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Timeline of events


1964

January 20

Trial of the Great Train Robbers begins



January 26

The government announces plans for a fleet of five Polaris submarines



April 14

BBC Two goes on air for the first time



September 21

Malta becomes independent from the UK



October 15

General election won by Labour, Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister by a majority of only 4



December 17

All prescription charges to be free from February.1965



 
1965

January 24

Death of Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister 1940-45 and 1951-55



February 16

British Rail publishes plans to slash the rail network by half, based on the Beeching Report



April 19

150,000 CND protesters show hostility to USA over Vietnam



July 28

Douglas-Home is succeeded as Conservative leader by Edward Heath



August 5

Trade Disputes Act: gives new safeguards to Trade Unions against prosecution



November 8

Abolition of the death penalty; the Murder Act becomes law



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1966

March 31

Labour wins the general election with a majority of 97



July

England beat Germany to win the World Cup 4-2



October 21

Aberfan disaster: coal tip slides down on mining village in South Wales, killing 116 children and 28 adults



 
1967

February 22

Iron and Steel Nationalisation Bill enacted



May 11

Britain applies to join the EEC



June 1

The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album is released



July 14

Decimal Currency Act: provides for currency change by 1971



September 10

The people of Gibraltar vote to keep ties with the UK



November 19

In the worst financial crisis for nearly 20 years the pound is devalued



December 11

The world’s first supersonic aircraft, the Anglo-French co-operation Concorde, is revealed at Toulouse



 

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1968

February 19

The Home Office launches an anti-theft drive based on the slogan, “Watch Out! There’s a Thief about”



April 23

First Decimal coins (5p and 10p) issued



June 10

NHS prescription charges re-introduced



September 16

Mail differentiation: first and second-class post created



November 26

The Race Relations Act comes into force



 
1969

January 1

Baron Constantine of Maraval and Nelson, West Indian cricketer and diplomat, becomes first black peer in the House of Lords



April 21

British Army ordered to guard key points in Ulster following riots in Belfast and Londonderry



June 8

Spain lays siege to the Rock of Gibraltar



July 1

Investiture of Price of Wales at Caernarvon Castle



December16-18

House of Commons and House of Lords vote to permanently abolish the death penalty



 

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1970

January 1

Legal age of majority and voting age reduced from 21 to 18



March 2

White Rhodesians proclaim an independent republic in what is today known as Zimbabwe



April 18

British Leyland announces that the Morris Minor, Britain’s longest running car, will cease production by 1971



May 29

Equal Pay Bill enacted



June 18

Conservatives win the general election by a majority of 30



June 19

Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister



June 20

Margaret Thatcher becomes Secretary for Education



September 7-12

Palestinian Liberation Organisation hijacks and blows up 3 aircraft in Jordan to secure release of female Palestinian terrorist held in London



 
1971

February 15

Decimal coinage replaces shillings and pence



April 19

Figures show unemployment at 814,819, the highest since May 1940



June 15 to 29

Widespread protests at Margaret Thatcher’s plans to end free school milk in schools



October 28

House of Commons and Lords vote in favour of joining EEC



 

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1972

January 9

Miners’ strike causes disruption



January 22

Heath signs accession to EEC in Brussels



Feb 28

Miners return to work having had demand for better wages and working conditions recognised by the government



August 4

President Amin of Uganda orders the expulsion of 40,000 British Commonwealth Asians



September 17

Asian refugees from Uganda begin to arrive in Britain



October 17

European Communities Act: provides for entry into EEC



November 6

Government introduces 90-day freeze on prices, pay, rent and dividends in an attempt to curb inflation



 
1973

January 1

Britain joins the EEC



April 1

Introduction of Value Added Tax



July 5

Social Security Act: single basic-rate pension system



October

Middle Eastern oil-producing nations stop exporting to the US and Western nations resulting in world fuel shortages and inflating oil prices



November 12

Miners impose overtime ban causing a drastic cut in production



December 5

To conserve fuel 50 mph speed limit is imposed



 

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1974

January 1

Power-sharing executive under Brian Faulkener set up in Belfast, Northern Ireland



February 7

Grenada becomes independent within Commonwealth



February 10

Total miners’ strike begins



March 4

An inconclusive General Election result returns a hung parliament. Failing to form a government, Heath resigns. Wilson becomes Prime Minister and forms a minority Labour government



March 11

Miner’s strike ends with acceptance of pay offer



June 21

Inflation soars to post-war record of 16 per cent



October 5

IRA Guildford pub bombings kill 5 people



November 29

Prevention of Terrorism Act: gives police wide powers of detention and deportation



 
1975

January 20

The government abandons the Channel Tunnel



February 10

Conservative leadership election is won by Margaret Thatcher. She is the first female to lead a major political party in Britain



June 5

Referendum on membership of EEC:67 per cent of population vote in favour



November 12

Sex Discrimination Act: ensures equality of opportunity for men and women in job applications



December 29

Women’s Equal Pay Act comes into force



 

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1976

January 21

Concorde’s inaugural transatlantic flight



March 16

Wilson announces that he will resign as Prime Minister



April 5

James Callaghan become Prime Minister



August 30

Racial rioting follows the Notting Hill Carnival in London



September 2

Britain condemned by European Commission on Human Rights for ill-treatment of detainees in Ulster



September 29

Britain announces intention of borrowing 2300 million from the International Monetary Fund as the pound’s value plummets



November 4

Loss of two by-elections leaves Callaghan leading a minority government



 
1977

March 23

Callaghan and David Steel announce ‘Lib-Lab’ pact for collaboration over certain issues



June 6 to 13

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the Silver Jubilee marking the twenty-fifth year of her reign



October 31

The British Government allows sterling to float upwards and effectively revalues the pound



December 13

114 ‘rebel’ Labour MPs join the opposition to vote against proposals in European Assembly Bill for proportional representation in European Elections



 

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1978

April 11

Free school milk for 7 to 11-year-olds restored by government



May 1

May Day is celebrated as a public holiday for the first time in Britain



July 31

Scottish and Welsh Devolution Acts: not implemented



December 5

Britain announces it will not join the EEC’s new European Monetary System



 
1979

January 22

24-hour public employees’ strike hits hospitals and schools



January 28

Callaghan loses a no-confidence vote and agrees to dissolve Parliament leading to a General Election



May 3

General election gives Conservatives overall majority of 43 and on March 4 Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister



June 7

First election for European Parliament brings out only a third of the electorate but favours the Conservatives



November 21

Sir Anthony Blunt, distinguished art historian, is denounced by Mrs Thatcher as a Soviet spy



December 11

Rhodesian Parliament ends rebellion