1994: A look back at the big stories

This week in 1994, Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died in a New-York City hospital four days after suffering a stroke. He was 81.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 4:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:41 pm
Grunge lost a legend in this year

The then US President, Bill Clinton, announced Nixon’s death at the White House, praising his predecessor as “a statesman who sought to build a lasting structure of peace”.

Not everyone shared Clinton’s view. A polarising figure who won a record landslide and resigned in disgrace 21 months later, Nixon received a scathing obituary by celebrated Gonzo writer Hunter S Thompson, who described the former president as “a crook” and an “American monster” in Rolling Stone magazine.

In other news, Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland became the first person to reach the North Pole alone and without help after a 52-day trek dragging a sledge across the icecap.

“He reached the pole and sent a satellite transmission saying: ‘Expedition ended - want pick-up’,” his spokesman, Hans Christian Erlandsen, told the media.

Back on home soil, the Prime Minister hailed a double dose of good economic news: a drop in unemployment and a £4 billion windfall on the public debt.

But the figures failed to dent speculation among many Conservative MPs that John Major’s days as Prime Minister were numbered.

The City was not impressed either and noted gloomily the possible inflationary pressures of a slight rise in average earnings.

How much?

Major stayed in power for another three years before going on to lose the 1997 general election, in one of the largest electoral defeats since the Great Reform Act of 1832.

Italy’s “marriage of the century”, between a 93-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, was called off this week in 1994 when the couple appeared to have eloped after news of their planned wedding had made international headlines.

Margherita Bazzani and Andrea Pezzoni were to have exchanged vows at a registry office in Turin but the couple failed to put in an appearance as a horde of reporters and cameramen waited outside.

Mrs Bazzani, a wealthy widow, said the week before that she had thought of adopting Pezzoni, a biscuit maker, but that marriage was quicker.

How much?