From today's featured article
The 2006 Securitas depot robbery in Tonbridge, Kent, was the largest ever cash heist in the UK. Seven criminals stole almost £53 million in used and unused Bank of England sterling banknotes. After months of preparation, the gang abducted the manager and his family, then tricked their way inside the building (pictured) and tied up fourteen workers at gunpoint. Kent Police recovered over £19 million; by 2007, 36 people had been arrested in relation to the crime. At trial in London, five people were convicted and received long sentences, including the inside man, Emir Hysenaj. Lee Murray, the alleged mastermind of the heist, had fled to Morocco with his friend and accomplice Paul Allen. Murray successfully fought extradition to the UK and was eventually imprisoned for the robbery there instead. Allen was extradited and after a second trial in 2008 was jailed. A decade later, £32 million had not been recovered, and several suspects were still on the run. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that a study of Anglo-Saxon literature begun by Bernard Pitt (pictured) in 1914 was completed by a colleague after Pitt was killed in the First World War?
- ... that the precise details in medieval customaries have allowed historians to reconstruct since-lost buildings?
- ... that Rosalind Creasy wrote a landmark book on edible landscaping?
- ... that Neha Pendse, the lead actress of the Marathi film June, contributed some of her own money towards its production?
- ... that American lumber businessman and politician John Barber White funded a scholarship at Williams College in memory of his son?
- ... that squatters were one of the groups that started the Mau Mau rebellion?
- ... that Caroline Harrison would mail ceramic milk sets to parents who named their children after U.S president Benjamin Harrison?
- ... that pigs in blankets are not pigs in a blanket?
In the news
- Jiang Zemin (pictured), former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, dies at the age of 96.
- A deadly fire in Ürümqi escalates ongoing protests across China in response to the government's zero-COVID policy.
- Anwar Ibrahim of the Pakatan Harapan coalition becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia after the general election produces the nation's first hung parliament.
- An earthquake centred near Cianjur in Indonesia's West Java kills at least 323 people and injures more than 7,000 others.
On this day
- 1484 – Pope Innocent VIII issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, which gave the Dominican inquisitor Heinrich Kramer the explicit authority to prosecute witchcraft in Germany.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Continental Army colonel Henry Knox arrived at Fort Ticonderoga in New York to arrange the transport of 60 tons of artillery (depicted) to support the siege of Boston.
- 1936 – The 1936 Soviet constitution, also known as the "Stalin constitution", was adopted.
- 1995 – Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 56 crashed shortly after takeoff from Nakhchivan Airport, killing 52 people on board.
- 2005 – The Civil Partnership Act came into force, granting civil partnerships in the United Kingdom rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.
From today's featured list
In the 1990s, 113 people were awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the Padma Bhushan is given for "distinguished service of a high order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The recipients receive a sanad, a certificate signed by the president of India and a circular medallion (pictured) with no monetary association. Twenty-four awards were presented in both 1990 and 1991, followed by thirty-three in 1992. Eighteen recipients received the award in 1998 followed by fourteen in 1999. In the 1990s, the Padma Bhushan was also conferred upon five foreign recipients – two from the United Kingdom and one each from Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. Individuals from ten fields were honoured, which included twenty-six artists, twenty-three from literature and education, and eighteen from science and engineering. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
William Utermohlen (December 5, 1933 – March 21, 2007) was an American figurative artist who became known posthumously for his self-portraits created after his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. He had developed progressive memory loss beginning about four years before his diagnosis in 1995. During that time, he began a series of self-portraits influenced in part by the figurative painter Francis Bacon and cinematographers from the movement of German Expressionism. Utermohlen created this self-portrait with mixed media on paper in 1967.
Illustration credit: William Utermohlen