1966 in the United Kingdom
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Events from the year 1966 in the United Kingdom.
- 3 January
- British Rail begins full electric passenger train services over the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool with 100 mph (160 km/h) operation from London to Rugby. Services officially inaugurated 18 April.
- Stop-motion children's television series Camberwick Green first shown on BBC1.
- 4 January – More than 4,000 people attend a memorial service at Westminster Abbey for the broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who died last month aged 52.
- 12 January – Three British MPs visiting Rhodesia (Christopher Rowland, Jeremy Bray and David Ennals) are assaulted by supporters of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith.
- 20 January
- 31 January – United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.
- 9 February – A prototype Fast Reactor nuclear reactor opens at Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland.
- 19 February – Naval minister, Christopher Mayhew, resigns.
- 28 February – Harold Wilson calls a general election for 31 March.
- 1 March – Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announces decision to embrace decimalisation of the pound (which will be effected on 15 February 1971).
- 4 March – In an interview published in The Evening Standard, John Lennon of The Beatles comments, "We're more popular than Jesus now".
- 5 March – BOAC Flight 911 crashes near Mount Fuji in Japan killing 124 passengers and crew.
- 8 March – Ronald Kray, one of the Kray twins, shoots rival gangster George Cornell; the incident leads to the brothers' incarceration.
- 20 March – Theft of the football World Cup whilst on exhibition in London.
- 23 March – Pope Paul VI and Arthur Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome – the first official meeting for 400 years between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.
- 27 March – Pickles, a mongrel dog, finds the World Cup wrapped in newspaper in a South London garden.
- 31 March – The Labour Party under Harold Wilson win the general election with a majority of 96 seats. At the 1964 election they had a majority of five but subsequent by-election defeats had led to that being reduced to just one seat before this election.
- 6 April – Hoverlloyd inaugurate the first Cross-Channel hovercraft service, from Ramsgate harbour to Calais using passenger-carrying SR.N6 craft.
- 7 April – The United Kingdom asks the UN Security Council authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the oil embargo against Rhodesia. Authority is given on 10 April.
- 9 April – Footballer Barry Butler, the 31-year-old Norwich City F.C. captain, is killed in a car accident.
- 11 April – The Marquess of Bath, in conjunction with Jimmy Chipperfield, opens Longleat Safari Park, with "the lions of Longleat", at his Longleat House, the first such drive-through park outside Africa.
- 15 April – Time magazine uses the phrase "Swinging London".
- 19 April – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged with the three Moors Murders.
- 30 April
- 3 May – Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM with a combined potential 100,000 watts from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.
- 6 May – The Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for three child murders committed between November 1963 and October 1965. Brady is guilty of all three murders and receives three concurrent terms of life imprisonment, while Hindley is found guilty of two murder charges and an accessory charge which receives two concurrent life sentences alongside a seven-year fixed term.
- 12 May – African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.
- 14 May – Everton defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, overturning a 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday lead during the final 16 minutes of the game.
- 16 May–1 July – Strike called by the National Union of Seamen.
- 18 May – Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announces that the number of police forces in England and Wales will be cut to 68.
- 26 May – Guyana achieves independence from the United Kingdom.
- 6 June – BBC1 television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.
- 23 June – The Beatles go top of the British singles charts for the 10th time with Paperback Writer.
- 29 June – Barclays Bank introduces the Barclaycard, the first British credit card.
- 3 July – 31 arrests made after a protest against the Vietnam War outside US embassy turns violent.
- 12 July – Zambia threatens to leave the Commonwealth because of British peace overtures to Rhodesia.
- 14 July – Gwynfor Evans becomes member of Parliament for Carmarthen, the first ever Plaid Cymru MP, after his victory at a by-election.
- 15 July – A ban on black workers at Euston railway station is overturned.
- 16 July – Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. The Soviet Government refutes his ideas.
- 20 July – Start of 6-month wage and price freeze.
- 26 July – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
- 30 July – England beats West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick and Martin Peters scores the other goal in a game which attracts an all-time record UK television audience of more than 32,000,000.
- 1 August – Everton sign Blackpool's World Cup winning midfield player Alan Ball, Jr. for a national record fee of £110,000.
- 2 August – Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.
- 4 August – The Kray Twins are questioned in connection with a murder in London.
- 5 August – The Beatles release the album Revolver.
- 10 August – George Brown succeeds Michael Stewart as Foreign Secretary.
- 12 August – Three policemen are shot dead in Shepherd's Bush, West London, while sitting in their patrol car in Braybrook Street.
- 15 August – John Whitney is arrested and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.
- 17 August – John Duddy is arrested in Glasgow and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.
- 18 August – Tay Road Bridge opens.
- 26 August – Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is first staged, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- 29 August – The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
- 5 September – Selective Employment Tax imposed.
- 15 September – Britain's first Polaris submarine, HMS Resolution, launched at Barrow-in-Furness.
- 17 September – Oberon-class submarine HMCS Okanagan launched at Chatham Dockyard, the last warship to be built there.
- 19 September – Scotland Yard arrests Ronald "Buster" Edwards, suspected of being involved in the Great Train Robbery three years ago.
- 27 September – BMC makes 7,000 workers redundant.
- 30 September – Botswana achieves independence.
- 4 October – Basutoland becomes independent and takes the name Lesotho.
- 18 October – Launch of the Ford Cortina MK2.
- 20 October – 437,229 people are reported to be unemployed in Britain – a rise of some 100,000 on last month's figures.
- 21 October – Aberfan disaster in South Wales, 144 (including 116 children) killed by collapsing coal spoil tip.
- 22 October
- 25 October – Spain closes its Gibraltar border against vehicular traffic.
- 5 November – 38 African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against Rhodesian government.
- 9 November – The Rootes Group launches the Hillman Hunter, a four-door family saloon to compete with the Austin 1800, Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Victor.
- 15 November – Harry Roberts is arrested near London and charged with the murder of three policemen in August.
- 16 November – BBC television drama Cathy Come Home, filmed in a docudrama style, is broadcast on BBC1. Viewed by a quarter of the British population, it is considered influential on public attitudes to homelessness and the related social issues it deals with.
- 24 November – Unemployment sees another short rise, now standing at 531,585.
- 30 November – Barbados achieves independence.
- 1 December – Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith negotiate on HMS Tiger in Mediterranean.
- 12 December – Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of thirty years) for the murder of three policemen in West London.
- 20 December – Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to Rhodesian government and announces that he agrees to independence only after the founding of black majority government.
- 22 December – Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith declares that he considers that Rhodesia is already a republic.
- 31 December – Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London.
- Centre Point, a 32-floor office building at St Giles Circus in London, designed by Richard Seifert for property speculator Harry Hyams, is completed. It remains empty for around a decade.
- London School of Contemporary Dance founded.
- Mathematician Michael Atiyah wins a Fields Medal.
- The motorway network continues to grow as the existing M1, M4 (including the Severn Bridge on the border of England and Wales) and M6 motorways are expanded and new motorways emerge in the shape of the M32 linking the M4 with Bristol, and the M74 near Hamilton in Scotland.
- Japanese manufacturer Nissan begins importing its range of Datsun branded cars to the United Kingdom.
- Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novel Third Girl.
- Len Deighton's novel Billion-Dollar Brain.
- Ian Fleming's James Bond short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
- Mary Renault's novel The Mask of Apollo.
- Jean Rhys's novel Wide Sargasso Sea.
- Paul Scott's novel The Jewel in the Crown, first in the Raj Quartet.
- Soft-core pornographic magazine Fiesta.
January – March
- 3 January – Martin Galway, Northern Irish composer
- 25 Jaanuary – Donal MacIntyre, Irish born journalist
- 6 February – Rick Astley, British singer
- 4 March – Patrick Hannan, English pop drummer with The Sundays
- 6 March – Alan Davies, comedian and actor
- 8 March – Gregory Barker, British Conservative politician and MP for Bexhill and Battle
- 17 March – Andrew Rosindell, British Conservative politician and MP for Romford
- 24 March – Mark Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat politician, Shadow Minister for Wales, and MP for Ceredigion
- 25 March – Anton Rogan, Northern Irish footballer
- 31 March – Roger Black, British athlete
April – June
- 1 April
- 11 April – Lisa Stansfield, British soul singer
- 15 April – Samantha Fox, British model and singer
- 29 April – Phil Tufnell, British cricketer
- 10 May – Jonathan Edwards, British athlete
- 26 May
- 4 June – Bill Wiggin, British Conservative politician, Shadow Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries, and MP for Leominster
- 3 June – Jonathan Shaw, British Labour politician and MP for Chatham and Aylesford
- 7 June – Mark Ravenhill, English playwright (Shopping and Fucking)
- 19 June – Samuel West, British actor
- 22 June – Michael Park, British rally co-driver (d. 2005)
July – September
- 12 July – Tamsin Greig, actress
- 25 July – Diana Johnson, British Labour politician and MP for Kingston upon Hull North
- 7 August – John David Cairns, Scottish Labour politician, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and MP for Inverclyde (d. 2011)
- 12 August – Tobias Ellwood, British Conservative politician and MP for Bournemouth East
- 26 August – Shirley Manson, Scottish musician and Garbage frontwoman
- 23 September – Adam Price, Welsh Plaid Cymru politician and MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
October – December
- 9 October – David Cameron, British Conservative Party leader, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, MP for Witney and formerly Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons.
- 10 October – Tony Adams, English footballer
- 11 October – Stephen Williams, British Liberal Democrat politician and MP for Bristol West
- 26 October – Steve Valentine, British actor
- 1 November – Jeremy Hunt, British Conservative politician and MP for South West Surrey
- 21 December – Kiefer Sutherland, Canadian actor
- 22 December – David Wright, British Labour politician and MP for Telford
- 29 December – Martin Offiah, English former rugby league and, briefly, rugby union footballer of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s
- 20 January – Gordon Macdonald MP, politician (born 1885)
- 27 January – Ronald Armstrong-Jones, barrister (born 1899)
- 18 February – Thomas Williams, 1st Baron Williams (born 1892)
- 8 March – Viscount Astor, politician (born 1907)
- 2 April – C.S. Forester, author (born 1899)
- 10 April – Evelyn Waugh, author (born 1903)
- 14 May – Megan Lloyd George MP, politician (born 1902)
- 22 May – Tom Goddard, cricketer (born 1900)
- 13 July – Princess Beatrice (born 1884), granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
- 26 October – Alma Cogan, singer (born 1932)
- 24 December – Sir Donald MacGillivray, last colonial governor of Malaya (born 1906)
- Nock, O. S. (1965). Britain's New Railway: Electrification of the London-Midland main lines from Euston to Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Liverpool and Manchester. Shepperton: Ian Allan. OCLC 59003738
- "UK politicians assaulted in Rhodesia". BBC News. 1966-01-12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/12/newsid_3311000/3311019.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "New nuclear reactor for Dounreay". BBC News. 1966-02-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/9/newsid_2730000/2730083.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Britain to go decimal in 1971". BBC News. 1966-03-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/1/newsid_2513000/2513943.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Harold Wilson wins sweeping victory". BBC News. 1966-03-31. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/31/newsid_4693000/4693142.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Gilbert, David (2006). "'The Youngest Legend in History': Cultures of Consumption and the Mythologies of Swinging London". The London Journal 31: 1–14. doi:10.1179/174963206X113089. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/ldn/2006/00000031/00000001/art00001.
- "Title reclaimed after Chelsea win". LiverpoolFC.tv. http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/history/timeline/1944-1969/title-reclaimed-after-chelsea-win. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
- "Moors murderers jailed for life". BBC News. 1966-05-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/6/newsid_2512000/2512119.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Emergency laws over seamen's strike". BBC On This Day. 1966-05-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/23/newsid_2504000/2504227.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Guyana entry at The World Factbook. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 424–425. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- "Arrests in London after Vietnam rally". BBC News. 1966-07-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/3/newsid_2757000/2757911.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Euston staff 'colour bar' ended". BBC News. 1966-07-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/15/newsid_3043000/3043439.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Football glory for England". BBC News. 1966-07-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/30/newsid_2644000/2644065.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Revoir, Paul (2008-10-07). "The most watched TV shows of all time – and they are all old programmes". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1071394/The-watched-TV-shows-time--old-programmes.html. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
- "The Beatles, Revolver". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/b/beatles-revolvermft.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Hutchins, Michael H. (2006-08-14). "A Tom Stoppard Bibliography: Chronology". The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide. http://www.sondheimguide.com/Stoppard/chronology.html. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- Chumbley, Stephen, ed. (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995 (rev. ed.). London: Conway Maritime Press. p. 531. ISBN 0-85177-605-1.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
- "Coal tip buries children in Aberfan". BBC News. 1966-10-21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/21/newsid_2705000/2705335.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Double-agent breaks out of jail". BBC News. 1966-10-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/22/newsid_3135000/3135206.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- Corner, John. "Cathy Come Home". Museum of Broadcast Communications. http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/C/htmlC/cathycomeho/cathycomeho.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Barbados entry at The World Factbook. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
- Harwood, Elain (2003). England: a Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings (rev. ed.). London: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8818-2.
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