“Death on the Rock” was a 1988 British television documentary produced
by Thames Television as part of the current affairs series This Week on
ITV. It examined the shooting deaths of three Provisional Irish
Republican Army (IRA) members by the British Special Air Service in
Gibraltar on 6 March 1988. The series’ editor, Roger Bolton, had
dispatched journalists to Gibraltar and Spain to interview witnesses to
the shootings and Spanish police officers who had surveilled the IRA
team. The documentary presented evidence that the team were unarmed, and
shot without warning or while attempting to surrender. The British
government denounced the programme, and Geoffrey Howe, the foreign
secretary, attemped to get the broadcast postponed by the Independent
Broadcasting Authority. An independent inquiry, the Windlesham–Rampton
report, found that the documentary was made in “good faith and without
ulterior motives”. It was praised within the television industry and won
that year’s BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry
Oldenburg, published the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of
the Royal Society, the world’s longest-running scientific journal.
Texas Revolution: Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San
Antonio from the Texans after a 13-day siege.
Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first periodic table of elements
to the Russian Chemical Society.
Real Madrid, one of the world’s richest football clubs, was
founded as Madrid Football Club.
Joseph Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defected to the
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
Of, relating to or occurring during the time before dinner.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
If you say that there are elephants flying in the sky, people are
not going to believe you. But if you say that there are four hundred and
twenty-five elephants flying in the sky, people will probably believe
–Gabriel García Márquez
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