The end for 'Tricky Dicky'

August 8: President Richard Nixon resigned as a result of the Watergate scandal. Impeachment proceedings were looming and part of the deal in his quitting was that he would be immune from prosecution. It was the end of a two-year torment for America which began in June 1972 when five men were arrested in a mysterious burglary at the Watergate Building in Washington. They were accused of bugging the headquarters of Nixon's rivals, the Democratic Party.

Although America knew from the outset that something was wrong, they re-elected Nixon with a landslide victory in November 1972. But over the months that followed, investigative reporters at the Washington Post uncovered a dark tale of skullduggery, cover-up and political corruption that lead straight to the door of "Tricky Dicky."

In May 1973 televised hearings of the Watergate inquiry revealed that something was rotten at the heart of US government. Nixon refused to hand over crucial tape-recordings until forced by the threat of impeachment. Finally, he lost all credibility and had to go. For a bad president, he had done some good things, including ending the war in Vietnam and forging new links with China.

November 21: The Tavern in the Town and the Mulberry Bush - two pub names with links to happy songs - became synonymous with evil when IRA wreckers hit Birmingham. Terror comes to BirminghamTerrorists killed 17 people in the two city centre pubs which were packed with youngsters making an early start to the Christmas celebrations. Up to 120 dreadfully injured people were also pulled from the wreckage and taken to hospital by a fleet of ambulances, fire engines and taxis. The double outrage was the worst yet in a long campaign by the IRA across mainland Britain. It was in revenge for a ban on a funeral being held in the region for James McDade who had been killed a week before while planting a bomb in Coventry city centre.

March 3: All 344 passengers aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Paris to London died in a crash at the French capital in what was then the world's worst air disaster. More than 200 of the victims were British. Eye witnesses reported that the DC 10 airliner came down very fast and very low before bursting into a huge fireball. The plane was totally destroyed after it ploughed into the Forest of Ermonville and some of the bodies were found seven miles away.

John StonehouseDecember 24: Walsall North Labour MP John Stonehouse spent Christmas in custody after turning up in Australia on a passport bearing the name of a deceased constituent. The former Postmaster General had gone missing and then faked his own death by leaving some of his clothes on a beach in Miami, Florida. When he emerged down under he claimed the right to be allowed to stay in Australia "to establish a new life". He was soon to do that behind bars after an investigation into a Bangladesh bank of which he was chairman uncovered his own corruption.

April 15: In a turnaround dramatic by any standards the American heiress Patty Hearst announced she had joined the Simbionese Liberation Front and was pictured brandishing a gun as she robbed a bank with them. Hearst had been captured by the revolutionary group months earlier and there was a huge bounty on her head. Doubts about the dramatic conversion arose when hidden cameras showed Hearst with a gun trained on her as the bank hold-up was under way.


In brief

February 7. Edward Heath called a General Election on the issue of who runs Britain. The answer of the British public was "Not You" as Harold Wilson swept back to power.

  February 23. Wolverhampton Tory MP Enoch Powell erupted on the election scene with a "Vote Labour" message, accusing Edward Heath of "one long epic of deception" over the Common Market.

February 27. Leo the lion was sent home in disgrace from Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre after getting friendly with a lioness on stage during a panto production of Robinson Crusoe.

March 2. Wolves beat Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley with goals from John Richards and Ken Hibbitt, bringing the League Cup to Molineux for the first time.

March 20. Princess Anne was shot at a by a crazed gunman who ambushed her car in the Mall.

April 2. President Pompidou of France died from a mystery illness.

April 18. A Wolverhampton nightclub owner denied operating a colour bar after the Race Relations Board received complaints of racism by the club.

May 6. German chancellor Willy Brandt resigned following a spy scandal.

June 10. A huge explosion killed 28 people at a chemical plant in Flixborough on Humberside.

July 30. A deal brought an end to years of conflict in Cyprus but split the island - including its capital Nicosia - into Greek and Turkish zones.

September 23. The BBC demonstrated its Ceefax television information service for the first time.

October 11. Labour retained power in the second of the year's General Elections with a wafer thin majority.

November 12. Where is he now? Lord Lucan went on the run following the battering to death of his children's nanny at the family's Belgravia home.