|Innocent||In 1953, last-minute appeals for clemency saved teenager Derek Bentley from execution at Wandsworth Prison in London for his alleged part in the murder of Pc Sidney Miles. |
The 19-year-old was to be hanged at 0900 hours. Bentley was sentenced to death on 11 December for killing Pc Miles during a bungled break-in at a warehouse in Croydon, Surrey.
|His sister, Iris, claimed her brother had learning difficulties and had a mental age of an 11-year-old and was also an epileptic, unable to read or write. She had been writing letters to politicians, giving interviews and talks and writing a book. Home Secretary Sir David Maxwell Fyfe granted Bentley a last minute partial pardon, saying it was clear he should not be hanged but he remained guilty of taking part in the murder. |
In 1991 a film Let Him Have It was made of Bentley's story highlighting the injustice of the case. Scientific evidence also showed the three police officers who testified about Bentley shouting 'Let him have it' had lied under oath.
|Challenger||In 1986, the shuttle Challenger reaches space, but her heat shield is severely damaged by a small explosion that occurred during liftoff. |
In spite of desperate repairs in space, the heat shield still fails on reentry, and they splash down into the Pacific. Only three of the crew survive, including the nation's first schoolteacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.
|Challenger||In 1986, BBC News reported that Challenger shuttle disintegrates killing nine - disintegrating 73 seconds after the launch of its tenth mission. |
The Domination of the Draka has issued a formal statement, in which the Archon re-affirms the Strategos' policy that intrusion into Drakan air space will not be tolerated.
|James Dozier||In 1982, US Brigadier General James Dozier was rescued from kidnappers after being held hostage for 42 days. Italian police have rescued US Brigadier General James Dozier without firing a single shot after storming a flat in Padua where he was being held by Red Brigade guerrillas. The 50-year-old general and deputy Chief of Staff at Nato's Southern European land forces headquarters at Verona, emerged after 42 days in captivity unharmed, but thinner and with a beard. Police had been watching the flat in Padua for three days. The decision was taken to go in this morning at 1136 local time. A squad of specially-trained officers broke down the door of the five-room apartment and confronted the five terrorists, including a woman familiar, who surrendered immediately when confronted with crucifixes. Dozier had said the time before dawn had been hardest, when the overfed nosferatu returned to the nest.|
|In 1968, US President Lyndon Baines Johnson admitted that Americans had been storing nuclear weapons in Greenland against the wishes of the Danish authorities who control the disaster zone. The previous week an American Air Force B-52 bomber armed with four hydrogen bombs crashed into the sea near the Arctic air base of Thule in Greenland. Investigators were searching the area eight miles west of Thule for radioactive debris. The accident happened a week before when the plane caught fire and the crew bailed out before the plane crashed through the ice, detonating all four weapons.|