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Wednesday, February 19, 1997

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  • "There was no danger to the public."

    -- NTSB Chairman Jim Hall

    Today's Events

  • President Bill Clinton addresses the issue of juvenile crime during a visit to Boston.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visits Russia.

  • Four former East German intelligence officers go on trial in Berlin on charges of helping Red Army Faction guerrillas evade justice in West Germany by allowing them to begin new lives in East Germany.

  • Britain's royal yacht Britannia is due to arrive in Kuwait as part of its Persian Gulf visit enroute to Hong Kong.

  • Members of the Interamerican Tuna Commission hold a meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, to discuss measures aimed at protecting Pacific Ocean dolphins.

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    On the horizon

  • On Thursday, February 20, Formula One team chief Frank Williams and five others 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.

  • On Tuesday, February 25, a 33-year-old Bosnian Serb, identified only as Novislav D., goes on trial at the Bavarian high court on charges of complicity in genocide and murder during the Bosnian war.

  • On Wednesday, February 26, the 39th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented in New York City.

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    On this day

  • In 1405, Timur Lenk, also known as Tamerlane, died while on his way to conquer China. He had already subdued lands stretching from Mongolia to the Mediterranean Sea.

  • In 1408, in England, the Northumberland Rebellion ended when Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Bramham Moor.

  • In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as first consul in France.

  • In 1843, Italian soprano Adelina Patti was born in Spain. The highest-paid soprano of her day, she made her first recordings when she was past 60.

  • In 1878, the phonograph was patented by inventor Thomas Edison. He secured patent No. 200,521.

  • In 1897, Mrs. Hoodless founded the first Women's Institute at Stoney Creek in Ontario, Canada.

  • In 1915, in World War I, a combined British and French fleet attacked the Dardanelles.

  • In 1918, a decree was issued by the Soviet Central Executive Committee abolishing all private ownership of land, water and natural resources in Russia.

  • In 1942, in World War II, Japanese aircraft bombed Port Darwin, Australia.

  • In 1945, the U.S. Fifth Fleet launched the invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese. The island was eventually taken on March 26 at the cost of 6,821 U.S. deaths.

  • In 1959, the prime ministers of Britain, Turkey and Greece signed an agreement in London for the independence of Cyprus.

  • In 1976, Iceland broke off diplomatic relations with Britain after the two countries failed to agree over fishing rights in disputed waters. The dispute became known as the Cod War.

  • In 1982, receivers were appointed in Northern Ireland to manage the affairs of the De Lorean car company.

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    The trial of former East German intelligence officers that begins today in Berlin is yet one more reminder of a Cold War period in which secrets and military might were the currencies of choice. The Net has many fascinating Cold War sites, including the mischievous Abandoned Missile Base VR Tour. This site shows the authors' exploration of an abandoned -- and off-limits -- Titan missile base, a happy relic from a time when nuclear war seemed all too likely.


    Holidays and more

  • Puerto Rico celebrates Washington's Birthday.

  • Switzerland continues to celebrate Carnival.

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

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