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14 March

1885: At the first night of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at the Savoy Theatre, London, the Japanese Ambassador presented a petition to have it banned for racism. It ran for two years.

1891: First submarine telephone lines laid across the English Channel.

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1915: The German cruiser Dresden was sunk.

1917: German army began retreat to Hindenburg Line.

1930: The Channel Tunnel Committee in London gave approval for the building of a tunnel between Britain and France.

1945: The heaviest bomb of the war, Grand Slam, weighing 22,000lb, was dropped by the RAF on Bielefeld railway viaduct.

1947: Twenty Questions, billed as a radio parlour game, began on BBC radio with question-master Stewart Macpherson and panel members Richard Dimbleby, Anona Winn and Jack Train.

1957: EOKA offered to suspend terrorist activities on Cyprus if Archbishop Makarios was released.

1961: New English Bible published in two phases (New Testament on this day, Old Testament on 16 March, 1970).

1964: Jack Ruby was found guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy, and was sentenced to death. He died of a blood clot in 1967.

1984: Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in central Belfast.

1987: At least 12 people were killed in an escalated Communist insurgency in the Philippines with congressional elections almost two months away.

1988: Iran and Iraq unleashed missiles on each other’s capitals as the so-called “war of the cities” erupted.

1989: Israeli foreign minister Moshe Arens accused the Palestine Liberation Organisation of the worst atrocities since the Second World War.

1990: Fire caused extensive damage to a plant in Raabta, Libya, which the United States charged was producing chemical weapons.

1991: Birmingham Six were freed after wrongfully serving 16 years in jail for 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

1992: Eleven died when a helicopter transferring workers from Shell Cormorant Alpha platform to nearby accommodation floatel, Safe Supporter, crashed in North Sea.

1993: More than 70 people were killed as hurricanes, blizzards and floods hit America’s Atlantic coast.

1994: Government rejected IRA demands for talks on Northern Ireland, saying there would be no negotiations until violence stopped.

1998: An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit southeastern Iran.

2008: A series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.

2011: Figures revealed that the number of women given prison sentences in Scotland had almost doubled in a decade.

2012: Perth became Scotland’s seventh city after winning a UK competition marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​