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 nuclear disaster in the USSR

This is the first picture taken of the destroyed nuclear reactor in Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian), Ukraine. 27th April, 1986.

Taken from a helicopter flying over to assess the damage, the image is foggy because of radiation.

This is 4pm, fourteen hours after the explosion that immediately killed two, and would be directly responsible for the deaths of another twenty-nine people in the days to come.

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On this day: a new Parliament House

Construction of New Parliament House, Canberra, 26 April 1988. Australia. Federal Government.

In this photograph dated the 26th of April, 1988, the massive flagpole is constructed on top of Australia’s new Parliament House in the capital city, Canberra.

The new building was constructed at the time of Australia’s bicentenary, replacing what would become known as Old Parliament House, the white building at the front of the picture.

New Parliament House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on the 9th of May.

 Opening_parliament_house_1988Crowds attend the official opening of the new Parliament House Building in 1988. Canberra.

The official opening in 1988.

On this day: the 1983 US embassy attack

The April 18, 1983, United States embassy bombing was a suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, including 17 Americans. 3 days afterwards.

On the 18th of April, 1983 a car bomb was detonated by a suicide attacker outside the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Sixty-three people were killed and over a hundred injured.

The bombing came after America and other Western countries intervened in the Lebanese Civil War. The victims included over thirty Lebanese employees, seventeen Americans, and various passersby.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic Jihad Organisation, a pro-Iranian group.

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects and tribute to the 13 American civilian and 4 U.S. military personnel victims of the embassy bombing. Beirut. Leban

Ronald and Nancy Reagan view the caskets of the Americans killed. X

Following the bombing, the US embassy was moved to an allegedly safer location.

However, the new embassy was bombed by Islamic militant group Hezbollah the following year, killing another twenty-four people.

The Lebanese Civil War continued until 1990.

On this day…

People magazine cover from the 1st of April, 1985. Featured are English actress Jacqueline Bisset and her then partner Alexander Godunov. Godunov was a Soviet ballet star who defected in the late 1970s, becoming a featured actor in Hollywood until his shock death a decade after this picture was taken.

Alexander Godunov People 21st April 1985 Cover