The National Gallery in London opens to the public on this day in 1824.
James Earl Ray (10 March 1928 – 23 April 1998) was an American convicted of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Ray was convicted on his 41st birthday after entering a guilty plea to forgo a jury trial. Had he been found guilty by jury trial, he would have been eligible for the death penalty. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later recanted his confession and tried unsuccessfully to gain access to a retrial. In 1998, Ray died in prison of complications due to chronic hepatitis C infection. Continue reading “1968 – James Earl Ray assassinates Martin Luther King Jr.”
The Siege of Sidney Street, popularly known as the “Battle of Stepney“, was a notorious gunfight in London’s East End on this day in 1911. Preceded by the Houndsditch murders in December 1910 where three police officers and one gang member were shot dead, it ended with the deaths of two members of a politically motivated gang of burglars and international anarchists supposedly led by Peter Piatkow, a.k.a. “Peter the Painter”, and sparked a major political row over the involvement of the then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill. Continue reading “1911 – A gun battle in the East End of London left two dead”