September 30th 1955: James Dean killed in car smash|
The Hollywood film star James Dean has been killed in a road accident in California, USA.
The 24-year-old actor was behind the wheel of his German-made Porsche sports car when it was involved in a head-on collision with another car 30 miles (48 km) east of Paso Robles this evening.
Mr Dean's mechanic, Rolph Wutherich, who was a passenger in the car, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the other car was also injured.
Medics said Mr Dean, who was dead on arrival at hospital, suffered a broken neck and numerous broken bones.
At the time of the accident the road racing enthusiast was on his way to a race meeting at Salinas, California.
James Dean completed his latest film "Giant", an adaptation of Edna Ferber's book about Texas, just yesterday.
His first film, "East of Eden", cast him firmly into the spotlight and many critics believe he had a glittering Hollywood future ahead of him.
James Byron Dean was born on 8 February 1931 in Marion, Indiana to Winton and Mildred Dean.
When he was five the family moved to Los Angeles where Winton Dean had secured a new job as a dental technician.
His mother died when he was eight after which Jimmy returned to the Midwest where he was brought up by his aunt and uncle on their Indiana farm.
After attending UCLA university in California he moved to New York to pursue his acting career.
He appeared in several television shows before gaining his first major role in "East of Eden." His second film "Rebel Without a Cause" has not yet been released.
Preparations are now being made for Mr Dean's funeral.
Reply #301. Sep 30 08, 12:55 AM
1st October 1962: Mississippi race riots over first black student|
Two people have been killed and at least 75 injured in rioting at the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.
Hundreds of extra troops have been brought in to join Federal forces already stationed in the nearby town of Oxford as the violence spread to its streets.
The protesters are angry at the admission of James Meredith, a black American, to the university.
Rioting erupted last night as President Kennedy addressed the nation in a televised broadcast urging a peaceful settlement to the dispute over racial segregation.
Earlier Mr Kennedy had 'federalised' the Mississippi National Guard to maintain law and order, and mobilised other regular infantrymen and military police across the state line in Tennessee.
The Federal Government had been expecting resistance from the Mississippi State police under the governorship of Ross Barnett, who has previously defied court orders requiring desegregation.
Despite Governor Barnett's assurances that his police would carry out their duties, there have been reports that they neglected to provide adequate security, and additional troops and marshals were called in.
US marshals, military police and National Guardsmen used teargas to take on rioters armed with rocks, lead pipes, petrol bombs and in some instances rifles and shotguns.
More than 100 people were arrested during the night. One US marshal was shot in the neck and critically wounded.
Cars and television trucks were smashed and burned and journalists and cameramen were beaten, as rioters turned on the media.
Mr Meredith remained under guard inside the campus in a university dormitory during the fighting.
After his enrolment this morning, Mr Meredith said: "This is not a happy occasion," but he is said to have remained calm throughout the ordeal.
He was then escorted to his first class - a seminar on American colonial history - through a crowd of several hundred jeering students.
Rioting has continued in the town of Oxford with further arrests made and more troops flown in.
In a broadcast Governor Barnett said that law and order must prevail "even though our state has been invaded by federal forces". He urged those who came from outside the Oxford area to go home.
Reply #302. Oct 01 08, 12:52 AM
2nd october 1993: Hardline Communists riot in Moscow|
Shots have been fired and several people injured after pro-Communist demonstrators fought running battles with security forces loyal to President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow.
Riot squads were moved in to clear the streets after protesters erected barriers and set car tyres ablaze across the Garden Ring Road, Moscow's main thoroughfare.
Riot police drafted in reinforcements and water cannon to disperse the crowds but were driven back with a hail of home-made missiles.
The protesters are supporting rebel ministers occupying the White House (Russia's parliament building).
President Yeltsin set himself on a collision course with MPs by dissolving parliament and called for fresh elections on 21 September.
The rebels have demanded Yeltsin reverse his earlier decision to dissolve the conservative parliament.
Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, a key player among the hard-line communists and nationalist parliament rebels, is claiming the presidency.
Today he called on people to take to the streets again and urged police officers to switch their allegiance.
Several people were injured in the fighting between riot police and around 600 demonstrators armed with steel bars, petrol bombs and rocks.
Police fired warning shots in the air, but were beaten back by a powerful and determined crowd of rioters.
Government sources have reported 24 police officers and five demonstrators were injured in the clash, but parliamentary sources say the figures were higher.
Witnesses say the crowds are dispersing but nationalist parliamentarian Ilya Konstantinov earlier exhorted protesters to "go home and conserve your strength".
Further clashes are expected tomorrow. Meanwhile the Russian Orthodox Church appealed for calm and warned the country is in danger of breaking up.
Patriarch Alexi II yesterday threatened to excommunicate whichever side shed innocent blood first.
Talks brokered by the Orthodox Church are expected to continue, but President Yeltsin has insisted legislators occupying the parliamentary building must surrender their weapons before any truce can be made.
In a concession he allowed electricity to be restored, but in a visit to police surrounding the parliament building, President Yeltsin threatened to prosecute his opponents for several protest-related deaths.
Reply #303. Oct 02 08, 9:58 AM
3rd October 1944: Poles surrender after Warsaw uprising|
The Germans have crushed a rebellion in Warsaw led by the Polish Home Army.
Street fighting began on 1 August as Soviet troops were heard battling on the outskirts of the Polish capital.
After 63 days of struggle and little outside help, the Polish Home Army surrendered to the Germans after a ceasefire at 2200 local time yesterday.
Resistance groups had used the sewers to travel from one part of the city to another and send messages.
Much of the supplies that were dropped by the RAF and US Air Force landed on enemy territory.
After the suburbs of Mokotow and Zoliborz fell earlier this week, the city centre became the final rebel stronghold to give in.
An official message from Commander of the Polish Home Army Colonel Monter on behalf of leader of the uprising General Bor said: "Warsaw has fallen after having exhausted all means of fighting and all food supplies on the 63rd day of her heroic struggle against the overwhelming superiority of the enemy."
His statement was followed by a more detailed version of events from the Polish Prime Minister in exile Stanislaus Mikolajczyk.
Speaking from London, he said military operations has ceased because food, water and ammunition supplies had been exhausted and "all hope of outside relief had vanished".
Attempts by Polish troops working together with Soviet forces to establish a bridgehead across the River Vistula were forced back under heavy fire from the Germans.
He said thousand of wounded people lay in underground hide-outs with no medical help.
He praised the bravery of the capital's people in putting up such a long resistance with no heavy armoury and little outside help.
"The defence of Warsaw will remain for ever a testimony to the invincible moral strength of the Polish nation and its unyielding will to independent life," he said.
Two days ago a last desperate appeal for Soviet aid was made in Moscow.
The chairman of the Soviet-backed Communist Polish Committee of National Liberation, known as the Lublin Committee, said Allied aid from East and West was urgently needed to avert "a tragedy of the first magnitude".
Edward Osubka-Morawski said the scorched earth policy adopted by Soviet forces in Poland had led to famine and disease in his homeland and the Soviet Union would be the main source of aid to Poland.
Reply #304. Oct 03 08, 1:07 AM
October 4th 1957: Sputnik satellite blasts into space|
A Russian satellite has been launched into space - the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth's atmosphere.
The Russian news agency, Tass, said the satellite Sputnik was now 560 miles (900 kilometres) above the Earth and circling it every hour-and-a-half.
Scientists predict the metal sphere will eventually burn up in the atmosphere but they hope it will send important data back to Earth before doing so.
The Soviet Union and the USA have both committed to launching satellites for research as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY).
Delegations from both countries' IGY committees were at a reception at the Russian embassy in Washington when news of Sputnik's launch came through.
The chairman of the American IGY committee, Dr Joseph Kaplan, congratulated the Russians on a "remarkable achievement".
The leader of the Russian delegation, Dr A A Blagonravov, who is believed to have been closely involved with the preparations for the launch, described Sputnik as "the simplest kind of baby moon".
He attributed its weight - 180lb (83.5kg) - largely to heavy batteries.
The satellite's weight has led some American experts to speculate that the rocket which launched it might also be capable of carrying a nuclear weapon thousands of miles.
The fact that Sputnik is expected to fly over the US seven times a day has also caused unease.
There have already been calls for an immediate review of US defences, given the implications of the technological leap ahead by a political enemy.
But Dr Blagonravov said no-one had anything to fear from the Soviet satellite programme.
"It will keep everyone too busy watching the instruments to think about anything else," he said.
President Eisenhower has been informed of the Russian success.
But he said the news would not lead the US to accelerate its own satellite programme.
The first US launch is expected next month.
Reply #305. Oct 04 08, 1:35 AM
October 5th 1974: Four dead in Guildford bomb blasts|
At least four people have been killed and more than 50 injured in two explosions in southern England this evening.
Bombs went off in two pubs packed with Saturday night revellers in the town of Guildford. Many of the victims were soldiers back from duty in Northern Ireland.
The first bomb exploded in the Horse and Groom pub just before 2030 BST, destroying the front of the building and shattering the windows of neighbouring shops.
A second bomb exploded half an hour later in the nearby Seven Stars. Most of the casualties were the result of the initial bomb, which went off without warning.
All pubs and two cinemas in the Surrey town have been shut down for fear of further attacks and police have sealed off the area.
David Howell, former Minister for Northern Ireland described his horror at the injuries caused by the bombs.
"I'm afraid I thought I'd seen the last of this in Belfast. It's quite clear that we must hunt down the maniacs and the animals who would do this kind of thing," he said.
The most seriously injured have been transferred to St. Luke's Hospital in Guildford which is receiving blood plasma from London hospitals to treat casualties.
Surrey Ambulance Service is said to be stretched as crews struggle to cope with the large numbers of wounded.
Guildford is situated close to a number of garrison towns. Its night life is popular with soldiers who are part of the 6000 military personnel in the area.
Senior police officers say given the severity of the explosions and choice of targets, the attacks are likely to be the work of Irish terrorists, but no official confirmation has yet been given.
Special Branch are currently interviewing witnesses.
The republican bombing campaign has intensified on mainland Britain in the last two years. In March 1973 a bomb exploded at the Old Bailey killing one man and injuring 230.
This year 12 people died in February when a bomb exploded on a bus carrying servicemen and their families on the M62. In July, a woman was killed and 41 people hurt by a bomb at the Tower of London.
Reply #306. Oct 05 08, 5:37 AM
Ocober 6th 1981: Egypt's President Sadat assassinated|
President Sadat of Egypt has died after being shot by gunmen who opened fire as he watched an aerial display at a military parade.
A number of other dignitaries including foreign diplomats were killed or seriously wounded.
The Egyptian authorities have declared a state of emergency.
President Sadat was attending the eighth anniversary of the Yom Kippur war with Israel as Field Marshal of the armed forces.
He had taken the salute, laid a wreath and was watching a display from the Egyptian Air Force when two grenades exploded.
Gunmen then leapt from a military truck in front of the presidential reviewing stand and ran towards the spectators, raking officials with automatic gunfire.
Despite typically large numbers of security personnel for the ceremonial occasion, eyewitnesses say the attackers were able to keep shooting for well over a minute.
By the time the president's bodyguards returned fire at least ten people lay seriously injured or dead inside the stand.
Security forces then shot and killed two of the attackers and overpowered the rest, as crowds of military and civilian spectators scrambled for cover.
President Sadat was airlifted by helicopter to a military hospital. He is believed to have died about two hours later.
The precision with which the attack was coordinated has prompted suspicions that the attackers benefited from high-level intelligence and support.
A group calling itself the Independent Organisation for the Liberation of Egypt says it carried out the attack but the claim has not been verified.
Reaction to President's Sadat's death has been mixed.
President Reagan condemned Anwar Sadat's death as an act of infamy. Her said: "America has lost a great friend, the world has lost a great statesman, and mankind has lost a champion of peace."
But many have been celebrating the news. In Libya, Tripoli radio said every tyrant has an end, as thousands took to the streets of the capital in jubilation.
Neither has the Palestinian Liberation Organisation condemned the assassination. Nabil Ramlawi, a PLO official, said: "We were expecting this end of President Sadat because we are sure he was against the interests of his people, the Arab nations and the Palestinian people."
Reply #307. Oct 06 08, 12:56 AM
October 7th 1959: Southend Pier fire traps hundreds|
Three hundred people have been rescued after being cut off by a blaze on the world's longest pleasure pier on England's south-east coast.
The visitors became stranded when a large wooden pavilion at the shore end of the pier caught fire in the early evening.
The pavilion, which is used for holding conferences and other functions, was empty at the time.
Most of the trapped people had been at the far end of the pier when the blaze started.
They had to walk most of the nearly 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) back because the electricity to the pier's railway had been cut off.
However, they were not able to pass the burning pavilion and had to complete the journey by climbing down the pier structure and boarding boats to shore.
Firefighters from surrounding districts joined those in Southend to help put out the flames.
They were watched by a large crowd on the sea front - many of whom had come to see the pier's famous illuminations.
It took nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.
The pier's manager, Frank Flintoff, said the pavilion was very badly damaged but he expected the pier to be open the following day.
Southend Pier was first opened in 1830.
It immediately became a popular feature of the Essex resort which the Victorians called "Whitechapel-on-Sea" because of the number of Londoners from the East End who visited.
During World War II the pier was taken over by the Navy and was used as an assembley and loading point for convoys.
Reply #308. Oct 07 08, 1:31 AM
8th October 1987: Zeebrugge disaster was no accident|
A coroner's inquest jury into the capsizing of the Herald of Free Enterprise has returned verdicts of unlawful killing.
The outcome into the ferry disaster in March, which killed 187 people, has now opened the possibility of a criminal prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
In summing up, coroner Richard Sturt said the verdicts could be returned only if the jury believed a criminal act had been committed and that there had been gross negligence.
The coroner had stressed that the purpose of the inquest was to establish facts not blame, but insisted only the actions of three crewmen could have led to the deaths.
But many of the victims' families have made it clear they wish to see the Townsend-Thoresen company directors (now part of P&O) face prosecution, and not individual employees.
Peter Spooner, father of one of the victims said: "I'm still disappointed and sad that the responsibility did not seem to go up to the level it should have".
Mr Sturt made no comment after the verdicts at Dover Coroner's Court, but said papers would be sent to the Prime Minister and Minister for Transport as well as the DPP.
Michael Napier, solicitor for the families, said "relatives will be hoping the director will take this as seriously as one would expect him to".
'Disease of sloppiness'
After a public inquiry into the disaster, Lord Justice Sheen published a report in July which identified a "disease of sloppiness", and negligence at every level of the company's hierarchy.
Transport Secretary Paul Channon said no one was immune from prosecution but that any decision was the DPP's alone.
And in a judicial review earlier this week, the Divisional Court judged future prosecutions for corporate manslaughter might be feasible.
But this decision was explicitly embargoed until after today's verdicts, so as not to influence the jurors.
Assistant bosun Marc Stanley, one of the three crew members, was said by his lawyer to be "totally shocked" by the verdict. He was the only person to accept responsibility at the Sheen inquiry.
The seamen's unions representing the three men have pledged to campaign for a reversal of the verdict.
Captain David Lewry, the ferry master and Leslie Sabel, Chief Officer were suspended from duty earlier this year.
Reply #309. Oct 08 08, 12:54 AM
9th October 1967: Che Guevara 'shot dead'|
Marxist revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara has reportedly been killed during a battle between army troops and guerillas in the Bolivian jungle.
A statement issued by the commander of the Eighth Bolivian Army Division, Colonel Joaquin Zenteno Anaya, said the 39-year-old guerrilla leader was shot dead near the jungle village of Higueras, in the south-east of the country.
Guevara, former right-hand man to Cuban prime minister, Fidel Castro, disappeared from the political scene in April 1965 and his whereabouts have been much debated since.
His death has been reported several times during the past two-and-a-half years, in the Congo and in the Dominican Republic, but has never been proven.
In his statement, Colonel Anaya said Guevara was one of six guerrillas killed in today's battle. It is understood five Bolivian soldiers were also killed in the clash.
Guevara's body is due to be flown by helicopter to La Paz later today. It is understood that his hands have been amputated for identification purposes.
Argentine-born Che Guevara, an experienced guerrilla leader, was a member of Fidel Castro's "26th of July Movement" which seized power in Cuba in 1959.
He rose quickly through the political ranks, becoming head of the National Bank and ultimately Minister of Industries, and many saw him as the intellectual force behind Castro's government.
But amid rumours of differences with Castro, largely on guerrilla warfare policies, and a desire to further his revolutionary ideals in other parts of Latin America, he resigned in April 1965 and disappeared. Some say he was dismissed although there has never been evidence of this.
It is known he still maintained ties with the Organisation for Latin American Solidarity (OLAS), a group dedicated to "uniting, coordinating and stepping-up the struggle against United States imperialism on the part of all the exploited peoples of Latin America."
His death comes less than two months after an OLAS conference in Havana which highlighted the need for further armed guerrilla action in South America.
Reply #310. Oct 09 08, 10:11 AM
October 10th 1980: Thatcher 'not for turning'|
The Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has made a defiant speech to Conservatives at the party conference in Brighton.
In it she stressed her determination to stick to tough economic policies despite doubts expressed within Tory ranks.
Responding to recent expectations of an about-turn on counter-inflationary policies, Mrs Thatcher declared to widespread cheers:
"To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning!"
Outside in the rain, 'Right to Work' protesters demonstrated, two of whom managed to breach security and make their voices heard in the hall.
You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning!
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
But her speech did acknowledge the plight of the country's two million unemployed.
"Let me make it clear beyond doubt. I am profoundly concerned about unemployment," she said.
She added: "Human dignity and self-respect are undermined when men and women are condemned to idleness."
The Prime Minister expressed her commitment to reducing inflation which she said was beginning to fall, reminding delegates it was the "parent of unemployment".
She also claimed a number of measures imposed by her government in its first 17 months in office as successes.
This included the "first crucial changes" in trade union law, the breaking down of monopoly powers and allowing council tenants the chance to buy their homes.
Mrs Thatcher condemned Soviet foreign policy and in particular its present occupation of Afghanistan.
In response to the recent demonstrations by Polish ship-workers, she praised their resolve to "participate in the shaping of their destiny", and their actions as testament to a crisis in Communism.
Her closing words were reserved for criticism of Labour and votes cast at its party conference in favour of withdrawal from NATO and the EEC.
"Let Labour's Orwellian nightmare of the Left be a spur for us to dedicate with a new urgency our every ounce of energy and moral strength to rebuild the fortunes of this free nation," she said.
Reply #311. Oct 10 08, 12:50 AM
11th October 1982: Mary Rose rises after 437 years|
The Mary Rose, flagship of King Henry VIII, has been raised to the surface after 437 years at the bottom of the Solent.
The long-anticipated £4 million operation, twice postponed, was beset by technical problems with the complicated salvaging apparatus and floating cradle.
But the ship's skeletal remains of mud-caked timber were in the end successfully re-floated and experts can now begin the long process of restoring the Mary Rose in a dry dock in Portsmouth.
A flotilla of boats had gathered off Portsmouth on the south coast of England to witness the occasion.
With the ship already suspended underneath a lifting frame, today's work required raising the wreck in a specially crafted air-cushioned cradle.
Lifting of the wreck from its location at 50 feet below sea level began at 0700 local time and within two hours the first jagged edges of timber had broken the surface.
A cannon was fired from the ramparts of Southsea Castle to signal the historic moment.
Yet just before midday one of the pins holding the lifting frame sheared, a steel line snapped and part of the 80 tonne frame smashed down on the hull.
Speaking after the accident, Prince Charles, President of the Mary Rose Trust, and a seasoned diver at the wreck spoke of his shock:
"I was slightly horrified but I thought the best thing to do was to be British and not panic."
Inspections showed the damage to be slight, but further mishaps meant the wreck was not safely installed onto its transport barge until 1500.
Margaret Rule, archaeological director of the privately-sponsored project said the raising of the "fascinating and rare Tudor artefact" was the culmination of a "dream that had gripped the imagination of the world".
The Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1966 by Alexander McKee, a historian and amateur diver.
Since then over 10,000 well-preserved items have been excavated including weapons, clothes and even a backgammon set.
Reply #312. Oct 11 08, 12:57 AM
12th October 1978: Sex Pistol Vicious on murder charge|
Punk Rocker Sid Vicious has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen was found in their New York hotel room.
The former Sex Pistol and Miss Spungen were staying in a room at the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan.
Staff said Mr Vicious phoned room service to raise the alarm and then ran downstairs saying "something's happened to my girl".
Police called to the scene handcuffed Mr Vicious. As he was led away he shouted at a small crowd gathered to "sod off".
A New York police department spokesman says he will face a murder charge under his real name, John Ritchie. If proven guilty he could face life imprisonment.
The controversial punk rock star met Miss Spungen in London last year and moved to New York to work on a career outside of the Sex Pistols.
The band effectively split in January after lead singer Johnny Rotten walked out at the end of their US tour.
Police say Miss Spungen was found in Room 100 dressed only in her underwear with stab wounds to her stomach. They also retrieved "drugs paraphernalia".
The pair were in the spotlight earlier this year after being charged in London for possession of amphetamine. Friends say recently they had been visiting heroin addiction clinics.
Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious' manager, is expected to fly out to New York on the first plane tomorrow.
He said: "I can't believe he was involved in such a thing. Sid was set to marry Nancy in New York. He was very close to her and had quite a passionate affair with her."
But the former bass player's mother, Anne Beverley was critical of her son's relationship with Miss Spungen:
"I didn't like his girl. I called her Nauseating Nancy. She was a bad influence on my Sid."
Reply #313. Oct 12 08, 1:47 AM
13th October 1992: Thousands of miners to lose their jobs|
The government is planning to close a third of Britain's deep coal mines, with the loss of 31,000 jobs.
The President of the Board of Trade, Michael Heseltine, has announced up to 31 out of 50 remaining deep mines face closure.
Mr Heseltine promised an extra £1bn from the Treasury to meet the cost of redundancies and help mining communities.
Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers urged miners to fight the government and called the layoffs a "savage, brutal act of vandalism".
Robin Cook, Labour's trade spokesman, said the cuts were a "bad decision" not only for the local communities but for tax payers and electricity consumers who would pick up the inevitable costs.
But any suggestion that the UK should follow Germany's lead in preserving its coalfields with extra subsidies was dismissed by Mr Heseltine.
Industry would not be made more competitive by "forcing costs on to them above the market price," he said.
Mr Heseltine said the decision was a necessity born out of the continuing economic recession and the demise of the Cold War, and intimated other industries such as shipbuilding might also suffer.
The cuts take effect immediately for six pits, which close at the end of the week, affecting 6,000 miners.
By March 1993 only 19 mines will be left, grouped in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire areas, although a new mine is expected to open in 1994.
Miners tempted to answer Arthur Scargill's calls for militancy have been issued a stark warning.
Those taking any form of industrial action will lose redundancy entitlements worth up to £37,000.
Chairman of British Coal Neil Clarke has said the cuts would be "grievous", especially since productivity in the industry had more than doubled in the last six years.
But the decision was a consequence of the need to reduce coal output by a minimum of 25,000 million tonnes a year, he said.
Since the privatisation of the power industry in 1990, coal has been displaced by cheaper imports and the expansion in gas supplied electricity generators.
Gas stations are replacing coal stations run by the two major electricity generators National Power and Power Gen, and the new freedom of electricity boards to set up their own gas power stations.
Reply #314. Oct 13 08, 12:49 AM
14th October 1969: New 50-pence coin sparks confusion|
The seven-sided 50p coin has come into circulation to replace the 10-shilling note - but it has received a mixed reception.
It is the third decimal coin to be introduced into the British currency which goes totally decimal on 15 February, 1971, to be known as D-Day.
The British public have already got accustomed to the new 5p and 10p coins introduced last year. There are still three coins left to come - the 2p worth 4.8d, 1p (2.4d) and half pence (1.2d).
Today's new arrival, made of cupro-nickel, is the only heptagonal coin in circulation in the world, according to Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Currency Board (DCB).
But some shopkeepers, bus conductors and members of the public are complaining that in spite of its distinctive shape it is too easily confused with the 10-pence coin or half crown.
One Londoner told the Evening News he accidentally left a 50p coin in a saucer full of 10ps as a tip for a waiter.
"Fortunately the waiter was dead honest and told me. But I suspect there'll be a lot of cases where that doesn't happen," he said.
Economic reasons for change
The DCB has stockpiled 120 million 50-pence coins at banks around the country ready for today's introduction of the coin, making it the largest ever issue of a new coin.
Lord Fiske said the reason for this was to replace the 200 million ten-bob notes as soon as possible.
He said the issue would eventually save the Treasury money. "The note is being replaced primarily on economic grounds. A 10s note has a life of some five months and the costs of distribution and withdrawal are comparatively high.
"Although a 50p coin will cost more to produce initially, it should have a life of at least 50 years and the metal will subsequently be recoverable."
But many people were unhappy with the new addition to their purses and pockets.
Reply #315. Oct 14 08, 1:48 AM
October 14, 2008: Civic-minded Canadians went to the polls. Today is federal election day in Canada. |
Reply #316. Oct 14 08, 4:12 PM
15th October 1969: Millions march in US Vietnam Moratorium|
Americans have taken part in peace initiatives across the United States to protest against the continuing war in Vietnam.
The Peace Moratorium is believed to have been the largest demonstration in US history with an estimated two million people involved.
In towns and cities throughout the US, students, working men and women, school children, the young and the old, took part in religious services, school seminars, street rallies and meetings.
Supporters of the Vietnam Moratorium wore black armbands to signify their dissent and paid tribute to American personnel killed in the war since 1961.
The focal point was the capital, Washington DC, where more than 40 different activities were planned and about 250,000 demonstrators gathered to make their voices heard.
Some peace demonstrators gathered on the Capitol steps last night singing songs and holding a candlelit vigil until rallies began in the morning.
Addressing a rally in Washington, Dr Benjamin Spock, the child care expert, said the war was a "total abomination" that was crippling America and must be stopped.
Outside the White House, there were scuffles and several arrests made when police clamped down on black activists.
In Portland, Oregon, 400 protesters clashed with police after an attempt to prevent conscripts entering an army induction centre.
Administration supporters have been critical of the moratorium. General Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called protesters "interminably vocal youngsters, strangers alike to soap and reason".
In a letter to President Richard Nixon, 15 Republican Congressmen have called for an intensification of the campaign.
Supporters of the war made their views known, too.
In New York, where the mayor, John Lindsay, had ordered the US flag to be flown at half-mast for the day, police officers and fire fighters drove with their headlights on in protest at the moratorium day as did many ordinary American citizens.
Some offiicials wore badges that read: "USA - Unity and Service for America".
But Senator Edward Kennedy, a vocal anti-war campaigner, called for combat troops to be withdrawn from Vietnam by October next year and all forces by the end of 1972.
Speaking in Boston, Senator Kennedy was careful not to accuse the president of perpetuating the war.
"I do not believe that President Nixon is committed to continuing the war in Vietnam, but I do believe this nation is in danger of committing itself to goals and personalities that guarantee the war's continuance."
President Nixon continued to work from the White House without comment, as thousands marched around him.
Peace activists congregated outside US embassies across Europe. In London a crowd of some 300 people demonstrated opposite the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Reply #317. Oct 15 08, 1:08 AM
October 16th 1987: Hurricane winds batter southern England|
Southern Britain has begun a massive clear-up operation after the worst night of storms in living memory.
At least 13 people are known to have died and many dozens have been injured, mostly by falling trees and buildings.
Rescue workers faced an unprecedented number of call-outs as winds hit 94 mph (151 km/h) in the capital and over 110 mph (177 km/h) in the Channel Islands.
Weather forecasters have faced criticism for failing to predict the severity of the weather.
The worst affected areas were along the south coast - in Kent five people died including two seamen in Dover Harbour, and in Dorset two firemen were killed as they answered an emergency call.
The stormy weather was first predicted at the beginning of the week when the Meteorological Office identified a depression strengthening over the Atlantic.
Last night BBC weatherman Michael Fish reassured viewers the system would track along the English Channel, but instead it cut a swathe right across the south of the country.
Commuters were today advised to stay at home as hundreds of roads and railway lines remain blocked by fallen trees.
Some houses and apartments had their roofs blown off. On the Isle of Wight the famous Shanklin Pier, nearly a century old, was reduced to driftwood and in Jaywick, Essex, a caravan park was flattened.
Along the south coast damage to yachts and boat yards was extensive. In Folkestone a Sea Link ferry was blown aground and its crew had to be rescued.
The insurance industry is bracing itself for huge payouts. Most household policies cover storm damage, and thousands of homeowners have already started claims.
In the London of Borough of Ealing alone, 600 calls came from people whose homes and cars had been struck by falling trees and debris.
Len Turner of Ealing Council said central funding from the government might be needed to deal with the exceptional clean-up costs local councils are facing.
"It's going to take an enormous amount of effort and money; I hope we can look to the Government to support us because the burden on local rate payers is going to be enormous."
Reply #318. Oct 16 08, 8:37 AM
17th October 1978: Grey seal cull dramatically reduced|
The number of seals due to be culled in the Orkneys and Western Islands has been dramatically reduced following public pressure.
Just 2,000 seals will now be killed, 2,300 less than originally planned.
A group of Norwegian hunters, in their boat the Kvitungen, have been sent home leaving local hunters to carry out the cull.
Announcing the decision, Scottish Secretary Brian Millan said he believed scientific advice he had received was correct but due to widespread public concern he had decided to revise the number of seals to be killed.
"In the light of this situation and notwithstanding what I have said about the need for an adult cull I have decided to withdraw the Norwegian firm" he said.
The Natural Environment Research Council which advised the government to carry out the cull said if no action were taken the number of seals would double, to 140,000, in ten years.
Seals account for an annual loss of £12m to the fishing industry as a result of the amount of fish they consume.
The Rainbow Warrior trawler, owned by conservation group Greenpeace, has spent two weeks trailing the Norwegian boat preventing the start of the cull.
The group claimed victory in preventing the mass killing. Director Peter Wilkinson said: "We have always said there may be a case for culling the seals. But the evidence has simply not been made available."
"This is magnificent news and an enormous victory for public opinion" he added.
The widespread campaign against the cull has resulted in Downing Street receiving over 14,000 letters in protest to the decision.
Reply #319. Oct 17 08, 1:16 AM
October 18th 1989: East Germany leader ousted|
The Communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, has been forced to step down as leader of the country.
After 18 years in power he will be replaced by Egon Krenz, currently the head of internal and external security for the Politburo.
The official reason for his departure is said to be "ill health" but failure to deal with the tide of discontentment sweeping the country and the party is thought to be the real reason.
Up to 120,000 people marched in Leipzig on Monday to protest against a lack of political reforms and thousands of people are continuing to leave the country in search of better opportunities.
We were dying on our feet under Honecker
Student Steffi Muller
The recent visit of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is also being seen as a contributing factor to the downfall of Mr Honecker.
The Soviet leader was highly critical of the East German leadership saying there was a need for people to feel involved with their country and to have their opinions taken seriously.
The placement of Mr Krenz is being seen by the opposition as a change of tactics rather than a change of direction.
The banned opposition movement New Forum said: "Krenz's appointment shows the Communist party has no intention of sharing power. Reform under him is unlikely."
A decade's grooming
Mr Krenz, who at 55 is the youngest member of the Politburo, has been groomed to take over for more than a decade by Mr Honecker.
The news has so far received mixed reactions.
Student Steffi Muller, referring to the official announcement that "health reasons" were the cause for the departure said: "They were really referring to the health of the country - we were dying on our feet under Honecker."
Rainer Eppelmann, an East Berlin vicar said: "Krenz must show that he has the will to change things, and not only cosmetically."
Mr Honecker was expected to retire next year, following the country's 40th anniversary celebrations.
Reply #320. Oct 18 08, 1:30 AM
Legal / Conditions of Use