Apartheid existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1991, allowing institutionalized racism and segregation across many areas of daily life. During this time, many anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress (ANC) were banned, and notable anti-apartheid leaders – such as Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – were imprisoned.

    Following president P.W. Botha’s (1916-2006) stroke and subsequent resignation in 1989, his successor F.W. de Clerk (1936-present) announced in his first address to parliament (February 1991) that the ban on anti-apartheid groups such as the ANC were to be lifted. Alongside this, figures such as Mandela would be released, press freedom was restored, and the death penalty was repealed, among other sweeping changes. 

    During the early 1990s, negotiations were held that gradually deconstructed the legal framework that allowed apartheid to be enforced, and in 1993 de Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite violence during these years, in 1994 South Africa had its first election under universal suffrage. The ANC won the election on 27 April, with Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first post-apartheid president – April 27 is still celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa.

    Hogg, Andrew. "De Klerk slays apartheid but it won't lie down." Sunday Times, 23 June 1991

    "Door opens for Mandela." Sunday Times, 11 Feb. 1990

    Ellis, Richard. "Whites talk of civil war as toll rises in South Africa." Sunday Times, 28 June 1992


    From 1952 to 1960, violent conflict took place between parts of the British Army and Mau Mau in British Kenya. “Mau Mau” was used as an overall name for various aligned factions of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group.

    After some early acts of violence, a State of Emergency was declared, and military activity mobilised. Mau Mau leaders were arrested, including Jomo Kenyatta (c.1890-1978), with various operations launched to detain key figures and gain intelligence on the various Mau Mau groups operating throughout the country. In January 1955, Governor-General of Kenya Evelyn Baring (1903-1973) offered an amnesty to the Mau Mau, revoked in June after receiving no response. The end of the rebellion and British military activity came in 1956 with the capture of Dedan Kimathi (1920-1957), though the conflict is regarded as ending in 1960 when native Kenyan majority rule was established and Kenya began to move toward independence.

    After being released in 1959 and living in exile until 1961, Jomo Kenyatta became leader of the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU), and won the general election in 1963. He became the first Prime Minister of Kenya, overseeing the transition from a British Colony to an independent republic, of which he became President until his death.

    "Mau Mau." Sunday Times, 19 Oct. 1952

    Hawkins, Dudley, Representative of the Sunday Times. "Two-Fold Policy to Defeat Mau Mau." Sunday Times, 30 Nov. 1952

    "Life amid the Mau Mau." Sunday Times, 14 Dec. 1952


    On Valentine's Day (February 14th) 2013, Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (1986-) killed his partner Reeva Steenkamp (1983-2013rius claimed he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder, and shot her through the door of the bathroom. Pistorius had become the first Paralympian to compete in the Summer Olympics in 2012, and had become one the most recognised athletes of the modern era.

    The case opened on March 3rd 2014 at the High Court of South Africa, with portions of the trial broadcast on television, and the entire broadcast through audio. Initially, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, and on October 21st 2014 was sentenced to (a maximum of) five years prison time. The verdict received a mixed review, with some claiming the short duration showed that bias and preferential treatment toward white South African's was still present in post-Apartheid South Africa, while some felt the sentence was too harsh and that Pistorius was used being used as an example. In December 2015 the sentence for culpable homicide was overturned, and Pistorius was convicted of murder, with a six year prison sentence. After a state appeal, the prison sentence was more than doubled, making Pistorius' prison term over thirteen years.

    Dan McDougall and Martina Lees. "A Shot in the Dark." Sunday Times, 17 Feb. 2013

    Carlin, John. "Two Sounds May Save Pistorius." Sunday Times, 9 Mar. 2014

    MacLean, Ruth. "Women's Groups Race to Halt Early Pistorius Release." Sunday Times, 16 Aug. 2015


    From 1990, Rwanda had been in a state of civil war, fought between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), largely formed of Tutsi refugees. Violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions had been ongoing since Rwandan independence in 1963, until a ceasefire in 1993 after international pressure on Juvénal Habyarimana’s (1937-1944) government.

    The ceasefire ended when Habyarimana was assassinated in April 1994, starting with Tutsis and moderate Hutus being executed by police, soldiers and militia. The genocide occurred between April and July 1994, when nearly 70% of the Tutsi population were killed, with estimates of 500,000 to 1,000,000 people killed over a 100-day period, and another 2,000,000 Rwandans were displaced.

    The RPF gained control of the northern part of Rwanda and eventually the capital, Kigali, by the end of July 1994, beginning the end of the massacre. The depopulation had severe consequences on the economy, and many Hutu’s fled to neighbouring countries, prompting further cross-border military actions. The genocide has had many legacies in the international world, especially as a contributing factor to the establishment of the International Criminal Court to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and many countries (including the United Kingdom, France and Belgium) were heavily criticized for their inaction during the atrocities.

    Bedford, Julian, Reuters at Kibeho camp. "Hundreds die in camp slaughter." Sunday Times, 23 Apr. 1995

    Raghavan, Sudarsan. "Rwanda's child machete killers." Sunday Times, 7 Apr. 1996

    Kasese, Jon Swain. "Killing fields of Kisangani." Sunday Times, 4 May 1997


    In 1879, the Zulu Kingdom and the British Empire fought against each other in a conflict instigated by the unsanctioned actions of Sir Henry Bartle Frere (1815-1884). After the successful introduction of federation of Canada in 1867, it was seen as suitable for African colonies, including the Boer republics and tribal areas in South Africa. In 1878, Frere (without the permission of the British government) used an unreasonable ultimatum to the Zulu king Cetshwayo kaMpande (1826-1884) to initiate a war, using the rejection of the ultimatum as an excuse to send Lord Chelmsford (Frederic Thesiger, 1827-1905) to invade.

    The first wave of the invasion was successfully repelled by the Zulu army, including the Battle of Isandlwana, the Siege of Eshowe, the Battle of Intombe and the Battle of Kambula. In some of these engagements, the Zulu’s gained victories that inflicted severe losses on the British forces. With the impending reinforcements of over 16,000 British troops, Lord Chelmsford revised his plans, wanting a victory before being replaced by Sir Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913). After reorganizing the forces and building fortified camps, he launched a second advance. Cetshwayo attempted to negotiate a peace treaty, but Chelmsford was not interested, leading to the Battle of Ulundi where the Zulu forces were defeated.

    "The Zulu War." Sunday Times, 9 Feb. 1879

    "The Zulu War." Sunday Times, 11 May 1879

    "Description of the Battle." Sunday Times, 27 July 1879

  • ASIA


    At roughly 8:15 in the morning of August 6th 1945, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atomic bomb, swiftly followed by Nagasaki, in an attack of such magnitude it is widely credited as the event that led to the end of World War II. At least 192,000 people are estimated to have died in the two bombings, with exposure-related medical conditions continuing for years afterwards.

    The aftereffects of the bomb lasted for decades, with hibakusha (roughly translated as ‘victims of the atomic bomb’) being offered free medical treatment into the twenty-first century, and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (previously the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission from 1947 to 1975) using Hiroshima as a base for research on the long-term effects of radiation exposure.

    The city has recovered in subsequent years: significant reconstruction began in 1950, and Hiroshima is now one of the largest industrial centres in the Chūgoku and Shikoku regions, with significant companies building headquarters in the city, notably the Mazda Motor Corporation. In 1996 the Genbaku dōmu (Atomic Bomb Dome) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a commemorative service is held on August 6 each year in the Peace Memorial Park.

    Reuter, and British United Press. "No. 1. Atom Bomb is Obsolete." Sunday Times, 12 Aug. 1945

    "Lessons of Atom Bomb Devastation." Sunday Times, 30 June 1946

    "Hiroshima + 20." Sunday Times, 1 Aug. 1965


    After 156 years of British rule, midnight on the 30th June 1997 saw the transition to the Hong Kong special administrative region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China, with Hong Kong officially transferring to Chinese sovereignty.

    The transition process had begun 13 years previously, with the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong being signed by the two governments in December 1984. The relationship had run steadily until the appointment of Chris Patten (1944-present) as Governor of Hong Kong in 1992, who introduced many policies designed to introduce democratic elections to the Legislative Council, that would have given the population of Hong Kong a greater voice in the running of the country – China saw this a going back on earlier agreements, and voted to have the Legislative Council disbanded. There were many concerns in Hong Kong and abroad that China would not stick to the "one country, two systems" plan, fearing that China would reduce and limit the rights of Hong Kong’s residents, imposing a similar method of rule used in Singapore.

    After a lavish ceremony attended by important political figures, the handover went ahead as planned, and – despite the concerns - Hong Kong remained stable for several months after the handover was complete.

    Swain, Jon. "British 'betrayal' spurs flight from Hong Kong." Sunday Times, 16 Apr. 1989

    Sheridan, Michael. "Expat police lead Hong Kong exodus." Sunday Times, 14 July 1996

    Ham, Paul. "Asia left to pick up the pieces." Money. Sunday Times, 30 Nov. 1997


    The Khmer Rouge were a radical movement that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, during which time an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians died. The atrocities prompted a joint operation between the United Nations and the government of Cambodia - the Khmer Rouge Tribunal – which began indicting former leaders and key figures in 2007.

    In 1951 the Khmer People’s Revolutionary Party was founded, eventually becoming the Communist Party of Kampuchea. After years of clandestine activity against Prince Norodom Sihanouk (1922-2012), the King of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge entered into a coalition with Sihanouk, gaining more support from countryside followers due to Sihanouk’s popularity. A civil war ran from 1970 to 1975 while the support grew, culminating in the Khmer Rouge successfully taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and establishing a national government.

    The Khmer’s leader, Pol Pot (1925-1998) became Prime Minister, until invading Vietnamese troops deposed the Khmer Rouge in 1979, though the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (incorporating the remains of the Khmer Rouge) were internationally recognized as the government of Cambodia until 1993. In 1997, after years of continued guerrilla fighting, Pol Pot was arrested, before he died in 1998.

    "Cambodia refugees tell of deaths and famine." Sunday Times, 22 June 1975

    Swain, Jon. "Diary of a Doomed City." Sunday Times, 11 May 1975

    Shawcross, William. "Cambodia: The Blame." Sunday Times, 12 Dec. 1976


    From 1910 to the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was a colony of Japan under a harsh military regime. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Koreans hoped that their country would achieve immediate independence. In May 1948, a UN commission supervised and then endorsed elections. Seventy-five percent of voters participated, and southern leader Syngman Rhee and his supporters emerged as the largest group in the new National Assembly. As a result, the commission recognized Rhee's pro-Western Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as South Korea, as the legitimate government of Korea in the southern zone.

    In early 1949, North Korea launched a campaign of propaganda and cross-border raids. However, by 1950, it was plain to the North Koreans that this campaign was not going to be enough to bring about the South Korean government's collapse. So, on June 25, 1950, North Korea launched an invasion across the thirty-eighth parallel. The North Koreans hoped that South Korea would fall before the intervention of the United States. However, the U.S. led a swift UN intervention. The UN forces rapidly occupied 90 percent of North Korea between October and December 1950. At this point, the Chinese entered the war and forced the UN back. By the summer of 1951, the battle line was close to the thirty-eighth parallel, where it remained until the armistice of July 1953.

    Adapted from: Prince, Stephen. "Korea: Korean War, 1950–1953." World Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence from Ancient Times to the Post-9/11 Era, edited by James Ciment, 2nd ed., Sharpe Reference, 2013

    Hughes, Richard. "Grave weaknesses in Korean defence." Sunday Times, 10 Sept. 1950

    our Diplomatic Correspondent. "Latest Korean deadlock suggests Communists do not want war to end." Sunday Times, 2 Dec. 1951

    Brandon, O. H., Representative of The Sunday Times. "Korea Truce Move by Communists." Sunday Times, 29 Mar. 1953


    Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is the first emergent and highly transmissible viral disease to appear among humans during the twenty-first century. SARS is caused by a virus that is transmitted usually from person to person—predominantly by the aerosolized droplets of virus infected material.

    At the end of April 2003, SARS had the potential to become a global pandemic. Scientists, public health authorities, and clinicians around the world struggled to both treat and investigate the disease. The first known case of SARS was traced to a November 2002, case in Guangdong province, China. By mid-February 2003, Chinese health officials tracked more than 300 cases, including five deaths in Guangdong province from what was at the time described as an acute respiratory syndrome.

    Mounting reports of SARS showed an increasing global dissemination of the virus. By April 9, 2003, the first confirmed reports of SARS cases in Africa reached WHO headquarters, and eight days later, a confirmed case was discovered in India. By late April/early May 2003, WHO officials had confirmed reports of more than 3,000 cases of SARS from 18 different countries with 111 deaths attributed to the disease.

    Adapted from: "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 4th ed., vol. 5, Gale, 2008

    Sheridan, Micheal, Far East Correspondent. "China 'covered up existence of killer pneumonia'." Sunday Times, 30 Mar. 2003

    Sheridan, Michael, and Lois Rogers. "It may only be a cousin of the common cold, but it has already killed 87people and infected 2,400. Will the Sars virus cause a global epidemic?" Sunday Times, 6 Apr. 2003

    Rogers, Lois, Medical Editor. "Sars: 12 more victims die on single day in Hong Kong." Sunday Times, 20 Apr. 2003



    Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) was a French soldier, writer, and statesman. He was the architect of France's Fifth Republic. In World War I he fought at Verdun, was three times wounded, and spent two years and eight months as a prisoner of war (during which time he made five unsuccessful attempts to escape). At the outbreak of World War II, de Gaulle commanded a tank brigade attached to the French Fifth Army. On June 6 he entered the government of Paul Reynaud as undersecretary of state for defense and war, and he undertook several missions to England to explore the possibilities of continuing the war. In 1962, de Gaulle proposed that future presidents be chosen by popular election. His plan was approved in a national referendum. De Gaulle also increased his efforts to make France a leading world power.

    After civil unrest in May 1968 by students and workers, de Gaulle was defeated in a referendum on constitutional amendments. On April 28, 1969, he resigned and returned to Colombey-les-deux-Églises to retire permanently and to resume writing his memoirs. There he died of a heart attack the following year.

    Adapted from: "Charles de Gaulle." The 100 Most Influential World Leaders of All Time, edited by Amy McKenna, Britannica Educational Publishing with Rosen Educational Services, 2010

    Coulter, Stephen. "De Gaulle on the defensive." Sunday Times, 5 Dec. 1965

    Coulter, Stephen. "De Gaulle ahead, but don't knows hold the answer." Sunday Times, 19 Dec. 1965

    Giles, Frank. "Living without the General." Sunday Times, 4 May 1969


    On April 25-29 1986, a series of experiments led to a catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, with the lid being blown off reactor 4 followed by a partial meltdown of the reactor. In the immediate aftermath, the Soviet Union attempted to cover up the accident, but the eventual revelation of the incident led to international condemnation, and raised concerns about the safety and use of nuclear power.

    The radiation released into the atmosphere was greater than that caused by the atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and had economic and environmental consequences for several years afterwards, including births of deformed livestock and expectations of significant cancer-related deaths. Aftereffects in vegetation and plant life were forecast to last up to a century after the release of the radiation, and the movement of livestock as far away as the United Kingdom was in effect until 2012.

    Although only just over 30 deaths occurred initially, many more contracted radiation sickness which caused deaths later on. Thousands of people were evacuated from the area, and the remaining reactors were progressively closed over the next fourteen years, with the station fully decommissioned in 2000.

    "Chernobyl: The Fallout." Sunday Times, 4 May 1986

    "Surviving Chernobyl." The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 7 Sept. 1986

    Connor, Steve. "Chernobyl: the fallout myth." News Review. Sunday Times, 17 Mar. 1996


    The Berlin Wall divided East and West Berlin for twenty-nine years, acting as a physical and intellectual barrier between the two sides of the city, and of Europe. After the East German Volkskammer signed a decree on August 12th 1961, construction began over the following two days, and by the early 1980s the structure extended for 28 miles (45 km) through the city.

    The plan was triggered by socio-economic concerns: between 1949 and 1961, an increasing ‘brain drain’ in East Germany threatened its economic stability. Around 2.5 million East Germans left for the West, including trained professionals and intellectuals. As a result, the East decided to stem the flow by erecting a physical barrier, blocking East German’s access to the West.

    After a series of revolutions in Eastern European countries, in 1989 the leadership of East Germany was forced from power, and on 9th November the borders between East and West were opened. Parts of the Wall were opened, and people could travel freely between the two sides. The physical demolition of the Wall happened between 1990 and 1992.

    "The Wall." Sunday Times, 1 Aug. 1965

    Ellis, Richard, and Andrew Grice. "European leaders back Germany's reunification." Sunday Times, 10 Dec. 1989

    Caseby, Richard, and Simon Townsley. "Rocking to The Wall in Berlin." Sunday Times, 22 July 1990


    During the early twentieth century, social divisions began to intensify in Spain: they roughly divided into the Nationalists (predominantly Roman Catholics, and largely affluent), and the Republicans (largely the labourers and urban workers).

    The increasing division led to a military revolt against the Republican government, with a failed military coup resulting in a civil war that lasted from 1936 to 1939. In October 1936, General Francisco Franco (1892-1975) was named head of state, after becoming a prominent figure among many of the Nationalist forces. Both sides sought help from abroad: the Nationalists received aid from Italy and Germany, and the Republicans from the Soviet Union and volunteer forces from Europe and the United States.

    After gradually taking Madrid and most of northern Spain by early 1939, the Nationalist forces had caused large numbers of Republicans fighters (as well as civilians) to flee over the border to France, followed by the Republican government in March. By the end of March, the Republican armies had begun to disband and surrender. 

    "Scrutator". "The Spanish Civil War." Sunday Times, 2 Aug. 1936

    Our Diplomatic Correspondent, and Reuter. "Troops Mass for Advance on Madrid." Sunday Times, 11 Oct. 1936

    Cowles, Virginia. "The Agony of Spain." Sunday Times, 10 Apr. 1938


    The Srebrenica massacre occurred in July 1995, with over 20,000 civilians displaced, and estimates of between 7,000-8,000 Bosnian Muslim men killed by Bosnian Serb forces. In 1992, Bosnian Serbs aimed to take control of Srebrenica, culminating in a cordon being established in 1995 under the orders of the president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Radovan Karadžić (1945-present). The cordon limited important supplies, forcing Bosnian Muslims to leave the area. Later in 1995, operation Krivaja was started, and the offensive began in July with Serb forces marching on Srebrenica.

    Despite a group of Dutch peacekeeprs being present in the nearby town of Potočari (where many from Srebrenica fled), little resistance was made. On July 11, Bosnian Serb forces promised security if the opposition surrendered: when they did surrender, many were executed. Over the next few days, a wave of executions continued in more towns along the Bosnian-Serbian border. In following years, the UN accepted partial blame for failing to protect the Bosnian Muslims, after they had designated it a “safe area” in 1993. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that the events combined to genocide, the first in Europe since World War II.

    Branson, Louise. "Atrocities: Muslims Croats and Serbs in catalogue of shame." Sunday Times, 12 July 1992

    Ravina, Pazit. "Atrocities, what atrocities?" Sunday Times, 11 Feb. 1996

    Swain, Jon. "Europe's turn in the killing fields." Sunday Times, 4 Apr. 1999



    In August 1947, India was granted independence within the British Commonwealth and was divided into the dominions of India and Pakistan. Pakistan was itself divided with West Pakistan comprising the area now known as Pakistan, and East Pakistan, occupying what had been Eastern Bengal. West Pakistan was politically and economically dominant over East Pakistan, giving rise to a secessionist movement in the eastern province. Despite attempts to ease the tensions, these factions gradually grew into open hostility and in 1971 a brief but bloody civil war flared up that lasted for 2 weeks and ended with the intervention of Indian troops. On 17 December 1971 a new government in Dhaka declared the independence of the new state, Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh experienced a number of military coups after achieving independence in 1971, and several military governments tried to restrict activities of political parties. However, after the return to civil rule in 1990, all political parties may openly function in the country. In 1991, the first free and fair election was held in Bangladesh. Begum Khaleda Zia (1945-present) won the election. The new government brought radical changes to the economic policy, promoting private entrepreneurship, especially among representatives of poor communities, and supporting small- and medium-size businesses and privatization. This program was successful, and Bangladesh experienced economic growth throughout the 1990s.

    Adapted from: Abazov, Rafis. "Bangladesh." Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies, edited by Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, vol. 3: Asia & the Pacific, Gale, 2002, pp. 41-55

    Mascarenhas, Anthony. "Doomsday in Bangladesh." Sunday Times, 6 Feb. 1972

    Mascarenhas, Anthony. "Democracy finally dies in Bangladesh." Sunday Times, 5 Dec. 1976

    Mascarenhas, Anthony, et al. "Civil war threat after Bangladesh president's killing." Sunday Times, 31 May 1981


    On November 12 19670, the deadliest tropical cyclone on record hit the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in East Pakistan. Estimates of the death toll vary from 300,000 to 500,000, with the Tazumuddin Upazila (the worst affected area) seeing 45% of its population killed.

    The remnants of Tropical Storm Nora had moved from the South China Sea over the Malay Peninsula on November 5th, and contributed to the formation of a new depression in the Bay of Bengal on November 8th. The storm made landfall on the east coast of Pakistan at high tide on November 12th, causing an accompanying storm surge that flooded large areas. Of the casualties, most died from drowning in the floods. The immediate aftermath had a significant effect on the history of the country: the heavily criticized response to the disaster contributed to a change in government a few weeks after the cyclone, and the deteriorating political condition culminated in a war that saw East Pakistan become independent in 1971 under the name it is now known: Bangladesh.

    It was also a decisive factor in improved natural disaster responses: the League of Red Cross Societies drafted a new plan for disaster response in similar areas, and later the UN General Assembly adopted proposals for improved aid provision to avoid similar fallout in the future.

    Agencies. "Tidal wave kills 60,000 in Pakistan." Sunday Times, 15 Nov. 1970

    "The Catastrophe Everyone Saw Coming." Sunday Times, 22 Nov. 1970

    Brem, Maxwell. "Cyclone victims will need relief for a year." Sunday Times, 29 Nov. 1970


    Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) played a pivotal role in India’s move for independence, leading the Indian independence movement. His advocacy and example of nonviolent civil disobedience became inspirational to many subsequent movements worldwide, and has had a lasting cultural impact. He was assassinated on January 30 1948 by Nathuram Godse (1910-1949), a Hindu nationalist.

    Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) – no relation to Mohandas – served as prime minister from 1966 until 1977, and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was the first female prime minister of India, and was noted for her strong leadership and centralising policies. She was assassinated in October 1984 by Sikh nationalists working as her bodyguards.

    Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991) – son of Indira – served as Prime Minister from 1984 until 1991. He was sworn in to office following the assassination of his mother, becoming the youngest prime minister of India. His tenure was marked by many incidents, including the Bhopal gas disaster and the Bofors scandal. He was assassinated by a suicide bomber in May 1991, in an explosion that also killed over twenty other people during election campaigning.

    Hennessy, Jossleyn, The Sunday Times Representative. "Baton Charges at Gandhi's Funeral." Sunday Times, 1 Feb. 1948

    Weaver, Mary Anne, and Ian Jack. "Gandhi Killers not shot on spot." Sunday Times, 4 Nov. 1984

    Allen-Mills, Tony, and Jon Swain. "India's Darkest hour for midnight's children." Sunday Times, 26 May 1991


    On April 13, 1919, British troops fired on a peaceful protest in the city of Amritsar in northern India. An estimated one thousand people were killed and another fifteen hundred injured. In the wake of the massacre, many of those who had previously been content to live under British rule began to rally on the side of those supporting independence.  The INC (Indian National Congress party) leader, Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948), launched a campaign of nonviolent protest and non-cooperation with British rule. In 1929 the INC created a resolution asking Britain to give India full independence and promised a new campaign of civil disobedience if the petition was not granted.

    On August 16, 1946, the Direct Action Day ended in a week-long violent clash between Muslims and Hindus in Calcutta that left four thousand people dead. The violence spread throughout the country, and was enough to convince the British government that it could no longer maintain order in India. In 1947 the British viceroy, Lord Mountbatten (1900–1979), announced that India would be given independence. On August 14, 1947, independent Pakistan came into being, led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876–1948) as governor-general. Just after midnight on August 15, INC leader Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) proclaimed India's independence.

    Adapted from: "India Gains Independence from Great Britain." Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 2: Asia and Oceania, Gale, 2014, pp. 362-365

    "An Indian Gamble." Sunday Times, 19 May 1946

    our Political Correspondent. "Viceroy's Hopes of India Agreement." Sunday Times, 1 June 1947

    Scrutator. "Indian's Step Forward." Sunday Times, 8 June 1947


    The Sri Lankan Civil War originated in religious and ethnic divides among the Sri Lankan population. Over the course of the 1980s the Tamil movement became dominated by its most radical and ruthless faction: the Tamil Tigers.

    By 1987, the Sri Lankan Army lost control of most of the Jaffna Peninsula. Its bloody efforts to regain control resulted in public pressure on Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to intervene on behalf of Sri Lanka's Tamils. Gandhi compelled Sri Lanka to accept the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Jaffna and along the east coast. Though initially welcomed by the LTTE, the IPKF's relations with the Tigers swiftly deteriorated. After a disastrous attempt to capture the LTTE's leadership in October 1987, the IPKF found itself in a full-scale war with the Tigers. After suffering over a thousand soldiers killed, India withdrew in early 1990. The Tigers assassinated Gandhi in 1991 in retaliation for his intervention.

    The 1990s saw continual fighting interrupted by occasional ceasefires as Sri Lankan governments fluctuated between military efforts to end the war and attempts at compromise and accommodation.

    Adapted from: Stone, David R. "Sri Lankan Civil War." The Encyclopedia of War, edited by George Martel, vol. 4, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

    Winchester, Simon. "Behind the lines with the Tamil guerrillas." Sunday Times, 23 June 1985

    Winchester, Simon. "A Village that Died in a Day." The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 18 Aug. 1985

    Hopkins, Adam. "A troubled paradise." Travel. Sunday Times, 18 June 1989



    Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (1928-1967), better known as “Che” Geuvara, was a prominent figure in the Cuban Revolution, and guerrilla leader in South America. During his medical studies, he travelled extensively throughout South America, and his experiences were pivotal in forming his philosophy that revolution was the solution to the various social problems. His experience of a CIA-supported overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz (1913-1971) in Guatemala in 1954 prompted Guevara to bring about socialism by revolution.

    He left for Mexico and met brothers Fidel (1926-2016) and Raúl Castro (1931-present), and after the successful campaign to overthrow Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973) in Cuba, Guevara served in various notable positions in the new government. After becoming disillusioned, he left Cuba: after supporting various efforts in Africa, he travelled to Bolivia, where he was detained and killed by the Bolivian army in 1967. Guevara has served as a strong symbol in both revolutionary politics and popular culture since his death, and debates about his life and legacy continue to this day.

    Behr, Edward. "Chaos in Cuba." Sunday Times, 26 May 1963

    Lewis, Norman. "Guerrilla hero." Sunday Times, 31 Mar. 1968

    Lewis, Norman. "How Much Does Che Guevara Matter?" The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 6 Oct. 1968


    François Duvalier (1907-1971), better known as “Papa Doc”, was elected president of Haiti in 1957. During his despotic rule, electoral manipulation in 1961 led to the United States withdrawing aid to Haiti, and he declared himself president for life in 1964. Along with his aide Clèment Barbot (1914-1963), they formed the Tontons Macoutes as a private militia to enforce their rule. Duvalier had Barbot imprisoned in 1959, and then assassinated after his release in 1963 after he had plotted to overthrow Duvalier by kidnapping his children. 

    His son Jean-Claude Duvalier (1951-2014), better known as “Baby Doc”, took over the role of president aged 19 after his father’s death. Despite instigating reforms under the guise of democratization, very little about the regime changed. Baby Doc fled Haiti in 1986 due to increasing social unrest, and a military council led the country in his absence. The council urged Baby Doc to be extradited to face charges of human rights violations, and he was arrested on his return to Haiti in 2011 (though later released). He died in 2013, after attending a pre-trial hearing, avoiding possible conviction.

    Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1953-present) became president in 1990, winning the country’s first democratic election, and was inaugurated in 1991. Making sweeping reforms, positive progress was halted as he was ousted in a coup later that year. Living in exile until 1994, he returned to lead the country again, but rules against consecutive terms meant he had to stand down in 1996. After forming a new party in 1997, he was elected president for a third time in 2000.

    Greig, Geordie. "Haiti lurches into grim spiral of bloodletting." Sunday Times, 17 Oct. 1993

    Ellsworth-Jones, Will. "Haitians claim revenge as Baby Doc flees." Sunday Times, 9 Feb. 1986

    "Terrorised Haiti awaits final clash." Sunday Times, 29 Feb. 2004


    In 1973, General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006) led the military junta that deposed Salvador Allende (1908-1973) as the president of Chile, and led the military government from 1974 until 1990.

    During his tenure (and beyond), Pinochet’s regime was accused of torturing opposition and condemned for its suppression tactics, but inversely during the late 1970s Chile saw an economic boom due to the policies put in place by the government. Despite a recession in the early 1980s, Chile’s economy stayed largely stable during Pinochet’s rule. Despite losing a referendum in 1988, Pinochet stayed in power until the free elections in 1990, and was succeeded by Patricio Alwyn (1918-2016).

    During a visit to London in 1998, Pinochet was arrested after Spain requested his extradition, on the grounds of accusations of torture of Spanish citizens in Chile during his presidency. The international interest sparked several major investigations, and in 2000 he was stripped of his diplomatic immunity, but charges were dropped in 2002 after he was deemed mentally incapable of defending himself in court. He was ruled capable of standing trial for illegal financial dealing among other charges in 2005, but died in 2006.

    Holden, David. "Why Allende fell off the tightrope." Sunday Times, 16 Sept. 1973

    Hodgson, Godfrey. "Torture: the overwhelming case against Chile." Sunday Times, 4 Jan. 1976

    Avignolo, Maria Laura, and Matthew Campbell. "Adios Genera." Sunday Times, 9 Oct. 1988


    Maurice Bishop (1944-1983) was a leader of the New Jewel Movement which proclaimed the independence of Grenada in 1974. After a 1979 coup he served as prime minister of Grenada until his death in a subsequent coup in 1983.

    On November 18 1973, Bishop and five members of the New Jewel Movement were attacked and brutally beaten by Eric Mathew Gairy's Mongoose Gang (1922-1997). "Bloody Sunday," as the event came to be called, coalesced the opposition to Gairy. On March 13 1979, Bishop and his followers seized control of the government of Grenada and suspended the constitution. Bishop's government, despite its achievements, failed to hold elections and stifled a free press and the opposition.

    On October 13 1983, Bishop was placed under house arrest. On October 19, a crowd of supporters released him and marched to the military compound at Fort Rupert. There troops captured and executed Bishop, three cabinet members, two labour leaders, and nearly a hundred civilians. Within six days the United States invaded Grenada, arrested the leaders of the coup, established an interim government, and terminated the Grenadian experiment.

    Adapted from: "Maurice Bishop." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2004, pp. 292-293

    Jack, Ian. "Brother Bishop casts a shadow on caviar island." Sunday Times, 18 Nov. 1979

    Ellsworth Jones, Will. "US navy closes in on bloodbath Grenada." Sunday Times, 23 Oct. 1983

    Ellsworth-Jones, Will. "Grenada: now the difficult bit." Sunday Times, 18 Dec. 1983


    The Latin American Literary Boom happened during the 1960s and 1970s, when major shifts in the work produced in the region gained international attention, and gave Latin America a unique and original voice in world literature.

    The political turmoil across Latin America in these years changed the way literature and history were approached and interpreted, with many novelists, poets and playwrights using their work to explore the turbulent conditions, often moving toward modernist literary styles. The resulting interest led many works to be translated into numerous languages, allowing them to gain critical acclaim and distribution outside of Latin America.

    As a result, many of the notable authors of the boom have won prestigious international prizes, including several authors to win the Nobel Prize in Literature: Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) won the prize in 1982, Mexican poet Octavio Paz (1914-1998) won the prize in 1990, and Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-present) won the prize in 2010.

    Rushdie, Salman, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "Marquez the Magician." Sunday Times, 24 Oct. 1982

    Horne, Alistair. "Vargas, literary giant in search of a presidency." News Review. Sunday Times, 1 Apr. 1990

    Storr, Anthony. "A continent illuminated through the eyes of a poet." Books. Sunday Times, 16 Nov. 1997



    In 1971, seven Gulf emirates formed a federation, creating the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE consists of Abū Ẓaby (Abu Dhabi), Dubayy (Dubai), Al-Shāriqah (Sharjah), ʿAjmān, Umm al-Qaywayn, Raʾs al-Khaimah and Al-Fujayrah, with the city of Abu Dhabi serving as the capital.

    Under a treaty signed in 1892, the United Kingdom promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to lend its good offices in case of land attack. In 1955, the United Kingdom effectively intervened on the side of Abu Dhabi in the latter's dispute with Saudi Arabia over the Buraymi oasis, control of which is now shared by Abu Dhabi and Oman.

    When, in 1968, the United Kingdom announced its intention to withdraw its forces from the area, a decision to establish a federation of Arab emirates—embracing the seven Trucial States, Bahrain, and Qatar—was agreed on in principle. However, it proved impossible to reconcile the differences among all the members. Six Trucial States (excluding Ra's al-Khaimah) agreed on the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, which was officially proclaimed a sovereign, independent nation on 2 December 1971, with Ra's al-Khaimah joining in early 1972.

    Adapted from: "United Arab Emirates." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, edited by Timothy L. Gall and Jeneen M. Hobby, 12th ed., vol. 4: Asia and Oceania, Gale, 2007, pp. 893-904

    Holden, David. "Tourism-by the grace of Allah." Sunday Times, 9 Jan. 1972

    Poole, James. "Bankers stream to the Gulf." Sunday Times, 28 Mar. 1976

    Cobban, Helena, and Das Island. "Oil riches fail to temper Gulf's winds of change." Sunday Times, 2 Mar. 1980


    During the early 1970s, Lebanon saw the rise of many social and political movements, sectarian militias and a growing presence of guerrilla groups. Escalating violence in the country proved too much for the state to control, especially between the Christian Phalangists and their leader Pierre Gemayel (1905-1984), and the LMN (Lebanese National Movement), a predominantly Muslim group led by Kamal Jumblatt (1917-1977). Violence between Phalangists and the LNM escaletd after a Phalangist attack on a Palestinian refugee bus in 1975, starting a conflict that saw Beirut split between a Muslim west and Christian East. Stable negotiations were persistently undermined by in-fighting within communities and outside intervention, notably from Syria. 

    In 1982, Bachir Gemayel (1947-1982) became president, having unified various militias into the Lebanese Forces. Three weeks later, he was assassinated, sparking retaliation from Christian militiamen that led to hundreds of deaths. Bashir’s brother Amine Gemayel (1942-present) was elected in 1982, but the violence did not recede. After many more years of violence and Gemayal stepping down in 1988, his successor General Michel Aoun (1933-present) accepted a ceasefire, and remained president until 1989, succeeded by René Moawad (1925-1989) who was assassinated later that year, in turn succeeded by Elias Hrawi (1926-2006). Conflict between Aoun and the LF led to more violence, though the civil war was generally regarded as finishing in 1990 when Syrian forces forced Aoun into exile.

    Martin, Paul. "Lebanon rips itself apart." Sunday Times, 6 July 1975

    Blundy, David. "'Dawn of peace' heralds Amin Gemayel's brightest day." Sunday Times, 8 July 1984

    Sly, Liz. "Lebanon on verge of peace deal." Sunday Times, 3 Nov. 1985


    Early on the morning of September 5, 1972, eight members of the Black September Organization (BSO) associated with Yasser Arafat’s (1929-2004) al-Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), dressed as athletes, gained entrance to the Olympic Village. Carrying their weapons in gym bags, they sought out the apartment building housing the Israeli athletes.

    The terrorists then took nine Israelis hostage. At about 9:30 A.M. the terrorists opened negotiations with German authorities: the hostage takers demanded that Israel free 234 Arab prisoners and that West Germany release two German terrorist leaders imprisoned in Frankfurt. That evening the two sides reached a deal providing for a plane that would take both the terrorists and their hostages to Cairo.

    Certain that the incident would end in the deaths of the hostages, German officials were determined to prevent the departure. At 3:00 A.M. on September 6, German sharpshooters opened fire on two terrorists who had just inspected the plane. After a bloody shoot-out, the incident had claimed the lives of 11 Israelis, 5 terrorists, and 1 German policeman.

    Adapted from: Tucker, Spencer C. "Munich Olympic Games Massacre." Encyclopedia of Terrorism, edited by Peter Chalk, vol. 2, ABC-CLIO, 2013, pp. 515-517

    Lovesey, John, and Derel Alder. "The 1972 Olympic City of Munich." Sunday Times, 25 June 1972

    "The Olympics' Black September: steps to tragedy." Sunday Times, 10 Sept. 1972

    "The bloody Olympics in Munich—a German speaks out." Sunday Times, 17 Sept. 1972


    Owing to the initiatives of Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894), the Compagnie Internationale du canal maritime de Suez (Suez Maritime Canal International Company) was founded in 1857.He succeeded in convincing the Egyptian authorities to concede the location of a future waterway to a company with roots in both France and Egypt. Lesseps persuaded investors of the canal's feasibility and collected the funding to complete the lock-free waterway. 

    The canal was opened in November 1869, The gain in time was substantial: In 1900, the journey from London to Calcutta required 32 to 69 days, covering some 7,260 miles via the Cape, compared to only 22 to 47 days (5,038 miles) passing through the Suez. Similarly, going from Marseille to Saigon via the Cape required 33 to 71 days (7,450 miles), while it took only 20 to 42 days (4,454 miles) through the Suez.

    Great doubts about the canal's success marked the first years of operation. The expected increase in traffic never materialized because the Great Depression of 1880–1890 brought all investment in steamships and sailboats (mainly clippers) to a virtual halt. Moreover, technical glitches surfaced and cast a shadow on the safety of the transit through the canal. 

    Adapted from: Bonin, Hubert. "Suez Canal." Seas and Waterways of the World: An Encyclopedia of History, Uses, and Issues, edited by John Zumerchik and Steven L. Danver, vol. 1, ABC-CLIO, 2010, pp. 257-270

    "The Sue Canal continues to be the principal topic of…." Sunday Times, 5 Dec. 1875

    "The Suez Canal now has three aspects." Sunday Times, 8 Oct. 1882

    a Special Correspondent. "The Suez Canal : Can It Be Closed?" Sunday Times, 1 Sept. 1935


    The tomb of Tutankhamen was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter (1874-1939) in 1922, as part of larger project that systematically explored the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Alongside the discovery of the gold portrait mask that has become one of the most recognisable artefacts in the world, the mummy was also adorned with various pieces of jewelry. The coffin itself had three nests, consisting of two outer layers of gold-covered wood, and an innermost coffin made of solid gold. 

    The discovery was made by Carter, who had already made some significant discoveries in Egyptology, having discovered the tombs of Hatshepsut and Thutmose IV in 1902. In 1907 he began to work with fellow Egyptologist George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th earl of Carnarvon (1866-1923), who chose Carter to supervise an excavation project in the Valley of the Kings. 

    Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened on 26 November, after initial signs were found on November 4. For ten years afterwards, Carter supervised the removal of the contents of the burial chambers, which are now stored and displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

    "Funeral Car of Pharaoh." Sunday Times, 4 Feb. 1923

    "Tutankhamun: the face behind the mask." Sunday Times, 26 Mar. 1972

    "Tutankhamun: What Carter Never Told." The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 15 Oct. 1978



    Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was the most prominent and visible civil rights campaigner of the 1950s and 1960s. A Baptist minister, he encouraged the Civil Rights Movement to progress through methods of nonviolence and civil disobedience. He led many of the most notable activist activities of the time, including nonviolent protest in Alabama (1963), the March on Washington (1963), and the Selma marches (1965). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work promoting racial equality, and posthumously awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

    Whilst in Memphis, Tennessee, planning the Poor People’s Campaign, he was assassinated by James Earl Ray (1928-1988). After the news broke, riots followed across the United States, and Ray fled the country – he was arrested in London two months later and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Shortly after the assassination, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed, removing many discriminatory limitations placed on minorities relating to housing. Internationally, his work was influential, cited by central figures in progressive movements in many countries where various forms of discrimination existed, including countries as distant as South Africa and Northern Ireland.

    "The Last Plea of Martin Luther King." Sunday Times, 7 Apr. 1968

    Memphis, Godfrey Hogson. "The trail of ignorance that led to murder in Memphis." Sunday Times, 7 Apr. 1968

    Hopkirk, Peter. "Was there a second assassin in motel garden?" Sunday Times, 7 Apr. 1968


    In a speech delivered in January 2014, President Barack Obama (1961-present) stated: “Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms.” However, numerous reports about the intelligence-collecting activities of the National Security Agency have created controversies about the extent to which the federal government had infringed upon privacy rights of ordinary Americans.

    The release of thousands of classified documents by a former NSA contractor in 2013 increased the concerns, especially given that many of the documents referred to the everyday activities of ordinary individuals inside and outside the United States. When former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden (1983-present) released a trove of classified information in June 2013, detailing the electronic surveillance programs of the agency, he ignited public debate as to whether one of these programs violated U.S. law. In addition, the information led to the filing of federal lawsuits claiming that the program, which required U.S. telecommunication companies to provide phone metadata about their customers to the NSA, was a violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

    Adapted from: American Law Yearbook 2014: A Guide to the Year's Major Legal Cases and Developments, Gale, 2015

    Harnden, Toby. "US Fears China Has Wooed Secrets Rebel." Sunday Times, 16 June 2013

    Harnden, Toby. "Exposing America's Secrets." Culture. Sunday Times, 18 May 2014

    Armstrong, Stephen. "Who's Watching You?" Culture. Sunday Times, 27 Apr. 2014


    Separatism in the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec has for almost half a century constituted the single biggest threat to the unity of Canada. The high watermark of the secessionist movement came in 1995 when the francophone Quebeckers, or Quebecois, came within a hair’s breadth of splitting away from Canada in a referendum. 

    The Quebec independence movement gathered steam in the 1970s. A watershed moment for French Canadians came in 1976 when the separatist Parti Quebecois (PQ) won the provincial elections for the first time and entered government. It called a referendum on independence in 1980, but 60 percent of the voters rejected secession. In 1987, to try to persuade Quebec to ratify the constitution, the Canadian government signed the Meech Lake Accord in which Quebec was recognized as a “distinct society,” but the accord was never ratified as some English-speaking provinces opposed it. While many Quebecois are ardent secessionists, others passionately support a continued union with Canada. For example, two of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers in recent years have been French-speaking Quebeckers who were among the fiercest campaigners against Quebec separatism. These were Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000) and Jean Chrétien (1934-present).

    Adapted from: Beary, Brian. "Quebecois (Canada)." Separatist Movements: A Global Reference, CQ Press, 2011, pp. 129-134

    McCrystal, Cal. "Quebec libre? Non, merci is the mood of the voters." Sunday Times, 18 May 1980

    "Canadians fear Quebec will break away 'like Lithuania'." Sunday Times, 24 June 1990

    Ellicott, Susan. "Tempers flare over Quebec referendum." Sunday Times, 25 Oct. 1992


    On April 18 1906, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit the west coast of the United States. The most severe damage occurred in San Francisco, even though motion was felt as far south as Los Angeles and as far north as Oregon.

    San Francisco had been hit by several earthquakes in the previous five decades, but 1906 was more destructive than the earthquakes in 1864, 1898 and 1900. Whilst the tremors from the earthquake caused significant destruction, they were followed by a fire that lasted for four days and flattened over 4 square miles (10 square km) in the centre of the city. Over 28,000 buildings were destroyed, and current estimates suggest over 3,000 people died, with over 250,000 left homeless. 

    Large areas of the city were rebuilt over the following years, most importantly with increased emphasis on fire resistance. The culmination of the rebuilding work came in 1915, when San Francisco hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, showcasing to the world the recovery that the city had made.

    Dalziel, and Reuter. "Estimating the Dead." Sunday Times, 22 Apr. 1906

    "The Fate of San Francisco." Sunday Times, 22 Apr. 1906

    "San Francisco Disaster." Sunday Times, 22 Apr. 1906


    In June 1972, reports began to emerge of an attempted break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in the Watergate complex, Washington D.C, in the run up to president Richard Nixon’s (1913-1994) re-election campaign. Initially the White House denied any connection to the burglary attempt, but it was later uncovered through the ‘Nixon tapes’ that the president had asked the FBI to pull away from the investigation.

    The White House managed to suppress press revelations about the administration’s involvement by suggesting the press had a vendetta against the government, and in pre-election polls, public trust levels in Nixon were above those for his opponent. Following the trial of the burglars, the Senate voted to start a committee investigating abuses in the 1972 election campaign, while the judge presiding over the burglary trial passed long sentences on the burglars, offering to reduce their sentences if they spoke freely to the Watergate grand jury.

    As a result, revelations and information began to emerge, and despite repeated protests of his own innocence, the recorded conversations from the president’s office—finally released after public protest—revealed the depth of the president’s role in the scandal. To avoid being impeached, Nixon resigned in August 1974, becoming the first president to resign from office.

    Brandon, Henry. "Watergate: the scandal that refused to die." Sunday Times, 22 Apr. 1973

    Evans, Harold. "Privacy and journalism: striking the balance." Sunday Times, 10 June 1973

    Wills, Garry. "The Savage Career of Richard Nixon." The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 1 Sept. 1974



    In 1889 the Federal Council of Australasia was established, after concerns around German and French presence in the Pacific had grown throughout the previous decade. During the 1890s, a series of conferences were called to discuss federalism, that were attended by the leaders of the various colonies. Support for federalism had grown by the 1891 conference, which led the drafting of a constitution being drawn up. The draft was nearly successful, but the process halted when New South Wales lapsed, and the remaining colonies decided not to proceed.

    A new convention was called in 1895, and met several times between 1897 and 1898. A new draft constitution was created that added amends to the previous version, and after an initially unsuccessful submission, a further amended version was ratified by five colonies (but not Western Australia), and submitted to the Imperial Parliament with a request for Queen Victoria to enact the Bill.

    The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act was passed by British Parliament in 1900, with Western Australia agreeing to join in time to become a member of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act became law on July 9 1900, and the Commonwealth was officially established on January 1 1901.

    "The World's Work." Sunday Times, 29 Apr. 1900

    "The Australian Commonwealth." Sunday Times, 16 Dec. 1900

    "Immigration and Immigration Restriction in Australia." Sunday Times, 31 Dec. 1905


    Throughout history, gold finds in Australia have triggered gold rushes, bringing in fortune-seekers from across the world. Many gold discoveries prior to the 1850s did not prompt rushes, largely due to the suppression of information designed to prevent impact on workforces. After the California gold rush of 1848 prompted mass relocations, Australian territories reversed the stance to encourage more people to Australia through incentivising the discovery of gold.

    The first discovery that triggered a gold rush came in New South Wales in February 1851: 300 diggers had arrived by May, the month it was officially declared a rush. April 1851 also saw discoveries in Victoria and other parts of New South Wales. By June 1851, incentives for discovery were being offered, including a £200 reward for the first person to find payable gold within 200 miles (320 km) of Melbourne.

    Over the next several decades, many more discoveries were made across the country that resulted in mass movement of people hunting for gold. Between 1851 and 1871, gold rushes are estimated to have tripled Australia’s population, and were a significant contributor to the formation of a multicultural society.

    Clarke, W. B. "Discovery of Gold in Australia." Sunday Times, 21 Sept. 1851

    "The Gold Fields of Australia." Sunday Times, 11 July 1852

    "Later from Australia." Sunday Times, 23 Nov. 1856


    In 1985 Fiji's national politics changed forever with the formation of the Fiji Labor Party (FLP). Its inaugural president was a Fijian from the west, Dr. Timoci Bavadra (1934-1989), a retired community health specialist. As the 1987 general election approached, the FLP decided to form a coalition with the National Federation Party (NFP). After a successful election, Bavadra was sworn in as Fiji's second prime minister on April 13, 1987

    Parliament was in its third day of sitting when the drama that is now called "the first coup" unfolded, but Fijian anti-coalition sentiment arose as soon as the election results were announced. Though the Fijian community was divided along regional, social class, and other lines, it has never been difficult to gather large groups against a perceived threat of Indo-Fijian control. The Taukei (roughly, "ethnic Fijian") Movement articulated and organized this sentiment. Despite the actual and threatened unrest that followed the election, the coalition did not crumble until Sitiveni Rabuka (1948-present) made his move and initiated a coup on May 14, 1987. Rabuka led a second and more tightly controlled coup on September 25, 1987. A curfew was imposed, communications with the outside world were restricted, and some 200 individuals who were perceived as unfriendly to the Taukei Movement were detained. Rabuka declared Fiji a republic, with himself as head of an interim government.

    Adapted from: Ogan, Eugen. "Overthrowing Democracy: Fiji's Coup." History Behind the Headlines: The Origins of Conflicts Worldwide, edited by Sonia G. Benson, et al., vol. 3, Gale, 2002, pp. 124-134

    Terry, Antony. "Civil protests rock Fiji coup leaders." Sunday Times, 17 May 1987

    Terry, Antony, and Vimal Madhavan. "Racial tension tears at Fiji's fragile peace." Sunday Times, 24 May 1987

    Swain, Jon. "Fiji regime faces strain of isolation." Sunday Times, 4 Oct. 1987


    The Great Barrier Reef lies off the northeastern coast of Australia and is both a scientific wonder and an increasingly popular tourist attraction. It has been described as "the most complex and perhaps the most productive biological system in the world.”

    Education of the public is needed if the Great Barrier Reef is to survive. Over 1.5 million visitors per year visit the tropical paradise, and development along the Australian coast to accommodate the tourists was largely uncontrolled until 1990. The Government of Australia has declared the Great Barrier Reef a national park, and activities like explorations for gold and oil and spearfishing were permanently banned with the Reef's new status. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named it a world heritage site in attempts to encourage awareness and protect the area.

    Despite many threats, the marine park is one of the best protected in the world, thanks to citizens who recognize the worth of this treasure and visitors who are willing to practice ecotourism, and thanks to an extensive body of protective laws.

    Adapted from: Holmes, Gillian S. "Great Barrier Reef." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 3rd ed., vol. 3, Gale, 2004

    Mott, Sue, and Edward Welsh, report. "Reef encounter in Australia." Travel. Sunday Times, 25 June 1989

    "Reef to die in 30 years." Travel. Sunday Times, 28 Apr. 2002

    Wavell, Stuart. "It's serious—Attemnborough says stop climate change." News Review. Sunday Times, 21 May 2006


    The Sydney Opera House is located on Port Jackson in Sydney Harbour, situated on Bennelong Point, a promontory on the south side of the harbour just east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    The building began with an international competition run by the New South Wales government in 1956, to design a new venue that included a main hall for large productions and a second for smaller, more intimate productions. 233 entries were submitted from over 30 countries, with Danish architect Jørn Utzon (1918-2008) providing the winning entry.

    The building did not go smoothly: construction began in 1959, but the innovative design led to overspending and engineering difficulties, causing many delays that turned public opinion against the project. Disagreements with government authorities saw Utzon resign from the project in 1966, with the remainder of the construction overseen by a structural engineering firm. Utzon did return in 1999 to oversee an improvement project, his last engagement with the building before his death in 2008.

    The building was officially opened in October 1973, and the main hall now holds over 2,500 people for performances across the arts. One of Sydney's—and Australia's—most recognised and iconic buildings, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

    "The most comic opera house." Sunday Times, 9 Apr. 1967

    Shawe-Taylor, Desmond. "Open House." Sunday Times, 7 Oct. 1973

    Canning, Hugh. "A great house." Culture. Sunday Times, 19 Nov. 1995



    The draw for the group stage of the tournament was seen as kind to England, one of the two seeded teams (as hosts) along with Brazil (as current holders). England were drawn in group one against France, Mexico and Uruguay: three teams that England had beaten in their last matches against them, including an 8-0 victory over Mexico in 1961. England’s group had some significant matches: they would play Uruguay (the first winners of the cup in 1930), and Mexico (who would host the next World Cup in 1970). After a 0-0 draw with Uruguay, they beat Mexico 2-0 in front of 85,000 fans, before beating France 2-0.

    The press were reserved about England’s chances heading into the quarter-final match against Argentina. England would make history, beating Argentina 1-0 to reach their first semi-final. England finally conceded their first goal of the tournament in a 2-1 victory over Portugal in the semi-final, with two goals from Bobby Charlton enough to win the match: Portugal’s goal came from Eusebio, arguably the star of the tournament.

    There was still little real confidence that England would win from the English press. Despite reminding the public that England had won eight and drawn one of the ten games against West Germany (and yet to be defeated by them), the final became one of the most iconic of all time, England eventually winning 4-2.

    Glanville, Brian. "How It Started Who's who who Might Win." The Sunday Times Magazine. Sunday Times, 29 May 1966

    Glanville, Brian. "Brave England do it but oh! the heartache." Sunday Times, 31 July 1966

    Fay, Stephen. "Rebirth of English Football." Sunday Times, 31 July 1966


    The 1997 election was one of the greatest examples of the British press misjudging the course of an election and its result. The Conservative Party, under the leadership of John Major (1943-present), faced a strong challenge from the Labour Party, led by Tony Blair (1953-present). Labour had moved to a more centrist position, moving away from the more traditionally left-wing position, in what came to be known as “New Labour”. 

    In the run up to the election, many of the newspapers were pessimistic about Labour’s chances of a victory, with many actively dismissing the chance of a dominant win: they were proved wrong when the results came in, with Labour gaining a decisive landslide victory. It ended 18 years of Conservative government, in the last British election—as of 2017—to achieve a voter turnout above 70%. Labour remained in power for three consecutive terms: Blair resigned in 2007 and was succeeded by Gordon Brown (1951-present) as leader until the Conservatives won the 2010 General Election under the leadership of David Cameron (1966-present).

    Grice, Andrew, and Cathy Scott-Clark. "Labour warned not to expect landslide." Sunday Times, 7 Jan. 1996

    Harris, Robert. "Hell on earth for Major if he wins." News Review. Sunday Times, 13 Apr. 1997

    Harris, Robert. "The Making of the Prime Minister." News Review. Sunday Times, 4 May 1997


    The National Health Act was passed in the United Kingdom in 1946, leading to the formation of the National Health Service (NHS) as part of wider social reforms in the formation of the welfare state. Cross-party agreement was reached on the formation of a national service after the 1942 Beveridge Report, and the appointment of Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960) as Health Minister in 1945 began the process that ended with the creation of the NHS. The process did not run smoothly, with opposition from doctors and dentists: while agreement was finally reached with the British Medical Council and doctors began working for the service when it launched, dentistry took longer to resolve.

    The National Health Service was launched on 5 July 1948, but three years later Bevan resigned after charges were introduced for dentures and glasses: later additions, such as prescription charges, were the first of many controversies which many argued contradicted the three core principles of the service: it meets the needs of all, is free at the point of delivery, and treatment is based on clinical need.

    Evans, Geoffrey, et al. "State Medical Service." Sunday Times, 10 Mar. 1946

    Horder, Lord. "After the Vote." Sunday Times, 22 Feb. 1948

    a Sunday Times Correspondent. "Doctors Fight 'Oppression' of Health Act." Sunday Times, 10 July 1949


    After Labour won a landslide victory in the general elections of May 1997, the Labour government of Tony Blair (1953-present) called a referendum for establishing a Scottish Parliament with a broad range of powers, including control over the country’s education and health systems. Supported by the SNP (Scottish National Party) and the Liberal Democrats—but opposed by the Conservatives—the referendum passed with more than 74 percent of voters in favour. At the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in May 1999, Labour won 56 seats, the SNP 35, the Conservatives 18, and the Liberal Democrats 17. Labour and the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government, with Labour’s Donald Dewar (1937-2000) assuming the title of first minister. Despite being led by three first ministers in the first three years of the Scottish Parliament, the governing coalition endured.

    In the 2007 elections, the SNP staged a historic upset, winning the most seats (47) in the Scottish Parliament to end some 50 years of Labour Party dominance in Scotland. SNP leader Alex Salmond (1954-present) was subsequently elected first minister of Scotland, becoming the first Nationalist to hold the post. Salmond won a second term in 2011, and vowed to put forward a vote on Scottish independence by 2015.

    Adapted from: "Scotland Since the 18th Century." The United Kingdom: Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, edited by Jeff Wallenfeldt, Britannica Educational Publishing, 2014, pp. [113]-125

    Stone, Norman. "Scots must not fall for this crazy nationalism." News Review. Sunday Times, 2 Feb. 1992

    Shields, Jenny, and Rob Corbidge. "Anti-English feeling grows in Scotland." Sunday Times, 28 June 1998

    Morgan, Christopher, and Sarah Toyne. "Charles in talks with Scots nationalists." Sunday Times, 30 Aug. 1998


    During its maiden voyage, the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic sank on April 14-15 1912 after colliding with an iceberg in the Atlantic. The Titanic was one of three ships to be built by Belfast firm Harland and Wolff, commissioned by White Star, one of the two main transatlantic passenger ship lines. The Titanic, Olympic and Britannic were the vessels that would be built to rival the two ships planned by White Star’s man Rival Cunard: the Lusitania and the Mauretania. The Titanic and Olympic were built simultaneously, and the Titanic focused on luxury, with the second-class offering a rival to first-class accommodation on many other liners. The Titanic also focused heavily on safety, with confidence so high in the engineering that it was claimed to be unsinkable.

    The Titanic embarked from Southampton on April 10 1912, sailing for New York, with many prominent figures on board. After stops to pick up more passengers in Cherbourg (France) and Queenstown (Ireland), it set off for New York with roughly 2,200 people on board.  After entering an iceberg zone, the warning message of an upcoming ice field was not relayed to the bridge, and the ship scraped an iceberg that ruptured the hull. More than 1,500 died, despite rescue efforts from nearby ships.

    Reuter's Special Service, and Central News. "The Titanic's Fate." Sunday Times, 21 Apr. 1912

    "The Titanic." Sunday Times, 21 Apr. 1912

    "The Wreck of the Titanic and its Lesson." Sunday Times, 21 Apr. 1912


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