Thursday, February 20, 1997
The NASA planetary probe Galileo makes a close flyby of Jupiter's moon Europa.
In Tennessee, Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown holds a hearing on whether James Earl Ray, confessed killer of Martin Luther King Jr., should be granted a trial to try to prove his self-professed innocence in the 1968 assassination.
Formula One team chief Frank Williams and five others are due to begin trial for manslaughter in the death of Brazil's world champion driver Ayrton Senna in a 1994 San Marino Grand Prix crash.
A second group of Argentine relatives of war dead go to visit gravesites on the Falkland Islands.
The heads of state of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo hold a summit in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, under the auspices of a five-nation political bloc.
The Nordic World Ski Championships open in Norway.
On the horizon
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.
On Thursday, February 27, the U.S. government is expected to announce whether or not Colombia stays on a list of nations not cooperating in international anti-drug efforts.
On this day
In 1653, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp was defeated by the English at the Battle of Portland.
In 1707, Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal emperors of
India, died. Under his rule, the Mughal Empire reached its furthest extent.
In 1809, after rejecting Joseph as king of Spain, the city of Zaragoza finally fell to the French under Lannes after a prolonged siege.
In 1811, Austria declared itself bankrupt.
In 1864, the Confederates, under General Joseph Finnegan, beat Union forces at the Battle of Ocean Pond in the Civil War.
In 1938, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest at Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward Germany.
In 1942, the Japanese invaded Portuguese Timor, and Portugal protested to Japan.
In 1947, Lord Louis Mountbatten was named as the last viceroy of India.
In 1962, John Glenn became the first U.S. astronaut in Earth's orbit when the Mercury capsule Friendship VII launched him into space.
In 1979, 175 people were killed by an eruption of the Sinira volcano in Indonesia.
In 1984, Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.
In 1985, the sale of contraceptives was made legal in Ireland.
In 1990, Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union. The law provided for any secession proposal to be decided by a referendum.
NASA's planet-exploring pride and joy, the Galileo spacecraft, will be making its closest pass of Jupiter's moon Europa today. Having already sent back stunning images of the Jupiter system, Galileo continues to amaze both scientists and the public they inform. The Europa pass is sure to offer more of the same. To share the wonder of Galileo, and the images is has sent back from the depths of space, visit NASA's Galileo page at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Holidays and more
Actor Edward Albert Jr. is 46.
Film director Robert Altman is 72.
Basketball star Charles Barkley is 34.
Actress Sandy Duncan is 51.
Hockey great Phil Esposito is 55.
Digital Equipment Corporation founder Kenneth Olsen is 71.
Actress Jennifer O'Neill is 49.
Actor Sidney Poitier is 70.
Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst Shaw is 43.
Actor Peter Strauss is 50.
Auto racer Bobby Unser is 63.
Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt is 73.
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan