1991 International bank closed in fraud scandal

The Bank of England has closed down UK branches of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) over allegations of fraud.  The bank’s 120,000 UK

1997 Hong Kong handed over to Chinese control

Hong Kong has been handed back to the Chinese authorities - ending more than 150 years of British control.  The British flag was lowered over Government House -

1971 Space mission ends in tragedy

Three Russian cosmonauts have been found dead in their space capsule after it made what looked like a perfect landing in Kazakhstan.  Lieutenant-Colonel Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav

1995 US shuttle docks with Russian space station

American and Russian spacecraft have successfully docked in orbit for the first time in 20 years.  The US shuttle Atlantis delivered a relief crew of two

2004 US transfers power back to Iraq

The United States has handed power back to the Iraqi people at a low-key ceremony in Baghdad.  US administrator Paul Bremer transferred sovereignty to an Iraqi

1991 Yugoslav troops move against Slovenia

Yugoslav tanks, troops and aircraft have swept into the small republic of Slovenia, 48 hours after it declared independence.  Federal forces moved to seize control of

1983 US astronaut Sally Ride returns

America’s first woman in space has returned safely to Earth in the Challenger space shuttle after a successful six-day flight.  Sally Ride, aged 32, captured the

1985 Air India jet crashes killing 329

A passenger jet has disintegrated in mid-air off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board.  The Air India flight was only 45 minutes

1941 Hitler invades the Soviet Union

In a pre-dawn offensive, German troops pushed into the USSR from the south and west, with a third force making their way from the north towards Leningrad. 

1982 Princess Diana gives birth to boy

Diana, Princess of Wales, has given birth to a boy sixteen hours after checking in to St Mary’s Hospital, in London.  The boy, who has been

1984 O-Levels to be replaced by GCSEs

O-Level and CSE exams are to be abolished and replaced by a new examination for 16 year olds, in the biggest exam shake-up for over 10 years. 

1961 Russian dancer in freedom dash

Principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev, has broken free from Russian embassy guards at a Paris airport and requested asylum in France. The 23-year-old Russian

1963 Soviets launch first woman into space

A former textile worker from the Soviet Union has become the first woman in space. Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was the fifth Russian cosmonaut to go into

2000 British marines leave Sierra Leone

The major contingent of the British military task force sent to help restore order in the West African state of Sierra Leone has left the country. 

1982 Ceasefire agreed in Falklands

A ceasefire between British and Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands has been agreed, the prime minister has announced. Margaret Thatcher made the statement to a packed

1991 Yeltsin wins first Russian elections

Boris Yeltsin is celebrating victory as Russia’s first popularly-elected president. The 60-year-old reformer and leader of the group Democratic Russia has inflicted a heavy defeat on the

1986 Magee convicted of Brighton bombing

A man has been found guilty of planting the Brighton bomb which killed five people and nearly wiped out most of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet two years ago.

1975 First live broadcast of Parliament

The first live transmission from the House of Commons has been broadcast by BBC Radio and commercial stations. Commentary was provided by BBC political editor David Holmes

1978 Woman takes world sailing record

Naomi James has broken the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days. Her 53 ft yacht Express Crusader crossed the finish line in Dartmouth at 0911 BST

1942 Japanese beaten in Battle of Midway

The United States has routed the Japanese Navy in a major three-day battle over a remote US naval and air base at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. The

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