October 18 – On this day: 23 years ago four people died in a crash at Hatfield

It was the latest in a series of rail accidents which had led to scores of deaths on Britain’s railways.

An inquiry exposed the failings of the private operator Railtrack, which went into administration
in 2001.

101 years ago (1922)

The British Broadcasting Company – later Corporation – was formed by a consortium of British and American electric companies, to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters for a national broadcasting service.

The following December, John Reith was appointed as its managing director.

34 years ago (1989)

East Germany’s communist leader Erich Honecker was forced to step down and was replaced with the less hardline Egon Krenz.

The official cause was Honecker’s “ill health” but the real reason was his failure to enact political reforms.

Shortly after this, Krenz ordered the Berlin Wall to be demolished.

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