The Phantom of the Opera, eventually the second longest running musical in London, opens at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town.
Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai, India with 358 people on board is hijacked at Karachi International Airport.
Chernobyl disaster: American and European spy satellites capture the ruins of the 4th Reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant.
Halley’s Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
January 23, 1986: Pop music pioneers among first inductees of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Elvis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry were among the first 11 artists to be welcomed into the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a glittering ceremony in New York City.
The first 11 artists to be inducted into the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were celebrated at a gala event in New York on this day in 1986.
After more than a year of planning, the induction took place in front of an all-star audience in the Grand Ballroom of the city’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Eleven artists – all American, and each of whom had shaped the early years of rock and roll music – were selected for the honour; namely, James Brown, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The living inductees were all present to receive the honour from an artist that had been influenced by their work; Billy Joel for Domino, Stevie Winwood for Brown and Keith Richards for Berry were among those who introduced their heroes.
Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers and Jimmy Yancey were also inducted in the Early Influences category, while DJ Alan Freed and Sun Records producer Sam Phillips were honoured as Non-Performers.
The project was the brainchild of legendary Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ergetun, who established the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983.
The Hall of Fame was later to take tangible shape in the form of a museum, which was built in Cleveland, Ohio and opened in September 1995 with a ceremony and concert attended by 10,000 spectators.
The City of Chernobyl is evacuated six days after a nuclear disaster.
A police office is killed as a car bomb explodes outside Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, Australia.
We make an estimated 35,000 decisions a day, from what socks to wear to the contents of our lunchtime sandwich. Most are inconsequential but there are those that only in hindsight can be seen as life changing.
Thirty years ago there was that sliding door moment. It was 47 seconds past 1pm, March 27, 1986 – the moment the bomb went off outside the Russell Street Police Station.
Crime writer John Silvester takes a look back at the infamous 1986 bombing of the Russell St police headquarters.
It was a terrorist act, not one motivated by a mutated religious mindset or a twisted ideology but – as they all are – by blinding hatred.
In the moments before the massive blast hundreds of people in Russell Street made mundane decisions that would decide their futures.
A total of 21 people were injured and police Constable Angela Taylor was killed after she was engulfed in the fireball – the first Australian policewoman murdered on duty.
The bombers were disappointed – they expected the toll would be greater. Call it fate or the roll of the dice but those unrelated decisions moments before conspired to save many.
Such as Wayne “Teddy” Taylor, a policeman stationed at Prahran. He and his crew had locked the keys inside their police car outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
They were unaware that parked across the road was a stolen Commodore packed with 60 sticks of gelignite with the clock ticking.
Rather than wait for replacement keys Taylor went into the court to find a car thief he knew was appearing that day.
The crook produced his zip tool and opened the police car in seconds allowing Taylor and his team to drive away.
It was 12.55pm – five minutes before the bomb detonated.
“If we hadn’t driven off, we would have been blown to smithereens,” he recalled.
Almost at the exact moment Taylor left the danger zone a car with false number plates pulled up behind the explosive-laden Commodore.
It was driven by Charlie Bezzina who would become a long-serving homicide investigator. Then he worked in the anti-corruption surveillance unit, which is why he was driving a car with fake plates.
Just five minutes before the bomb detonated he parked and ran down Russell Street to buy camping gear for the Easter holidays. If he had drunk a second cup of coffee that morning or been sidetracked by an office conversation he may not have survived the massive explosion.
If the crooks had picked a different day the toll would have been so different, according to a key investigator into this act of terrorism.
It was the Thursday before Easter and there were no school tours scheduled for D24. On a normal day around 40 students and teachers would have been leaving the building to board a bus parked next to the bomb car.
“Luckily the bombers picked the wrong day,” taskforce investigator Gary Ayres says.
Even if the bomb had gone off five minutes later the toll would have been worse as many more police and court staff would have been in the street heading for lunch.
But for Angela Taylor, 21, there would be no reprieve. Taylor was a rising star, having graduated as Police Academy Dux, but, like all newbies, she started at the bottom and was working at the watchhouse connected to the court complex.
On that day she lost the toss on the lunch run, which meant she was walking to the police canteen and was a metre away when the bomb car exploded.
She died 24 days later.
There were immediately plenty of theories and a key suspect. The man squarely in the frame was Phillip Grant Wilson, a neo-Nazi and suspected murderer, with an interest in explosives who was appearing in court that day.
The first theory was Wilson, who had planned to abduct and kill a Special Operations Group policeman by throwing him from a light plane, planted the bomb car in the hope of killing the police who charged him.
Wilson knew he was the main suspect and feared he would be killed before he could establish his innocence. He contacted me that afternoon and we met that night.
“I am not a terrorist. I’ll take a lie detector test or truth serum to prove I am not involved,” he said.
He was right but it only delayed the inevitable. He was shot dead outside outside a South Yarra chiropractic clinic 17 months later.
Next on the list was Claudio Crupi, an armed robber with a hatred of detectives and an interest in bomb-making.
The Russell Street bomb taskforce found Crupi had built a device on his kitchen table just before the bombing with the intention of attacking a police station.
He said it was a fake that he wanted to plant at the Flemington police station but when interviewed he admitted he had a hatred for detectives who worked at Russell Street.
The real breakthrough came not through a network of informers or the dark art of interrogation but from meticulous forensic work.
The bomb car was slowly rebuilt – a massive task considering the size of the explosion. Debris was found on the Queen Victoria Hospital roof three blocks away.
Eventually Stolen Car Squad Sergeant Arthur Adams realised that the bomb car and a second stolen car used in a Donvale bank raid the same day had chassis numbers removed by a method favoured by car thief Peter Reed.
At first police thought Reed may have stolen the Commodore for Crupi and it was decided to bring in the suspected car thief for questioning.
What was not known was that Reed was connected to Stan Taylor, a career criminal who turned a group of willing apprentices into a vicious armed robbery gang.
Armed Robbery Squad Detective Sergeant Mark Wylie was to lead the arrest team into Reed’s Kallista home on Anzac Day 1986.
Wylie was uncomfortable as the raiding party was selected from different groups and had not trained together. But this was not a request, it was an order.
It seems hard to believe today but the 10-strong arrest team had only three ballistic vests between them.
Then another sliding door moment. Wylie was shotgun trained but when the team met pre-dawn at the Nunawading police station he found the gun was a make and model he had never used. His last minute training was to stand alone in the police station car park and pump the weapon three times.
As Wylie was to be one of the last through the door he was not wearing a vest.
When the team fanned out in the darkened house Wylie was the first to see the wanted man. “He’s on his haunches … and he’s pointing a .45 revolver straight at me,” Wylie recalled.
Reed fired two shots and Wylie returned fire with two rounds until his shotgun jammed. Unfamiliar with the weapon he was helpless as he tried to clear the gun. “He fired off his third and fourth, and basically I walked into the fourth and it went straight through me,” he told me on the ABC documentary Trigger Point.
Wylie nearly died while Reed was shot and wounded by another policeman.
Wylie said, “What I sense is that death, even in violent circumstances, is an extremely peaceful event. A couple of times I was pegging down; I was getting almost peaceful, surreal, elevated. You just drift, you drift peacefully, even in violent circumstances as a result of a gunshot wound; you drift into the big sleep.”
While Wylie recovered physically he battled many mental demons in the years that followed. In 2014 he took his own life – another victim of the bombing.
The arrest of Reed led to the rest of the gang, brothers Craig and Rodney Minogue and the leader, Stan Taylor.
Taylor, a cunning career crook, tried to cut a deal by dobbing in his followers but there is no prize for running second in the race to inform. Another member of the group, Paul Hetzel, had already made a statement and Taylor would ultimately be sentenced to life with no minimum.
In what was one of the most cold-blooded crimes in Australia’s history, one of the bombers organised the murder of Prue Bird, the 13-year-old granddaughter of Hetzel’s partner Julie, as a payback for him giving evidence. Prue was abducted from her Glenroy home in February 1992 and never seen again.
In 2013, the despicable Les Camilleri was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years after pleading guilty to the murder.
Camilleri, who was already serving life with no minimum for the murder of two schoolgirls in Bega, said he acted alone and grabbed Prue off the street in a random attack.
He also claimed he couldn’t remember where he left the body.
In sentencing Camilleri, Justice Elizabeth Curtain rejected his story. He is a killer and a liar with no redeeming features.
Police say Craig Minogue threatened that if anyone spoke to police he would kill them and their families, telling Julie Hetzel, “It would be a shame if anything happened to your sweet little Prue, wouldn’t it?”
Minogue, who admits to his involvement in Russell Street and has apologised to his victims, maintains he was not involved in Prue’s murder.
Taylor is now gravely ill and appears likely to die in jail. Both Reed and Taylor were brutalised, generations apart, when they were sent into care as kids.
Which proves what the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has already found. If you can’t protect kids in care then you may pay the price later.
Taylor, it turned out, transformed the younger men from mere car thieves into a ruthless gang of armed robbers – and we paid him for the privilege.
Taylor had been released after serving 17 years for earlier armed robberies. In a deadly version of poacher turned gamekeeper, he was employed as project officer for the Commonwealth Youth Support Scheme in Mooroolbark. This put him in direct contact with the younger crooks.
He and Craig Minogue produced a version of Robin Hood as bush theatre for kids. Naturally Taylor starred as Robin Hood and the chubby Minogue as Friar Tuck.
Why they set the bomb has never been established but it was designed to kill as many police as possible.
Minogue was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years. There is a perception that courts have become softer but there is no doubt if he was sentenced today he would be given no minimum term.
In July 1988, two weeks after his July 12, 1988, conviction, he killed multiple murderer Alex Tsakmakis inside Pentridge Prison by repeatedly smashing a pillowcase filled with gym weights into his head.
And yet when he was convicted and given another life sentence not one extra day was added to his minimum, which means he has never been punished for the killing.
It was, frankly, outrageous, but since then Minogue has been close to a model prisoner, devoting himself to education.
An early teacher remains unimpressed.
“He’s turned himself from an uneducated thug to an educated one. He could be a smart arse. He was a very organised and literate man who liked to portray himself as dumb but he was anything but.”
That was some years ago. Since then he has completed a PhD and likes to be referred to as Doctor.
On his website he says, “The sentence of imprisonment is my punishment and I have accepted it and I am serving it; and I have admitted my guilt and expressed my remorse. I am also meeting my obligations to rehabilitate myself and to prepare myself in such a way so as to lesson the risk of re-offending upon release.”
While there is real anger at his possible release the Parole Board is not an appeal court and cannot re-sentence Minogue. We know what he did but the question remains, what will he do?
The People Power Revolution starts in the Philippines.
EDSA People Power revolution timeline: Day 1 February 22, 1986
Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and key aides finalize Enrile’s speech in which he will proclaim himself head of a ruling junta after rebel troops led by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement assault Malacañang. Assault is planned for Feb. 23 at 2 a.m.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver fortifies Palace, having been informed of impending coup by Maj. Edgardo Doromal of the Presidential Security Command.
Doromal was tapped by RAM to serve as a spy in the Palace but he later confessed to his commander, Col. Irwin Ver, son of the AFP chief, and agreed to become a double agent.
At a meeting at Enrile’s Dasmariñas house in Makati, RAM chief Col. Gregorio Honasan learns that a Marine battalion is positioned exactly at rebels’ planned point of attack.
On Ver’s instruction, Metropolitan Command officer Col. Rolando Abadilla tries to talk Honasan out of any rash action.
Honasan learns that more soldiers are being deployed to guard Palace. Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin calls Enrile to say that his 19 security men have been arrested. Enrile worries because three were on loan from him and knew of coup plot.
In Malacañang, President Marcos meets with US Ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Bosworth and Philip Habib, US President Ronald Reagan’s “trouble-shooter.” The two Americans note worsening political crisis and push for Ver’s removal from office.
Honasan and Lt. Col. Eduardo Kapunan arrive at Enrile’s house; they tell him of orders to round up all members of their movement. Between hiding in Cagayan Valley and regrouping for possible stand-off, Enrile chooses the latter and tells everyone to go to Camp Aguinaldo.
Capt. Ricardo Morales, one of Imelda’s security officers, surveys the Palace defenses and attempts to withdraw firearms from the Presidential Security Unit armory. He is accosted and becomes the first of four alleged assassins arrested by Marcos forces. The others are Maj. Saulito Aromin, Lt. Col. Jake Malajacan and Maj. Ricardo Brillantes.
Before boarding his plane out of Manila, Habib told a US Embassy officer to tell Bosworth that Aquino won the election and “deserves our support. Marcos is finished, and we ought to offer him asylum in the US.”
Enrile and RAM discuss how to cover up their coup plot in order to drum up support for themselves. Enrile calls AFP vice chief Gen. Fidel Ramos, who declares his full support.
Honasan gives signal to prepare his men for combat. He, Enrile and Kapunan fly to Aguinaldo in a chopper.
At Aguinaldo, Enrile’s guards bring out brand-new M-16s, Uzis and Galils. Enrile orders troop deployment around Camp Crame. On the phone, he tells his wife Cristina to call Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Apostol to apprise her of what’s happening and request her to inform Jaime Cardinal Sin.
Brig. Gen. Salvador Mison’s Regional Unified Command No. 8, which includes First Lady Imelda Marcos’ native Leyte, expresses support for the rebels—the first military region to do so.
Unaware of unfolding events, Ver and Imelda attend wedding of a general’s son at Villamor Air Base. Ver is stunned when told. Marcos calls his three children to Malacañang. Enrile tells Sin: “I will be dead within one hour. I don’t want to die … If it is possible, do something. I’d still like to live.”
Ramos arrives at Aguinaldo after dialogue in his Alabang house with group called Cory Crusaders.
Ramos and Enrile hold press conference to announce withdrawal of support from Marcos. They say they are not out to seize power but to return it to the people in the person of Corazon Aquino, whom they recognize as the rightfully elected President.
They have less than 500 men and no air, armor or artillery equipment. Ramos moves to Crame across the street from Aguinaldo. Former AFP chief Romeo Espino, Brig. Gen. Ramon Farolan and Postmaster General Roilo Golez arrive at Aguinaldo.
Marcos remains in Palace study room with Fabian and Irwin Ver and Information Minister Gregorio Cendaña.
Ver orders military intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Fidel Singson to destroy Radio Veritas. Singson deploys men but orders them not to take offensive action. He prepares to join Ramos-Enrile forces.
Enrile ends phone conversation with Ver, with both adversaries agreeing not to attack tonight
Col. Antonio Sotelo of Air Force 15th Strike Wing readies all five attack helicopters at Villamor in support of defectors.
Radio Veritas continues with blow-by-blow account of rebellion. Enrile and Aquino, who is secured in the Carmelite convent in Cebu City, have brief phone conversation.
In Malacañang, Imelda tells reporters of plot to kill her and Marcos at 12:30 a.m.
August Twenty-One Movement’s Agapito “Butz” Aquino, despite his group’s decision to wait, throws his support behind rebels and calls on volunteers to meet him at Isetann department store in Cubao preparatory to marching to Edsa.
Over Radio Veritas, Sin calls for public support of Enrile and Ramos.
Marcos announces over government-owned Channel 4 that he is in total control of situation and calls on Enrile and Ramos “to stop this stupidity and surrender so that we may negotiate.” He reports the thwarting of an attempt on his life by one of Imelda’s bodyguards in a conspiracy involving Enrile and Ramos and then proceeds to present the alleged assassin, Morales, who reads a supposed confession.
Nuns and seminarians of Bandila, a moderate coalition, are first to form human barricade around Crame. Superstar Nora Aunor arrives at Edsa.
Food starts arriving in response to Enrile’s appeal that while they are ready to die for country, they have no food for the troops.
Enrile tells Marcos over Radio Veritas: “Enough is enough, Mr. President. Your time is up. Do not miscalculate our strength now.”
Kris Aquino, then disco-hopping, is found after frantic search and reunited with her mother; both are taken to Carmelite convent.
Ver orders power and water lines at Aguinaldo and Crame cut, but he is ignored.
Crowd at Edsa swells.
Chernobyl disaster is detected by the west.
The Chernobyl disaster, also referred to as the Chernobyl accident, was a catastrophic nuclear accident. It occurred on 26 April 1986 in the No.4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, in what was then part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union.
During a late night safety test which simulated power-failure and in which safety systems were deliberately turned off, a combination of inherent reactor design flaws, together with the reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the test, eventually resulted in uncontrolled reaction conditions that flashed water into steam generating a destructive steam explosion and a subsequent open-air graphite “fire”. This “fire” produced considerable updrafts for about 9 days, that lofted plumes of fission products into the atmosphere, with the estimated radioactive inventory that was released during this very hot “fire” phase, approximately equal in magnitude to the airborne fission products released in the initial destructive explosion. Practically all of this radioactive material would then go on to fall-out/precipitate onto much of the surface of the western USSR and Europe.
The Chernobyl accident dominates the Energy accidents sub-category, of most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history, both in terms of cost and casualties. It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.