16th July 1969: Apollo 11 takes off for the Moon|
The Apollo 11 space rocket has taken off successfully from Cape Kennedy, Florida, at the start of the first attempt to land a man on the Moon.
An estimated one million people gathered from all over the state to see the giant Saturn 5 booster rocket blast off.
The launch was on schedule, at 1432 BST (1332 GMT).
Nine seconds before lift-off, the rocket's five engines ignited, sending a sheet of flame over the launch pad and about 20 acres of the surrounding marshland.
Then with an immense roar, the booster rocket took off into the sky, taking Apollo 11 and the hopes of the world with it.
It is the first time human beings have attempted to land on another heavenly body.
Almost 12 minutes later, Apollo 11 went into orbit around the Earth.
On board are three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. All have already flown in space during the Gemini manned space missions, and have been intensively training as a team for many months.
They carry with them goodwill messages from the heads of the member states of the United Nations and their flags.
Two hours and 44 minutes after take-off, the engine of the third-stage booster was fired for five minutes and 47 seconds, and the speed increased to 24,545mph (39,500 km/h) to take the astronauts out of orbit and shoot them off to the Moon.
Neil Armstrong, the flight's commander, reported: "We have no complaint with any of the three stages on that ride. It was beautiful."
The launch was watched by US Vice-President Spiro Agnew, who said it marked a "new era of civilisation".
"With the lift-off of Apollo 11, America enters a new age of discovery," he said.
Apollo 11 is scheduled to touch down on the Moon on Sunday 20 July if all goes well.
Speaking at a news conference before the launch, Neil Armstrong said the landing on the Moon and the take-off from it were "the big unknowns".
The lunar module, known as Eagle, was scheduled to land on the Moon at 2100 BST (2000 GMT).
Reply #221. Jul 16 08, 12:47 AM
17th July 1976: African countries boycott Olympics|
The opening ceremony of the 21st Olympic Games in Montreal has been marred by the withdrawal of 25 African countries.
They are all protesting at New Zealand's sporting links with South Africa.
The International Olympic Committee's refusal to ban New Zealand, whose rugby team is currently touring South Africa, has resulted in the boycott.
South Africa has been banned from the Olympics since 1964 for its refusal to condemn apartheid.
A spokesperson for the New Zealand Olympic Committee said the All Blacks tour of South Africa had been arranged by the New Zealand Rugby Union which was an autonomous body and nothing to do with the Olympics.
He said it was illogical to single out New Zealand as it was one of 26 countries to have played sport in South Africa during the past year.
More than 300 competitors will now not take part in the Games which will mean many events will have to be cancelled or re-scheduled.
Athletics events will be particularly affected by the absence of Filbert Bayi from Tanzania, who holds the world record in the 1500m and John Akii-Bua of Uganda, world record-holder in the 400 metres hurdles.
The latest country to announce its withdrawal was Kenya. In a statement issued just hours before the opening ceremony, the country's foreign minister James Osogo said: "The government and the people of Kenya hold the view that principles are more precious than medals."
He said the decision by the IOC not to ban New Zealand would give "comfort and respectability to the South African racist regime and encourage it to continue to defy world opinion."
The IOC will now have to decide what sanctions should be imposed on the boycotting countries, who risk being expelled from the Olympic movement.
Approximately 20 of the 26 countries who have withdrawn from the competition had already travelled to Montreal but will now return home.
The list of those boycotting the Olympics is: Libya, Iraq, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Gambia, Sudan, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad, Togo, Niger, Congo, Mauritius, Upper Volta and Malawi.
Egypt did not take part in today's opening ceremony but has not yet formally announced its withdrawal. Taiwan withdrew on the grounds that the Canadian government refused to allow her to compete under the name of the Republic of China.
There are already fears the Commonwealth Games due to be held in Edmonton, Canada in two years time will be affected by the African boycott
Reply #222. Jul 17 08, 7:56 AM
18th July 1981:Violence erupts at Irish hunger strike protest|
Nearly 200 people are in hospital in Dublin after a hunger strike demonstration turned violent.
The march through the Irish capital began peacefully as 10,000 took to the streets in support of republican hunger strikers in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland.
IRA paramilitary prisoners at the Belfast jail - also known as the H-blocks - began their fast in March claiming the British Government had failed to carry out promises made to the first wave of hunger strikers last year.
Demonstrators threw missiles at police who stood their ground for about half-an-hour before responding with a baton charge.
Women and bystanders were among the injured, but most of the casualties treated in hospital were police.
The riot lasted almost an hour and left the streets looking like a battleground.
New Irish Prime Minister Dr Garret FitzGerald said: "What was done was the minimum necessary to protect the situation."
In the evening, police burned the protesters' banners and showed evidence to suggest violence was pre-meditated.
Representatives from the International Red Cross have held talks with the hunger strikers and other Maze prisoners over the past two days.
The IRA have already released a statement to say this intervention will do nothing to break the deadlock between hunger strikers and the British Government, which refuses to talk to the fasting inmates.
Six prisoners have already died from starvation.
Kieran Doherty, 25 - MP for the Irish Republic constituency of Cavan/Monaghan - has been fasting for 58 days and Kevin Lynch, 25, enters his 56th day today. Prison authorities do not expect either of them to survive the week.
Reply #223. Jul 18 08, 1:08 AM
July 19th 1997: IRA declares ceasefire|
The IRA has announced its second ceasefire in three years starting at noon tomorrow.
It follows a statement by republican political party Sinn Fein last night urging the IRA to call a truce, but the speed of response has surprised politicians.
Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam MP will monitor IRA activity over the next six weeks to decide whether Sinn Fein will be admitted to the all-party peace talks scheduled for 15 September.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said he supported a ceasefire because of a "commitment by the two governments (UK and Republic of Ireland) to inclusive peace talks".
British Prime Minister Tony Blair had underlined this resolve by making his first big speech as head of the new government from Belfast on 16 May.
In June he set out the conditions for Sinn Fein's inclusion in the all-party talks in a speech to the Commons.
He offered a clear timetable for talks - to be completed by May 1998 - within six weeks of a ceasefire.
Mr Blair also suggested weapons' decommissioning was not a pre-condition for negotiation.
Many unionists in Northern Ireland believe IRA disarmament is essential to any peace process and are angered by British concessions on the issue.
Security spokesman for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Ken Maginnis said: "I don't expect anyone to take a ceasefire declaration at face value."
"There will have to be a definite commitment to a permanent, complete and universal ceasefire with an indication that disarmament and the disbandment of the terrorist organisation can take place," he added.
The Irish peace process reached a stalemate under the last British Government which made concessions to unionists over decommissioning, in return for their support in Parliament.
Mr Blair is to meet UUP leader David Trimble in the next couple of days to ensure unionists' participation in September's multi-party talks.
Reply #224. Jul 19 08, 12:44 AM
20th July 1982: IRA bombs cause carnage in London|
Eight soldiers on ceremonial duty have been killed in two IRA bomb blasts in central London.
The first blast, in Hyde Park, killed two soldiers and injured 23 others and the second explosion, in Regents Park, less than two hours later killed six soldiers instantly and injured a further 24 people.
The IRA admitted carrying out the attacks in a statement echoing Margaret Thatcher's declaration of war on Argentina over the disputed Falklands.
It repeated her phrase about the right of self-determination and continued: "The Irish people have sovereign and national rights which no task or occupational force can put down."
In the first incident a nail bomb in a blue Austin car was detonated as members of the Household Cavalry made their way to the changing of the guard from their barracks in Knightsbridge.
Seven horses were killed or so badly maimed they had to be destroyed.
Another device exploded underneath the bandstand in Regents Park as the Royal Green Jackets played music from Oliver to 120 spectators.
It was the first of a season of lunchtime concerts for tourists and nearby office workers, four of whom were amongst the injured.
Anti-terrorist experts believe the second bomb had been planted some time ago and was triggered by a timer.
But they think the first explosion was operated by remote control to cause the maximum devastation.
Bystanders and people in neighbouring shops and hotels rushed to help, but the police were keen to clear the area as they searched for further devices.
Most of the injured were treated in Westminster Hospital as striking hospital workers called off their action to deal with the casualties.
Detectives from the anti-terrorism squad were interviewing survivors and witnesses and security has been stepped up across the British capital.
The British and Irish prime ministers have condemned the attacks as "callous and cowardly crimes" and "inhuman acts".
Police say MPs were warned of a renewed IRA bombing campaign two weeks ago after an eight month lull in their activities.
Reply #225. Jul 20 08, 1:27 AM
20/21 July 1969: After having successfully landed on Earth's Moon, two American astronauts - Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, fulfilled the hopes and promises of the late president John F. Kennedy. Escited about having had a successful landing, the two astronauts suggested to their support crew in Houston that they be allowed to step out onto the surface three hours ahead of schedule. Their request was granted. Armstrong was the first person to step on the surface, and Aldrin the first to step off. Among other things, the two planted a seismometer in the lunar surface which also recorded the first artificial moonquake - the surface noise of a collision a few hundred miles away between an unmanned Russian probe and the lunar surface. Armstrong and Aldrin returned to Earth on the 25th, as Jews around the world were dancing to the light of the Moon and reciting liturgical poetry about the impossibility of going there (liturgy which has not been amended yet).|
Reply #226. Jul 20 08, 4:46 AM
21st July 2005: Tube chaos after more blasts|
London's underground network has been plunged into chaos with stations cleared after minor blasts on two trains and a bus.
The explosions - two weeks after blasts killed 52 - involved detonators only, a BBC reporter said. There was one injury.
Police sources say the blasts may have been near simultaneous and that they are being linked with the 7 July bombs.
They say a number of fugitives are being sought. Two people have been arrested in Whitehall.
Detectives are recovering a lot of evidence from the sites, and believe the latest events may either be a repetition of the 7 July attacks or may help with a breakthrough in the investigation.
Eyewitnesses heard bangs and saw abandoned rucksacks at the sites of the incidents at Warren Street and Oval tube stations as well as the number 26 bus in Bethnal Green.
There was an attempt to cause an explosion at Shepherd's Bush station, on the Hammersmith and City line, police said.
Reply #227. Jul 22 08, 1:24 AM
22nd July 2003: Saddam's sons killed in gun battle|
The United States says the two sons of Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay, have been killed by US troops in Iraq.
The bodies of the two men were identified after 200 American soldiers, backed by helicopters, stormed a house in the northern city of Mosul following a tip-off from an Iraqi informant.
The operation in Mosul lasted for more than four hours. US troops came under fire as they entered the villa in the northern part of Mosul, and the Americans responded with rocket fire from helicopter gunships.
Four US soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
Uday and Qusay were among the most influential and feared figures in Saddam Hussein's regime.
Reports of their deaths were welcomed with celebrations on the streets of Baghdad, and gunfire erupted across the city.
However, there remains some scepticism over the identity of the bodies among Iraqi civilians, with many expressing doubt about the reported deaths.
American officials were quick to insist they had the right men.
"We've used multiple sources to identify the individuals," said the commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez.
He would not be drawn on the question of whether the US would produce evidence, such as photos or video of the dead brothers.
The US does not normally publish pictures of dead combatants.
America's most wanted
Qusay, 36, was being groomed as Saddam Hussein's heir, and controlled key areas of the country's security.
Uday, 39, ran large sections of the media. He was known for his extreme brutality and for the extravagance of his playboy lifestyle.
The two men have been on the run since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime three months ago.
Saddam Hussein himself remains at large.
Two other people were killed along with the former Iraqi president's sons. They have not been named, but reports say one may be a teenage son of one of the brothers, and the other a bodyguard.
The Iraqi who apparently tipped off the US military stands to gain at least part of two rewards placed on the heads of Uday and Qusay, each with £15 million ($9.4m).
The two were second and third on America's most-wanted list of the top 55 Iraqis involved in Saddam Hussein's administration.
Reply #228. Jul 22 08, 1:26 AM
23rd July 1986: Prince Andrew weds Sarah Ferguson|
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have married at Westminster Abbey.
Thousands of people lined the streets of London and a worldwide TV audience of 500 million tuned in to catch a glimpse of the pageantry.
Miss Ferguson arrived at the 900-year-old church at 1130 BST - only a couple of minutes late - after riding from Clarence House in the Glass Coach with her father, Sir Ronald.
Inside, 2,000 people, amid 30,000 flowers, watched the bride make her four-minute walk up the blue-carpeted aisle, sweeping a 17-foot train behind her.
As well as the families of the bride and groom, guests included 17 members of foreign royalty, US First Lady Nancy Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Queen conferred Prince Andrew with the title Duke of York - last held by King George VI and traditionally reserved for the sovereign's second son - just 90 minutes before the ceremony.
Prince Edward was best man to his 26-year-old brother and Prince Charles read the lesson in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie.
As the couple exchanged their vows cheers could be heard from the crowd outside.
The new Duchess of York mistakenly repeated Prince Andrew's middle name, Christian, and agreed to obey her husband - a clause omitted by Princess Diana in her 1981 marriage to Prince Charles.
After they had signed the register the couple rode in the open-topped 1902 State Landau to Buckingham Palace.
The Duchess looked radiant in her ivory duchesse satin dress, next to the Duke - four months her junior - in the ceremonial day dress of a naval lieutenant.
A crowd of 100,000 clamoured to see their first public kiss as man and wife on the balcony of the Palace.
Following their wedding party for 300 guests at Claridges Hotel, the couple will honeymoon in the Azores.
Reply #229. Jul 23 08, 12:53 AM
Goodness, you do know a lot about this.|
Reply #230. Jul 23 08, 1:07 AM
July 24th 1974: Nixon 'must hand over Watergate tapes'|
The United States Supreme Court has ordered President Nixon to surrender tape recordings of White House conversations about the Watergate affair.
Giving the judgement to a packed and hushed courtroom, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said the court rejected Mr Nixon's claims of executive privilege.
Instead, he said they "must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial".
The president said he was "disappointed" by the decision, but would comply with the ruling.
The White House has already released edited transcripts of the tapes, which cover 64 conversations made between June 1972 and April of this year.
But President Nixon has until now refused to comply with a court order awarded to Leon Jaworski, the special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation, requiring him to produce the tapes themselves.
Mr Jaworski alleges the tapes implicate the president himself in covering up a break-in at the Watergate hotel headquarters of the Democratic National Committee during the election campaign in 1972.
The burglars were caught rifling through confidential papers and bugging the office of President Nixon's political opponents.
The tapes will now be available for use as evidence in the trial of some of the president's closest aides, due to take place in September.
It is likely to take several weeks to produce transcripts of the tapes, so they will not be available in time to be used during the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee debate on impeachment, which began this evening.
However, the timing of the Supreme Court decision just hours before the debate began, as well as the fact that all eight judges voted unanimously, is likely to have a strong influence on the impeachment process.
If the committee decides to recommend impeaching the president, the matter goes to the full House for debate.
If the House agrees, President Nixon could face an impeachment trial before the Senate - the first such trial in over a century.
Reply #231. Jul 24 08, 8:24 AM
25th July 1978: First 'test tube baby' born|
The birth of the world's first "test tube baby" has been announced in Manchester.
Louise Brown was born shortly before midnight in Oldham and District General Hospital.
Weighing 5lb 12oz (2.61 kg) the baby was delivered by caesarean section because her mother, Lesley Brown, was suffering from toxaemia.
The consultant in charge of the case, Mr Patrick Steptoe, said: "All examinations showed that the baby is quite normal. The mother's condition after delivery was also excellent."
All examinations showed the baby is quite normal
Mr Patrick Steptoe, consultant gynaecologist
Mrs Brown, 29, has blocked fallopian tubes so she and her husband, 39, have been undergoing in vitro fertility treatment.
Last November Mrs Brown had an embryo - of her egg and her husband's sperm - implanted in her womb after it had been fertilized in a laboratory.
The technique is being pioneered by consultant gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and Cambridge research physiologist Robert Edwards.
"This work may be developed in other respects. It may include the reversal of sterilization," Dr Edwards told a press conference at Prestwich Hospital, Manchester.
More than 5,000 couples have applied for the new fertility treatment already and there are 20,000 women in the UK with blockages similar to that experienced by Lesley Brown.
None of the main religions have an official policy on artificial insemination, but the Roman Catholic Church has raised the strongest objection.
The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Cardinal Gordon Gray said: "I have grave misgivings about the possible implications and consequences for the future."
Louise Brown's financial future has been assured by the sale of newspaper rights for her story worth about £300,000.
Happy Birthday Louise Brown
Reply #232. Jul 25 08, 1:11 AM
26th July 1952: Eva Peron dies|
Eva Duarte de Peron, wife of the president of the Argentine Republic, has died from cancer, aged 33.
She passed away at 2025 local time at the presidential residence in the company of her husband General Juan Domingo Peron.
Her death was announced by the Subsecretariat of Information at 2142.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Dr Campora, immediately submitted a bill to Congress, declaring 26 July as a national day of mourning from now on.
The government has announced that it will observe official mourning for 30 days.
'Brilliant and devoted'
The Queen sent a message of condolence to the Argentine president.
It read: "I extend to you my deepest sympathy and that of my people for the tragic loss which you and the Argentine people have suffered in the premature death of your brilliant and devoted partner."
Argentina's most famous first lady, who was recently proclaimed "spiritual chief of the Argentine nation" by Congress, was born Maria Eva Duarte on 7 May 1919 in the village of Los Toldos.
She was the youngest of five children born to Juana Ibarguren and Juan Duarte. Her father died when she was seven and the family struggled to make ends meet.
Before she was 20 Eva had moved to Buenos Aires to pursue her theatrical aspirations.
She met the then Colonel Juan Domingo Peron in 1944 when he was vice president and secretary of war and the couple were married in 1945.
The following year General Peron became president. His wife devoted her time to the poor, or the descamisados (shirtless ones), of Argentina and over the next seven years brought the working classes into a position of political power never witnessed before.
She organised mass political rallies and spent millions of pounds of public money on the poor. She got women the vote and legalised divorce.
But the Peronist years were controversial.
Although hailed a social champion and adored by the working classes, Evita, as she became known, was feared and loathed by the military and the upper classes. They regarded her as a threat and believed she was using her public position to further her own personal aspirations.
In 1951 she was nominated for vice-presidency but was forced to withdraw after pressure from the military.
Her last public appearance was on 4 June this year when she stood beside her husband in an open motor-car during the inauguration ceremonies for his second presidential term.
Her body, dressed in a white evening dress, has been taken to the Ministry of Labour and Welfare, where it will lie in state for two days.
It will then be transferred to the General Confederation of Labour.
Reply #233. Jul 26 08, 12:46 AM
27th July 2003: Comic legend Bob Hope dies|
American icon and legendary comedian Bob Hope has died, just two months after celebrating his 100th birthday.
He had been ill with pneumonia, and died in his sleep at home in Toluca Lake, California, with his family at his bedside.
US President George Bush led the tributes which poured in from around the world.
"Today America lost a great citizen," he said.
"Bob Hope made us laugh. He lifted our spirits. Bob Hope served our nation. We will mourn the loss of a good man."
It's hard for me to imagine a world without Bob Hope in it.
Woody Allen, film-maker
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said the Queen, who met British-born Hope many times, was "very sad" to hear the news and would be sending a private message to his widow, Dolores, who was married to Hope for 69 years. The couple had four children.
Film-maker Woody Allen also joined the tributes, saying, "It's hard for me to imagine a world without Bob Hope in it."
Film critic Derek Malcolm said he was a talented comic actor.
"Many comics are depressed in real life, but he wasn't - unless he'd had a bad round of golf," he said.
Birthday celebrations were held in May to mark Bob Hope's centenary, but with failing eyesight and hearing, the comedian was not well enough to attend.
He was born Leslie Townes Hope in south-east London in 1903, the son of a stonemason and a Welsh concert singer.
He lived in Britain until he was four, when his family emigrated to Ohio, in the United States.
He trained in vaudeville, the American form of music hall entertainment, and became increasingly well-known through his film, television and radio work.
With Bing Crosby, he created one of the big screen's most memorable partnerships, with such classic comedies as "Road to Singapore".
He was a close friend of many US presidents, including Kennedy, Nixon, Ford and Reagan, and was especially known for his tireless work entertaining American troops wherever they were stationed around the world.
He was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honour in 1962 and received an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 1998.
But he never won the prize he most wanted - the Oscar.
Introducing the Oscars ceremony in 1968, he joked: "Welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as it's known in my house - Passover."
He was, however, given four honorary Oscars for his contribution to showbusiness
Reply #234. Jul 27 08, 1:14 AM
28th July 1972: National dock strike begins|
Thousands of British dockers have begun an official strike to safeguard jobs.
No cargo will be handled by the country's 42,000 registered dockers, but roll-on roll-off ferries will still pass through railway ports like Dover and Folkestone.
They are protesting at plans for compulsory redundancies and against threats to their workload from container firms using cheaper, casual labour.
The National Docks Delegate Conference of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) voted 38 to 28 in favour of industrial action with 18 abstentions last night.
They rejected the report presented by a special joint committee - set up to investigate the industry six weeks ago - headed by Chairman of the Port of London Authority, Lord Adlington, and General Secretary of the TGWU, Jack Jones.
Lord Aldington said: "My job is to show everybody that when I say I'm going to do something then that has got to be done. But these things have got to be done by agreement and not by bludgeoning."
All 16 members of the committee approved the scheme and the Conservative Government will provide the £7.5m to pay off the 2,500 unfit or over-55-year-old dockers the industry needs to lose to survive.
National docks secretary of the TGWU Timothy O'Leary advised the dockers' conference to accept the plan, but delegates from the larger ports thought it inadequate.
Secretary of State for Employment Maurice Macmillan has held briefings with Lord Aldington, Mr Jones and the port employers and said he is not considering using emergency powers.
"Overall our main concern is to rescue the Jones-Aldington plan from the militants and to try to help the industry," he said.
Dockers have been on unofficial strike for a week after the imprisonment of five shop stewards for contempt of the Industrial Relations Court.
Reply #235. Jul 28 08, 1:31 AM
29th July 1981: Charles and Diana marry|
Crowds of 600,000 people filled the streets of London to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.
The couple were married at St Paul's Cathedral before an invited congregation of 3,500 and an estimated global TV audience of 750 million - making it the most popular programme ever broadcast.
Britons enjoyed a national holiday to mark the occasion.
Lady Diana, 20, arrived almost on time for the 1120 BST ceremony after making the journey from Clarence House in the Glass Coach with her father, Earl Spencer.
She made the three-and-a-half minute walk up the red-carpeted aisle with the sumptuous 25 ft (7.62 m) train of her Emmanuel designed, ivory taffeta and antique lace gown flowing behind her.
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Robert Runcie led the traditional Church of England service, but he was assisted by clergymen from many denominations.
The bride's nerves showed briefly when she mixed up the Prince's names - calling him Philip Charles Arthur George, rather than Charles Philip.
Charles, 32, in the full dress uniform of a naval commander, slightly muddled his vows too, referring to "thy goods" rather than "my worldly goods".
After a brief private signing ceremony the Prince and Princess of Wales walked back down the aisle to the refrain of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance.
The newlyweds took the open-topped state landau to Buckingham Palace where they emerged on the balcony at 1310 BST to give the crowds the kiss they had been longing to see.
Afterwards Charles and Diana retired from the public gaze to enjoy toasts and a wedding breakfast with 120 family guests.
A "just married" sign attached to the landau by Princes Andrew and Edward raised smiles as the married couple were driven over Westminster Bridge to get the train to Romsey in Hampshire to begin their honeymoon.
Reply #236. Jul 29 08, 1:34 AM
July 30t 1966: Football glory for England|
England have won football's World Cup for the first time since the tournament began in 1930.
A crowd of 93,000 spectators - including the Queen and Prince Phillip - filled London's Wembley Stadium to watch the host nation play West Germany in the final game of the 1966 championships.
Another 400 million people around the world watched the keenly fought match on television.
In the final moments of extra time Geoff Hurst powered home his third goal to give England a 4-2 victory and to become the first man ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.
After Germany had taken an early lead, Hurst levelled the score for England by half time with a header from a free kick taken by captain Bobby Moore.
Victory in sight
England came out with courage and determination after the break and glimpsed glory thirteen minutes from time as Martin Peters took their second goal.
But a free kick to Germany 15 seconds from full time gave Wolfgang Weber a close-range shot into Gordon Banks' goal and took the score to 2-2.
In the crucial minutes before the decisive half hour of extra time England manager Alf Ramsey was heard to rally his team, saying: "All right. You let it slip. Now start again."
A dubious goal by Hurst - glanced off the line by Weber and only given after consultation between the Swiss referee and Soviet linesman - put England ahead in the last 15 minutes, before the striker's third goal put the game out of Germany's reach.
Bobby Moore went up to the royal box to collect the solid gold Jules Rimet trophy from Queen Elizabeth.
In the largest World Cup ever - numbering 70 countries - England were among the favourites and got as far as the semi-final, against newcomers Portugal, before conceding a goal.
Reply #237. Jul 30 08, 12:50 AM
31st July 1962: Violence flares at Mosley rally|
Former fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley has been assaulted at a rally in London's east end.
He and members of his anti-Semitic Blackshirt group were punched to the ground as soon as his meeting opened at Ridley Road, Dalston.
Police were forced to close the meeting within three minutes and made 54 arrests - including Sir Oswald's son Max.
A crowd of several thousand had gathered in the area, where Sir Oswald, leader of the Union Movement formerly known as the British Union of Fascists, planned to speak from the back of a lorry.
As soon as he appeared from between two police buses the crowd surged forward and knocked Sir Oswald to the ground.
He tried to fight back from the cobbles, before police helped him to climb on the lorry prepared for his address.
He was met by a hail of missiles including rotten fruit, pennies and stones and people tried to storm the platform.
His speech was drowned out by continuous boos and a chorus of "down with the fascists".
Scuffles continued as Sir Oswald was shepherded to his car and his vehicle was punched and kicked as it drove off though a gangway cleared by mounted police.
Trouble started long before the meeting began as over 200 police - including 10 on horseback - attempted to clear an area around the lorry-platform.
It took the authorities another hour after Sir Oswald left to clear people from nearby Kingsland High Road.
Those arrested will appear in court tomorrow charged with public order offences.
Amongst the injured were last year's Mayor of Hackney, Alderman Sherman, and his wife.
They both received medical treatment after being struck with an iron bar.
Sir Oswald, a former Labour MP and junior minister, became leader of the British Union of Fascists in 1932.
During the war, he and his wife Diana Mitford, were interned for being a threat to national security. Then in 1948, Sir Oswald formed the Union Party but failed to get a seat in the 1959 general election.
Reply #238. Jul 31 08, 8:18 AM
30 July 1975: James "Jimmy" Hoffa of Michigan was supposed to show up for a meeting with the trucker's unions he was leading. He disappeared that day, though, never to be seen again.|
31 July 1975: A newspaper article in the Scranton Times (it could have been the Tribune) featured an article on a local medical first. In an era where men were beginning to be allowed in the delivery room where their wives were giving birth, one Scranton man actually insisted he deliver his own baby. And with a midwife's assistance, he helped deliver his first daughter that day. The article appeared some days later, featuring a picture of the event with the hilarious caption: "Man delivers own baby as wife observes."
Reply #239. Jul 31 08, 10:00 AM
1st August 1944: Uprising to free Warsaw begins|
The Polish Home Army has begun a battle to liberate Warsaw, the first European capital to fall to the Germans nearly five years ago.
At 1700 local time, the code signal "Tempest" was given and there was a wave of explosions and rifle fire throughout the city.
Reports from Poland say the timing of the uprising was chosen for maximum effect as the Germans appeared to be about to withdraw from Warsaw.
The German frontline has been forced to retreat over the past few months in the face of a sustained attack from the Red Army, forcing them out of the Baltic States, Belorussia and western Poland.
Soviet troops are now said to be fighting within 10-12 miles of Praga, the suburb on Warsaw's right bank.
To the north of the city, Soviet troops are advancing north-westward to Warsaw, with the River Vistula on their left flank.
General Tadeusz 'Bor' Komorowski, commander-in-chief of the Home Army, or Armia Krajowa, wanted to take the Germans by surprise and seized his opportunity in late afternoon.
He sent out a rallying call to his troops: "Today I have issued the order you have been waiting for, the order to begin open battle against Poland's age-old enemy, the German invader.
"After nearly five years of uninterrupted and heavy fighting underground, today you will carry your arms in the open in order to free your country again and to render exemplary punishment to the German criminals for the terror and crimes committed on Polish soil."
He has an estimated 40,000 troops, including 4,000 women, but they have only enough arms for about 2,500 - and most of those are rifles and tommy guns.
During the first day's fighting significant areas of the city's left bank have been captured, including the main post office and mint. Gas, electricity and water services have all been returned to Polish hands.
A network of street barricades has been erected blocking the flow of traffic in and out of the city.
Reports speak of a great pall of smoke hanging over the city - though to have been caused by the Germans setting fire to buildings.
Casualty reports suggest 2,000 Poles and 500 Germans may have been killed.
Reply #240. Aug 01 08, 12:55 AM
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