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4 April 1968: Martin Luther King was assassinated

On 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray. Born on 15 January 1929, Dr King went on to be one of the most famous social activists of the 20th century; spending the majority of his life fighting for equal rights for African Americans in the United States. King first […]

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The FDA approves Viagra

Viagra’s main function was originally just considered a side effect when the medication was being developed for the treatment of heart problems like angina or chest pain. Soon after tests started, developers at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer recognised the potential of the drug insofar as it intensified and increased the longevity of erections, and they […]

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This Week in History: 20 March 2003 The Iraq war begins

On the evening of 18 March 2003, Tony Blair won support to join UK troops in the American invasion of Iraq. Despite the motion being passed by 412 votes to 149 in the House of Commons, the decision sparked a major backbench rebellion for the Labour party. Britain’s overall involvement in the Iraq War has […]

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This Week in History: 16th March 1968 The My Lai Massacre

On 16 March 1968, one of the largest massacres of civilians by United States armed forces occurred in Vietnam. The My Lai Massacre, in South Vietnam, took place during the Vietnam War. In the massacre, the US Army murdered 504 unarmed civilians, including men, women and children. The massacre took place in two hamlets in […]

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This Week in History: 6 March 1951 The Rosenberg Trials

On the 6 of March 1951 in New York the Trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg began. The charge? ‘Conspiracy to commit Espionage’. The act? The leaking of atomic weapon plans to the USSR. Though often considered treasonous, the fact that the USA and the USSR were on the same side in the Second World War, […]

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This Week in History: 22nd February 1997 Successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep was announced

The successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep was announced to the public on the 22nd of February 1997, after her birth on the 4th of July 1996. Dolly, named after Dolly Parton, was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell; this success would have many implications for future research. The cloning was […]

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This Week in History: 14 February 278 AD The beheading of Saint Valentine

Valentine’s Day is renowned for being a celebration of romantic love, but its history is  strangely rooted in violent dictatorship. This day commemorates  St Valentine, a high priest in Rome who was executed on February 14, 278 AD, during the reign of Emperor Claudius II: Claudius the Cruel. Claudius often faced a military deficit due […]

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This Week in History: 18 January 1486 Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York

On 18 January 1486, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York in a ceremony which symbolised the unison of the houses of York and Lancaster and reinforced Henry’s hold on the crown. Having brought the Wars of the Roses to an end with his victory over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in August of […]