BRITAIN AND THE WORLD SINCE 1953

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2003

Jan9 The celebrated British playwright and prolific humorist, Peter Tinniswood, died at a London hospice aged 66. He was the originator of "Uncle Mort" who was played with distinction on TV by the actor Robin Bailey
Jan25 At least 34 people were injured  when a Central Line train crashed into the tunnel wall at Chancery Lane station  There were no fatalities
Jan26 The maximum temperature of 18.3 C at Aboyne Aberdeenshire equals the previously highest maximum temperature for January any where in the UK, which was at Aber (Gwynedd) on both the 10 January 1971 and 27 January 1958.
Feb1 The US space shuttle Columbia explodes on re-entry to the earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts instantly. It is believed that the cause was damaged heat protection tiles on the left side that resulted in a thermal breach which weakened the space shuttle's structural integrity.
  John Gregg an UDA leader in Belfast and the man who was jailed for his attempt to murder Gerry Adams in 1984 is himself murdered in his home city by a loyalist faction    
Feb5 British-born Jackie Elliott (42) is executed by lethal injection in Huntsville Texas for the gang rape and murder of 18-year-old Joyce Munguia in 1986. It was the seventh execution in the state this year and came despite widespread concerns over the original verdict 
Feb14 Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to have been successfully cloned, died on this day in 2003, aged six years, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Although cause of death was from a progressive lung disease commonly found in sheep, Dolly was also suffering from premature arthiritis, leading to speculation over the health of cloned animals. Her ill health may simply have been due to her lifestyle, which was less active than that of normal sheep. Today, whilst the debate rages over cloning, her stuffed remains can be seen in Edinburgh's Royal Museum
Feb15 The largest public demonstration ever in London - people marching against the British government's policy on Iraq 
Feb17 The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who travels at the expense of the taxpayer, introduces traffic congestion charging in Central London
Feb27 Dr Rowan Williams is installed as the 104th Archbishop of Cantebury at a service in Cantebury Cathedral.
Mar17 Britain and the US abandon attempts to gain UN backing for the invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Mar20 After years of trying to secure a diplomatic solution to Saddam Hussein's weapons policy, the US and it's allies declares war on Iraq. The war lasted four weeks before the regime was overthrown.  
Apr5 Monty's Pass, a 16-1 chance ridden by Barry Geraghty wins the Grand National at Aintree by 12 lenghs. Second place in the 40-strong field that set out went to Supreme Glory (40-1), who edged out Amberleigh House (33-1), trained by Donald "Ginger" McCain. The race was beamed to an estimated global TV audience of 500 million and British bookmakers had forecast record wagering on the event of around 150 million pounds.
Apr17 The Stevens Report is issued and finds that members of the RUC and British Army colluded with the largest NI loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), to murder Catholics. It also found that British military intelligence in Northern Ireland actually prolonged the anarchy and violence.
May30 At sunrise an annular eclipse occurs in Britain. This is where the Moon slip inside the Sun's disc to produce a "ring of fire" around the lunar limb. The moon's size in the sky is insufficient to completely cover the Sun's disc - as happens in a total solar eclipse. The sky does not go completely black; a ring or annulus of sunlight is still visible. The next one will occur in 2093
June3 Former BBC racing commentator and correspondent Peter Bromley dies aged 74. He had worked as the BBC's racing correspondent for 41 years and only retired after the 2001 Epsom Derby. During his career he commentated on 202 Classic races and his voice was unique in broadcasting.
Jun5 The first new Cricket Test Ground for over 101 years. (The last one was Bramall Lane in Sheffield). The Second Test between England and Zimbabwe takes place at the Riverside Chester-Le-Street Durham At the close of play on the first day England wre 298-5. Alec Stewart became the second highest English run scorer on all time overtaking David Gower in the process
June6 The Royal Mail announced that it is to stop transporting post by rail after 170 years. The company said its 49 mail trains will begin to be cancelled from next month and stopped altogether from March 2004.
Jul2 England's Soccer captain and former Manchester United player David Beckham signs a four-year deal wth Real Madrid on 01.07.2003 and is introduced to more than 500 journalists from 25 countries at the club's basketball stadium.
Jul6 Roger Federer wins his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon beating  Mark Philippoussis in straight sets. On the same day Matini Navratilova wins her twentieth Wimbledon title in the mixed doubles equalling Billie Jean King's record 
Jul7 Canon Jeffrey John withdraws his acceptance of the post of The Bishop of Reading following a lengthy discussions with the Church of England leaders. Canon John would have been the Church's first openly gay bishop.
Jul20 Ben Curtis wins the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's at Sandwich Kent. He was the first golfer since Tom Watson in 1975 to win a major tournament on his debut. In addition this was the first time he had played in a UK tournament
Aug10 The temperature in Gravesend, Kent was measured 38.1C (100.6F) - the hottest day ever recorded in Britain. The reord had earlier been broken when Heathrow airport registered 37.9C (100.2F). The previous record was 37.1C (98.8F), recorded at Cheltenham in 1990.
Oct8 Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected to be Governor of California - ousting the Democratic incumbent, Gray Davis. It is the first time in the state's history that Californians have voted to sack their governor mid-term.
Oct10 Australian Matthew Hayden gets highest score in Test history with an innings of 380 in the first test against Zimbabwe in Perth. The innings contained 11 sixes, 38 fours and took 622 minutes. The left-hander beat the previous mark of 375, set by West Indian Brian Lara nine years ago against England. Australia won the test by an innings and 175 runs
Oct11 England draw 0 - 0 in Turkey to qualify for the Euro 2004 tournement in Portugal. All England supporters were barred from watching the match live.
Oct12 Bill Shoemaker a legend of US racing who rode 8,833 winners in a stunning career spanning 41 years dies in his sleep at his home San Marino, California, he was 72. Shoemaker's total of winners stood as a world record until broken by Laffit Pincay in 1999. "The Shoe" had been paralysed following an accident in 1991 when his vehicle left the road and tumbled down a ravine
  Michael Schumacher (34) wins a record sixth Formula One drivers' title by finishing eighth  in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The previous record of five wins was held by Fangio
Oct24  Concorde completed its last commercial flight, ending three decades of supersonic travel. Three flights landed at Heathrow airport within five minutes of each other with the final touchdown occurring at 4.05 p.m. BST. 
Oct28 After leading the Conservative Party for 788 days, Iain Duncan Smith loses a vote of confidence and is forced to resign as Leader of the party. He was the first person in the party's history to have been elected by party members. He is replaced a few days later by Howard
Nov5 A 54 year old truck painter Gary Ridgway confesses in a Seattle courtroom to the murder of 48 women between 1982 - 1984 Known as The Green River killer Ridgway's admission of guilt, was made under a plea bargain so that he would not face execution "I wanted to kill as many women as I thought were prostitutes as I possibly could," he said in the final statement..
Nov18 President George Bush begins a three day state visit to the UK. The visit was met with large scale demonstrations by people opposed to the war in Iraq and US foreign policy.
Nov20 Ten Turkish and British staff are killed in the bombing of the British Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Further deaths occur at the main HSBC HQ in the city. Both explosions are identified as being linked to al-Qaeda.
Nov22 England Rugby Union captain Martin Johnson became the first player to lead a northern hemisphere side to the World title with a final score of 20 - 17 against Australia. The winning points were scored with a drop goal from Johnny Wilkinson just 26 seconds from the end of the final in Sydney.

 

 

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Last Updated 17/03/10 12:39

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