Newly released tapes show Nixon as Watergate scandal loomed

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Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush called Richard Nixon in support after he gave a speech on the Watergate scandal, newly released tapes show. The two future US presidents called Nixon on 30 April, after he had made a public address about the growing scandal. Earlier that day, three senior White House officials had resigned over the affair and another was sacked. Reagan told Nixon: “You can count on us. We’re still behind you out here and I wanted you to know that you’re in our prayers.” The recordings are the last of a total of 3,000 hours of tape released by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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‘Earliest portrait of guinea pig’ revealed in unseen painting

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The first ever painting of a guinea pig may have been uncovered by the National Portrait Gallery. The unseen portrait depicts three Elizabethan children with a beige, brown and white guinea pig, cradled by the girl at the centre of the group. The painting of the unknown children aged six, seven and five was discovered during the making of the gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Elizabeth I and Her People. It is possibly the earliest-known depiction of this animal in a portrait.

Possible statue for man who named Australia

Captain Matthew Flinders, the explorer credited with naming Australia, could get a memorial statue outside Euston. Flinders, believed to be the first person to circumnavigate Australia, is said to be buried underneath the London station. Network Rail is in talks over the proposal, after a campaign was launched for a statue to be put on the railway station concourse. Image –Three unknown Elizabethan children Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist, c.1580 Privately Owned

Richard III burial dispute ‘undignified’ 

A dispute about where Richard III should be reburied is becoming “undignified”. That is according to Richard Van Allen of the Richard III Society. Speaking after a High Court judge gave permission for descendants of the king’s relatives to challenge plans to rebury his remains in Leicester rather than York, the public affairs officer said: “We are disappointed in that the High Court judge said he hoped that the whole matter was not going to come down to an undignified squabble.

 

Pilot recreates 1913 Circuit of Britain flight 

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A pilot this week took to the skies to recreate the 1913 Circuit of Britain flight. In honour of the aviation pioneers who 100 years ago took part in the first major British competition for seaplanes, Jeff Boyling is tracing as closely as possible the 1,600-mile route. Image copyright IWM.

Churchill’s wartime speeches ‘met with scepticism’ 

Winston Churchill’s WW2 speeches were met with scepticism and often failed to inspire, according to a political historian. In his new book, Professor Richard Toye claims the leader’s speeches generated more criticism than previously thought.

1944 Warsaw Uprising footage remastered 

Black and white silent footage of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising has been brought to life and turned into the movie Warsaw Rising. Cinematographers enhanced footage of the 63-day revolt by adding sound and colour. Warsaw Rising will recount the struggle organised by the Polish resistance to liberate the city from Nazi occupation.

Churchill museum director defends PM’s ‘timeless’ speeches 

Winston Churchill’s speeches are “timeless, inspiring and send shivers down the spine”. That is according to Churchill War Rooms director Phil Reed. Hitting back at claims the former prime minister’s speeches are overrated, put forward by historian Professor Richard Toye, Mr Reed told historyextra.com: “I have met people who lived through the Second World War and I have never heard anyone say they were not inspired by Churchill’s speeches. I think the general view is that this was the man to do the job.”

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London’s Admiralty Arch to become luxury hotel 

Admiralty Arch, the gatehouse leading from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace, is to be developed into a luxury hotel. The arch was established in 1912 as a memorial to Queen Victoria. Prime Investors Capital (PIC) plans to transform it into a five star 100-bedroom hotel with a ballroom and spa.