Inner London’s caning ban and forgery of the Thai leader’s signature: headlines from 40 years ago

South China Morning Post 發布於 2019年09月19日10:09 • Luisa Tam
  • A journey back through time to look at significant news and events reported by the South China Morning Post from this week in history
Policemen keep watch on mainland junk boats after 200 illegal immigrants were caught in Lau Fau Shan in 1979. Photo: Sunny Lee

School caning being banned in the Inner London area and a man forging the Thai prime minister's signature to buy agricultural equipment made the news four decades ago this week.

September 16, 1979

● Former US President Richard Nixon warned of a nuclear war unless the world supplied arms to strengthen China's defence. Nixon elaborated: "A weak China " weak economically and weak militarily " invites aggression and increases the danger of war in Asia and in the world. It is in the interests of all nations … to contribute to the extent possible in strengthening the PRC."

Policemen keep watch on mainland junk boats after 200 illegal immigrants were caught in Lau Fau Shan in 1979. Photo: Sunny Lee

● Mainland Chinese illegal immigrants trying to reach Hong Kong by sea had added a new dimension to their tactics " professional swimmers, who "trail herd" batches of immigrants in the water from the mainland to Hong Kong. Military sources said the professionals were experts on popular crossing points such as Mirs Bay and were very adept at evading local marine patrols.

Hundreds of Chinese illegal immigrants caught in Tsuen Wan and lined up at the Marine Headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Yau Tin-kwai

September 17, 1979

● A Milwaukee lawyer, who said his voice was turned into a hoarse whisper by a tube stuck down his throat during a botched heart operation had been awarded US$650,000 (HK$3.25 million at the time) in damages. A state Patient Compensation Panel, announcing the award, concluded that the anaesthetist was negligent in inserting the tube in his throat.

September 18, 1979

● Staff of the most radical of China's magazines stuck a poster on the Democracy Wall in Beijing urging the government to ensure there were no more border clashes with Vietnam or the Soviet Union. The poster, signed by the editorial staff of Exploration, called on China to make a contribution to world peace.

A missing film star, UFOs and a denture-snatching thief: headlines from 40 years ago

September 19, 1979

● When a fleeing bank robber dropped 10,000 Swiss francs (about HK$30,000) in Bern, the federal city of Switzerland, passers-by picked up the scattered bundles of banknotes and returned all to the bank. In an advertisement in the city's official gazette, the bank thanked local citizens for their "politeness, strength of character and honesty."

September 20, 1979

● Caning would be banned in Inner London's 1,100 schools from February 1981, but teachers could go on beating children in the rest of Britain. The Inner London Education Authority, the largest in the country, made the decision while two cases challenging the right of teachers to cane pupils were pending before the European Court of Human Rights, brought by parents who said the practice was degrading. Britain and the Irish Republic were the only countries in Europe that approved caning of schoolchildren.

Schoolchildren on a one-day strike in London's Hyde Park. Photo: Alamy

● Wisconsin journalist Howard Morland hoped he could soon wear what was believed to be the first T-shirt in history to be classified as "top secret". The shirt " emblazoned with a diagram from an article he wrote on the secret of the H-bomb for the Madison-based The Progressive magazine " had been locked in a safe due to the sensitive nature of the information for several months. His article was only published after a lengthy censorship attempt by the Department of Energy.

September 21, 1979

● The world's oldest living person, Shigechiyo Izumi, 114, was suing a local sake maker in Kagoshima for using his name and picture on its products without his permission. He was demanding 5 million yen (about HK$113,500) in compensation, a public apology and the withdrawal of the products from the market.

Shigechiyo Izumi. Photo:Alamy

● An unemployed man forged the signature of the prime minister of Thailand and bought nearly US$9 million (HK$45 million) worth of water pumps from an agricultural machinery supplier in Bangkok a month earlier. The 28-year-old man was arrested at his home.

September 22, 1979

● Two vertical take-off Harrier fighters collided in mid-air over southeast England and three people were killed by wreckage falling on houses. The pilots of the Royal Air Force Harriers, on training flights over the county of Cambridgeshire, ejected and parachuted to safety.

Remember A Day looks at significant news and events reported by the Post during this week in history

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