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1972 Jan 22, Britain, Denmark, Ireland and Norway joined the European Economic Community.
1972 Jan 30, In Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland,
British troops fired on a civil rights march in the Bloody Sunday massacre. 13-14 people were killed by soldiers of the First Parachute Regiment, six of whom were only 17. The British embassy in Dublin was burned down. One man who was photographed being arrested and taken into a British army Saracen was later found shot dead. The march, which was called to protest internment, was "illegal"
according to British government authorities. Internment without trial was introduced by the British government on August 9, 1971. The British government-appointed Widgery Tribunal found soldiers were not guilty of killing the 13 marchers. The 1997 book “Eyewitness Bloody Sunday” by Don Mullan included 113 accounts by participants and bystanders. In 1998 an independent commission said that the
identities of the soldiers would not be protected. In 2001 Martin McGuinness admitted that he was 2nd in command of the IRA at the time of the massacre. The Saville Inquiry heard its last oral testimony in 2004. A report in 2010, 12 years in the making, blamed British soldiers for the killings.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1p.7)(SFC,
1/30/97, p.A18)(SFEM, 1/18/98, p.11)(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D4)(SFC, 5/1/01, p.A8)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.51)(SFC, 6/16/10, p.A2)
1972 Feb 2, The play "Jumpers" by Tom Stoppard (b.1937) was first performed at the Old Vic Theatre, London,
(www.complete-review.com/reviews/stoppt/jumpers.htm)(SFEM, 1/2/00, p.6)
1972 Feb 25, Wings released "Give Ireland Back to the Irish." Paul and Linda McCartney wrote the song in response to the
events of Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland on January 30, 1972. It was soon banned by the BBC.
1972 Mar 12, The U.K. and China
agreed to establish a full diplomatic relationship. China, newly admitted to the UN, said it wanted Hong Kong back.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)(HN, 3/12/98)
1972 Mar 24, Great Britain
imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland. The province’s parliament was suspended at the height of sectarian violence.
(HN, 3/24/98)(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A1)
1972 Mar 29, J. Arthur Rank (b.1888), 1st Baron
Rank, British industrialist and film producer, died.
1972 May 22, Dame Margaret Rutherford (b.1892), Academy Award-winning English character actress, died.
Her numerous films included “Murder at the Gallop” (1963).
(WSJ, 3/4/06, p.P2)(www.imdb.com/name/nm0751983/)
1972 May 28, Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor (b.1894), died of throat cancer in Paris. He
had abdicated the English throne (1936) to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson (1937).
1972 Jun 1, Iraq nationalized the Iraq
Petroleum Company controlled by British, American, Dutch and French oil companies.
(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A10)(www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/5873nation.htm)
1972 Jun 6, David Bowie, English rock
musician, released his album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars."
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.E3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziggy_Stardust)
1972 Jun 18, A BEA Trident, Flight BE548,
crashed after takeoff from Heathrow killing 118 people.
1972 Jul 29, A national dock strike
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1972 Jul 31, The British army launched "Operation Motorman" to regain control of Catholic parts of Belfast and Londonderry that had been closed off by IRA road
barricades since 1971. An IRA attack followed in Claudy, Northern Ireland, and 3 car bombs killed 9 people. In 2002 a court case was reopened following allegations that Rev. Jim Chesney (d.1980), a deceased Roman Catholic priest, had led the Claudy attack. In 2010 a new report said the British government and the Roman Catholic church colluded to cover up the involvement of Rev. Jim
(AP, 10/1/02)(AP, 11/29/05)(AP, 8/24/10)(Econ, 8/28/10, p.46)
1972 Aug 21, Donald A. Cameron, British aeronaut, made the 1st hot air balloon flight over the
1972 Aug 26, Sir Francis Chichester (b.1901), English adventurer, died. In 1966-67 he sailed around the world alone in his 53-foot yacht, Gypsy
1972 Aug 28, Prince William of Gloucester was killed in an air race near Wolverhampton in the west
1972 Sep 19, A Black September letter bomb killed Ami Shehori (Shachori), Israeli attache at the
embassy in London.
1972 Oct 1, Louis Leakey (b.1903), Kenyan archeologist and naturalist, died in London. He was flown home and
interred at Limuru, Kenya, near the graves of his parents.
(SFC, 12/10/96, p.A6)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Leakey)
1972 Dec 10, Amnesty International, founded in London in 1961, launched its
first worldwide campaign for the abolition of torture on Human Rights Day, with the aim to make torture "as unthinkable as slavery."
John Berger (b.1926), English art critic and novelist, authored his Booker Prize-winning novel “G.” Berger won the Booker Prize for his novel "G." He later authored "A Seventh Man."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Berger)(SSFC, 1/6/02, p.M2)(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.C1)
1972 Alex Comfort (1920-2000), British author, published his "Joy of Sex." The book sold 12 million copies worldwide.
(SFC, 3/28/00, p.E1)
1972 David Bowie released his album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
and the Spiders From Mars."
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.E3)
1972 Britain launched its Schools History Project (SHP), a review of teaching methods.
1972 In Britain environmental activists founded WWOOF, Weekend Workers on Organic Farms. Weekend was later replaced by Willing.
(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.T9)
Access credit cards were introduced in Great Britain.
1972 Sydney Brenner, a biologist at Cambridge Univ., began working out the connections of every cell in the nervous system of a nematode worm called
C. elegans. Over 14 years he and his team mapped the worms complete nervous system, for which he won a Nobel Prize (2002).
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.82)
1972 L.P. Hartley (b.1895), British author, died. "The past is a foreign country; they do things
1973 Jan 1, The European Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner to the EU, admitted Britain, Ireland and Denmark even though they made chocolate containing a small
percentage of vegetable fat.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_European_Union)(WSJ, 12/4/97, p.A22)
1973 Mar 8, In London a bomb inside a parked car exploded in front of the Old Bailey near
Trafalgar Square. It hurled nearby vehicles into the air, wrecked a pub and smashed hundreds of windows. Marian Price and her sister Dolores (d.2013) were among 9 people convicted over the bombing, which killed one person and left almost 200 others injured. Jerry Kelly was convicted of causing explosions and conspiracy to cause explosions after he planted four car bombs in London in March 1973.
Dolores received early parole in 1980. She alleged that Gerry Adams was her IRA commander in Belfast in the early 1970s and was involved in ordering several Catholic civilians to be abducted, executed and buried in secret.
(AP, 11/17/09)(http://tinyurl.com/yfzl7th)(AP, 1/24/13)
1973 Mar 17, Queen Elizabeth II opened the new London Bridge.
26, Ten newly elected lady members entered the London Stock Exchange on the first working day since their election took place. The decision to break a time-honored tradition and introduce equality was announced on 1 February and ended years of campaigning by women in the financial sector.
1973 Mar 26, Noel Coward (b.1899), English gay playwright, died. He was called "The Master" and his work included "The Vortex," "Hay Fever," "Private Lives," "Brief Encounter" and "Blithe Spirit." In 1970 he was given
knighthood. "Noel Coward: A Biography" by Philip Hoare was published in 1996. Another biography, "A Talent to Amuse" by Sheridan Morley, published in 1974, was recommended. In 2007 Barry Day edited “The Letters of Noel Coward.”
(WSJ, 8/15/96, p.A10)(SFEC, 8/25/96, BR p.9)(WSJ, 11/10/07,
1973 Apr 26, "Two Gentlemen of Verona," musical opened in London.
1973 May 25, George Harrison released "Give Me Love" in UK.
Jun 9, John Creasey (b.1908), British mystery writer, died. He authored at least 600 mystery novels under 28 pseudonyms. His novel Gideon’s Day was turned into the film “Gideon of Scotland Yard” (1959).
(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.W8)(www.kirjasto.sci.fi/creasey.htm)
1973 Jun 19, The stage production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" opened in London.
1973 Jul 4, Alan Ayckbourne's "Absurd Person Singular," premiered in London.
1973 Jul 18, Jack Hawkins
(b.1910), English actor, died in London. His films included “Ben Hur” and “Bridge Over River Kwai.” His autobiography, “Anything For a Quiet Life,” was published after his death.
1973 Jul 26, Peter Shaffer's "Equus," premiered in London.
1973 Aug 3, A flash fire killed 51 at amusement park
on the Isle of Man, UK.
1973 Aug 28, Princess Anne became the first member of the British royal family to visit the Soviet Union when she arrived in Kiev for an equestrian
1973 Sep 2, John R. R. Tolkien, British story writer, died of ulcer at 81. His work included "The Hobbit" and the
"Lord of the Rings" trilogy. In 2007 his son Christopher Tolkien edited “The Children of Hurin,” compiled from notes and material left by his father.
(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.B1)(Econ, 4/21/07, p.94)
8, The first Whitbread Round the World Race for yachts began at Portsmouth, England.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A20)(www.solarnavigator.net/history/whitbread_round_the_world_race.htm)
1973 Oct 19, Peter
Townshend and The Who, an English rock group, released the rock opera album "Quadrophenia."
(WSJ, 7/12/96, p.A9)
1973 Nov 13, Brian Stanley Johnson (b.1933), British avant-garde novelist, died by
suicide. In 2005 Jonathan Coe authored “Like a Fiery Elephant: The story of B.S. Johnson.”
(SFC, 7/7/05, p.E1)(www.geocities.com/SoHo/9145/johnson.htm)
1973 Nov 14, Britain's Princess Anne married
Capt. Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey. However, they divorced in 1992, and Anne re-married.
1973 Nov 22, Britain announced a plan for moderate Protestants and Catholics to share
power in Northern Ireland.
1973 Dec 7, Paul McCartney and Wings released the album "Band on the Run."
1973 Dec 13, Britain cut the work week to three days to save energy supply.
1973 Dec 30, British millionaire Edward Sieff, whose family owns Marks and Spencers stores in London, was wounded. The attack was attributed to Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez.
1973 Dilys Powell, film critic for the London Times, authored "The Villa Ariadne," a history and travel memoir of Crete. It was published in the US in 2002.
1973 Alan Ayckbourn (b.1939), English playwright, created his 3-part play “The Norman Conquests.”
1973 Iris Murdoch published her novel "The Black Prince."
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A20)
1973 The Whitbread Book awards were established for residents of Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.E3)
A British law said the yardstick for judging business behavior was the “public interest.”
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.78)
1973 Lord Lambton (1922-2006), British undersecretary of defense for the Royal Air Force, resigned after he was
photographed smoking marijuana in bed with two prostitutes.
1973 Hans Gruneberg (1907-1982), British geneticist, began paying attention to a bundle of nerve cells in mammalian noses that came to be called the Gruneberg ganglion. In 2009
Swiss scientists said research had shown that the bundle in mice was used to detect alarm pheromones in other mice.
(SSFC, 3/8/09, Par p.12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Gr%C3%BCneberg)
1973-1974 Britain experienced
a secondary-banking crises after too much lending to property developers helped cause London’s worst year of the 20th century.
(Econ, 10/13/07, p.83)
1974 Jan 1 In Britain a 3-day work week went into
effect following a power shortage caused by striking miners.
(Econ, 4/3/10, p.59)(http://tinyurl.com/y76xjwe)
1974 Feb 7, The island nation of Grenada won independence from Britain. This included the
northern islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(AP, 2/7/97)(SSFC, 12/11/05, p.F4)
1974 Feb 28, Britain’s Labor Party won the parliamentary election. No party had an overall
majority resulting in a hung parliament. This lasted until elections in October.
(www.enotes.com/peoples-chronology/year-1974)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.14)
1974 Mar 4, The play "Knuckle" by David Hare (b.1947)
premiered in London.
1974 Mar 4, Harold Wilson, head of the Labor Party, replaced resigning Edward Heath as British premier. Wilson called elections for October and the Labor Party
defeated the Conservatives, after which Margaret Thatcher replaced Heath as party leader (1975).
(SC, 3/4/02)(SFC, 7/18/05, p.B6)
1974 Apr 4, In England an armed payroll robbery took place at the
London Electricity Board (LEB). George Davis (b.1941) was arrested for the robbery and his wife, Rose Davis (d.2009, campaigned for his release. In 1976 the conviction was overturned as unsafe. In Sep 1977 George was again arrested for a bank robbery and Rose promptly divorced him. In 2009 she authored “The Wars of Rosie: Hard Knocks, Endurance and the 'George Davis Is Innocent'
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Davis_(armed_robber))(Econ, 2/14/09, p.98)
1974 May 29, Northern Ireland was brought under direct rule from Westminster.
1974 Jul 29, Cass Elliot (b.1941), singer (Mamas and Papas), was found dead in London from an apparent heart attack.
1974 Jul 30, The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey and the British Foreign Secretary signed a peace agreement to settle the Cyprus crisis.
1974 Aug 22, Jacob Bronowski (b.1908), British mathematician, cultural historian, died in East Hampton, NY.
1974 Nov 7, Richard John Bingham (39), the Seventh Earl of Lucan, disappeared after nanny Sandra Rivett was battered to death in the family's home in London's wealthy Belgravia district. Lady Lucan escaped
with severe head wounds. In 2001 Muriel spark authored "Aiding and Abetting," a novel based on Lucan’s imagined reappearance. In 2003 former policeman Duncan MacLaughlin claimed in the book, "Dead Lucky," that Lucan lived in India under the name Barry Halpin in India from 1975 until his death in 1996.
(SSFC, 2/18/01, BR p.3)(AP,
1974 Nov 25, Irish Republican Army was outlawed in Britain following deaths of 21. IRA bombs in British pubs killed 28 and wounded over 200 in the last 2 months.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevention_of_Terrorism_Act_(Northern_Ireland))(WSJ, 3/12/04, p.A11)
1974 Nov 25, Nick Drake (b.1948), English musician and composer, died from an overdose of prescription drugs. His albums included "Five
Leaves Left" (1969), "Bryter Layter," and "Pink Moon" (1971). Paul Humphries in 1997 authored the biography "Nick Drake: A Biography."
(WSJ, 2/10/99, p.A20)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Drake)
Dec 5, The TV show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was last shown on BBC. It had premiered on Oct 5, 1969.
27, Ned Mandrell (b.~1878), the last native speaker of Manx, died. The Goidelic language, similar to Irish and Scots Gaelic, was once spoken on the Isle of Man.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.72)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_language)
1974 British novelist John le Carre authored his cold war thriller “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy.” In 1979 it was adopted by the BBC for television.
(Econ, 9/17/11, p.92)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinker,_Tailor,_Soldier,_Spy)
1974 The British Monty Python film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" was produced.
(SFC, 6/3/98, p.E3)
1974 John Whelan, button accordionist, recorded his first solo album in England: "Pride of Wexford."
(WSJ, 3/17/97, p.A16)
1974 British Labor Party legislator John Stonehouse, a former communications minister who also acted as an informant to the Czechs through the 1960s, faked a suicide, leaving a bundle of his clothes on a beach in Miami. He was
discovered less than a month later hiding out in Melbourne, Australia. Papers released in 2010 by the National Archives showed that, after he had been exposed, Britain's government covered up his activities as there was too little evidence to put him on trial.
1974 England and France agreed to build 16 Concorde airplanes.
(WSJ, 7/26/00, p.A26)
1974-1976 Harold Wilson served a 2nd term as the prime minister of
(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A23)
1974-1979 Ian Hamilton edited the "New Review" literary magazine.
1975 Jan 14, Donald Neilson (1936-1911) kidnapped heiress Lesley Whittle (17) from her bedroom in Highley, Shropshire. Her body was found on 7 March 1975, hanging from a wire at the bottom of a drainage shaft following failed attempts at ransom. Neilson
received five life sentences in July 1976 for the murder of Whittle.
1975 Feb 8, Martyn Green (b.1899), English actor (Gilbert & Sullivan, Mikado),
1975 Feb 11, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of the Tory Party, the first woman to lead the British Conservative Party. in
England. She later became Prime Minister and held office from 1979-1990. Her second volume of memoirs is titled The Path to Power, (Harper-Collins, 1995) and documents her rise to power.
(WSJ, 7/6/95, p. A-7)(HN, 2/11/99)
1975 Feb 14, Julian S. Huxley (b.1887), English biologist, died. He served as the first Director-General of UNESCO (1946-1948).
1975 Feb 14, Pelham Graham (PG)
Wodehouse (b.1881), English, US writer (Piccadilly Jim), died at age 93. 58 Penguin editions of his books were done by artist Jos Armitage (d.1998 at 84), who also contributed to "Punch." In 2004 Robert McCrum authored “Wodehouse.”
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.21)(SFC, 11/19/04, p.W16)
1975 Feb 28, A London subway train smashed into the end of a tunnel at Moorgate Underground station and 43 people were killed.
1975 Mar 4, Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), British-born American film comedian, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Mar 26, The film "Tommy" premiered in London.
1975 Mar 27, Arthur Bliss (b.1891), English composer, conductor (Checkmate),
1975 Apr 23, Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land," premiered in London.
1975 May 29, Melanie Janine Brown "Scary Spice", British vocalist (Spice Girls), was born in Leeds.
1975 Jun 5, The outcome of the British referendum reveals that 67.2% of voters are in favor of the United Kingdom remaining a member of the Community.
1975 Sep 29, Peter Sutcliffe, who became known as the Yorkshire Ripper, killed his 1st victim.
1975 Oct 7, US decided John Lennon won't be deported due to UK pot conviction.
1975 Oct 22, Arnold Toynbee (b.1889), English historian (A Study of History) and cultural sociologist, died. He held that civilizations proceed from bondage to spiritual faith, then to courage, then to
liberty, then to abundance, then to selfishness, then to apathy, then to dependency and then back to bondage.
(AP, 3/24/98)(http://tinyurl.com/yoserm)(Econ, 3/31/07, p.63)
1975 Nov 3, Queen Elizabeth
formally began the operation of the UK's first North Sea oil pipeline at a ceremony in Scotland.
1975 Nov 19,
Elizabeth Taylor (b.1912), English writer, died of cancer. Her work included 12 novels and 5 short story collections.
(SFC, 7/25/06, p.E3)(www.imdb.com/name/nm0852331/)
1975 Anthony Powell, author,
published "Hearing Secret Harmonies," the last of his 12-volume "A Dance to the Music of Time," a chronicle of English upper-middle class morals from the 1920s to the 1970s.
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.C5)
1975 V.S. Pritchett (1900-1997), writer, was knighted
for his services to literature. He was noted for his brilliant portraits of people.
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A21)
1975 John Cleese created the sitcom "Fawlty Towers." Six episodes aired in this year and 6 more in 1979. PBS brought the show to America in
(WSJ, 3/8/99, p.A16)
1975 Britain’s Sex Discrimination Act was passed. The Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom was designed to protect men, women and transgendered people from discrimination on the grounds of gender. The Act is mainly
in relation to employment, training, education, the provision of goods and services and in the disposal of premises.
1976 Jan 12,
Dame Agatha Christie (b.1890) (Agatha Mary Clarissa, Lady Mallowan), English mystery writer, died in Wallingford, England. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but is remembered for her 66 mystery novels. Her work with mystery novels, particularly featuring detectives Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, have given her the title the “Queen of Crime” and made her one of the most
important and innovative writers in the development of the mystery novel. Two of her most famous novels might be Murder on the Orient Express (1934) and Death on the Nile (1937).
1976 Jan 13, Argentina ousted a British envoy in dispute over the Falkland Islands War.
1976 Jan 21, The supersonic Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.
1976 Feb 19,
Britain slashed welfare spending.
1976 Mar 5, The British pound fell below the equivalent of $2 for the first time.
1976 Mar 5, Britain gave up on the Ulster talks and decided to retain rule in Northern Ireland indefinitely.
Mar 16, British PM Harold Wilson announced his resignation in London. He was succeeded by home secretary James Callaghan (1912-2005).
(SFC, 5/4/02, p.A21)(Econ, 3/18/06, p.11)
Mar 19, Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage.
1976 Mar 24, Bernard Law Montgomery (b.1887),
British general, defeated Rommel, died.
1976 Apr 5, Tom Stoppard's "Dirty Linen," premiered in
1976 Apr 5, James Callaghan became PM of England. He served until May 4, 1979.
1976 May 24, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde service to Washington. This was the 1st commercial supersonic transport (SST).
1976 Jun 2, Great-Britain & Iceland terminated their codfish war. It was agreed that only 24 British vessels would be allowed in the 200 mile zone and four conservation areas would be completely closed to the
1976 Jun 3, Britain presented to the US the oldest known copy of the Magna
1976 Jul 4, The Ramones, a US punk rock group managed by Danny Fields and Linda Stein (1945-2007), held a concert in England that sparked the young British
(SFC, 11/2/07, p.E2)
1976 Sep 21, Benjamin Graham (b.1894), London-born economist and professional investor, died. He is known as the father of value investing and founder of modern
security analysis. His books included “Security Analysis” written with David Dodd (1934), and “The Intelligent Investor” (1949). Warren Buffett studied under him at Columbia Univ. In 2012 Joe Carlen authored “The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Financial Wisdom of Benjamin Graham.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Graham)(Econ, 10/22/11, p.90)(Econ, 7/7/12, p.79)
1976 Sep 29, Britain under PM Callaghan applied to the IMF for a loan of $3.9 billion.
1976 Oct 5, Researcher Alan Dickinson warned the British Medical Research council that their human growth hormone program was susceptible to contamination from infected pituitary glands.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.A14)
1976 Nov 22, Britain adopted the Race Relations Act with sweeping anti-racial laws, but the laws did not extend to Northern Ireland. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) was formed to enforce the new laws banning racial
(SFC, 6/30/96, A11)(Econ, 5/15/04, p.57)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.59)
1976 Dec 4, Benjamin Britten (b.1913), English composer, died. Paul Kildea later authored “Benjamin Britten: A Life in the
Twentieth Century” (2013). Neil Powell authored Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music” (2013).
(WSJ, 7/26/99, p.A21)(Econ, 3/2/13, p.79)
1976 In Britain the Society of West End Theater Awards were
founded. They were renamed to the Lawrence Olivier Awards in 1984.
1976 Britain began offering tax breaks to owners of important works of art. Inheritance taxes were spared in exchange for periodic
(WSJ, 9/16/99, p.A28)
1976 The Seychelles gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1976-1979 James Callahan served as Prime Minister. His 1st act was to dismiss Barbara Anne Castle (d.2002) from the Labor Cabinet.
(SFC, 12/7/96, p.A8)
1977 Feb 6, Queen Elizabeth (b.1926) marked her Silver Jubilee. It culminated in June with the official "Jubilee Days," held to coincide with the Queen's 1953 coronation.
1977 Mar 10, E. Power Biggs (b.1906), English organist and composer (CBS), died in, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1977 Apr 1, Richard Booth proclaimed Hay-on-Wye, Wales, an independent kingdom with himself as king and his horse as prime minister. The Oxford graduate had purchased the 80-year-old Hay Castle and opened a 2nd hand bookstore in the town in 1961.
(SSFC, 5/25/03, p.C8)(Econ, 12/24/05, p.84)(SFC, 5/10/07, p.E3)
1977 May 14, Capt. Robert Nairac (29), an underground British soldier, was abducted from a border pub by an IRA gang, taken across the border into a Republic of Ireland forest, and shot through the head.
In 2008 the Police Service of Northern Ireland press office confirmed the arrest of Kevin Crilly (57), an IRA veteran, on suspicion of involvement in Nairac's killing. On April 1, 2011, Crilly was acquitted of all charges against him.
(AP, 5/20/08)(AP, 4/1/11)
1977 Jul 7, Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998), British composer, premiered his 4th opera "The Ice Break," which featured a race riot and a psychedelic sequence.
1977 Sep 13, Leopold Stokowski (b.1882), conductor, died in Hampshire, England. He was the founder of the New York City Symphony and The American Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the music for and appeared in Disney’s
(WSJ, 8/6/97, p.A12)(AP, 9/13/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Stokowski)
1977 Sep 26, Sir Freddie Laker began his cut-rate "Skytrain" service from London to NY. Laker airways
collapsed into bankruptcy in 1982.
(SSFC, 2/12/06, p.B8)(www.cnn.com/almanac/9709/26/)
1977 Nov 17, The "Elephant Man," by Bernard Pomerance (b.1940), premiered in
1977 Nov 21, The 1st commercial flight of the Anglo-French Concorde jet was from London to Bahrain.
1977 Nov 22, Regular passenger service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began on a trial basis. [see Nov 21]
1977 Nov 28, "Elvis", the stage musical, starring P.J. Proby, Shakin' Stevens, and Timothy Whitnall playing The King at three different stages of his life, opened in London.
1977 Nov 30, Terence Rattigan (b.1911), English playwright, died. In 1997 Geoffrey Wansell wrote his biography.
1977 James Blades published his autobiography "Drum Roll." A 2nd shorter autobiography was published in 1991: These I Have Met."
1977 Penelope Fitzgerald authored "The Knox Brothers," a group portrait of the 4 Knox brothers, sons of the bishop of Manchester.
1977 The BBC began showing "All Creatures Great and Small."
(WSJ, 1/13/00, p.A19)
1977 The British punk group
Clash released its 1st single "White Riot."
(SFC, 12/24/02, p.A2)
1977 Sir John Traverner, composer, converted to the Greek Orthodox faith. This marked a turning toward simplicity and serenity in his
(WSJ, 3/28/02, p.A18)
1977 Tam Dalyell, British MP for the Scottish constituency of Linlithgow, posed the so-called West Lothian question during the debate on Scottish and Welsh devolution.
(Econ, 7/8/06, p.52)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Lothian_question)
1977 Britain designated MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, a Class A drug.
(Econ, 8/5/06, p.50)
1978 Jan 4, Said Hammami, the PLO representative in London, was assassinated. It was initially believed to be the work of Abu Nidal but was later reported to have been organized by Yasser Arafat.
1978 Feb 8, The BBC TV show Grange Hill, a children’s drama created by Phil Redmond, made its debut.
1978 Feb 28, Louise Woodward, the nanny who allegedly killed Matthew Eappen (1997) in Cambridge, Mass., was born in Elton, England.
1978 Apr 26, A version of Mark Twain’s "The Prince and the Pauper" appeared on TV with former Beatle, Ringo Star.
Int’l., 4/26/97, p.3)
1978 May 10 Britain's Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage.
1978 May 21, The Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon wed 118 couples in England.
1978 Jun 9, Gutenberg Bible (1 of 21) sold for $2.4 million in London.
1978 Jun 21, The musical play "Evita" by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice had its first stage performance in London’s West End. It featured Elaine Page as Evita.
(SFC, 9/1/96, DB p.42)(Hem., 1/97, p.106)(AP,
1978 Jul 7, The Solomon Islands gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(www.worldstatesmen.org/Solomon_Islands.html)
1978 Jul 11, Christa Tybus of London set a 24 hrs hula-hoop record.
Jul 15, Bob Dylan performed before some 200,000 fans at Blackbushe Airport, England, in the largest open-air concert audience at the time (for a single artist).
1978 Jul 25, Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England; she'd been conceived through in-vitro fertilization. In 2004 Robin Marantz Henig authored "Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies sparked the Reproductive Revolution.
(TL, 1988, p.119)(AP,
7/25/97)(SSFC, 2/22/04, p.M6)
1978 Jul 30, To celebrate the 80th birthday of sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986), an exhibition of his work was held in London’s Hyde Park.
1978 Aug 20, In London gunmen opened fire on an Israeli El Al Airline bus. 2 people died and 9 were injured.
1978 Aug 28, Robert Shaw (b.1927), English-born film and stage actor, died of heart attack in Ireland. He received a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar nomination for his portrayal of
Henry VIII in “A Man for All Seasons” (1966).
1978 Sep 6, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, living in London, was stabbed in the leg by a
man carrying an umbrella; Markov died four days later, an apparent victim of the Bulgarian secret police using a ricin-coated pellet. The assassin was later identified as Francesco Gullino (Guillino, Giullino), code name Piccadilly, an Italian-born Dane, operating under instructions from Vasil Kotsev, Bulgaria’s top spymaster.
9/7/08)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.61)
1978 Sep 7, Keith Moon (b.1946), English drummer for "The Who" rock group, died of drug OD at 31.
1978 Sep 11, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian defector, died at a British hospital four days after being stabbed by a man wielding a poisoned umbrella tip. British investigative reporter Peter Earle (d.1997 at 71) revealed that
Markov was jabbed by an East German agent with a poison tipped umbrella on Waterloo Bridge. The original report stated that Markov died of a heart attack. In 1993 Danish authorities charged a Dane of Italian origin, Francesco Guillino, with killing Markov. Guillino, who reportedly had worked for the Bulgarian secret services since 1972, denied any wrongdoing and eventually was freed. In 2005
journalist Hristo Hristov authored “Kill Vagabond,” in which he presented new evidence confirming that the hit was planned and carried out by Bulgaria's communist-era secret service.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.B8)(AP, 9/11/98)(AP, 6/16/05)(SFC, 6/17/05, p.W5)
1978 Sep 26, British unions, fed up with wage restraints, launched their “winter of discontent,” to the humiliation of James Callaghan’s government.
p.A21)(Econ, 9/15/07, p.69)
1978 Oct 1, The Pacific island of Tuvalu gained independence from Britain.
1978 Oct 22, Laugh-in's Judy Carne was arrested at Gatwick Airport for drug possession.
1978 Nov 3, Dominica gained independence from Britain.
(PCh, 1992, p.1065)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1978 Shirley Conran (b.1932), British journalist, authored her best seller “Superwoman.”
1978 Iris Murdoch
published "The Sea, The Sea." It won the Booker Prize.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A20)
1978 William Waldegrave (b.1946), English politician, authored “The Binding of Leviathan: Conservatism and the Future.”
(Econ, 3/19/11, SR p.18)
1978 The British film "Monty Python’s Life of Brian" with Michael Palin was produced.
(SFC, 6/3/98, p.E3)
1978 Sir Robert Sainsbury (d.2000 at 93), founder of the Sainsbury Center for the Visual Arts at the Univ. of East Anglia, donated his entire art collection to the center.
(SFC, 4/4/00, p.A20)
1978 The baths in Bath, England, were shut down after a girl died from a meningitis-related disease after bathing there. The contamination was later found to be in the soil and not in the springs.
1978-1983 Scottish-born Dennis Nilsen (b.1945), British serial killer, murdered 15 men during this period. In 1983 Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison after admitting the murders.
1979 Mar 30, Northern Ireland spokesman Airey Neave, a leading member of the British parliament, was killed by a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in the House of Commons car park in London.
(AP, 3/30/99)(AP, 2/8/10)
1979 Mar, A referendum in Scotland failed to produce clear support for the devolution of power from London to a Scottish
1979 Apr 23, In Britain Blair Peach (b.1946), a New Zealand-born teacher, died. A day earlier he was taking part in a protest against the far-right National Front in west
London when he was hit on the head with what is thought to have been a lead-filled cosh or a police radio. Details of a long-secret report were made public in 2010 but the name of an officer under "grave suspicion" over the killing were blacked out.
1979 May 3, Britain held general elections. Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary
elections. In 2008 Claire Berlinski authored “There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.”
(AP, 5/3/97)(HN, 5/3/98)(WSJ, 11/18/08, p.A19)
1979 May 4, Margaret Thatcher (b.1925), leader of
the Conservative Party, was sworn in as Britain's first female prime minister. She continued in office for 3 terms until 1990.
20, Helen Smith (b.1956), a British nurse, died after reportedly fall from a balcony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The bodies of Helen and Johannes Otten (35), a Dutch tugboat captain, were found in the street 70 feet below a sixth floor balcony. Helen was found lying in the road fully clothed and Johannes, whose underpants were around his thighs, was impaled upon the spiked railings surrounding the
apartment block. Helen’s father, Ron Smith, did not allow her burial because he did not believe official Saudi and British reports that the death was an accident. He believed his daughter was murdered and that her body could provide forensic evidence to expose a cover up. In 2009 Smith and his ex-wife decided to cremate their daughter before they both died.
1979 Jun 1, Paul McCartney and Wings released "Old Siam, Sir” on its Back to the Egg album.
1979 Jun 12, Cyclist Bryan Allen (26) flew the manpowered Gossamer Albatross across the English Channel. This was the first man powered craft to fly across
the English Channel. The bicycle plane was designed by Paul MacCready (1925-2007).
(Hem, Nov.'95, p.138)(AP, 6/12/97)(WSJ, 9/1/07, p.A4)
1979 Jul 3, Helen Van Slyke, English writer, died. She left a
manuscript that was completed by James Elward (1929-1996) titled "Public Smiles, Private Tears" that became a best-seller. It was about a woman’s rise in the world of retail fashion.
(SFC, 9/2/96, p.A20)(http://tinyurl.com/3bzrf3)
1979 Aug 27, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in his 29-foot sail boat in Sligo, Ireland; the Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility. Also killed were his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas, 83-year-old Lady Brabourne, and 15-year-old John Maxwell. Thomas McMahon (31) was the bombmaker and was jailed at Dublin’s
Mountjoy prison. He was released in 1998 as part of the Northern Ireland peace agreement. Richard Hough (d.1999) later authored the biography "Mountbatten: Hero of Our Time."
(AP, 8/27/97)(SFC, 8/8/98, p.A13)(HN, 8/27/98)
1979 Aug 27, In Northern
Ireland 18 British militia died in ambush and bomb attack at Warrenpoint, South Down.
1979 Sep 2, Charles Burton
(1942-2002) led a small group down the Thames on a 3-year journey to follow the meridian line connecting Greenwich to the North and South Poles. Sir Ranulph Fiennes (b.1944) and his wife Ginnie also took part. Burton and Fiennes returned to Greenwich Aug 29, 1982.
1979 Nov 2, Peter Shaffer's play "Amadeus," premiered in London.
1979 Nov 9, Robert Taylor (d.2002), British forester, allegedly encountered a UFO in the woods of Dechmont Law. He took police to the scene 2 days later and evidence was gathered that gave some support to his
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.95)
1979 Nov 15, The British government publicly identified Sir Anthony Blunt (d.1983), art historian, as the "fourth man" of a Soviet spy ring that included Guy Burgess,
Donald Maclean and Kim Philby. Blunt’s work included "Art and Architecture in France 1500-1700." In 2001 Miranda Carter authored "Anthony blunt: His Lives."
(AP, 11/15/99)(WSJ, 12/28/01, p.W8)
3, Christie's in Switzerland auctioned a thimble for a record sum. A London dealer bid $18,000 for a Meissen porcelain thimble that dated to about 1740.
5, Teresa De Simone (22) was found strangled in her car outside the pub where she worked in Southampton, 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London. Sean Hodgson initially confessed to the killing, but he later recanted and pleaded not guilty. His lawyers argued he was a pathological liar and any confession he made was false. In 2009 Hodgson was released from prison based on DNA
1979 Dec 14, The British punk group Clash released its “London Calling” album.
(WSJ, 12/21/04, p.D8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Calling)
1979 Dec 21, The Lancaster House Agreement was signed in London. It ended biracial rule in Zimbabwe Rhodesia
following negotiations between representatives of the Patriotic Front (PF), consisting of ZAPU ( Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and ZANU ( Zimbabwe African National Union) and the Zimbabwe Rhodesia government, represented by Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith.
1979 Harmony Books published “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. In the book the British writer described the Babel fish, a live fish placed in the ear that translates any form of
language. “Deep Thought” was the name of a computer in the book.
(www.technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?Bnum=133)(SFC, 4/29/98, p.E1)(Econ, 4/28/12, p.60)
1979 The play "Bent" was written by Martin Sherman and first performed in London. It’s
Broadway debut was in 1980. It was about a gay love story set in a Nazi concentration camp and was made into a film in 1997 that starred Clive Owen, Mick Jagger and Lothaire Bluteau.
(SFEC,11/23/97, DB p.43)(SFC,11/26/97, p.E8)
1979 English writer
Penelope Fitzgerald won the Booker Prize for her novel "Offshore."
(WSJ, 4/8/97, p.A20)
1979 Penelope Mortimer (1918-1999) won the Whitbread Prize for her memoir "About Time." The 2nd part of her autobiography was published in
1979 V.A. Pritchett (1900-1997) published his collection of short stories "On the Edge of the Cliff."
1979 Tom Wolfe wrote his book "The Right Stuff." It was about US astronauts.
(WSJ, 11/7/97, p.A1)
1979 George Harrison’s Handmade Films produced "The Life of
(SFC, 12/1/01, p.D1)
1979 Frank Tovey (d.2002 at 46), musician, became the 1st artist to sign with the independent label Mute. He recorded electronic and industrial music and released 4 labels under the name Fad
(SFC, 4/16/02, p.A18)
1979 Controls on capital movement across borders were abandoned by the U.K. and Japan.
5/28/96, p. R-44)
1979 The Gilbert Islands gained independence from Britain and became a nation, the Archipelago of Kiribati. It is a chain of 35 islands that sprawls 1,860 miles from east to west. Fanning Island was renamed to Tabuaeran.
1/22/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(SSFC, 4/21/02, p.C22)
1979 St. Lucia gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1979 St. Vincent and the Grenadines
gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1979 Vickers PLC acquired the Rolls-Royce company. By this time the "Spirit of Ecstasy" statuette atop the Parthenon-style metal grill was an established status
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.B1)
1979-1981 James Lees-Milne (1908-1997), English biographer, kept diaries during this period that were published in 2001 as "Deep Romantic Chasm: Diaries
(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.63)
1980 Jan 16, Paul McCartney was arrested in Tokyo for marijuana possession. He was released and deported on Jan 25.
1980 Jan 18, Cecil Beaton (b.1904)), British fashion photographer, died.
1980 Apr 29, Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (b.1899), British director (Psycho, Birds), died in Los Angeles.
1980 Apr 30, Terrorists seized the Iranian Embassy in London. Only after the incident was over did it become known that Iraq had trained and armed the gunmen in order to try to embarrass
1980 May 5, A siege at the Iranian embassy in London ended as British commandos and police stormed the building. 19 hostages were rescued; two
others had already been killed by their captors; four of the five hostage-takers also were killed. John McAleese (d.2022), special forces soldier, led the dramatic raid. The only gunman to survive served 27 years in jail.
(AP, 5/5/00)(AP, 8/28/11)
1980 May 18, Ian Curtis (b.1956), English rock vocalist (Joy Division), committed suicide. His death was later ruled as accidental.
1980 Jul 1, Charles Percy Snow (b.1905), British writer (Friends & Associates), died.
1980 Jul 24, Peter Sellers (b.1925), British actor, died in London of a heart attack. His films included the Pink Panther series, “The Mouse that Roared” (1959) and “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964).
1980 Jul 26, Kenneth Tynan (53), dramaturge for Britain’s National Theater, died in California from emphysema. In 2001 John Lahr edited essays from his last 10 years: "The Diaries of Kenneth
(WSJ, 11/23/01, p.W8)(www.imdb.com/name/nm0878985/bio)
1980 Aug 19, Willy Russell's "Educating Rita," premiered in London.
1980 Sep 11, Chicago mobsters Arthur "The Brain" Rachel and Joseph "The Monk" Scalise staged a daring daytime theft of the Marlborough Diamond. Both men were convicted in Britain of threatening to use a hand grenade
while robbing London's posh Graff Jewelers of $3.6 million worth of goods, including the diamond. They began serving 15-year prison terms in 1984 and were released in 1993.
1980 Sep 22, John Lennon signed with Geffen Records. The Lennon LP, "Double Fantasy", was released on Geffen. Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1980.
1980 Oct 8, British Leyland started selling the Mini Metro.
1980 Dec 15, Charles Burton (d.2002) and his party
arrived at the South Pole on their 3-year journey to follow the meridian line connecting Greenwich to the North and South Poles.
(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A26)
1980 Dec 18, IRA's Sean McKenna became critically
ill and ended his hunger strike.
1980 Penelope Fitzgerald published "Human Voices," the story of the BBC's Broadcasting House.
(WSJ, 5/28/99, p.W6)
1980 “Yes, Minister,” a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, was first transmitted by BBC television and radio. The sequel, “Yes, Prime Minister,” ran from 1986 to 1988.
1980 The British government sent out a pamphlet to the public titled “Protect and Survive.” It contained advice in the event of nuclear war.
1980 Tower 42, the tallest building in London, England, was first occupied.
(WSJ, 2/27/08, p.B1)
1980 The Bank of England licensed the Bank of Credit and
Commerce International. BCCI imploded in 1991 under the weight of fraud.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.64)
1980 The huge British Steel plant at Corby, central England, closed and the site was redeveloped. In 2009 a British court ruled in favor of a group of
young people who said pollution from the former steelworks contributed to their birth defects, which included missing fingers and deformed hands and feet.
1980 Asil Nadir, a Turkish Cypriot businessman, took control of the ailing
British textile company Polly Peck and used the firm as his stock market vehicle for expansion. The company's stock price multiplied as Nadir went on an acquisitions binge, snapping up Del Monte's fresh fruit operations and Japan's Sansui Electric Co. His company filed for bankruptcy protection in late 1990, hundreds of millions of pounds (dollars) in
1980 In Wales the Big Pit Mine (Pwll Mawr) in Blaenafon was closed.
1980 The Pacific island of Vanuatu gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1980 Zimbabwe in southern Africa gained independence from
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1981 Jan 2, "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe (b.1946), murderer of 13 women, was arrested on a traffic violation. On Jan 4 he declared he was the ripper and charges were
filed on Jan 6. Stuart Kind (d.2003), a leading forensic biologist, helped British police crack the "Yorkshire Ripper" serial murder case. Sutcliffe was convicted on May 22 on 13 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 2003 Michael Bilton authored “Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.”
1981 Feb 24, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
1981 Feb 26, Three British Anglican missionaries, detained in Iran since August 1980, were released.
1981 Feb, John King (1917-2005), at the behest of PM Margaret Thatcher, became chairman of British Airways with a brief to clean the company up for privatization. Over the next 12 years he steered the company
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.54)(http://tinyurl.com/3xl527)
1981 Mar 29, The first London 26.2 mile marathon was run with nearly 7,500
1981 Apr 10, Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was declared the winner of a by-election to the British
1981 Apr 11, A race riot erupted in London area of Brixton. More than 300 people were injured and 28 buildings were set ablaze. Lord Scarman (1911-2004) was later appointed to
investigate and report his findings.
1981 Apr 29, Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe (b.1946) admitted in a London court to being the "Yorkshire Ripper," the
killer of 13 women in northern England during a five-year period. He was convicted on May 22 and sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years.
(AP, 4/29/00)(AP, 1/13/04)
1981 May 5, Irish Republican Army
hunger-striker Bobby Sands, an elected member of the Irish Parliament, died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food.
(SFC, 11/15/96, p.B2)(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(AP, 5/5/97)
May 11, The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats," based on TS Eliot poems, premiered in London.
1981 Jun 5, George Harrison's
"Somewhere in England" album was released.
1981 Jun 13, A scare occurred during a parade in London when a teenager fired six blank shots at Queen
1981 Jul 7, The 1st solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crossed the English Channel flying 163 miles from Paris to Canterbury. It was created by Dupont and Paul
(www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/FactSheets/FS-054-DFRC.html)(Econ, 9/8/07, p.88)
1981 Jul 13, Simon Gray's "Quartermaine's Terms," premiered in
1981 Jul 29, Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. They were divorced in
(TMC, 1994, p.1981)(AP, 7/29/99)
1981 Sep 21, Belize under leader George Price (1919-2011) gained independence from Britain and joined the UN under protests from Guatemala. As head of the
centrist People's United Party, Price served two terms as prime minister, 1981-84 and 1989-1993.
1981 Nov 1, Antigua and Barbuda gained independence
1981 V.A. Pritchett (1900-1997) edited the "Oxford Book of Short
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A21)
1981 Salman Rushdie (b.1947) won the Booker Prize for his novel "Midnight’s Children. The BBC began a movie for TV version in 1997.
1981 Roy Jenkins (1920-2003) helped found Britain’s Social Democratic Party.
(WSJ, 2/21/97, p.A12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Jenkins)
1981 The London
Docklands Development corp. was established in England to regenerate 2,150 hectares of the city’s rundown docks. It ceased operations in 1998.
(Econ, 4/2/05, p.62)
1981 In Britain there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The last major
outbreak was in 1967 when 442,000 animals were slaughtered.
(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A12)(http://tinyurl.com/3apbyk)
1981 St. Kits and Nevis gained independence from
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1981 In South Africa Col. Eugene de Kock testified in 1998 that he blew up a building belonging to the African National Congress in London in 1981 and received a Star of Excellence medal approved by Pres.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A12)
1981-1991 Lord Robert Runcie was the Archbishop of Canterbury. In an interview on 5/15/96 he acknowledged that he had knowingly ordained practicing homosexuals as priests in the Church of
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-16)
1981-1994 Archbishop Trevor Huddleston (d.1998 at 84) served as the president of the Anti-Apartheid Movement of Britain. He was made Bishop of Masasi, Tanzania, in 1960 and spent 8 years
there. In the 1950s he published "Naught for Your Comfort," a work based on his experiences in the townships of South Africa.
(SFC, 4/21/98, p.A26)
1982 Feb 5, Laker Airways, founded in 1966 by Sir
Freddie Laker, collapsed owing $351M.
1982 Feb 23, Michael Frayn's "Noises Off," premiered in London.
1982 Mar 14, South African police bombed the London offices of the African National Congress. Gen'l. Johann Coetzee commander of apartheid police and 8 officers received amnesty in 1999. Col. Eugene de Kock testified in 1998 that he
blew up a building belonging to the African National Congress in London and received a Star of Excellence medal approved by Pres. Botha.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A12)(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A16)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_in_South_Africa)
1982 Apr 2, Several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain but Lady Thatcher had Britain take them back the following June. Britain fought with Argentina in the Falkland Islands War, also known as the Falklands War, the Malvinas War and the South Atlantic War. The
short, undeclared war between the two nations was fought over claims to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and neighboring islands. Argentina had laid claims to the territories since the 19th century, but spurred by a related dispute on South Georgia island and political expediency, the military government of Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. A British naval task force was assembled and
headed towards the war zone by late April. British forces established a beachhead on the Falklands in late May. With the surrender of the Argentine garrison at Stanley on June 14, the conflict was essentially over.
(TMC, 1994, p.1982)(WSJ, 12/12/95, p.A-15)(AP, 4/2/99)(HNQ, 1/10/01)
1982 Apr 3, Britain dispatched a naval task force to the south Atlantic to reclaim the disputed Falkland Islands from Argentina. The UN Security Council demanded Argentina withdraw from Falkland Islands.
1982 Apr 5, Lord Carrington (b.1919) resigned as Britain’s foreign secretary.
1982 May 2, In the Falklands War the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano was sunk by the British submarine Conqueror, killing more than 350 men. Some 600 Argentine sailors were killed when the Belgrano was sunk. Lord Terence Thornton Lewin (d.1999 at 78), British military commander, was regarded as the one who
persuaded Margaret Thatcher to order the sinking.
(SFC, 1/25/99, p.A20)(http://tinyurl.com/gbplz)
1982 May 4, The British destroyer HMS Sheffield was hit by Exocet rocket off the Falkland Islands. 20
men died and a further 24 were injured in the sinking of the Sheffield, the first British warship to be lost in 37 years.
1982 May 21, During the Falklands War, British
amphibious forces landed on the beach at San Carlos Bay.
1982 May 23, The British HMS Antelope was attacked. It sank the next day after an unexploded bomb detonates. Ten Argentine
aircraft were destroyed.
1982 May 28, Pope John Paul II became the 1st Pontiff to visit Britain.
1982 Jun 3, Israel's ambassador to Britain, Shlomo Argov (1929-2003), was shot and critically wounded outside a London hotel. Israel's invasion of Lebanon followed the assassination attempt. The attack was blamed on Abu
Nidal’s Palestinian Fatah group.
(WSJ, 8/20/02, p.A18)(NYT, 10/8/04, p.A12)(AP, 6/3/07)
1982 Jun 7, Pres. Reagan met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and later with Queen Elizabeth in
1982 Jun 8, President Reagan became the first American chief executive to address a joint session of the British Parliament.
1982 Jun 14, Argentine forces surrendered to British troops on the disputed Falkland Islands. 970 people were killed including 255 British soldiers. Argentine dictator Leopaldo Galtieri
led the initial attack in the 72-day war. The dead in the ten-week war included 712 Argentines, 255 Britons and 3 islanders. In 2003 it was revealed that some British ships carried nuclear depth charges. In 2005 Lawrence Freedman authored “The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volumes I and II. In 2007 Hugh McManners authored “Forgotten Voices of the Falklands: The Real Story of the
Falklands War in the Words of Those Who Were There.”
(AP, 6/14/97)(WSJ, 12/8/03, p.A1)(Econ, 7/16/05, p.81)(Econ, 5/19/07, p.88)
1982 Jun 18, The body of Roberto Calvi (1920–1982), an Italian banker,
was found hanging from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in the financial district of London. Calvi, director of Banco Ambrosiano, allegedly hanged himself following the fraudulent bankruptcy of the bank. Calvi's clothing was stuffed with building bricks, and he was carrying around $15,000 of cash in three different currencies. Calvi, dubbed by the press as "God's Banker" due to his close
association with the Vatican, had gone missing on June 10. In 1992 Carlo De Benedetti, the chairman of Olivetti SpA, was convicted for contributing to the bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano. In 1996 courts upheld his conviction and that of 30 others. In 2003 RAI state television said prosecutors believed the Mafia killed Roberto Calvi because he lost their money and knew too much about their
operations. In 2005 a trial began for 5 people in the murder of Calvi. In 2007 a jury acquitted all 5 defendants charged with the murder of Calvi.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Calvi)(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A10)(AP, 7/24/03)(AP, 10/6/05)(AP, 6/6/07)
1982 Jun 21, Prince William, eldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, was born.
1982 Jul 9, Michael Fagan (b.1951) broke into the Buckingham Palace bedroom of Queen Elizabeth II. Fagan was initially charged with the theft of some wine from the palace but the charges were dropped.
1982 Jul 20, Irish Republican Army bombs exploded in two London parks, killing 11 British soldiers, along with seven horses belonging to the Queen’s Household Cavalry. On May 22, 2013, British police
charged John Downey (61) from County Donegal in Ireland, over one of the bombings that killed four soldiers and 7 horses in Hyde Park.
(AP, 7/20/00)(AP, 5/22/13)
1982 Sep 24, British PM Margaret
Thatcher visited Beijing. Deng refused her request for continued British administration of Hong Kong after 1997, but agreed to open negotiations on handover.
1982 Sep 24, Sarah Churchill (b.1914), actress
(Royal Wedding, Spring Meeting), died. She was the 2nd daughter of Winston Churchill and Clementine Churchill: the third of the couple's five children.
Sep 30, The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) opened for trading. It provided a range of products designed to help manage equity investment risk. In 2002 Euronext, a Paris-based exchange, took over LIFFE.
1982 Oct 11, The Mary Rose, English Tudor flagship of Henry VIII, was raised at Portsmouth, England. It had sank after launching in 1545.
1982 Oct 22, Siegmund Warburg (b.1902), German-born British financier, died. In 2010 Niall Ferguson authored “High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg.”
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.87)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siegmund_George_Warburg)
1982 Nov 16, Tom Stoppard's "Real Thing," premiered in London.
1982 Patrick Rance (d.1999) authored "The Great British Cheese Book."
(SFC, 8/30/99, p.A24)
1982 Sue Grafton published in England her first alphabetical mystery: "A is for Alibi."
(WSJ, 4/24/98, p.W14)
1982 The far right British National Party (BNP)
emerged from the National Front.
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.55)
1982 Sir Oliver Franks, former British diplomat, led a public inquiry into the Falklands war.
1982 Stephenson Bros. was founded and produced reproductions of Victorian rocking horses.
(SFC,12/24/97, Z1 p.6)
China and Britain began negotiations on Hong Kong’s future.
1983 Jan 25, The Infrared Astronomical Satellite
(IRAS) space probe, sponsored by the United Kingdom, the US, and the Netherlands, was launched. It studied infrared radiation from across the cosmos and exposed stars as they were born from clouds of gas and dust.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)
1983 Feb 9, In a dramatic reversal from 50 years earlier, the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University rejected, 416 to 187, a motion "that this House would not fight for Queen and Country."
1983 Feb 23, Adrian Boult (b.1889), British conductor, died.
1983 Mar 3,
Arthur Koestler (b.1905), Hungarian-British writer (Dialogue With Death), died in a double suicide with his wife. His novels included "Darkness at Noon" (1940). In 1998 David Cesarani authored the biography "Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind."
(SFEC, 1/2/00, BR p.5)(SC, 3/3/02)
1983 Mar 8, William T. Walton (b.1902), English composer (Belhazzar's feast), died.
Mar 15, Rebecca West (born in 1892 as Cicily Fairfield), British writer, died. Her books included "The Return of the Soldier" and "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon," which was written following a trip through Yugoslavia. She had a relationship with H.G. Wells that led to the birth of a son, Anthony. In 1996 Carl Rollyson wrote her biography: "Rebecca West: A Life." Her pen name came
from a character in Ibsen’s play "Rosmersholm." In 2000 the "Selected Letters of Rebecca West" was edited by Bonnie Kime Scott. In 2003 Bernard Schweitzer edited and introduced her work "Survivors in Mexico" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_West).
(WSJ, 11/21/96, p.A20)(WSJ, 3/6/00, p.A28)(SSFC, 6/8/03,
1983 Mar 26, Anthony Blunt (b.1907), art historian and one of Britain's most notorious Cold War spies, died in London. In a memoir published in 2009 he admitted that spying for Russia was "the biggest mistake of my life." He had written his memoirs, with the
stipulation they should not published until a quarter of a century after his death.
1983 Apr 1, Tens of thousands of anti-nuke demonstrators
linked arms in 14-mile human chain spanning three defense installations in rural England, including the Greenham Common US Air Base.
1983 Jun 9, M. Thatcher's Conservative Party won the
British parliamentary election.
1983 Aug 18, Samantha Druce earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest person to
swim the English Channel. She completed the crossing in 15 hours 26 minutes at the age of 12 years 118 days.
1983 Aug 18, Nikolaus Pevsner (b.1902, German-born British architectural researcher, died. His work included the
46 volume series “The Buildings of England” (1951-1974).
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.103)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaus_Pevsner)
1983 Sep 19, St. Kitts and Nevis became a single nation, but Nevis
retained the right to secede. St Kitts and Nevis declared independence from the UK.
1983 Oct 14, Cecil Parkinson, British
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, resigned following a highly publicized extra-marital affair.
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.62)(http://tinyurl.com/bfvue)
1983 Nov 4, Dennis Nilsen (b.1945), serial
killer, was sentenced in England to life imprisonment. He had killed at least 15 men over a 5 year period (1978-1983). All his victims were students or homeless men whom he picked up in bars and brought to his house either for sex or just for company. In 1993 Brian Masters authored “Killing for Company.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Nilsen)(WSJ, 6/9/07, p.P8)
1983 Nov 26, Over £25m worth of gold bullion bound for the Far East was stolen from the Brinks Mat warehouse, about one mile (1.6km) outside the airport perimeter, in Heathrow, England. At least 6 men
stole of 6,800 gold bars worth $38.7 million.
1983 Geoffrey Pearson authored “Hooligan: A History of
Respectable Fears.” It became a classic of English criminology.
(Econ, 8/20/11, p.54)
1983 The London Encyclopedia was first published by Macmillan.
1983 The film "Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life" with Eric Idle and Michael Palin was produced.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.E1)(SFC, 6/3/98, p.E3)
1983 Shane MacGowan
formed the punk group Pogues in London. He left the group in 1992.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, DB p.39)
1983 Britain’s Labor Party issued an election manifesto that was later dubbed “the longest suicide note in history.” This was later said to have mark the
demise of Socialism in Britain.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.63)
1983 Britain introduced the one-pound coin.
(WSJ, 7/24/98, p.W11)
1983 Britain introduced its Youth Training Scheme.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Training_Scheme)(Econ, 10/3/09, SR p.16)
1983 English driver Richard Noble set the land speed record at 633
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.B1)
1983 The British Social Attitudes survey began. In 1987 it began asking people if they thought the gap between rich and poor was too wide.
1983-1989 Nigel Lawson served as Britain's Tory finance minister.
(Econ, 3/20/04, p.13)
1984 Feb 22-1984 Mar 16, Iran’s offensive Operation Kheibar captured the Iraqi Majnoon Islands in the Haur al-Hawizeh marshes. Britain and the US sent warships to the Persian Gulf following an Iranian offensive against Iraq.
1984 Feb 3, Ravindra Mhatre, India's deputy high commissioner in Britain, was kidnapped in Birmingham, England. His body was found on Feb 5. A group calling itself the Kashmir Liberation Army claimed responsibility
and demanded a ransom of 1 million pounds ($1.84 million) and the release of political prisoners in India.
1984 Feb 11, Mohammad Maqbool Butt, founder of the
pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was hanged in New Delhi's Tihar jail for the murder of intelligence officer Ravindra Hareshwa Mhatre. In 2004 Mohammed Aslam (49) was charged with the kidnap, false imprisonment and murder of Mhatre.
(AP, 11/4/04)(AFP, 2/11/07)(AP,
1984 Mar 27, "Starlight Express," a techno musical, roller-skating venture by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Richard Stilgoe, premiered at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London.
1984 Apr 5, Arthur Travers ("Bomber") Harris (b.1892), marshal of British RAF, died.
1984 Apr 17, Yvonne Fletcher (25), a British police officer, was killed from rifle shots fired from a window of the Libyan embassy in London during a demonstration against Moammar Khadafy. Diplomatic relations were soon
severed and not restored until 1999. Libya later gave Fletcher’s family some compensation. In 2004 a joint British-Libyan investigation into the murder was launched. In 2009 Moamer Kadhafi officially apologized for the shooting. In 2011 it was reported that a witness had identified Abdulmagid Salah Ameri, a junior diplomat working in the administrative section, as firing a gun from an
(SFC, 7/8/99, p.A8)(SFEC, 4/9/00, p.C12)(AP, 4/7/04)(AFP, 10/26/09)(AFP, 8/26/11)
1984 May 8, The Thames Barrier was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Total
construction cost was around £534 m (£1.3 billion at 2001 prices) with an additional £100 m for river defenses. It was the world's largest movable flood barrier until Netherlands completed the Oosterscheldekering in 1986.
1984 May 20, Peter Bull (72), British actor (Dr Doolittle), died of a heart attack.
Jun 25-1984 Jun 26, A European Council is held in Fontainebleau, France. The Ten reach an agreement on the amount of compensation to be granted to the United Kingdom to reduce its contribution to the Community budget.
1984 Jul 9, A fire destroyed the roof in the south transept of the 12th century York Minster. Around £2.5 million was spent on repairs. Restoration work was completed in 1988, and included new roof bosses to
designs which had won a competition organized by BBC Television's Blue Peter program.
1984 Jul 30, Holly Roffey (11 days old)
received a heart transplant in England. She died on Aug 17.
1984 Jul 30, The British tanker Alvenus spilled 2.8 million gallons of oil at Cameron, La.
1984 Sep 10, British scientist Alec Jeffreys and colleagues discovered that x-ray images of bits of DNA showed patterns unique to individuals. Jeffries, a geneticist at Leicester Univ., and his
research team found that DNA sequences, specific to individuals, could be identified as visible bands. He dubbed his findings DNA fingerprinting. This led to the use of DNA to solve thousands of crimes.
(Econ, 3/13/04, TQ p.34)(SSFC, 9/13/09, p.A17,20)
1984 Sep 15, Henry Charles Albert David, Prince of Wales, 3rd in British succession, was born.
Sep 19, Britain and China completed a draft agreement on transferring Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule by 1997.
1984 Oct 12, The IRA bombed the hotel where PM
Margaret Thatcher was staying in Brighton. Thatcher escaped but five people were killed. Patrick McGee was sentenced to 8 life sentences for his role in the bombing. McGee was freed in 1999 as part of the Northern Ireland peace accord.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)(SFC, 6/23/99,
1984 Oct, Richard Stone of Great Britain, won the Nobel Prize in Economics for contributions to the development of systems of national accounts.
1984 Dec 19, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on Jul 1, 1997. China pledged to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and permit it to retain its
capitalist system for 50 years.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)
1984 Ian Hibell (d.2008 at 74), long-distance British cyclist, authored “Into Remote
(Econ, 9/13/08, p.96)
1984 British historian Maurice H. Keen (1933-2012) authored “Chivalry.” The book redefined medieval court life
1984 The Turner Prize in art was initiated by the Tate Gallery's Patrons of New Art. The members included Charles Saatchi. Malcolm Morley was the first winner.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
1984 Ted Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate.
(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)
1984 Britain enacted the Video Recordings Act (VRA), which regulated the pornography industry, but later failed to notify the European Commission
of the existence of the act.
1984 Britain’s Lord Carrington (b.1919) began serving as Secretary-General of NATO and continued to
1984 British coal miners lost a bitter strike against pit closings.
1984 Britain’s Johnson Matthey Bankers was purchased by the Bank of England for one million pounds as regulators judged it too big to allow to go bust.
1984 Glen Renfrew (d.2006 at age 71) led Reuters to an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Renfrew served as CEO from 1981 to 1991. Born the son of a coal miner in Aberdare, Australia, Renfrew attended the University of Sydney before moving to England in the
1984 British Telecom was privatized under PM Thatcher.
(WSJ, 10/14/99, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Group)
1984 Brunei gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1984-1985 Britain’s PM Thatcher’s clashes with miner’s union leader Arthur Scargill, during the miner’s strike over
this period, established a turning point in British industrial relations.
(Econ, 7/2/11, p.49)
1985 Jan 23, A debate in Britain's House of Lords was carried live on TV for the first time.
1985 Mar 3, Britain’s National Union of Mine Workers (NUM), led by Arthur Scargill, voted to end a 51 week strike that proved to be the longest and most violent walkout in British
(SC, 3/3/02)(AP, 3/3/05)(Econ, 4/13/13, p.27)
1985 Mar 21, Michael Redgrave (b.1908), English actor, died. His films included Alfred Hitchcock's “The Lady Vanishes” (1938), “The Stars Look
Down” (1939) and the film of Robert Ardrey's play “Thunder Rock” (1943).
1985 Mar 23, Joshua Silver, Oxford physicist, began contemplating the
development of self adjusting eyeglasses. By 2009 some 30,000 of Silver's specs had been distributed to the poor in 15 countries; his eventual target is 100 million pairs.
(SSFC, 1/11/09, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/96buv9)
1985 Mar 25, British journalist Alec Collett (64) was abducted in Beirut as he covered Lebanon’s civil war. His remains were found in 2009 in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The following year a group belonging to Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Nidal said it killed him in retaliation for US air raids on Libya.
1985 Apr 25, Richard Haydn (b.1905), British actor, died of a heart attack in Los Angeles.
1985 May 30, The play "Woman in Mind" by Alan Ayckbourn (b.1936) was first staged in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round.
1985 May 11, 56 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
1985 May 27, In a brief ceremony in Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification on the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.
1985 May 29, At Heysel Stadium rioting erupted between British and Italian spectators at the European Cup soccer final in Brussels, Belgium. 39 people were killed when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed. This
led to a 5-year ban on English clubs playing on the Continent.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A28)(AP, 5/29/08)
1985 Jun 1, The first phone call was made on Vodafone United Kingdom's analogue network. This event
was staged, due to a network failure; the first calls were actually being made the next day. Sir Christopher Gent founded Vodaphone, a British mobile phone operator. The company name was coined from a combination of voice and data.
1985 Jun 23, All 329 people aboard an Air India Boeing 747 were killed when Flight 182 from Montreal to London crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Ireland, apparently because of a bomb. An hour earlier, a bomb in
baggage intended for another Air India flight exploded in a Tokyo airport, killing two baggage handlers. In 2000 Canadian police arrested 2 men of Sikh origin for the bombing. In 2001 Canadian prosecutors filed murder charges against Inderjit Singh Reyat. In 2003 Reyat was sentenced to 5 years for his role in making the bomb. Reyat spent 10 years in prison for building the bomb that exploded at
the Narita airport, and another five years for helping make the Flight 182 bomb. In 2005 a Canadian judge acquitted 2 men who had been accused of conspiring in the case. Talwinder Parmar (1944-1992) was later assumed to have been the mastermind behind the attacks. In 2010 Reyat was found guilty of perjury. In 2011 he was sentenced to an additional 9 years in
(AP, 6/23/97)(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A13)(SFC, 6/6/01, p.C3)(AP, 2/11/03)(AP, 3/17/05)(Econ, 6/16/07, p.47)(Reuters, 9/18/10)(Reuters, 1/7/11)
1985 Jul 19, British agents helped Oleg Gordievsky
(b.1938) escape from Moscow to Finland. He was the highest ranking KGB defector in its history.
1985 Aug 22, A fire broke out aboard a
British Airtours charter jet on a runway at Manchester Airport in England and 55 people died.
1985 Sep 9, In Birmingham, England, race riots took place and continued thru Sep
1985 Sep 28, There was a race riot in the London area of Brixton.
1985 Oct 6, British Police Constable Keith Blakelock (b.1945) was hacked to death at Broadwater Farm a 1960s public housing estate in Tottenham in some of the worst urban rioting in Britain in the past 30
1985 Nov 15, British PM Margaret Thatcher and the Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement giving
Dublin an official consultative role in governing Northern Ireland.
1985 Nov 27, The British House of Commons approved the
Anglo-Irish accord giving Dublin a consultative role in the governing of British-ruled Northern Ireland.
1985 Dec 2, Philip Larkin (b.1922), English poet, died of esophageal cancer. He
had received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1965. His books included “High Windows” (1974). In 2012 “The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin,” edited by Archie Burnett, was published.
(WSJ, 12/8/07, p.W18)(Econ, 1/21/12, p.94)(Econ, 1/21/12, p.94)
1985 The TV series "Inspector Morse" began and ran for 33 two-hr. episodes with John Thaw (d.2002 at 60).
(SFC, 2/26/02, p.A18)
1985 The 2nd annual Turner Prize in
art was awarded to Howard Hodgkin.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
1985 Britain under PM Thatcher signed an $80 billion contract with Saudi Arabia to provide 120 fighter jets and other military equipment over a period of 20 years. Prince Bandar bin Sultan,
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, helped negotiate the deal.
(SFC, 6/8/07, p.A16)
1985 In the Battle of the Beanfield Wilshire police clashed with rioting pagans at Stonehenge.
(SSFC, 12/24/00, p.T5)
1985 John Drewe, a British con man, persuaded painter John Myatt, to copy modern paintings, which were then marketed with forged provenance papers to respected museums. In 2009 Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo authored “Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of
(SSFC, 7/26/09, Books p.F4)
1985 AstraZeneca introduced the fake meat Quorn, a processed mycoprotein, into a variety of food products. It was made from a fungus discovered in the 1960s. it reached US markets in
(SSFC, 3/3/02, p.A2)
1985 London’s Dorchester Hotel was purchased by the Sultan of Brunei.
1985 BAE Systems, Britain’s largest defense contractor, went private.
(Econ, 10/28/06, p.66)
1986 Jan 3, The British Banker’s Association started publishing the
London inter-bank offered rates (LIBOR), a measure of interest rates banks pay when they borrow from one another. The rate is subjective by design and not a statistical measure.
(http://mortgage-x.com/general/indexes/wsj_libor_history.asp?y=1986)(Econ, 3/10/12, p.84)
1986 Jan 20, Britain and France announced plans to build the Channel Tunnel.
1986 Mar 6, Ken Ludwig's
"Lend me a Tenor," premiered in London.
1986 Mar 18, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson.
1986 Mar 31, The state-owned car company BL P.L.C., formerly British Leyland, said that it was pursuing two offers for its Land Rover division after negotiations with the General Motors
Corporation collapsed. Range Rover of North America, Inc. soon established its headquarters in Lanham, Maryland with Charles R. Hughes as President and CEO. Just before Christmas 1985 Range Rover of North America (later changed to Land Rover North America), was established to pave the way for a US launch in 1987.
1986 Mar 31, English Hampton Court palace was destroyed by fire and 1 person died.
1986 Apr 3, Peter Pears (b.1910), English tenor (Death in Venice), died.
Apr 17, At London's Heathrow Airport, a bomb was discovered in a bag carried by an Irish woman about to board an El Al jetliner; she had been tricked into carrying the bomb by her Jordanian boyfriend.
1986 Apr 24, Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson (b.6/19/1896), the Duchess of Windsor, for whom King Edward VIII gave up the British throne, died in Paris at age 89. Wallis Simpson was King Edward VIII's wife. In the early 1950s Simpson engaged in an affair with playboy Jimmy Donahue. In 2000 Christopher Wilson authored "Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and
(AP, 4/24/97)(SFC, 2/28/98, p.A5)(SFC, 1/4/01, p.D10)
1986 Apr 29, Seamus McElwaine (25), Irish IRA-terrorist, was killed by undercover members of the British
1986 Jul 23, Britain's Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in London with the appellation Duke and Duchess of York. The
couple divorced in 1996.
1986 Aug 31, Henry Moore (b.1898), English sculptor and cartoonist, died. In 1998 John Hedgecoe published "A Monumental Vision: The Sculpture of Henry
(SFEC, 7/19/98, BR p.9)(MC, 8/31/01)
1986 Oct 9, The musical "Phantom of the Opera" premiered in London.
1986 Oct 27, Reforms transformed the closed shop London stock exchange. New ways of trading shares came into effect and the day became remembered as the “Big
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.83)
1986 Nov, The European Commission decided on GSM as the first digital standard. Vodophone soon looked outside Britain for
(Econ, 2/3/07, SR p.8)
1986 Dec 29, Former PM Harold Macmillan of Britain (1957-1963), died at his home in Sussex, England, at age 92.
1986 The 3rd annual Turner Prize in art was awarded to Gilbert and George.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
1986 Kingsley Amis won the Booker Prize with his novel "The Old Devils."
(SFEC, 7/19/98, BR p.7)
Mortimer (d.1999) authored the biography: "Queen Elizabeth: The Life of the Queen Mother." This was followed in 1995 with "The Queen Mother: An Alternative Portrait of Her Life and Times."
(SFC, 10/23/99, p.A21)
In Britain the DV8 Physical Theater, a dance-theater ensemble led by Lloyd Newson of Australia, was founded.
(SFEC,11/2/97, DB p.38)
1986 Lady Thatcher abolished the Greater London
Council, and left the city with no central municipal government.
(WSJ, 12/30/99, p.A10)
1986 The Conservative government enacted a personal pension program that was put into effect in 1988. Higher
income workers were allowed to opt out of a government pension plan and manage their own contributions.
(WSJ, 8/10/98, p.A1)
1986 Parliament outlawed corporal punishment in public schools. The practice
was banned in private schools in 1998.
(SFC, 1/19/00, p.A12)
1986 Mad Cow Disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), was first confirmed.
(WSJ, 11/25/98, p.A1)
1986 UNESCO declared Stonehenge and Avebury as World Heritage Sites.
(SSFC, 12/24/00, p.T4)
1987 Jan 20, Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite disappeared in Beirut, Lebanon, while attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He was freed in November 1991.
1987 Feb 26, British stores released the 1st Beatles compact discs.
Feb, Britain’s PM Margaret Thatcher privatized BAA (British Airports Authority). From a lethargic government bureaucracy it grew to become a major airport operator.
(http://labhist.tripod.com/b12.htm)(WSJ, 9/24/96, p.A1)
1987 Mar 6, The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in the Channel off the coast of Belgium after water rushed through the open bow doors. 189 people died when the ferry capsized off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
1987 Mar 10, Daniel Morgan (37), a private detective, was murdered with an ax in his head outside a London pub. At the time of his death, it is believed Morgan was about to expose a south London drug network, possibly involving corrupt police officers. In
2008 6 men wee arrested for involvement in the killing of Morgan.
1987 Mar 13, Gerald Moore (b.1899), pianist, died in England. The book:
“Am I Too Loud?, Memoirs of Gerald Moore” was published in 1962.
1987 Apr 3, Duchess of Windsor's jewels were auctioned for 31,380,197 pounds ($50
1987 May 30, A Beastie Boy concert in Liverpool, England, turned into a riot. Adam Horowitz was charged with assaulting a
1987 Jun 11, Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win a third consecutive term of office as her Conservatives held
onto a reduced majority in Parliament.
(TMC, 1994, p.1987)(AP, 6/11/97)
1987 Aug 11, Britain and France ordered minesweepers to the Persian Gulf, but said they would not be used in combined
operations with the United States as it escorted reflagged Kuwaiti ships.
1987 Aug 19, In Britain Michael Ryan (27) shot 16 people dead in Hungerford, Berkshire. He wounded another 15
before turning the gun on himself.
(Econ, 6/5/10, p.63)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre)
1987 Oct 16, 175-kph winds caused a blackout in London and much of southern England. At least
13 people died.
1987 Oct 19, Jacqueline du Pre (42), British cellist, died of multiple sclerosis.
1987 Nov 1, Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya won the New York City Marathon in two hours, 11 minutes and one second; Priscilla Welch of Britain led the women in two hours, 30 minutes and 16 seconds.
1987 Nov 18, Thirty-one people died in a fire at King's Cross, London's busiest subway station.
1987 Dec 1, Digging of the Eurotunnel began on the English side to link England and France, under co-chairman Alastair Morton (d.2004).
1987 Dec 25, Antoni Imiela pounced on Sheila Jankowitz near her home in Forest Hill, southeast London. The attack preceded a series of rapes across south-east England in 2001 and 2002 for which the ex-railway worker was given seven life sentences in 2004. In
2012 the 'M25 Rapist' was sentenced 12 years more for raping Jankowitz.
1987 The 4th annual Turner Prize in art was awarded to Richard
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
1987 "Moon Tiger," a novel by Penelope Lively won the Booker Prize.
(WSJ, 9/20/96, p.A12)
1987 Jeffrey Archer, novelist and politician, won an $800,000 libel judgement from the Daily Star by arguing that he had made a $3,500 payment to prostitute Monica Coghlin, but had not slept with her. In 1999 it was reported that his friend Ted Francis had lied to support his argument.
1987 Margaret Thatcher privatized Rolls Royce.
(Econ, 7/16/05, p.63)
1987 Britain’s Range Rover was introduced in the US. It was designed in the
late 1960s by Charles Spencer King (1925-2010).
(SSFC, 7/4/10, p.C9)
1987 Britain passed legislation governing animal experiments.
1987 A group of black and Asian politicians were the first non-whites elected to the House of Commons in 65 years.
(SFEC, 4/10/00, p.A27)
1987 Dr. Stephen
Wolfram (b.1959), a British scientist, set up Wolfram Research with funds from a MacArthur “genius” award that he received in 1981. The company’s first product was Mathematic, a piece of software that automates mathematical processes.
(Econ, 6/4/11, p.30)
Standard Chartered PLC divested its South African holdings.
1987 Kuwait’s sovereign investment fund bought over 20% of British
Petroleum, but the deal was opposed by PM Margaret Thatcher. This forced the Kuwaitis so sell over half their stake.
(Econ, 1/19/08, p.80)
1988 Jan 3, Margaret Thatcher (b.1925) became the longest
serving British PM this century.
1988 Mar 6, British SAS officers killed 3 IRA suspects in Gibraltar.
1988 Mar 10, Pop singer Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, at age 30 of heart inflammation.
1988 Mar 16, Three people were killed when Michael Stone, a pro British paramilitary member, armed with guns and grenades attacked an IRA graveside service in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Stone was also responsible for killing 3 Catholics in the mid 1980s. In 2000 Stone was released from prison as part of a
(AP, 3/17/98)(SFC, 7/25/00, p.A12)
1988 Mar 19, Two British soldiers were shot to death after they were dragged from a car and beaten by mourners attending an Irish Republican Army
funeral in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1988 Apr 23, Archbishop Michael Ramsey (b.1904), the one hundredth Archbishop of Canterbury (1961-1974), died. In 2009 amateur divers found valuable
coins and medallions belonging to the former archbishop in the River Wear, near Durham Cathedral.
1988 Jun 11, Nelson Mandela spoke at
Wembley Stadium, London, for the Freedomfest.
1988 Aug 20, Eight British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army land mine that destroyed a
military bus near Omagh, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland.
1988 Sep 29, Britain signed the International Convention Against Torture.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A3)
1988 Oct 15, Shapurji Sorabji (b.1892), British composer (Leon Dudley Sorabji), died. His work included "Opus clavicembalisticum" (1930), an elaboration of Ferrucio Busoni’s 1921 "Fantasia conatrappuntistica," itself a
metamorphosis and completion of Bach’s "The Art of Fugue."
(WSJ, 12/12/00, p.A24)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaikhosru_Shapurji_Sorabji)
1988 Oct 19, Britain banned broadcast interviews with IRA
members. Douglas Hurd introduced a notice under clause 13(4) of the BBC License and Agreement and section 29(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1981 prohibiting the broadcast of direct statements by representatives or supporters of eleven Irish political and military organizations.
1988 Oct 20, Britain ended a suspects right to remain silent in crackdown on IRA.
1988 Dec 12, In the Clapham rail disaster 35 people were killed in a triple train collision during morning rush-hour in south London.
(AP, 12/12/98)(Econ, 2/14/04,
1988 Dec 28, British authorities investigating the explosion that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, concluded that a bomb caused the blast aboard the jumbo jet.
1988 The 5th annual Turner Prize in art was awarded to Tony Cragg.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
introduced a national curriculum for education.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.64)
1988 Anthony Powell, author, was appointed a Companion of Honor, a prestigious order headed by Queen Elizabeth II and limited to 65 men and women for conspicuous national
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.C5)
1988 Britain set its top income tax rate at 40%.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.13)
1988 Frederic Ashton, the father of English Ballet, died at 88. In 1997 Julie Kavanaugh published "Secret Muses: The Life of Frederic Ashton."
(WSJ, 5/15/97, p.A21)
1888-1965 T.S. Eliot, American-Anglo poet and critic: "Those who say they give the public what it wants begin by underestimating public taste and end by debauching it."
Liverpool, England, Dr. Dick van Velzen, a Dutch pathologist, cut thousands of parts from children who died during this period for research without the knowledge of their parents.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.80)
1989 Jan 1, British PM Margaret Thatcher distanced herself from US vows to punish whoever bombed Pam Am Flight 103, saying in a TV interview that revenge "can affect innocent people."
1989 Jan 8, Forty-seven people were killed when a British Midland Boeing 737-400 carrying 126 passengers crashed in central England. The pilots shut down the good engine and tried to land with a bad one.
(AP, 1/8/99)(WSJ, 10/3/01, p.A20)
1989 Feb 12, In Belfast Pat Finucane, a lawyer active in the defense of IRA suspects, was shot and killed by a lone gunman as he sat down to dinner with his family at home. The Ulster Defense Association claimed responsibility but nobody was ever charged. In 1999 a report asserted that the British army was linked
to the slaying. A suspect (48) was arrested in 1999. In 2003 a London police report said the British Army and police were involved in the murder. In 2004 Ken Barrett (41), former Protestant paramilitary and police informer in Northern Ireland, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder of Finucane. In Oct 12, 2011, Britain offered an official apology for its forces' role in the 1989
killing of a Northern Ireland lawyer and pledged to publish a public report into the extent of police and army collusion in the attack. The report in December 2012 found shocking levels of state collusion.
(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A3)(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A12)(AP, 4/17/03)(AP, 9/16/04)(AP, 10/12/11)(AP,
1989 Mar 6, Harry Andrews (b.1911), English actor, died in Sussex, England. His films included “Helen of Troy” (1956) and “Equus” (1977).
1989 Mar 7, Britain dropped diplomatic relations with Iran over Salmon Rushdie's book.
1989 Apr 6, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with British PM Margaret Thatcher in London, holding daylong talks that were characterized as argumentative, but friendly.
1989 Apr 15, In Sheffield, England, 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium after police allowed spectators to pour onto a crowded terrace. On Sep 12, 2012,
secret documents were released that said British police tried to blame soccer fans to cover up mistakes that contributed to the deaths of those who were crushed at a stadium.
(AP, 4/15/08)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.61)(AP, 9/12/12)
1989 Apr 19, Daphne Du Maurier (b.1907), English writer, died. Her books included “Jamaica Inn” (1936) and “Rebecca” (1938).
Jul 11, Laurence Olivier (b.1907), British actor, director and producer, died in West Sussex, UK. In 1991 Donald Spoto authored the biography “Laurence Olivier.” In 2005 Terry Coleman authored the biography “Olivier.”
(AP, 7/11/99)(SSFC, 11/13/05, p.M6)(Econ, 10/15/05, p.92)
1989 Aug 24, British brewery Bass bought the Holiday Inn hotel chain.
Aug 31, Britain's Princess Anne and husband Mark Phillips announced they were separating.
1989 Sep 20, The musical "Miss Saigon," premiered in
1989 Sep 22, An IRA-bomb killed 10 British marines in Kent.
1989 Oct 19, The Guildford Four, cleared from earlier conviction for the 1975 IRA bombings of public houses in Guildford and Woolwich, England, were cleared of all charges after 14 years in prison. Sarah Conlon (1926-2008) struggled for
years to clear her son, Gerry Conlon, imprisoned as one of the Guildford Four.
(http://tinyurl.com/7dyb2)(Econ, 8/2/08, p.88)
1989 Oct, Britain’s chancellor Nigel Lawson resigned, infuriated that PM
Margaret Thatcher was trying to undermine his policy of shadowing the Deutschmark.
(Econ, 4/13/13, p.28)
1989 Nov 21, The proceedings of Britain's House of Commons were televised live for the first
1989 Dec 12, Amid international criticism, Britain forcibly removed 51 Vietnamese from Hong Kong and returned them to their
1989 Martin Amis authored his novel “London Fields,” a black comedy about lust and low-lifes that fizzed with a rare energy.
(Econ, 6/30/12, p.85)
1989 The 6th annual Turner Prize in art was awarded to Richard Long.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24)
1989 In Britain Channel Four
began its "Out on Tuesday" series, the first regular gay and lesbian programming.
(SFC, 5/21/97, p.D3)
1989 Sir Michael Tippett (84), British composer, composed his 5th opera, "New Year." It premiered in Houston,
(SFC, 1/10/98, p.A19)(http://tinyurl.com/gpbwl)
1989 At Stonehenge fences were erected to reduce visitor impact.
1989 British PM Margaret Thatcher's government introduces the hugely unpopular poll tax in Scotland a year before England. The tax was abolished across Britain in 1993.
1989 Britain’s economics began a current account reversal. British property values dropped after a decade-long rise. Prices did not recover for almost a decade.
(Econ, 8/19/06, p.64)(Econ, 11/4/06, p.66)
Thames Water was privatized by Margaret Thatcher.
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.57)
1989 Michal Porulski (74), a Polish Catholic artist and Holocaust survivor, died in St. Mary's Hospital near Hereford, England, of pneumonia and tuberculosis. He spent time in
Dachau and left behind ink and watercolor drawings of his experiences there.
1990 Jan 8, Terry Thomas (78), English comic (Heroes), died of Parkinson's
1990 Feb 19, Michael Powell (84), English director (Life & Death of Col Blimp), died.
1990 Mar 28, British customs officials announced they had foiled an attempt to supply Iraq with 40 American-made devices for triggering nuclear weapons, following an 18-month investigation by U.S. and British authorities.
1990 Mar 31, Hundreds of people were injured in rioting in London over Britain's so-called "poll tax." The poll-tax disturbance helped to bring down PM Margaret
(AP, 3/31/00)(Econ, 3/8/08, p.66)
1990 Jul 7, Martina Navratilova captured a record-breaking ninth women’s title at Wimbledon, outplaying Zina Garrison, 6-4, 6-1.
1990 Jul 8, Sweden’s Stefan Edberg beat Boris Becker of West Germany to capture his second men’s tennis championship at Wimbledon.
1990 Jul 22, Raymond Mawby (b.1922), a British ex-Conservative Party lawmaker, died. He had briefly served as a junior minister in the mid-1960s and had allegedly provided intelligence to spies working for Czechoslovakia, then a
communist state, for a decade from around 1961 to 1971. In 2012 the British government said it would investigate claims that he had sold information to communist spies for a decade during the Cold War.
1990 Jul 30, British Conservative Party lawmaker Ian Gow was killed in a bombing claimed by the Irish Republican Army.
1990 Sep 7, Alan J.P. Taylor, British historian (Origins of WW II), died.
1990 Nov 14, British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge died in
Sussex, England, at age 87.
1990 Nov 22, Three term British PM Margaret Thatcher, having failed to win re-election of the Conservative Party leadership on the first ballot, announced her
resignation. In 2009 Richard Vinen authored “Thatcher’s Britain: The Politics and Social Upheaval of the Thatcher Era.”
(AP, 11/22/97)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.84)
1990 Nov 23, Roald Dahl (b.1916), British
short story author (Sweet Mystery of Life), died. Dahl became widely know for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and Giant Peach.” From 1953 to 1983 he was married to actress Patricia Neal (1926-2010). In 2010 Donald Sturrock authored “Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl.”
(www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rdahl.htm)(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A6)(SSFC, 10/3/10, p.F4)
1990 Nov 27, Britain's conservatives chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher.
1990 Nov 28, Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who conferred the premiership on John Major.
1990 Nov, British Cabinet member Geoffrey Howe resigned as deputy prime minister over PM margaret Thatcher’s refusal to agree on a timetable to join a single European currency.
1990 Dec 1, British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel between their countries finally met after knocking out a passage in a service tunnel.
1990 Sir Vivian Fuchs (d.1999 at 91) published his autobiography "A Time to Speak." Fuchs had led an expedition across Antarctica in 1958.
1990 Hugh Loebner agreed with The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies to underwrite a contest designed to implement the Turing Test. Dr. Loebner pledged a Grand Prize of $100,000 and a Gold Medal for the first computer whose responses were indistinguishable from a human's. Robert Epstein co-founded the
prize with Hugh Loebner. The first competition was held in November, 1991.
(http://www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html)(Econ, 5/7/11, p.92)
1990 ARM Holdings PLC, a multinational semiconductor and software company, was founded. It is
headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The acronym ARM, first used in 1983, originally stood for "Acorn RISC Machine." However, when the company was incorporated in 1990, the acronym was changed to stand for "Advanced RISC Machines" in the company name "Advanced RISC Machines Holdings." Then, at the time of the IPO in 1998, the company name was changed to "ARM
1991 Feb 18, The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded in a London rail station, killing a
1991 Feb 21, Dame Margot Fonteyn (71), ballerina (1st lady of British Ballet), died in Panama City, Fl.
1991 Mar 14, The "Birmingham Six," imprisoned for 16 years for their alleged part in an IRA pub bombing, were set free after a court agrees that the police fabricated evidence.
1991 Mar 26, Marc Camoletti's "Don't Dress for Dinner" premiered in London.
1991 Apr 3, English novelist Graham Greene died at age 86. His wife, Vivien Dayrell-Browning, died in 2003 at age 98. Greene had told his wife that he had had 32 other women. His books included “The Quiet American” (1955). In his so-called “Catholic” novels he challenged the idea that God is a cruel, unstinting Rules
(AP, 4/3/01)(SFC, 8/25/03, p.B4)(SFC, 10/2/04, p.E2)
1991 May 6, Wilfrid Hyde-White (87), British actor (Peyton Place/140+ films), died.
1991 May 16 Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress.
1991 May 18, Helen Sharman became the first Briton to rocket into space as she flew aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft.
1991 May 23, Peter T. Thwaites, British brig-gen, playwright (Love or money), died.
1991 Jun 14, Dame Peggy Ashcroft (83), film and stage, Actress died in London.
1991 Jul 14,
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations began gathering in London for their annual economic summit.
1991 Jul 15, Group of Seven leaders opened their 17th annual economic summit in London,
plunging into debate over aid to the Soviet Union.
1991 Jul 16, Leaders of the Group of Seven nations holding their economic summit in London issued a communique calling for a "new spirit
of cooperation" in the international community.
1991 Sep 22, The London newspaper The Mail published an interview with former intelligence agent John Cairncross, who admitted being the
"fifth man" in the Soviet Union's notorious British spy ring.
1991 Oct, The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to Ronald H. Coase of Britain for "the discovery and clarification of the
significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy."
(WSJ, 10/11/95, p. A-1)(SFC, 10/15/98, p.A2)
1991 Nov 5, Robert Maxwell (68),
media tycoon, was found floating dead near his yacht off the Canary Islands. He was born in Czechoslovakia as Jan Hoch (Abraham Leib) and lost his whole family in the Holocaust. He escaped at 16 through the French Underground and got out of a British prison camp by volunteering for the British army, who changed his name to Robert Maxwell. He founded the Pergamon Press and went on to build a media
empire. He served in Parliament from 1964-1970. In the 1970s Israel recruited him as a spy. He covertly sold Israeli computer software to the governments of Russia, China, India and Egypt that contained secret trapdoors. After his death he was found to have misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars from company pensions funds. In 2003 Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon authored Robert Maxwell,
Israel’s Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul." In 2006 London police said Maxwell was being investigated at the time of his death for allegedly committing a war crime as a British soldier by killing an unarmed German civilian during World War II.
(Wired, 2/99, p.86)(AP, 11/5/01)(SSFC, 2/2/03, p.M4)(AP,
1991 Nov 14, Tony Richardson (63), British director (Tom Jones), died of AIDS.
1991 Nov 24, Freddie Mercury (45), Zanzibar-born rock singer, died in London of pneumonia brought on by AIDS. Mercury and the rock group Queen made the 1975 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody."
(AP, 11/24/01)(SSFC, 11/10/02,
1991 Catherine Cookson published her novel "The Wingless Bird." It was the intersecting stories of 3 families on 3 levels of English society beginning in 1913. It was adopted for TV in 1998.
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A20)
1991 Jon Savage (b.1953) authored “England’s Dreaming,” a history of the Sex Pistols.
(SFC, 4/9/10, p.C7)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Savage)
1991 Britain established a War Crimes Act which permitted prosecution for crimes committed outside the country.
(SFC, 2/11/00, p.D2)
1991 Britain banned the
ownership of pit bull terriers following a spate of attacks by the dangerous dogs.
1991 The British Communist Party folded.
1991 Britain’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), a statutory body, was created under the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act (1990). This was the world’s first regulator in the new field of assisted reproduction.
1991 Britain’s newspapers set up the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), a self-regulating body to enforce a code of conduct of its own devising.
1991 Robert Runcie (d.2000), Archbishop of Canterbury, retired as spiritual leader of the Anglicans. He then became Lord Runcie as PM John Majors elevated him to life peer.
1991 Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) of Britain split into two parts, ICI, a chemicals company, and Zeneca, a bioscience and drug company.
(Hem., 1/97, p.27)
Britain's Helen Sharman flew to Russia's Mir Space Station as a tourist as part of a lottery system called Project Juno.
1992 Feb 28, Twenty-eight people were injured
when an IRA bomb exploded at London Bridge train station.
1992 Mar 19, British Prince Andrew and Princess Sarah Ferguson announced
1992 Mar 23, Friedrich A. von Hayek (92), British economist, Nobel winner (1974), died. His books
included Road to Serfdom (1944) and “The Constitution of Liberty” (1960). In 2004 Bruce Caldwell authored “Hayek’s Challenge: An Intellectual biography of F.A. Hayek.”
(SS, 3/23/02)(Econ, 3/6/04, p.74)
Mar 29, Earl Spencer (68), father of Lady Diana, died.
1992 Apr 8, Britain's "Punch Magazine" ran its final issue after 151
1992 Apr 9, Britain's Conservatives came from behind to become the first British political party to win four straight elections this century.
John Major (C) was elected PM of England.
1992 Apr 10, The IRA bombed the London financial district killing 3 with 91 injured.
(WSJ, 3/12/04, p.A11)
1992 Jul 12, Albert Pierrepont, last British hangman (433 men and 17 women), died.
1992 Apr 14, British Sgt. Michael Newman was killed outside an army recruiting office in Derby. Three men were allegedly involved in the attack. In 2010 Declan Duffy (36), an Irish republican who had confessed to being
involved in the killing, was sentenced to life in prison.
1992 Jul 18, Britain's opposition Labor Party chose John Smith as its leader, replacing Neil Kinnock (b.1942). Kinnock had led
the opposition since 1983.
1992 Aug 26, The United States, Britain and France imposed a 2nd no-fly zone south of the 32nd parallel, the southern
one-third of Iraq aimed at protecting Iraqi Shiite Muslims.
(AP, 8/26/97)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A11)
1992 Aug 29, Mary Norton (88), children’s book author (Borrowers), died in
1992 Sep 16, Britain under John Major devalued the pound and the economy soared. The day became known as “Black Wednesday.” George Soros pocketed $2 billion on
his short sale of $10 billion. The event is documented in Robert Slater's Soros: "The Life, Times and Trading Secrets of the World's Greatest Investor." Britain’s Conservative government was forced to withdraw the Pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) due to pressure by currency speculators.
p.A1)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.62)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Wednesday)
1992 Oct 27, Friends of Queen Elizabeth II staged an elaborate celebration for the 40th anniversary of her ascension to the British throne.
1992 Nov 9, Visiting London, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appealed for help in rescheduling his country's debt, and urged British businesses to invest.
1992 Nov 9, Charles Fraser-Smith, English inventor, died. He was the gadget-designing genius on whom the character "Q" in the James Bond novels and movies was modeled.
1992 Nov 11,The Anglican Church and the Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.
1992 Nov 20, The Windsor Castle, favorite weekend home of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, caught on fire when curtains ignited due to a high intensity spotlight. It was the 45th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Nine main rooms were destroyed and another 100 damaged. The restoration cost
$63 million and took 5 years.
(SFC,11/18/97, p.B1)(AP, 11/20/97)
1992 Nov 26, The British government announced that Queen Elizabeth II had volunteered to start paying taxes on her personal income, and
would take her children off the public payroll.
1992 Dec 9, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. Their divorce became final Aug. 28,
1992 Prince Charles founded the London-based Institute of Architecture.
1992 The "English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje, born in Sri Lanka, became the first Canadian novel to win the Booker Prize.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, p.C15)
Barry Unsworth, writer, won the British Booker prize for his novel: "Sacred Hunger," a narrative based on the slave trade. Other of his novels include "Stone Virgin" (1985), "The Rage of the Vulture" (1982), and a new novel "Morality Play" in (1995).
(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-16)
1992 Glenda Jackson, actress, was elected to Parliament. Under Tony Blair in 1997 she was promoted to junior transport minister.
(SFC, 8/3/98, p.A8)
1992 In Hong Kong Christopher Patten became the 28th British
governor. He began electoral reforms that were denounced by China. He served to 1997 and in 1998 published "East and West: China, Power and the Future of Asia."
(SFEC, 11/10/96, Parade p.14)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)(WSJ, 9/16/98, p.A20)
intelligence archivist Vasili Mitrokhin defected to British intelligence. He brought along 6 trunkfuls of KGB files.
(SFEC, 9/12/99, p.A16)
1992 The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) emerged in Brighton through Earth Firsters who did not want to abandon
the option of criminal acts to further their environmental goals.
(SFC, 3/6/01, p.A2)
1992 Two bombs were exploded in Manchester, England that wounded 60 people.
1992 A British top level National Crime Intelligence Service was created to combat organized crime, int’l. drug dealing, money laundering, immigration fraud and counterfeiting.
1992 The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) bought Britain’s Midland Bank as part of a strategy of global expansion.
(Econ, 12/4/10, p.71)
Karl Kehrle, aka Brother Adam (1898-1996), ended his bee research at the Buckfast Abbey southwest of London. The monastery insisted that the abbey’s apiaries were to be used for honey production and not research. He had developed the Buckfast Superbee, a breed widely regarded as the healthiest and most prolific honey producer. He also developed a breed resistant to acarine disease which had badly
damaged honey production in the US.
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.C2)
1992 Francis Bacon (b.1909), British artist, died. In 1997 his biography was written by Michael Peppiatt: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma.
Bacon’s studio was later dismantled and replicated in Dublin. In 2001 John Edwards, Bacon’s companion, wrote a brief memoir accompanied by photos of the studio: "7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio."
(SFEC, 8/17/97, BR p.6)(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.R6)
Angela Carter, English writer, died. Her collected writings "Shaking A Leg" was published in 1999 by Penguin. This was the 3rd of a series that included "Nothing Sacred" and "Expletives Deleted."
(SFEC, 2/14/99, BR p.5)
Robert Thompson (b.1916), British military officer and counter-insurgency expert, died. His books included “War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare Since 1945” (1981).
1993 Jan 17, Albert Hourani (b.1915), British academic of Lebanese origin, died. His books included “A History of the Arab Peoples” (1991).
1993 Jan, Edward John Maher, a British armored car driver, disappeared after driving off with $1.5 million. He was arrested on Feb 8, 2012, in the small town of Ozark, Missouri. On May 11 he agreed to be deported to Britain. On Feb 5, 2013, he was sentenced in London to five years in jail.
(SFC, 2/10/12, p.A8)(AFP, 5/12/12)(AP, 3/5/13)
1993 Feb 12, In a crime that shocked Britons, two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, lured 2-year-old James Bulger from his mother at a shopping mall in Liverpool, England, then beat him to death and
left his battered body on a railway track. The 2 boys were later sentenced to serve 8 years in prison. The sentence was later increased to 10 years and then 15 years. After 8 years in a reformatory, Thompson and Venables were released in 2001, after a parole board found they no longer posed a danger to the public.
p.a-12)(SFC, 12/17/99, p.D5)(SFC, 6/23/01, p.A8)(AP, 2/12/03)
1993 Feb 14, The body of James Bulger, a 2-year-old boy who had been lured away from his mother in a Liverpool, England, shopping mall two days earlier, was found along a stretch of railroad track. Two
boys (10), Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were later convicted of murdering James; they spent eight years in detention before being paroled.
1993 Feb 20, Police in Liverpool, England,
charged two 10-year-old boys with the abduction and slaying of toddler James Bulger, a crime that shocked the country and terrified parents. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were later convicted.
Mar 10, C. Northcote Parkinson (b.1909), historian and sociologist, died in Canterbury, England. He authored Parkinson's Law: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
1993 Mar 20, An Irish Republican Army bomb exploded in Warrington, England, killing 3-year-old Jonathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry.
1993 Apr 13, Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia," premiered in London.
1993 Apr 15, Leslie Charteris (85), British mystery
writer (Saint), died.
1993 Apr 22, In London, England, Stephen Lawrence (b.1974), a black teenager of Jamaican parentage, was brutally killed by a gang of white
youths with a history of race baiting. 5 youths were identified, but none were prosecuted. Three of the suspects were acquitted in 1996. In 1999 a play called "The Color of Justice" was made based on the testimony of the trial. A 1999 report concluded that the police force’s mishandling of the case betrayed “institutional racism.” In 2000 police arrested 3 men in connection with the killing. In
2002 two of those accused in the Lawrence case, David Norris and Neil Acourt, were convicted and jailed for a racist attack on a black police officer. In 2011 Gary Dobson (36) and David Norris (35) both white men from south London, faced trial for murder. On Jan 3, 2012, Dobson and Norris were found guilty. On Jan 4 Gary Dobson was sentenced to a minimum 15 years and two months and David Norris
to 14 years and three months for the murder.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Lawrence)(SFC, 3/23/00, p.D2)(Econ, 9/20/08, p.72)(AFP, 11/15/11)(Reuters, 1/4/12)
1993 Apr 24, The Irish Republican
Army (IRA) exploded a truck bomb in London's financial district. It killed a photographer and injured 44 people and caused millions of dollars' worth of damage.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, zone1 p.7)(AP, 4/24/98)
Apr 26, In Britain a woman named Nora was raped in the town of Bridgewater. In 2006 kinship DNA evidence led to the arrest of Geoffrey Godfrey, who was sentenced to 6 years.
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.A1)
Apr 29, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II announced that, for the first time, Buckingham Palace would be opened to tourists to help raise money for repairs at fire-damaged Windsor Castle.
1993 May 9, Penelope Gilliatt [Conner], British author, died.
1993 May 18, Pamela M. Cunnington (67), English architect,
1993 Jun 15, James Hunt, English motor-racing driver, died.
1993 Jun 19, Sir William Golding (b.9/19/1911), English Nobel Prize-winning author (1983), died at his home in Cornwall, England, at age 81. His work included "Lord of the Flies."
6/19/98)(DT, 6/19/97)(MC, 6/19/02)
1993 Jul 3, Steffi Graf of Germany won her third consecutive Wimbledon title as she defeated Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic.
1993 Jul 12, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Promenade" opened in London.
1993 Jul 23, British Prime Minister John Major survived a vote of confidence and a reluctant House of Commons approved a treaty of European union on his terms.
Aug 7, The public got its first glimpse inside Buckingham Palace as people were given the opportunity to tour the London home of Queen Elizabeth II. Proceeds from ticket sales were earmarked to help repair fire damage at Windsor Castle.
1993 Sep 14, British tourist Gary Colley was shot and killed, his female companion Margaret Jagger wounded, at a highway rest stop in Florida. Three young men, Aundra Aikins, John Crumitie, and Deron Spear, were arrested charged and convicted. Two suspects later received life sentences; two others received lesser
(AP, 9/14/03)(SFC, 8/29/97, p.A8)
1983 Sep 21, The David Mamet play "Glengarry Glen Ross" was first performed in London. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and was made into a film in
1993 Nov 24 Two 11-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were convicted of the February murder of 2-year-old James Bulger of
Liverpool, England. Shortly after the trial, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, the Lord Chief Justice, ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of ten years behind bars. Thompson and Venables were released on a “life license” in June 2001, after serving eight years of their life sentence. An injunction remained in force following their release, so that details of their new identities and locations
could not be published.
1993 Nov 25, Anthony Burgess (b.1917) died in London at age 76. He was a British author of 34 books of
fiction and 15 of non-fiction as well as plays, librettos and a considerable body of serious. His last book, a novel called "A Dead Man in Deptford," is actually an idiosyncratic biography of Christopher Marlowe. Burgess is best known today for his novel "Clockwork Orange." His final book, "Byrne," was a novel in verse of 8-line stanzas (ottova rima) published in 1997. In 2002 Roger Lewis
authored the biography "Anthony Burgess."
(WSJ, 4/28/95, p.A-8)(SFEC, 9/14/97, BR p.3)(HN, 11/25/98)(FT, 12/14/02, p.IV)
1993 Nov 28, The British government confirmed reports of contacts with the Irish
Republican Army that were aimed at ending the violence in British-ruled Northern Ireland.
1993 Dec 3, Britain's Princess Diana, saying she was fed up with media's intrusions, announced
she would be limiting her public appearances.
1993 Dec 25, In London, an unidentified 59-year-old woman who'd been implanted with donated eggs gave birth to twins in a case that sparked
1993 Alan Clark (d.1999 at 71), Conservative Party legislator, published his political diaries.
1993 Sir John Hale (d.1999 at 95) published "The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance."
(SFC, 8/23/99, p.A26)
1993 The Booker Prize for Fiction
was won by Roddy Doyle for: "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha."
(WSJ, 10/15/97, p.A21)
1993 The Southern Discomfort pamphlets were a series of studies by Giles Radice published by the Fabian Society that examined
attitudes towards the Labour Party in the south of England after the 1992 General Election defeat.
(Econ, 4/20/13, p.28)(http://tinyurl.com/ct782v6)
1993 The Fortean Times, a British journal of strange and uncanny phenomena, began compiling its
weirdness index based on the number of stories printed in various categories over the previous year.
(SFEC, 2/15/98, p.A23)
1993 Britain set up the Child Support Agency (CSA) to calculate and collect maintenance payments from one parent to another
when families split up and support payments are due. In late 2006 plans were made public for a new body, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, to replace the CSA.
(Econ, 12/3/05, p.53)(Econ, 12/16/06, p.58)
1993 The British Council Tax,
a levy based loosely on house prices, was instituted.
(Econ, 1/24/04, p.51)
1993 The British brothers David and Frederick Barclay paid $3.5 million for the Brecqhou, and Channel Island considered as part of the fiefdom of
(WSJ, 10/11/05, p.A1)
1993 Asil Nadir (52), a Turkish Cypriot, went to northern Cyprus after being charged with 66 counts of theft involving 34 million pounds. He ran Polly Peck, one of Britain's biggest companies with interests in sectors
from textiles to electronics, before its collapse. In 2010 Nadir's lawyers indicated he would be willing to come back and face trial if he was granted bail.
1993 James Dyson, British former art student turned inventor, set up a plant
in Wiltshire to produce his vacuum cleaners. Production was later transferred to Malaysia.
(Econ, 2/3/07, SR p.8)
1993 Research by Robin Dunbar, an Oxford anthropologist, gave rise to Dunbar’s number of 150 as a natural limit to the human friendship
(WSJ, 11/16/07, p.B1)
1994 Mar 8, The IRA launch the 1st of 3 mortar attacks on London's Heathrow Airport.
1994 Mar 12, The Anglican Church of England ordained its first (33) women priests.
(AP, 3/12/98)(SFC, 5/19/00,
1994 Apr 16, Bosnian Serbs downed a British Sea Harrier jet near Gorazde; the pilot ejected and was rescued by Bosnian government troops.
1994 Apr, London-based Railtrack took over infrastructure responsibilities from British Rail. Britain completed the privatization of rail operations by 1997.
1994 May 5, Labour beat the Conservatives in British local elections.
1994 May 6, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand formally opened the Channel Tunnel between their countries.
1994 May 12, British Labor Party leader John Smith died unexpectedly at age 55.
1994 Jun 29, In a British TV documentary, Prince Charles said he was faithful in his marriage to Princess Diana "until it became irretrievably broken down."
Jul 3, Pete Sampras defeated Goran Ivanisevic to win the Wimbledon men's championship, 7-6, 7-6, 6-0.
1994 Jul 21, Britain's Labor Party elected Tony Blair its new
leader, succeeding the late John Smith.
1994 Jul 26-1994 Jul 27, A car bomb heavily damaged the Israeli embassy in London, injuring 14; hours later, a second bomb exploded outside a
building housing Jewish organizations in north London.
(AP, 7/26/99)(NYT, 10/8/04, p.A12)
1994 Aug 10, Last British troops left Hong Kong. They had been there since Sept
1994 Aug 15, Shepherd Mead (80), author (How to Succeed at Business), died of stroke In London, England.
1994 Sep 13, In Cyprus 3 British soldiers abducted tour guide Louise Jensen (23). Her body was found 2 days later. In 1996 they were sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of abducting, conspiring to rape, and killing Louise Jensen. In 2006 the
former soldiers were released and deported to Britain after serving only 12 years.
1994 Sep 8, The Last US, British & French
troops left West-Berlin.
1994 Nov 1, Syd Dernley (73), British hangman, died. In 1989 he authored “The Hangman's Tale: Memoirs of a Public Executioner.”
1994 Nov 14, The 1st trains for public ran in Channel Tunnel under the English
1994 Nov 19, Julian Symons (b.1912)), British detective writer (Death's Darkest Face),
1994 Nov 28, Ronald "Buster" Edwards (b.1931), British Great Train Robber (1963), committed suicide by hanging in Lambeth,
1994 Dec 24, John Osborne (b.1929), British playwright, died. His plays included “Look Back in Anger” (1956) and “Inadmissible Evidence” (1964). In
2007 John Heilpern authored “John Osborn: The Many Lives of the Angry Young Man.”
(AP, 12/24/99)(WSJ, 1/26/06, p.W6)
1994 James Kelman won the Booker Prize for his novel "How Late It Was, How
Late." He was the first Scot to be awarded the prize.
(SFEC, 11/10/96, p.C17)
1994 Louis de Berniere authored "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin."
(WSJ, 10/28/98, p.A20)
1994 Britain’s government announced that it would not privatize the Forestry Commission.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.A10)
1994 Britain under PM John Major established a national lottery. Some of the funds were dedicated for sports.
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.48)
1994 Lindsay Anderson, British
theater and film director, died. In 2000 his friend Gavin Lambert authored "Mainly About Lindsay Anderson."
(SFEC, 10/8/00, BR p.6)
1994-1996 The BBC ran an Arabic language satellite TV service from a Saudi-backed
company called Orbit. It ended after Saudi’s objected to the BBC’s programming.
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.57)
1995 Jan 1, Fred West hanged himself in his London prison while awaiting trial
in the murders of a dozen girls and women. The victims included his wife's 16-year-old daughter and 8-year-old stepdaughter and several young runaways.
1995 Jan 9, Peter Cook (57),
English comic and actor (Bedazzled, Beyond the Fringe, The Wrong Box), died.
1995 Feb 14, Britain’s Sizewell B nuclear power plant, near Leiston, Suffolk, started generating power.
Construction had started in 1988.
1995 Feb 21, Robert Bolt (b.1924), British playwright (Doctor Zhivago, Man for All Seasons, Bounty),
1995 Feb 26, Barings PLC, Britain's oldest investment banking firm, was forced into bankruptcy after an employee in Singapore, Nicholas William Leeson (28),
speculated in derivatives on Tokyo stock prices that resulted in losses exceeding $1.4 billion.
(WSJ, 2/27/95, p.A-1)(AP, 2/26/00)
1995 Feb 27, Court-appointed salvagers swarmed into Britain's oldest
investment bank to evaluate the remaining assets of Barings PLC after Nick Leeson, a 28-year-old trader, ruined the firm by gambling on Tokyo stock prices.
1995 Feb, James Alfred Wight
(b1916), Yorkshire veterinarian and author, died. His penname was James Herriot and his work included "All Creatures Great and Small," which was later made into a BBC TV series. His first book was "If Only They Could Talk." His home and shop in Thirsk was opened for visitors in 1999.
1995 Mar 2, British trader Nick Leeson, blamed for the collapse of Barings PLC, was detained in Germany.
1995 Mar 3, Camilla Parker Bowles and her husband Andrew divorced.
1995 Mar 24, For the first time in
20 years, no British soldiers were patrolling the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1995 Mar 24, Joseph Needham (b.1900), British biochemist and writer, died. His work included the 24-volume “Science and Civilization in China.” In
2008 Simon Winchester authored “The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom.”
(WSJ, 5/6/08, p.D7)(www.iias.nl/iiasn/iiasn5/eastasia/needham.html)
1995 May 10, Britain lifted a 23-year ban on ministerial talks with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.
May 24, Harold Wilson (79), former British Prime Minister (1964-70, 74-76), died in London.
(AP, 5/24/00)(MC, 5/24/02)
1995 Jul 4, British Prime Minister John Major won re-election as Conservative
1995 Jul 16, Stephen Spender (b.1909), English poet and critic, died. In 2004 John Sutherland authored “Stephen Spender: The Authorized
(HN, 2/28/01)(Econ, 6/19/04, p.81)
1995 Sep 12, Jeremy Brett, English actor (Sherlock Holmes), died at 59.
1995 Oct 22, Sir Kingsley Amis (73), British writer, died in London. His 25 novels included “Lucky Jim” (1954) and “The Green Man” (1969). In 2007 Zachary Leader authored “The Life of Kingsley Amis.”
(AP, 10/22/05)(SSFC, 4/22/07, p.P10)
1995 Nov 20, BBC Television broadcast an interview with Princess Diana, who admitted being unfaithful to Prince Charles.
1995 Dec 17, This year's British Booker Prize in literature was awarded to Pat Barker for "The Ghost Road," the third novel of a trilogy (1991-1995) that work focused on psychologist W.H.R. Rivers and poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) set during WW
(www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth15)(WSJ, 10/15/97, p.A21)(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A12)
1995 Dec 18, Queen Elizabeth asked Prince Charles and Diana to
1995 Dec 24, British playwright John Osborne ("Look Back in Anger") died at age 65.
1995 Will Hutton authored “The State We’re In,” his analysis of British capitalism.
(Econ, 1/15/05, p.63)
1995 David Kynaston (b.1951), British historian, authored volume one of his 4-volume work “The City of London: A World of Its Own, 1815–90.” Volume 4 came out in 2002. In 2011 it became available in a shortened single volume.
1995 Iris Murdoch published "Jackson's Dilemma." It was her last novel.
(SFC, 2/9/99, p.A20)
1995 Britain’s conservative government unveiled plans to reduce the basic income tax rate from 25% to 24%.
(WSJ, 12/29/95, p.A-11)
1995 British Energy was formed to run Britain’s second generation of nuclear
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.64)
1995 The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) was founded in London. Run by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2006 it charged $7,319 for its admission and annual fee as opposed to $100,000 for admission to
(SFC, 4/28/06, p.D1)(Econ, 10/21/06, p.86)
1995 Britain’s largest manufacturing concern, General Electric Company PLC, was run by Lord Weinstock. He retired in autumn 1996 after 33 years in
(WSJ, 11/10/95, p. A-7)
1995 Johan Eliasch (33), Swedish-born English business executive, acquired the financially ailing Head NV from the Austrian government for $1 million plus the assumption of more than $300 million in
(WSJ, 4/7/07, p.A5)
1995 Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (b.1967), a Greek-Cypriot-born British entrepreneur, founded easyJet, a budget airline.
1995 Lakshmi Mittal (b.1950), India-born entrepreneur, transferred his steel firm's headquarters from Indonesia to London, a city Mr Mittal rated as the world's financial centre.
1995 British income per head overtook the French.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.28)
Feb 9, A massive blast by the IRA killed two people in London's East End and injured nearly a 100 people.
(WSJ, 2/12/96, p.A-1)
1996 Feb 15, The Sea Empress grounded off of Wales and
spilled 18 million gallons (72,000 tons) of oil.
(SFC, 11/20/02, p.A14)(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/uk_news/55393.stm)
1996 Feb 18, A bomb exploded aboard a bus and may have gone off prematurely
killing the bomber. It was the third IRA bombing in 10 days.
(WSJ, 2/20/96, p.A-1)
1996 Feb 28, Britain’s Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles.
1996 Feb, In Libya a plan to kill Moammar Khadafy failed and several bystanders were killed. In 1998 David Shayler, a former member of the British intelligence services, revealed the information in France while fighting extradition to
Britain. The British foreign secretary denied the attack. Shayler returned to London in 2000 to face charges.
(SFC, 8/17/98, p.A9)(SFC, 8/22/00, p.A10)
1996 Mar 1, Plans were approved allowing traffic
cameras at High Harrington and Shap, England.
1996 Mar 20, The British government said that a rare brain disease that had killed 10 people was probably linked to so-called "mad cow
1996 Mar, British Prime Minister John Major visited Hong Kong and said that Britain will fight for the 1984 treaty to be respected by
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)
1996 Apr 16, Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of getting a
1996 May 13, Britain’s last Polaris submarine, the HMS Repulse, came home for good. The Polaris subs have been replaced by the US Trident nuclear
(SFC, 5/14/96, A-9)
1996 May 30, Sarah Ferguson divorced Prince Andrew.
(SFEC, 5/25/97, Par
1996 Jun 9, The latest unemployment rate was 8.4%.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Par, p.9)
Jun 15, A bomb exploded in Manchester, England and wounded 200 people at the Arndale Center mall.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.A1)
1996 Jun 16, An investigation has shown that 2,680 forests, 46%
of the total owned by the Forestry Commission have been sold off.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.A10)
1996 Jun 26, A running battle erupted after Germany defeated England on penalties in the European soccer
championships. 70 people were injured and 200 were arrested.
(SFC, 6/28/96, p.A14)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of a Big Mac in Great Britain was $2.70.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Par, p.17)
1996 Jul 12, A divorce settlement between Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, the Prince of Wales was agreed upon. Diana would be called "Her Royal Highness" and would receive about $22.5 mil plus an annual $600,000 to maintain
her private office.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A8)
1996 Aug 21, The new Globe theater opened in England.
1996 Sep 23, In London police killed one man and seized 10 tons of explosives during raids of suspected IRA hideouts.
(SFC, 9/24/96, p.A12)
1996 Oct 29, Graham Swift won the Booker Prize for his comic novel "Last Orders."
(SFC, 10/30/96, p.E7)
Roisin McAliskey, the daughter of Bernadette Devlin, was arrested for the IRA mortar attack on the British base at Osnabrueck, Germany.
(SFC, 3/10/98, p.A9)
1996 The BBC teamed Jennifer Paterson
(d.1999 at 71) with Dickson Wright for a cooking program that became the popular "Two Fat Ladies."
(SFC, 8/11/99, p.C5)
1996 John Galliano, British designer, became chief designer for Dior. In 1999 he introduced the saddle bag
(WSJ, 1/20/03, p.B1)
1996 Britain banned exports of meat and bone meal due to possible risks of "mad-cow" disease.
1996 The British Commission for Racial Equality found that the Household Cavalry, the 4-centuries old monarch’s personal guard, was guilty of institutionalized racism.
(SFC, 3/27/98, p.A13)
1996 The BBC launched a project to compile data about Britain and recorded the results on laserdiscs. A 2.5 year effort to transfer the data to updated technology was completed in 2005 and made available at www.domesday1986.com.
1996 Bernard Ecclestone (b.1930), a former motorcycle mechanic, paid himself a salary of $80 million. Know as the ‘Ringmaster" he was the foremost figure in the Formula One car racing scene.
1996 Michael Lynch, British software entrepreneur, founded Autonomy as a kind of Google for corporate data.
(Econ, 2/28/09, p.70)
1997 Jan 7, Beryl Brainbridge won the British Whitbread award for best novel of 1996 for Every Man for Himself, a tale of the Titanic disaster. Seamus Heaney won poetry award for "The Spirit Level."
1997 Jan 23, A new species of a carnivorous dinosaur from 120 million years ago was found in southern England. At 26-feet it was larger than a velociraptor but smaller than a tyrannosaurus rex.
(SFC, 1/24/97, p.A15)
1997 Jan 31, The 412-foot Britannia was scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of the year.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A8)
1997 Feb 2, Godfrey Baseley, creator of the Archers, a radio serial based on farming, died at age 92. Dan and Doris Archer and their mythical family at Brookfield Farm in Ambridge was developed after WW II to help farmers modernize production.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.A18)
1997 Feb 9, In Newton, Mass., an 8-month old baby died while under the care of a 19-year-old British nanny. Louisa Woodward, pleaded innocent, but was tried and convicted on 2nd-degree murder charges in
1997 Feb 17, Adrian Jacobs, British businessman and writer, died penniless in London. His work included a children’s book titled
“The Adventures of Willy the Wizard – No. 1 Livid Land” (1987). In 2009 his estate charged that J.K. Rawlings, author of the popular Harry Potter books, plagiarized his book.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.E12)(www.imdb.com/name/nm0414310/bio)
1997 Feb 27, Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect.
1997 Mar 7, Oxford Univ. scientists established a blood tie between the
9,000 year-old skeleton known as Cheddar Man and an English teacher who lived just half-a-mile from the cave where the bones were found.
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.A8)
1997 Mar 26, Irish terrorists set off 2
bombs in Wilmslow at a railroad crossing.
(SFC, 3/27/97, p.A14)
1997 Apr 19, The British drought was now two years old and London was the driest it had been in 200
(SFC, 4/19/97, p.A10)
1997 Apr 25, The IRA set off explosions near the M6 highway and caused chaos in Britain’s morning commute.
(SFC, 4/26/97, p.A10)
1997 May 6, British PM Tony Blair, on the first full working day of the new Labor government, gave the Bank of England the right to set interest rates. Labor had won power pledging that it would by the party of welfare reform. The party had
campaigned on the anthem “Things can only get better.” In October the Bank of England lost its supervisory powers over banks to the new Financial Services Authority.
(SFC, 5/7/97, p.C2)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.63)(Econ, 3/10/07, p.52)(Econ, 6/14/08, p.70)(Econ, 5/1/10, p.27)
1997 May 10, From London Jennifer Murray and co-pilot Quentin smith began a round-the-world helicopter trip in an effort to become the first woman to pilot the globe in a helicopter.
1997 Jun 16, The British government broke off contacts it had just renewed with Sinn Fein after the Irish Republican Army killed two Protestant policemen in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.
6/16/98)(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A1)
1997 Jun 30, In Hong Kong, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time over Government House as Britain prepared to hand the colony back to China after ruling it for 156 years. The 1st Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
became the last British unit to leave Hong Kong.
1997 Jun, J.K. Rowling (32) authored "Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer's Stone." It became the 1st of a very popular series of children's books.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.A16)
1997 Jul 1, A new handgun law took effect as a result of the 1996 massacre at the school in
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.A13)
1997 Jul 1, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony. Britain relinquished Hong Kong as a colonial territory, and China became master. Many rights were guaranteed for 50 years
under a Sino-British treaty.
(WSJ, 11/14/94, p.A9)(SFC, 5/30/96, p.A9)(AP, 7/1/98)
1997 Jul 10, Thousands of rural people showed up at Hyde Park to defend the sport of fox and deer hunting. A bill to
ban the hunting of foxes, deer, hares and mink with dogs was being considered.
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A10)
1997 Jul 22, The labor party proposed a somewhat independent assembly for
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A10)
1997 Jul 23, In Britain the government announced that tuition fees would be imposed for the first time on all college
(SFC, 7/24/97, p.A11)
1997 Jul 24, Britain proposed to the Scots the power to legislate, tax and speak for themselves in the European Union.
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A10)
1997 Aug 29, The government formally invited Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, to peace talks next month in Northern Ireland.
1997 Aug. 30, Americans and others in the Western Hemisphere learned of the deaths of Princess Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, in a car crash in Paris. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived. (Because of the time difference, it was
the morning of Aug. 31 in Paris when Diana was pronounced dead.) [see Aug 31]
1997 Aug 31, Prince Charles brought Princess Diana home for the last time, escorting the body of his former
wife to a Britain that was shocked, grief-stricken and angered by her death in a Paris traffic accident. Princess Diana (36) and Egyptian billionaire Dodi al-Fayed (42) were killed along with the car’s driver in a car crash in Paris while trying to evade paparazzi photographers. A bodyguard was severely injured but expected to survive. It was later learned that the driver had 3 times the legal
alcohol limit and was driving at about 110 mph.
(SFEC, 8/31/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/1/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/2/97, p.A1)(AP, 8/31/98)
1997 Sep 2, In London, a grieving human tide engulfed St. James's Palace, where
Princess Diana's body lay in a chapel closed to the public, as the British monarchy and government prepared for her funeral. The White House announced that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton would attend on behalf of the United States.
1997 Sep 5, In England funeral services for Princess Diana were held in London. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II broke the royal reticence over Princess Diana's death, delivering a televised address in which she called her former daughter-in-law "a remarkable person." The 1973 song “Candle in the Wind,” an ode to
Marilyn Monroe on the album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin, was adopted for the funeral.
(SFC, 9/6/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/24/97, p.E1)(AP, 9/5/07)
1997 Sep 19, In his
first public comments since the death of Princess Diana, Princes Charles told the British people he would always feel the loss of his former wife, and thanked them for their support.
1997 Sep 19, In England a passenger train collided with a freight train in west London and 6 people were killed and 170
(SFC, 9/20/97, p.A10)(AP, 9/19/98)
1997 Sep 22, Elton John released his Diana tribute "Candle in the Wind 1997."
1997 Sep 25, A British jet car, Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green of the Royal Air Force set a land speed record of 714.144 mph in Nevada. [see Oct 13]
1997 Sep 18, In Wales voters narrowly approved a referendum for partial self-government with 50.3% of the vote in which only 50% of the voters took part.
1997 Oct 13, A British jet car, Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green of the Royal Air Force set a land speed record of 764.168 mph in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The record was not recorded as official because turn around time went over an hour due to
braking problems. Green officially broke the record two days later.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A1,7)(AP, 10/13/98)
1997 Sep, A 13-foot high painting titled "Myra" by Marcus Harvey was displayed at the Royal
Academy of Arts show "Sensation." It was created from children’s handprints and based on a mug shot of Myra convicted of murdering children in 1966. It was part of a show from the collection of Charles Saatchi of the "Brit Art gang." The show was deemed by many as very offensive. The show moved to New York City in 1999 and caused a major stir.
(SFC, 9/18/97, p.E5)(WSJ, 9/29/99, p.A20)
1997 Oct 14, The nominal world premiere of the symphonic poem "Standing Stone" by Paul McCartney was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus at Royal Albert
(WSJ, 11/18/97, p.A20)
1997 Oct 15, A British jet-powered car driven by pilot Andy Green broke the land speed record with an average run of 763.035 mph at Gerlach, Nevada. The Thrust SSC was
powered by two 110,000-horse-power Rolls-Royce Spey 205 engines. The vehicle was 54 feet long, 12 feet wide, and weighed 10.2 tons.
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/15/98)
1997 Oct 20, It was reported that
a British firm has proposed a rail tunnel to link Britain and Ireland. The 56-mile tunnel was estimated to cost $22.6 billion.
1997 Oct 20, Harold Albert, writer, died. He created the character of Helen Cathcart as the writer
of royal biographies between 1962 and 1988 that included: "Her Majesty, the Queen Herself," and "Charles: Man of Destiny."
1997 Oct 27, Britain concluded a 54-nation Commonwealth
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 27, British Defense Sec. George Robertson announced that women soldiers would be allowed to serve as engineers and gunners under battle conditions.
1997 Oct 28, In England the Financial Services Authority (FSA) came into being for the oversight of financial institutions.
(Econ, 10/20/07, SR
1997 Nov 28, The House of Commons approved a bill, 411-151, to ban wild animals from being pursued, injured or killed by the use of dogs (i.e. foxhunting). It was not supported by the labor
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 2, The US promised to donate $29 million over the next 3 years to an int’l. fund for Holocaust survivors at a conference in London on Nazi gold. Congress
would have to approve the contribution. Britain pledged $1.7 million. Some 5.5 tons of gold were still held in New York and London. Over the last 50 years the Tripartite Gold Commission, established by the Allies, had returned over 300 tons of gold to ten countries whose treasuries were sacked.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A10)(SFC, 12/3/97,
1997 Dec 10, The House of Commons approved a bill to reduce welfare payments to single parents.
1997 Dec 18, Richard Tomlinson (b.1963), a former British MI6 officer, was jailed for a year for unlawfully disclosing information about his work. He had joined MI6 in 1991 and was dismissed in 1995, after admitting to passing a synopsis of a proposed book about his experiences in the Secret Intelligence Service
(SIS) to an Australian publisher. He kept details of his book in secret files on several computers. He had served for 4 years as an agent in Moscow and Bosnia. In 1999 Tomlinson posted the names of British intelligence officers on a Web site. His book “The Big Breach” was published in 2001 in Russia.
(http://tinyurl.com/2cw2sal)(SFC, 5/13/99, p.C5)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.34)
1997 Dec 25, A gale hit Britain and Ireland with 100 mph winds and 4 people were killed. A French fishing vessel was feared to have sunk off Wales.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 28, James Lees-Milne (b.1908), British biographer, architectural historian and watercolorist, died. His work included a biography of British politician Harold Nicolson. In 2001 Milne’s "Deep Romantic Chasm: Diaries
1979-1981" was published. The final installment of his diaries, The Milk of Paradise,” was published in 2006. In 2009 Michael Bloch authored “James Lees-Milne: The Life.”
(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.63)(WSJ, 7/1/06, p.P6)(Econ, 11/21/09, p.86)
1997 Prof. Norman Davies of the Univ. of London wrote "Europe: A History."
(Hem., 5/97, p.99)
1997 The film "Mrs. Brown" was about the relationship between Queen Victoria and her servant John Brown over the
(SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.2)
1997 Gordon Brown became chancellor of Britain. Brown staged an infamous pensions tax “grab” by eliminating the tax credit on dividend payments.
(Econ, 12/13/03, p.53)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.94)
1997 William Hague became leader of the British Conservative Party. He lost the leadership in 2001.
(WSJ, 2/9/05, p.D10)
1997 Britain’s Labour party said it would cut British 20% off greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 as compared to 1990 levels. Emissions between 1999 and 2005 remained unchanged.
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.59)
set up the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to deal with appeals when the home secretary had directed that a person be deported on national security grounds.
(Econ, 11/17/12, p.55)
1997 The Bank of England gave up its role as manager of
public debt as well as its job of supervising banks. Bank supervision was passed to the FSA. Legislation in 2012 was expected to restore the Bank of England’s role in supervising commercial banks in 2013.
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.57)
1997 Neil Monroe
Roger (aka Bunny Roger), a dandy, gay couturier, died at age 86. He maintained a serious pursuit of ancient, medieval and ecclesiastical history. His wardrobe was auctioned in 1998 with an estimated value of $2.5 mil.
(SFC, 1/28/98, p.A8)
fatal train crash led to a $2.47 million fine for the train operator for dereliction of duty.
(WSJ, 10/6/99, p.A1)
1997-2005 Britain’s spending on state education rose from 4.7% to
(Econ, 10/22/05, Survey p.59)
1997-2006 Housing prices in Britain rose by 175%, one of the biggest increases among developed economies.
Subject = Britain