On this day: the downing of Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870

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The recovered wreckage in 2007. X

On the 27th of June, 1980, Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 disappeared from the sky during a flight from Bologna to Palermo, Italy.

The plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing all eighty-one people on board.

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While it was concluded by British investigators that a bomb on the aircraft caused the disaster, to this day Italian officials insist a missile was fired at the plane.

The disaster occurred in the middle of a wave of terrorist acts to hit Italy (such as the Bologna Bombing), fuelled by far left and right-wing groups in the country’s north.

On this day: a pet dog at war

This image of British soldiers playing with their dog in a trench near Gavrelle, France is dated the 27th of June, 1917.

Taking pets and native animal mascots to the trenches was quite common in the First World War, including kangaroos, and Winnie the black bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

The British Army on the Western Front, 1914-1918 Soldiers in an old trench near Gavrelle playing with their pet dog, 27th June 1917.

 

On this day: Preparing for Battle

This photograph, dated the 24th of June, 1918, shows Italian troops at 10am, waiting for battle.

They are in the commune of Nervesa, in the northern Italian Veneto region, an area that was largely destroyed in battle in the days immediately before.

The soldiers retook the region from the Austro-Hungarians.

World War 1 - Italian Army Nervesa - Italian troops at 10am on 24th June 1918 near the train station before the battle

On this day: the coronation of a King and Queen

The coronations of George V, King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, and his wife, Mary of Teck, took place at Westminster Abbey in London on the 22nd of June, 1911. The ceremony was held more than a year after the death of George’s predecessor and father, Edward VII.

This is a view of the west front of Westminster Abbey showing the Coronation annexe. The annexe was built in the Gothic style in order to blend in with the Abbey for the coronation of Ki

The Coronation Annexe was built in front of Westminster Abbey, designed to blend in with the Abbey’s Gothic features.

The Coronation Ceremony of His Most Gracious Majesty King George V in Westminster Abbey. 22nd June 1911 by John Henry Frederick Bacon.

The Coronation Ceremony of His Most Gracious Majesty King George V in Westminster Abbey. 22nd June 1911 by John Henry Frederick Bacon.

Following the coronation, the King and Queen went on a tour that included Ireland and India.

King George ruled until his death in January of 1936.

 

On this day: the Great Fire of Saint John

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Damage on the dockside. X

The Great Fire of Saint John occurred in New Brunswick, Canada on the 20th of June, 1877.

It was after two in the afternoon when a spark fell onto hay in a storehouse, sparking a fire that burnt for nine hours. At least nineteen people were killed and many more were injured.

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1612 structures were destroyed, including fourteen hotels, eight churches, six banks, and a number of boats. The heat of the flames was so great that some buildings were said to have burst into flames before the fire reached them.

Cities all over the world donated money to the rebuilding effort, including Chicago, a city that had suffered a massive fire less than six years before.