London, Sept. 3: The fall of Margaret Thatcher, the release of Nelson Mandela and the trampling to death of the suffragette Emily Davidson at the Derby are among the “defining moments” of the 20th century, television archivists claimed yesterday.
But the tearful Tory leader and the jubilant ANC founder are pipped by even more memorable visual images such as the 1969 Moon walk and the assassination of President John F Kennedy in a list of the 20 most requested pieces of footage from the ITN archives. ITN, which also manages the libraries of Reuters, Channel 4 and British Pathe News, has the world’s biggest commercial news archive with footage going back to 1896.
The company claimed its list amounted to “history’s defining moments” — a judgment that presumes that little has happened of real importance in the past 100 years that has not been captured on film.
Three international “moments” top the list — the Apollo 11 crew bounding around on the moon, the fateful presidential motorcade through Dallas and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. They are followed by British events: the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup in 1966; and the SAS storming the Iranian embassy in 1980.
Two requests ITN was unable to provide were for the coronation of Queen Victoria and the SS Titanic arriving at New York.