Year
1969
Month Day
March 12

London police conduct drug raid at home of George Harrison

The London drug squad appears at house of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd with a warrant and drug-sniffing canines. Boyd immediately used the direct hotline to Beatles headquarters and George returned to find his home turned upside down. He is reported to have told the officers “You needn’t have turned the whole bloody place upside down. All you had to do was ask me and I would have shown you where I keep everything.”

Without his assistance, the constables, including Sergeant Pilcher who had directed the drug-related arrest of John Lennon the previous year, had already found a considerable amount of hashish. Harrison and Boyd were arrested and as they were being escorted to the police station, a photographer began shooting pictures of the famous couple. Harrison chased after the photographer, with the cops trailing right behind him down the London street. Finally, the man dropped his camera and George stomped on it before the officers subdued him.

Harrison and his model wife, who missed Paul and Linda McCartney’s wedding that same day because of the arrest, were released on bail. A few weeks later, Harrison and Boyd were allowed to plead guilty. Despite the rather prodigious amount of hash recovered from their home, the authorities were satisfied that it was all for their personal use. They were fined 250 pounds each, and even had a confiscated pipe returned to them. Ten years later, Boyd married guitarist Eric Clapton and Harrison sang and played at their wedding.

Sergeant Pilcher, the man behind the raid, was convicted of planting drugs in other cases and went to jail in 1972.

George Harrison died in November 2001 after a struggle with cancer.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Broadway goes dark due to COVID-19 pandemic

On March 12, 2020, after New York state and city leaders placed coronavirus-related restrictions on gatherings of more than 500 people, the Broadway theater district announces it will go dark for an unprecedented 32 days. The longest shutdown for the artistic mainstay in its ...read more

Coca-Cola sold in glass bottles for the first time

Though today there is almost nothing as ubiquitous as a bottle of Coca-Cola, this was not always the case. For the first several years of its existence, Coke was only available as a fountain drink, and its producer saw no reason for that to change. It was not until March 12, 1894 ...read more

Germany annexes Austria

On March 12, 1938, German troops march into Austria to annex the German-speaking nation for the Third Reich. In early 1938, Austrian Nazis conspired for the second time in four years to seize the Austrian government by force and unite their nation with Nazi Germany. Austrian ...read more

Mohandas Gandhi begins 241-mile civil disobedience march

On March 12, 1930, Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi begins a defiant march to the sea in protest of the British monopoly on salt, his boldest act of civil disobedience yet against British rule in India. Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling ...read more

FDR broadcasts first 'fireside chat' during the Great Depression

On March 12, 1933, eight days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his first national radio address—or “fireside chat”—broadcast directly from the White House. Roosevelt began that first address simply: “I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of ...read more

General Fromm executed for plot against Hitler

On this day, the commander of the German Home Army, Gen. Friedrich Fromm, is shot by a firing squad for his part in the July plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. The fact that Fromm’s participation was half-hearted did not save him. By 1944, many high-ranking German officials had made ...read more

The Dixie Chicks backlash begins

In response to the critical comments made about him by singer Natalie Maines in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush offered this response: “The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind. They can say what they want to say.” Of the backlash the Chicks ...read more

Hail causes stampede at soccer match in Nepal

On March 12, 1988, a sudden hail storm prompts fans at a soccer match in Kathmandu, Nepal, to flee. The resulting stampede killed at least 70 people and injured hundreds more. Approximately 30,000 people were watching the game between the Nepalese home team, Janakpur, and ...read more

Police recover Elizabeth Smart and arrest her abductors

On March 12, 2003, 15-year-old Elizabeth Smart is finally found in Sandy, Utah, nine months after being abducted from her family’s home. Her alleged kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell, a drifter who the Smarts had briefly employed at their house, and his wife, Wanda Barzee, were ...read more

Truman Doctrine is announced

In a dramatic speech to a joint session of Congress, President Harry S. Truman asks for U.S. assistance for Greece and Turkey to forestall communist domination of the two nations. Historians have often cited Truman’s address, which came to be known as the Truman Doctrine, as the ...read more

Red River Campaign begins

On March 12, 1864, one of the biggest military fiascos of the Civil War begins as a combined Union force of infantry and riverboats starts moving up the Red River in Louisiana. The month-long campaign was poorly managed and achieved none of the objectives set forth by Union ...read more

This Day In History: Public Notice urges recognition of “humane ladies,” March 12, 1776

Public Notice urges recognition of “humane ladies”

On March 12, 1776, in Baltimore, Maryland, a public notice appears in local papers recognizing the sacrifice of women to the cause of the revolution. The notice urged others to recognize women’s contributions and announced, “The necessity of taking all imaginable care of those ...read more