This Day in History | 1968 Dover begins bird purge

It’s Seagull Week in Dover. This is not, as you might expect, a celebration of the bird whose cry evokes the fresh sea air, fish ‘n’ chips on the prom

This Day in History | 1953 Hillary and Tenzing conquer Everest

The New Zealander Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, have become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border. They reached the top of

This Day in History | 1951 Glasgow powers up for the Festival

Her Royal Highness, Princess Elizabeth, has formally opened the Exhibition of Industrial Power in Glasgow, the latest show in the Festival of Britain. The exhibition tells the story of industrial power

This Day in History | 1964 Light goes out in India as Nehru dies

Jawaharlal Nehru, founder of modern India and its current prime minister, has died suddenly at the age of 74. He was taken ill in the early hours of this morning at

This Day in History | 1998 Veterans reject Japanese ‘sorrow’

Emperor Akihito of Japan has spoken of his “deep sorrow and pain” over the suffering inflicted by his country during World War II, but did not apologise for the treatment

This Day in History | 1963 African states unite against white rule

Leaders of 32 African nations have set up an organisation that will give them a united voice for the first time in Africa’s history. The African summit conference ended today in

This Day in History | 1972 President Nixon arrives in Moscow

America’s President Richard Nixon has arrived in Moscow for talks with Soviet leaders. He was given a modest welcome as he stepped off the plane at Vnukovo airport with his wife

This Day in History | 1991 Bomb kills India’s former leader Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi, the 46-year-old former Indian prime minister, has been assassinated. He was campaigning for the Congress Party on the second day of voting in the world’s largest democratic election when

This Day in History | 1965 British police to be issued with tear gas

Britain’s police are to be armed with tear gas guns and grenades to be used against armed criminals or dangerous individuals. The Home Secretary, Sir Frank Soskice, made the announcement in

This Day in History | 2004 Angry dads hit Blair with purple flour

Protesters have hurled condoms full of purple flour at British Prime Minister Tony Blair as he addressed MPs in the House of Commons, prompting an urgent review of security. The PM

This Day in History | 1950 US and Europe agree Nato aims

Almost exactly a year after signing the North Atlantic Treaty, 12 nations have agreed a permanent organisation for the defence of the United States and Europe. The final meeting of the

This Day in History | 1957 Britain drops its first H-bomb

Details of the bomb, described only as a “nuclear device”, are sketchy. The term “device” indicates that it was an experimental explosive rather than a fully developed weapon. It was almost

This Day in History | 1955 Communist states sign Warsaw Pact

The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies have signed a security pact in the Polish capital, Warsaw, after a three-day conference. Announcements in Warsaw and Moscow said the Soviet Prime

This Day in History | 1981 Thousands see Pope shot in Rome

The Pope has been shot four times as he blessed the crowds in St Peter’s Square in Rome. Surgeons have performed a five-hour operation and say they hope he will make

This Day in History | 1967 Stansted to become London’s third airport

The British Government has given the green light to plans to convert Stansted into London’s third airport. President of the Board of Trade Douglas Jay told the House Of Commons that

This Day in History | 1963 Moscow jails British ‘spy’

A British businessman accused of spying for the West has been sentenced to eight years’ detention by a Moscow tribunal. The President of the Court declared Greville Wynne, aged 44, would

This Day in History | 1945 Rejoicing at end of war in Europe

The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has officially announced the end of the war with Germany. In a message broadcast to the nation from the Cabinet room at Number 10, he said

This Day in History | 2001 Thousands greet Pope in Syrian visit

Thousands of people have turned out to greet Pope John Paul II on his historic visit to Syria. The pontiff drove in his popemobile through the narrow streets and was greeted

This Day in History | 1997 Brown sets Bank of England free

The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, has given the Bank of England independence from political control. His surprise announcement - coming only four days after Labour’s landslide election win - is being described

This Day in History | 2001 Sun shines on foot-and-mouth crisis

Many of Britain’s tourist attractions are hoping the start of the bank holiday weekend and predicted good weather will attract visitors to areas previously closed due to the continuing foot-and-mouth

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