From our archives:

85 years ago

Fighting had broken out between Chinese and Japanese at, Shanhaiguan a town in Chihli Province, on the border of China and Manchuria.

Reports from Tientsin stated that 12 bombs had been dropped on the town by Japanese aeroplanes, while four field-guns had been shelling walls.

In Paris a little pig with an elephant-like trunk, huge flapping ears, and two eyes under the trunk, had been born at a farm near Arras.

The monster only lived for an hour, and its body had been handed over to a Lille doctor for examination.

The remainder of the litter of ten were normal.

In prehistoric days elephantine pigs had really existed, with remains reported to have been found in Fayoum, in Egypt.

And hidden cameras had been installed as an experiment in some offices in Chicago to take moving pictures of unsuspecting typists to see whether any slackness could be detected.

50 years ago

It was going to be impossible to get away from the telephone if an idea carried out by engineers in Japan was to make its way to Britain in 1968.

The new apparatus, a bell in a small case, was designed to be carried by employees so that they could be called up at any time no matter where they were.

Three cases of ‘poison’ from drinking “soft” moorland water had been reported to Ryedale Joint Water Board.

A chief engineer was instructed to widen the scope of an existing inquiry and to report on the steps required to eliminate any risk.

And Staintondale railway station on the disused Scarborough to Whitby line, which had been closed for three years, was to become an agricultural engineering and woodcraft works.

20 years ago

For the man who had pledged to take a hard line on youth crime, the word “tough” took on a special meaning, as the Home Secretary Jack Straw announced his ‘shock and concern’ at finding his son accused of drug dealing.

A staunch opponent of the legalisation of soft drugs, he spoke out after a High Court judge ruled that Mr Straw’s identity and that of his 17-year-old son William could be disclosed.

The judge’s decision was hailed as a victory for common sense.

A rocket-propelled grenade had been fired at the offices of the UN weapons inspectors in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, causing minor damage.

The attack was the second on UN offices in Baghdad in three months.