Yvonne Fletcher was fatally wounded on 17 April 1984 by a shot coming
from the Libyan embassy on St James’s Square in London. She had been
deployed as a constable of the Metropolitan Police to monitor a
demonstration against the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. During the
protest, two unknown gunmen opened fire with Sterling submachine guns,
killing Fletcher and wounding eleven Libyans. The inquest found that she
was “killed by a bullet coming from one of two windows on the west side
of the front on the first floor of the Libyan People’s Bureau”. After an
eleven-day siege of the embassy, those inside were expelled from the
United Kingdom, and diplomatic relations with Libya were severed. In
1999 a warming of diplomatic relations with Britain led to the payment
of compensation and a statement from the Libyan government admitting
culpability in Fletcher’s shooting. British police continued their
investigation until 2017, but no one has been convicted of Fletcher’s
Today’s selected anniversaries:
On the death of his brother Harald III, Canute IV, who later
became the first Dane to be canonized, became King of Denmark.
Lithuanian Crusade: After a month-long siege, the Teutonic
Order captured and destroyed Kaunas Castle (reconstruction pictured) in
The first of three dreadnought battleships for Brazil was laid
down, sparking a vastly expensive South American naval arms race.
The Peak District was designated the first national park in the
George Lucas began writing a 13-page film treatment entitled
The Star Wars.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
A system of ruling and oppression in which many people may interact and
act as oppressor or oppressed.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The idea that Anarchy can be inaugurated by force is as
fallacious as the idea that it can be sustained by force. Force cannot
preserve Anarchy; neither can it bring it. In fact, one of the
inevitable influences of the use of force is to postpone Anarchy. The
only thing that force can ever do for us is to save us from extinction,
to give us a longer lease of life in which to try to secure Anarchy by
the only methods that can ever bring it. But this advantage is always
purchased at immense cost, and its attainment is always attended by
frightful risk. The attempt should be made only when the risk of any
other course is greater.
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