Princess Diana

Day 8919

Reports emerge in the early hours of the morning that Diana, Princess of Wales, has been injured in a car crash in Paris which has claimed the life of Dodi Fayed, the Harrods heir. Within four hours, it is confirmed that Diana has died in hospital as a result of her injuries. The United Kingdom and much of the rest of the world is plunged into widespread mourning.

Nelson Piquet, the US Marines, and a feisty local derby.

Day 3850.

It’s Saturday 15th October, 1983, and I’m just over six months into my 11th year on the pale blue dot.

I am counting down the days till school half-term.

More importantly, it is Saturday and my attention is firmly fixed on this afternoon’s football fixture list.

Today is derby day. Aston Villa versus Birmingham City. I only know this because I have been reliably informed by our next door neighbour. As a 10-year-old in the 80s, you tend be more interested in playing football than actually watching it. Also, I have yet to be schooled on the true rivalry between the two teams. I am probably a late starter in this respect but I am not interested in one-upmanship at this stage in my life. Little do I know, however, this will become more than apparent in the years to come.

In South Africa

Nelson Piquet, lying in second place, was one of three drivers in contention to win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship before the start of the 1983 South African Grand Prix; the other two being Alain Prost, who led the championship, and René Arnoux who was third.

The race started and Piquet passed Tambay to take the lead, with Patrese moving into second place.

Meanwhile, Arnoux retired with engine failure on lap 9.

Prost fought his way up to third place, but he also retired on lap 35 with turbo failure.

Needing only to finish fourth or higher, Piquet slowed and was overtaken by Patrese, Niki Lauda of Team McLaren and Alfa Romeo’s Andrea de Cesaris.

Lauda’s engine failed on lap 71.

The race finished with Patrese in first place, de Cesaris in second and Piquet in third, meaning Piquet won the championship by two points.

Ferrari won the Constructers’ Championship despite not finishing in the points in the last race for the second consecutive year.

Meanwhile, John Watson, completing his last full Formula One season, was disqualified for overtaking other cars on the parade lap.

 

Beirut

Meanwhile, in Beirut, US Marine sharpshooters kill 5 snipers at Beirut International Airport.