15th February
It was on this day...
1933 Attempted Assassination of President-elect Roosevelt

Miami, USA Anton Cernak, the mayor of Chicago, was hit by the bullet intended for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he died on March 6th.

Giuseppe Zangara was immediately arraigned for murder. He pleaded guilty and was executed in the electric chair on March 20th, just two weeks after Cernak's death.

It was on this day...
1996 Arms-To-Iraq report published

United Kingdom The report was headed up by senior high court judge Sir Richard Scott, and was commissioned after a trial against Matrix Churchill failed.

The court case against arms manufacturers Matrix Churchill centered around allegations that they did not get the required permission from parliament to export certain hardware items to Iraq.

The report outlined the various 'mistakes' made by ministers, but cleared them of the damaging allegations that they sought to deprive Churchill's directors of a fair trial.

The report highlighted concerning lapses in how ministers reported to parliament, a strategy carried out presumably for fears of a public outcry at the changes.

It transpired that the government's policy towards the export of non-lethal military goods was changed following the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, but this fact had not been reported to parliament.

That this was not reported to parliament, led to the charges that brought Matrix Churchill to court.

Churchill had obtained the required permission to export the 'weapons' under the unpublicized, changed, rules.

The Tory Attorney General, the highest law officer in the land, tried to cover up facts during the trial by attempting to obtain a Public Interest Immunity certificate. This was to be used in an attempt to cover up the fact that Churchill had been working for the British Secret Service.

This case, along with a number of others, was successfully used by the Labour Party, under Tony Blair, to fight the general election in 1997 against allegations of the Conservative government's sleaze and corruption.

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Chris Farley
Matt Groening
Melissa Manchester
Jane Seymour
Harvey Korman
John Barrymore
Galileo Galilei
Other News

1932 George Burns and Gracie Allen make their U.S. radio debut

1950 Walt Disney's feature length cartoon Cinderella is released in the USA

1965 Canada adopts the red maple leaf flag as its national flag

1965 Nat King Cole dies

1978 Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, loses his heavyweight belt to Leon Spinks in Las Vegas

1984 Ethel Merman dies

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