It is early morning in America. In New York, air force commander General Black (Dan O’Herlihy) is woken by a recurring nightmare and leaves his wife to fly to a Pentagon meeting in Washington DC where Professor Groeteschele (Walter Matthau)…

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1 9 8 6 (USA) 7 x 30 minute episode This high-school comedy was centred around the lives of the students and faculty at Ridgemont High in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley. Linda Barrett (Claudia Wells) and Stacey Hamilton (Courtney Thorne-Smith)…

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Led by George Alexander (born Alexander Young, and brother of The Easybeats’ George Young who had stayed behind at home when his family emigrated to Australia) Grapefruit were cheerful harmony pop/rockers. Formed in 1967, and comprising three former members of Tony…

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God bless The Sex Pistols. During their chaotic two-year existence, they introduced real musical anarchy to the world, yoking their working-class anger and disgust to a brutal roar that still inspires nascent punk bands. Looking back, it’s hard to believe…

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Another surf-and-sand-and-teenagers episode from American International where, once again, Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) and Frankie (Frankie Avalon) supply the romance and the songs. Frankie’s rival for Dee Dee’s affection this time is the Potato Bug (Ronnie Dayton), a British singing…

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The traditional Chelsea Boot was adapted for The Beatles by the London footwear company Anello & Davide in 1961 when the band commissioned four pairs with the addition of pointed toes and Cuban heels, traditionally seen on the Flamenco Boot.…

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By 1965, London had become the fashion capital of the world as far as young people were concerned. At its centre were three streets – The Kings Road in Chelsea (put on the map by Mary Quant), Kensington Church Street…

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Original and outrageous, British designer Vivienne Westwood is one of the most recognised and influential designers of the late twentieth century. By her mid-twenties, Vivienne Westwood’s life seemed to be passing in a distinctly unremarkable way. At 25, she was…

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Diana Dors was born in Swindon, Wiltshire in 1931 with the unfortunate surname of Fluck (oh those rhyming slang jokes must have jarred). She once quipped, “They asked me to change my name. I suppose they were afraid that if…

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1 9 2 9 – 1 9 6 8 Born Michael Luther King, Jr, but later changing his name, Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen. His grandfather began the…

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Born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1917, Denis Winston Healey was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford. He served in the army during World War II and became Labour MP for Southeast Leeds in 1952. From 1945 to…

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One of Britain’s most popular and prolific comic actresses, Liz Fraser was born Elizabeth Joan Winch on 14 August 1930 in Southwark, London. Her father was a travelling salesman for a brewery, and her mother owned a corner shop just…

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Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren was born on 22 January 1946 in North London. His father left when he was two and he and his brother Stuart were raised by his maternal grandmother. Leaving home in his teens, he attended several art colleges,…

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Around midnight on 10 July 1985, French secret service agents bombed the Greenpeace environmental patrol ship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand’s Auckland harbour, ripping apart the ship’s hull with two limpet mines. The 420-tonne ship sank at its Princes Wharf mooring…

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Before 1960 the Congo was a Belgian colony. It became independent on 30 June 1960 and the country was soon thrown into chaos. The Belgian government had done very little to prepare for independence. All the important jobs in government, industry…

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January 01 – Fred West, the Gloucestershire builder charged with 12 murders, commits suicide in his prison cell. Prison officers discover the 53-year-old’s body hanging from strips of clothing at Winson Green prison near Birmingham. 01 – Austria, Finland and…

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On 16 January 1979, a young Ukrainian woman jumped from the Russian cruise ship Leonid Sobinov in Sydney Harbour wearing only a red bikini. 18-year-old Lillian Gasinskaya, from Odessa, swam to shore and was found on a Pyrmont footpath on Sunday…

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January 01 – Flashing indicator lights become legal on motor vehicles in Britain. 10 – A BOAC Comet jet airliner on its way from Singapore to London comes down into the Mediterranean about 20 minutes after taking off from Rome.…

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January 01 – The US gives $216 million in aid to South Vietnam. 01 – The 1955 Cotton Bowl Classic American football game is won by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. 02 – President José Antonio Remón Cantera is assassinated…

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January 02 – 66 Football fans are killed when a barrier collapses at Ibrox Park in Glasgow following a match between old firm rivals Celtic and Rangers. A few seconds before the end of the match, as fans were already…

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January 01 – French singer Maurice Chevalier dies (b. 1888) in Paris. He is 83. 03 – An IRA bomb injures 55 women and children when it explodes in a Belfast department store. 04 – Rose Heilbron is the first…

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