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Thursday, January 30, 1997

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  • On the horizon
  • On this day
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  • "Did you ever have a spiritual passage of thought from someone that you just understood? This transmission of thought is actually in his language, which we call 'groundhogese.' He doesn't actually say anything."

    -- Groundhog Club President Bud Dunkel on Punxsutawney Phil's annual prediction

    Today's events

  • An international congress on education opens in Havana.

  • Pakistan holds national and provincial elections.

  • The Car of the Century organization will announce in Amsterdam the 200 cars eligible for election.

  • Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will visit NATO headquarters for talks with alliance chief Javier Solana in Brussels to plead for the ex-communist country's chances of joining NATO in a first wave of admissions.

  • President Clinton meets with governors attending the National Governor's Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

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    On the horizon

  • On Tuesday, February 4, President Clinton delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

  • On Wednesday, February 5, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana is expected to visit Turkey.

  • On Thursday, February 6, President Lee Teng-hui will deliver his Chinese New Year speech in Taipei.

  • On Friday, February 7, the Chess International Tournament will begin in Ubeda, Spain.

  • On Saturday, February 8, the annual Snow Festival is scheduled will begin in Japan.

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    On this day

  • In 1014, King Sweyn of Denmark I died and was succeeded by his son, Canute II the Great. After King Ethelred II of England ordered a massacre of Danes in 1002, Sweyn invaded Britain and conquered much of the country.

  • In 1194, Henry VI of Germany released King Richard I (the Lion-Heart) of England, captured during the Third Crusade.

  • In 1807, Montevideo was taken by British forces led by Sir Samuel Auchmuty.

  • In 1867, Prince Mutsuhito became Emperor Meiji of Japan at the age of 14 and reigned until 1912.

  • In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving the federal government the power to impose and collect taxes on income.

  • In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany after Berlin announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

  • In 1919, Kiev was captured by the Bolsheviks.

  • In 1919, the first meeting of the League of Nations took place in Paris.

  • In 1924, Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States, died. His presidency was memorable for America's participation in World War I and his championship of the League of Nations.

  • In 1931, a huge earthquake struck New Zealand, almost destroying the towns of Napier and Hastings.

  • In 1945, U.S. aircraft dropped 3,000 tons of explosives on Berlin.

  • In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Australia for the first visit by a reigning monarch.

  • In 1958, the Benelux Economic Union Treaty between Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands was signed.

  • In 1959, singers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash in the United States.

  • In 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan foreshadowed the decolonization of Africa, telling the South African parliament: "The wind of change is blowing through the continent."

  • In 1966, the first controlled landing on the moon was made by the Soviet unmanned spacecraft Luna IX.

  • In 1969, the Palestine National Congress appointed Yasser Arafat head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

  • In 1977, the chairman of the Provisional Military Government in Ethiopia, Brigadier Gen. Teferi Benti, and his closest associates were executed by supporters of the first vice-chairman, Lt.-Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam.

  • In 1978, the European Economic Community and China initialed their first trade agreement.

  • In 1981, Gro Harlem Brundtland was elected Norway's first woman prime minister following the resignation of Odvar Nordli.

  • In 1992, Argentine President Carlos Menem signed a decree opening all files on Nazis who fled to South America after World War II.

  • In 1994, President Clinton announced the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam, marking a dramatic shift in relations chilled for decades by war and postwar hostility.

  • In 1994, the U.S. space shuttle Discovery blasted off, carrying five American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut.

  • In 1994, President Boris Yeltsin signed a treaty with Georgia reasserting Russia's military influence in the former Soviet republic.

  • In 1994, the International Court of Justice, in a ruling on a 20-year border dispute, rejected Libya's claim to a huge swathe of neighboring Chad's territory.

  • In 1996, an earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked southwestern China, killing at least 302 people and injuring 15,000.

  • In 1996, Guinean President Lansana Conte reached agreement with the military to end a revolt sparked by a pay dispute.

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    Today is the 38th anniversary of the death of the legendary rock-and-roll pioneer Buddy Holly, which inspired Don McLean's rock anthem, "American Pie." Holly was killed in a place crash along with The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) and Richie Valens in a cornfield near Mason City, Iowa. To learn more, or to just remember, click here.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Heroes Day in Mozambique.

  • It's a Provincial Anniversary in New Zealand.

  • Tome and Principe celebrate Liberty Heroes Day today.

  • Actor Joey Bishop is 79.

  • Actress Blythe Danner is 54.

  • Basketball player Vlade Divac is 29.

  • Actress Morgan Fairchild is 47.

  • Actor Nathan Lane is 41.

  • Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton is 57.

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

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