On this Day

Published in Editorial, Issue 3 (May/June 2014), Volume 22


Six people were killed in a loyalist bomb attack on the Rose and Crown public house in south Belfast.

The report of the New Ireland Forum was published.

Louis XVIII became king of France following 22 years of revolution and conquest under Napoleon Bonaparte.

Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first president of a multi-racial South Africa.

Joe Louis, American heavyweight world boxing champion known as ‘the Brown Bomber’, born in Alabama.

In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Workers’ Strike, aimed at toppling the Northern Ireland Executive and destroying the Sunningdale Agreement, began. The Executive collapsed a fortnight later.

The Dublin and Monaghan bombings—the worst single day in the history of the Troubles—saw 26 killed and hundreds injured when three bombs exploded without warning in Dublin. Less than an hour later another no-warning car bomb ripped through Monaghan town centre, killing seven people.

A riot during a football match at the National Stadium, Peru, led to mass panic and the deaths of over 300
people—the biggest disaster in the history of sport.

The Home Rule bill was carried in the House of Commons for the third and final time.

President Eamon de Valera began a state visit to the USA. During his stay he addressed both houses of Congress and made a private visit to the home of the widowed Jacqueline Kennedy.

John Calvin (54), influential French theologian during the Protestant Reformation, died.

Pandit (Jawaharlal) Nehru (74), prime minister of India since independence (1947), died.

The Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland sank on the St Lawrence River after colliding with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad; 1,012 passengers and crew died.


US President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, arrived on a four-day official visit to the Republic of Ireland.

Eddie McAteer was elected leader of the Nationalist Party at Stormont. In February 1965 the party assumed the role of official opposition in the Northern Ireland parliament.

Michael Gaughan, an IRA prisoner in Pankhurst prison, Isle of Wight, died after a 65-day hunger strike, the first known Irish hunger-striker to die in an English prison since Terence MacSwiney in 1920.

Rome was liberated by the Allies under General Mark Clark.

The Rivonia Trial in South Africa, which had begun the previous October, concluded. Nelson Mandela and two of his co-accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.

David Moriarty, bishop of Kerry (1856–77), born in Kilcarragh, Co. Kerry. A staunch anti-Home Ruler, he is best remembered for the vehemence of his condemnation of the Fenians—‘Eternity is not long enough nor Hell hot enough for such miscreants’.

The Loughinisland, Co. Down, massacre. Six local men were killed in a loyalist gun attack on a public house in the village.

The Battle of Bannockburn, in which Robert Bruce crushed the army of England’s King Edward II and secured independence for Scotland from English overlordship. Three years later, his brother Edward, earl of Carrick, was to launch an unsuccessful invasion of Ireland.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife were assassinated in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo.

Nazi Germany’s ‘Night of the Long Knives’. The leader of the paramilitary SA, Ernst Rohm, and hundreds of his followers, along with dozens of Hitler’s political opponents, were murdered by the SS and the Gestapo in a two-day purge.


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