This day in history | 1979 South Korean President killed

The President of South Korea, Park Chung Hee, has been “accidentally” shot dead by the chief of his intelligence service, Kim Jea Kyu. Five other people, including the president’s bodyguard, were

This day in history | 1983 US troops invade Grenada

The action, which has shocked the world, was ordered by President Ronald Reagan following a bloody coup by Cuban-trained military who executed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, and at least 13

This day in history | 1966 Double-agent breaks out of jail

One of Britain’s most notorious double-agents, George Blake, has escaped from prison in London after a daring break-out believed to have been masterminded by the Soviet Union. Wardens at Wormwood Scrubs

This day in history | 2001 Anthrax claims third victim in US

A third person has been diagnosed in the US with the most serious form of anthrax. The unnamed Washington postal worker is being treated for inhalation anthrax but doctors expect him

This day in history | 1967 Thousands join anti-war movement

The biggest demonstration yet against American involvement in the Vietnam War has taken place in the town of Oakland, in California. An estimated 4,000 people poured onto the streets to demonstrate

This day in history | 1987 Shares plunge after Wall Street crash

The world’s stock market has collapsed after shares on Wall Street suffered a wave of panic selling. The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted by a record 508 points, registering a percentage

This day in history | 1976 Funeral of Mafia boss held in NY

Mr Gambino, considered the most powerful of the leaders of the American Mafia, died in his sleep at his home on Friday. It is thought he suffered a heart attack. The

This day in history | 2002: Dozens killed in Bali nightclub explosion

Reports from the Indonesian holiday island of Bali say more than 50 people have been killed in two explosions. At least 10 foreigners died and more than 120 people were injured

This day in history | 1976 China’s ‘Gang of Four’ arrested

The new chairman of China’s Communist Party, Hua Guofeng, has ordered the arrest of four leading radicals in Peking. It is a sign that China is changing political direction following the

This day in history | 2003 The Terminator takes on California

The film star Arnold Schwarzenegger has been elected governor of California, ousting the incumbent, Gray Davis, three years before his term was due to end. It is the first time in

This day in history | 2001 US launches air strikes against Taleban

The United States has begun its military campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom, against al-Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan. Cruise missiles and bombers have targeted the airports of Kandahar and Kabul and

This day in history | 1986 Nuclear technician missing after secrets leak

Fears are growing for the missing nuclear technician who disappeared in London after revealing details of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme. The American magazine, Newsweek, claimed earlier this week that Mordechai Vanunu

This day in history | 1957 British public gets ‘Asian Flu’ vaccine

The so-called Asian Flu pandemic has already killed thousands of people around the globe - many of them in the United States. The virus is believed to have originated in North

This day in history | 1955 James Dean killed in car smash

The Hollywood film star James Dean has been killed in a road accident in California, USA. The 24-year-old actor was behind the wheel of his German-made Porsche sports car when it

This day in history | 1978 Catholics mourn Pope’s death

Courtesy BBC News In context Two weeks later the conclave elected the first Polish pope - Karol Wojtyla, who took the name John Paul II. A whiff of conspiracy hung over

This day in history | 2000 ‘Provocative’ mosque visit sparks riots

Palestinians and Israeli police have clashed in the worst violence for several years at Jerusalem’s holiest site, the compound around Al-Aqsa mosque. The violence began after a highly controversial tour of

This day in history | 1968 Musical Hair opens as censors withdraw

The American hippy musical “Hair” has opened in London - one day after the abolition of theatre censorship. Until yesterday, some of the scenes in the musical, written by out-of-work actors

This day in history | 1975 First Britons conquer Everest

Dougal Haston and Doug Scott have become the first Britons to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. The men arrived at the top of Mount Everest via the previously

This day in history | 2001 Simpson smuggled into Afghanistan

The BBC’s world affairs editor has become the only television reporter to broadcast from Taleban-held Afghanistan as the country prepares for an American attack. John Simpson and a cameraman were smuggled

This day in history | 1998 Clinton’s Grand Jury testimony released

Bill Clinton’s testimony about his relationship with a young female assistant has been released to the United States public. The video of the American president’s 17 August interview in front of

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