25th May 1967: Celtic win European Cup|
Celtic has become the first British team to win the European Cup, beating favourites Internazionale Milan 2-1.
An estimated crowd of 70,000 crammed into the Portuguese National Stadium in Lisbon to witness the Glasgow side lift the greatest prize in club football.
Milan have been champions of Europe three times in the past four years and this was only their second defeat in continental competition in that time.
As the final whistle blew, euphoric Celtic fans poured onto the pitch to celebrate their team's victory, many whooping with joy and waving banners.
The manager, Jock Stein, said: "There is not a prouder man on God's Earth than me at this moment. Winning was important, but it was the way that we won that has filled me with satisfaction.
"We did it by playing football; pure, beautiful, inventive football. There was not a negative thought in our heads."
According to the Celtic players, Stein told his players to "go out and enjoy themselves" at the start of the match.
But it could all have turned out very differently. Within minutes of kick-off defender Jim Craig felled Renato Cappellini and Alessandro Mazolla netted the resulting penalty.
Milan held onto their early lead until half-time. But shortly after the break Celtic full-back Tommy Gemmel scored the equaliser
The goal gave Celtic the inspiration the players needed. They continued to attack the Italian goal until Gemmel again stormed up the left wing, passed back to Bobby Murdoch who sent a powerful shot towards the goal which was deflected into the net by Stevie Chalmers to give the Glasgow side a 2-1 lead.
The celebrations began immediately and although the Portuguese police feared the crowd would get out of control, there was no hooliganism.
But the chaos inside the stadium meant that the Celtic players could not be presented with the trophy on the pitch.
Instead club captain Billy McNeill had to be ushered round the outside of the stadium under armed escort. He then climbed the stairs to the presentation podium where he finally held the trophy aloft to enormous cheers from the crowd.
Jubilant fans danced in the streets of Glasgow after hearing of their club's 2-1 win .
The team is expected to fly into Abbotsinch Airport in Glasgow tomorrow night, from where they will drive to Celtic Park for a heros' welcome from fans
Reply #161. May 25 08, 12:58 AM
26th May 1950: UK drivers cheer end of fuel rations|
Long queues have appeared at garages this evening and motorists have torn their ration books into confetti after the government announced an end to petrol rationing.
The Minister of Fuel and Power, Philip Noel-Baker, told the House of Commons rationing would be abolished because two American companies had agreed a deal to supply oil in return for buying British goods.
"This is indeed VP [Victory for Petrol] day for the motor users' campaign," said a spokesman for three motoring organisations - the RAC, AA and Royal Scottish Automobile Club.
"The effect on the industrial, commercial and community life will be electric. Ration books now become as obsolete as the man with the red flag."
Under a deal agreed earlier this month, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and the California Texas Oil Company will be paid in sterling and in turn they have agreed to invest the money in British equipment, services and oil tankers.
It is hoped the policy will attract more dollar-spending tourists - which may offset the amount of dollars paid for the new fuel supplies from America.
The government estimates an increase in fuel consumption of one million tons a year. About 430,000 tons of this will be supplied by the US firms. The rest will come from newly expanded refineries in Britain.
But the poor quality of petrol in this country will not improve until refineries - such as those at Southampton and Cheshire - have been completed, probably in 1952.
Discounted driving licences, known as half-rate licences - issued to drivers using basic petrol - will also be abolished.
The Treasury will benefit from £26m in revenue from full-rate licences, a new rate of petrol tax and savings on administration costs. More than 2,000 officials who run the rationing system will lose their jobs.
The practice of putting red dye in commercial petrol to curb black market sales will also stop.
Reply #162. May 26 08, 12:50 AM
27th May 1964: Light goes out in India as Nehru dies|
Jawaharlal Nehru, founder of modern India and its current prime minister, has died suddenly at the age of 74.
He was taken ill in the early hours of this morning at his house in New Delhi. He had returned from holiday at a hill station near the capital the previous evening, apparently in reasonable health.
It is believed he suffered a heart attack, and although specialists fought to save him for much of the day, he passed away early this afternoon with his daughter, Indira Gandhi, by his side.
News of his death was broken to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, at 1400 local time (0830 GMT), by cabinet minister C Subramaniam.
In a broken voice, he told colleagues, "The prime minister is no more. The light is out."
Politicians openly wept as party leaders paid tribute to the man who has led India since independence from Britain 17 years ago.
The news spread quickly through the streets, and thousands of ordinary Indians began to converge on Mr Nehru's mansion in New Delhi.
Within two hours of the announcement, tens of thousands of people had gathered, and truckloads of police took up positions outside the grounds to control the rapidly growing crowd.
Mr Nehru's body was moved from his first-floor bedroom down to a makeshift bier in front of the house.
Then began a long procession which lasted through the rest of the evening and into the night, as nearly 250,000 men, women and children filed past to pay their respects.
Reply #163. May 27 08, 12:44 AM
29th May 1967: Sir Francis Chichester sails home|
Sir Francis Chichester has arrived in Plymouth tonight in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV, after completing his epic single-handed voyage around the world.
He crossed the finishing line at 2058, nine months and one day after setting off from the historic port.
Sir Francis is the first man to race around the world solo with only one port of call, Sydney.
About 250,000 well-wishers cheered and sang, welcoming home the 65-year-old adventurer who has inspired the nation this past year.
Thousands of small boats accompanied Gypsy Moth into Plymouth Sound 119 days after it set sail from Sydney, Australia, the only stop in the mammoth journe
Reply #164. May 28 08, 12:27 AM
29th May 1953: Hillary and Tenzing conquer Everest|
The New Zealander Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, have become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border.
They reached the top of the world at 1130 local time after a gruelling climb up the southern face.
The two men hugged each other with relief and joy but only stayed on the summit for 15 minutes because they were low on oxygen.
Mr Hillary took several photographs of the scenery and of Sherpa Tenzing waving flags representing Britain, Nepal, the United Nations and India.
Sherpa Tenzing buried some sweets and biscuits in the snow as a Buddhist offering to the gods.
They looked for signs of George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine who had disappeared in 1924 in a similar attempt to conquer Everest, but found nothing.
Then they began the slow and tortuous descent to rejoin their team leader Colonel John Hunt further down the mountain at Camp VI.
When he saw the two men looking so exhausted Col Hunt assumed they had failed to reach the summit and started planning another attempt.
But then the two climbers pointed to the mountain and signalled they had reached the top, and there were celebrations all round.
Col Hunt attributed the successful climb to advice from other mountaineers who had attempted the feat over the years, careful planning, excellent open-circuit oxygen equipment and good weather.
Mr Hillary described the peak, which is 29,028 feet (8,847 m) above sea level, as "a symmetrical, beautiful snow cone summit".
He was one of the members of the expedition led by Eric Shipton in 1951 that discovered the southern route to the top of the mountain.
A year later, Tenzing reached the record height of 28,215 feet (8,599 m) during a Swiss expedition led by Raymond Lambert.
Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontintent including the Himalayas.
Reply #165. May 28 08, 11:35 PM
30th May 1972: Official IRA declares ceasefire|
The official wing of the IRA in Northern Ireland has announced a ceasefire, reserving the right of self-defence against attacks by the British Army and sectarian groups.
However the Provisional IRA dismissed the truce as having "little effect" on the situation.
The Northern Ireland Secretary, William Whitelaw, welcomed the move and a spokesperson said it was "a step in the right direction".
A statement was read out from Dublin after last night's meeting of the executive of the Northern Republican Clubs, a political movement allied to the IRA.
It said: "The overwhelming desire of the great majority of all the people of the north is for an end to military actions by all sides."
It went on to say that a suspension of activities would be a chance to prevent all-out civil war in Ulster.
The group insisted it would continue a campaign of civil disobedience and the political struggle until its demands were met - namely:
* the release of all internees,
* an amnesty for political prisoners in British and Irish jails,
* the withdrawal of British troops from the streets of Northern Ireland,
* the abolition of the Special Powers Act
* and a declaration of freedom of political expression.
The RUC and British Army will be the first to benefit from such a ceasefire as they have been the main targets of the IRA.
Residents of Belfast in particular have been worn down by the four-year campaign of violence and this news will be very welcome there.
And Father Hugh O'Neill who leads a Londonderry peace movement said: "Please God, everyone will now sit down and begin to talk."
Reply #166. May 29 08, 11:16 PM
31st May 1985: English teams banned after Heysel|
The Football Association has banned English clubs from playing in Europe following the Heysel stadium tragedy two days ago in which 39 fans died.
The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, supported the ban which was announced by FA officials outside Number 10 Downing Street and called for tougher sentences on convicted football hooligans.
"We have to get the game cleaned up from this hooliganism at home and then perhaps we shall be able to go overseas again," she said.
Last Wednesday evening, 39 people died and more than 400 were injured when a wall collapsed at the stadium in Brussels during violent riots just before the European cup final between Liverpool and Juventus (Turin).
The match went ahead despite the tragedy and Juventus won 1-0.
The ban, decided after the return from Mexico of FA chairman Bert Millichip and secretary Ted Croker, will affect Everton, Manchester United, Liverpool, Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. They are all due to compete in major contests next season.
"It is now up to English football to put its house in order," said Mr Croker outside Number 10.
Mr Millichip acknowledged the ban was a pre-emptive move and that Uefa (the Union of European Football Associations) would have imposed it anyway.
"It was very important that the FA took positive action and immediately," he said, saying it was the most difficult decision he had ever had to take.
The Labour leader of the Opposition, Neil Kinnock, said the ban of English teams would only benefit those who caused the "murderous riot" in Belgium.
The Football League which was not consulted is also opposed to the decision.
The Belgian government has already banned all British clubs from its territory until further notice.
Liverpool, whose fans were blamed for much of the violence, had decided to pull out of next season's Uefa cup competition before the FA announcement.
Reply #167. May 31 08, 1:14 AM
June 1st 1979: End of white rule in Rhodesia|
Rhodesia has formally ended nearly 90 years of white minority rule and declared it will now be known as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.
In the absence of any official ceremony crowds of revellers, mainly black, gathered in the streets of Salisbury and surrounding townships at midnight to mark the change.
But although the name may have changed and there are 12 black faces in the cabinet under a new, black prime minister - Bishop Muzorewa - much will stay the same.
The man in overall command of the military will remain in his post, as will those in charge of the army, air force and police.
The jobs of top civil servants - all white - are protected under the new constitution.
At his final news conference in the top job Mr Smith said the less change there was the better, setting himself at odds with new Prime Minister Muzorewa, who said he hoped changes would be "very fast" in coming.
Mr Smith warned that "pushing people forward simply because of their colour, irrespective of merit, would be most unfortunate and would of course lead to disaster".
He continued: "It would mean that Rhodesia would then develop into a kind of banana republic where the country would in no time be bankrupt."
Mr Smith, who has moved from his official residency to a more humble abode, said he would be asleep during the changeover.
The new government has yet to be officially recognised by Britain and the United States.
Reply #168. Jun 01 08, 1:05 AM
2nd June 1966: First US space probe lands on Moon|
Scientists were surprised and delighted that Surveyor 1 - America's first attempt at a "soft" landing - succeeded.
They had expected it to take at least four tries.
The Soviet Union was the first to achieve the feat four months ago. It is believed to have sent four failed missions before landing the Luna 9 probe successfully.
The Surveyor 1 craft landed at 0617 GMT in the Ocean of Storms, about 590 miles (950 km) from where Luna 9 came down.
Just over half an hour later, it began transmitting a series of astonishing photographs of the Moon's surface.
The American President, Lyndon B Johnson, used the occasion to emphasise the openness of America's space programme.
In a comment directed at the Soviet Union, which earlier this year delayed the release of photographs from Luna 9, he said Surveyor's "remarkable photographs" would be made available as soon as possible.
In fact, national television networks in America broadcast the first pictures taken by the 10ft (3m) high triangular-shaped spacecraft as they came in.
Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California began counting down the spacecraft's descent from an altitude of about 60 miles (95 km) from the Moon's surface, when Surveyor was travelling at about 6,100 mph (9,800 km/h).
The altitude marking radar started the powerful main braking rocket. This burned out in about 40 seconds, about 25 miles (40 km) above the Moon's surface. The rocket's speed had been reduced to 250 mph (400 km/h).
By the time Surveyor was 13 feet (four metres) from its target it had been slowed to about eight mph (13 km/h).
"It settled on the surface in a fairly soft fashion, just a few degrees off the horizontal," said one of the scientists.
The first pictures showed a number of objects which appeared to be rocks about an inch (2.5cm) across, and pebbles strewn about the lunar surface.
Dr Leonard Jaffe, chief Surveyor project scientist, discounted previous theories about deep layers of soft dust, pointing at photographs taken after touchdown of the Surveyor's pad on one of the spacecraft's tripod legs.
Scientists believe that the success of the Surveyor 1 mission has put the lunar landing program about a year ahead of schedule.
Reply #169. Jun 02 08, 1:05 AM
3rd June 1982: Israeli ambassador shot in London|
The Israeli ambassador to Britain is critically ill in hospital after being shot on a London street.
Shlomo Argov, 52, was leaving a diplomatic function at the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair when a young man who had been seen loitering outside the building attacked him.
The gunman fired two shots with a machine pistol - one narrowly missing Mr Argov's police protection officer and the other hitting the envoy in the head.
The assailant was shot by the bodyguard and also has serious head injuries. Two other men fled the scene in a car but were later stopped and arrested by police in Brixton.
Pergamon Press chairman Robert Maxwell was in the hotel when the shooting occurred.
"It happened so suddenly and so unexpectedly that we really only noticed the consequences after it was over - we came out, there were shots and a man fell," he said.
Assistant Commissioner Gilbert Kelland - a senior police officer also at the party - said Mr Argov's protection officer had then pursued the assailant into nearby South Street and shot him.
Both the injured men were taken to Westminster Hospital and a witness told BBC correspondent Peter Snow they were in a "very serious state".
Mr Argov - a career diplomat who is married with two daughters - was later transferred to a specialist unit at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Bloomsbury, for an emergency operation.
Reply #170. Jun 03 08, 1:25 AM
June 4th 1989: Massacre in Tiananmen Square|
Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest in Peking's (Beijing) Tiananmen Square.
Tanks rumbled through the capital's streets late on 3 June as the army moved into the square from several directions, randomly firing on unarmed protesters.
The injured were rushed to hospital on bicycle rickshaws by frantic residents shocked by the army's sudden and extreme response to the peaceful mass protest.
Demonstrators, mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands for democratic reform were met.
The protests began with a march by students in memory of former party leader Hu Yaobang, who had died a week before.
But as the days passed, millions of people from all walks of life joined in, angered by widespread corruption and calling for democracy.
Tonight's military offensive came after several failed attempts to persuade the protesters to leave.
Throughout the day the government warned it would do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on what it described as "social chaos".
But even though violence was expected, the ferocity of the attack took many by surprise, bringing condemnation from around the world.
US President George Bush said he deeply deplored the use of force, and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she was "shocked and appalled by the shootings".
Amid the panic and confusion students could be heard shouting "fascists stop killing," and "down with the government".
At a nearby children's hospital operating theatres were filled with casualties with gunshot wounds, many of them local residents who were not taking part in the protests.
Early this morning at least 30 more were killed in two volleys of gunfire, which came without warning. Terrified crowds fled, leaving bodies in the road.
Meanwhile reports have emerged of troops searching the main Peking university campus for ringleaders, beating and killing those they suspect of co-ordinating the protests.
Reply #171. Jun 04 08, 1:19 AM
June 5th 1968: Robert Kennedy injured in shooting|
Senator Robert Kennedy has been shot and seriously wounded shortly after giving a victory speech to celebrate his win in the California Primary in a Los Angeles hotel.
Mr Kennedy has been taken to the Hospital of the Good Samaritan where he is undergoing emergency brain surgery.
The 42-year-old senator was greeting hotel workers while being escorted through the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel when a gunman, named as Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan, fired shots from a .22 calibre gun.
Pandemonium broke out
He was was reported to shout "I did it for my country" after carrying out the attack.
The 24-year-old was immediately set upon by Mr Kennedy's bodyguards and then arrested and taken away by police.
It is thought Mr Kennedy's well documented support for Israel led to the attack.
Five other people were also injured but not seriously.
Mr Kennedy was on his way to a press conference in the hotel.
A witness said "Pandemonium broke out because it was a really narrow passageway - probably only about four to five people abreast could get through. Everyone was trying to get in there. It seemed like an awful long time before the ambulances got here."
Mr Kennedy is favourite in the running to be named as the Democrat candidate in the next election.
Robert Kennedy is the younger brother of President John Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963 as he travelled in an open-top car in Dallas.
Reply #172. Jun 04 08, 11:34 PM
June 6th 1944: D-Day marks start of Europe invasion|
Thousands of Allied troops have begun landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans.
Thousands of paratroops and glider-borne troops have also been dropped behind enemy lines and the Allies are already said to have penetrated several miles inland.
The landings were preceded by air attacks along the French coast.
About 1,300 RAF planes were involved in the first wave of assaults then 1,000 American bombers took up the attack dropping bombs on targets in northern France
The Prime Minister Winston Churchill has told MPs that Operation Neptune - the codename for the Normandy landings - is proceeding "in a thoroughly satisfactory manner".
He said the landing of airborne troops was "on a scale far larger than anything there has been so far in the world" and had taken place with extremely little loss.
The assault began shortly after midnight under the command of General Bernard Montgomery.
Timing of the Normandy landings was crucial. They were originally scheduled to take place in May - then postponed until June and put off again at the last minute for 24 hours by bad weather.
Upwards of 4,000 ships and several thousand smaller craft crossed the Channel to the northern coast of France.
Enemy reports say the landings took place between the port of Le Havre and the naval base at Cherbourg.
King George VI broadcast a message last night warning of the "supreme test" the Allies faced and he called on the nation to pray for the liberation of Europe.
The Allied naval commander, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, said the landings had taken the Germans completely by surprise. There were no enemy reconnaissance planes out and the opposition of coastal batteries was much less than expected.
He added: "There was a slight loss in ships but so slight that it did not affect putting armies ashore.
"We have got all the first wave of men through the defended beach zone and set for the land battle."
A statement broadcast from Berlin at midday said the German troops were "nowhere taken by surprise". It said many parachute units were wiped out on landing or taken prisoner.
Hits were also scored on battleships and on landing craft from the "guns of the Atlantic Wall" - the German defensive positions.
President Franklin D Roosevelt told a news conference the invasion did not mean the war was over.
He said: "You don't just walk to Berlin, and the sooner this country realises that the better."
Reply #173. Jun 05 08, 11:42 PM
June 5th 1967 - the beginning of a short but decisive war, known as the six day war, between Israel and its immediate neighbors (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt). By the afternoon of the 5th of June, Israel had already destroyed the entire Egyptian airforce (by bombing the planes on the ground while the pilots had breakfast - amazingly Egypt's pilots weren't killed). By the 7th of June, Israel had conquered the Sinai penninsula, doubling the size of the state by area. Before sunrise on June 8th, Israeli forces beat the Jordanian guards of "Giv'at haTachmoshet" (translated roughly as "Bunker Hill"), the decisive battle over posession of eastern Jerusalem and its Old City. By the end of the sixth day, June 10th, Israel had conquered the Golan Hights as well from the Syrians, occupied the West Bank of the Jordan River (which the Jordanians claimed sovereignty to until the late 1980s), and extended their control to the Suez Canal in Egypt. The size of the country had more than trippled from its meager dimensions on June 4th, and the Israeli victory over the five outnumbering arimes was seen as the greatest military feat of modern times.|
Reply #174. Jun 06 08, 10:34 AM
7th July 1942: Japanese beaten in Battle of Midway|
The United States has routed the Japanese Navy in a major three-day battle over a remote US naval and air base at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean.
The victory has dealt a severe blow to Japan's ambitions to advance right across the Pacific towards the US coast.
The tiny island, 1,000 miles north-west of Hawaii, was targeted as a potential launching pad for the Japanese advance.
The Japanese attacked in the early hours of 4 June with heavy air raids on the military base.
The US responded with a decisive counter-attack, using the US Pacific Fleet, army bombers and the marines. The Japanese were clearly taken by surprise by the scale of the American defence.
The battle was fought almost exclusively from aircraft carriers - only the second time this kind of fighting has been attempted.
The first was just a month ago, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, when the United States thwarted Japanese plans to invade Australia.
In that battle, the victory was not so decisive, and the United States lost one of its aircraft carriers, the USS Lexington.
Reporting on the end of the battle for Midway Island, the Commander-in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, said at least two enemy aircraft carriers had been completely destroyed, with all their aircraft, and at least two more seriously damaged.
Ten Japanese warships were also sunk or damaged.
By contrast, on the American side losses were relatively small. One American carrier was hit and some aeroplanes were lost.
Fighting is still continuing in the area, but although Admiral Nimitz stopped short of claiming the Japanese were defeated, he said, "a momentous victory is in the making."
He went on, "Pearl Harbor has now been partially avenged. Vengeance will not be complete until Japanese sea-power has been reduced to impotence. We have made substantial progress in that direction."
Meanwhile, fighting is continuing around the US naval base of Dutch Harbor, in Alaska. The Japanese are known to have landed on some of the westernmost Aleutian Islands, and bombed the harbour on 3 June.
No news has been received from the area since then.
Reply #175. Jun 07 08, 1:31 AM
8th June 1982: Fifty die in Argentine air attack|
Up to 50 British servicemen have died in an Argentine air attack on two supply ships in the Falklands.
Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram were anchored off Fitzroy in Port Pleasant, near Bluff Cove, when they were bombed in a surprise raid by five Argentine Skyhawks. Sir Galahad burst into flames instantly. The exact number of injured is still unknown.
The ships had almost completed an operation to move support troops of the Fifth infantry brigade from San Carlos to join forces advancing on the capital Port Stanley when the attack occurred.
The decision to make the dangerous journey was taken after the discovery that the settlements of Fitzroy and Bluff Cove had apparently been deserted by Argentine troops.
Moving the soldiers round by sea in landing ships was intended to save a lengthy trek across the bogs and mountains, which would have delayed support reaching other troops.
The attack came before adequate air defences could be installed, and the men on board, many from the Welsh guards, were helpless as Argentine air planes pounded them.
Helicopters which had been moving equipment rushed to rescue survivors, some of whom had jumped overboard to escape the rapidly-spreading flames.
Black smoke poured out as the guards' ammunition started to ignite. On the cliff tops, medical staff waited for helicopters to bring the injured to shore.
Many of the injured had suffered burns, as the speed of the attack meant the crew had no time to put on protective masks.
In a week of raids at San Carlos, not a single ship has been sunk. Now, two have been lost in a single attack.
Reply #176. Jun 08 08, 12:58 AM
9th June 1983: Thatcher wins landslide victory|
Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party has won a landslide second term election victory, taking 397 seats to Labour's 209.
The SDP Liberal Alliance, fighting its first national contest, won just 23 seats under the "first-past-the-post" electoral system, despite receiving nearly as many votes as Labour.
Mrs Thatcher announced the forthcoming parliament would have a "heavy programme", featuring some of the bills which fell before the election.
She also pledged to re-organise local authorities and to introduce bills on trade unions and rates.
Parliament is to meet for the first time next week, when the speaker of the House will be sworn in.
The prime minister said her first priority for the new term would be to reshuffle her cabinet. She insisted it would reflect a range of political views, saying, "I haven't been extreme for the last four years and I'm not extreme now."
Defeated Labour Party leader Michael Foot described the result as a tragedy for the country.
He said: "I agree with those who said the fight to win the next election starts immediately and of course I accept, to the full, my responsibilities in this election."
Mr Foot strongly attacked the SDP for siphoning support away from Labour - giving more seats to the Conservatives.
The SDP Liberal Alliance blamed Britain's "winner takes all" electoral system on its failure to convert its significant electoral support into seats in parliament.
David Steel said: "I feel a real sense of outrage at the vast number of votes we picked up with so little to show for it in the way of seats."
Reply #177. Jun 09 08, 12:45 AM
10th June 1986: Magee convicted of Brighton bombing|
A man has been found guilty of planting the Brighton bomb which killed five people and nearly wiped out most of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet two years ago.
Patrick Joseph Magee, 35, is in prison awaiting sentence after a jury at the Old Bailey convicted him on all charges relating to the explosion that ripped through the Grand Hotel during the 1984 Conservative Party conference.
As the unanimous guilty verdicts were read out, Magee sat in the dock looking straight ahead, showing no sign of emotion.
The prosecution said the 30 lb time bomb "came within an inch from being the IRA's most devastating explosion".
It had been planted behind a bath in a room on the sixth floor more than three weeks earlier, timed to go off on the final day of the conference.
At the Conservatives' request security at the Grand Hotel had been low key. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's first floor suite was one of only two rooms in the building that had been searched for bombs.
The blast, in the early hours of October 12, left a gaping hole in the hotel's façade.
It sent a chimney crashing down through a column of rooms, killing five prominent Conservatives, including Sir Anthony Berry MP, and injuring 34.
Trade Secretary Norman Tebbit was among those who had to be rescued from under tons of masonry.
The prime minister had a narrow escape as the explosion destroyed the bathroom she had used just moments before. The bedroom in which she had been working on her conference speech was badly damaged.
Belfast-born Magee was charged with the bombing when forensic officers found his palm print on a hotel registration card in the aftermath of the blast. He had checked in under the fictitious name of Roy Walsh and given a false address.
Reply #178. Jun 10 08, 12:56 AM
June 11th 1955: Le Mans disaster claims 77 lives|
Seventy-seven people have been killed and 77 others injured when two cars collided on the race track and crashed into the spectators' stand at Le Mans in north-west France.
The Mercedes-Benz being driven by Pierre Levegh hit the bank by the grandstand and immediately exploded. Parts of the wreckage were blown into the enclosure, killing scores of mostly-French spectators.
The accident happened about two hours after the 24-hour race began at the Le Mans circuit. There was no official announcement of the disaster and the race was allowed to continue.
Pierre Levegh was speeding down the straight in front of the pits when he clipped the Austin-Healey driven by British driver Lance Macklin.
The Mercedes, which was travelling at over 150mph (240khm), flipped over and flew through the air and hit the bank by the spectator enclosure.
Levegh was killed outright. Macklin's car spun wildly before coming to rest in the middle of the track, but he was unhurt.
The race had promised to be one of the fastest and most keenly contested ever held at Le Mans.
The three teams competing were Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. Shortly after the crash the Mercedes manager instructed the two remaining Mercedes to withdraw from the race as a mark of respect to those killed in the disaster.
It was several hours before spectators on the far side of the track knew of the crash. The first sign something was wrong was when the Mercedes team pulled out.
The British consulate in Paris has confirmed there were two British victims among the dead.
Jack Diamond, aged 24, from London and Robert Loxley, of Worcester, who according to French official records was celebrating his 24th birthday.
This is the biggest disaster at a motor racing circuit.
Previously, 13 people were killed and 27 injured at Weyberg in Germany when a German car left the track during a race.
Reply #179. Jun 11 08, 12:57 AM
12th June 1997: Straw to reconsider Bulger killers' fate|
Former Home Secretary Michael Howard acted illegally when he raised the minimum sentence imposed on the Bulger killers, law lords have ruled.
The judge at the 1993 trial set a minimum tariff of eight years for the two 10-year-olds who killed toddler James Bulger.
This was then raised to 10 years by the Court of Appeal, but Mr Howard later ruled Robert Thompson and Jon Venables should spend at least 15 years in jail.
The future of the two boys now rests with the current Home Secretary, Jack Straw.
The law lords decided by a 4-1 majority Mr Howard had acted unfairly and unlawfully when he took into account public opinion while reconsidering the sentences of Thompson and Venables.
In 1994, hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions run by James' parents and the Sun newspaper, which demanded the boys spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
The judges also said home secretaries may not treat children detained at Her Majesty's pleasure the same way as adults lifers.
The final decision on the pair's release will rest with the Parole Board, but Mr Straw will determine the earliest date their cases can be referred. It is expected this will be in 2001 or 2003.
"I will now consider [the judgement] very carefully before reaching conclusions on this case and on the more general issues covered," the home secretary said.
But the Bulger family condemned the verdict and the murdered two-year-old's mother, Denise Bulger, said it flew in the face of public opinion.
"Just under half a million people thought the recommended sentence by the trial judge was far too low," she said.
Reply #180. Jun 12 08, 12:02 AM
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