Looking back to 1976: Cod wars, a racing shock and the death of a literary icon

Left: Agatha Christie poses in 1946 holding a notebook, in her home, in Devon  (Pic: AFP/Getty Images). Top right: Jimmy Carter during the Democratic National Convention in New York, June 1976. (Pic: STR/AFP/Getty Images). Bottom right: James Hunt holding up the winners trophies after victory in the Grand Prix at Silverstone, in 1977 (Pic: Getty)
Left: Agatha Christie poses in 1946 holding a notebook, in her home, in Devon (Pic: AFP/Getty Images). Top right: Jimmy Carter during the Democratic National Convention in New York, June 1976. (Pic: STR/AFP/Getty Images). Bottom right: James Hunt holding up the winners trophies after victory in the Grand Prix at Silverstone, in 1977 (Pic: Getty)
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This week in 1976, the Icelandic Fisheries Minister, Mr Matthias Bjanason, alleged in Reykjavik that Britain had told her frigates to “behave like pirates” in the clashes with Icelandic patrol boats.

“A peaceful solution to the Cod War is now further away than before,” he said.

The collisions were the worst in the dispute over Iceland’s unilateral declaration of a 200-mile fishing limit.

An Icelandic Coastguard spokesman said the Icelandic patrol boat Tyr was severely damaged. He said the Tyr was repeatedly rammed by HMS Falmouth.

In London, the Ministry of Defence said HMS Gurkha was struck four times by the gunboat Odinn, HMS Falmouth was rammed three times by Tyr and HMS Mermaid was holed by Baldur.

The Cod Wars were a series of confrontations between Britain and Iceland on fishing rights in the North Atlantic.

Each of the disputes (1958-61, 1972-1973, 1975-76) ended with an Icelandic victory.

In other news, parents who battered their children should not be condemned simply as “vicious brutes”, a doctor who specialises in problems on child abuse told a conference in Edinburgh.

Dr Christine Cooper, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Infirmary, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, said it was her experience that very few of the parents could be described in this way.

Most of them loved their children, and it was a conglomeration of “adverse factors”, usually began in the parents’ own childhoods, which led to the child abuse, she told the annual conference of The Guild of Service.

In sport, Great Britain’s James Hunt was disqualified as winner of the Spanish Grand Prix because the rear end of his McLaren car was 1.8cm wider than the regulations allowed.

The race was awarded to the second-placed Niki Lauda of Austria. Hunt lost that nine championship the nine world championship points he picked up and the winner’s prize money worth £8,000.

Also in 1976, the word ‘meme’ was added to the dictionary.

English murder-mystery writer Agatha Christie died in 1976, at the age of 85, at her home in Oxfordshire.

American comedy drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson, was awarded BAFTA Best Film, in 1976, while The New Avengers proved popular on TV.

American politician, and later US president, Jimmy Carter, was named Time Person of the Year.

And born in 1976 was Spice Girls singer Emma Bunton.

The best-selling children’s book that year was Dragonsong by Anne McCafferty.

The best-selling 20 singles of 1976 were:

1. Save All Your Kisses For Me – Brotherhood of Man
2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
3. Mississippi – Pussycat
4. Dancing Queen – ABBA
5. A Little Bit More – Dr Hook
6. If You Leave Me Now – Chicago
7. Fernando – ABBA
8. I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance) – Tina Charles
9. The Roussos Phenomenon EP – Demis Roussos
10. December 1963 (Oh What A Night) – The Four Seasons
11. Under the Moon of Love – Showaddywaddy
12. You To Me Are Everything — The Real Thing
13. Forever and Ever – Slik
14. Sailing – Rod Stewart
15. Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton
16. The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) – The Wurzels
17. When Forever Has Gone – Demis Roussos
18. Jungle Rock – Hank Mizell
19. Can’t Get By Without You – The Real Thing
20. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer