international pressure and agreed not to dump the Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea.

5/6/1995, Monday (+18,290) Bose-Einstein condensate was created.

3/6/1995. Saturday (+18,288) UN rapid intervention force sent to Bosnia.

28/5/1995, Sunday (+18,282) Neftegorsk, Russia, was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that killed 2,000 people, 2/3 of the town’s population.

24/5/1995, Wednesday (+18,278) Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister 1964-70 and 1974-76, born 11/3/1916, died.

16/5/1995, Tuesday (+18,270) (1) Jacques Chirac became President of France.

(2) Japanese police besieged the headquarters of the Aum Shrnrinko cult near Mount Fuji, and arrested the leader Shoko Asuhara.

13/5/1995, Saturday (+18,267) A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit the Greek Macedonian city of Kozani; nobody was injured.

11/5/1995, Thursday (+18,265) In New York City, 170 nations agreed to extend the nuclear non-proliferation treaty indefinitely, without conditions.

10/5/1995, Wednesday (+18,264) The British Government held the first Ministerial talks with Sinn Fein since 1972.

7/5/1995. Sunday (+18,261) (1) UK betting shops opened on Sundays for the first time.

(2) Jacques Chirac was elected President of France.

5/5/1995, Friday (+18,259) The Conservative Party did badly in local council elections, losing control in 62 councils in England and Wales, retaining control in just 8, whilst Labour gained 42 to control a total of 155, and the Liberal Democrats gained 14 to control a total of 44. The Conservatives had also done badly in the Scottish local council elections of 6/4/1995, failing to gain a single one of 29 unitary authorities there. Prime Minister John Major faced a challenge to his leadership.

29/4/1995, Saturday (+18,253) Tony Blair got the Labour Party to drop Clause 4, which had called for common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. In a modernising move, away from Socialism, the change to a commitment to work for a just society, dynamic economy, and healthy environment was backed by 65.23% of votes.

19/4/1995. Wednesday (+18,243) A car bomb in Oklahoma City killed 168 including 12 children. The bomb hidden in a truck contained 4,000 lb of explosive and blew up in front of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, where the Federal ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) was housed, and also a children’s nursery. Timothy McVeigh was later convicted of the bombing.

18/4/1995, Tuesday (+18,242) Artuto Frondizi, President of Argentina, died.

14/4/1995. Friday (+18,238) (1) British troops prepared to leave Northern Ireland.

(2) The UN allowed Iraq to resume partial exports of its oil to pay for essential food and medicine. Iraq did not implement this until December 1996.

24/3/1995. Friday (+18,217) The House of Representatives, USA, passed welfare reforms denying state benefits to immigrants, unmarried mothers, and those who refused to work.

20/3/1995. Monday (+18,213) Nerve gas was released on the Tokyo Subway by the Ayum Shrinkyo religious cult.  Five separate trains were affected; 12 died and 5,500 were injured.

17/3/1995, Friday (+18,210) Ronnie Kray died.

8/3/1995. Wednesday (+18,201) UK Government agreed to direct meetings between ministers and Sinn Fein before an IRA arms surrender.

3/3/1995, Friday (+18,196) The UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia ended.

2/3/1995. Thursday (+18,195) Financial dealer Nick Leeson was arrested at Frankfurt Airport after a week-long manhunt. The derivatives trader, working for Barings Bank, see 26/2/1995, had bet on the Japanese futures market, and assumed that the Nikkei would rise; it fell, especially after the Kobe earthquake. Barings lost £860 million. Later in December 1995, after apparently striking a deal with the Singapore authorities, Leeson was sentenced to six and a half years.

26/2/1995. Sunday (+18,191) The 200 year old Barings Bank went into receivership. One of its brokers, Nick Leeson, had lost US$1.4 billion speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. See 2/3/1995.

22/2/1995, Wednesday (+18,187) British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Prime Minister John Bruton agreed a framework for all-party talks on a political settlement for Northern Ireland. A ‘North-South body’ would be set up to harmonise agreed areas, Northern Ireland would have an elected devolved Parliament, and the South would amend its constitution to drop territorial claims to the North. Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, was happy that the ‘ethos of the agreement was for one Ireland’. The Unionists were less pleased, saying ‘Northern Ireland has been given an eviction notice from the UK’.

1/2/1995. Wednesday (+18,166) Major floods hit northern Europe during January and February. The Netherlands and Germany were worst hit.

22/1/1995. Sunday (+18,156) 22 Israelis died in Tel Aviv in a suicide bombing by Palestinians.

19/1/1995. Thursday (+18,153) Russian troops seized the Presidential palace in Grozny, Chechnya.

17/1/1995. Tuesday (+18,151) 5.46 am, local time, earthquake in Kobe, southern Japan, killed 6,433, and injured 27,000. The quake measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale and made 300,000 homeless. Cost of damage was estimated at £63 billion. It was the worst quake to hit Japan since Tokyo, 1923.

15/1/1995. Sunday (+18,149) The British Army ended daylight patrols in Belfast, after 25 years.

1/1/1995, Sunday (+18,135) (1) Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the European Union.

(2) The World Trade Organisation was created to replace GATT.

(3) Fred West, accused of mass murder, hanged himself inside Winson Green prison, Birmingham.

19/12/1994, Monday (+18,122) (1) A financial meltdown began in Mexico, unleashing the ‘Tequila Crisis’ on world markets.  The Clinton administration bailed out Mexico with US$50,000 billion.

(2) Civil unions between homosexuals were made legal in Sweden.

17/12/1994, Saturday (+18,120) Eurotunnel announced that the fare for the Channel Tunnel was to be £49 day return for a car.

15/12/1994, Thursday (+18,118) The Web browser Netscape 1.0 was launched.

11/12/1994, Sunday (+18,114) Boris Yeltsin ordered troops into Chechnya.

9/12/1994, Friday (+18,112) The first official talks between the British Government and Sinn Fein for 22 years began.

2/12/1994, Friday (+18,105) The Australian Government agreed to pay compensation to indigenous Australians who were displaced during the nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s and 60s.

29/11/1994. Tuesday (+18,102) Russian aircraft bombed the Chechen capital, Grozny.

23/11/1994. Wednesday (+18,096) The Taliban captured Kandahar, Afghanistan. See 26/9/1996.

20/11/1994, Sunday (+18,093) The Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Lusaka Protocol.

19/11/1994. Saturday (+18,092) First National Lottery draw in the UK. Seven people shared the UK£ 15.8 million jackpot prize. 25 million people bought tickets, over half the adult population, raising UK£ 45 million, half of which went on ‘good causes’.

13/11/1994, Sunday (+18,086) (1) In a referendum, Swedish voters chose to join the European Union.

(2) The first passengers travelled through the Channel Tunnel.

8/11/1994. Tuesday (+18,081) The Republicans gained control of the US Congress.

1/11/1994, Tuesday (+18,074) Sydney Dernley, Britain’s last surviving executioner, died aged 73.

31/10.1994, Monday (+18,073) The Duke of Edinburgh became the first member of the British Royal Family to visit Israel.

18/10/1994, Tuesday (+18,060)

15/10/1994. Saturday (+18,057) The UN demanded that Iraq withdrew military units positioned near the border with Kuwait. Iraq complied.

14/10/1994. Friday (+18,056) The Nobel Peace prize was awarded jointly to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat.

13/10/1994, Thursday (+18,055) Ulster’s three main Loyalist terrorist groups announced a ceasefire.

5/10/1994, Wednesday (+18,047) Fifty members of the Solar Temple cult were found dead in Switzerland.

30/9/1994, Friday (+18,042) On the London Underground, the Epping to Ongar line and the Aldwych spur closed.  The Ongar line only carried 100 passengers a day. At Aldwych, only 450 people a day used the line, and a lift needed replacing at a cost of £3 million. Aldwych (opened 30/11/1907) had served as an air raid shelter during World War Two and was not reopened until 1946. Postwar proposals to extend the Aldwych spur to Waterloo never materialised.

28/9/1994, Wednesday (+18,040) The car ferry Estonia sank off Uto Island in the Baltic during a heavy storm on its way to Sweden. Waves 10 metres high had ripped off the bow doors used for loading vehicles; only 140 of the 1,047 passengers and crew survived, the worst ferry disaster in Europe since World War Two. There were similarities to the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster on 7/4/1987. Ferry operators had been slow to follow recommendations for watertight bulkhead doors on the car deck.

19/9/1994, Monday (+18,031) US troops went to Haiti to restore order.

8/9/1994, Thursday (+18,020) The last British forces left Berlin.

3/9/1994, Saturday (+18,015) The USSR and China agreed to stop targeting nuclear missiles at each other.

31/8/1994. Wednesday (+18,012) IRA announced a ceasefire in Northern Ireland. The British were concerned about the omission of the word ‘permanent’ from the ceasefire declaration.

29/8/1994. Monday (+18,010) In Britain, large shops were allowed to open legally for the first time on a Sunday.

14/8/1994. Sunday (+17,995) Carlos the Jackal was arrested in Sudan.

5/8/1994. Friday (+17,986) NATO air strike on Bosnian Serb positions near Sarajevo.

25/7/1994, Monday (+17,975) Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty, formally ending a state of war between them that had existed since 1948.

21/7/1994, Thursday (+17,971) Tony Blair was elected leader of the UK Labour Party. At age 41 he was the youngest leader ever. John Prescott was elected Deputy Leader.

20/7/1994, Wednesday (+17,970) South Africa was readmitted to the Commonwealth, after 33 years of exclusion.

10/7/1994, Sunday (+17,960)

8/7/1994, Friday (+17,958) North Korean President Kim Il Sung (born 1912) died.

7/7/1994, Thursday (+17,957) Troops from North Yemen occupied Aden.

6/7/1994, Wednesday (+17,956)

5/7/1994, Tuesday (+17,955) Yasser Arafat became the first President of the Palestinian Authority, which had been created under the Cairo Agreement of 1994.

4/7/1994. Monday (+17,954) Kigali fell to the Rwandan Patriotic Front. After the Rwandan President was killed in an air crash (see 6/4/1994) violence occurred against the Tutsi minority. Half a million died and 1.5 million refugees were created.

1/7/1994, Friday (+17,951) 1 kg old potatoes cost 40.5p. The average UK house price was £51,634.  A second class return rail fare London to Glasgow cost £69.00

22/6/1994. Wednesday (+17,942) Russia joined NATO’s ‘partnership for peace.

15/6/1994, Wednesday (+17,935) Israel and The Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

12/6/1994, Sunday (+17,932) In European Parliamentary elections, the Tories won only 18 seats to Labour’s 62.

29/5/1994, Sunday (+17,918) Erich Honecker, leader of East Germany, (born 1912) died.

27/5/1994, Friday (+17,916) Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia.

12/5/1994. Thursday (+17,901) In the UK, Labour party leader John Smith died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 55. On 17/7/1994 Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour Party.

10/5/1994. Tuesday (+17,899) Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first Black president of South Africa (see 2/5/1994). Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in his life on elections held between 26 and 29 April and his Africa National Congress Party won an overwhelming 62.6% of the vote. The National Party won 20.4%.

6/5/1994. Friday (+17,895) The Channel Tunnel was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and President Mitterand.  50 kilometres long, it had taken  15,000 workers 7 years to complete and cost UK£ 10 billion. Construction of the Tunnel was started in November 1987, and workers met in the middle three years later. An earlier Channel Tunnel proposal in 1907 had been withdrawn after the British military feared it would be used for invasion.

2/5/1994, Monday (+17,891) South African President F W de Klerk conceded defeat to Nelson Mandela in the country’s first truly democratic elections, see 10/5/1994.

1/5/1994, Sunday (+17,890) Formula One driver Ayrton Senna (born 1960) died in a crash in Italy.

26/4/1994. Tuesday (+17,885) First multiracial elections in South Africa. See 10/5/1994.

22/4/1994, Friday (+17,881) Richard Nixon, 37th US President, (born 1913) died.

21/4/1994, Thursday (+17,880) The Red Cross estimated that 100,000 had died in the Rwandan Genocide.

20/4/1994, Wednesday (+17,879) In France, Paul Touvier was found guilty of ordering the massacre of 17 Jews whilst serving in the Vichy France Milice.

16/4/1994, Saturday (+17,875) In a referendum in Finland, voters decided to join the European Union.

10/4/1994. Sunday (+17,869) NATO air strikes against the Serbs around Gorazde.

6/4/1994. Wednesday (+17,865) An air crash killed the Presidents of both Rwanda (President Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (President Cyprien Ntaryamira). The Rwandan Patriotic Front was suspected but so were Hutu extremists opposed to the Arusha Agreement. See 5/10/1993 and 4/7/1994. On 7/4/1994 the Hutu militia, known as the Interhamwe, began organising the killing of many Tutsis.

28/3/1994, Monday (+17,856) Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister of Italy.

12/3/1994, Saturday (+17,840) The Church of England ordained its first women priests. 32 were ordained.

11/3/1994. Friday (+17,839) Riots in South African Black Homeland of Bophutatswana.

9/3/1994, Wednesday (+17,837) The IRA launched a mortar attack at London Heathrow Airport.

6/3/1994, Sunday (+17,834) A referendum in Moldova showed the electorate opposed to possible unification with Romania.

1/3/1994, Tuesday (+17,829) South Africa ceded Walvis Bay to Namibia.

28/2/1994. Monday (+17,828) Four Serbian planes shot down by US F-16 pilots over Bosnia, for violating the US-imposed no-fly zone there.

26/2/1994, Saturday (+17,826)

25/2/1994. Friday (+17,825) Kahanist Baruch Goldstein opened fire in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, killing 29 Muslims, before worshippers overpowered him and beat him to death.

24/2/1994, Thursday (+17,824) Police in Gloucester began excavating the property of Frederick West at 25 Cromwell Street.  He and his wife were arrested on 28/2/1994.

21/2/1994, Monday (+17,821) In Britain, Parliament voted to lower the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 18.

13/2/1994. Sunday (+17,813) Liverpool FC signed record £4m shirt sponsorship deal with Danish brewers Carlsberg.

9/2/1994, Wednesday (+17,809) The Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced.

5/2/1994. Saturday (+17,805) 70 killed and 200 injured in a Serb mortar attack on Sarajevo marketplace.

3/2/1994, Thursday (+17,803) US President Clinton lifted trade sanctions against Vietnam; In December 1992 President Bush had allowed US companies to open offices in Vietnam but the embargo meant they could not yet trade there.

31/1/1994 Monday (+17,800) German car manufacturer BMW announced the purchase of Rover from British Aerospace for US$ 800 million.

19/1/1994, Wednesday (+17,788) Jane Brown, headmistress of a school in Hackney, London, barred pupils from seeing Romeo and Juliet because it was ‘too heterosexual’.

17/1/1994. Monday (+17,786) A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit Northridge in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles.

11/1/1994, Tuesday (+17,780) The Irish government ended a 15-year old broadcasting ban on the IRA and its political arm, Sinn Fein.

10/1/1994, Monday (+17,779) UK Prime Minister John Major started his ‘Back to basics’ campaign, calling for a return to old-fashioned family values.

1/1/1994, Saturday (+17,770) The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into force.

30/12/1993, Thursday (+17,768) Israel and The Vatican recognised each other.

28/12/1993. Tuesday (+17,766) The Russian government announced that nearly 50% of the economy had been privatised.

27/12/1993. Monday (+17,765) In Cairo, Muslim militants opened fire on a tourist bus, wounding 16, including 8 Australians.

19/12/1993. Sunday (+17,757) Several people were inured in an IRA bomb blast in Londonderry.

17/12/1993. Friday (+17,755) Warring parties in Bosnia agreed to a ceasefire from the 23rd December to the 3rd January. However despite the ceasefire, on 25/12/1993, Serb gunmen fired over 1,300 rounds into Sarajevo, killing 6 civilians.

15/12/1993. Wednesday (+17,753) (1) The Downing Street Declaration; the UK committed itself to finding a solution to the problem of Northern Ireland. Prime Ministers John Major of the UK and John Reynolds of Ireland discussed the possibility of a future united Ireland.

(2) Completion of the GATT Uruguay Round.

14/12/1993. Tuesday (+17,752) (1) The Russian elections produced a move to the Right. Around 50% voted for Conservative-Nationalist parties with Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democrat) emerging as overall leader. Yeltsin remained President of Russia. The Baltic States feared revenge from Zhirinovsky for their precipitating the collapse of the old USSR.

(2) Yasser Arafat, PLO leader, made his first official visit to Britain.

12/12/1993, Sunday (+17,750) An earthquake hit Flores, Indonesia, killing 2,200.

10/12/1993. Friday (+17,748) (1) The Hubble telescope was successfully repaired in space by Shuttle astronauts. Its mirror had been slightly misshapen, blurring its vision of deep space. The Shuttle landed safely on 13/12/1993.

(2) Builders of the Channel Tunnel officially handed over the keys to the operators, Eurotunnel.

9/12/1993. Thursday (+17,747) Foreigners began leaving Algeria after death threats by Islamic militants.

8/12/1993. Wednesday (+17,746) The House of Commons voted to allow large British shops to open for six hours on Sundays. High Street shops now prepared for a price war with the supermarkets.

7/12/1993, Tuesday (+17,745) Felix Houphouet Boigny, President of Cote d’Ivoire, died.

5/12/1993, Sunday (+17,743)

3/12/1993, Friday (+17,741) Diana Princess of Wales announced her retirement from public life.

2/12/1993. Thursday (+17,740) (1) The Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched on a mission to repair flaws in the Hubble Space Telescope.

(2) A planned merger between Renault of France and Volvo of Sweden fell through.

1/12/1993. Wednesday (+17,739) Georgian and Abkhaz representatives met in Geneva to sign an accord to end their conflict.

28/11/1993, Sunday (+17,736) The Observer revealed that the UK Government had a secret channel of communication with the IRA despite UK denials.

25/11/1993, Thursday (+17,733) The English author and composer Anthony Burgess died, aged 76.

24/11/1993. Wednesday (+17,732) Two 11 year old boys, John Venables and Robert Thompson, were found guilty of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool. Judge Michael Moreland suggested watching violent video films had contributed to the boy’s actions.  They were sentenced to ‘indefinite detention’.

20/11/1993, Saturday (+17,728)

18/11/1993.Thursday (+17,726)  The Georgian President extended the country’s state of emergency indefinitely.

17/11/1993. Wednesday (+17,725) The US Congress voted for NAFTA.

15/11/1993, Monday (+17,723)

12/11/1993, Friday (+17,720) Britain refused to join a worldwide ban on dumping nuclear waste at sea.

11/11/1993. Thursday (+17,719) The USA imposed new sanctions on Libya for refusing to handover two suspects wanted for the Lockerbie bombing of a Pan Am plane.

10/11/1993. Wednesday (+17,718) Euro Disney announced losses of US$ 900 million after its first year of business. Europe-wide recession, high interest rates, and high unemployment were blamed by management for the losses. The 10,000 staff fear further job cuts on top of the 950 already dismissed, but must keep smiling to welcome the visitors (both of them).

9/11/1993. Tuesday (+17,717) (1) The UN said the number of refugees worldwide rose from 2.5 million in 1973 to 19.7 million today.

(2) The historic 16th century Mostar Bridge was demolished by a barrage of shells from Croat forces fighting Muslims.

1/11/1993. Monday (+17,709) The European Union (formerly EC) came into existence as the Maastricht Treaty came into effect for its 12 members.

24/10/1993, Sunday (+17,701) Jo Grimond, UK Liberal Party leader, died.

23/10/1993, Saturday (+17,700) An IRA bomb in Belfast killed 9.

21/10/1993, Thursday (+17,698)

20/10/1993, Wednesday (+17,697) Pakistan elected Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007) as President.

19/10/1993, Tuesday (+17,696) The UK Post Office began selling self-adhesive stamps that didn’t need licking.

18/10/1993, Monday (+17,695) As part of UK defence cuts, the privatisation of Devonport and Rosyth naval dockyards was announced.

15/10/1993. Friday (+17,692) Nelson Mandela and President F W De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

5/10/1993, Tuesday (+17,682) The UN created a body to oversee the Arusha agreement, see 4/8/1993 and 6/4/1994.

4/10/1993. Monday (+17,681) Russian rebels surrendered at Moscow ‘White House’. Troops loyal to President Yeltsin opened fire on rebels in the White House who wanted a return to old-style Communism. 146 people died in the  conflict; Yeltsin pardoned the ringleaders.

3/10/1993, Sunday (+17,680) US troops fought large-scale land battles with local militiamen in Mogadishu, Somalia.

2/10/1993, Saturday (+17,679) Elsham railway station, on the Scunthorpe-Barnetby line, closed. This meant rail travellers from Brigg, wanting a direct train to places like Scunthorpe or Doncaster, now had to go a longer way round via Barnetby.

1/10/1993. Friday (+17,678) Buckingham Palace closed after being open to the public for 8 weeks. 400,000 people visited, raising some £2.2 million.

30/9/1993. Thursday (+17,677) Earthquake in southwest India killed 10,000.

28/9/1993. Tuesday (+17,675) Abkhaz rebels took the Georgian Black Sea port and resort city of Sukhumi. Georgian President Eduard Sheverdnadze accused Moscow of helping the rebels.

24/9/1993. Friday (+17,671) (1) The USA and Commonwealth lifted trade sanctions against South Africa.

(2) In the Philippines, Imelda Marcos was jailed for 18 years for corruption.

22/9/1993. Wednesday (+17,669) The Albanian national football team were banned from swapping shirts with their opponents, because the authorities couldn’t afford replacements.

21/9/1993, Tuesday (+17,668) In Russia, President Yeltsin suspended the Constitution and scrapped Parliament.

15/9/1993. Wednesday (+17,662) The USA, Britain, and other Western countries agreed to sanctions on Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA forces fighting the Angolan government.

13/9/1993. Monday (+17,660) Israel and the PLO signed a peace accord in Washington. Shimon Peres, the Israeli Foreign Minister, shook hands with Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO deputy chief, and Palestinian self-rule was promised. Then the PLO leader, Yassser Arafat, held out his hand to the Israeli PM, Yitzhak Rabin. After a slight hesitation and a nudge from the US President, Bill Clinton, the two shook hands. On 14/9/1993 Israel and Jordan signed an agreement to negotiate a peace treaty.

30/8/1993, Monday (+17,646) The Israeli Government approved the granting of self-rule to Palestinians living on the West Bank and in Jericho. The PLO signed this plan on 9/9/1993.

23/8/1993, Monday (+17,639) US Police  raided singer Michael Jackson’s home after a 13-year old boy made allegations of child abuse.

20/8/1993, Friday (+17,636) Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Peace Accord.

16/8/1993. Monday (+17,632) South Africa agreed to return Walvis Bay, its last colonial possession, to Namibia.

14/8/1993. Saturday (+17,630) Armenia launched a big offensive inside Azerbaijan near the Iranian border. Azerbaijan was also contending with another separatist movement, also near the Iranian border, at Lenkoran.

13/8/1993. Friday (+17,629) Firebombs planted by the IRA in Bournemouth caused damage but no injuries.

7/8/1993, Saturday (+17,623) Buckingham Palace, London, opened to the public for the first time ever. 4,314 visited on the first day, paying an £8 entrance fee.

4/8/1993. Wednesday (+17,620) The President of Rwanda’s Hutu-dominated government, Juvenal Habyarima, signed the Arusha Peace Agreement with the opposition Rwandan Patriotic Front, whose mainly Tutsi forces were closing in on the capital, Kigali. A ceasefire was agreed and plans made for power-sharing. 2,500 Un troops were pledged to oversee  the implementation of the agreement. But on 4/8/1993 Kigali’s Radio television Libre des Milles Collines began broadcasting Hutu-supremacist, anti-Tutsi, propaganda. See 5/10/1993.

2/8/1993. Monday (+17,618) The UK ratified the Maastricht Treaty.

1/8/1993. Sunday (+17,617) Major flooding hit the Midwest Mississippi area of the USA.

31/7/1993, Saturday (+17,616) King Baudouin I of Belgium died.

25/7/1993. Sunday (+17,610) Israeli air strikes on pro-Iranian Hizbullah positions in southern Lebanon.

19/7/1993. Monday (+17,604) A poll in the UK showed only 37% of Britons believed Prince Charles was fit to be King.

16/7/1993. Friday (+17,601) St Louis, Missouri, flooded as the Mississippi broke its banks.

13/7/1993. Tuesday (+17,598) (1) Rolls Royce opened its first showroom in Russia.

(2) Tajik rebels, helped by Afghani guerrillas from across the border in Afghanistan, attacked Russian troops in Tajikistan who were there to prop up the local government clinging to power against Muslim fundamentalists.

12/7/1993, Monday (+17,597) A magnitude 7.8 earthquake off Hokkaido caused a major tsunami to hit Okushuri island, killing 202 people.

10/7/1993, Saturday (+17,595)

6/7/1993. Tuesday (+17,591) Georgia steeped up resistance to Abkhazian rebels, who were seeking their own Muslim state, around the Black Sea resort of Sukhumi.

5/7/1993, Monday (+17,590) Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, major cuts were announced to Britain’s Royal Navy.

4/7/1993, Sunday (+17,589)

2/7/1993, Friday (+17,587) In Turkey, 40 died in an arson attack on a hotel by Islamist terrorists protesting against Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses.

1/7/1993, Thursday (+17,586) The average UK house price was £51,211.

27/6/1993. Sunday (+17,582) US forces launched cruise missile attack on Baghdad Intelligence HQ in retaliation for an attempted assassination of US President George Bush in April 1993.

25/6/1993, Friday (+17,580) Kim Campbell (born 1947) became Canada’s first female Prime Minister (Progressive Conservative Party). In October 1993 her Party were defeated in an election by the Liberal Party, led by Jean Chretien, and in December 1993 Campbell resigned as Party leader.

24/6/1993. Thursday (+17,579) Israel announced plans to build a US$ 13 million fence around the Occupied Territories.

23/6/1993. Wednesday (+17,578) The US lowered the Stars and Stripes for the last time at the Tempelhof airbase in Berlin after 48 years of military service there.

21/6/1993. Monday (+17,576) (1) In Britain, government Minister Michael Heseltine suffered a heart attack.

(2) Basque separatists set off a car bomb in Madrid, killing 5 senior military officers in a minibus. Two others were also killed, and 24 injured.

17/6/1993. Thursday (+17,572) In Somalia, UN ground troops along with US helicopters launched a dawn raid on the HQ of General Mohammed Farrah Aidid, in retaliation for an attack that left 24 Pakistani peacekeepers dead 12 days earlier. Aidid escaped capture or death.

15/6/1993, Tuesday (+17,570)

13/6/1993. Sunday (+17,568) (1) Serb shells hit a hospital in the Muslim town of Gorazde, killing 50 people.

(2) Tansu Ciller became Turkey’s first woman president.

9/6/1993, Wednesday (+17,564) In Britain, Norman Lamont made a bitter attack on John Major in the Commons.

6/6/1993. Sunday (+17,561) In Liberia, 270 civilians were massacred when rebel forces of the Patriotic National Front attacked a rubber plantation near Monrovia.

3/6/1993. Thursday (+17,558) (1) Holbeck Hall, Scarborough’s only 4-star hotel, began to collapse into the sea, with its extensive gardens. The collapse took several days.

(2) Prime Minister John Major’s ratings were also falling fast. His popularity rating fell to 21%, the lowest for ant PM since polling began in the UK in the 1930s.

30/5/1993. Sunday (+17,554) Neo-Nazi skinheads attacked and set fire to a hostel housing Turkish migrant workers in the German steel town of Solingen. This was the worst of several such attacks on migrant workers. The German government responded with a crackdown on Neo-Nazis and more controls on immigration.

27/5/1993. Thursday (+17,551) Norman Lamont resigned as UK Chancellor; Kenneth Clarke replaced him.

24/5/1993, Monday (+17,548) Eritrea became independent.

18/5/1993. Tuesday (+17,542) The Danes voted yes to the Maastricht Treaty.

10/5/1993, Monday (+17,534) An explosion at a doll factory in Bangkok, Thailand killed 187.

6/5/1993, Thursday (+17,530) In Britain, the Conservatives did badly in elections. In a by-election, they lost Newbury on a 29% swing to the Liberals. They also did badly in county council elections the same day.

27/4/1993. Tuesday (+17,521) The Ethiopian province of Eritrea voted overwhelmingly for independence.

25/4/1993. Sunday (+17,519) Pope John Paul II made the first Papal visit to Albania, until then the world’s only officially atheist state.

24/4/1993. Saturday (+17,518) IRA bomb exploded at Bishopsgate in the City of London. The bomb was hidden in a truck close to the Nat West Tower and left a crater of 14 square yards. One person was killed and 44 injured, and one million square feet of office space made un-useable. Insurance claims were estimated at £1 billion.

23/4/1993. Friday (+17,517) The World Health Organisation declared tuberculosis a global emergency, saying TB could kill 30 million people by 2003.

22/4/1993, Thursday (+17,516) A Black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, 18, was stabbed to death in Eltham, south east London, in a racist attack.

20/4/1993, Tuesday (+17,514)

19/4/1993. Monday (+17,513) The siege at Waco, Texas, ended after 51 days. On 28/2/1993 the Branch Davidian sect, led by David Koresh, was visited by US Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms personnel to arrest Koresh for suspected firearms offences. Sect members opened fire, killing four Federal Agents and injuring a dozen more. US government troops and armoured cars surrounded the sect’s ranch. On 19 April the wooden compound was set alight by cult members as troops fired tear gas into the buildings. 86 people, including David Koresh and 17 children, died.

18/4/1993. Sunday (+17,512) The Muslim town of Srebrenica surrendered to Serb forces.

15/4/1993, Thursday (+17,509)

10/4/1993. Saturday (+17,504) Iran said income from tourism rose by 50% over the past year.

9/4/1993, Friday (+17,503) Wouter Perquin, Dutch MP (KVP), died aged 74.

8/4/1993, Thursday (+17,502) Marian Anderson, US musician, died.

7/4/1993. Wednesday (+17,501) The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the United Nations.

6/4/1993, Tuesday (+17,500) Queen Elizabeth became liable for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

5/4/1993, Monday (+17,499) Republican Guards killed 64 in Chad.

4/4/1993. Sunday (+17,498) Armenian forces now occupied a tenth of Azerbaijan. Armenia laid claim to the enclave of Nagorny-Karabakh and was occupying territory separating the enclave from Armenia.

3/4/1993, Saturday (+17,497) Animal Rights activists disrupted the Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool.

2/4/1993, Friday (+17,496) 1st test flight of Fokker 70.

1/4/1993. Thursday (+17,495)  (1) Britain agreed to send aircraft to enforce the no-fly zone over Bosnia.

(2) A survey showed a record 69% of Australians wanted their country to become a Republic.

30/3/1993, Tuesday (+17,493)

29/3/1993. Monday (+17,492) Two Hoover executives were fired by the American parent company Maytag after the free-flights fiasco. The deal whereby any Hoover purchase over £100 entitled the customer to a flight worth £400 was vastly over-subscribed and cost Hoover over £20 million.

28/3/1993, Sunday (+17,491) Type II supernova detected in M81.

27/3/1993, Saturday (+17,490) Ziang Zemin became President of the People’s Republic of China.

25/3/1993, Thursday (+17,488)

23/3/1993. Tuesday (+17,486) The UN stated that record low levels of ozone had been registered over large areas of the Western Hemisphere.

22/3/1993, Monday (+17,485) South Africa officially abandoned its nuclear weapons programme. President de Klerk announced that the country's 6 warheads had already been dismantled in 1990.

21/3/1993, Sunday (+17,484) Pope John Paul II declared Duns Scotus a saint.

20/3/1993. Saturday (+17,483) An IRA bomb exploded in Warrington, killing a child. A second child died of his injuries later. On 28/3/1993 thousands joined a peace rally in Dublin.

19/3/1993. Friday (+17,482) UN relief convoy reached Srebrenica, Yugoslavia.

18/3/1993, Thursday (+17,481) Kenneth E Boulding, US economist and activist, died (born 1910).

17/3/1993, Wednesday (+17,480) In Britain, protests over Budget plans to impose VAT on domestic fuel, initially at 8%, and at 17.5% from 1995.

14/3/1993, Sunday (+17,477) Severe storms along the east coast of the USA killed 66 people.

12/3/1993, Friday (+17,475) 257 people were killing in a bombing in Mumbai, India.

11/3/1993. Thursday (+17,474) North threatened to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, but did not in fact leave.

9/3/1993, Tuesday (+17,472)

4/3/1993, Thursday (+17,467) In Britain, a reform of the Honours System was announced, to give greater reward for merit.

3/3/1993. Wednesday (+17,466) (1) Rolls Royce announced plans to open a showroom in China.

(2) Tony Bland, in a vegetative state since becoming a victim of the Hillsborough soccer disaster on 15/4/1989, was allowed to die by doctors.

2/3/1993, Tuesday (+17,465)

1/3/1993. Monday (+17,464) Funeral of two-year-old James Bulger, abducted from Bootle shopping centre on 12/2/1993 and later murdered by two youths on a Liverpool railway line; his body was found by the tracks on 16/2/1993. Two boys aged ten from Walton, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were charged with the murder on 20/2/1993. The case provoked a moral panic about social breakdown in society and ‘loss of values’.

28/2/1993. Sunday (+17,463) In Cairo, a café used by foreigners was bombed by Muslim extremists. 4 were killed and 16 injured. Americans, Swedes, and Germans were amongst the injured.

27/2/1993, Saturday (+17,462)

26/2/1993. Friday (+17,461) Bomb exploded beneath World Trade Centre, New York. Six were killed and hundreds injured when a bomb exploded  in an underground car park, planted by Muslim fundamentalists.

25/2/1993. Thursday (+17,460) The USA announced it was to drop food and medicine to Muslims besieged by Serbs in Bosnia.

21/2/1993. Sunday (+17,456) A poll revealed that nearly 50% of Britons would emigrate if they could, the highest since 1948.

19/2/1993, Friday (+17,454) UK Prime Minister John Major rejected the idea of a posthumous pardon for First World War soldiers executed for cowardice or desertion on the grounds that it would be ‘rewriting history’.

18/2/1993. Thursday (+17,453) In the UK, Prime Minister John Major faced anger in Parliament after UK unemployment rose to 3,062,065 in January, the highest since April 1987.

17/2/1993. Wednesday (+17,452) Heavy fighting in Lebanon between Israeli forces and pro-Iranian guerrillas.

16/2/1993, Tuesday (+17,451)

14/2/1993. Sunday (+17,449) Iran again called on Britain to hand over Salman Rushdie, sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini on 14/2/1989 for his book The Satanic Verses.

13/2/1993, Saturday (+17,448) A second three-day meeting between the PLO and Israel in Oslo, Norway, concluded with a draft Declaration of Principles. See 23/1/1993 and 20/8/1993.

12/2/1993, Friday (+17,447)

11/2/1993. Thursday (+17,446) Buckingham Palace announced the Queen would pay income tax in April.

10/2/1993. Wednesday (+17,445) The Pope, John Paul II, called for an end to the persecution of Christians in Sudan.

7/2/1993. Sunday (+17,442) Algeria announced that the state of emergency imposed a year ago because of Islamic fundamentalism would continue indefinitely.

3/2/1993. Wednesday (+17,438) Statistics showed French women had the highest life expectancy in Europe at 81.1 years, 8 years more than French men.

1/2/1993. Monday (+17,436) (1) The EC began formal talks on admitting Austria, Sweden, and Finland by 1995.

(2) The Cambodian government began an offensive against Khmer Rouge rebels in western and north-central Cambodia.

29/1/1993. Friday (+17,433) The US Census Bureau announced that the number of women in managerial jobs had risen 95% between 1980 and 1990, to 6.2 million.

28/1/1993. Thursday (+17,432) The IRA bombed Harrods for the third time in 20 years. Four people were injured. The bomb, one pound  of Semtex, was in a litter bin, one of several removed on the advice of the police but reinstated by Kensington and Chelsea Council because of the litter problem left by shoppers at a Harrods sale. The last IRA attack on Harrods had been in 1984, killing six people.

27/1/1993, Wednesday (+17,431)

26/1/1993. Tuesday (+17,430) Vaclav Havel became the first president of the new Czech Republic. He was a centre-right candidate, opposed by Communists and the extreme-right Republican Party.

25/1/1993. Monday (+17,429) President Mubarak of Egypt vowed to end Muslim fundamentalism.

24/1/1993, Sunday (+17,428)

23/1/1993, Saturday (+17,427) A three-day secret meeting between representatives of the PLO and Israel concluded in Oslo, Norway. See 13/2/1993.

22/1/1993. Friday (-17,426) The UK government announced plans for privatising British Rail. Passenger services were to be franchised out to up to 40 different operators, who would hold the franchises for 5 years of more. There was Labour, and some Tory, opposition, and investors were wary of large losses in the rail industry.

21/1/1993, Thursday (+17,425)

20/1/1993. Wednesday (+17,424) (1) Bill Clinton sworn in as the 42nd US President. Prayers were said by the Reverend Billy Graham. The Iraqi official media advised former President Bush to commit suicide.

(2) Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA rebels took the important Angolan oil refining town of Sayo.

19/1/1993.Tuesday (+17,423) The space shuttle Endeavour landed after a 6-day mission.

17/1/1993. Sunday (+17,421) Bookmakers cut the odds of the UK monarchy being abolished before the year 2000 from 100-1 to 50-1.

15/1/1993. Friday (+17,419) The situation in Somalia continued tense despite a ceasefire brokered and enforced by US troops.

14/1/1993. Thursday (+17,418) (1) Despite calls for his arrest on manslaughter charges, the former East German leader, Eric Honecker, 80 years old and with terminal liver cancer, was allowed to depart for Chile because of his failing health.

(2) The UK aircraft carrier Ark Royal set sail for the Adriatic as part of British reinforcements for peacekeeping troops in Bosnia. Also today the first British soldier was killed, shot by a sniper, in Bosnia, whilst escorting an ambulance.

(3) Ramiro de Leon Carpio was sworn in as President of Guatemala.

13/1/1993. Wednesday (+17,417) Official statistics from Canada showed that Chinese was the country’s third most common language, after English and French.

12/1/1993. Tuesday (+17,416) (1) London’s first refuge for battered husbands opened.

(2) The Burmese military junta said it would hold opposition leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi indefinitely.

11/1/1993. Monday (+17,415) Richard Branson won a legal victory after British Airways apologised for a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign against Virgin Atlantic Airways.

10/1/1993. Sunday (+17,414) Press reports emerged that Princess Diana, already separated from her husband Prince Charles, wanted to divorce him.

9/1/1993, Saturday (+17,413)

8/1/1993. Friday (+17,412) President Saddam Hussein of Iraq continued to defy calls by Britain, France, The USA, and Russia to move surface-to-air missiles away from the air exclusion zone in southern Iraq.  Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was defiant; however the missiles were in fact soon moved, to a location unknown to the Allies due to poor weather.

7/1/1993. Thursday (+17,411) (1) The British Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, became the first Cabinet Minister to visit Argentina since the Falklands War of 1982. He met Argentine President Carlos Menem, and the still disputed question of ownership of the Falkland Islands was avoided. Oil exploration and fishing issues were discussed,

(2) Ford unveiled its new family car, the Mondeo.

6/1/1993, Wednesday (+17,410)

5/1/1993, Tuesday (+17,409) The oil tanker MV Braer ran aground off Shetland and began leaking 84,700 tons of crude oil.

4/1/1993. Monday (+17,408) (1) Muslim fundamentalists killed two Coptic Christians in Egypt.

(2) P & O European Ferries announced the closure of its passenger services between Dover and Boulogne after 170 years.

3/1/1993. Sunday (+17,407) President Bush of the USA and Yeltsin of the USSR signed the START II (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) Treaty.

2/1/1993, Saturday (+17,406)

1/1/1993. Friday (+17,405)  (1) The European Single Market came into operation. Apart from the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Greece, passports would not be needed at frontiers within the EU. British shoppers began to take advantage of more much relaxed limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco they could bring back from France.

(2) Czechoslovakia split into the Czech and Slovak Republics, in a ‘velvet divorce’.

31/12/1992. Thursday (+17,404) The Queen described 1992 as an ‘annus horibilis’, one of the worst years for the UK monarchy since the abdication crisis of 1936. The Duke and Duchess of York had separated, Princess Anne had divorced, the Prince of Wales had reportedly attempted suicide through marital difficulties, and then separated from Diana, and Windsor Castle had suffered a major fire, on 20/11/1992. There was extensive damage to rooms, artwork, furniture, and other effects. There was public condemnation when it emerged the restoration cost would be met from the public purse. Six days after the fire the Prime Minister John Major announced that the Queen was reconsidering the scope of the Civil List and might end her exemption from income tax.

30/12/1992. Wednesday (+17,403) All Soviet troops have left Mongolia.

22/12/1992, Tuesday (+17,395)

16/12/1992. Wednesday (+17,389) (1) Israel ordered the deportation of 415 Palestinians to Lebanon. The intifada, or Palestinian uprising, was now in its sixth year. However Lebanon refused to accept the deportees and they remained stranded in a no-mans-land between Lebanon and the barbed wire border of Israel’s self-declared security zone.

(2) The IRA disrupted Christmas shopping with two bombs in Oxford Street. Four people were injured.

15/12/1992. Tuesday (+17,388) El Salvador’s 12-year civil war, which had killed 75,000, officially ended.

14/12/1992. Monday (+17,387) In Algeria, Muslim extremists ambushed and killed five policemen.

12/12/1992. Saturday (+17,385) An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit just offshore from Flores Island, Indonesia. At least 1,500 were killed as 80% of the buildings in the island’s capital, Maumere, were destroyed.

9/12/1992. Wednesday (+17,382) The UK Prime Minister announced  to the House of Commons that Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were to separate.

7/12/1992. Monday (+17,380) (1) Three Israeli soldiers were shot by Islamic militants on the Gaza Strip.

(2) Religious riots swept India after Hindu fanatics destroyed the Babri Masjid mosque.

6/12/1992. Sunday (+17,379) Riots followed a Hindu attack on the Ayodha Mosque, India.

5/12/1992, Saturday (+17,378)

4/12/1992. Friday (+17,377) US troops landed in Somalia. Rival warlord’s factions were causing chaos on Somali capital Mogadishu and hundreds of thousands were starving in the countryside. The US sent 28,000 troops to help relief efforts, codenamed ‘Restore Hope’.

3/12/1992. Thursday (+17,376) (1) The IRA set off two bombs in Manchester.

(2) The oil tanker Aegean Sea ran aground near La Coruna, Spain, making an oil slick 20 kilometres long.

1/12/1992, Tuesday (+17,374)

26/11/1992, Thursday (+17,369) In Britain, the Queen announced she would pay income tax on her private income.

25/11/1992, Wednesday (+17,368) The Czechoslovak National Assembly voted for the country to split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on 1 January 1993.

20/11/1992, Friday (+17,363) A fire broke out in the private chapel at Windsor Castle. The fire burned for 15 hours, causing major damage.  The cause was a spotlight left in contact with a curtain.

18/11/1992, Wednesday (+17,361) In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was put under house arrest after police broke up a political demonstration.

17/11/1992, Tuesday (+17,360) In France, cave paintings were discovered at Cosquer that were estimated to date from 25,000 BC.

16/11/1992. Monday (+17,359) A brain-dead woman had been artificially kept alive to allow her foetus to be born; however she miscarried and the life support was turned off.

13/11/1992, Friday (+17.356)

11/11/1992. Wednesday (+17,354) UK General Synod voted for ordination of women.

10/11/1992, Tuesday (+17,353) In the UK, an inquiry into the Matrix-Churchill affair was announced.

9/11/1992, Monday (+17,352)

3/11/1992. Tuesday (+17,346) Bill Clinton, 46 year old Governor of Arkansas, was elected 42nd US President, winning decisively over the incumbent, Republican President George Bush. Clinton got 43.7 million votes, Bush got 38.2 million and the independent Ross Perot got 19.2 million.

2/11/1992. Monday (+17,345) Iran increased the reward for killing Salman Rushdie.

31/10/1992. Saturday (+17,343) The Vatican admitted that Galileo was right when he said the Earth revolved around the Sun.

29/10/1992. Thursday (+17,341) The Muslim town of Jajce fell to the Serbs.

27/10/1992. Tuesday (+17,339) Turkey sent tanks into northern Iraq as a security measure against Kurdish separatist guerrillas.

25/10/1992. Sunday (+17,337) Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin confirmed that Israel did not intend to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

18/10/1992. Sunday (+17,330) More violence on the West Bank, as a Palestinian killed an Israeli woman and injured nine other Israelis.

13/10/1992. Tuesday (+17,325) British Coal announced 31 pit closures and the loss of 31,000 jobs.

12/10/1992. Monday (+17,324) Earthquake hit Cairo. It was 5.9 on the Richter scale, with an epicentre 19 miles from Cairo, tremors were felt in Jerusalem 250 miles away. There was panic as at least 160 buildings collapsed and many were trampled to death in the ensuing chaos. Fortunately the Aswan Dam was not breached.

11/10/1992, Sunday (+17,323)

9/10/1992. Friday (+17,321) Two IRA bombs exploded in London, to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference.

8/10/1992, Thursday (+17,320) Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, died.

6/10/1992. Tuesday (+17,318) A truce in the 16-year-old civil war in Angola looked fragile after UNITA disputed election results giving the MPLA government, under President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos a 51% to 39% lead over Jonas Savimbi.

4/10/1992. Sunday (+17,316) An Israeli El Al cargo plane crashed into a block of flats in Amsterdam shortly after take-off, killing 75 people.

2/10/1992. Friday (+17,314) In the USA, IBM announced it was to lay off 40,000 workers, 25% of its workforce.

30/9/1992. Wednesday (+17,312) (1) Britain introduced a new and lighter 10p coin.

(2) In Angola’s first democratically-held elections, Jose Eduardo dos Santos defeated Jonas Savimbi.

29/9/1992. Tuesday (+17,311) Racism was on the rise in Germany. 28% of Germans aged between 16 and 24 had racist views, compared with 15% in 1990.

24/9/1992. Thursday (+17,306) The National Heritage Minister David Mellor resigned after a sex scandal.

20/9/1992. Sunday (+17,302) The Maastricht issue split the EC, with France voting narrowly for it but Denmark voting narrowly against it. The idea was to further integrate Europe. British politics was also split with ‘Euro-sceptics’ on the Conservative back benches harassing John Major, Prime Minister.

16/9/1992. Wednesday (+17,298) ‘Black Wednesday’ as Britain was forced out of the ERM by currency speculators betting on a fall in the pound.  The Italian Lira was also ejected.  George Soros, financier, had ‘sold short’ more than UK£ 5 billion in the currency markets.

12/9/1992. Saturday (+17,294) A Los Angeles traffic warden ticketed a Cadillac without noticing that the driver inside was dead. He had been shot in the back of the head 13 hours earlier.

7/9/1992. Monday (+17,289) The first hanging in over 20 years took place in Afghanistan, with around 3,000 spectators.

27/8/1992. Thursday (+17,278) The US established a ‘no-fly’ zone over southern Iraq, south of latitude 32 degrees.

19/8/1992. Wednesday (+17,270) Right wing rioting began in Rostock, Germany. Hundreds of right wing youths, throwing paving stones and firebombs, attacked an immigrant hostel, cheered on by local people, in the poor Lichtenhagen area of the city. Thousands of police were drafted in to restore order, which had broken down when many Romanian refuges, unable to secure a place in the hostel, had camped outside it. The asylum seekers were evacuated but fighting between police and youths continued for days and spread to other German cities. Germany had seen both a rise in asylum seekers and increased unemployment in the east since reunification, as eastern industries were exposed to competition from the more efficient west.

18/8/1992. Tuesday (+17,269) After five days of fighting, Georgian forces took control of the separatist Abkhazian capital, Sukhumi.

11/8/1992. Tuesday (+17,262) The biggest shopping mall in the USA opened in Minnesota. It had over 300 stores, covering 4.2 million square feet.

3/8/1992. (1) Monday (+17,254) Reports from Bosnia told of Nazi-style concentration camps and ethnic cleansing.

(2) The US began forces manoeuvres in Kuwait, as a warning to Iraq.

31/7/1992. Friday (+17,251) The 25th Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. Black market tickets to the Olympics had been selling for $1,500.

28/7/1992. Tuesday (+17,248) Afghanistan banned women, even wearing veils, from being seen on TV.

23/7/1992. Thursday (+17,243) The UK saw riots in Bristol, Carlisle, Blackburn, Burnley, and Huddersfield. 62 youths were arrested.

20/7/1992, Monday (+17,240) Vaclav Havel resigned as President of Czechoslovakia.

18/7/1992. Saturday (+17,238) John Smith elected leader of the British Labour Party.

15/7/1992. Wednesday (+17,235) British MPs gave themselves a 40% rise on their expenses.

13/7/1992, Monday (+17,233) Britain’s former executioner, Albert Pierrepoint, died.

10/7/1992. Friday (+17,230) Ex-President Noriega of Nicaragua, forcibly brought into the USA, was sentenced to 40 years on drugs charges.

9/7/1992, Thursday (+17,229) Chris Patten, last British Governor of Hong Kong, took office; the colony was to be handed back to China in 1997.

8/7/1992, Wednesday (+17,228)

7/7/1992. Tuesday (+17,227) Iraq again obstructed UNSCOM weapons inspectors, refusing them access to the Ministry of Agriculture, where there may have been details of Iraq’s chemical weapons programme.

6/7/1992. Monday (+17,226) French lorry drivers blockaded roads, causing chaos.

1/7/1992, Wednesday (+17,221) The average UK house price was £51,815.

28/6/1992. Sunday (+17,218) California had its strongest earthquake for 40 years. Measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale, the epicentre was in a sparsely-populated area of the Mojave Desert, 100 miles from Los Angeles, and the only casualty was a child killed by a falling chimney.

3/6/1992. Wednesday (+17,193) The Earth Summit began in Rio de Janeiro.

2/6/1992, Tuesday (+17,192) Denmark, in a referendum, rejected the Maastricht Treaty.

1/6/1992, Monday (+17,191) The terrorist Carlos the Jackal was sentenced to life imprisonment in France.

30/5/1992. Saturday (+17,189) The UN agreed wide-ranging sanctions against what was left of Yugoslavia as the Belgrade –Serbian government suppressed other races and attempted to establish a ‘greater Serbia’ by force. When in January 1992 the EC recognised Croatian and Slovenian independence, a third of Croatia was occupied by Serb forces. A new phrase entered the language – ‘ethnic cleansing’, as Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serbs were forcibly expelled from villages overrun by Serb forces. Images of concentration camps reminded people, of the horrors of World War Two as pictures of skeletal Bosnian detainees behind barbed wire reached the West. By mid-July 1992 the Bosnian capital Sarajevo had been under siege for over 100 days, shelled by Serb gunners in the hills above the city, and snipers roamed freely in the streets. Civilian casualties were appalling, and by the end of September 1992 relief efforts stalled. Winter loomed, and with it the spectre of mass starvation in the heart of Europe.

28/5/1992. Thursday (+17,187) The US prison population reached a record high of 823,414. One in three was being held for a drugs-related offence.

26/5/1992, Tuesday (+17,185)

6/5/1992. Wednesday (+17,165) Marlene Dietrich, German actress, died in Paris aged 90. She was born on 27/12/1901 in Berlin, and left Germany for the USA in 1930. Her role in the film The Blue Angel brought her to fame. She became a US citizen in 1937, rejecting attempts by Hitler to bring her talents back to Germany. She played a major role in entertaining the wartime Allied troops. In 1960, on only her second post-war visit to Germany, she encountered hostility from pro-Nazi sympathisers. She subsequently remained hostile to the ideas of returning to Germany again, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and chose the city as her final resting place.

30/4/1992. Thursday (+17,159) In April and May, Los Angeles saw the worst rioting in the US for more than 25 years. The racial unrest began after 4 policemen were acquitted of assaulting a Black motorist, Rodney King, despite TV footage showing him being kicked and beaten. The trial had been held in a white area of town and the jury did not include a single Black person. In the riots, over 50 were killed, 4,000 injured, and four days of looting and arson saw 12,000 arrests and over US$ 1 billion of damage. 10,000 troops and National guardsmen had to be drafted in to restore order. There were also smaller riots in other US cities such as Atlanta and Las Vegas.

29/4/1992, Wednesday (+17,158) The autocratic Siaka Stevens regime in Sierra Leone was overthrown, by a group led by Captain Valentine Strasser.

28/4/1992, Tuesday (+17,157) The French composer Olivier Messiaen died aged 83. Also this day the English painter Francis Bacon died in Madrid, aged 82.

27/4/1992, Monday (+17,156) Betty Boothroyd became the first woman Speaker in the House of Commons.

26/4/1992, Sunday (+17,155) Worshippers celebrated Easter at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow for the first time in 74 years.

24/4/1992, Friday (+17,153)

22/4/1992, Wednesday (+17,151) Gas leaked into sewers in Guadalajara, Mexico, then exploded, killing 230.

21/4/1992, Tuesday (+17,150) Vladimir Romanov, the Pretender to the Russian throne, died aged 74.

20/4/1992, Monday (+17,149) The comedian Benny Hill died.

15/4/1992, Wednesday (+17,144)

14/4/1992, Tuesday (+17,143) In Florida, an 11-year old boy successfully ‘divorced’ his parents in court.

13/4/1992, Monday (+17,142) (1) An earthquake rocked Roermond in The Netherlands, along the Peel fault.

(2) Neil Kinnock resigned as leader of the UK Labour Party, following the Conservative victory of 9/4/1992.

12/4/1992. Sunday (+17,141) Euro-Disney opened just east of Paris. The $4 billion, 4,800 acre, complex could accommodate up to 60,000 visitors a day. It had 6 hotels with a total of 5,200 rooms, and a total of 14,000 staff, or ‘cast members’. On 4/6/1992 Euro-Disney reported that it had received 1.5 million visitors, or 30,000 per day.

11/4/1992, Saturday (17,140)

10/4/1992. Friday (+17,139) A massive IRA bomb exploded at 9.25 p.m. in the City of London. The 100 lb device killed 3 and injured 91.  It blew out every window in the Commercial Union Tower, and many more windows in other office blocks. Another IRA bomb went off at Staples Corner on the North Circular, causing no injuries, but closing the flyover for some months.

9/4/1992. Thursday (+17,138) The Conservatives under John Major won the UK General Election. This prompted Neil Kinnock’s resignation as Labour Party leader.

8/4/1992, Wednesday (+17,137) Punch magazine published its last issue.

7/4/1992. Tuesday (+17,136) The EC and USA recognised Bosnia-Hercegovina’s independence.

6/4/1992, Monday (+17,135) (1) Serbian troops began the siege of Sarajevo, after Serbs in Bosnia objected to Bosniaks and Croats seeking independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia.

(2) Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer, born 2/1/1920, died.

5/4/1992. Sunday (+17,134) (1) Germany’s extreme right gained in elections, over the issue of immigrants from eastern Europe.

(2) Samuel Moore Walton, born 29/3/1918, founder of Wal-Mart, died.

30/3/1992, Monday (+17,128)

26/3/1992. Thursday (+17,124) Mike Tyson was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of rape.

25/3/1992, Wednesday (+17,123) (1) United Newspapers announced the closure of Punch magazine, after 150 years of publication.

(2) Barbara Harmer, 39, became the first woman pilot of Concorde.

24/3/1992, Tuesday (+17,122)

23/3/1992. Monday (+17,121) Freidrich Hayek, economist, born 8/5/1899, died.

22/3/1992. Sunday (+17,120) The developers of Canary Wharf, London Docklands, Olympia and York, were on the verge on bankruptcy. The UK recession, and poor transport links to Docklands, meant 40% of its offices stood empty.

19/3/1992. Thursday (+17,117) It was announced that the Duke and Duchess of York were to separate.

17/3/1992. Tuesday (+17,115) (1) A suicide bomber with a 200lb bomb destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in revenge for the killing of Sheikh Abbas Mussawi in an Israeli helicopter ambush last month. 29 were killed and 242 injured.

(2) South African Whites voted for constitutional change.

16/3/1992. Monday (+17,114) The Nikkei had a bad day, dropping over 3% in one day to below 20,000. It closed at 19,837, compared to nearly 40,000 three years previously. In January 2002 it fell below 10,000.

15/3/1992, Sunday (+17,113)

13/3/1992. Friday (+17,111) (1) A major quake in eastern Turkey, 6.8 on the Richter scale, killed an estimated 1,000 people.

(2) In Rwanda, fighting broke out between the Hutus, who held power, and the Tutsis.

12/3/1992. Thursday (+17,110) Mauritius broke its links with the British Crown and became fully independent.

6/3/1992. Friday (+17,104) British Telecom announced 25,000 job cuts, over 10% of the workforce.

28/2/1992. Friday (+17,097) Baghdad was still obstructing UN weapons inspectors teams, until sanctions are relaxed.

26/2/1992, Wednesday (+17,095) The Supreme Court of Ireland ruled that a 14-year-old rape victim could visit the UK to get an abortion.

22/2/1992, Saturday (+17,091) The Pope visited Goree Island, near Dakar, Senegal, to commemorate the ‘forgotten holocaust’ of the estimated 15 million slaves who passed through this way on route to slavery in the Americas.

21/2/1992, Friday (+17,090) The UN Security Council approved Resolution 743 and decided to send peacekeeping troops to Yugoslavia.

11/2/1992, Tuesday (+17,080)

7/2/1992, Friday (+17,076) The Maastricht Treaty was signed, founding the European Union.

6/2/1992. Thursday (+17,075) The Basque separatist group ETA set off a bomb in the centre of Madrid.

2/2/1992, Sunday (+17,071)

1/2/1992. Saturday (+17,070) UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar brokered a peace deal in El Salvador.

31/1/1992. Friday (+17,069) Boris Yeltsin, leader of Russia, made a speech at the UN calling for America and Russia to develop a joint ‘star wars’ shield against missiles from rogue nations.

18/1/1992. Saturday (+17,056) Faced with a new outbreak of terrorism, the UK government decided to send more troops to Northern Ireland.

15/1/1992. Wednesday (+17,053) As the old Yugoslavia broke up, the EC recognised Slovenian and Croatian independence.

8/1/1992, Wednesday (+17,046) Bosnian Serbs declared their own Republic within Bosnia and Hercegovina in protest at Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats decision to seek recognition from the EC.

7/1/1992, Tuesday (+17,045)

3/1/1992. Friday (+17,041) Civil war continued in Somalia.

2/1/1992. Thursday (+17,040) Figures from the UK showed that the richest 1% of the population owned 18% of the marketable wealth, whilst the poorest 60% owned 6%.

25/12/1991, Wednesday (+17,032) Above the Kremlin, Moscow, the old Soviet flag was lowered and the new Russian flag was raised.

21/12/1991, Saturday (+17,028)

20/12/1991, Friday (+17,027) President Boris Yeltsin said he wanted Russia to join NATO.

18/12/1991, Wednesday (+17,025) The World Bank, the European Commission and the Group of Seven leading industrial nations granted Brazil US$ 250 million for conservation work in the Amazon rainforest. $ 100 million of that sum was for scientific research; the rest was for the establishment of national parks, tribal reserves, and promoting non-destructive use of Amazon Forest, such as rubber tapping and brazil-nut harvesting.

17/12/1991, Tuesday (+17,024) Joseph Robert Smallwood, Canadian politician who took Newfoundland into the Canadian Federation in 1949 and became its first Prime Minister, died just before his 91st birthday.

16/12/1991. Monday (+17,023) (1) Kazakhstan became independent from the former USSR.

(2) An IRA bomb exploded near Clapham Junction station, SW London.

(3) In London, Stella Rimington became the first female to head MI5, and the first director-general to be publically named.

15/12/1991. Sunday (+17,022) (1) Wildlife investigators uncovered an illegal plot to sell 15,000 elephant tusks for £6 million, in defiance of the international ban on the ivory trade. The 83 tons of ivory had been bought from the Government of Burundi by 2 South African businessmen, to sell in the Far East. 80% of Africa’s elephants had been slaughtered for their tusks in the previous 10 years.

(2) More than 470 drowned when a ferry carrying returning Egyptian pilgrims and overseas workers sank in the Red Sea.

(3) F W de Klerk was under pressure at it emerged that the South African Government had given money and other assistance to the Zulu Inkatha organisation, an arch-enemy of the ANC, and had organised for Inkatha members to travel to Israel for military training.

14/12/1991, Saturday (+17,021) The industry lobby in Europe blocked a carbon dioxide tax.

12/12/1991, Thursday (+17,019) The Russian Parliament voted to replace the USSR with a looser confederation to be known as the CIS or Confederation of Independent States.

10/12/1991, Tuesday (+17,017) The marriage rate in England and Wales was less than half what it was 20 years ago, as nearly a third of couples in their 20s chose to cohabit, not marry. At least 10% of marriages ended in divorce within 5 years.

9/12/1991, Monday (+17,016) £420 million was found to be missing from pension funds controlled by the late Robert Maxwell, who died on 5/11/1991.

8/12/1991. Sunday (+17,015) The leaders of the republics of Russia, Byelorussia (Belarus), and Ukraine formed a commonwealth of independent states (CIS), after the dissolution of the USSR, see 5/9/1991.

7/12/1991, Saturday (+17,014) After a 67-day siege, Serbian forces bombarded the centre of Dubrovnik.

4/12/1991. Wednesday (+17,011) The American correspondent Terry Anderson was freed by Islamic Jihad after 2,454 days in captivity. Held since 16/3/1985, he was the longest-held kidnap victim in Lebanon.

1/12/1991. Sunday (+17,008) The Ukraine voted in a referendum to leave the USSR.

27/11/1991, Wednesday (+17,004) A 15th century Bible was sold at Christies, London, to a New York antiquarian bookseller for £1.1 million.

24/11/1991. Sunday (+17,001) Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of AIDS, aged 45.

23/11/1991. Saturday (+17,000) Croats in Vukovar surrendered to Serb forces. Serbs now planned to attack the 150,000 Croats in Osijek region. Capture of Osijek would give the Serbs control of the fertile eastern plains of Croatia.

18/11/1991, Monday (+16,995) (1) Gustav Husak, former President of Czechoslovakia and Communist Party leader, who crushed the Prague Spring in 1968, died in Prague aged 78.

(2) Terry Waite was released from captivity in Lebanon (see 20/1/1987), along with another hostage, Tom Sutherland.

14/11/1991, Thursday (+16,991) Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to Cambodia after 13 years exile.

8/11/1991. Friday (+16,985) Hong Kong began to repatriate its Vietnamese boat people.

7/11/1991, Thursday (+16,984) The first report on carbon nanotubes was reported in Nature.

6/11/1991. Wednesday (+16,983) The last of the oil wells set alight in Kuwait by retreating Iraqis was extinguished.

5/11/1991. Tuesday (+16,982) The body of the millionaire publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell was found at sea hours after disappearing from his yacht off the Canary Islands. The funeral was in Israel on 8/11/1991.

30/10/1991. Wednesday (+16,976) Queen Elizabeth II opened the Queen Elizabeth Bridge over the Thames at Dartford.

26/10/1991. Saturday (+16,972) The Yugoslav army was besieging Dubrovnik and shelling its historic centre.

23/10/1991. Wednesday (+16,969) (1) A peace accord between the warring factions in Kampuchea (Cambodia) was signed in Paris after being brokered by the UN.

(2) The House of Lords ruled that men could be legally convicted of raping their wives. The group Women Against Rape had been campaigning for this move since 1977.

21/10/1991. Monday (+16,967) The American Jesse Turner was released after five years as a hostage in Lebanon.

20/10/1991, Sunday (+16,966) Magnitude 7.0 earthquake in northern Italy, killed 2,000 people.

14/10/1991 Monday (+16,960) (1) The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Aung San Suu Chi of Burma/Myanmar.

(2) Communist rule ended in Bulgaria.

8/10/1991, Tuesday (+16,954) The Croatian Parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.

3/10/1991, Thursday (+16,949) Sir Allen Green QC, 56, the British Director of Public Prosecutions, resigned after having been stopped by the police for kerb-crawling in the Kings Cross area of London.

2/10/1991, Wednesday (+16,948) The Yugoslav Army bombarded Dubrovnik.

30/9/1991, Monday (+16,946) At the first World Scrabble Championship, held in London, Peter Morris, representing the US, won the first prize of US$10,000. He scored 86 for ‘inhaler’.

21/9/1991, Saturday (+16,937) International climate change conference in Nairobi; the US resisted cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, Japan remained uncommitted, but Europe wanted agreement on reductions.

20/9/1991, Friday (+16,936) Clashes in South Africa between Blacks and Right-wing Whites.

17/9/1991, Tuesday (+16,933) Women were admitted to the ‘Magic Circle’ magician’s association.

8/9/1991, Sunday (+16,924) Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia.

6/9/1991, Friday (+16,922) Leningrad reverted to the name St Petersburg.

5/9/1991. Thursday (+16,921) The USSR ceased to exist as the Congress of People’s Deputies voted to give the republics their independence. See 8/12/1991.

3/9/1991. Tuesday (+16,919) Riots hit the British cities of Cardiff, Oxford, and Birmingham this week. All occurred on estates with high unemployment and deprivation. The Cardiff riot was sparked by a trading dispute between two shops, see 29/8/1991. The Handsworth, Birmingham, riot occurred after a power failure and black-out. The one in Oxford was after police cracked down on ‘hotting’ – the racing of stolen cars, on the Blackbird Leys estate. Later in the month there were more riots in Tyneside, in the West End of Newcastle.

29/8/1991. Thursday (+16,914) A trading dispute between two shops in Cardiff led to riots. Mr Abdul Waheed, owner of a grocery shop on the poor Ely estate, won an injunction against Mr Carl Agius, the newsagent next door, preventing him selling bread and groceries. Mr Agius put a notice in his shop telling people of this, and a crowd of mainly white youths petrol-bombed Mr Waheed’s shop. The police claimed the violence was not racially motivated but had been opportunistic, a hundred of the rioters had joined in after the pubs closed.

27/8/1991, Tuesday (+16,912)

26/8/1991. Monday (+16,911) Yugoslav Federal forces and Serb guerrillas launched a fierce attack on Vukovar in eastern Croatia. The city of 50,000 people was roughly half Serb and half Croat. Yugoslav planes bombed Vinkovici, 20 miles from Vukovar.

25/8/1991, Sunday (+16,910) Linus Torvalds introduced the first version of the Linux operating system.

23/8/1991, Friday (+16,908)

21/8/1991. Wednesday (+16,906) The Soviet hardline coup collapsed and Gorbachev was restored as President. On 25/8/1991 Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Communist party, and the Party prepared to dissolve, ending 70 years of Communist supremacy.

20/8/1991, Estonia voted for independence,

19/8/1991. Monday (+16,904) Soviet hardliners toppled President Gorbachev.

15/8/1991. Thursday (+16,900) Iraq was required by the UN to provide a list of all proscribed weapons and weapon development programmes.

13/8/1991. Tuesday (+16,898) Britain’s new Dangerous Dogs Act came into force.

8/8/1991. Thursday (+16,893) Hostage John McCarthy came back to the UK after 5 years and 3 months kidnapped in Beirut.

30/7/1991, Tuesday (+16,884) Pavarotti gave a free concert in Hyde Park.

29/7/1991, Monday (+16,883) (1) Margaret Thatcher announced that she was to resign as  MP for Finchley after the next General Election, but still intended to play a role in UK politics.

(2) Yugoslavia edged further into civil war. The country’s ethnic mix in 1991 was 36% Serb, 20% Croatian, 9% Moslem, 8% Slovene, 8% Albanian, 6% Macedonian, 3% Montenegrin, 2% Hungarian. The two richest republics, Slovenia and Croatia, seceded, against the wishes of the militarily strongest republic, Serbia. Two helicopters were shot down over the Slovenian capital, Llubljana, where Federal tanks were on the streets. Airports and borders were closed. An EC delegation went to Belgrade to warn that all EC aid will be cut off if the Federal, Yugoslav, army did not return to barracks in Slovenia and elsewhere.

27/7/1991. Saturday (+16,881) A week of violence in Yugoslavia left 50 dead.

11/7/1991. Thursday (+16,865) Violence between Serbs and Croats continued to escalate, especially in eastern Croatia where Serb and Croat villages and even houses were mixed together.

10/7/1991, Wednesday (+16,864) The Queen opened the new Sainsbury wing at the National Gallery.

3/7/1991, Wednesday (+16,857) Talks at Stormont on the future of Northern Ireland collapsed.

1/7/1991. Monday (+16,855) (1) Rear seat belt wearing became compulsory in the UK in cars fitted with them.

(2) The average UK house price was £54,626.

28/6/1991 Friday (+16,852) The Warsaw Pact was disbanded.

27/6/1991, Thursday (+16,851) An IRA bomb was found in a bag outside the Beck Theatre in Hayes, Middlesex, where a military band had staged a concert the day before. The bomb was safely defused.

26/6/1991. Wednesday (+16,850) The ‘Maguire Seven’ were cleared of running an IRA bomb factory in England.

25/6/1991, Tuesday (+16,849) Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The European Community and the USA said they would not recognise this move.

23/6/1991,  Sunday (+16,847) The International Monetary Fund agreed to offer associate membership to Russia.

20/6/1991. Thursday (+16,844) The German Parliament voted to move the seat of government from Bonn to Berlin.

19/6/1991, Wednesday (+16,843) Colonel Gaddafi of Libya declared his support for the IRA as a just cause.

18/6/1991, Tuesday (+16,842) Margaret Thatcher, in a speech in Chicago, warned against a European Super-State, saying it would be ‘nothing less than a disaster’.

17/6/1991. Monday (+16,841) (1) Mount Pinatubo continued to erupt. On 24/6/1991 Mount Didicas, 280 miles north-east of Mount Pinatubo, also erupted, killing 343 people.

(2) In South Africa, the repeal of the Population Registration Act of 1950 officially ended apartheid.

(3) 8,000 scientists met for an international conference on AIDS at Florence. AIDS was now in 163 countries and especially severe in Africa; the WHO estimated that over 1.5 million people had developed AIDS, with a total of 8–10 million infected. WHO expected a total of 40 million AIDS cases by 2000. In the USA, 170 had the disease, and a further 6,000 contracted it every month; in the UK 4,500 cases had been reported since 1981.

16/6/1991. Sunday (+16,840) The Soviet Army finally left Hungary after 47 years.

15/6/1991, Saturday (+16,839)

13/6/1991. Thursday (+16,837) First free Presidential election in the USSR.  Boris Yeltsin was elected President.

12/6/1991, Wednesday (+16,836) The citizens of Leningrad voted 55% to 43% to return to the name St Petersburg.

9/6/1991. Sunday (+16,833) Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted. 500,000 people had to be evacuated as the USA’s biggest overseas air base, Clark Naval Base, was threatened. Manila was covered 30 cm deep in volcanic ash.

7/6/1991, Friday (+16,831) Bill Morris became the General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, the first Black leader of a UK trade union.

5/6/1991, Wednesday (+16,829) In South Africa, the ‘Pillars of Apartheid’, the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, and the Areas Act of 1950, were repealed.

4/6/1991. Tuesday (+16,828) The AIDS epidemic worsened in Malawi, with 37% of the population now carrying the virus.

3/6/1991. Monday (+16,827) Soviet troops sealed off the centre of Vilnius, Lithuania.

2/6/1991, Sunday (+16,826)

1/6/1991, Saturday (+16,825) An IRA attack killed three soldiers and injured 18 from the Ulster Defence Regiment in Glennan, County Armagh.

31/5/1991, Friday (+16,824) The 17-year civil war in Angola ended.

27/5/1991, Monday (+16,820)

23/5/1991, Thursday (+16,816) Chinese authorities marked the 40th anniversary of their ‘liberation’ of Tibet with low-key celebrations.

22/5/1991, Wednesday (+16,815) Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam escaped to Zimbabwe as rebel forces closed in on the capital, Addis Ababa. With massive spending on Soviet armaments to put down rebellions in Eritrea, Tigray and Oromo provinces, agriculture was starved of cash and the country went from being 40% forested to almost tree-less and desertified.

21/5/1991. Tuesday (+16,814) Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi was assassinated. Police blamed Tamil Tigers.

20/5/1991, Monday (+16,813) (1) A UK Government White Paper proposed giving polytechnics the same status as universities, increasing participation in Higher Education.

(2) The USSR passed a law allowing people to leave the country free of all restrictions.

19/5/1991, Sunday (+16,812) Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, lifted off with two Soviet astronauts to join up with the Soviet Mir space station.

18/5/1991, Saturday (+16,811) Muriel Box, British writer, film director and feminist, died aged  85.

17/5/1991, Friday (+16,810) Daniel Curtis Lee, American actor, was born.

16/5/1991, Thursday (+16,809) Edith Cresson, aged 57, became France’s first woman Prime Minister.

14/5/1991, Tuesday (+16,807)

12/5/1991. Sunday (+16,805) Serbs in Croatia vote for union with Serbia. On 20/5/1991 Croatia voted overwhelmingly for independence from Serbia. Croatia formally declared independence on 30/5/1991. This was the beginning of a bloody conflict that ended with the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

11/5/1991, Saturday (+16,804) 250,000 people died in a cyclone which hit Bangladesh.

8/5/1991. Wednesday (+16,801) UK scientists discovered the gene that determines sex.

2/5/1991. Thursday (+16,795) (1) Clashes between Serbs and Croats left 35 dead.

(2) The World Health Organisation estimated that 40 million people will have the AIDS virus by 2000.

(3) The UN set a six-day deadline for Iraqi troops to withdraw from the Iraq/Kuwait border.

29/4/1991. Monday (+16,792) (1) A 145mph cyclone devastated the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh, killing 138,000 people and making millions homeless.

(2).Marks and Spencer announced 850 job losses in the first redundancy programme since the 1950s.

24/4/1991, Wednesday (+16,787) Gerald Ratner, Managing Director of Ratners, Britain’s biggest chain of jewellers, announced his goods are ‘crap’ and that his earrings are likely to last for less time than a Marks and Spencer sandwich. He later said he was joking.

19/4/1991. Friday (+16,782) English legal history was made in Winchester when the first man to be convicted of raping his wife whilst they were still living together was jailed for 5 years.

13/4/1991. Saturday (+16,776) Iran opened its borders and asked for Western help to deal with 1.5 million Kurdish refugees, as hundreds died each day from cold, hunger, and disease. Iran felt more help had been given to Turkey, which had not been as hospitable to the Kurds as Iran had. On 19/4/1991 the Allies took over ground for Kurdish refugees just inside Iraq.

10/4/1991. Wednesday (+16,773) The USA ordered Iraq to cease all military activity within its borders.

9/4/1991. Tuesday (+16,772) (1) Georgia voted to secede from the USSR.

(2) Customs officers in the West Midlands arrested four men from two firms over alleged export of machine tools to Iraq.

8/4/1991. Monday (+16,771) The establishment of a UN safe haven for Kurds in northern Iraq was approved.

7/4/1991. Sunday (+12,770) Iran closed its border to fleeing Kurds, saying it had no more resources to cope with them. Iraqi forces heavily suppressed rebellions in the Shiite south and Kurdish north since the Gulf war ceasefire in March 1991.

5/4/1991. Friday (+16,768) (1) President Bush ordered US transport planes to drop supplies to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.

(2) The IRA planted a large bomb in the main shopping area of Manchester.

3/4/1991. Wednesday (+16,766) Unscom demanded that Iraqi missiles with a range of over 150 kilometres must be removed, destroyed, or made harmless. UN Resolution 687 set out Iraq’s disarmament obligations.

2/4/1991. Tuesday (+16,765) Turkey sought UN help as its army turned away thousands of Kurds at the border fleeing the Iraqi army. President Bush said he would not allow US troops to risk their lives in what was an Iraqi civil war. John Major sent £20 million of food aid to the Kurds but also would not intervene militarily.

31/3/1991, Sunday (+16,763) (1) Albania had its first multi-party elections.

(2) In Yugoslavia, troops moved to control fighting between Serbs and Croats.

(3) Kirkuk was recaptured by Iraqi forces, see 19/3/1991.

26/3/1991, Tuesday (+16,758) Norman Lamont, Chancellor of the Exchequer, raised VAT to 17.5% to finance a £140 per head cut in the Poll Tax.

25/3/1991. Monday (+16,757) Michael Heseltine, Department of the Environment, announced the creation of the East Thames Corridor.

24/3/1991, Sunday (+16,756) Madonna was awarded an Oscar in Los Angeles.

23/3/1991. Saturday (+16,755) (1) Kurds were fleeing over the Iraqi border to Turkey and Iran after the Iraqi army, having defeated the Shiites in the south, turned on the Kurdish Peshmerga rebels. Many refugees died of cold in the mountains on the border.

(2) Prime Minister John Major, leader of the Conservatives, made a speech to Conservatives at Southport outlining plans for a Citizen’s Charter.

22/3/1991. Friday (+16,754) Millions of people were threatened by starvation and civil war in Ethiopia.

21/3/1991. Thursday (+16,753) The Poll Tax was ditched as Michael Heseltine, the Environment Secretary, unveiled a property tax to replace it.

19/3/1991. Tuesday (+16,751) Kurdish rebels claimed to have captured Kirkuk, the main oil city of northern Iraq. See 31/3/1991.

17/3/1991, Sunday (+16,749) Russia held an election to decide whether to remain as the USSR or break up into Republics.

16/3/1991. Saturday (+16,748) (1) Saddam Hussein, speaking publicly for the first time since the end of the Gulf war, claimed the Shiite rebellion in the south had been crushed. He admitted the fighting with Kurdish rebels continued in the north.

(2) Bush and Major said they would maintain sanctions against Iraq till it paid for the Kuwaiti war and got rid of its weapons of mass destruction.

15/3/1991, Friday (+16,747) Albania and the USA restored diplomatic relations after a gap of 52 years.

14/3/1991. Thursday (+16,746) The Birmingham Six were released. They had been convicted in 1975 of the worst mass-murder in British history, the IRA pub bombings in which 21 died.  They were found guilty on scientific evidence but also on confessions which they claimed the police had beaten out of them. West Midlands Police were found to have falsified notes and scientific test results.

12/3/1991, Tuesday (+16,744)

10/3/1991, Sunday (+16,742) US troops began to leave the Persian Gulf.

9/3/1991. Saturday (+16,741) Albanian troops fired on 4,000 people trying to board a boat to flee to Italy. In Yugoslavia, a crowd of at least 70,000 fought with riot police in Belgrade. The crowd was demanding an end to Communist control of the media. One 18 year old youth was killed by a rubber bullet and over 70 others were injured. Police used live ammunition and water cannon as well as rubber bullets. The crowd marched on parliament and the television centre.

8/3/1991. Friday (+16,740) The Tories suffered a shock by-election defeat in Ribble Valley, their tenth safest seat. The Liberals turned a 19,500 Conservative majority into a Liberal majority of 4,601; Labour came a poor third. The defeat was blamed on the unpopularity of the Poll Tax, flagship of the third Tory administration under Mrs Thatcher.

7/3/1991, Thursday (+16,739)

6/3/1991. Wednesday (+16,738) Dr George Carey was elected Archbishop of Canterbury.

5/3/1991. Tuesday (+16,737) (1) Republican Guards loyal to Saddam Hussein fired on Shia rebels in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The Kurds in the north were also preparing to try for independence. Baghdad Radio announced that the annexation of Kuwait was annulled.

(2) The last of the Cruise Missiles were taken from Greenham Common for dismantling in Arizona under the INF disarmament treaty.

4/3/1991, Monday (+16,736) (1) A primitive version of the world wide web began operating.

(2) Vermont celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

(3) The Kuwaiti Crown prince returned to Kuwait. There was massive destruction in Kuwait and much had been looted. Almost all of Kuwait’s 950 oil wells had been set on fire, creating a vast pall of black smoke and an oil slick covering hundreds of square kilometres in the Gulf. The Kuwaiti authorities began to impose martial law but there were determined calls for democratic reform in Kuwait.

3/3/1991. Sunday (+16,735) Estonia and Latvia voted to secede from the USSR. A peace agreement was reached between Allied and Iraqi forces after the Gulf War. In 1990 Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, on August 2nd. A week later USA forces arrived in the Gulf and in January 1991 operation Desert Storm was launched against Iraq, supported by the USA, Saudi Arabia, and 27 other countries.

2/3/1991, Saturday (+16,734)

1/3/1991. Friday (+16,733) Wandsworth set the lowest Poll Tax in Britain, £136. Other councils were £400 or more.

28/2/1991. Thursday (+16,732) (1) Ceasefire in the Gulf. Fears of massive Allied casualties never materialised, and in the event Iraqi resistance crumbled and 250 Allied personnel were killed. Iraqi casualties are not known exactly but were probably between 35,000 and 100,000. President Bush called for the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but gave no actual assistance and both a Shia uprising in southern Iraq and a Kurdish rebellion in the north failed. Iraq viciously reasserted its power and hundreds of thousands of refugees especially Kurds fled to Turkey across inhospitable mountain terrain. President Bush feared the coalition would collapse if his forces went as far as Baghdad and overthrew Saddam Hussein, an action not covered by the UN mandate.

(2) British banks announced major job losses, despite a cut in interest rates to 13% on 27/2/1991. Barclays planned to shed 5,000 jobs. Overall, some 30,000 banking jobs were expected to go in the next two years.

(3) Khaleda Zia, widow of President Zia, won the Bangladeshi elections.

27/2/1991, Wednesday (+16,731) Saudi forces entered Kuwait City, evacuated by Iraqi invaders. US forces had moved in behind the Iraqi army and cut off its retreat. The US lost 184 men; the Allies took 80,000 Iraqi prisoners and an estimated 80-100,000 Iraqi soldiers died. Kuwait would take an estimated US$ 50 billion to rebuild, and Iraq would cost US$ 200 billion.

26/2/1991, Tuesday (+16,730)

25/2/1991. Monday (+16,729) (1) Iraqi tanks and troops fled from Kuwait. The Allies pounded the retreating troops, not wishing to see Iraq keep its armour intact. Over 270 Iraqi tanks were destroyed and over 25,000 Iraqi soldiers captured as POWs. Many Iraqi conscript soldiers surrendered without a fight.

(2) Warsaw Pact military alliance dissolved.

24/2/1991. Sunday (+16,728) Allies began land offensive against Iraq. Heading Operation Desert Storm was ’Stormin’ Norman’ US General H Norman Schwarzkopf. US troops crossed from Saudi Arabia into Kuwait and also crossed the Saudi border further west into Iraq, to wheel north and east and encircle Iraqi forces around Kuwait. This manoeuvre surprised Saddam Hussein, who may have been hoping to repeat the tactic of the Iraq/Iran war by luring US troops into frontal attacks and then massacring them.

23/2/1991, Saturday (+16,727) Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda was ousted in a bloodless coup.

22/2/1991. Friday (+16,726) The USA said it would begin a full-scale land attack if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by noon 23/2/1991. Iraq began systematically setting fire to Kuwaiti oil wells. 150 wells were fired, sending a huge pall of black smoke across the Gulf area. Five million gallons of oil a day were being destroyed.

21/2/1991. Thursday (+16,725) Somalia had virtually disintegrated through civil war, sending many refugees to nearby countries.

20/2/1991, Wednesday (+16,724)

19/2/1991, Tuesday (+16,723) In the USSR, Boris Yeltsin, Russian President, called on Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet President, to resign. Yeltsin accused Gorbachev of dictatorship.

18/2/1991. Monday (+16,722) (1) The US assault ship Tripoli and the guided missile cruiser Princeton were damaged by mines in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War.

(2) The IRA set off a bomb in a litter bin at London’s Victoria Station, killing one commuter and injuring 43 others. Another IRA bomb went off at Paddington Station.

17/2/1991, Sunday (+16,721)

16/2/1991, Saturday (+16,720) During the Gulf War, two Scud missiles hit Israel; one fell in the Negev Desert near the Dimona nuclear reactor. Meanwhile a poll in Europe showed 1 in 3 people in favour of using nuclear weapons on Saddam Hussein if he used chemical weapons in the Gulf War.

15/2/1991, Friday (+16,719) The Visegrad Agreement was signed; the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland agreed to move towards free-market systems.

14/2/1991, Thursday (+16,718)

13/2/1991. Wednesday (+16,717) (1) 500 Iraqi civilians were killed when the US bombed a civilian bomb shelter, believing it to be a military bunker.

(2) Germany’s Red Army Faction carried out a gun attack on the US Embassy in Bonn, claiming a link to the Gulf War.

12/2/1991, Tuesday (+16,716)

11/2/1991, Monday (+16,715) The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sent a letter to all Warsaw Pact government leaders proposing the disbandment of the military pact on 1/4/1991. The Pact was formed one week after a re0armed West Germany joined NATO in 1955.

10/2/1991. Sunday (+16,714) In a poll in Lithuania, in which 85% of the electorate voted, 90% were in favour of independence from Moscow. Only 6% voted against independence. The Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, declared the poll illegal.

9/2/1991, Saturday (+16,713)

7/2/1991. Thursday (+16,711) The IRA launched a mortar bomb attack on 10 Downing Street from a van in Whitehall. PM John Major’s cabinet was in session. Nobody was hurt. The mortars were hidden in a commercial van parked nearby and fired through its roof by remote control. One bomb landed in the garden of No. 10 and a second shattered the windows of the room where John Major was discussing the Gulf Crisis.

6/2/1991. Wednesday (+16,710) The UK suffered a severe cold snap as temperatures fall to –10 C (14 F), the coldest for four years. Greece declared a state of emergency because of the worst winter weather for ten years.

1/2/1991. Friday (+16,705) (1) De Klerk of South Africa promised an end to all apartheid legislation.

(2) An earthquake in Pakistan killed 1,500 people.

29/1/1991, Tuesday (+16,702)

28/1/1991. Monday (+16,701) Iraqi troops invaded the Saudi border town of Khafji, abandoned by its residents as Operation Desert Storm began on 16/1/1991. Allied forces recaptured it on 31/1/1991.

27/1/1991. Sunday (+16,700) The Iraqis had laid 1 million mines in Kuwait to halt an Allied advance.

26/1/1991. Saturday (+16,699) Seven Iraqi warplanes fled to Iran.

25/1/1991. Friday (+16,698) (1) Baghdad now had no water or electricity after continued bombing. Sewage pumping had ceased because of no electricity. Bridges had also been destroyed. However the Allies now realised that Saddam would not give in because of bombing alone and a land offensive will be needed. 16 Allied aircraft had been lost to anti-aircraft missiles in 10,000 sorties; most of the Iraqi air force remained protected in bomb-proof bunkers. The RAF bombed Iraqi runways.

(2) Iraq began pumping huge quantities of oil into the Gulf, to hinder Allied amphibious operations. A slick formed, two miles wide by ten miles long, harming wildlife.

24/1/1991. Thursday (+16,697) (1) Soviet troops opened fire on traffic outside Vilnius, 1 person was killed.

(2) The Gulf war was costing the UK nearly £30 million a day in munitions, lost equipment, and operations spending.

(3) The Allies captured the Kuwaiti island of Qaruh, the first part of Kuwait to be liberated from Iraq.

23/1/1991. Wednesday (+16,696) Iraq suspended sales of petrol and diesel because half its refining capacity had been destroyed by Allied bombing.

22/1/1991, Tuesday (+16,695)

21/1/1991. Monday (+16,694) Iraq threatened to use shot-down Allied airmen as human shields against bomb attacks. Captured US airmen were paraded on Iraqi TV.

20/1/1991. Sunday (+16,693)  A crowd of over 100,000 protested in Moscow against military violence in the Baltic Republics.

19/1/1991. Saturday (+16,692) More bombing of Baghdad, more Scuds hit Tel Aviv. Scud missiles were also fired on Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

18/1/1991. Friday (+16,691) (1) Baghdad launched Scud missiles on Tel Aviv and Haifa. Saddam Hussein hoped to provoke Israel into attacking the Arabs, thereby getting the Arab world on his side. President Bush called on Israel not to retaliate and promised to equip Israel with Patriot missiles to destroy the Scuds in mid-air.

(2) Anti-Gulf war protests across the USA, with 1,400 demonstrators arrested. Many more protested in European cities, including Bonn, Berlin and Paris. However US polls showed 75% in favour of the war, up from 50% just before the war began; 80% were in favour in the UK. Anti-Western demonstrations took place across the Muslim world.

17/1/1991. Thursday (+16,690) Baghdad was heavily bombed, also other Iraqi military targets; Iraq fired 8 Scud missiles into Israel.

16/1/1991. Wednesday (+16,689) Operation Desert Storm began. Phase One involved heavy bombing of Iraq, as US warships in the Gulf launched Cruise Missiles on Baghdad. also gaining US air superiority. In the first 24 hours, US aircraft flew 400 missions against 60 targets in Iraq. Phase Two involved destroying any Iraqi nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons capability, and Phase Three involved pounding the Iraqi Army from the air to pave the way for a ground invasion. Iraq attacked |Israel, which had taken no action against Iraq.

15/1/1991. Tuesday (+16,688) The UN deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait passed, see 31/8/1990 and 29/11/1990.

14/1/1991, Monday (+16,687)

13/1/1991. Sunday (+16,686) Soviet troops fired on crowds in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania; 13 died. The EC threatened to halt aid to Russia unless troops withdrew. Estonia and Latvia also made moves for independence. On 20/1/1991 Soviet ‘Black Beret’ elite troops stormed Riga, killing 4 and injuring 9. Lithuania had lost its independence to Russia in 1939 under a pact between Hitler and Stalin.

12/1/1991. Saturday (+16,685) The US Congress authorised the use of force against Iraq.

6/1/1991. Sunday (+16,679) John Major said the Poll Tax will not be abolished.

4/1/1991, Friday (+16,677) The UN unanimously voted to condemn Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

2/1/1991, Wednesday (+16,675) (1) Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as Mayor of Washington DC, becoming the first Black woman to lead such a major US city.

(2) Soviet troops seized the Communist Party headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania, sparking massive protests. See 4/1/1990.

30/12/1990, Sunday (+16,672) Patrick Harward-Duffy, a 36-year-old Glaswegian, attacked the 70-foot Christmas Tree in London’s Trafalgar Square with a chainsaw, cutting a third of the way through the trunk before police stopped him. He was protesting against ‘the unfairness of the Norwegian legal system’. Ever since 1947 the people of Oslo have donated a Christmas Tree to London in gratitude for liberation from the Nazis.

26/12/1990, Wednesday (+16,668) Exiled King Michael of Romania, who fled his country in 1947 at gunpoint for Switzerland, attempted to return to Romania. He landed at Bucharest Airport in a private jet with his wife and daughter. However he was stopped by police who disputed the validity of his travel documents, and sent back to Geneva. The Romanian authorities did not wish to see a Royalist revival, and said Michael could return after the forthcoming elections.

24/12/1990, Monday (+16,666) A cyclone hit Queensland, Australia, with  wind speeds up to 150 mph.

23/12/1990. Sunday (+16,665) Slovenia voted in a referendum to secede from Yugoslavia.

22/12/1990. Saturday (+16,664) (1) Lech Walesa became president of Poland.

(2) Saddam Hussein announced that he would never relinquish Kuwait and, if attacked, would launch missiles and chemical weapons on Israel.

20/12/1990. Thursday (+16,662) The last coal mine in the Rhondda closed. Once 40,000 men worked at 56 pits here, and over 100 died in the mines. This day Maerdy Colliery closed, 300 were made redundant. Only 17 miners stayed in the industry, moving to other pits.

16/12/1990, Sunday (+16,658) Bertrand Aristide was elected President of Haiti, ending 3 decades of military rule.

14/12/1990. Friday (+16,656) (1) The EC agreed to send food aid to the USSR, whose food distribution system had collapsed. See 15/10/1990.

(2) Oliver Tambo, ANC President, returned to South Africa after 30 years exile.

12/12/1990, Wednesday (+16,654) US President George Bush agreed to send US$ 1,000 million food aid to the Soviet Union.

11/12/1990, Tuesday (+16,653) The British Government announced it would award £42 million to haemophiliacs who became infected with HIV after being treated with contaminated Inhibitor Factor VIII.

10/12/1990, Monday (+16,652) (1) In the Serbian Republic, the Communist Party won free elections.

(2) Australia’s oldest newspaper corporation, the Fairfax Group, went into receivership with debts of Australian $ 1,500 million.

9/12/1990, Sunday (+16,651) Slobodan Milosevic became President of Serbia.

6/12/1990, Thursday (+16,648) Saddam Hussein announced that all 34,000 foreign hostages held in Iraq since the invasion of Kuwait were now free to leave.

3/12/1990, Monday (+16,645) Argentinean President Carlos foiled an attempted coup.

2/12/1990. Sunday (+16,644) Helmut Kohl of the Christian Democrats won the first election in the reunited Germany.

1/12/1990. Saturday (+16,643) The Channel Tunnelers broke through to each other, 40 metres below the Channel seabed.

29/11/1990. Thursday (+16,641) The United Nations, in Resolution 678, authorised the use of ‘all necessary means’ if Saddam Hussein did not leave Kuwait by 15/1/1991, five weeks away. This was the first authorisation of the use of force by the UN since the Korean War.

27/11/1990. Tuesday (+16,639) John Major, at the age of 47, became the youngest prime Minister of the 20th century. The other contenders for Tory leader were Michael Heseltine, aged 57, and Douglas Hurd. In 1894 Lord Roseberry was Prime Minister aged 46. Mrs Thatcher had resigned on 22/11/1990, having failed to win a first leadership ballot on the Conservative Party on 20/11/1990.

26/11/1990, Monday (+16,638) President Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore resigned after 26 years in office.

24/11/1990, Saturday (+16,636) White extremists attacked 300 Black children in a park in Louis Trichardt.

22/11/1990, Thursday (+16,634) Mrs Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister, see 27/11/1990.

21/11/1990. Wednesday (+16,633) A declaration of the end of the Cold War was signed in Paris.

20/11/1990, Tuesday (+16,632) Mrs Thatcher lost a leadership ballot within the Conservative Party.

19/11/1990. Monday (+16,631) Saddam Hussein sent another 250,000 troops to Kuwait.

17/11/1990, Saturday (+16,629) A mass grave, believed to be from World War Two, was discovered  near the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai, Thailand.

14/11/1990, Wednesday (+16,626) (1) Germany and Poland signed a treaty agreeing their border as the Oder-Neisse line.

(2) Michael Heseltine announced he would challenge Mrs Thatcher for office of Prime Minister.

13/11/1990, Tuesday (+16,625) Sir Geoffrey Howe made a Commons speech explaining his resignation as Deputy Prime Minister. This speech helped to oust Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister.

12/11/1990, Monday (+16,624) Crown Prince Akihito became the 125th Japanese monarch and Emperor.

11/11/1990. Sunday (+16,623) (1) London police seized an IRA arms cache at Kilburn, London; 2 were arrested.

(2) The UN Security Council passed Resolution 688, giving Iraq until 15/1/1991 to withdraw from Kuwait.

9/11/1990. Friday (+16,621) (1) President Bush announced a doubling of US forces in the Gulf.

(2) Mary Robinson, a 46 year old lawyer, became the first woman President of the Irish Republic. She stood as an Independent, beating both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Irish voters were protesting against the corruption rife in politics.

1/11/1990, Thursday (+16,613) Geoffrey Howe resigned from Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet in a dispute over European Monetary Union.

31/10/1990. Wednesday (+16,612) In India, Hindu fundamentalists again attempted to storm the mosque at Ayodhya. Hindus wanted to demolish the mosque, claiming it stood on the site of the birthplace of one of their gods, Lord Rama. Over 8 days, 170 died in India in clashes over this mosque.

28/10/1990. Sunday (+16,609) In Moldavia, troops kept ethnic Moldavians and Gaugaz Turks apart.

24/10/1990. Wednesday (+16,605) (1) Edward Heath returned from Iraq with hostages. On 21/10/1990 Heath had had a 3-hour meeting with Saddam Hussein to negotiate the hostages’ release.

(2) Ending a three-year freeze on UK child benefit at £7.25 a child, John Major’s government announced a £1 a week rise, but only for the eldest child.

15/10/1990. Monday (+16,596) Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. However in November and December bread rationing had to be introduced in some Russian cities, including Leningrad. Despite a record harvest, distribution systems had broken down. Grain rotted in Russian warehouses whilst the international community, led by Germany, sent emergency food aid. Circuses but no bread. See 14/12/1990.

13/10/1990, Saturday (+16,594) Syrian forces invaded Lebanon and ousted General Michel Aoun’s government. This consolidated Syria’s 14-year occupation of Lebanon.

9/10/1990. Tuesday (+16,590) Hundreds of Chinese queued to buy Big Macs when McDonalds opened its first restaurant in Shenzhen.

8/10/1990. Monday (+16,589) (1) 21 Arabs killed in rioting on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

(2) The UK joined the ERM. See 2/10/1990, and 26/10/1989.

4/10/1990, Thursday (+16,585)

3/10/1990. Wednesday (+16,584) East and West Germany reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century. However the economy of the East was much poorer than the West and funds were needed for housing, education, and health. In July 1990 the currency of West Germany became that of the East. On reunification on 3/10/1990 Berlin became the capital city.

2/10/1990. Tuesday (+16,583) Mrs Thatcher announced Britain’s entry into the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The Labour opposition leader Mr Neil Kinnock criticised this move. Ghost was one of the films on release.

28/9/1990, Friday (+16,579) At the first ever Robot Olympics, held in Glasgow, an 8-legged machine called Penelope built at Edinburgh University won the flat race for robots without wheels, achieving 0.13 metres per second.

24/9/1990. Monday (+16,575) World oil prices reached $40 a barrel for the first time since 1980. The oil price was around US$ 105 a barrel in 2013.

22/9/1990. Saturday (+16,573) The Natural History Museum solved the Piltdown Man hoax. The anthropologist behind the hoax was Sir Arthur Keith. See 21/11/1953.

19/9/1990, Wednesday (+16,570) Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein offered to release all Western hostages if the US withdrew from the Gulf and ended its blockade.

18/9/1990, Tuesday (+16,569)

12/9/1990. Wednesday (+16,563) In Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei denounced the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia. He called the struggle against the US a ‘holy war’.

6/9/1990, Thursday (+16,557) (1) Margaret Thatcher told the Commons that British troops would be sent to the Gulf as part of a Coalition Force to re-establish the independence of Kuwait.

(2) Saudi Arabia invited US troops and aircraft onto its territory. President Bush sent 200,000 troops to Saudi Arabia to forestall any invasion by Iraq.

5/9/1990. Wednesday (+16,556) President Gorbachev held fruitless talks with the Iraqi foreign minister, Tariq Aziz.

2/9/1990, Sunday (+16,553) Transdnistria declared its independence from the Moldovan SSR; no other country recognised this.

31/8/1990. Friday (+16,551) The UN began talks with Iraq. 60,000 US troops were now in the Gulf. UN Resolution 678 authorised the use of force against Iraq if it had not withdrawn from Kuwait by 15/1/1991. Saddam Hussein urged on Islamic fundamentalists who argued for war against the US and linked the issue to the cause of West Bank Palestinians, calling for Israeli withdrawal there and from the Gaza Strip.

30/8/1990. Thursday (+16,550) Crude oil prices had fallen back from highs of $30 a barrel to around $25.60 but UK petrol prices had soared. On 1/8/1990 they were around 44.9p/litre, but by 31/8/1990 petrol in the UK cost 49.7p/litre. In 2013 it was £1.35 a litre.

29/8/1990. Wednesday (+16,549) In Vienna, OPEC states agreed to boost production to make up for the shortfall caused by sanctions on Iraq.

28/8/1990. Tuesday (+16,548) Iraq formally annexed Kuwait as its ‘19th province’; Kuwait City was renamed ‘Kadimah’.

27/8/1990, Monday (+16,547) The US expelled 36 of the 55 staff at Iraq’s Washington Embassy.

26/8/1990. Sunday (+16,546) The US said it would allow time for sanctions to bite before attacking Iraq.

25/8/1990, Saturday (+15,545)

24/8/1990, Friday (+16,544) The Irish hostage Brian Keenan was released from Beirut.

23/8/1990, Thursday (+16,543) (1) Saddam Hussein made a propaganda blunder when he appeared on TV with Western hostages, stroking the hair of 5-year-old Stuart Lockwood.

(2) Armenia declared independence from the USSR.

22/8/1990. Wednesday (+16,542) Jordan closed its Iraqi border to stem a flood of refugees. Over 40,000 had already fled to Jordan, mainly people of Egyptian, Far Eastern, or Indian/Pakistani origin. Jordan hosted 140,000 refugees, mostly destitute.

18/8/1990, Saturday (+16,538)

17/8/1990. Friday (+16,537) Armed Serb Nationalists seized Croatian territory near the town of Knin.

16/8/1990. Thursday (+16,536) The US began a massive arms build-up in the Gulf, called Operation Desert Storm. The US sent 20 Stealth Fighters, 30,000 troops, and anti-tank weapons. Britain, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi forces were also on alert, and to a lesser extent, USSR naval forces. On 19/8/1990 Pakistan denounced the invasion of Kuwait and sent 5,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.

15/8/1990, Wednesday (+16,535) 150 were killed in violent clashes in townships outside Johannesburg, South Africa.

14/8/1990. Tuesday (+16,534) In the UK, the Audit Commission warned that 1 in 5 were avoiding paying the Poll Tax.

13/8/1990. Monday (+16,533) Iraq ordered all Westerners in Iraq to assemble at three hotels prior to being taken to key military installations to serve as ‘human shields’. Britain protests to Iraq after Iraqi border guards shoot dead a British businessman attempting to flee Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Die Hard II was one of the film on release.

11/8/1990, Saturday (+16,531)

10/8/1990. Friday (+16,530) 13 of the 21 members of the Arab League agree to send forces against Iraq.

9/8/1990, Thursday (+16,529) US forces began arriving in Saudi Arabia, en route to liberate Kuwait.

8/8/1990, Wednesday (+16,528) Iraq announced the official annexation of Kuwait.

7/8/1990. Tuesday (+16,527) Saudi Arabia and Turkey closed Iraqi oil pipelines running through their territory.

6/8/1990. Monday (+16,526) The UN imposed sanctions on Iraq.

5/8/1990. Sunday (+16,525) 200 US Marines arrived in Liberia to rescue US citizens caught in the civil war there.

4/8/1990. Saturday (+16,524) President Bush ordered US troops to the Gulf. The European Community froze Kuwaiti assets, against use by Iraq.

3//8/1990. Friday (+16,523) Britain experienced its hottest day since records began. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, recorded 37.1 C (98.8 F); London hit 35 C. Ozone levels soared and as a runway melted at Heathrow and rails buckled, high speed trains were limited to 80mph.

2/8/1990. Thursday (+16,522) Iraq invaded Kuwait, taking control after eight hours. Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil from Iraqi oilfields. The Kuwaiti Royal family fled to Saudi Arabia and Iraq installed a puppet government, claiming Kuwait as ‘Iraq’s 19th province’. Iraqis seized 35 British servicemen in Kuwait. The USA sent troops to the Gulf. Egypt demanded that Iraq withdraw. Of the Gulf states, Egypt and Iran were most hostile to Iraq; Libya and the PLO were most sympathetic.  Oil prices rose to $26 a barrel (see 27/7/1990). Jordan was caught in the middle, with links to Iraq and vulnerable to any UN embargo against Iraq. There were concerns that Iraq would go on to attack Saudi Arabia, as Saddam Hussein called for an uprising to topple the Saudi Royal Family, and a Jihad (Holy War) against Israel.

State

Troops

Tanks

Aircraft

Population (1988)

Oil production (barrels/day)

Iraq

1,000,000

5,500

513

17,400,000

2,800,000

Kuwait

23,300

275

36

1,900,000

1,600,000

S Arabia

65,700

550

179

15,500,000

5,300,000

Saddam Hussein claimed to have been invited to invade by a ‘free interim government’, which had supposedly seized control from the Emir of Kuwait. He also claimed Kuwait was no longer an independent state but the 19th province of Iraq.

1/8/1990. Wednesday (+16,521) Talks in Jeddah to resolve Iraq’s claim against Kuwait failed.

31/7/1990,  Tuesday (+16,520) In Trinidad, Muslim rebels released Prime Minister A R Robinson but held other hostages in Port Of Spain television station.

30/7/1990. Monday (+16,519) Ian Gow, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, was murdered by an IRA bomb at his home in the Sussex village of Hankham.

29/7/1990. Sunday (+16,518) King Hussein of Jordan travelled to Baghdad to try and ease tension between Iraq and Kuwait.

27/7/1990 Friday (+16,516) (1) Belarus declared its ‘sovereignty’, a step towards independence from the USSR.

(2) In an attempt to avert military action by Iraq, OPEC agreed to cut production and raise the price of oil, for the first time in ten years. The oil price was to rise from $18 to $21 a barrel; Kuwait had been openly flouting OPEC production quotas. Iraq demanded that Kuwait forgive a US$25 billion loan extended during the Iraq/Iran war, claiming Iraq was also defending Kuwait. In 2013 the oil price was around US$ 100 a barrel.

24/7/1990. Tuesday (+16,513) Iraq sent 30,000 troops to the Kuwait border, accusing Kuwait of stealing Iraqi oil. Most observers believed this was only a bluff. See 19/7/1990, and 3/8/1990.

23/7/1990. Monday (+16,512) The US State Department declared it had ‘no special defence or security commitments to Kuwait’.

21/7/1990, Saturday (+16,510)

20/7/1990. Friday (+16,509) The IRA bombed the London Stock Exchange. There was little damage and no casualties.

19/7/1990. Thursday (+16,508). Saddam Hussein expressed his anger at other Arab oil states who were ‘overproducing’, so holding down the price of oil, and ‘damaging the Iraqi economy’. States such as Kuwait had considerable shareholdings in Western companies, so benefited by a lower oil price. Iraq, on the other hand, was building up a huge army from its large and growing population, so wanted a high oil price to fund this. This was one of Iraq’s reasons for invading Kuwait. See 24/7/1990

18/7/1990, Wednesday (+16,507) The US and Vietnam began talks over the future of Cambodia.

17/7/1990, Tuesday (+16,506)

16/7/1990. Monday (+16,505) A major earthquake hit the Philippines. Measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, it was the worst for 14 years. It hit 60 miles north of the capital, Manila. 1,600 people were killed.

15/7/1990, Sunday (+16,504) Tamil Tigers killed 168 Muslims in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

14/7/1990. Saturday (+16,503) Boris Yeltsin left the Communist Party.

13/7/1990, Friday (+16,502) 4,500 Albanian refugees arrived at the Italian port of Brindisi.

10/7/1990, Tuesday (16,499)

9/7/1990. Monday (+16,498) (1) The Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, denied he had nuclear weapons.

(2) Israeli jets struck at Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

8/7/1990, Sunday (+16,497) One billion people watched Germany defeat Argentina to win the World Cup.

7/7/1990, Saturday (+16,496) Martina Navratilova beat Zina Garrison to win a record 9th Wimbledon women’s singles.

5/7/1990, Thursday (+16,494)

3/7/1990. Tuesday (+16,492) UK house prices were now 5.3% lower than a year ago.

2/7/1990. Monday (+16,491) (1) 1,426 Muslims were killed in a stampede in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca. In 43 Centigrade heat, air conditioning failed in a tunnel containing 5,000 pilgrims. Panic and a stampede broke out, and 1,400 were crushed to death.

(2) ANC called a national strike in South Africa.

1/7/1990, Sunday (+16,490) (1) 1 kg old potatoes cost 29.3p. A loaf of white sliced bread cost 51p, a pint of milk cost 32p, a litre of petrol cost 45p, and a pint of beer cost £1.14. The average UK house price was £57,683.  A second class return rail fare London to Glasgow cost £59.00.

(2) Tom King, UK Defence Secretary, announced an 18% cut in British forces on the Rhine over the next five years, as East-West relations in Europe improved.

(3) The Deutschemark became the official currency of both East and West Germany.

29/6/1990. Friday (+16,488) (1) Lithuania announced it would suspend its declaration of independence for 100 days.

(2) British Steel revealed that its Chairman, Sir Robert Scholey, received a 79% pay increase in 1989, taking his annual pay to £308,541.

27/6/1990, Wednesday (+16,486) Scientists admitted that the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in April 1990, had a wrongly-shaped mirror.

26/6/1990, Tuesday (+16,485) The IRA bombed the Carlton Club, London, a venue much used by Conservative MPs.

24/6/1990, Sunday (+16,483) The Anglican Church ordained its first two women deacons, at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Kathleen Young, a 50-year-old physiotherapist from Carrickfergus, County Antrim, and Irene Templeton, 49, from Belfast, were ordained.

21/6/1990. Thursday (+16,480) Massive earthquake hit Iran. The quake was 7.7 on the Richter scale and destroyed towns across 100 square miles of Gilan Province, NW Iran. Over 40,000 died and 100,000 were injured.

20/6/1990, Wednesday (+16,479) (1) The British Chancellor, John Major, proposed a new European currency, which would circulate alongside national currencies.

(2) London’s Routemaster buses were to be phased out, according to an announcement today. Spare parts for them were increasingly hard to obtain.

16/6/1990, Saturday (+16,475) Belgian police arrested IRA members suspected of killing the Australian tourists on 28/5/1990.

14/6/1990, Thursday (+16,473) In Bucharest, Romania, street battles erupted between students demanding democracy and miners supporting the interim regime of Ilescu.

12/6/1990, Tuesday (+16,471) Russia emerged as an independent state, from the former USSR.

11/6/1990, Monday (+16,470) Right wing politician Mario Vargas Llosa lost the second round of the Peruvian elections.

10/6/1990, Sunday (+16,469) In Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel’s Civic Forum Party and its Slovak allies won 170 out of the 300 seats. Tough economic reforms lay ahead.

7/6/1990. Thursday (+16,466) Civil war continued in Liberia, as rebels from the National Patriotic Front, led by Charles Taylor, advanced on the capital Monrovia

5/6/1990, Tuesday (+16,464) Iran demanded that Britain hand over Salman Rushdie to British Muslims.

3/6/1990. Sunday (+16,462) Kirgizstan suffered violence between ethnic Kirgiz (50% of the population) and ethnic Uzbeks (30%). The trouble began when 10,000 Uzbeks protested at plans by 1,500 Kirgiz to seize farmland near the city of Osh to build houses.

2/6/1990, Saturday (+16,461) Rex Carey Harrison, British actor, died aged 82.

1/6/1990, Friday (+16,460) David Owen announced the dissolution of the SDP, now down to just two MPs.

31/5/1990. Thursday (+16,459) Fears about mad cow disease lead to a Europe-wide ban on British beef imports, led by France.

30/5/1990, Wednesday (+16,458)

29/5/1990, Tuesday (+16,457) Rhode Island celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

28/5/1990, Monday (+16,456) The IRA shot dead two Australian tourists in Roermond, The Netherlands, who were driving a British-registered car,, mistaking them for British soldiers. See 16/6/1990.

27/5/1990, Sunday (+16,455) The Kremlin announced economic reforms that would phase out subsidies on many staple foods, causing meat, sugar and bread prices to double or treble. The reforms would not take effect without Parliamentary approval, and a shopping frenzy ensued, emptying shop shelves.

25/5/1990, Friday (+16,453)

23/5/1990, Wednesday (+16,451) Rocky Graziano, US middle-weight champion boxer, died

22/5/1990, Tuesday (+16,450) (1) The leaders of the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen agreed to merge their two countries.

(2) NATO Ministers cut defence spending, the so-called ‘Peace Dividend’.

21/5/1990, Monday (+16,449) Ion Iliescu elected President of Romania, in Romania’s first post-Communist free elections.

20/5/1990 , Sunday (+16,448) Intifada rioting in the Palestinian Territories.

18/5/1990. Friday (+16,446) A treaty was signed in Bonn introducing German economic and monetary union. The reunification took place on 3/10/1990.

14/5/1990, Monday (+16,442) Anti-Semitism resurfaced in France, with the desecration of a Jewish grave in Carpentras.

8/5/1990, Tuesday (+16,436) Estonia affirmed its independence, reviving its 1938 Constitution.

6/5/1990, Sunday (+16,434) P W Botha resigned from South Africa’s ruling Nationalist party in protest at talks with the Africa National Congress.

4/5/1990. Friday (+16,432) The Latvian Parliament voted for independence from the USSR.

25/4/1990. Wednesday (+16,423) (1) The UK Parliament reduced the time limit for abortion from 28 to 24 weeks.

(2) The Hubble Space telescope was launched from the Space Shuttle ‘Discovery’.

24/4/1990, Tuesday (+16,422) East and West Germany agreed to merge their currencies and economies on 1/7/1990.

23/4/1990, Monday (+16,421) Robert Polhill, aged 55, kept hostage in Beirut for 39 months, was released. Libya’s Colonel Gaddaffi had called for all Western hostages to be released. Radical groups such as Abu Nidal held more captives.

22/4/1990, Sunday (+16,420)

20/4/1990, Friday (+16,418) President Mikhail Gorbachev cut of 85% of Lithuania’s gas supplies, in retaliation for Lithuania declaring independence. The European Union hesitated to help Lithuania, fearing to destabilise Gorbachev.

19/4/1990. Thursday (+16,417) Victory for pro-democracy movement in Nepal.

18/4/1990, Wednesday (+16,416)

17/4/1990. Tuesday (+16,415) International conference on Global Warming.

16/4/1990, Monday (+16,414) A charity concert was held at Wembley in honour of recently-freed Nelson Mandela.

15/4/1990, Sunday (+16,413) Greta Garbo died in New York, after some 50 years of living a reclusive life after her 1940s Hollywood fame.

14/4/1990, Saturday (+16,412)

12/4/1990. Thursday (+16,410) The Soviet Union finally admitted it had massacred up to 15,000 Polish officers at Katyn in 1940. See 26/4/1943.

11/4/1990, Wednesday (+16,409) British customs seized what were allegedly parts for an Iraqi ‘supergun’, 130 feet long, to be shipped from Teesport, Middlesbrough. The gun was expected to be able to fire a 36-inch shell for over 200 miles, which could be conventional, nuclear or biological. The manufacturers, Sheffield Forgemasters, said the pipes were for the oil industry. On 2/4/1990 the gun’s designer, Canadian-born designer, Dr Gerald Bull, was mysteriously killed in Brussels, allegedly by the Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

7/4/1990, Saturday (+16,405) Fire ripped through a ferry going from Oslo, Norway, to Frederikshavn, Denmark; serious safety breaches contributed to the loss of 150 lives.

2/4/1990. Monday (+16,400) An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale hit the UK.

1/4/1990. Sunday (+16,399) The longest prison riot in British history began at Strangeways Prison, Manchester. It lasted until 25 April, and one remand prisoner died.

31/3/1990. Saturday (+16,398) Anti-Poll Tax demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, London. 300,000 protested, led by MP Tony Benn.

29/3/1990, Thursday (+16,396)

28/3/1990. Wednesday (+16,395) Customs officials in the UK intercepted a cargo of 40 nuclear detonators bound for Iraq.

27/3/1990. Tuesday (+16,394) Ford announced 3,000 job losses at its Halewood plant in Merseyside.

25/3/1990, Sunday (+16,392)

24/3/1990, Saturday (+16,391) Indian peacekeeping troops pulled out of Sri Lanka.

23/3/1990, Friday (+16,390) Princess Eugenie of York was born.

22/3/1990. Thursday (+16,389) Teacher’s Unions said teachers in Britain were over-burdened with paperwork.

21/3/1990, Wednesday (+16,388) (1) A large demonstration in London’s Trafalgar Square against the Poll Tax turned into a riot. 417 people were injured and 341 arrested.

(2) Namibia gained independence, after 75 years of South African rule.

18/3/1990, Sunday (+16,385) East Germany held its first free elections since 1932.

13/3/1990. Tuesday (+16,380) The Soviet Congress voted to abolish the political monopoly of the Communist Party.

11/3/1990. Sunday (+16,378) (1) In Chilean democratic elections, 71-year-old Patricio Alwyn soundly beat Pinochet’s nominee, Hernan Buchi.

(2) Lithuania declared itself independent from the USSR. On 16/3/1990 President Gorbachev issued an ultimatum to rescind this declaration.

10/3/1990, Saturday (+16,377) Farzad Bazoft, a  reporter working for The Observer, was sentenced to death in Iraq for spying. He was hanged on 15/3/1990.

9/3/1990. Friday (+16,376) (1) Poll tax riots in Brixton, London. There were also riots in Lewisham, Hackney, Haringey, Maidenhead, Reading, Bristol, Plymouth, Gillingham, Norwich, Birmingham, Stockport, Leeds, Bradford, and many other places. Both Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister, and the Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, condemned the riots.

(2) Talks on German reunification began in Berlin.

8/3/1990. Thursday (+16,375) Over 3,000 people in the UK now had AIDS.

6/3/1990. Tuesday (+16,373)

3/3/1990, Saturday (+16,370) Venezuela suspended foreign debt repayments following widespread rioting.

2/3/1990, Friday (+16,369) Nelson Mandela was elected Chairman of the Africa National Congress.

1/3/1990. Thursday (+16,368) (1) Poll Tax riots degenerated into violence across Britain. Concerns continued at “mad cow” disease in the UK.

(2) The Royal New Zealand Navy discontinued the daily rum ration.

28/2/1990. Wednesday (+16,367) The USSR passed a bill allowing individuals to privately own land for the first time since the 1920s.

27/2/1990, Tuesday (+16,366)

26/2/1990. Monday (+16,365) Soviet troops began withdrawing from Hungary. By July 1991, all 73,500 should have gone.

25/2/1990. Sunday (+16,364) Sandinistas defeated in Nicaraguan elections.

18/2/1990, Sunday (+16,357) Demonstrators in Romania stormed the headquarters of the provisional government, demanding the resignation of President Ion Iliescu and Prime Minister Petre Roman.

15/2/1990, Thursday (+16,354) The UK and Argentina restored diplomatic links, 8 years after they were broken off in response to the Falklands War.

12/2/1990, Monday (+16,351) Dr Carmen Lawrence became Premiere of Western Australia, the first woman Premiere of an Australian State.

11/2/1990. Sunday (+16,350) Nelson Mandela, the 71-year-old Black Nationalist leader of South Africa, was freed from prison after 27 years, given a life sentence for treason. He walked free from Victor Verster prison in the Cape Province, met by a crowd of 2,000, the maximum number allowed by the authorities. On 2/3/1990  Mandela was elected chairman of the ANC (Africa National Congress) which began serious negotiations with President F W De Klerk, but the peaceful transition to a multiracial society was threatened by escalating violence between the ANC and the rival Zulu-based Inkatha movement. Mandela, a lawyer, joined the ANC in 1949; the ANC had been founded in 1912; it was committed to peaceful resistance to White rule for its first 48 years, but began a campaign of civil disobedience after White police fired on Black protestors at the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960.

7/2/1990. Wednesday (+16,346) The Soviet Communist Party voted to end its monopoly of power.

6/2/1990, Tuesday (+16,345)

3/2/1990, Saturday (+16,342) South African President de Klerk lifted the 30-year old ban on the African National Congress and announced the imminent release of Nelson Mandela, prisoner for 27 years. 30 other political parties, including the Communist Party, also saw lifting of restrictions, political prisoners were to be freed, the death sentence was suspended, and emergency restrictions on the media lifted. The ANC was to be invited to share power.

31/1/1990, Wednesday (+16,339) The first McDonalds in Russia opened in Pushkin Square, Moscow.

27/1/1990. Saturday (+16,335) (1) The Polish Communist Party dissolved itself. On 28/1/1990 East Germany formed an all-party government.

(2) The city of Tirasopol in the Moldavian SSR briefly declared independence.

25/1/1990, Thursday (+16,333) A storm with winds up to 110 mph hit southern England and Wales, killing 46 people.

19/1/1990. Friday (+16,327) (1) Soviet troops fired on an Azerbaijani crowd, killing many people. Thousands of Armenians fled Azerbaijan.

(2) Free love guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh died of a heart attack at his commune in Poona, India. Aged 58, he owned nearly 100 Rolls Royces, and was banned from nearly 20 countries; including the US where his commune in Oregon was closed down.

15/1/1990, Monday (+16,323) Thousands stormed the Stasi HQ in Berlin in order to see their records.

14/1/1990, Sunday (+16,322) 43 died in a fire in a disco in Saragosa, Spain.

13/1/1990, Saturday (+16,321) 24 people died in riots in Baku, Azerbaijan.

11/1/1990. Thursday (+16,319) (1) In the UK, 1,612 have died of AIDS

(2) The break up of the USSR began as the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania prepared for secession. In Lithuania, 200,000 demonstrated for independence.

(3) President Gorbachev told Lithuania that all Soviet republics will get the right to secede.

(4) China lifted martial law, imposed 11 months earlier after the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

9/1/1990, Tuesday (+16,317) The UK Government allotted £2.2 million for research into Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

7/1/1990. Sunday (+16,315) The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public for the first time in 807 years so work could begin to stop it leaning any further; the leaning rate had accelerated. After nearly 12 years of repairs costing 53 billion lire that reduced its lean by 44 cm the tower re-opened in December 2001, and was expected to be safe for another 2 or 3 centuries. Parties of up to 30 are allowed up on guided visits. The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower for a nearby cathedral, and its construction began in 1173, and continues with two long interruptions, for nearly 200 years. Designed to be vertical, a lean developed during its construction.  The walls at its base are eight feet thick, and it has 294 steps. Injection of cement into the base in 1934 had accelerated the lean.

4/1/1990. Thursday (+16,312) Soviet President Gorbachev told Lithuania’s Communists that they were free to leave the Soviet Communist Party.

3/1/1990, Wednesday (+16,311) Noriega surrendered to US law enforcement; he was flown to Miami and indicted on drugs charges.

2/1/1990. Tuesday (+16,310) All 40 members of the Romanian Politburo were arrested.

1/1/1990, Monday (+16,309) Romania abolished the death penalty.

31/12/1989, Sunday (+16,308)

30/12/1989, Saturday (+16,307) The US and the Vatican were negotiating over ending the refuge of ex-dictator Manuel Noriega, who had fled to the Vatican Embassy in Panama City to avoid capture and extradition to the USA. At one stage the US lost patience and played rock music at full volume outside the Embassy continuously from loudspeakers erected by the US forces.

29/12/1989, Friday (+16,306) (1) Riots in Hong Kong after forcible repatriation of Vietnamese boat people began.

(2) The Czechs elected playwright Vaclav Havel as President.

28/12/1989, Thursday (+16,305) (1) A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit Newcastle, New South Wales, killing 13 people injuring 100.

(2) Alexander Dubcek, the reformist leader sacked in 1968 was elected leader of Czechoslovakia’s federal assembly.

27/12/1989, Wednesday (+16,304)

26/12/1989, Tuesday (+16,303) Nobel Prize winning Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett died in Paris, aged 83.

25/12/1989, Monday (+16,302) (1) The Bank of Japan announced a large rise in interest rates, leading to the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy.

(2) President Ceausescu and his wife were tried and shot. On 27/12/1989 the Romanian press was freed.

24/12/1989, Sunday (+16,301) (1) Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega gave himself up to the Papal Nuncio in Panama City, having dodged US troops trying to capture him.

(2) Rebel forces led by Charles Taylor entered Liberia from Cote D’Ivoire, with the objective of deposing the dictatorial Liberian President Samuel Doe.

23/12/1989, Saturday (+16,300)

22/12/1989. Friday (+16,299) (1) Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate reopened, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

(2) A Romanian revolution overthrew President Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu’s son Nicu was arrested, and the Queen cancelled Nicolae’s honorary knighthood. Ion Iliescu took over as President.

21/12/1989. Thursday (+16,298) The USA invaded Panama and ousted General Noriega. Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican Mission, where he remained until 3/1/1990. He then surrendered to US forces.

20/12/1989. Wednesday (+16,297) President Nicolae Ceausescu declared a state of emergency. His last public appearance with his wife Elena was in Bucharest on 21/12/1989. As he addressed the crowd of 100,000, in University Square, there were catcalls of ‘murderers of Timisoara’. Ceausescu was hustled back indoors and Romanian television ceased broadcasting the event. This was the signal for a general uprising that afternoon, and the Securitate began firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Many were wounded or killed but the crowd sensed the army was now with them, except for diehard factions of the Securitate.

19/12/1989. Tuesday (+16,296) Lithuania called for independence from the USSR.

18/12/1989, Monday (+16,295) The EEC signed a 10-year trade pact with the USSR.

17/12/1989. Sunday (+16,294) (1) In the town of Timisoara, in Transylvania, Romania, troops fired on 10,000 demonstrators in Timisoara, killing 2,000. Ethnic Hungarians within Romania were protesting against the suppression of the Hungarian language in schools, also books in Hungarian.

(2) Brazil held its first free elections in 29 years. Ferdinand Collor de Mello defeated Jose Sarney. Brazil faced a massive foreign debt burden; interest payments ate up 40% of export earnings. The IMF imposed austerity measures on Brazil, despite recent rapid growth in the economy, to guarantee loan repayments. Prices rose, wages were cut, and annual inflation stood at 700%. Economic problems increased calls for democracy.

16/12/1989, Saturday (+16,293)

15/12/1989, Friday (+16,292) In Bulgaria, 50,000 demonstrators outside Parliament demanded the end of Communist rule.

14/12/1989, Thursday (+16,291) (1) Chile held its first free elections in 16 years. years. The winner was the Christian Democrat, Patricio Alwyn.

(2) Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov died.

13/12/1989. Wednesday (+16,290) (1) In South Africa, President F W de Klerk met with ANC leader Nelson Mandela for the first time.

(2) Hong Kong began to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese boat people by plane.

12/12/1989, Tuesday (+16,289) New York heiress Leona Helmsley was fined US$ 7 million and sentenced to 4 years prison for tax evasion. She had said “only little people pay taxes”.

10/12/1989, Sunday (+16,287) In Mongolia, Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj announced the establishment of a democratic movement within the country.

7/12/1989. Thursday (+16,284) A gunman claiming to hate feminists massacred 14 women at the University of Montreal.

6/12/1989, Wednesday (+16,283) In Colombia, 40 were killed by a bomb at the security police headquarters.

5/12/1989, Tuesday (+16,282)

3/12/1989. Sunday (+16,280) The East German leader Egon Krenz and the politbureau resigned. A USSR-USA summit was held in Malta. The Cold war was declared over at 12.55pm that day.

2/12/1989, Saturday (+16,279) VP Singh, leader of the Janata Dat Party, replaced Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister of India, although Rajiv’s Congress Party remained the largest single party.

1/12/1989. Friday (+16,278) (1) The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II met in Rome, ending 70 years of hostility between the Roman Catholic Church and the Soviet Union.

(2) The East German Parliament voted to remove the Communist monopoly on power.

30/11/1989, Thursday (+16,277) (1) Rebels in the Philippines attacked Cory Aquino’s palace and three military bases.

(2) The Red Army, a West German terrorist group, blew up Alfred Herrhausen, head of the Deutschebank in Frankfurt.

26/11/1989. Sunday (+16,273) The Bulgarian government voted to disband the secret police.

24/11/1989. Friday (+16,271) President Ceausescu was re-elected as leader of Romania. However in Czechoslovakia the Communist leadership resigned.

22/11/1989, Wednesday (+16,269) A bomb exploded in West Beirut near the motorcade of the Lebanese President, Rene Moawad, killing him and 23 others.

21/11/1989, Tuesday (+16,268) North Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

18/11/1989, Saturday (+16,265)

17/11/1989, Friday (+16,264) In Czechoslovakia, students protesting peacefully in Prague were severely beaten by riot police. This sparked a revolution which toppled the Communist government on 29/12/1989. Protestors grew from 200,000 on 19/11/1989 to an estimated 500,000 on 20/11/1989.

16/11/1989. Thursday (+16,263) A pillar of apartheid was removed when the South African President, F W de Klerk removed beach access restrictions which separated racial access. The Separate Amenities Act, permitting Whites to monopolise public space, was also to be repealed.

14/11/1989. Tuesday (+16,261) Czechoslovakia lifted travel restrictions.

10/11/1989, Friday (+16,257) Bulldozers began to demolish the Berlin Wall.

9/11/1989. Thursday (+16,256) The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel between East and West Berlin. Thousands of East Berliners visited the West. 100,000 East Berliners visited West Berlin. The Berlin Wall originally went up on 13/8/1961.

8/11/1989, Wednesday (+16,255) In Virginia, Douglas Wilder became the first Black Governor in the USA.

7/11/1989, Tuesday (+16,254) The entire East German Government resigned, replaced the following day with Hans Modrow as Prime Minister.

6/11/1989, Monday (+16,253)

5/11/1989. Sunday (+16,252) Refugees were reportedly leaving East Germany at the rate of 300 an hour.

4/11/1989, Saturday (+16,251) See 7/10/1989. Pro-democracy rallies sparked by Gorbachev’s visit to East Germany resulted a million-strong protest in East Germany.

3/11/1989. Friday (+16,250) Political unrest in Bulgaria.

29/10/1989. Sunday (+16,245) 60,000 took part in an ANC (Africa National  Congress) rally in South Africa.

26/10/1989. Thursday (+16,242) Mrs Thatcher’s Chancellor, Mr Nigel Lawson, resigned. Sir Alan Walters, part-time financial advisor to Mrs Thatcher, had derided the European Monetary System that Mr Lawson wanted the UK to join as ‘half baked’, in an article in 1988. This caused a public and embarrassing  row between Mrs Thatcher and Mr Lawson. However on 8/10/1990 Mrs Thatcher reluctantly agreed to her Chancellor, John Major, taking the UK into the Exchange Rate Mechanism. However on ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992 the UK was ignominiously forced out of the ERM, along with the Italian Lira, by currency speculators.

24/10/1989, Tuesday (+16,240) Fake US TV preacher Jim Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined US$ 500,000 for swindling millions of dollars out of his followers.

23/10/1989, Monday (+16,239) 62 members of the Lebanese Parliament agreed to an equal power distribution between Christians and Muslims.

21/10/1989, Saturday (+16,237)

19/10/1989. Thursday (+16,235) The Guildford Four had their convictions quashed after serving 15 years for the IRA Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings.

18/10/1989. Wednesday (+16,234) San Francisco was hit by the Loma Prieta earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. At least 273 people were killed and 650 injured. Many of the deaths occurred when the top deck of the Nimitz Freeway collapsed onto a lower road deck, crushing motorists.

16/10/1989, Monday (+16,232) At a committee of the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species, at Lausanne, Switzerland, a ban on the international ivory trade was passed by 76 votes to 11.

9/10/1989, Monday (+16,225) East Germans in Leipzig demonstrated, demanding the legalisation of opposition groups and democratic reforms.

8/10/1989, Sunday (+16,224) Armand Traore, French footballer, was born,

7/10/1989. Saturday (+16,223) (1) On a visit to East Germany, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the East German government to introduce reforms. See 4/11/1989.

(2) The Hungarian Communist party changed its name to the Socialist Party.

6/10/1989, Friday (+16,222) Sophia Thomalla, German television actress, was born.

5/10/1989, Thursday (+16,221) In Paris, the Moulin Rouge celebrated its centenary.

4/10/1989. Wednesday (+16,220) (1) 10,000 East Germans left Prague by train for West Germany.

(2) Millions of fleas were released in the Norfolk Broads to eat algae clogging up the waterways.

3/10/1989, Tuesday (+16,219) The Shetland Island of Foula was shocked by its first crime in over 80 years. A Land Rover had been vandalised; a 17-year-old was later convicted and fined £50.

2/10/1989, Monday (+16,218) Liesbeth Ribbius Peletier, 1st female advisor of State in The Netherlands, died.

1/10/1989. Sunday (+16,217) Pakistan rejoined the Commonwealth after 17 years.

30/9/1989, Saturday (+16,216)

28/9/1989. Thursday (+16,214) Ex-President Marcos of the Philippines died in Honolulu.

27/9/1989. Wednesday (+16,213) Hungary abolished its restrictive emigration laws.

26/9/1989. Tuesday (+16,212) Over 1,500 East German refugees occupied the West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw.

24/9/1989. Sunday (+16,210) The Arab League negotiated a ceasefire in Lebanon.

22/9/1989. Friday (+16,208) The IRA bombed the Royal Marines School in Deal. 10 bandsmen were killed and 22 injured.

21/9/1989, Thursday (+16,207) Hurricane Hugo with 140 mph winds battered South Carolina and Georgia. The Caribbean was also badly affected.

20/9/1989, Wednesday (+16,209) Musical "Miss Saigon," premiered in London.

19/9/1989, Tuesday (+16,205) Poland became the first country in Eastern Europe to end one-party rule, as Solidarity’s Tadeusz Mazowiecki became Prime Minister.

18/9/1989, Monday (+16,204)

16/9/1989. Saturday (+16,202) Hungary opened its border with Austria to refuges fleeing the East on 11/9/1989. At least 16,000 East German refugees cross from Hungary into Austria.

15/9/1989, Friday (+16,201) US writer Robert Penn Warren, born 24/4/1905 in Guthrie, Kentucky, died in Stratton, Vermont.

14/9/1989, Thursday (+16,200) US performed a nuclear test at Nevada.

13/9/1989. Wednesday (+16,199) 20,000 demonstrated against Apartheid in South Africa, and the killing of 23 protestors during the Whites-only elections the previous week. Protestors were from all races.

10/9/1989, Sunday (+16,196) Hungary began accepting many refugees from East Germany. Hungary opened its border with Austria, providing a route to the West. The East German Government condemned the move as ‘treachery’.

31/8/1989. Thursday (+16,186) (1) The Soviet Republic of Moldavia’s Parliament voted to make Moldavian, not Russian, the official language.

(2) Libya and Chad signed a peace agreement ending 25 years of war.

27/8/1989, Sunday (+16,182) The Medellin drugs cartel declared guerrilla war on the Colombian Government, after President Virgilio Barco reinstated extradition to the USA, a process abandoned by the courts after bribery and threats of violence.

26/8/1989, Saturday (+16,181) The Mini celebrated its 30th birthday. In 1959 just 20,000 were made; in 1970 the figure was 381,000, after the car had won several rallies and been adopted by public figures such as John Lennon, Peter Sellers, Twiggy and Marianne Faithfull.

25/8/1989. Friday (+16,180) Voyager 2 sent back pictures of Neptune and its moon, Triton, flying within 5,000 kilometres of the planet.

24/8/1989,.Thursday (+16,179)

23/8/1989, Wednesday (+16,178) 2 million Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians formed an uninterrupted 600 kilometre human chain to demand independence from Moscow. Hungary removed all border restrictions with Austria.

22/8/1989, Tuesday (+16,177) British Telecom launched the first ‘pocket phones’ which worked within 100 metres of a base station.

21/8/1989 Monday (+16,176)

20/8/1989. Sunday (+16,175) The Thames pleasure cruiser Marchioness was hit by a dredger; 51 young persons attending a party on board were killed. She was hit by the sand dredger Bowbelle under Southwark Bridge in the early hours of the morning. Survivors said the dredger loomed up in the night without lights.

19/8/1989, Saturday (+16,174) Tadeusz Mazowiecki of Solidarity became Prime minister of Poland, the first non-Communist PM in 42 years.

17/8/1989. Thursday (+16,172) Richard Hart, accused of theft, became Britain’s first electronically tagged suspect and was allowed home.

27/7/1989, Thursday (+16,151) More ‘boat people’ were arriving in Hong Kong, hoping to reach California.

24/7/1989, Monday (+16,148) Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party suffered its first defeat in 30 years, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Sosuke Uno. A scandal involving Uno’s former mistress ruined his career.

20/7/1989. Thursday (+16,144) The Burmese opposition leader, Aung Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest, after public campaigning. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 whilst still in captivity.

19/7/1989, Wednesday (+16,143) General Wojciech Jaruselski, who imposed martial law in 1981, was elected President of Poland by 270 votes out of 537, However he was the only candidate, 233 voted against and 34 abstained. Solidarity declared the vote illegal. Poland was bankrupt with a resentful population.

17/7/1989. Monday (+16,141) Soviet miners went on strike.

15/7/1989, Saturday (+16,139) Georgians and Abkhazians clashed in the Abkhazia region of Georgia; 11 were killed and 127 injured.

14/7/1989. Friday (+16,138) Margaret Thatcher upset French festivities on Bastille Day when she denied that the French Revolution had inspired Human Rights.

5/7/1989, Wednesday (+16,129) (1) In the US, Colonel Oliver North was fined US$ 150,000 and given a suspended prison sentence for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

(2) The TV series Seinfeld began.

1/7/1989, Saturday (+16,125) The average UK house price was £61,514.

22/6/1989, Thursday (+16,116) (1) Ireland’s first universities established since independence in 1922 were set up: Dublin City University and University of Limerick.

(2) In China, seven students were shot after televised show trials following the Tiananmen Square protests.

(3) The captain of the Herald of Free Enterprise was charged with manslaughter.

21/6/1989 Wednesday (+16,115) (1) The first public executions of Tiananmen Square demonstrators began in China.

(2) British police arrested 250 people for celebrating the Summer solstice at Stonehenge.

19/6/1989, Monday (+16,113) The second round of elections to the Polish National Assembly. Solidarity won an overwhelming victory.

14/6/1989, Wednesday (+16,108) Ronald Reagan was given a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.

13/6/1989, Tuesday (+16,107) (1) Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor Kohl agreed that East and West Germany should be reunited.

(2) The wreck of the German battleship Bismarck which was sunk in 1941, was discovered 600 miles west of Brest, France.

12/6/1989. Monday (+16,106) Live TV broadcasts from the House of Commons began, after MPs voted 293 to 69 in favour. Live radio broadcasts began on 9/6/1975.

9/6/1989, Friday (+16,103) In China, the show trials of the leaders of the Tiananmen Square demonstration began.

6/6/1989, Tuesday (+16,100) There was hysteria at the funeral of Ayatollah Khomenei in Tehran.

4/6/1989. Sunday (+16,098) (1) Poland held partially-free elections. The result was a major embarrassment for the country’s leaders as Solidarity won the lion’s share of the vote. On a turnout of 62% - smaller than Solidarity had hoped for – the union’s candidates had by 6/6/1989 won all Warsaw’s constituencies except Zoliborz, where the result was still awaited. In some constituencies Solidarity won over 80% of the vote cast. Few government candidates won over 18% of the votes cast.

(2)  Massacre in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, as troops opened fire and brought in tanks. On early morning Sunday 4th June the army entered the Square. 2,600 were killed and 10,000 injured as soldiers fired on demonstrators, and tanks drove over them.

3/6/1989. Saturday (+16,097) (1) Death of the Ayatollah Khomeini, religious leader of Iran. Born in 1900, Khomeini attended several Islamic schools before moving to the city of Soq in 1922 where he became a Shiite scholar. Khomeini’s spite against western influences and his advocacy of Islamic purity won him many followers and in the 1950s he was acclaimed as an Ayatollah, or major religious leader. Thrown out of Iran in 1964 he continued his fight against the Shah in exile. In 1979 his influence caused massive riots in Tehran, forcing the departure of the Shah. Unpopular in the West, Khomeini is mainly remembered for reinstating Islamic punishments and for a long and exhausting war with Iraq.

(2) Liquid gas stored beside a railway in Chelyabinsk, USSR, exploded, killing 800.

1/6/1989, Thursday (+16,095)

30/5/1989. Tuesday (+16,093) Food riots in Argentina threatened the economic reforms of the new President, Carlos Menem.

29/5/1989. Monday (+16,092) Burma changed its name to Myanmar.

20/5/1989, Saturday (+16,083)

17/5/1989, Wednesday (+16,080) The Communist Government of Czechoslovakia freed playwright Vaclav Havel after he served just three months of a nine month sentence.

16/5/1989. Tuesday (+16,079) The first successful hole-in-the –heart operation on an adult was performed at the Brook Hospital, Greenwich, London. The patient was 66-year-old Eileen Molyneaux.

15/5/1989, Monday (+16,078) Carlos Menem won the presidential elections in Argentina.

14/5/1989, Sunday (+16,077) Gorbachev visited China, the first Soviet leader to do so since the 1960s.

8/5/1989, Monday (+16,071) Slobodan Milosevic became President of Serbia.

2/5/1989, Tuesday (+16,065) (1) The Iron Curtain began to break down. Hungary dismantled 150 miles of barbed wire fence, opening its border to Western Europe.

(2) China imposed martial law as pro-democracy protestors camped in Tiananmen Square.

(3) Kampuchea announced it would revert to being called Cambodia.

1/5/1989, Monday (+16,064) A riot at Risley Remand Centre began, in protest at conditions there. It ended three days later with the promise of an enquiry.

26/4/1989, Wednesday (+16,059) Bangladesh was hit by a huge tornado, 1.6km wide. All houses in an area of 6 square kilometres were obliterated. 1,300 died, 12,000 were injured and over 80,000 left homeless.

21/4/1989, Friday (+16,054) Nintendo began selling Game Boys in Japan.

20/4/1989, Thursday (+16,053) A gun turret on US battleship Iowa exploded, killing 47 sailors.

19/4/1989, Wednesday (+16,052) Daphne du Maurier, writer, died.

18/4/1989, Tuesday (+16,051) An explosion at Cormorant Alpha oil platform led to the shutdown of 25% of North Sea oil production.

17/4/1989. Monday (+16,050) (1) Chinese students demonstrated in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, calling for democracy.

(2) In Poland, Solidarnosc was legalised after an 8-year ban.

15/4/1989. Saturday (+16,048) Football fans were crushed at Hillsborough stadium, Sheffield. 95 Liverpool fans were crushed against steel fences designed to prevent a pitch invasion after police opened gates to let more fans in, to see the semi final of the FA cup. 200 were injured.

9/4/1989, Sunday (+16,042) Red Army soldiers massacred Georgian demonstrators in Tbilisi’s main square, killing 20 people. Poison gas was allegedly used.

8/4/1989, Saturday (+16,041) 40 soviet submariners died when a nuclear powered Mike class submarine caught fire, and refused assistance from Western merchant ships.

7/4/1989. Friday (+16,040) President Gorbachev of the USSR visited Britain, and invited Queen Elizabeth II to visit Moscow.

6/4/1989, Thursday (+16,039) The UK Government announced it was to abolish the ‘job for life’ guarantee to all dockworkers.

5/4/1989, Wednesday (+16,038) (1) The Polish Trades Union Solidarnosc won the right to contest partially-free elections in Poland and to publish its own newspaper. Solidarnosc had been banned by the Polish Government under General Jaruzelski since 1982.

(2) Vietnam announced it would withdraw its troops from Cambodia by September 1989.

31/3/1989, Friday (+16,033) The Master of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker was sacked for drunkenness.

29/3/1989, Wednesday (+16,031) In France, President Mitterrand inaugurated the huge glass Louvre Pyramid.

28/3/1989, Tuesday (+16,030) The remains of the Piper Alpha oil rig were sent to the bottom of the North Sea.

27/3/1989, Monday (+16,029)

26/3/1989. Sunday (+16,028) The first free elections were held in the USSR. Pro-reform candidates won many seats.

25/3/1989. Saturday (+16,027) Oil from the 987 foot tanker Exxon Valdez was spilled on the Alaskan coast. She had run aground on 24/3/1989 and was holed in Prince William Sound. 35,000 tons of crude oil polluted 100 miles of coastline.

24/3/1989, Friday (+16,026) US Congress agreed to renew a US$ 40 million aid programme for the Right-wing Contra rebels fighting the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua. Funding ceased due to the Iran-Contra scandal.

15/3/1989. Wednesday (+16,017) 15,000 Hungarians marched in Budapest, calling for democracy.

23/2/1989, Thursday (+16,025) Stanley Pins and Martin Flieschmann announced Cold Fusion at the University of Utah.

8/3/1989, Wednesday (+16,010) (1) China declared martial law in Tibet.

(2) The Vatican dismissed Archbishop Paul Marcinkus from his position as chief of the Vatican’s bank. which had made losses of  US$ 88 million.

7/3/1989. Tuesday (+16,009) Chinese troops fired on Tibetan monks and civilians demanding independence in Lhasa. Some reports said hundreds died. China annexed Tibet in 1950, and protests for Tibetan independence had been growing since 1985.

6/3/1989, Monday (+16,008) Harry Andrews, actor, died aged 77.

5/3/1989, Sunday (+16,007) As environmental awareness grew worldwide, the Ozone Layer Conference opened in London.

4/3/1989, Saturday (+16,006) (1) Pope John Paul II branded Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses blasphemous for suggesting that part of the Koran was inspired by the Devil.

(2) Train crash at Purley station, London, killed 5 and injured 94.

3/3/1989, Friday (+16,005) Robert McFarlane was fined $20,000, plus two years’ probation, for his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

2/3/1989, Thursday (+16,004) All 12 EC nations agreed to ban the production of CFCs by 2000.

1/3/1989, Wednesday (+16,003) A curfew was imposed in Kosovo; protests continued at alleged intimidation of the Serb minority.

28/2/1989, Tuesday (+16,002) (1) The Venezuelan President Peres faced food riots as prices rose.

(2) Hereford Cathedral dropped plans to sell the Mediaeval Mappa Mundi to raise money.

27/2/1989, Monday (+16,001) Belgrade imposed emergency powers in Kosovo as Yugoslavia’s Serbs attempted to resist secession by ethnic Albanians.

25/2/1989, Saturday (+15,999)

24/2/1989, Friday (+15,998) A cargo door fell off a Boeing 747 over the Pacific, killing 51.

23/2/1989, Thursday (+15,997) The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee rejected, 11–9, President Bush's nomination of John Tower for Secretary of Defense.

22/2/1989, Wednesday (+15,996) Death of Aldo Jacuzzi, American manufacturer of the eponymous baths.

21/2/1989. Tuesday (+15,995) (1) Czech writer Vaclav Havel was jailed for anti-government demonstrations.

(2) Two members of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguard were charged with the murder of 14-year-old Stompie Mocketsi.

19/2/1989, Sunday (+15,993)

17/2/1989. Friday (+15,991) Scientists warned of a threat to the ozone layer over the Arctic.

16/2/1989, Thursday (+15,990) Harley Street kidney specialist Dr Raymond Crockett resigned over a ‘cash for kidneys’ scandal in which organs were taken from poor Turks for wealthy patients.

15/2/1989, Wednesday (+15,989) The United National Party won the Sri Lankan parliamentary election.

14/2/1989. Tuesday (+15,988) (1) Ayatollah Khomeini issued a ‘fatwa’ ordering Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie. Rushdie had published the ‘Satanic Verses’ which angered Muslims worldwide. On 7/3/1989 Iran severed relations with the UK.

(2) Union Carbide agreed to pay US$ 470 million to the Indian Government in compensation for the 1984 Bhopal disaster.

(3) The first of 24 satellites for the Global Positioning System were placed in orbit.

(4) Skyphone, the world’s first satellite telephone service, was launched on a British Airways flight from London to New York.

12/2/1989, Sunday (+15,986) 12 people died in riots in Pakistan over Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’.

7/2/1989, Tuesday (+15,981) Violent storms and updraughts caused a rain of sardines over the town of Ipswich, Australia.

5/2/1989, Sunday (+15,979) Rupert Murdoch launched Sky TV.

3/2/1989, Friday (+15,977) (1) General Stroessner of Paraguay was ousted after eight terms and 35 years in office.

(2) British Telecom banned ‘chatlines’, because some people got addicted to them and ran up huge bills which they couldn’t pay.  One 12-year-old ran up a bill of £6,000. The Internet had yet to arrive.

2/2/1989. Thursday (+15,976) The last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan, ending 9 years of bitter war against the Mujaheddin rebels. 120,000 Soviet soldiers marched north along the Salang Highway, leaving behind much armament. These rebels then marched on Kabul and Jalabad and threatened President Najibulah. Najibulah imposed martial law as Mujaheddin rockets fell on Kabul.

27/1/1989, Friday (+15,970) Sir Thomas Octave Sopwith, designer of the World War One biplane called the Sopwith Camel, died.

23/1/1989. Monday (+15,966) Death of Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. He was aged 78, and had lived as a recluse since his wife, Gala, died in 1982. Art collectors were troubled by revelations that Dali had signed blank canvasses for others  to paint.

20/1/1989. Friday (+15,963) George Herbert Walker Bush was sworn in as 41st US President.

19/1/1989, Thursday (+15,962) Police in Prague used tear gas and water cannon to break up a large demonstration commemorating te 20th anniversary of the death of Jan Palach, a student who burnt himself to death in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The 1989 protests were led by Vaclav Havel, a dissident writer who led the Charter 77 human rights movement.

17/1/1989. Tuesday (+15,960) A gunman shot five children dead and injured 39 others at a Californian school playground.

14/1/1989. Saturday (+15,957) British Muslims held public burnings of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

12/1/1989, Thursday (+15,955) Former Ugandan President Idi Amin was expelled from Zaire; he sought refuge in Senegal.

11/1/1989. Wednesday (+15,954) President Reagan delivered his farewell speech to the USA.

10/1/1989, Tuesday (+15,953) Cuban troops began withdrawing from Angola.

9/1/1989. Monday (+15,952) A British Midland Boeing 737 fell short of the runway at East Midlands Airport and ended up on the M.1 motorway, near Kegworth. 47 died in the 12 week old aircraft, 15 seconds away from landing at the airport. Reports suggested the pilot shut down the wrong, good, starboard, engine after being warned of an engine failure. Witnesses saw the port engine on fire.

7/1/1989. Saturday (+15,950) Emperor Hirohito of Japan died, aged 87. He had ruled for more than 62 years. 500,000 people lined the streets for his funeral on 24/2/1989; US & British war veterans protested that their countries should not honour a war criminal. Hirohito had opposed war with the USA in the 1930s, he was also against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany. In 1941 he proposed peace with Washington, but was persuaded by the War Minister and his generals to hit Pearl Harbour. He was buried near his father’s mausoleum in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Japan; his son Akihito succeeded him.

5/1/1989, Thursday (+15,948) A US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean shot down two Libyan fighter aircraft.

4/1/1989, Wednesday (+15,947) British Muslims in Bradford ritually burnt a copy of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

3/1/1989, Tuesday (+15,946)

1/1/1989. Sunday (+15,944) Namibia was granted independence from South Africa.

31/12/1988, Saturday (+15,943) In the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto signed the first agreement between the two countries for 16 years.

30/12/1988, Friday (+15,942) In the USA, Colonel Oliver North subpoenaed Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush to testify in the Iran-Contra trial.

27/12/1988, Tuesday (+15,939)

22/12/1988. Thursday (+15,934) The withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola was announced.

21/12/1988. Wednesday (+15,933) Terrorists blew up a Pan-Am jumbo jet carrying more than 270 passengers over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. All the passengers and 17 in Lockerbie itself died in the crash, on the evening of the 21st. The flight was from Frankfurt to the USA via Heathrow. The bomb had been hidden in a transistor radio in the hold. After a three year investigation two Libyans, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi were blamed for the bombing. However the Libyan leader, Colonel Gadhafi, refused to extradite the two men, so the U.N. imposed sanctions on Libya, under pressure from America. Eventually the two men were extradited to Holland to face a year-long trial under Scottish law, under which Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was acquitted.

16/12/1988, Friday (+15,928) Edwina Curry, Britain’s Junior Health Minister, resigned over her statement a fortnight earlier that most British eggs were contaminated with salmonella. Egg sales plummeted and famers demanded compensation.

14/12/1988, Wednesday (+15,926) (1) Yasser Arafat, PLO leader, renounced terrorism and accepted Israel’s right to exist within secure borders.

(2) In Spain, 8 million workers went on strike against government economic policies.

13/12/1988, Tuesday (+15,925) In Brazzaville, South Africa signed an accord granting independence to Namibia.

12/12/1988. Monday (+15,924) A major train crash at Clapham Junction, south London. 38 died and 113 were injured as two morning rush hour trains collided. An express train ran into the back of a London commuter train that had stopped on the line to report a faulty signal. A third train was derailed and a fourth was stopped in time to avoid a further collision.

11/12/1988. Sunday (+15,923) An Ariane rocket carrying an Astra 1A satellite to bring 16 TV channels to Britain was launched from French Guyana.

10/12/1988. Saturday (+15,922) Severe earthquake, 6.9 on the Richter scale, hit Armenia. 100,000 were reported to have died as the cities of Spitak and Leninakan were flattened. However the death toll was later reduced to 25,000. 15,000 were injured and 400,000 left homeless.

9/12/1988, Friday (+15,921)

8/12/1988, Thursday (+15,920) The new Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, released 1,000 political prisoners.

7/12/1988. Wednesday (+15,919) (1) Yasser Arafat recognised the existence of Israel.

(2) Gorbachev cut the Red Army by 10%.

(3) Nelson Mandela was moved to a luxury house within the grounds of Pollsmoor Prison.

6/12/1988, Tuesday (+15,918) US rock star Roy Orbison died of a heart attack, aged 52.

4/12/1988, Sunday (+15,916) Edwina Curry rashly claimed that most British eggs were infected with salmonella. She had to resign on 16/12/1988.

2/12/1988, Friday (+15,914) A 110 mph cyclone in Bangladesh left thousands dead and 5 million homeless.

30/11/1988. Wednesday (+15,912) Benazir Bhutto became the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan; the first female leader of an Islamic country. These were the first democratic elections in Pakistan for 11 years. Her father, Zufilqar Ali Bhutto, was leader of Pakistan from 1971 until he was deposed in a military coup headed by General Zia in 1977; Zufilqar was hanged in 1979. Benazir inherited the leadership of the People’s Party and was an ongoing annoyance to the military regime until Zia died in 1987 in a plane crash.

17/11/1988, Thursday (+15,899) The Netherlands became the second country to connect to the Internet, after the USA.

16/11/1988, Wednesday (+15,898) The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR declared that Estonia is ‘sovereign’, adopting their own constitution, but stopped short of declaring independence.

14/11/1988, Monday (+15,896) In Algiers, the Palestine National Council declared a Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza.

10/11/1988, Thursday (+15,892) The oil tanker Odyssey spilled 140,000 tons of crude oil off the coast of Canada.

9/11/1988, Wednesday (+15,891) The Pentagon unveiled its new ‘Stealth’ fighter plane, supposedly invisible to enemy radar. It used radar-absorbent materials and a ‘faceted’ surface that reflected radar signals at odd angles.

8/11/1988. Tuesday (+15,890) (1) George Bush became Republican president of the USA, defeating George Dukakis of the Democrats.

(2) In the UK, the death toll from AIDS reached 1,002, with 1,862 cases reported. A government report issued on 30/11/1988 feared that up to 50,000 in the UK could be HIV+ and that by 1992 17,000 AIDS deaths might have occurred.

(3) Salman Rushdie won the Whitbread Prize for his book, The Satanic Verses.

5/11/1988, Saturday (+15,887)

1/11/1988, Tuesday (+15,883) Batman’s faithful sidekick, Robin, was killed off by The Joker after a reader’s poll of DC Comics voted he should go.

31/10/1988, Monday (+15,882) General Galtieri of Argentina was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment because of his incompetent management of the Falklands War.

30/10/1988, Sunday (+15,881) The head of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, presided over a mass wedding of 6,516 couples in Korea.

26/10/1988, Wednesday (+15,877) Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev promised to free all political prisoners by the end of the year.

18/10/1988. Tuesday (+15,869) The Home Secretary Douglas Hurd banned all broadcasts involving terrorist spokesmen.

16/10/1988, Sunday (+15,867) (1) Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London, after Spain had begun extradition proceedings against him relating to his overthrow of President Allende in 1973.

(2) Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and SDLP leader John Hume shared the Nobel Peace Prize, for their part in forging the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement.

13/10/1988, Thursday (+15,864) The Turin Shroud was declared to be a fake; it was dated to between 1260 and 1390.

12/10/1988. Wednesday (+15,863) The USSR offered US$600 million reparations to Afghanistan.

11/10/1988, Tuesday (+15,862) Women were allowed to study for the first time at Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK. Male students wore black armbands and the porter flew a black flag.

5/10/1988, Wednesday (+15,856) The Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was defeated in a plebiscite meant to reinforce his rule. 55% voted against him.

29/9/1988, Thursday (+15,850) NASA recommenced space flights, grounded after the Challenger disaster.

26/9/1988. Monday (+15,847) The Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson flew home from the Seoul Olympics in disgrace after being stripped of his 100m medal after failing a drugs test. He had run the 100m 2 days earlier in a record time of 9.79 seconds but was found to have taken steroids. Afterwards Ben Johnson divided his time between his family in Toronto and acting as personal bodyguard for Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi.

24/9/1988, Saturday (+15,845) Large and angry protests against the World Bank and IMF meetings in West Berlin.

20/9/1988. Tuesday (+15,841) 20 million were made homeless in floods in Bangladesh.

17/9/1988. Saturday (+15,838) The 24th Olympic Games opened in Seoul.

16/9/1988, Friday (+15,837) (1) A military junta seized power in Burma.

(2) 1,330 were reported to have died in floods in Bangladesh.

15/9/1988. Thursday (+15,836) The Federation of Yugoslavia looked increasingly fragile as 200,000 Serbs protested in Belgrade against persecution of them in the province of Kosovo by ethnic Albanians. Kosovo was the home of Serbian culture, and had a Serbian king for two centuries. By 1988 it was populated by 1.7 million ethnic Albanians and only 200,000 Serbs. Serbs make up 40% of Yugoslavia’s 23 million population. Serbians organised more mass anti-Albanian demonstrations on 25/9/1988.

14/9/1988, Wednesday (+15,835) On route to Sydney, a 6-man expedition arrived in Delhi in a London taxi. Its meter, on London rates, showed a fare of £13,200.

13/9/1988, Tuesday (+15,834)

6/9/1988, Tuesday (+15,827) 11 year old Thomas Gregory from London became the youngest person to swim the Channel.

5/9/1988. Monday (+15,826) Britain now had 1,730 reported cases of AIDS and 949 deaths.

4/9/1988. Sunday (+15,825) Nutritionists blamed junk food for Britain’s increased youth violence.

2/9/1988, Friday (+15,823)

1/9/1988, Thursday (+15,822) Luis Walter Alvarez, researcher into subatomic particles, born 13/6/1911 in San Francisco, California, died in Berkeley, California.

31/8/1988. Wednesday (+15,821) Widespread flooding in Bangladesh left 25 million homeless.

28/8/1988, Sunday (+15,818) The longest trial in Spanish history came to an end after 15 months. Alleged sales of toxic olive oil had killed 600 and injured thousands more.

21/8/1988, Sunday (+15,811) British licencing laws were relaxed to allow pubs to open for 12 hours a day.

17/8/1988, Wednesday (+15,807) General Zia ul Haq of Pakistan died when his aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from a military demonstration of US tanks at Bahawalpur for Islamabad. The US ambassador to Pakistan was on board. A bomb or missile attack was suspected.

16/8/1988, Tuesday (+15,806) IBM introduced software for artificial intelligence.

15/8/1988, Monday (+15,805) IRA bomb in Omagh killed 29.

14/8/1988, Sunday (+15,804) Enzo Ferrari, racing car designer and builder, died at his home in Modena aged 90.

11/8/1988. Thursday (+15,801) Devastating floods brought chaos to Sudan. After 13 hours of rain, 1.5 million people had been made homeless and an unknown number drowned.

8/8/1988. Monday (+15,798) (1) The Iran-Iraq war ended after 8 years, and 1 million casualties. A further 1.7 million were wounded, 1.5 million made homeless, and US$ 400 billion of the two country’s resources had been expended. Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran accepted resolution 598 of the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire, despite earlier pledging to fight until total victory had been achieved.

(2) Angola, South Africa, and Cuba agreed a ceasefire in the Angolan Civil War.

(3) A popular uprising in Myanmar / Burma against the military rule there.

3/8/1988, Wednesday (+15,793) Matthias Rust was freed from prison in Russia.  He had served 14 months of a 4-year sentence for flying a plane from Germany to land in Red Square, Moscow.

29/7/1988. Friday (+15,788) Unmarried couples sharing a house rushed to beat the Conservative Chancellor Lawson’s 1/8 deadline after which unmarried couples would no longer be able to claim two lots of tax relief on a joint mortgage of £30,000 each. This sparked a record mortgage lending in the UK in the 3rd quarter of 1988 of £3.6 billion, up from £2.2 billion in the 2nd quarter 1988. House prices soared in what became known as the Lawson Boom, followed by the negative equity of the early 1990s as house prices fell again.

28/7/1988, Thursday (+15,787) Paddy Ashdown was elected leader of the SDP.

26/7/1988, Tuesday (+15,785) New York celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

11/7/1988. Monday (+15,770) 8,500 people in the UK were known to be carrying the AIDS virus.

6/7/1988. Wednesday (+15,765) 173 men died in an explosion on the Piper Alpha oilrig in the North Sea. Many more were injured as a series of explosions wrecked the rig whilst they slept. The 12-year-old rig was 120 miles off the Aberdeen coast. Flames shot 400 feet into the air and only 62 survived, many by jumping over 100 feet into the sea. The heat could be felt one mile away, and hampered rescue efforts. 165 oil workers and 2 rescue workers were killed.

5/7/1988, Tuesday (+15,764) The Church of England voted for the ordination of women.

3/7/1988. Sunday (+15,762) The US cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 286 people on a flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. The US believed the aircraft was a fighter plane.

1/7/1988, Friday (+15,760) The average UK house price was £51,405.

26/6/1988. Sunday (+15,755) Vietnam said its troops would withdraw from Kampuchea, formerly Cambodia.

25/6/1988, Saturday (+15,754) Virginia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

21/6/1988, Tuesday (+15,750) (1) The Myanmar regime imposed martial law in the face of student protests.

(2) New Hampshire celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

14/6/1988. Tuesday (+15,743) In the UK, top executives pay was rising at 22% a year, compared with a national average of 8.5%.

13/6/1988, Monday (+15,742) The first beauty contest was held in the USSR.

10/6/1988, Friday (+15,739)

5/6/1988, Sunday (+15,734) Kay Cottee sailed into Sydney harbour, the first woman to sail solo round the world non-stop.

4/6/1988, Saturday (+15,733) Sir Douglas Nicholls, Governor of South Australia, the first aborigine to hold this position and to receive a knighthood, died.

1/6/1988, Wednesday (+15,730)

27/5/1988, Friday (+15,725) In Canada, a man who ‘sleepwalked’, drove over to his mother’s house and killed her with an iron bar, was acquitted of murder.

26/5/1988, Thursday (+15,724) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats opened in Moscow with a British and American cast.

25/5/1988. Wednesday (+15,723) The Iranians suffered reverses on land in their war against Iraq. They were driven off the Fao Peninsula and off land east of Basra (both in Iraq).

24/5/1988, Tuesday (+15,722) (1) In the UK, the controversial Section 28 law was passed. This made the promotion of homosexuality in schools illegal.

(2) Snow fell in the Syrian Desert and Damascus had ten hours of snowfall for the first time in 50 years.

(3) Liverpool’s Albert Dock, restored as a business and leisure centre, was opened by the Prince of Wales.

23/5/1988, Monday (+15,721) South Carolina celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

20/5/1988, Friday (+15,718) British licensing laws were liberalised. The Licensing Act received Royal Assent, and 65,000 pubs in England and Wales could now open 11am to 11pm Monday to Saturday.

17/5/1988. Tuesday (+15,715) Sainsbury announced sales of over £5 billion in the UK in 1987, selling 10.7% of all UK groceries.

15/5/1988. Sunday (+15,713) Soviet troops began leaving Afghanistan. On 15/4/1988 Mr Eduard Shevardnaze, the Soviet Foreign Minister set the seal on the Kremlin’s decision to withdraw more than 100,000 Soviet troops in Afghanistan, after 8 ½ years of occupation. Some 155,000 troops would be withdrawn by 15/5/1988, and the remainder, as many troops as this again, would go by 15/2/1989. But Washington said it would continue to supply arms to the Mujaheddin who were fighting the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. During the Soviet occupation, up to one million Afghans were said to have been killed and over a third of the population had fled.

11/5/1988. Wednesday (+15,709) Soviet spy Kim Philby died in Moscow aged 76.

10/5/1988. Tuesday (+15,708) President Mitterand of France won a second term. The Right was split, but the far Right Jean Marie Le Pen got 14.38% of the vote, 4 million votes. In Marseilles, Le Pen led with 28% of the vote.

9/5/1988, Monday (+15,707) The new Australian Parliament building in Canberra was inaugurated.

7/5/1988, Saturday (+15,705) Boston saw the first meeting of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens.

1/5/1988. Sunday (+15,699) Tamil guerrillas set off a land mine in Sri Lanka under a bus, killing 26 passengers.

29/4/1988. Friday (-15,697) (1) The worst industrial unrest in Poland since the 1981 martial law crackdown on Solidarnosc. Workers demanded large pay rises after the Polish government raised food prices by 40%, rents by 50%, and electricity by 100%; a spell of austerity was needed to restore economic stability, said the government.

(2) McDonalds announced plans for 20 restaurants in Moscow to sell the ‘Bolshoi Mac’.

28/4/1988, Thursday (-15,696) Sian Edwards, 28, became the first woman to conduct at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

26/4/1988. Tuesday (+15,694) The Swiss food giant Nestle bid £2.1 billion for the York confectioners, Rowntree. On 23/6/1988 Rowntree accepted a £2.55 billion bid from Nestle. Nestle already owned 12% of Rowntree, and Suchard owned 29.9% of Rowntree. Both Swiss companies want Rowntree, maker of brands like Kit Kat, Quality Street, and Smarties, as a bridgehead into the European Community.

18/4/1988. Monday (+15,686) The USA retaliated against Iran for its mining of the Gulf. After warning the Iranians to evacuate, US warships destroyed Iranian oil platforms at Sirri and Sisan. Iranian boats fired back and were sunk by the US.

17/4/1988, Sunday (+15,685) Louise Nevelson, sculptor born in Kiev, Russia, in 23/9/1900, died in New York.

16/4/1988, Saturday (+15,684) The Palestine Liberation Organisation’s chief military commander, Khalil al Wazir, was assassinated at his Tunis home; the PLO blamed an Israeli hit squad. Mr Wazir had organised many attacks from Lebanon into Israel, and orchestrated the Palestinian intifada in the Occupied Territories.

15/4/1988, Friday (+15,683) North Korean President Kim Il Sung received 43,000 gifts as he instituted lavish celebrations for his 76th birthday.

14/4/1988, Thursday (+15,682) In the Geneva Agreement, the USSR agreed to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. President Caesescu of Romania announced plans to demolish 8,000 villages and forcibly resettle their population in urban areas.

13/4/1988, Wednesday (+15,681) Allison Williams, US actress, was born.

12/4/1988. Tuesday (+15,680) China’s National People’s Congress voted to allow private enterprise and the transfer of use of land between private individuals. They did not, however, allow outright private ownership of land.

7/4/1988, Thursday (+15,675) Gorbachev, in Geneva, signed a peace accord on Afghanistan.

4/4/1988. Monday (+15,672) The Midlands-based TV soap opera ‘Crossroads’ ended on episode 4,510. The first episode was broadcast in November 1964.

3/4/1988. Sunday (+15,671) Ethiopia and Somalia concluded a peace agreement, ending 11 years of border conflict.

2/4/1988. Saturday (+15,670) Israeli troops killed six Palestinians, the highest total in a single day so far. On 6/4/1988 the first Israeli civilian victim of the fighting died, a 15-year old girl.

1/4/1988, Friday (+15,669) Iraq was accused of using poison gas on Kurdish villagers.

29/3/1988. Tuesday (+15,666) Plans were unveiled by Canadian developers for an 888-foot tower block, costing £3 billion, at Canary Wharf, London Docklands, to be completed by 1992.

24/3/1988, Thursday (+15,661) In Israel, Mordecai Vanunu was found guilty of revealing Israeli nuclear secrets to the Sunday Times.

23/3/1988, Wednesday (+15,660) Jason Kenny, British cyclist, was born.

22/3/1988, Tuesday (+15,659) In Australia, doctors turned off the life support system of a terminally ill female patient for the first time.

21/3/1988, Monday (+15,658) Lee Cattermole, English footballer, was born.

20/3/1988. Sunday (+15,657) Iraqi planes attacked the Iranian oil terminal at Kharg Island, killing 54. Two supertankers were hit and exploded into flames. The Iraqis had more fighter planes than the Iranians. Iraq and Iran continued to fire missiles into each other’s capital cities.

19/3/1988, Saturday (+15,656) In Belfast, 2 British soldiers were lynched at IRA funerals.

18/3/1988, Friday (+15,655) Percy Thrower, horticulturalist, died.

17/3/1988, Thursday (+15,654) Grimes, Canadian musician, was born.

16/3/1988. Wednesday (+15,653) News broke that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on Halabja, a Kurdish town. 5,000 Kurds died.

15/3/1988. Tuesday (+15,652) The Conservative Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, cut the standard rate of income tax from 27% to 25%. The highest rate was cut from 60% to 40%. Total tax cuts in his budget amounted to £4 billion, mostly going to higher income earners. On 20/3/1988 a survey in the UK found 60% of the population opposed these tax cuts.

13/3/1988, Sunday (+15,650)

12/3/1988. Saturday (+15,649) The British £1 note ceased to be legal tender, and was replaced by the £1 coin.

11/3/1988, Friday (+15,648) Katsuhiko Nakajima, Japanese professional wrestler, was born.

10/3/1988, Thursday (+15,647) The Chinese Army occupied Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, after large anti-Chinese demonstrations by Tibetans.

6/3/1988. Sunday (+15,643) Three IRA terrorists shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar; they were allegedly planning a bomb attack.

4/3/1988. Friday (+15,641) Israel banned all foreign journalists as the Arab unrest continued.

3/3/1988, Thursday (+15,640) (1) The Liberals and the SDP merged to form the Social and Liberal Democratic Party.

(2) Dick Chipperfield, British circus man, died aged 83.

2/3/1988. Wednesday (+15,639) The Soviet Army was sent to Azerbaijan to quell unrest there. Tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia grew. Azerbaijan rejected a call for the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to be returned to Armenian control; Karabakh had been part of Azerbaijan since 1921, although mainly populated by Armenians. Armenia invaded and occupied large parts of Azerbaijan lying between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

1/3/1988, Tuesday (+15,638) Katija Pevec, English actress, was born.

29/2/1988. Monday (+15,637) (1) In the UK, prescription charges rose by 20p to £2.60 per item from 1/4/1988. In February 2003 they were £6.20 an item, up 158.3% on February 1988. Over this period the RPI rose 72%.

(2) In South Africa, Archbishop Desmond \Tutu was arrested for illegally demonstrating outside the Parliamentary building in Cape Town. He was protesting against the death sentence imposed on the Sharpeville Six for killing a Black Councillor.

21/2/1988. Sunday (+15,629) The grave of the warrior queen Boadicea discovered under platform 8 of Kings Cross railway station, London.

8/2/1988, Monday (+15,616) Soviet President Gorbachev announced that Russian troops were to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in May 1988.

6/2/1988, Saturday (+15,614) (1) Massachusetts celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

(2) A survey in the UK found that out-of-order phone boxes and Post Office queues were the top irritants of modern life.

5/2/1988, Friday (+15,613) 3.8 million plastic noses were sold for the first ever Comic Relief Red Nose Day. £15 million was raised.

1/2/1988. Monday (+15,609) Two Arab youths were shot dead by Israeli settlers as the violence in Israel continued, from January 1988.

29/1/1988. Friday (+15,606) Junior Health Minister (Conservative), Edwina Curry, told people they should forego holidays to pay for private health care.

26/1/1988, Tuesday (+15,603) Australia celebrated its bicentennial.

20/1/1988. Wednesday (+15,597) The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, cracked down hard on the Palestinians. Beatings were routine and charity aid to the strike-hit West Bank and Gaza Strip was banned by Israel.

17/1/1988, Sunday (+15,594) The Nicaraguan Sandinista leader, Daniel Ortega, offered a ceasefire to the Contras.

15/1/1988. Friday (+15,592) Arab uprising in Israel began. Sporadic violence had occurred on 8/1/1988.

13/1/1988. Wednesday (+15,590) (1) Chiang Ching Kuo, President of Taiwan since 1978, died.

(2) One in every 61 babies born in New York in December 1987 had the AIDS virus. Doctors believed up to 40% of them would develop AIDS. In the UK, there were 1,277 AIDS cases; 697 had died from the disease.

9/1/1988, Saturday (+15,586) Connecticut celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

8/1/1988. Friday (+15,585) Violence in Gaza and Jerusalem as young Palestinians protested after Friday prayers. See 15/1/1988.

4/1/1988, Monday (+15,581)

3/1/1988. Sunday (+15,580) An Israeli air strike in southern Lebanon killed 21 people.

2/1/1988, Saturday (+15,579) Georgia celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

29/12/1987, Tuesday (+15,575) Prozac made its debut in the USA.

25/12/1987, Friday (+15,571) Israeli security forces cracked down on Arab rioters.

20/12/1987. Sunday (+15,566) Iraq claimed it had repulsed an attack by two Iranian brigades 125 miles north of Basra. Iran claimed it was a successful lightning raid.

19/12/1987, Saturday (+15,565) Gary Kasparov took the world chess title, defeating fellow Russian Anatoly Karpov.

18/12/1987¸ Friday (+15,564) New Jersey celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

17/12/1987, Thursday (+15,563) In Britain, Davina Durban became the world’s first triple (heart, lungs, liver) transplant recipient.

15/12/1987, Tuesday (+15,561)

12/12/1987, Saturday (+15,558) Pennsylvania celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

11/12/1987, Friday (+15,557) At Christies auction house, London, Charlie Chaplin’s cane and bowler sold for £82,500, and his boots for £38,500.

9/12/1987, Wednesday (+15,555) The Intifada, the popular Palestinian uprising against Israeli authority, began.

8/12/1987. Tuesday (+15,554) Gorbachev and Reagan signed an arms reduction treaty, to eliminate medium range nuclear missiles from Europe.

7/12/1987, Monday (+15,553) Delaware celebrated the 200th anniversary of its statehood.

1/12/1987, Tuesday (+15, 547) Digging began on the Channel Tunnel.

25/11/1987, Wednesday (+15,541) The Category 5 typhoon, Nina, hit the Philippines, with 165 mph winds and a major storm surge, killing 1,036 people.

18/11/1987. Wednesday (+15,534). The worst fire in the history of the London Underground killed 31 at King’s Cross. An accumulation of rubbish and fluff under a wooden escalator had been ignited by a cigarette end. Sprinklers had not been installed despite a recommendation in 1984 for them, and administrative errors meant passengers were still disembarking from Piccadilly Line trains as the fire spread. A ‘no smoking’ rule came into force across the London Underground on 24/11/1987.

17/11/1987, Tuesday (+15,533) The UK Government announced plans for a Community Charge (Poll Tax) to be levied in 1990.

16/11/1987, Monday (+15,532)

13/11/1987. Friday (+15,529) The first criminal conviction based on genetic fingerprinting saw a rapist sentenced to 8 years at Bristol Crown Court.

12/11/1987, Thursday (+15,528) President Gorbachev sacked Boris Yeltsin as head of the Communist Party after Yeltsin criticised him for the slow pace of perestroika (reconstruction).

8/11/1987. Sunday (+15,524)  An IRA bomb exploded at a Remembrance Day service at Eniskillen, N Ireland, killing 11 people.

26/10/1987. Monday (+15,511) The City Airport in the London Docklands opened for short landing and take-off aircraft.

22/10/1987. Thursday (+15,507) The first volume of the Gutenberg Bible became the world’s most expensive book when it was sold at auction at New York for US$ 5.39 million.

19/10/1987. Monday (+15,504) ‘Black Monday’ on Wall Street wiped millions off stock prices around the world. Wall Street ended the day a record 22% lower, 508 points down, a bigger fall than in the 1929 crash. The FT in London fell almost 250 points, threatening the UK government’s sell-off of BP shares. There were concerns that the US trade deficit, now at US$ 15.7 billion, and a 40% fall in the value of the Dollar, would cause higher interest rates.

16/10/1987. Friday (+15,501) A severe hurricane hit Britain. 19 people died when storms battered the south of England, as winds of up to 100 mph tore up trees by the roots. Kew Garden recorded a gust of 94 mph and lost trees overnight that had taken 200 years to grow. Property damage was between £100 and £600 million. This was stated to be the worst storm in Britain since 1707.

15/10/1987, Thursday (+15,500) The Queen abdicated as monarch of Fiji.

11/10/1987, Sunday (+15,496) A sonar survey of Loch Ness failed to find any trace of the monster.

1/10/1987, Thursday (+15,486) (1) A 20-second earthquake hit Los Angeles, killing 7 and injuring 100. The 6.1 magnitude quake hit the morning rush hour at 7.40 am, and was the strongest in the area since 1971.

(2) 48 year old surrogate grandmother Mrs Pat Anthony gave birth to triplets for her daughter Karen Ferriera-Jorge in Johannesburg, South Africa.

30/9/1987, Wednesday (+15,485) At the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Susan Lazarchick had the first successful transplant of the body’s most complex joint, the knee.

29/9/1987, Tuesday (+15,484) John M Poindexter resigned from the US Navy over the Iran-Contra affair.

25/9/1987, Friday (+15,480)

23/9/1987, Wednesday (+15,478) The book, Spycatcher, memoirs of former British intelligence officer peter Wright, was to be published in Australia despite opposition by Britain’s MI5.

22/9/1987, Tuesday (+15,477) In the UK, the Home Secretary prohibited the sale of semi-automatic rifles.

21/9/1987, Monday (+15,476) The US seized an Iranian ship in the Gulf.

19/9/1987, Saturday (+15,474) The Pope concluded his visit to the US.

16/9/1987, Wednesday (+15,471) 70 countries signed an agreement in Montreal to save the ozone layer, to freeze CFC production (used as a refrigeration gas) at current levels and halve it within 12 years. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica had been discovered in 1984.

7/9/1987, Monday (+15,462) The world’s first conference on artificial life began, at Los Alamos National Laboratories, USA.

6/9/1987. Sunday (+15,461) The historic Venice regatta was held without gondoliers for the first time since 1315. The gondoliers were on strike as a protest against the damage to the fabric of Venice caused by powerboats.

4/9/1987, Friday (+15,459) Matthias Rust was sentenced to four  years in a Soviet labour camp, however he was released on 3/8/1988. See 28/5/1987.

2/9/1987, Wednesday (+15,457) Philips introduced the CD-video.

1/9/1987, Tuesday (+15,456) Belgium became one of the first countries to ban smoking inside public buildings, a decade before Britain followed suit.

31/8/1987, Monday (+15,455) (London, Railways) London’s Docklands Light Railway began running, a month behind schedule.

26/8/1978, Wednesday (+15,450) The funeral and burial of Rudolf Hess.

19/8/1987. Wednesday (+15,443) Michael Ryan, 27, shot dead 16 people in Hungerford, Berkshire, and injured another 14, then shot himself dead. He had been depressed by the death of his father. A former paratrooper, he had a large gun collection.

17/8/1987. Monday (+15,441) Former top Nazi Rudolf Hess, born 1894, committed suicide in Spandau Prison, Berlin, after 46 years spent there.  He was 93 when he died. He had been the only inmate, and demolition of the prison began almost immediately.

15/8/1987. Saturday (+15,439) (1) Caning was officially banned in Britain, except in independent schools.

(2) Sextuplets, three boys and four girls, were born to Susan Halton in Liverpool’s Oxford Street Hospital.  Their combined weight was 9 ½ pounds. None survived; the last lived until 31/8/1987.

11/8/1987, Tuesday (+15,435)

10/8/1987, Monday (+15,434) One person a day was dying of AIDS in Britain.

7/8/1987, Friday (+15,431) The leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua signed a peace plan in Guatemala City to end the 10-year conflict in the region.

6/8/1987, Thursday (+15,430) In Britain, the SDP voted to merge with the Liberal Party. Dr David Owen resigned as SDP leader.

3/8/1987, Monday (+15,427) The US Irangate hearings ended.

31/7/1987, Friday (+15,424) 400 Iranian pilgrims died in clashes with Saudi security forces in Mecca.

26/7/1987. Sunday (+15,419) A heatwave in Greece killed over 1,000 people.

24/7/1987, Friday (+15,417) Author Jeffery Archer won a record £500,000 libel damages against The Star newspaper over allegations that he had paid a prostitute, Monica Coghlan, £70 for sex. See 19/7/2001.

4/7/1987. Saturday (+15,397) Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, 73. was convicted in France, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1/7/1987, Wednesday (+15,394) (1) The EU passed the Single European Act.

(2) The average UK house price was £43,165.

19/6/1987. Friday (+15,382) 21 died and 45 were injured in a Basque separatist car bomb in an underground car park in Barcelona. Amongst the dead were several young children. The atrocity alienated all but the most militant ETA supporters; with Franco gone, the organisation now lacked any real purpose.

18/6/1987, Thursday (+15,381) UK unemployment figures fell below 3 million.

17/6/1987, Wednesday (+15,380) The Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct as the last individual died.

12/6/1987. Friday (+15,375) Mrs Thatcher elected Prime Minister with a majority of 101. She was the first PM to achieve a third term for 160 years. The Conservatives won 375 seats, Labour 229, Alliance 22 and Nationalists 6.

28/5/1987, Thursday (+15,360) A 19-year-old West German, Mathias Rust, evaded Soviet air defences and landed a light plane in Red Square, Moscow, from Helsinki, Finland. He was immediately detained, and released on 3/8/1988.

17/5/1987. Sunday (+15,349) Iraqi Exocet missiles hit the USS Stark in the Gulf, killing 37 and injuring 21 sailors. Baghdad said it was an accident.

15/5/1987, Friday (+15,347) Rita Hayworth, US actress, died of Alzheimer’s Disease.

14/5/1987, Thursday (+15,346) A coup toppled the Fiji Government, in protest at the influence of Indians in the administration.

11/5/1987, Monday (+15,343) Klaus Barbie went on trial in Lyon for WW2 war crimes.

8/5/1987, Friday (+15,340) Nine IRA gunmen were killed in a battle with police and soldiers in County Armagh, in an attack on a RUC post at Loughgall.

 

14/4/1987, Tuesday (+15,316) Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev out-manoeuvred the White House by proposing sweeping arms cuts, beyond those envisaged by US President Reagan.

13/4/1987, Monday (+15,315) Portugal and China agreed to the return of Macao to China in 1999.

9/4/1987, Thursday (+15,311) The UK government launched an inquiry into the Al Fayed takeover of Harrods.

7/4/1987, Tuesday (+15,309) The Herald of Free Enterprise was righted (capsized 6/3/1987). On 8/4/1987 104 more bodies were found inside the ship.

3/4/1987, Friday (+15,305) Myra Hindley confessed to two more murders, in an attempt to prove her rehabilitation.

30/3/1987. Wednesday (+15,301) Sunflowers’, the painting by Vincent Van Gogh, was sold for £24,750,000 at Christie’s auction, London.

20/3/1987, Friday (+15,291) The drug AZT was launched to combat AIDS.

19/3/1987, Thursday (+15,290) Three men were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of PC Blakelock on Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham, north London.

10/3/1987. Tuesday (+15,281) (1) The Roman Catholic Church banned contraception by artificial means.

(2) The Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey was re-elected for a third term.

7/3/1987, Saturday (+15,278) Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar became the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in Test Cricket.

6/3/1987. Friday (+15,277) The ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized, after leaving Zeebrugge with her bow doors open. 193 people died, out of 650 on board. The bow doors of the 7,951 ton roll-on-roll-off vessel had been left open as she left Zeebrugge, and water had entered the car deck and destabilised her. She did not sink completely because of a shallow sandbank beneath. Sea temperature was just 3 C, which would kill a person in 15 minutes.

22/2/1987, Sunday (+15,265) Andy Warhol, American pop artist famous for his pictures of soup cans, died. He was born on 6/8/1926 to Czechoslovak immigrants in Pittsburgh.

19/2/1987, Thursday (+15,262) The US lifted sanctions on Poland.

17/2/1987, Tuesday (+15,260)

16/2/1987, Monday (+15,259) John Demanjuk, also known as Ivan the Terrible, a former car worker who had lived in the US for 40 years, went on trial in Israel accused of murdering hundreds of Jews at Treblinka  He was the second war criminal to be tried in Israel after Adolph Eichmann.

15/2/1987. Sunday (+15,258) The World Health Organisation announced that a total of 38,401 AIDS cases had been reported in 85 countries. The AIDS virus had been discovered in the USA on 23/4/1984.

13/2/1987. Friday (+15,256) London’s property boom resulted in the sale of a 5 foot 6 inch by 11-foot broom cupboard being put on the market for £36,000.

11/2/1987, Wednesday (+15,254) (1) The US tested an atom bomb in Nevada.

(2) British Airways was privatised and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

5/2/1987, Thursday (+15,248) SOGAT called off its picket of Rupert Murdoch’s Wapping plant.

4/2/1987. Wednesday (+15,247) Death of US pianist Liberace, unofficially of AIDS. The official cause of death was a brain tumour.

29/1/1987, Thursday (+15,241) President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines put down a second attempted coup against her two-year-old administration. Rebels supporting ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda abandoned the TV station in Manila they had occupied on 27/1/1987. Loyalist troops had thwarted the rebels by cutting power to the TV station.

20/1/1987. Tuesday (+15,232) Terry Waite, envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was taken hostage in Lebanon. He was not released until 18/11/1991. His captors knew he was linked to the Irangate scandal and believed he was a CIA spy. In fact he had been sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury to negotiate the release of other hostages in Lebanon.

5/1/1987, Monday (+15,215) Genetic fingerprinting was first used to catch a murderer, Colin Pitchfork. Police asked all men in Narborough, Leicestershire, to take DNA tests after two 15 year old girls were killed.

2/1/1987. Friday (+15,214) The traditional golliwogs in Enid Blyton’s Noddy books were replaced by neutral gnomes to remove any taint of racism.

1/1/1987, Thursday (+15,213) The town of Frobisher Bay in Canada’s Northwest territories changed its name to Iqaluit. In 1999 it would become capital of Nunavut.

31/12/1986, Wednesday (+15,212) Esso announced that it was disinvesting in South Africa.

29/12/1986, Monday (+15,210) Harold Macmillan, Lord Stockton, former Conservative Prime Minister 1957-1963, died, aged 92.

23/12/1986, Tuesday (+15,204) The aircraft Voyager landed in California, to become the first aircraft to fly round the world without refuelling.

17/12/1986, Wednesday (+15,198) Mrs Davina Thompson made medical history at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, UK, when she was given a new heart, lungs, and liver.

25/11/1986. Tuesday (+15,176) US Vice-Admiral Pointdexter and Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North were dismissed from the Security Council after revelations that money from arms sales to Iran had been channelled to Nicaraguan Contra guerrillas. Weapons were covertly sold to Iran to secure the release of 7 US hostages held by pro-Hezbollah groups in Lebanon, and the profits fro the sales diverted to back Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

21/11/1986, Friday (+15,172) The UK Government began an AIDS awareness advertising campaign focussed on safe sex.

9/11/1986, Sunday (+15,160) Israel announced that Mordechai Vanunu, 31, was in ‘lawful detention’ in Haifa but denies he was kidnapped from Britain. On 5/10/1986 the Sunday Times had printed Vanunu’s revelations about Israel’s nuclear arsenal at Dimona, backed up with his photographs. He never collected his money, and was probably lured into a honeytrap by a female Mossad agent, then sent in diplomatic baggage to Jerusalem.

8/11/1986, Saturday (+15,159) Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet politician, died.

4/11/1986. Tuesday (+15,155) Democrats won control of the US Senate.

2/11/1986, Sunday (+15,153) Britain’s first artificial heart transplant operation was performed at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

29/10/1986. Wednesday (+15,149) The final section of the M.25 London Orbital Motorway was opened.

27/10/1986. Monday (+15,147) It was the ‘Big Bang’ day on the London Stock Exchange, the day the money market was deregulated. But a computer failed and a shambles ensued.

26/10/1986, Sunday (+15,146) (1) Buses in all the UK, except Northern Ireland and London, were deregulated.

(2) Jeffery Archer resigned as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party after allegations that he had made a payment to a prostitute to leave the UK, to avoid a scandal.

13/10/1986, Monday (+15,133)

12/10/1986, Sunday (+15,132) Queen Elizabeth II visited China, the first British monarch to visit the country.

11/10/1986, Saturday (+15,131) Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavik to discuss intermediate arms limitations. The talks ended in failure.

10/10/1986, Friday (+15,130) An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale hit San Salvador, killing some 1,500 people.

6/10/1986, Monday (+15,126) In Britain a new newspaper, The Independent, began publication.

2/10/1986, Thursday (+15,122) The US imposed sanctions on South Africa.

22/9/1986, Monday (+15,112) At Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, a 2 ½ month old baby became the youngest heart and lung transplant patient.

21/9/1986. Sunday (+15,111) (1) The Stockholm Accord was signed, at a 35-nation conference. Advance warning of troop movements by NATO or the Warsaw pact was agreed.

(2) In the UK, Prince Charles stated on TV that he talked to his plants.

10/9/1986, Wednesday (+15,100)

8/9/1986, Monday (+15,098) In Sunderland, the Japanese car maker Nissan opened a factory.

7/9/1986. Sunday (+15,097) Bishop Desmond Tutu was appointed Archbishop of Cape Town, the first Black head of the South African Anglicans.

6/9/1986. Saturday (+15,096) Arab terrorists killed 21 at an Istanbul synagogue.

31/8/1986. Sunday (+15,090) UK sculptor Henry Moore, born 1898, died aged 88.

24/8/1986, Sunday (+15,083) Wallis Simpson died.

23/8/1986. Saturday (+15,082) Riots continued in Soweto, South Africa, with 13 dead and over 70 injured.

21/8/1986, Thursday (+15,080) Volcanic activity around Lake Nyos, Africa, caused nearly 2,000 people to die from CO2 poisoning.

14/8/1986. Thursday (+15,073) In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was jailed by General Zia.

6/8/1986 Wednesday (+15,065) A storm dumped a record 328 mm or rain in one day on Sydney, Australia.

24/7/1986. Thursday (+15,052) MPs in the UK voted to abolish the cane in state schools.

23/7/1986, Wednesday (+15,051) Prince Andrew married Miss Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey, and was created Duke of York.

22/7/1986, Tuesday (+15,050)

12/7/1986, Saturday (+15,040) In Northern Ireland, over 100 were injured in Orange Day clashes between Catholics and Protestants.

1/7/1986, Tuesday (+15,029) Average wages in the UK were £9,625 per year. GPs got £18,772, 195% of average. Teachers got £11,128, 116% of average. Train drivers got £10,608, 110% of average. Factory workers got £7,436, 77% of average. The average UK house price was £37,627.

26/6/1986, Thursday (+15,024) In Dublin, a referendum to amend the Irish Constitution and allow divorce in limited circumstances was overwhelmingly defeated. Some women had voted against, as the benefits a divorcee would be entitled to were uncertain.

20/6/1986, Friday (+15,018) Movement of sheep in Cumbria was banned because of radiation residues from Chernobyl.

10/6/1986, Tuesday (+15,008) Queen Elizabeth II made Bob Geldof a knight, for his fundraising activities.

8/6/1986, Sunday (+15,006) Kurt Waldheim was elected president of Austria, amid controversy over his alleged collaboration with the Nazis in World War Two.  He was inaugurated on 8/7/1986.

26/5/1986, Monday (+14,993) The EU adopted a starred flag.

25/5/1986. Sunday (+14,992) Bob Geldof’s Race Against Time had 30 million people worldwide running for Sport Aid to raise money for the starving in Africa.

16/5/1986, Friday (+14,983) Ex-President Galtieri of Argentina was jailed for negligence during the Falklands War.

13/5/1986, Tuesday (+14,980)

9/5/1986, Friday (+14,976) Tenzing Norgay, or Tensing, the first joint conqueror of Everest, died.

3/5/1986, Saturday (+14,970) Violent protests at Wapping between pickets and police.

1/5/1986. Thursday (+14,968) 1.5 million Black workers went on strike in South Africa

30/4/1986, Wednesday (+14,967) After unusually high radiation levels were detected in Scandinavia, the USSR acknowledged that an accident had taken place at Chernobyl.

26/4/1986. Saturday (+14,963) The nuclear power station at Chernobyl, near Kiev, suffered a major fire, explosion, and radiation leak. 31 were killed directly, but many thousands more were exposed to radiation. Unseasonably warm weather on 25/4/1986 led to number 4 reactor being shut down; with coolant systems down, an engineer ordered more power to test a turbine; this caused the no.4 reactor to explode.

24/4/1986, Thursday (+14,961) Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom a British King abdicated, died in Paris aged 89.

23/4/1986. Wednesday (+14,960) (1) The UK Government dissolved the Northern Ireland Assembly. After four years of operation, it had become a platform for Unionist attacks on the Anglo-Irish Agreement, signed in 1985.

(2) President P W Botha of South Africa announced there would be no more arrests under the hated ‘pass laws’ whereby Black people had to carry their passes at all times.

17/4/1986, Thursday (+14,954) In Libya, three British hostages were murdered in revenge for British participation in US air raids on Libya.

15/4/1986. Tuesday (+14,952) The USA launched air strikes against Libya, in retaliation for Libya’s alleged support of terrorism, and a bombing in a Berlin nightclub. Libya had also fired two missiles at the US radar base on Lampedusa; both missed. Benghazi and Tripoli were bombed, killing at least 100 people, including Gaddaffi’s 15-month-old adopted daughter, Hanna. The departure of the US planes from British airfields caused widespread protests in the UK. On 17/4/1986 two British hostages in Lebanon were killed in retaliation for the US raids.

14/4/1986, Monday (+14,951) 2.2 lb (1 kg) hailstones fell in Golalganj district, Bangladesh, killing 92 people.

13/4/1986, Sunday (+14,950) Pope John Paul II visited a synagogue in Rome, the first time a modern Pope had visited a synagogue.

31/3/1986, Monday (+14,937) (1) The Greater London Council was abolished, along with other Metropolitan Councils in large UK cities; municipal responsibilities passed to the individual Boroughs. Mrs Thatcher saw the GLC, led by Ken Livingstone, as too Left wing. Mrs Thatcher especially objected to the GLC’s Fares Fare policy, involving subsidy of transport fares.

(2) Fire badly damaged Hampton Court Palace, London.

29/3/1986, Saturday (+14,935) The first test-tube quintuplets were born, in London.

19/3/1986, Wednesday (+14,925) The engagement between Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson was announced.

18/3/1986, Tuesday (+14,924) UK Income Tax was reduced to 29%.

17/3/1986, Monday (+14,923) The US$ reached its lowest post war rate against the Japanese Yen.

10/3/1986, Monday (+14,916)