Cultural References in the Era of "Punk Britannia"

The following links provide information about significant incidents in Britain and beyond during the post-war period that affected writers, musicians, artists, and society at large.

Moors Murders, 1963-1965
Child murders committed by two adults in Manchester shock the nation.

The Baader-Meinhof Gang / Red Army Faction
Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof turn leftist politics into domestic terrorism that rocked West Germany throughout the 1970s.

The Falklands War of 1982
A dispute over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic between Argentina and Britain turns into war.

The Yorkshire Ripper
Peter Sutcliffe, a lorry driver from Bradford, murders over 13 women in Northern England and terrorizes a generation.

Notting Hill Riots, 1976
A carnival in Notting Hill breaks into rioting after police attempt to arrest a suspected pick-pocketer and a crowd rushes to assist the suspect.

Southall Race Riots, 1979
A peaceful protest against extreme right-wing political organization The National Front at Southall Town Hall turns into bloody conflict. The National Front, known for its anti-immigration stance and racist politics, chose Southall—home to one of the country's biggest Asian communities—as its meeting ground to hold party elections.

Brixton Riots, 1981
The arrest of a black man in Brixton turns into a violent conflict between black youths and police. This encounter was a landmark moment highlighting the ever-growing problem of racial tension in British society.

IRA Hunger Strikes, 1981
A key moment of The Troubles: Republican (IRA) prisoners being held in the infamous Maze prison, in Northern Ireland, began a hunger strike in October, 1980, in order to protest their categorization as "criminals" instead of "political prisoners." The first prisoner to die was the IRA leader in the Maze, Bobby Sands. In all, 10 prisoners died before the strike was called off on 3 October 1981.

Miners' Strike, 1984
A landmark moment in modern Britain over the country's economic identity. Britain's miners embarked on a strike over pit closures pushed by Margaret Thatcher's conservative Tory government. In the end, the Trade Union movement was dealt a harsh blow by Thatcherite economics.

Toxteth Riots, 1985
Youths in Liverpool began fire-bombing in Toxteth, yet another sign of major social unrest during the Thatcher years. Police constable Jeff Ashcroft recalls arriving at the scene of the riots, "We walked round the corner into hell."

Football Tragedy at Heysel, 1985
A tragic incident at a football match between British side Liverpool and Italian side Juventus brought "football hooliganism" into politics and worldwide spotlight. During this playoff match for the European Cup, fighting broke out between Liverpool and Juventus supporters. A wall collapsed at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, during the fighting, causing 39 people to die and over 400 to be injured. The incident led to all British football teams being banned from European competition until 1990.

Protect and Survive
A British government manual and film that articulates procedures for preparing for and surviving a nuclear attack. This document is emblematic of the heightened fears of Nuclear War that existed throughout Britain, particularly during the early 1980s.

Social Conditions of 1970's Britain
A series of documentary footage depicting the social and economic strife that plagued Britain throughout the 1970s. Britain was known as the "sick man of Europe" during the 1970s, and the winter of 1978-1979 became infamously known as the "Winter of Discontent."