July 8. Lisa Potts became Wolverhampton's national heroine
after tackling a machete-wielding maniac who ran amok at St Luke's
School in Blakenhall. She suffered terrible arm injuries as she
tried to protect the youngsters who had been enjoying a school
couldn't believe what was going on," she said shortly after the
attack. "I was just really concerned for the children. They were
hiding under my skirt, holding on to my legs and screaming my
name. I was trying to hide them in the cupboards. I was desperately
trying to open the door to get them out but I couldn't because
my arm was such a mess. It must have been the adrenaline that
kept me going."
After a campaign to recognise her bravery, led by the Express
& Star, Lisa Potts was awarded the George Medal.
March 13. Thomas Hamilton, a loner with a grievance against
local parents, walked into the primary school in the Scottish
town of Dunblane and killed 16 children and their teacher before
shooting himself dead. The shock was beyond comprehension. All
the dead children were aged four or five and as the lists of killed
and living were announced, the town and the whole nation were
gripped by horror and bewilderment.
It was the second mass killing by a man holding firearms legally.
After the firearms restrictions imposed in the wake of the 1987
Hungerford rampage by Michael Ryan, how could Dunblane have happened?
A horrified public learned that, although some semi-automatic
weapons had been banned, it was still perfectly lawful for people
to own military-style handguns.
Pressure for a new ban became irresistible. Soon, Britain had
the toughest firearms laws in the West and thousands of pistols
were handed in to police. It was of little comfort to the bereaved
of Dunblane who bore their grief with a dignity that impressed
March 19. Warnings about a new form of killer brain infection
which could be linked to people eating beef from cattle struck
by "mad cow disease" were given out by scientists. Ten cases had
recently been diagnosed of a new variant of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease,
said the experts. CJD is a rare illness which usually attacks
older people. The alarm was raised when it was noted that the
latest CJD sufferers were all under 45 years old. The disease
attacks the central nervous system and causes dementia and seizures
- leading to a painful death.
August 4. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, now stricken by
Parkinson's Disease, got a spontaneous standing ovation at the
Olympic Games in Atlanta when he lit the Olympic Flame.
Some notable firsts made these Games in America memorable. Not
only were they the first to have been entirely funded privately
- they were also unique in being the first where every nation
invited to send representatives did so. Unfortunately they were
a disappointment for Britain which was way down the medals table
with its lowest tally in years.
August 7. It was revealed by NASA scientists in Houston,
Texas, that earth may have already been invaded by Martians -
13,000 years ago. Excited boffins unveiled what they believed
was new evidence to support the theory. The proof lay in a meteorite
found in Antarctica which, when analysed, suggested that the rock
was a blast-off from the surface of Mars by an asteroid collision
about 16 million years ago. It also contained structures which
could be the fossilised remains of a Martian life form.
March 25. Diane Modahl, the British
athlete banned in 1994 after drug tests wrongly showed positive,
April 29. At least 34 people were
killed by gunman Michael Bryant in Tasmania - making it
Australia's worst-ever mass murder.
May 30. In London the Duke and
Duchess of York were divorced.
June 15. US jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald
July 1. Walsall construction firm,
Kendrick Construction, slapped a swearing ban on its building
workers to avoid offending passers-by.
July 10. Machete attack suspect,
Horrett Campbell, was quizzed by detectives following the
attack on children and adults at St Luke's infants school,
July 23. Wolverhampton schoolgirl,
Lucy Jordan, aged 13, raised 1,000 to fund cancer treatment
just seven weeks after being diagnosed as having the disease.
July 29. A record £15 million
fee changed hands when England striker, Alan Shearer, transferred
from Blackburn to Newcastle United.
September 21. In the United States
same-sex marriages were banned under the new Defence of
October 1. Black Country brewers, Holt,
Plant and Deakin, switched production of their "Entire" bitter
from Wolverhampton to Burton-Upon-Trent.
October 11. In Birmingham motorists
attending that year's Motor Show at the NEC, were urged
to leave their cars at home and use train and bus travel
October 26. A Wolverhampton driver
who claimed in court that she was over the alcohol limit because
she was on a slimming course was fined £400 by the town's
In the United States Bill Clinton was re-elected as president.