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On This Day In Photos: December 5 1952 – Smog Kills Thousands In London

ON This Day In Photos: December 5 1952: A cold fog hit London. It trapped the air pollution. A Ministry of Health report estimated that 4,075 more people had died than would have been expected to under normal conditions. Other estimates say the pea souper killed 12,000 people. Londoners knew all about smog, or though they did. A Londoner, HA Des Voeux, had invented the term “smog” to describe the fog intensified by smoke in the capital in the early 20th century. But even for war-hardened Londoners in a dreary city this was something else.

On December 5 1952, the fog fell over London. The temperature fell to freezing, and Londoners burned more coal to stay warm. The smoke mixed with the air, forming a deadly blend of carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and sulphur dioxide turned into sulphuric acid.

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Posted: 5th, December 2011 | In: Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On This Day In Photos: The Luxor Massacre

ON This Day In Photos: November 17, 1997: Egyptian Islamists murder 62 people at Luxor – 58 of them tourists, including six Britons (three members of one family: five -year-old Shaunnah Turner, her mother Karina Turner and Karina’s mother Joan Turner).

Two months earlier, nine Germans and an Egyptian driver had been murdered when gunmen opened fire on a bus in Cairo.

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Posted: 17th, November 2011 | In: Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On This Day In Photos: Au Pair Louise Woodward Is Wrongly Convicted Of Murder

ON This Day in Photos – October 31, 1997: a Boston jury found au pair Louise Woodward, 19, guilty of second degree murder for killing eight-month-old Matthew Eappen by shaking him violently. Woodward was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Woodward’s ordeal began when she called the emergency services on February 4, 1997. Six days later Sunil and Deborah Eappen’s son died from a massive brain haemorrhage. Louise Woodward denied any wrongdoing. She always has.

The media feasted on the case. Viewers were introduced to the phrase “shaken baby syndrome”. This occurs when a baby is forcefully shaken leading to damage within the child’s skull. SBS is usually recognised by a combination of three injuries – bleeding into the eye and around the brain as well as brain damage.The prosecution said Woodward had shaken the baby and possibly hits his head on a hard surface. The defence said the child had succumbed to an old injury, not of Woodward’s making. Today many researchers question if SBS is worthy of its orthodoxy and role in presuming guilt.

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Posted: 31st, October 2011 | In: Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On This Day In Photos: Cecil Parkinson And The Sara Keays Affair

ON This Day In Photos: October 14, 2011 – Married Cecil Parkinson, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, resigned in reaction to the furore surrounding the news of his 12-year affair with his secretary Sara Keays.

She was pregnant with his child. Parkinon had confessed to the affair on October 5, but Keays later issued a statement that it was her “duty” to make the full facts known. Parkinson would rise again, becoming Conservative Party Chairman for a second time in 1997, and later a life peer in the House of Lords. Flora Keays was born on New Years Eve 1983. Cecil remains married to Ann, mother to his three other daughters. She never spoke on the matter to the press.

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Posted: 14th, October 2011 | In: Flashback | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

On This Day In Photos: James Dean Died

ON This Day In Photos: September 30, 1955 – James Dean killed in a car crash. His death secured a legacy and marketable imortality.

James Byron Deadn was 24 when he crashed his Porsche 550 Spyder almost head-on with another car driven by Donald Turnupseed, 30 miles east of Paso Robles. Dean was with his mechanic Rolph Wutherich on his way to a race meeting at Salinas, California. Turnupseeed and Wuthdrich survived. Dean’s neck was broken.

Dean’s last words, having been warned to slow down, were: “That guy’s gotta stop… He’ll see us.” An investigation concluded that “excessive speed” had been a contributory factor in the accident. Other versions say Turnupseed had crossed onto Dean’s lane.

Turnupseed explained: “I didn’t see him coming.”

What happened to him was remarkable, and a sign of how life has changed:

On advise from la California Highway Patrol officer, Turnupseed hitch-hiked to Tulare after the crash. He was treated for a scraped nose and bruises at Tulare District Hospital. Extensive investigation of the accident never established guilt, said C.R. “Budgie” Sturgeon, a partner in Spuhler and Sturgeon Insurance, which had a policy on Turnupseed’s Ford. “It was never established whose fault it was. It just died.”

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Posted: 30th, September 2011 | In: Flashback | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0