Explore the BBC
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday
Britain Joins Europe, Bloody Sunday, and Black September
In 1972 an agreement was signed to allow Ireland, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom to join the European Economic Community on January 1st 1973.

Bloody Sunday occurred in Ireland. British paratroops opened fire on demonstrators in the Bogside district of Londonderry. The IRA's reaction was to kill as many British soldiers as possible and a terrible bombing campaign began. Edward Heath closed down the Ulster Parliament and appointed William Whitelaw Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

In Britain the National Union of Mineworkers called a national strike bringing power cuts. The electorate were disgruntled and cold and demanded something should be done. The government granted the miners a 20% pay rise. Other trade unions demanded similar increases and on November 6th Heath was forced to announce a 90 day freeze on wage increases and price increases.


  • Born in Northern Ireland
  • Founded the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
  • Became and MP in 1970
  • Leads the Democratic Unionist Party
  • The most consistent political leader of opposition to Irish Nationalism and Republicanism

did you know?
Sir John Betjeman became the new Poet Laureate in 1972.

The Times Reacts To Bloody Sunday
"The dreadful day's work in Londonderry will carry Northern Ireland another stage towards a finally ungovernable condition. The loss of life is heartrending. All humane people, however they may differ about all else to do with Ireland, must lament it. There is the usual flat contradiction between the official account of what happened, what some eyewitnesses are saying, and the accounts coming from within the Bogside. If the Army's account is accepted, then the IRA gunmen have directly brought on their own people so many deaths and so much suffering. If the accounts from the Bogside are anything like correct, It would seem that the IRA has now got what it has long been trying to provoke without success: a breakdown of battle discipline in the Army or a major operational misjudgment.

"This is an occasion on which it is imperative that the truth of the matter be established to the reasonable satisfaction of the British people - and of the Irish people too if such a thing were possible. If what occurs does not appear in firm outline in the course of the next few days from a comparison of the testimony of credible witnesses, it will be necessary to institute a court of inquiry."

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1967 The Pound is devalued
1968 The Commonwealth Immigration Act is passed
Anti Vietnam War riots throughout Europe
Student riots in Paris
1969 Extra troops sent to Ulster - start of present "Troubles"
Knox-Johnston, first non-stop single handed circumnavigation
1970 General Election. Edward Heath becomes Tory PM
1971 The Industrial Relations Act is passed
Decimal Currency introduced
1972 The Northern Irish Parliament is replaced by Westminster
1973 Britain joins the EEC
VAT is introduced
Yom Kippur War
1974 Labour win General Election. Harold Wilson once more PM
1975 British EEC Referendum
Sex Discrimination Act
1976 Harold Wilson resigns as leader of Labour Party. James Callaghan succeeds him as leader and PM
Race Relations Act
1977 Nationalisation of aircraft industry
1978 New pope is John Paul II
1979 Tories win General Election. Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first woman PM
Lord Mountbatten assassinated by IRA

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy