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Thursday, February 13, 1997

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  • "Today's North Korea has nothing to do with socialism. How can a society in which people, workers, farmers and intellectuals are starving to death be a socialist society?"

    -- North Korean defector Hwang Jang Yop in South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper

    Today's events

  • The Berlin International Film Festival opens in Germany.

  • Vice President Al Gore visits South Africa.

  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s family holds a news conference to discuss their position on a possible trial for King assassin James Earl Ray.

  • The annual Carnival celebrations begin in Cuba.

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    On the horizon

  • On Friday, February 14, Valentine's Day is celebrated in several countries.

  • On Saturday, February 15, a refurbished British Army World War II underground operations center, known as the "Battle Box," opens at Fort Canning Hill in Singapore.

  • On Sunday, February 16, the Laurence Olivier Theater Awards are announced in London.

  • On Monday, February 17, more than 250 magicians from around the world, including 28 international stars, convene in Bogota, Colombia, for the International Magic Congress.

  • On Tuesday, February 18, Korea's outlawed Confederation of Trade Unions says it will start a series of nationwide strikes.

  • On Wednesday, February 19, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visits Russia.

  • On Thursday, February 20, Formula One team chief Frank Williams and five other people are due to go on trial, charged with manslaughter in the death of Brazil's world champion driver Ayrton Senna in a 1994 San Marino Grand Prix crash.

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    On this day

  • In 1542, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England, was executed for adultery.

  • In 1668, under the Treaty of Lisbon, Spain recognized the independence of Portugal.

  • In 1689, William of Orange and his wife, Mary, daughter of the deposed James II, were declared joint sovereigns of Great Britain and Ireland.

  • In 1692, John Campbell, at the head of an English force, led the Glencoe massacre against the Macdonalds in Scotland.

  • In 1793, Britain, Prussia, Austria, Holland, Spain and Sardinia formed an alliance against France.

  • In 1858, Sir Richard Burton and Captain John Speke became the first Europeans to discover Lake Tanganyika in East Africa.

  • In 1920, Switzerland was admitted to the League of Nations.

  • In 1945, Budapest fell to the Russians after a 50-day siege in which 50,000 Germans were killed.

  • In 1974, Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union and stripped of Soviet citizenship.

  • In 1990, roaring crowds gave Nelson Mandela a hero's welcome when he returned to the black township of Soweto with a message of moderation and a pledge to end "the dark hell of apartheid."

  • In 1992, Ford Motor Co. reported its biggest ever loss of $2.3 billion.

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    James Earl Ray is the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the eyes of the law, but King's family and others in the civil rights movement believe Ray did not act alone. To that end, they have called for Ray to stand trial for the murder to give "the truth" a chance to come out. But King's message in life was to look forward and work for nonviolent social change. His spiritual home, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, carries that message forward today. Visit Ebenezer's home page to see the dream in action.


    Holidays and more

  • Actress Stockard Channing is 53.

  • Actress Carol Lynley is 55.

  • Singer David Naughton is 46.

  • Actress Kim Novak is 64.

  • Actor Oliver Reed is 59.

  • Football coach Eddie Robinson is 78.

  • Actor George Segal is 63.

  • Actor Bo Svenson is 56.

  • Singer Peter Tork is 53.

  • Pilot and adventurer Chuck Yeager is 74.

  • TV host Jerry Springer is 53.

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

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