• AFRICA

    THE END OF APARTHEID

    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 Alongside this, figures such as Mandela would be released, press freedom was restored, and the death penalty was repealed, among other sweeping changes.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.

    Bell, Gavin. "Young whites join victory parade as townships celebrate." Times, 3 Feb. 1990

    Bell, Gavin. "Mandela strolls to freedom." Times, 12 Feb. 1990

    "'This is indeed a joyous night for the human spirit'." Times, 3 May 1994



    THE MAU MAU REBELLION

    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.

    From Our Nairobi Correspondent. "The Growth Of Mau Mau." Times, 9 Oct. 1952

    "M.P.s Call For Big Changes In Kenya." Times, 24 Feb. 1954

    From Our Political Correspondent. "Emergency In Kenya Ended." Times, 11 Nov. 1959



    RWANDAN GENOCIDE

    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.

    kiley, Sam. "Desolate village bears witness to Rwanda carnage." Times, 19 May 1994

    "Amnesty International." Times, 28 May 1994

    kiley, Sam. "Hutus drive Tutsis out of Zaire in 'ethnic cleansing'." Times, 3 Apr. 1996



    SOUTH AFRICAN WORLD CUP

    In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to hold the football (soccer) FIFA World Cup tournament. The bidding process to host the tournament had only been open to African nations, and in 2004 South Africa were chosen ahead of Morocco and Egypt. The growth in popularity of the sport in the continent, the increase in prominent African players in major international leagues, and the ever improving performances of African nations in tournaments meant that an African nation had become a viable host for the tournament.

    Like many large sporting tournaments, it brought problems. The expectations that construction and infrastructure costs would be offset by increased tourism failed to materialize, and the restrictions on local businesses led to reduced income during the tournament.  Many people were ‘evicted’ as a method to make the cities more aesthetically pleasing, including the controversial N2 Gateway housing project, and the Elimination and Prevention of Re-Emergence of Slums Act that would force many shack-dwellers into temporary transit camps. Despite these issues, FIFA awarded South Africa a nine out of ten rating for organization, meaning that they are considered a ‘plan B’ for future tournaments.

    Gilmore, Inigo. "South Africa's bid threatened." Times, 30 Nov. 1999

    Matt Dickinson Chief Sports Correspondent. "South Africa risks leaving wrong legacy." Times, 10 Nov. 2009

    Matt Dickinson, and Jonathan Clayton. "World Cup legacy leaves South Africa with issues to address." Times, 11 June 2011



    ZULU WAR

    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." Times, 27 Feb. 1879

    "The Disaster At Isandlana." Times, 10 Apr. 1879

    "The Settlement Of Zululand." Times, 15 Oct. 1879
     

  • ASIA

    BEIJING OLYMPICS

    China realized its Olympic goal on July 13, 2001, when the International Olympic Committee voted to make Beijing the host city for the 2008 Olympics. Having won the right to host the Olympics, the city of Beijing splurged on preparations for tens of thousands of visitors. Taxi drivers were taught English. The city constructed new subways and light rails, new highways, and a new airport terminal. Construction sites appeared all over the city. The Chinese government contracted with world-famous architects to build a new Olympic stadium, dubbed the Bird’s Nest, for its intricate steel webbing, and a swimming site known as the Water Cube because of its unique exterior.

    The Beijing Olympics opened on August 8, 2008, with a total of 10,500 athletes from every one of the 204 member nations of the International Olympic Committee except Brunei. In the competitions, China led the world in gold medals with 51; the United States was second with 36, followed by Russia with 23 and Great Britain with 19. Chinese athletes accumulated 100 medals overall. China did best in gymnastics, earning 11 gold medals, while garnering 8 in weightlifting, 7 in diving, 4 in shooting, 4 in table tennis, and 3 in badminton.

    Adapted from: "Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games." Encyclopedia of Modern China, edited by David Pong, vol. 3, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2009, pp. 54-57

    goodbody, John. "Beijing bids to shake off critics in race for Olympics." Times, 15 May 2001

    Lewis, Leo. "Olympic city nationalists adopt Tibet as a weapon against China." Times, 26 Apr. 2008

    Macartney, Jane. "How the city built to shock and awe spent £20bn on doing it again." Times, 4 Aug. 2008



    HIROSHIMA AND THE ATOM BOMB

    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.

    "First Atomic Bomb Hits Japan." Times, 7 Aug. 1945

    Hodson, Peregrine. "Thousands recall moment shadow fell on mankind." Times, 7 Aug. 1995

    "A-Bomb Survivors." Times, 6 Aug. 2005



    HONG KONG HANDOVER

    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.

    Yates, Nathan. "The finaI act or a flourishing start?" Times, 3 May 1997

    Watts Mirsky, David Jonathan. "Final farewell to Hong Kong." Times, 1 July 1997

    Fenby, Jonathan. "Rising son of the East." Times, 3 July 1998



    KHMER ROUGE

    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.

    Schanberg, Sydney. "Khmer Rouge press on to edge of Phnom Penh." Times, 15 Apr. 1975

    Hazelhurst, Peter. "Refugees tell of executions and a harsh way of life in Cambodia." Times, 14 Sept. 1976

    Hazelhurst, Peter. "Thai village chief tells of atrocities on border by Khmer Rouge troops." Times, 15 Aug. 1977



    KRAKATOA ERUPTION

    Although called an ‘eruption’, the 1883 was more accurately a series of increasingly escalating explosions over the course of several weeks between May and August 1883. In May 1883, an early eruption sent ash clouds 6 miles (10 km) into the air, with the explosion heard over 100 miles (160 km) away in Jakarta; activity began to resume in mid-June, and on the 26th August a series of rapid explosions began. The biggest explosion happened the next day: on the 27th August, an explosion was heard over 2,200 miles (3,500 km) away in Australia, with ash reaching as high as 50 miles (80km) into the air. The ash plunged the surrounding area into darkness for more than two days, and dust repeatedly drifted round the Earth causing red and orange sunsets for nearly a year afterwards.

    Although one wave that hit Java and Sumatra did claim around 36,000 lives, very few people died as a direct result of the eruptions, as Krakatoa was believed to be uninhabited; but it did cause residual events, including tsunamis, hundreds of miles away in South America and Hawaii. It also had other geological and environmental consequences: in the following year the average temperate in the northern hemisphere rose by 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit), and weather patterns were noticeably affected for the next five years.

    "The Java Eruption." Times, 9 Oct. 1883

    "The Krakatoa Eruption And Its Sequel.*." Times, 1 Oct. 1888

    "Earthquake Researches In Japan." Times, 7 Jan. 1887
     

  • EUROPE

    CHERNOBYL REACTOR DISASTER

    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.

    Wright, Pearce. "Gigantic reactor 'kettle' that became a killer." Times, 30 Apr. 1986

    Walker, Christopher. "Chernobyl reactor still leaking." Times, 6 May 1986

    Wright,, Pearce. "Deaths feared for 70 years at Chernobyl." Times, 23 Aug. 1986



    FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

    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.

    james, Brian. "Holes in the Wall." Times, 5 Aug. 1989

    Mcelvoy, Anne, and Our Foreign Staff. "The Iron Curtain torn open." Times, 10 Nov. 1989

    McElvoy Murray, Anne Ian. "Hammering down the Wall." Times, 11 Nov. 1989



    THE NUREMBERG TRIALS

    In 1945 and 1946, several former Nazi leaders were indicted and tried by the International Military Tribunal. The trials were held in Nuremburg, Germany, following the London Agreement in 1945. The defendants were tried against four counts: crimes against peace; crimes against humanity; war crimes; and “a common plan or conspiracy to commit” any of the other three. The tribunal could also find any group or organization to be criminal in character (such as the Gestapo), and therefore any member could be brought to trial.

    Twenty-four defendants were originally tried, with the verdict on twenty-two of them delivered on October 1 1946 (one had committed suicide, and another was deemed too ill to face trial). Of the twenty-two, three were acquitted, three were sentenced to life imprisonment, and four to sentences of up to twenty years. The remaining twelve were sentenced to death by hanging, and ten were executed on October 16 1946 (Hermann Göring (1894-1946) committed suicide, and Martin Bormann (1900-c.1945) was sentenced in absentia).

    From Our Special Correspondent. "Trial Of Major War Criminals." Times, 19 Oct. 1945

    From Our Special Correspondent. "Case Against German Leaders." Times, 22 Nov. 1945

    From Our Special Correspondent. "Ribbentrop's Evasions At Nuremberg." Times, 2 Apr. 1946



    THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

    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. 

    From a Special Correspondent. "The Unyielding Catalan." Times, 19 Aug. 1937

    From a Special Correspondent lately in Spain. "Stalemate In Spain." Times, 28 Feb. 1946

    From Our Burgos Correspondent. "The Ring Round Madrid." Times, 28 Mar. 1939



    SPUTNIK SATELLITES

    In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first of ten satellites that are considered to have started the ‘space age’. The first of these—Sputnik 1—was launched on October 4 1957, achieving Earth orbit and circling the Earth until early 1958. Sputnik II launched on November 3 1957, and was the first to contain a living creature: Laika, a dog, became the first living entity to orbit the Earth. These were followed by further inhabited satellites to test the life support systems designed to work on space travel.

    The launch of the Sputnik series of satellites prompted the United States to increase their commitment to space exploration, leading the president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) laying down the challenge to the US space programme to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

    "Khrushchev Proclaims Peaceful Aims." Times, 7 Nov. 1957

    From Our Science Correspondent. "After The Sputniks." Times, 6 Dec. 1957

    "Rocket On The Way Round The Moon." Times, 5 Oct. 1959
     

  • INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

    BANGLADESH’S INDEPENDENCE

    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

    Hazelhurst, Peter. "Shots in Dacca as E Pakistan drifts nearer to secession." Times, 26 Mar. 1971

    Hazelburst, Peter. "India warns President Yahya that it will resist his new plan to transfer power in Pakistan." Times, 29 June 1971

    "Setting the priorities for Bangladesh." Times, 11 Feb. 1972



    BHOLA CYCLONE

    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.

    From Our Correspondent. "2,000 swept away by tidal wave." Times, 14 Nov. 1970

    Zeitlin, Arnold. "Pitiful remnants of life seen on air tour of Pakistan areas ravaged in 'worst disaster of humankind'." Times, 17 Nov. 1970

    Our Washington Correspondent. "Half the disaster's survivors may die of starvation, typhoid or cholera." Times, 19 Nov. 1970



    BHOPAL GAS DISASTER

    On December 3 1984, thousands of people were killed in Bhopal, India, after 45 tonnes of methyl isocyanate escaped from an insecticide plant. The final death toll is estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000 people, with several hundred thousand survivors suffering a range of medical complications from blindness to respiratory problems. 

    Tens of thousands attempted to flee Bhopal as the gas drifted through densely populated neighbourhoods around the plant: investigators later concluded that substandard operating and safety procedures, coupled with understaffing, caused the leak. In 2010, several former Union Carbide executives (the American owners of the plant at the time of the disaster) were convicted of negligence.

    As late as the early twenty-first century, over 400 tonnes of industrial waste were still present at the Bhopal site, with reports of ongoing health issues and high rates of birth defects attributed to elevated levels of soil and water contamination.

    By Our Foreign Staff. "Indian chemical plant disaster." Times, 4 Dec. 1984

    From Our Correspondent. "Deathly calm follows panic in gas-stricken city." Times, 5 Dec. 1984

    "'Mothers didn't know children had died, children didn't know mothers had died, men didn't know their families had died'." Times, 6 Dec. 1984



    THE GANDHI ASSASSINATIONS

    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.

    From Our Own Correspondent. "Assassination Of Mr. Gandhi." Times, 31 Jan. 1948

    Hamlyn,, Michael. "Son Rajiv sworn in to fill vacuum left by Sikh assassination of Mrs Gandhi." Times, 1 Nov. 1984

    Kapoor Watts, Coomi David. "Rajiv Gandhi assassinated in bomb blast." Times, 22 May 1991



    INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE

    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

    "The Goal In India." Times, 19 Apr. 1940

    "God-Speed To India." Times, 17 July 1947

    From Our Own Correspondent. "India's First Day Of Independence." Times, 16 Aug. 1947
     

  • LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

    BOGOTÁ AND LA VIOLENCIA

    During the 1930s and early 1940s, Liberal governments had run Colombia. During this time, Conservatives felt marginalised and were physically attacked: in 1946, the Conservative Mariano Ospina Pérez (1891-1976) became leader, beating the two liberal candidates --Gabriel Turbay (1901-1947) and Jorge Eliécer Gaitán (1903-1948).

    Reprisals against Liberals marked the beginning of a period called “La Violencia”, largely sparked by the assassination of Gaitán in 1948. The assassination in Bogotá led to the bogotazo riots across the country, and estimates suggest that over 200,000 were killed between 1946 and 1964. The situation worsened under Laureano Gómez (1889-1965), who attempted to turn Colombia into a fascist state, and he was eventually deposed by a military coup, with Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1900-1975) taking the presidency in 1953, himself ousted by a military junta in 1957. 

    The Declaration of Stiges (1957) meant that the presidency would be alternated between Liberal and Conservative, and remained in place until 1973. Economic strains, increasing unemployment and rising guerrilla groups strained public confidence during these years, leading to the rise of groups such as FARC (the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), who would have significant impact on late twentieth-century Colombian history.

    From Our Own Correspondent. "The Colombian Outbreaks." Times, 12 Apr. 1948

    Plant, Roger. "Urban violence draws closer as Army suppresses peaceful protest." Times, 6 Mar. 1980

    Matthews, Geoffrey. "Can the Colombian peace dove survive?" Times, 6 Sept. 1984



    “CHE” GUEVARA

    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.

    "Mystery of Castro's missing revolutionary." Times, 14 Apr. 1967

    "Che Guevara dead in Bolivia clash." Times, 10 Oct. 1967

    Matthews, Herbert L. "The revolution Guevara died for lives on in Cuba." Times, 1 Nov. 1967



    GENERAL AUGUSTO PINOCHET

    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.

    Strafford, Peter. "Chile: Still a 'state of war' a year after President Allende's fall." Times, 11 Sept. 1974

    varas, Florencia. "General Pinochet wields unlimited power." Times, 5 Aug. 1978

    Hale, Andrew. "Why Pinochet stays in power." Times, 2 July 1985



    NOBEL PRIZES IN LITERATURE

    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.

    Howard,, Philip. "Nobel prize for Garcia Márquez." Times, 22 Oct. 1982

    Howard,, Philip. "Nobel prize for literature goes to Octavio Paz." Times, 12 Oct. 1990

    Graham Keeley. "Resistance, revolt and defeat make Vargas Llosa a Nobel winner at last." Times, 8 Oct. 2010



    THE PANAMA CANAL

    The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean through a 40 mile (65km) canal through the Isthmus of Panama, saving ships from 2,000 to 8,000 nautical miles (depending on the journey) by allowing them to avoid sailing round the land mass of South America. The first attempt to construct the canal began in 1881, by the French company Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique, led by Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1984), who had led the building of the Suez Canal. Unfortunately, Lesseps had made many assumptions, leading to slow progress and significant loss of life on the project. The company collapsed in 1889, and after a brief resurgence, ceased to function by 1898.

    Through the Spooner Act of 1902, the United States purchased the assets of the company, and following Panama’s declaration of independence, they negotiated the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty, allowing the creation of the Panama Canal Zone in 1904. Better disease control and better selection of equipment and workforce meant the project was successfully completed, and the Panama Canal opened in 1914. Ownership of the Panama Canal changed during the twentieth century: originally owned by the United States, it was transferred to a joint US-Panamanian commission (the Panama Canal Commission) in 1979, before being transferred fully to Panama in 1999.

    "The Panama Canal." Times, 2 Sept. 1912

    Monahan, Jane. "Clash looms over Panama Canal." Times, 10 May 1975

    Adams MacIntyre, David Ben. "Panama ready to assume control of canal." Times, 15 Dec. 1999
     

  • MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

    THE FORMATION OF THE U.A.E.

    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

    "Political structure of Gulf complete." Times, 7 Dec. 1971

    Hopkirk, Peter. "United Arab Emirates." Times, 19 June 1975

    Chesshyre, Tom. "Move over Dubai . . ." Times, 31 May 2008



    LEBANESE CIVIL WAR

    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. "Tripoli fighting threatens to start civil war in Lebanon." Times, 10 Sept. 1975

    By Our Foreign Staff. "Street fighter turned political conciliator." Times, 15 Sept. 1982

    "Massacre in Beirut: the evidence from four shameful days." Times, 24 Sept. 1982



    MUNICH OLYMPIC MASSACRE

    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

    Martin, Paul. "Egypt puts blame on Germans for killings." Times, 8 Sept. 1972

    Cross, David. "Police chief describes how the Israelis died." Times, 8 Sept. 1972

    SANDELSON, NEVILLE, et al. "Effect of Munich on Middle East peace." Times, 9 Sept. 1972



    THE SUEZ CANAL

    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

    (FROM A CORRESPONDENT.). "The Isthmus Of Suez." Times, 16 Jan. 1856

    "OPENING OF THE SUEZ CANAL.-The President of." Times, 19 July 1869

    "A Voyage Through The Suez Canal." Times, 13 Jan. 1870



    TUTANKHAMEN’S TOMB

    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.

    (From Our Cairo Correspondent.). "An Egyptian Treasure." Times, 30 Nov. 1922

    (By the Earl of Carnarvon.). "The Egyptian Treasure." Times, 11 Dec. 1922

    "Decorative Art In The Pharoh's Tomb." Times, 2 Feb. 1923
     

  • NORTH AMERICA

    MAN LANDS ON THE MOON

    In 1961, president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) called for more funding to support the United States’ space programme, after the launch and successful introduction into orbit of Sputnik 1 by Russia in 1957 initiated the ‘space race’. Kennedy set the target of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. After managing to successfully capture public opinion to help overcome the political barriers, president Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) managed to continue the space programme after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

    After several successful missions to launch men into space and orbit the moon during the decade, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the surface of the moon on July 20 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2010) and Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-present) were the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface, the first of twenty-four to have travelled to the moon. Since the first manned moon landing, five more successful landings were made between 1969 and 1972.

    From Our Own Correspondent. "Mr. Kennedy Calls For Sacrifices." Times, 26 May 1961

    From Our Own Correspondent. "Moon Landing Now Thought Possible." Times, 22 Feb. 1965

    From the News Team in Houston and London. "Man takes first steps on the moon." Times, 21 July 1969



    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. ASSASSINATION

    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.

    CALDWELL-Memphis,, EARL. "Martin Luther King shot dead." Times, 5 Apr. 1968

    "Shocked world reaction to assassination." Times, 6 Apr. 1968

    "DR MARTIN LUTHER KING Baptist minister who championed Negro rights." Times, 6 Apr. 1968



    PEARL HARBOUR

    On December 7 1941 Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States’ naval base on Oahu Island, Hawaii. The attack prompted the United States to declare war on Japan, which eventually led to them entering World War II. After several years of declining relations between the two countries, by 1941 many vital commercial ties had been cut by the United States, and Japanese Prime Minister Tōjō Hideki (1884-1948) decided on military retaliation. The United States forces were a significant barrier to Japanese plans for taking over south east Asia, and the first wave of aircraft attacks began before 8am, with the goal to weaken U.S. forces in the Pacific.

    Japanese forces had chosen a Sunday for the attack for tactical reasons: ships would be anchored, they would not be fully manned, and the mood would be more relaxed on the base. Nearly 200 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, with over 2,300 killed and 3,400 injured. By comparison, the Japanese forces lost less than 30 aircraft and suffered less than 100 casualties. The next day, Congress voted and officially declared war on Japan.

    From Our Own Correspondent. "Japan At War With U.S. And Britain." Times, 8 Dec. 1941

    From Our Own Correspondent. "Britain And U.S. Declare War On Japan." Times, 9 Dec. 1941

    "War Across The World." Times, 24 Feb. 1942



    QUEBEC SEPARATISM

    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

    BRIGSTOCKE, HILARY. "Canadian relief at defeat of Quebec separatists." Times, 1 May 1970

    From Our Correspondent. "Trudeau challenge to Quebec separatists." Times, 30 Mar. 1977

    Greenspon, Edward. "Quebec separatists mm big power base in Ottawa Commons." Times, 27 Oct. 1993



    THE WATERGATE SCANDAL

    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.

    McDonald, Ian. "The 'Watergate Caper': America shrugs her shoulders." Times, 22 Sept. 1972

    Brogan, Patrick. "Watergate cover-up 'directed by Mr Nixon'." Times, 4 June 1973

    "Full text of televised resignation speech." Times, 9 Aug. 1974
     

  • OCEANIA

    AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH

    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 popular vote just taken in New." Times, 21 June 1899

    "The Royal Assent was given yesterday to the." Times, 10 July 1900

    (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTS.). "Australian Federation." Times, 2 Jan. 1901



    THE CHRISTCHURH EARTHQUAKE

    The Christchurch earthquakes hit New Zealand in a series of events from September 2010 through to December 2011. The most devastating event in the series came in the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck in September 2010. The epicentre of the earthquake occurred 25 miles (40km) west of Christchurch, after a movement along a previously unknown regional fault line, causing the initial earthquake and several aftershocks for months afterwards.

    The most significant aftershock occurred on the 22 February 2011, causing major damage to the city, especially to buildings and areas that had been weakened by the earthquake the previous September. The most notable building to collapse was the Canterbury Television building, and major damage was sustained by the both the Roman Catholic and Anglican cathedrals (the latter was so damaged that a decision to have it demolished was made in 2012).

    More than 180 people are estimated to have died, and a state of national emergency was declared the next day. Over the coming weeks and months, over 10,000 homes around in and around the city were declared unsalvageable, and areas of damaged land abandoned completely.

    Anne Barrowclough. "Hope turns to grief for children of TV 'superwoman' killed in collapsed studio." Times, 24 Feb. 2011

    Anne Barrowclough. "Four days ago Emma thought she would die under the rubble. Now her wedding has lifted a grieving city." Times, 26 Feb. 2011

    Libby Purves. "Cut the red tape and let our Kiwi spirit fly." Times, 28 Feb. 2011



    THE FIRST FIJIAN COUP

    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

    "Left coalition takes over Fiji." Times, 13 Apr. 1987

    Our Correspondent Suva. "Post-coup festivities by Fijians." Times, 22 May 1987

    Taylor, Stephen. "Deposed Fiji leader plots his peaceful comeback." Times, 27 May 1987



    SAMOA’S INDEPENDENCE

    Samoa was initially annexed by the United States and Germany in 1889, with Germany taking the west and the U.S. taking the east. The annexation was done without the support of the Samoan people, which elevated tensions that had been growing since the 1850s as the U.S., Britain and Germany had been preventing Samoa form developing their own government.

    After the Mau a Pule movement failed to reduce German rule on the western side, New Zealand occupied Western Samoa in 1914, and the League of Nations granted New Zealand a mandate over the country in 1920. As a result, the Mau movement developed in opposition: after the original Mau leader Olaf Frederick Nelson (1883-1944) was exiled, relations deteriorated after unarmed Mau supporters were killed during a demonstration in 1929.

    After the first Labour government came to power in New Zealand in 1935 and recognised the Mau as a legitimate political organization, relations improved, and amid growing Samoan desire for independence, a constitutional convention was called in 1954. Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962, but has retained a place in the Commonwealth. Independence was followed by universal suffrage in 1990, and 1997 had the ‘Western’ removed, a move contested by neighbouring American Samoa.

    "Future Of Western Samoa." Times, 29 May 1959

    From Our Correspondent. "Trusteeship In Western Samoa Ends Next Week." Times, 29 Dec. 1961

    "Samoans Greet Independence." Times, 2 Jan. 1962



    SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

    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.

    FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. "The Future Sydney Opera House." Times, 30 Jan. 1957

    From Our Canberra Correspondent. "Architect Defends Plan for Sydney Opera House." Times, 12 Oct. 1964

    "Too little space for the performer but much that will earn the audience's applause." Times, 20 Oct. 1973
     

  • UNITED KINGDOM

    ENGLAND’S WORLD CUP VICTORY

    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.

    FROM OUR ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT. "Italy likely to regain World Cup." Times, 11 July 1966

    "F.I.F.A. want Mr. Ramsey disciplined." Times, 26 July 1966

    our Football Correspondent. "Ramsey Proved Right in World Cup." Times, 25 Feb. 1993



    JOHN LENNON’S ASSASSINATION

    On December 8 1980, John Winston Ono Lennon (1940-1980) was assassinated in New York by Mark David Chapman (1952-present). Lennon was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam war (the administration of Richard Nixon (1913-1944) tried to deport Lennon from the United States), and he was ardent supporter of feminism and many other socio-political causes. A member of the Beatles, he achieved international fame as part of one of the most iconic bands in the history of music, and—against the more clean-cut Paul McCartney (1942-present)—was one of the most vocal and provocative of the group, the rebel who caused controversy by claiming that the Beatles “were bigger than Jesus”. As his relationship with Japanese artist Yoko Ono (1933-present) grew, he became increasingly distanced from the group, by 1970 he was pursuing wider artistic projects, and after a split from Ono, they had a child in 1975 after which Lennon became a recluse and distanced himself from art and music.

    Leapman, Michael. "Wave of grief over John Lennon's murder." Times, 10 Dec. 1980

    Leapman, Michael. "Man on death charge 'obsessed by Lennon'." Times, 11 Dec. 1980

    Edwards,, Adam. "John Lennon's murderer gets 20 years to life." Times, 25 Aug. 1981



    LABOUR’S ELECTION WIN

    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).

    jenkins, Simon. "Labour isn't frightening." Times, 20 Mar. 1996

    Leathley, Arthur. "'We've heard their promises - and nobody believes them'." Times, 27 Nov. 1996

    Webster,, Philip. "Landslide victory for Labour." Times, 2 May 1997



    THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

    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.

    "National Hospital Service." Times, 18 Mar. 1946

    "Doctors' Remuneration Under Health Service." Times, 19 Dec. 1947

    "Security For All." Times, 5 July 1948



    THE TITANIC

    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.

    "British Engineering." Times, 11 Jan. 1911

    (From our Correspondent.). "Titanic Sunk." Times, 16 Apr. 1912

    "Plight Of The Vessel." Times, 16 Apr. 1912
     

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