BRITAIN AND THE WORLD SINCE 1953

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1989

Jan3 Margaret Thatcher becomes the longest serving British Prime Minister this century
Jan4 Two Libyan jets are shot down by US
Jan8 British Midland Boeing 737-400 on a flight from Heathrow to Belfast crashes on approach to East Midlands Airport - the Kegworth Air Disaster led to the deaths of 44 people out of 126 passengers and crew who were on the plane 
  The Imperial Son of Heaven Emperor Michinomiya Hirohito dies from stomach cancer at the age of 82. He is succeeded by Crown Prince Akihito to the Chrysanthemum Throne 
Jan17 A gunman kills five children and wounds thirty others in an unprovoked attack on a school playground in Stockton California. The gunman after the massacre shot himself
Jan20 George Bush inaugurated as 41st President & Dan Quayle becomes 44th Vice President of USA 
  Reagan becomes 1st President elected in a "0" year, since 1840, to leave office alive
Jan24 Ted Bundy the serial killer of at least 22 women is electrocuted in the electric chair in Florida
Jan30 Olympian, Bruce Kimball, is sentenced to 17 years in prison for killing two teenagers in a drunk driving accident 
Feb2 FW de Klerk replaces Botha as South Africa's Nationalist Party leader 
Feb3 Military coup overthrows Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay
Feb13 The highest gust of wind ever recorded in th UK at a low level site occurred at Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. It measured 123 knots an hour
Feb14 Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie
Feb15 Last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan 
Feb25 In Las Vegas Mike Tyson TKOs Frank Bruno in five rounds when fighting for the World Heavyweight Title 
Mar1 A curfew is imposed in Kosovo where protests continue at the alleged intimidation of the Serb minority. 
Mar2 Gareth Morris the last Trades Unionist at GCHQ leaves after being sacked for being a Union member. A Day of Shame 
Mar3 Three IRA members on mission in Gibraltar shot by SAS; at their funeral in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast,loyalist Michael Stone kills three people; at the funeral of the three killed by Stone, two non-uniformed Army personnel attacked and killed by mourners after being pulled from vehicle. Stone receives a 30 year sentence for the killings
Mar4 The Purley rail crash in which five people died and 94 were injured occured when the 12.17 Littlehampton to London Victoria crashed into the rear of the 12.50 Horsham to Victoria. At the subsequent inquiry British Rail blame driver error 
Mar7 Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Britain over Salman Rushdie's novel "The  Satanic Verses".
Mar25 The Exxon Valdez runs into a reef causing 11 million gallons of crude oil to pour into Prince William Sound and creates an major environmental disaster 
Mar31 The first nuclear power station to be turned off. After 27 years the station at Berkely Glos is shut down but it will not be fully decommissioned for another 100 years
Apr1 Universal free eye tests are ended. Another day of shame
Apr7 A Soviet nuclear-powered submarine, carrying nuclear warheads, caught fire and sank off Norway with the loss of more than 40 crew members
Apr11 Members of the Abbey National vote to convert the building society to a bank and float it on the Stock Exchange
Apr15 96 crushed to death at Hillsborough Stadium in a FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. For a full review of the circumstances that led to the disaster and the aftermath please click here
Apr18 Zimbabwe gains independence
Apr19 A 16" gun turrett exploded on the US battleship Iowa killing 47 ratings. The ship was on exercises 300 miles north east of Puerto Rico
Apr20 Scientists stated the Earth narrowly missed being struck by an asteroid weighing 400 million tons.
Apr24 Peter Scudamore became the first National Hunt jockey to ride 200 winners in a season.
Apr27  Beijing students take over Tiananmen Square in China 
Apr30 The Italian Film director Sergio Leone dies aged 60
May1 Steve Davis wins his sixth World Snooker title defeating John Parrott a record 18 - 3 in the final
May15 Jackie Mann  a 74 year old former Battle of Britain pilot is abducted in Beiruit by Arab terrorists
May24 Sonia Sutcliffe the wife of the Yorkshire Ripper wins libel damages of 600,000 against Private Eye for an allegation that she profited from the sale of her life story
Jun2  Rolling Stone's bass guitarist Bill Wyman marries Mandy Smith 
Jun3  10,000 Chinese soldiers are blocked by 100,000 citizens protecting students demonstrating for democracy in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Hundreds are killed 
Jun4 Gas from a leaking pipeline exploded, engulfing two packed passenger trains on the Trans-Siberian railway; 575 people were killed
and more than 600 injured in the second worst rail disaster ever.
Jun7 Peter Shilton made his record 109th appearance for England against Denmark, passing Bobby Moore's long-standing record.
Jun13 The wreck of the German Battleship Bismarck which was sunk in 1941 is located 600 miles west of Brest France
Jun21 Police arrest 250 citizens for celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire
Jul19 The BBC programme "Panorama" accuses Lady Porter Tory Leader of Westminster City Council of "gerrymandering"
Jul20 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for her outspoken attacks on the country's military rulers.
Jul23 Mark Calcavecchia wins the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon after the first ever triple play-off
Jul27 Christer Pettersson was found guilty and jailed for life for the 1986 murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. He was later acquitted and the crime has remained unsolved
Aug20 "The Marchioness" collides with the dredger Bowbelle on the River Thames adjacent to Southwark Bridge. The result was the loss of 51 lives. It was the worst loss of life on the Thames for over 100 years 
Aug25 After a 12-year, 4-billion-mile space journey, Voyager 2 flew over the cloudtops of the giant planet Neptune and its moon Triton, sending back photographs of swampy areas, frozen lakes and craters.
Aug30 Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips separated after 16 years of a marriage dogged by constant rumors of estrangement
Sep22 At 8.26a.m. a bomb explodes at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal killing 11 bandsmen and injuring 22. The I.R.A. were responsible for the carnage and loss of life 
Oct5 US TV Evangelist Jim Bakker is found guilty of fleecing his followers of $158 million. Praise The Lord
Oct17 The deadliest U.S. quake since 1906 shook the entire San Francisco Bay area. Centered near Santa Cruz, 50 miles (80 km) south
of San Francisco, it was a magnitude 6.9 quake, and killed 67 people and injured more than 600.
Oct19 The Guildford Four are freed after 14 years for crimes they did not commit. Investigations revealed that the evidence had been either fabricated or concocted and that the police had mislead the original trial 
Oct26 The Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson resigns and is succeeded by John Major
Nov9 East Germany opens all its border points
Nov10 Guerrillas battle with government forces in El Salvador 
  Germans begin punching holes in the Berlin Wall 
Nov12 Brazil holds its first free presidential election since 1960 
Nov18 National Hunt Jockey Peter Scudamore breaks the record for the total number of winners ridden in a season
Nov21 House of Commons proceedings first televised with the Labour MP Bob Cryer opening the debate on the Queens Speech
Nov27 Colombian jetliner bombed killing 107 people
Nov30 Frank Warren the Boxing Promoter is seriously injured in a shooting incident
  Lord Aldington the Tory Peer wins libel damages of 1.5 million from Nickolai Tolstoy after the latter alleged that he was "a man with the blood of 70,000 men women and children on his hands". He was refering to the forced repatriation of Cossacks and Slavs to Stalins Russia after 1945. Eleven years later he has still not received any of the award and is living in "reduced circumstances
Dec2 VP Singh(Janata Dal) replaces Rajiv Ghandhi(Congress) as Prime Minister of India
Dec7 A gunman claiming to hate feminists massacres 14 women at the University of Montreal.
Dec9 The sale of the UK Water industry to the private sector is over-subscribed 5.7 times
Dec13 The RFU ends its opposition to pure amateurism in Rugby Union
Dec20 US troops invade Panama and overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega. Noriega, wanted on drug charges, takes refuge in the Vatican mission until January 3, 1990.
Dec21 Romania's dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's final speech He and his wife  Elena were executed by firing squad on Xmas Day after being found guilty of "Crimes against the People"
Dec26 Samuel Beckett the writer of "Waiting For Godot" dies in Paris
Dec29 Vaclav Havel becomes president of Czechoslovakia

 

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Last Updated 21/07/03 10:15

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