On this day: The Guildford Four were freed

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 19 October
On this day in 1989, Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, was released from jail after 14 years. He died in 2014. Picture: PAOn this day in 1989, Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, was released from jail after 14 years. He died in 2014. Picture: PA
On this day in 1989, Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, was released from jail after 14 years. He died in 2014. Picture: PA

AD439: Carthage, the Phoenician city, was devastated by Vandals (eastern Germanic tribes) who captured and used it as their capital until it was retaken by Belisarius in 533.

1512: Martin Luther, a priest, became a doctor of theology.

1722: English chemist French C Hopffer patented the first fire extinguisher.

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1781: The American Revolutionary War ended following British General Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown.

1812: Napoleon’s army began the retreat from Moscow.

1845: Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhauser premiered in Dresden.

1864: The Battle of Cedar Creek took place during the American Civil War.

1872: The world’s largest gold nugget, the Holtermann Nugget, was found at Hill End, New South Wales, Australia.

1901: Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March premiered in Liverpool.

1925: The Italian army took control of Somalia.

1950: UN forces entered Pyongyang, capital of North Korea.

1954: Britain and Egypt signed their agreement concerning the Suez Canal base.

1960: United States placed embargo on shipments to Cuba.

1963: Sir Alec Douglas-Home became Tory prime minister.

1968: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco began collecting tolls for southbound vehicles.

1973: Libya, angered by US’s Middle East policy, ordered halt of all oil shipments to US and almost doubled prices.

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1977: South Africa banned black protest groups, closed leading black newspaper in country and arrested editor and other black people in raids.

1982: DeLorean sports car plant closed in Northern Ireland with loss of 1,500 jobs as its proprietor, John de Lorean, was arrested on drug charges in Los Angeles.

1986: Australian Allan Border scored the one-millionth run in Test cricket, against India in Bombay.

1987: Black Monday on Wall Street as market fell by 22 per cent, its worst drop in history. In London shares lost 10 per cent.

1989: Guildford Four – Paddy Armstrong, Gerard Conlon, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson – freed by Appeal Court in London after being wrongfully imprisoned for 14 years for pub bombings.

1989: The £600,000 damages award to Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, against Private Eye was overturned on appeal.

1990: Zeebrugge ferry disaster trial ended with ruling that prosecution had no case.

1993: Benazir Bhutto, ousted from power three years earlier, was elected prime minister of Pakistan for the second time.

2003: Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

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2004: Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan was kidnapped in Iraq.

2005: Saddam Hussein went on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

2007: Benazir Bhutto escaped unhurt when 140 of her followers died in a suicide attack on the former Pakistan prime minister’s cavalcade hours after she returned to Karachi after spending eight years in exile.

2013: Sixteen people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide bombing in Beledweyne, Somalia.


Phil Davies, rugby player and coach, 52; Sir Michael Gambon CBE, actor, 75; Bernard Hepton, actor, 90; Evander Holyfield, former world heavyweight boxing champion, 53; John Lithgow, actor, 70; Lord (Bill) Morris of Handsworth, trade unionist, 77; Trey Parker, cartoonist and actor, 46; Sinitta, singer, 52; Jon Favreau, actor and director, 49; Sam Allardyce, football manager and former player, 61; Heikki Kovalainen, racing driver, 34; Dan woodgate, drummer (Madness), 55; Keith Reid, songwriter (Procul Harum), 69.


Births: 1599 Sir Thomas Browne, physician-author; 1862 Auguste Lumière, photography pioneer; 1913 Rosamund John, actress; 1932 Robert Reed, actor; 1941 Simon Ward, actor; 1944 Peter Tosh, reggae musician (Bob Marley & the Wailers).

Deaths: 1745 Jonathan Swift, satirist; 1937 Lord Rutherford, founder of modern atomic theory; 1987 Jacqueline du Pré, cellist; 1992 Dr Magnus Pyke, scientist; 1999 Penelope Mortimer, writer; 2010 Graham Crowden, Edinburgh-born actor; 2014 Lynda Bellingham OBE, actress.