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AVENGERS IS FIRST AIRED ON ITV ABC Tele­vi­sion largely cre­ated The Avengers as a ve­hi­cle for the up-and-com­ing young actor, Ian Hendry, fo­cus­ing on Dr David Keel’s at­tempts to find the drug ring that killed his fi­ancée. As­sist­ing him was in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, John Steed, played by Pa­trick Mac­nee, who re­marked of his char­ac­ter: ‘He doesn’t fol­low the Queens­bury rules and al­though he works in­di­rectly with the police, he is not too pop­u­lar with them.’ 13 MARCH – THE PORT­LAND SPY TRIAL Harry Houghton, Ethel Gee, Gor­don Lons­dale and Mor­ris and Lona Co­hen (aka Peter and He­len Kroger) go on trial at the Old Bai­ley as key mem­bers of the Port­land Spy Ring that passed nu­clear se­crets to the Soviet Union. 12 APRIL – YURI GA­GARIN BE­COMES THE FIRST HU­MAN IN SPACE On this day, at 9.06am, the Soviet cos­mo­naut Ma­jor Yuri Alek­seye­vich Ga­garin com­menced his jour­ney into outer space for the first time in the his­tory of the hu­man race. There was no count­down for the launch of his Vos­tok 3KA cap­sule (that was al­ways a NASA thing). On the re­turn jour­ney, Ga­garin ejected and landed in some fields. A star­tled lo­cal res­i­dent asked if he had come from outer space. To which Ga­garin replied: ‘As a mat­ter of fact, I have.’

Ga­garin was the first hu­man in space.

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