8th November 1974: Police hunt Lord Lucan after murder|
Detectives are searching for British aristocrat Lord Lucan, following the murder last night of his children's nanny and an attack on his estranged wife.
The Seventh Earl of Lucan, aged 39, has not been seen since yesterday.
Late last night police were called to the family home in Lower Belgrave Street in London.
They found the body of 29-year-old Sandra Rivett, nurse to the couple's three children, tied up in a sack.
She had been beaten to death with what is believed to have been a piece of lead pipe.
Her killer is thought to have been dragging her out of the house when he was disturbed by Lord Lucan's estranged wife, 35-year-old Lady Veronica Lucan.
The attacker then beat Lady Lucan about the head but she managed to escape and make her way to the nearest pub, the Plumbers' Arms.
She had blood pouring from several wounds on her head and was pleading for help.
She is reported to have said: "Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken - he tried to kill me.
"I think I am dying. Please look after my children, my children."
She is now being treated in St George's Hospital and has given police a description of her attacker.
Her children - Lord George Bingham, aged seven, Lady Frances Bingham, aged 10 and Lady Camilla Bingham, aged four - are being looked after.
Police said the children, who were made wards of court earlier this year, were unaware of the attack on their mother last night.
After the body was found, police went to an address in Eaton Rd, where Lord Lucan has been living.
Neighbours saw them break down the door and burst in and one officer smashed a downstairs window.
Lord Lucan's car, a Datsun, was later found abandoned in Whitehall and taken away for examination.
Lord and Lady Lucan married in 1963. Lord Lucan succeeded to the earldom the following year.
Divorce proceedings began earlier this year and the couple had been living apart for some time.
Reply #341. Nov 08 08, 2:05 AM
9th November 1989: Berliners celebrate the fall of the Wall|
The Berlin Wall has been breached after nearly three decades keeping East and West Berliners apart.
At midnight East Germany's Communist rulers gave permission for gates along the Wall to be opened after hundreds of people converged on crossing points.
They surged through cheering and shouting and were be met by jubilant West Berliners on the other side.
Ecstatic crowds immediately began to clamber on top of the Wall and hack large chunks out of the 28-mile (45-kilometre) barrier.
It had been erected in 1961 on the orders of East Germany's former leader Walter Ulbricht stop people leaving for West Germany.
Since 1949 about 2.5 million people had fled East Germany.
After 1961, the Wall and other fortifications along the 860-mile (1,380-kilometre) border shared by East and West Germany have kept most East Germans in.
Many of those attempting to escape have been shot dead by border guards.
The first indication that change was imminent came earlier today when East Berlin's Communist party spokesman, Gunther Schabowski, announced East Germans would be allowed to travel directly to West Germany.
The move was intended to stem an exodus into West Germany through the "back door" which began last summer when the new and more liberal regime in Hungary opened its border.
The flow of migrants was intensified last week when Czechoslovakia also granted free access to West Germany through its border.
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has hailed the decision to open the Wall as "historic" and called for a meeting with East German leader, Egon Krenz.
Reply #342. Nov 09 08, 2:43 AM
November 10th 1960: Lady Chatterley's Lover sold out|
Bookshops all over England have sold out of Penguin's first run of the controversial novel Lady Chatterley's Lover - a total of 200,000 copies - on the first day of publication.
DH Lawrence's sexually explicit novel was published in Italy in 1928 and in Paris the following year. It has been banned in the UK - until now.
Last month, after a dramatic and much-publicised trial, Penguin won the right to publish the book in its entirety.
For those who can manage to find a copy, it is available in paperback for 3s 6d.
Rush to buy
London's largest bookstore, W&G Foyle Ltd, said its 300 copies had gone in just 15 minutes and it had taken orders for 3,000 more copies.
When the shop opened this morning there were 400 people - mostly men - waiting to buy the unexpurgated version of the book.
Hatchards in Piccadilly sold out in 40 minutes and also had hundreds of orders pending.
Selfridges sold 250 copies in minutes. A spokesman told the Times newspaper, "It's bedlam here. We could have sold 10,000 copies if we had had them."
Lady C, as it has become known, has also become a bestseller in the Midlands and the North where demand has been described as "terrific".
Novel on trial
The book tells of Lady Chatterley's passionate affair with Mellors, the family gamekeeper, and details their erotic meetings.
Last year the government introduced the Obscene Publications Act that said that any book considered obscene by some but that could be shown to have "redeeming social merit" might still published.
This prompted Penguin to print off and store 200,000 copies with the aim of completing a set of works by DH Lawrence to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death this year.
Penguin sent 12 copies to the Director of Public Prosecutions challenging him to prosecute, which he duly did.
The six-day trial at the Old Bailey began on 27 October and gripped the nation.
The defence produced 35 witnesses, including bishops and leading literary figures, such as Dame Rebecca West, EM Forster and Richard Hoggart.
The prosecution was unable to make a substantial case against the novel and at one point prosecution counsel Mervyn Griffith-Jones shocked the jury by asking: "Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?"
Reply #343. Nov 10 08, 2:07 AM
11th November 1954: Pensioners demand more money|
Thousands of elderly people have taken part in a rally in London calling for an increase in their pensions.
The National Federation of Old Age Pensions Associations has been leading a campaign for an immediate 17s 6d rise in pensions to take a single person's allowance to £2 10s per week.
The Conservative Government promised in July to restore pensions to at least the equivalent of their 1946 value, as laid out in the National Insurance Act of that year.
But there is disagreement about how much pensions would need to go up to achieve the same post-war purchasing power. It is thought the government is looking at a figure of about 4s 9d for a single person, 6s 3d for a couple.
The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, Osbert Peake, has promised to announce the government's final decision before Christmas. But legislation will need to be altered and this could delay the increased payments for two to three months.
Pensioners have been bussed into the capital from all over the country for today's rally at Central Hall in Westminster.
The Federation has written to Mr Peake challenging him to explain why he is stalling over the increase.
The contents of the letter were read out to the crowd by Mr A Williams, a pensioner from Cardiff, who ended by saying: "I hope it spoiled his breakfast."
Another speaker read out a prepared statement: "This rally of 4,000 old age pensioners assembled in the Central Hall Westminster on Thursday November 11th register their disgust at the delaying tactics of the Government in their refusal to grant a living pension to the old folk.
"Slight relief will not satisfy this federation or its members. We demand an immediate increase from 32s 6d to £2 10s per week for all old age pensioners."
When the pensioners were asked to approve the resolution calling for the extra money, there was a unanimous roar of "aye".
There was a similar roar of approval for the proposal to provide pensions from taxation rather than national insurance to "ensure the whole nation makes a contribution".
Both resolutions are to be sent to all the relevant ministers including the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the Chancellor Rab Butler and Pensions Minister Mr Peake.
Nothing changes it seems 2008 and pensioners still have to campaign for a fair pension
Reply #344. Nov 11 08, 2:05 AM
At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns of the Great War fell silent. Ninety years later, we remember all those who died, just as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Second World War, the Korean War, in all those contained wars that have flared up around the world since 1952, including the present-day conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.|
In the words of Lawrence Binyon -
"They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Reply #345. Nov 11 08, 1:54 PM
12th November 1954: New York's Ellis Island closes|
New York's main immigration control centre, Ellis Island, has shut down after 62 years.
The site, which has admitted around 15 million people into America from overseas since it first opened in 1892, will no longer be used as an examination centre for those wanting to live in the United States.
The functions of the island will be transferred to the Immigration Service's headquarters in New York City.
From now on, would-be US citizens will be free to enter the country without inspection on arrival.
The only exception to the rule will be those who have either been provisionally admitted on parole or sentenced to deportation for violation of US laws.
Former arms depot
Over the years, Ellis Island has been the chief immigration centre for the US.
Many people from overseas had to spend a day or two at the site while their papers were being processed.
The US government originally bought the island from the New York state for $10,000 (£5,500) in the early 19th century.
The site had previously belonged to Manhattan merchant Samuel Ellis and it was passed to his heirs in 1808.
For a while the island was used by the US government for arms storage but local residents objected.
Then it became an immigration centre and by the turn of the century up to 5,000 people a day came through its doors hoping for a better life in the US .
But following the introduction of new laws, wars and economic recessions, numbers have slowed considerably.
The authorities are currently in the process of deciding how best to preserve the historic site.
Reply #346. Nov 12 08, 2:11 AM
13th November 1971: American probe orbits Mars|
The American space probe, Mariner 9, has become the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, swinging into its planned trajectory around Mars without a hitch.
An engine burn at 2337 GMT put the craft into an elliptical orbit around the Red Planet set to take it within 800 miles (1,290 km) of the surface.
Three previous missions, Mariners 4, 6 and 7, have flown past Mars, but none has gone nearer than 2000 miles (3,200 km).
Mariner 9 is due to circle the planet twice a day for three months, sending back more than 5000 pictures covering 70% of the surface.
It's hoped it will map the planet's white polar caps, believed to consist of carbon dioxide, as well as provide vital clues about the possible existence of life.
However, the first photographs, taken on the approach to the planet, have been disappointing.
A vast dust storm which began on 22 September has been sending huge red clouds at high speeds across much of the planet's surface.
The setback led to a groundbreaking exercise by Nasa scientists, who had to re-program the space probe over millions of miles of space to wait until the dust storm had abated before continuing with its mission.
Geologists hoping for a closer look at the features on Mars are dismayed, but atmospheric scientists are delighted.
Dr Bradford Smith, one of the Mariner investigators, said the storm was "unprecedented", and said it was "an unusual opportunity to study a dynamic atmospheric phenomenon on Mars".
Experts say the storm is beginning to clear, however, and already some features are visible through the gloom.
Some of the first to be released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which runs the Mariner missions, show four striking black dots rising above the mist.
Scientists say they are mountain peaks near the south polar cap.
The Soviet authorities have informed Nasa that two Russian probes, Mars 2 and Mars 3, will, as had been suspected, attempt a landing on Mars once they arrive.
The two probes have been trailing closely behind Mariner 9 on its five-month journey to the planet.
For the first time, a "hot line" has been set up between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Soviet Academy of Sciences to exchange important findings.
The Americans are due to attempt their first landing on Mars with the Viking mission in 1976.
Reply #347. Nov 13 08, 1:09 AM
14th November 1991: US accuses Libyans of Lockerbie bombing|
Two Libyan intelligence officers have been accused of masterminding the Lockerbie bombing.
The United States has called on Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi to hand over the two men, Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah.
The men have been indicted in the US on 193 charges, including three which carry the death penalty.
Arrest warrants have also been issued for the two Libyans in Scotland on charges of murder and conspiracy in relation to bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.
The plane was en route from London to New York when it exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground.
President George Bush is to consult British Prime Minister John Major and other world leaders over the next few days to decide the international response.
Both President Bush and Mr Major have refused to rule out military action if Libya fails to hand over the suspects for trial.
However, Libya's ambassador to France, Saeeb Mujber, has said his country would not comply with the indictments.
Mr Mujber told the BBC that surrendering the two men would be to surrender Libya's sovereignty.
Libya had been implicated as an excuse for a military assault, he added.
"'This is a political thing. This is a lynching to bring Libya to its knees," Mr Mujber said.
But the US acting Attorney General, William Barr, said a fragment from the Toshiba radio-cassette recorder which contained the bomb linked the accused to the crime.
"Scientists determined that it was part of the bomb's timing device and traced it to its manufacturer - a Swiss company that had sold it to a high-level Libyan intelligence official," Mr Barr said.
Reply #348. Nov 14 08, 2:01 AM
November 15th 1940: Germans bomb Coventry to destruction|
The German Luftwaffe has bombed Coventry in a massive raid which lasted more than 10 hours and left much of the city devastated.
Relays of enemy aircraft dropped bombs indiscriminately. One of the many buildings hit included the 14th century cathedral, which was all but destroyed.
Initial reports suggest the number of casualties is about 1,000. Intensive anti-aircraft fire kept the raiders at a great height from which accurate bombing was impossible.
Reports say 4,330 homes were destroyed and three-quarters of the city's factories damaged.
Other targets included two hospitals, two churches, hotels, clubs, cinemas, public-shelters, public swimming baths, a police station and a post office.
According to one report, some 500 enemy aircraft took part in the raid. Wave upon wave of bombers scattered their lethal payloads over the city. The night sky, already lit by a brilliant moon, was further illuminated by flares and incendiary bombs.
The German High Command has issued a communiqué describing the attack on Coventry as a reprisal for the British attack on Munich - the birthplace of the Nazi party.
The message continued: "Particularly heavy was the attack on Coventry, where numerous engine works and aero accessory factories as well as other targets of military importance were attacked with bombs of heaviest calibre, causing extensive damage."
The German Official News Agency described the raid on Coventry as "the most severe in the whole history of the war".
The bombing began at 1920 and did not cease until dawn. The all-clear was finally sounded at 0615 GMT.
The city's tram system was destroyed. Nearly all gas and water pipes were smashed and people have been advised to boil emergency supplies of water.
The cathedral Provost, the Very Reverend Dick Howard and a party of helpers attempted to deal with 12 incendiary bombs by smothering them with sand. But another shower of incendiaries accompanied by high explosives forced them to give up their efforts.
Mr Howard said: "The cathedral will rise again, will be rebuilt, and it will be as great a pride to future generations as it has been to generations of the past."
Troops have been drafted in to help clear up the streets. Rescuers have also been working to free those who lay buried in the rubble, often in the remains of their own homes.
Home Secretary Herbert Morrison was on the scene within hours of the all-clear. He met the mayor and other local officials and afterwards paid tribute to the work of the National Service units of the city, who had "stood up to their duty magnificently".
Reply #349. Nov 15 08, 1:50 AM
16th November 1979: Blunt revealed as 'fourth man'|
The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, has named Sir Anthony Blunt, a former security service officer and personal adviser on art to the Queen as the "fourth man" in the Cambridge spy ring.
The announcement - given in a written answer in the Commons - ends a 15-year cover-up.
Mrs Thatcher revealed he had confessed to the authorities in 1964 but under a secret deal was granted immunity from prosecution.
Minutes after the Prime Minister's statement Buckingham Palace said he was being stripped of his knighthood.
The news comes after renewed speculation about Professor Blunt's role in the defection in 1951 of spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, prompted by a new book The Climate of Treason.
Professor Blunt has gone into hiding. He is believed to have fled the country and gone to somewhere in southern Europe.
Ministers admitted the professor's lawyer had been warned in advance about the prime minister's statement - although he was not told exactly what it would say.
He had been part of a Cambridge spy ring made up of Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Harold "Kim" Philby - who was in charge of British intelligence's anti-communist counter-espionage from 1944-46.
Burgess and Maclean defected in 1951 following a tip-off from Philby. He defected himself in 1963.
Professor Blunt became a Marxist under the influence of his Cambridge friend Guy Burgess.
In World War II he served as an officer in MI5 between 1940 and 1945. The authorities were aware of his Marxist views but did not consider him to be a security risk.
Professor Blunt's name emerged during investigations into the defection of Burgess and Maclean. He was interviewed 11 times but did not confess.
In 1964 new information came to light which implicated Blunt in the Cambridge spy ring. The Attorney General decided the only way to get to the truth of the affair was to persuade Blunt to confess by offering him immunity from prosecution.
He admitted he had become an agent of Russian intelligence and talent-spotted for them at Cambridge in the 1930s.
While with MI5 he used his old contacts in the Russian intelligence service to assist in the arrangements for Burgess and Macleans' defection.
During this time Blunt was allowed to remain art adviser to the Queen. The security services did not want to risk losing his co-operation by forcing him to resign.
Andrew Boyle, author of the book The Climate of Treason, published ten days ago, said he had known Professor Blunt was the fourth man for three years.
Reply #350. Nov 16 08, 2:26 AM
November 17th 2003: Washington sniper convicted|
An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War has been found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October last year.
John Allen Muhammad, 42, may now face the death penalty.
He was convicted of shooting dead Dean Meyers at a petrol station in Manassas, Virginia, on 9 October 2002, and murdering "at least one other person".
After just six and a half hours the jury at a court in Virginia Beach, Virginia, found him guilty on all four counts of murder, terrorism, conspiracy and a firearms charge.
Two of the jury members were crying as the verdict was read out, but Muhammad showed little emotion.
The terrorism charge was brought under a new law enacted by Virginia following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. Under the law, terrorists can be given the death penalty.
During the three-week killing spree last October, 10 people died and three were wounded.
The victims were chosen at random, while they shopped, mowed lawns or put petrol in their cars at garages.
The killer played a cat-and-mouse game with the police, leaving a letter at the scene of one of the shootings demanding a $10 million payment from the US government and asking them to "Call me God".
The area was so terrorised that sports teams practised indoors and people kept their heads down or hid in their cars when they used petrol pumps.
During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Muhammad as a cold-blooded killer who trained his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, as an expert sniper.
The pair specially modified a car to allow shooting through a hole cut in the boot. They were arrested while sleeping in the car in late October.
Malvo, now 18, is on trial separately in nearby Chesapeake, accused of murdering FBI analyst Linda Franklin, shot dead on 14 October 2002 in Falls Church, Virginia.
His lawyers are arguing he was brainwashed by Muhammad, whom he looked up to as a father figure.
Muhammad has throughout denied he was involved, arguing that the case against him was circumstantial.
Relatives of the victims welcomed the verdict, and some urged the jury to decide in favour of the death penalty.
"I consider justice to have been served," said Bob Meyers, the brother of Dean Meyers, the victim at the heart of the trial.
"I believe that capital punishment is an appropriate response in certain crimes, and I must say that I can't think of too many more heinous crimes than this one."
Reply #351. Nov 17 08, 1:48 AM
18th November 1991: Church envoy Waite freed in Beirut|
Church envoy Terry Waite has been freed by the Islamic extremists who kidnapped him in Beirut in 1987.
Mr Waite, the envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, successfully negotiated the release of several Westerners held in Beirut before he was also taken captive.
He was released with an American academic, Thomas Sutherland who was seized in 1985.
Their captors, Islamic Jihad, broke the news in a brief note to an international news agency in the Lebanese capital.
Terry Waite was the last British captive in Lebanon following the release of journalist John McCarthy in August and 77-year-old Jackie Mann in September.
At a press conference in Damascus, Syria, he told reporters the kidnappers had promised other Western hostages would be released soon.
Mr Waite said his captors had told him they would free the remaining three American hostages - Joseph Cicippio, Alan Steen and Terry Anderson - by the end of the month.
His captors had apologised for kidnapping him and admitted hostage taking served no useful purpose, Mr Waite added.
Thomas Sutherland told the conference they had seen Terry Anderson - the longest-held hostage - just before their release.
Mr Sutherland said: 'We left Terry Anderson about three or four hours ago in Lebanon and he is no longer chained to the wall, thank God, but he is still in a room that has very little fresh air and no daylight whatsoever."
The release of Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland means there are now five Western hostages left in Beirut - three Americans and two Germans.
After the release of Mr Waite and Mr Sutherland were confirmed bells rang out at St Bride's Church, in Fleet Street, London, where vigils have been held on behalf of Mr Waite and other hostages.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, said he was "delighted" at the news.
'The prayers of so many people have been answered today and we thank God for news of his release,' Dr Carey said.
Reply #352. Nov 18 08, 1:51 AM
November 19th 1969: Second Apollo mission lands on Moon|
The crew of the latest Apollo mission has carried out the second manned landing on the Moon's surface.
Apollo 12 almost failed before it began because of a leaking hydrogen tank, but launch crews raced against time to change it before takeoff.
There was another moment of drama shortly after launch as Apollo 12 was struck by lightning.
Instruments shut down for a few seconds, but power was quickly restored.
Since then, the mission has run smoothly apart from the early failure of the television camera which was to have sent the first live colour pictures back to Earth.
The astronauts, Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lieutenant-Commander Alan Bean, made a perfect landing on smooth ground between craters in the Ocean of Storms at 0653BST (0553 GMT), four days after takeoff.
Pete Conrad was first to step out of the lunar module, codenamed Intrepid, becoming the third man to walk on the Moon's surface at 1244 BST (1144 GMT).
The ladder used to climb down onto the surface was slightly short, and forced him to jump the last few feet.
As he did so, he joked, "Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me!"
He found the surface soil was softer than at Tranquillity Base, where the first manned mission, Apollo 11, landed in July.
It is believed Intrepid had landed on a ray of debris thrown out by the crater Copernicus, 150 miles (240 km) away. The astronaut's boots sank noticeably into the soil.
"I can walk okay," he said, "but I've got to take it easy."
The camera failed 15 minutes after Commander Conrad left the module. Engineers are trying to find out what caused the fault, and believe it may have been caused by the intense light of the sun.
One of the objectives of the mission was to recover Surveyor 3, a previous American probe sent to the Moon in April 1967.
When Intrepid landed, it was within sight of the probe, 600 feet (200 metres) away and perched on the edge of a small crater.
The two astronauts will attempt to retrieve the probe during a second moonwalk tomorrow.
During their three-and-a-half hour walk on the surface, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were in high spirits, whistling, laughing and joking.
They carried out experiments, collected samples, and left a lunar surface experiment package with a number of devices to measure phenomena like solar winds and atmosphere.
Throughout the two men's stay on the moon, their colleague, Richard Gordon, has remained orbiting the Moon in the command module, Yankee Clipper.
Reply #353. Nov 19 08, 2:02 AM
20th November 1945: Nuremberg trial of Nazis begins|
Twenty of Germany's Nazi leaders have gone on trial in the German city of Nuremberg charged with war crimes.
The four judges who make up the International Military Tribunal took their seats at 1000 hours to hear the charges read out.
The offences included waging a war of aggression, violating the customs of warfare and committing crimes against humanity.
The three major wartime powers, the United States, Soviet Union and Britain will sit on the tribunal, and France has also been awarded a place.
The British president of the tribunal, Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, opened the trial, calling it "unique in the history of the jurisprudence of the world and of supreme importance to millions of people all over the globe.
"For this reason there is laid upon everybody who takes any part in this trial the solemn responsibility to discharge his duties without fear or favour in accordance with the sacred principles of law and justice," he said.
The accused include Hermann Goring, Commander of the Luftwaffe, Admiral Karl Donitz, who became German president following Hitler's death, Albert Speer, a close friend of Hitler's, and Martin Bormann, successor to Hess as Nazi Party Secretary, is being tried in his absence.
They were seated in two rows in the dock, which has been specially adapted to contain all 20 of them. American military police in their trademark steel white helmets were seated behind and at either end of the dock.
The whole day's sitting was then taken up with the simultaneous reading of the 24,000-word indictment in four different languages.
Everyone in the court was issued with headphones to allow them to hear the charges being read in their native languague, but the accused showed little interest.
They are represented by counsel and the prosecution has made available all its documents to allow a just defence.
Talks about how to punish the Nazi leadership once the war ended began months ago.
The British Government wanted to shoot the leaders once they were caught and formally identified - but the Soviet Union and US favoured a legal process.
The International Military Tribunal was finally set up on 8 August by which time the main parties had agreed a compromise on a set of internationally recognised offences.
They had also accepted Soviet insistence that only Axis aggression was covered by the new court - otherwise the Soviet authorities would have been in the dock as well for carving up Poland in 1939 and attacking Finland three months later.
The defendants are expected to enter their pleas in the morning - most are expected to plead not guilty.
Reply #354. Nov 20 08, 9:17 AM
21st November 1974: Birmingham pub blasts kill 19|
Bombs have devastated two central Birmingham pubs, killing 19 people and injuring over 180.
Police have said they believe the Provisional IRA planted the devices in the Mulberry Bush and the nearby Tavern in the Town.
The explosions coincided with the return to Ireland of the body of James McDade, the IRA man who was killed in Coventry last week when the bomb he was planting blew up prematurely.
The two blasts were only seconds apart and happened at about 2030 GMT, when the bars were packed with mainly teenage drinkers.
Police attempted to clear both pubs, but the bombs went off only 12 minutes after a man with an Irish accent telephoned the Birmingham Post newspaper with a warning.
The first attack was in the Mulberry Bush, which is located on the ground-floor of the 17-storey Rotunda office block.
'Disastrous and appalling'
The second device exploded 50-yards (45.7 m) away in an underground bar, the Tavern in the Town.
Michael Willis, 18, was in the Tavern when the bomb went off.
"I was going to put a record on the juke box when there was an explosion.
"There were bodies everywhere and I had to clamber over them to get out - the screaming and groaning from the injured was terrifying," he said.
Many of the injured were ferried to nearby hospital in taxis and private cars, and dozens of ambulances from all over the West Midlands were called in.
Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police Maurice Buck said the carnage caused by the bombs was "disastrous and appalling".
*I was lucky i had been the Tavern in the Town a hour before the bomb went off but was tired so went back to my hotel*
Reply #355. Nov 21 08, 2:16 AM
22nd November 1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas |
The President of the United States has been assassinated by a gunman in Dallas, Texas.
John F Kennedy was hit in the head and throat when three shots were fired at his open-topped car.
The presidential motorcade was travelling through the main business area of the city.
Texas Governor John Connally was also seriously injured when one of the unknown sniper's bullets hit him in the back.
The men were accompanied by their wives, who were both uninjured.
Vice-president Lyndon Johnson - who was following in a different car - has been sworn in as the new US leader.
The presidential party was driving from Dallas airport to the city centre when witnesses said shots were fired from the window of a building overlooking the road.
The president collapsed into Jackie Kennedy's arms, who was heard to cry "Oh no". Seconds later Governor Connally was also hit.
Dallas Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson was in the motorcade close behind the Democrat leader's car and heard the shots as it entered Dealey Plaza.
"As I looked up I saw a rifle being pulled back from a window - it might have been resting on the windowsill - I didn't see a man," he said.
Mr Kennedy's limousine was driven at speed to Parklands Hospital immediately after the shooting.
The president was alive when he was admitted, but died at 1400 local time (1900 GMT) - 35 minutes after being shot.
Police and Secret Service agents stormed the School Book Depository building moments after the shots were fired and recovered a rifle with a telescopic sight, said to be the assassination weapon.
The mood of shock in the US was echoed by Senator Mike Mansfield in an emergency forum of the senate.
"This is terrible - I cannot find words," he said.
Reply #356. Nov 22 08, 2:25 AM
23rd November 1963: Johnson takes over as US president|
Fifty-five year old Lyndon Baines Johnson begins his new job today as US president.
He was sworn in yesterday just two hours after an assassin shot President John F Kennedy in the head.
The former vice-president took his oath on the presidential plane at Andrew's Air Force Base.
The new first lady, Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson, witnessed the swearing-in together with the dead president's widow Jacqui Kennedy - her stocking still stained with her husband's blood.
The party flew to Washington with the assassinated president's coffin after the ceremony.
Path to power
On arriving in Washington the president said, "I will do my best. That is all I can do."
President Johnson will address a joint session of Congress in three day's time where it is likely he will outline his future programme.
Commentators say there probably will be little immediate change in policy with a presidential election on the horizon.
The new president has come from humble beginnings to become one of the world's most powerful men.
The eldest of five children, he was born on a Texan farm in 1908 into a poor background.
Mr Johnson worked as a teacher before entering politics as a Texan congressman's secretary in 1931.
President Roosevelt soon spotted his talents and made him the director of the National Youth Administration in Texas in 1935.
After serving six successive terms in the House of Representatives, he entered the senate in 1948 and rapidly rose through the ranks gaining powerful posts.
He made his mark by single-handedly steering the Civil Rights Act through the senate in 1957 despite opposition from within his own party.
In 1960 Mr Johnson ran in the Democratic presidential elections which he lost to Kennedy who then invited him to be his running mate.
He is regarded by some commentators as a master of compromise with an able political brain.
Mr Johnson is married with two daughters, 19 year old Lynda and Lucy aged 16.
Reply #357. Nov 23 08, 2:30 AM
1963 - First episode of Doctor Who transmitted.|
1499 - Perkin Warbeck executed.
1869 - Cutty Sark launched.
Reply #358. Nov 23 08, 6:22 AM
24th November 1963: Kennedy 'assassin' murdered|
The man accused of assassinating the US President, John F Kennedy, has himself been shot dead in a Dallas police station.
Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old former Marine, was being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, at the centre of a large crowd of police officers, reporters and camera crews.
The event was being covered live on television, and Americans across the country watched in astonishment as a man - later identified as Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner - stepped forward, drew a gun and shot Mr Oswald at point-blank range.
Mr Oswald fell to the floor, grasping his stomach, as a confused scuffle broke out between police, reporters and the gunman.
An ambulance rushed Mr Oswald to the Parkland Hospital - the same hospital which had fought to save President Kennedy's life two days earlier - but he died within minutes of his arrival.
Mr Oswald was arrested about an hour after the assassination of John F Kennedy, carried out as the President's motorcade passed through the Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
He was initially taken into custody for the murder of a policeman, JD Tippit, who appears to have recognised him and approached him just 45 minutes after the killing of the President.
Soon after, Mr Oswald was also charged with the President's assassination.
He strongly denied that he carried out the assassination, saying to reporters, "I'm just a patsy."
Police gave no explanation of how Jack Ruby came to be in the police headquarters.
The building had been under heavy guard after several calls making threats against Oswald's life.
Ruby came to Dallas from Chicago 10 years ago.
He runs a downtown striptease club, and is said to have links with organised criminals.
Police said Ruby had told them, "I didn't want to be a hero - I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy."
They said he wanted to spare the president's wife the ordeal of the trial of the man accused of killing her husband.
Ruby has been formally charged with murder and is now being held in custody without bail.
Reply #359. Nov 24 08, 2:39 AM
November 25th 1963: John F Kennedy is laid to rest|
The funeral of the assassinated President, John F Kennedy, has taken place in Washington.
An estimated 800,000 Americans lined the streets to watch the coffin's procession from the Capitol, where the president's body had lain in state since yesterday.
The crowd stood in silence, punctuated only by the sound of weeping, as the funeral procession made its way towards St Matthew's Cathedral in central Washington.
The coffin, draped with the Stars and Stripes, lay on a gun carriage drawn by six grey horses. A black riderless horse pranced along behind.
Mr Kennedy's widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, and her two children, three-year-old John Kennedy junior, and five-year-old Caroline, rode behind in a black car, accompanied by his brothers, Robert and Edward.
Then came the long procession of guests, representing every continent in the world in one of the most distinguished gathering of foreign dignitaries ever assembled in the history of the United States.
They included, for Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and the Leader of the Opposition, Harold Wilson.
President de Gaulle of France was among them, as was President de Valera of Ireland, Chancellor Erhard of West Germany, and the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie.
Also among the mourners, in a poignant recognition of the dead president's efforts to foster peace around the world, was the Soviet first deputy Prime Minister, Anastas Mikoyan, representing Nikolai Khrushchev.
A child's salute
The requiem mass at St Matthew's was led by Cardinal Cushing of Boston.
It included a reading of the entire inaugural address, delivered by John F Kennedy in January 1961, with perhaps his most famous words: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
As the coffin left the church after the ceremony, three-year-old John Kennedy Junior was seen to step forward for a moment and put his hand to his forehead in what appeared to be a childish salute.
The president was buried in Arlington Cemetery to a 21-gun salute and three musket volleys.
As a bugle sounded the Last Post, the remains of John F Kennedy were lowered into the grave.
The time was 2034 GMT, and the short but momentous era of America's youngest elected president was over.
Reply #360. Nov 25 08, 2:32 AM
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