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A very British catastrophe: Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s final journey

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Captain Robert Falcon Scott dressed in full military regalia

Captain Robert Scott’s legacy will forever be an irreconcilable contradiction. At times, he has been venerated as an icon of Edwardian masculinity: a stoical, humble pioneer whose Antarctic expeditions discovered the Polar Plateau and made many significant contributions to scientific …

What’s the Context? 9 May 1956: Eden orders an enquiry into the disappearance of Commander ‘Buster’ Crabb

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It would not be in the public interest to disclose the circumstances in which Commander Crabb is presumed to have met his death. Mystery of the missing frogman Sixty years ago today, on 9 May 1956 the Prime Minister, Sir …

What’s the context? 1 December 1925: signing the Locarno Treaties

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1 December 2015 marks the 90th anniversary of the formal signing of the Locarno Treaties at the Foreign Office in London. Named after the town in Switzerland where the treaties had been negotiated a few months earlier, their aim was …

What’s the Context? 4 February 1945: the Yalta Conference opens

Yalta conference Churchill Stalin Roosevelt 1945 (The National Archives ref: INF14/447)

The Yalta Myth Between 4 and 11 February 1945, while the Second World War still raged both in Europe and in the Far East, the ‘Big Three’—Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill—met at the Black Sea resort of Yalta, supported by large …

What’s the context? The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 9 - 10 November 1989

People atop the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on 09 November 1989

I stood in the square talking to East Germans and asked them what they were going to buy. They said first of all, Südfrüchte . . . tropical fruit, a very understandable thing because they didn’t have nearly as much …

What’s the Context? President Richard M. Nixon announces his resignation, 8 August 1974

‘The most powerful government ever to fall as a result of American covert action was the administration of Richard Nixon’ Christopher Andrew, For The President’s Eyes Only