14th June
It was on this day...
1985 TWA Flight Hijacked

It was TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome. It was hijacked by Shiite Hezbollah terrorists who immediately demanded the identities of all those with Jewish descent on board. The terrorists forced the plane to land at Beirut Airport in Lebanon.

The terrorists were unable to find any Jews on board (because the TWA employee, Uli Dickerson, bravely wouldn't identify them), so concentrated on a delegation from the USA. A US Navy diver was killed and his body dumped on the runway.

Most of those on board were released, but five were taken from the plane in what turned into a 17-day siege. Those captured were taken to a Beirut holding cell, but were fairly well treated by their captors. The only Jewish American taken managed to explain away his lineage.

After tense negotiations with the hostage takers, the hostages were released, unharmed on 30th June, and it looked as if the hostage takers would escape as they were outside the arm of Western law. However, one of those wanted for the attack, Mohammed Ali Hamadi, was arrested at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, two years later. He was carrying explosives. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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1940 German troops march into Paris as part of the Nazi invasion of France in the Second World War.

1994 Henry Mancini, composer, dies. In his lifetime he won more than 20 Grammy awards.

1996 Ella Fitzgerald, 79, dies. She was one of the most influential singers of the big band swing era.

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