June 10: After less than a week of fighting, Israel emerged
victorious from what became known as the Six Day War. It had been
brewing ever since the United Nations gave birth to the modern
state of Israel nearly 20 years earlier.
surrounding Arab nations, infuriated at the plight of displaced
Palestinians and armed by the Soviet Union, prepared a simultaneous
strike at Israel from north, south and east. But Israel struck
first. In a matter of hours Israeli warplanes effectively destroyed
the Egyptian air force on the ground.
With the skies cleared of enemy aircraft, Israel troops, armour
and jets tore apart the hapless Arab columns sent against them.
The Sinai desert became a funeral pyre for the Egyptian Army.
But the greatest prize for the Israelis was Jerusalem. As Israeli
soldiers fought their way into the Arab east of the city, the
Jordanian defenders pulled out and retreated to the River Jordan.
In a matter of hours Israel had more than doubled its size.
In the years ahead, the so-called West Bank would provide a useful
buffer against further invasions but its Palestinian folk would
struggle endlessly for self-rule.
January 4: Donald Campbell was killed when his jet-powered
Bluebird leapt into the air and somersaulted in Coniston Water
in the Lake District. He was within a whisker of setting a new
world water-speed record. Campbell's famous last words were: "She's
going. She's going. I'm almost on my back." Frogmen found his
oxygen mask, shoes and "lucky" teddy bear but eventually abandoned
the search for his body.
March 30: Fighter aircraft blew up the wreck of the Torrey
Canyon after it ran aground off the Cornish coast and dumped thousands
of gallons of oil into the water. The oil went on to foul Cornish
beaches and the incident was labelled the greatest peacetime threat
to Britain. More than 100 miles of coastline were polluted despite
the dropping of 48 incendiary bombs in a bid to clear the oil.
June 2: The Beatles seminal Sergeant Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band album was released and the era of flower power
was well under way. Ironically the first so-called summer of love,
famed for songs about San Francisco and people wearing flowers
in their hair, came in a year when balladeers Tom Jones and Englebert
Humperdinck sold records by the million.
November 19: The worst financial crisis for nearly 30
years ended with the devaluation of the pound. Premier Harold
Wilson went on television to assure the electorate it did not
mean the "pound in your pocket" had been devalued and at once
became the butt of cartoonists, comics and impressionists.