25 February 2010
By Neil Hudson
THE BIG STORY
It became one of the most famous pictures in the world and it was
first published on February 1.
It illustrates the true horror of war as South Vietnamese police
chief Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan fired a bullet into the head
of a captured Viet Cong officer.
The handcuffed prisoner, said to be a Viet Cong soldier, was executed
in front of an NBC cameraman and an Associated Press photographer.
The photograph, taken by Eddie Adams, went on to win the 1969
Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, though Adams was later said
to have regretted the impact it had.
The image played an important part in changing the way America viewed
the Vietnam War. It became an anti-war icon and demonised General
Loan, who moved to America after the war.
Adams was reputed to have regretted taking the picture and later
said: "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my
camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world.
"People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation.
They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn't say was, 'What
would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that
hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one,
two or three American soldiers?'"
General Loan opened a pizza take-away in Virginia. His identity was
later revealed, forcing him into retirement. He died in 1998 from cancer.
Designs for new decimal coinage, due to be introduced in 1971, were
unveiled for the first time. The new coins will be familiar to people
today, although most have since been reduced in size. They also
included a half-penny, which is no longer in circulation. The coins
were designed by Christopher Ironside and were much smaller than the
coinage of the day. One new penny was equivalent to 6d. pence.
There were four fatal road accidents in Bradford in January, figures
revealed, the same as January 1967. However, the number of people
seriously injured rose from 67 to 75, while slight injuries rose from 66 to 78.
Princess Margaret had her tonsils removed during an operation in
London. The Princess, 37, was said to have had trouble with her
tonsils in the preceding months and was expected to remain in
hospital for about a week.
Sir Gerald Nabarro (Con, Worcestershire), opposed the National
Lottery Bill, which was put before Parliament. He said: "I dislike
the concept of a national lottery and particularly dislike the power
of distribution of funds being placed in the hands of a cabal
appointed by the Home Secretary."
The MP, who was known for having the odd flutter, added: "I gamble to
make money, and I usually win. But I do not gamble with money I
cannot afford to lose." The Bill was on its second reading at that
stage and was expected to be passed into law but failed by a narrow margin.
The Government announced children in Britain could soon be given jabs
against measles. Health Minister Kenneth Robinson said a trial
involving 40,000 children had been successful. Measles claimed the
lives of dozens of children every year.
Plans to re-introduce prescription charges in Britain were opposed by
120 backbench MPs in the House of Commons.
Priestley Hall, next to Mill Hill Chapel in City Square, Leeds, was
demolished. The hall occupied the site of the house once lived in by
Joseph Priestley, the man who discovered oxygen.
Elvis Presley's wife, Priscilla, gave birth to their first child,
Lisa Marie, who weighed 6lb 15oz. Presley arrived at the hospital
with his parents, a dozen friends and two policemen, whom he had
hired at a cost of £10 a shift to guard his wife's room. A hospital
spokesman described the 33-year-old singer as "a pretty typical first
The Winter Olympics was held in Grenoble, France, where French
organisers used dynamite to blast away sections of mountain to
accommodate the international games.
Richard Nixon announced he would run for President of the United
States of America. Nixon, who was then Vice President, said: "Peace
and freedom in the world and peace and progress here at home will
depend on the decisions of the next President of the United States.
For these critical years, America needs new leadership." Nixon went
on to be disgraced in the Watergate scandal, which involved him
illegally bugging and intimidating his political opponents.
Pop star Hank Marvin, 26, a guitarist with The Shadows, of Savile
Row, London, was fined £20 and has his driving licence endorsed at
Leicester for exceeding the speed limit on the M1. Marvin, pictured
far left, who pleaded guilty by letter, was said to have driven at 120mph.
British actress Lynn Redgrave sister of Vanessa pipped Faye
Dunaway to first place in a 'stars of tomorrow' poll organised by the
American and Canadian film exhibition. The 24-year-old star of Georgy
Girl and Smashing Time, went on to have a glittering career on
Broadway, New York and still acts today.
Lee Marvin starred in Point Blank, Robert Vaughn starred in The
Helicopter Spies and Roy Orbison performed in The Fastest Guitar Alive.
Famous people born this month included: Finnish rally driver Marcus
Gronholm, Gary Coleman, African-American actor of Different Strokes
fame and brat pack star Molly Ringwald.
Frank Sinatra was bed-ridden and forced to cancel a six-week long
booking at the Fontainbleau Hotel, Miami, because his flu bug
developed into viral pneumonia. The 52-year-old had the best hospital
bed in the city a three-bed penthouse overlooking the beach.