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Monday, February 17, 1997

  • Today's events
  • On the horizon
  • On this day
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  • "We tried to make this magazine more Cosmo than Cosmo. Yes, there's cleavage!"

    -- new Cosmopolitan magazine editor Bonnie Fuller

    Today's events

  • U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright begins an international tour with a stop in Paris to meet French President Jacques Chirac.

  • British Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind addresses Hong Kong's Legislative Council.

  • King Juan Carlos of Spain begins a visit to Egypt.

  • Former Indian "Bandit Queen" Phoolan Devi, currently a member of parliament, is summoned to appear in court to face charges in 57 criminal cases.

  • The Planetary Society holds a tribute to the late astronomer Carl Sagan in Pasadena, California.

  • More than 250 magicians from around the world, including 28 international stars, convene in Bogota, Colombia, for the International Magic Congress.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Friday, February 21, World Vision is scheduled to hold its annual "30-Hour Famine" fund-raiser to increase awareness of world hunger.

  • On Saturday, February 22, the Third Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles.

  • On Sunday, February 23, the 15th FESPACO Panafrican film and television festival takes place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; this year's theme is "Cinema, Childhood and Youth."

  • On Monday, February 24, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright continues an international tour with a visit to China.

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    On this day

  • In 1673, Moliere, the stage name of French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin died after collapsing on stage on the third night of his play "Le Malade Imaginaire" ("The Imaginary Invalid").

  • In 1864, the Confederate hand-propelled submarine Hunley, armed with a ram torpedo, sunk the Union's Houstanic in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. It was considered the first successful attack by a submarine warship.

  • In 1880, Czar Alexander II of Russia survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in the imperial dining room at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

  • In 1904, the opera "Madame Butterfly" by Giacomo Puccini was first performed at La Scala in Milan, Italy.

  • In 1909, Geronimo, the last Apache chief to surrender to U.S. forces, died in custody.

  • In 1945, a Soviet offensive forced the rocket expert Wernher von Braun and other scientists to evacuate the V2 rocket site at Peenemunde, eastern Germany.

  • In 1972, the British House of Commons voted to join the European Community.

  • In 1979, China invaded Vietnam in response to Vietnamese "aggression" over the previous six months.

  • In 1982, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe sacked Joshua Nkomo from the government for allegedly plotting against the ZANU-PF Party.

  • In 1982, U.S. jazz pianist Thelonious Monk died. A key figure in the development of bebop, he played with Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.

  • In 1990, Czechoslovakia's Communist Party expelled former President Gustav Husak, ex-Prime Minister Lubomir Strougal and 20 other hard-liners who came to power after Soviet tanks crushed the 1968 Prague Spring reform era.

  • In 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered and cannibalized young men, was sentenced to 15 life terms in prison.

  • In 1994, the decomposing body of former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia was dug up and identified, confirming the death of the republic's first elected leader.

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    The handover of Hong Kong to China this summer is an event generating anxiety both inside and outside the colony. British Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind appears before Hong Kong's controversial Legislative Council today to address what the future holds for the city. Web travelers can visit the Hong Kong Government Information Center to follow this unfolding story on the Internet and learn more about Hong Kong in general.


    Holidays and more

  • The U.S., Virgin Islands and Guam celebrate President's Day.

  • Canada celebrates Family Day.

  • Switzerland celebrates Carnival.

  • Actor Alan Bates is 63.

  • Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown is 61.

  • Actress Brenda Fricker is 52.

  • Composer and concert pianist Lee Hoiby is 71.

  • Actor Hal Holbrook is 72.

  • Basketball player Michael Jordan is 34.

  • Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 35.

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

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