My Explosive English Weekend

After I shared those videos of childhood my brother uploaded to YouTube earlier this year, one of my cousins sent me an old issue of the British Daily Mail for the week in 1974 we’d all been visiting relatives there (showing the fallibility of memory, I’d have sworn it was 1973).

The top headline was New Labor Forgeries Sensation concerning a scandal du jour in which someone faked documents “proving” a prominent politician had a Swiss bank account. Below the fold was what seems like a much more important story terrorists had detonated a bomb at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 42.

On the right side of the front page was what would seem to be another more important story, a claim by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that the previous year, another Arab state had plotted to sink the luxury liner the Queen Elizabeth II while it was traveling through the Mediterranean with 580 Jews on board, celebrating Israel’s 25th anniversary. Given the details of this news were being serialized in the Mail I imagine it got bigger play the following day.

Inside the paper, the Tower bombing got lots of coverage. Other news included John Lennon getting booted out of the U.S., the French legalizing homemade brandy, Nixon whining that nobody likes him, and of course sports, movie and financial stuff.

This is obviously of no significance now, and I doubt I was paying much attention to it then. However I do find it oddly fascinating to realize how much stuff was going on at a moment when my big concerns were hanging with my grandparents (they were awesome) and the opportunity to buy lots of Michael Moorcock books that weren’t available in the U.S.

As I don’t have any relevant illustrations handy, I’ll close with a Robert McGinnis cover from a late 1960s spy thriller. I have my doubts about how authentic it is.

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.

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