On this day: The Guildford Four were freed

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
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
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 19 October

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.

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.

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.

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.