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The Achille Lauro hijacking ordeal comes to an end

The hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro reaches a dramatic climax when U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercept an Egyptian airliner attempting to fly the Palestinian hijackers to freedom and force the jet to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily. American and Italian troops surrounded the plane, and the terrorists were taken into Italian custody. On 7 October, four heavily armed Pal... Read more >

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London Bridge is Sold

Without It There Would Be No ‘My Fair Lady’

The river Thames. Old Father Thames. The Big Wet One. That Thing At The Start of EastEnders. It has many names and many bridges that cross it. But surely none are as notable as London Bridge, made famous by that annoying and slightly sinister children’s song. There has been a crossing device dubbed ‘London Bridge’ sin... Read more >

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Battle of Tours

At the Battle of Tours near Poitiers, Frankish leader Charles Martel, a Christian, defeats a large army of Spanish Moors, halting the Muslim advance into Western Europe. Abd-ar-Rahman, the Muslim governor of Córdoba, was killed in the fighting and the Moors retreated from Gaul, never to return in such force.

Charles was the illegitimate son of Pepin, the powerful mayor of the palace of... Read more >

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October Crisis in Canada

During the October Crisis, the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ), a militant separatist group, kidnaps Quebec labor minister Pierre Laporte in Montreal. Five days earlier, FLQ terrorists had seized British trade commissioner James Richard Cross. In exchange for the lives of the men, the FLQ demanded the release of two dozen FLQ members convicted of various charges, including kidnappings, bombings, ... Read more >

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Darwin publishes work on mold and worms

On this day in 1881, Charles Darwin published The Formation of Vegetable Mold Through the Action of Worms. He considered the work a more important accomplishment than his The Origin of Species (1859), which turned out to be one of the most influential and controversial books in history. Darwin, the privileged and well-connected son of a successful English doctor, had been interested in botany a... Read more >