When Grandpa Was A Boy, Were There Any Dinosaurs?

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Gulag And Google

1989: The recent past soon becomes history; a generation grows up that has no direct experience of the way things were. Almost half – 49 per cent – of young Romanians questioned by a survey in 2010 were uncertain whether political repression had existed in their country under communism. In neighbouring Bulgaria, a survey of 15- to 35-year-olds in 2013 found that the expression “Iron Curtain” had no specific meaning for 65.7 per cent of them, while “Gulag” meant nothing to 79.2 per cent (although 3.1 per cent thought it was an Internet search engine).

Source: Teaching the History of Communism, ed. Vasil Kadrinov (2013), pp. 11, 30–1

Up And Down

1986: The Norwegian football club SK Brann lacked in consistency. For eight years, from 1979 until 1986, Brann yo-yoed between the country’s 1st and 2nd divisions. In consecutive seasons, Brann was relegated, then promoted, then relegated, then promoted, then relegated, then promoted, then relegated, then promoted.

Source: www.brann.no/english/club-
history

Tipsy From Trondheim

1985: Norway had its first aircraft hijacking. On 21 June, Stein Arvid Huseby boarded a Braathens SAFE plane in Trondheim carrying an air pistol in his hand luggage. (Airport security obviously needed beefing up.) Midway through the flight to Oslo, he threatened a cabin attendant and warned that there were explosives in the toilets. After the plane landed in Oslo, he allowed the passengers to leave, but kept the crew hostage. Throughout the incident, Huseby consumed copious amounts of alcohol. When the plane ran out of beer, he agreed to give up his gun in exchange for more beer. As soon as he gave up the weapon, special forces rushed the plane.

Source: http://fly.historicwings.com/
2012/06/norways-first-hijacking/

Tidying Things Up

1982: South Africa’s segregated prisons were harsh institutions; Barberton prison farm, in the eastern Transvaal, was reputedly the harshest of all. While Simon Mpungose was incarcerated there, he once saw warders ironing the corpse of a black prisoner. The warders had beaten him to death and, to avoid awkward questions, they were literally ironing the dead body to try to erase the welts.

Source: Rian Malan, My Traitor’s Heart: Blood and Bad Dreams: A South African Explores the Madness in His Country, His Tribe and Himself (1991), pp. 196–7

“Mike The Bike”

1981: Death can be banal. “Mike the Bike” Hailwood was one of the foremost motorcycle racers of the 1960s, chalking up nine Grand Prix championships and 12 wins over the notoriously tricky Isle of Man Tourist Trophy course. On 21 March 1981, after retiring from competitive racing, he was fatally injured in a car crash while on a family errand – fetching some fish and chips.

Source: Stephen Bayley, Death Drive: There Are No Accidents (2016), pp. 191–9

Dire Warning

1980: “Beware of the bull” notices fail to dissuade walkers from wandering off designated paths, Viscount Massereene and Ferrard told landowners during a debate in the House of Lords. He recommended instead: “Beware of the Agapanthus”.

Source: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-
hansard/lords/1980/dec/16/wildlife-and-
countryside-bill-hl-1

Without Precedent

1979: After months of strikes, dubbed the “winter of discontent” by British media, the government of James Callaghan faced a parliamentary motion of no confidence on the evening of 28 March.

House of Commons catering staff had “chosen this of all nights to go on strike”, so hungry and thirsty politicians and reporters had to make do without cakes, tea, coffee and alcohol.

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