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Saturday, January 4, 1997

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  • "I've had a great time, I really have. I hope that you all enjoyed it a fraction as much."

    -- Bryant Gumbel on his last day on NBC'S "Today" show

    | AllPolitics Campaignland |

    Today's Events

  • German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is due to meet with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

  • The National Football League divisional playoffs begin.

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    On the horizon

  • On Sunday, January 5, the African nation of Chad holds parliamentary elections.

  • On Monday, January 6, more than 1,000 scientists gather in Mohe, China, to observe a total eclipse of the sun.

  • On Tuesday, January 7, the 105th session of the U.S. Congress begins.

  • On Wednesday, January 8, Monaco's Grimaldi dynasty celebrates its 700th anniversary of rule.

  • Political leaders of the 1980s and '90s are scheduled to hold a seminar at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the foreign policy of the late French President Francois Mitterrand. The event marks the first anniversary of Mitterrand's death and participants are to include Cuban President Fidel Castro, Haiti's ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former European Commission President Jacques Delors and former foreign ministers Han Dietrich Genscher of Germany and David Owen of Britain.

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    On this day

  • In 1717, in the Seven Years War, England declared war on Spain and Naples.

  • In 1896, Utah became the 45th U.S. state.

  • In 1908, Mulai Hafid was proclaimed sultan of Morocco at Fez.

  • In 1919, Vilna (now Vilnius), which had been proclaimed capital of independent Lithuania, was captured by Soviet troops. The occupation lasted only until April.

  • In 1932, the British Indian government was granted emergency powers to deal with a campaign of nationalist civil disobedience. The National Congress party was declared illegal and Mahatma Gandhi was arrested.

  • In 1948, the British governor of Burma formerly handed over power, and the Union of Burma was proclaimed as an independent republic with Thakin Nu as first prime minister.

  • In 1951, in the Korean War, the North Koreans and Chinese communists captured the Southern capital of Seoul.

  • In 1958, Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite launched in October 1957 by the Soviet Union, fell to Earth.

  • In 1967, Donald Campbell, British car and speedboat racer, was killed on Coniston Water in England during an attempt to break the world water speed record.

  • In 1974, Burma inaugurated a new constitution providing for a Peoples Assembly.

  • In 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced curtailment of U.S. grain sales to the Soviet Union because of the invasion of Afghanistan.

  • In 1994, nine people were killed and at least 48 wounded as the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo shuddered under heavy shelling from its Serb besiegers.

  • In 1995, Bosnian government troops began a belated withdrawal from a demilitarized mountain zone overlooking Sarajevo in keeping with a four-month truce accord.

  • In 1995, Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia was formally elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the first Republican to hold the post in 40 years.

  • In 1996, Poland's counter-intelligence chief, Colonel Konstanty Miodowicz, announced his resignation in an apparent protest against allegations that the secret services had stepped out of line in accusing Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy of spying.

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    Two years ago today, Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia was formally elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the first Republican to hold the post in 40 years. He's now fighting to keep his position in the aftermath of ethics questions and an unrelenting drumbeat of Democratic criticism. C lick here to find out more about his current battle to save his job.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is the Day of Martyrs of the Colonial Repression in Angola.

  • It's Independence Day in the Union of Myanmar.

  • Zaire honors its Martyrs of Independence today.

  • Actress Dyan Cannon is 60.

  • Actor Patrick Cassidy is 36.

  • Former boxer Floyd Patterson is 62.

  • Former football coach Donald Francis Shula is 67.

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    Sources: Associated Press,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan

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