On this day in 1950 Timothy Evans was wrongly hanged at Pentonville Prison for the murder of his wife Beryl and infant daughter Geraldine at their Notting Hill home. Three years later, Evans's downstairs neighbour John Christie - who had been the chief prosecution witness at Evans's trial - was found to be a serial killer, and admitted to murdering Beryl and Geraldine. Evans was later granted a posthumous pardon, and his execution was a major step towards the abolition of capital punishment for murder in 1965.
On this day in 1973 the Queen opened Modern London Bridge. The previous bridge, which had opened in 1831, was dismantled and sold to American oil tycoon Robert McCulloch for nearly $2.5m, who had it rebuilt in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Rumours abounded that McCulloch thought he was purchasing Tower Bridge, but this was fervently denied.
The Queen opening London Bridge in 1973
On this day in 1861 London's first tram service began operating, when George Francis Train, an eccentric American entrepreneur, introduced horse trams between Notting Hill Gate and Marble Arch. The rails protruded from the street, causing people to trip and Train to be arrested for "breaking and injuring" the Uxbridge Road. The trams were eventually granted permission on condition that the rails sat within the roadway.
George Francis Train's horse tram at Marble Arch in 1861
On this day in 1979 Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Airey Neave was murdered by terrorists in Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) claimed responsibility, having planted a bomb under Neave's car. The bomb detonated as Neave was driving out of the car park of the Houses of Parliament, and he died at Westminster Hospital shortly afterwards.
Newspaper headline of the assassination of Airey Neave
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