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Friday, March 28, 1997

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  • "We're not talking about a drug-crazed, party-time situation ... The drugs were taken for a very specific purpose and that was to take their own lives."

    -- Jerry Lipscomb San Diego Sheriff's Department

    Today's events

  • Vice President Al Gore visits South Korea on the last leg of his tour of north-east Asia.

  • Hong Kong future chief executive Tung Chee-hwa is expected to visit China.

  • Most financial markets around the world are closed in observance of Good Friday.

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    On the horizon

  • On Saturday, March 29, Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda visits China.

  • On Sunday, March 30, Central European time changes from GMT +1 to GMT +2 except for Portugal. U.K. time moves from GMT to GMT +1.

  • On Monday, March 31, Timothy McVeigh is scheduled to begin federal trial for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. His co-defendant, Terry Nichols, will be tried separately at a later date.

  • On Tuesday, April 1, American and National League teams begin the 1997 baseball season. Active rosters must be reduced to 25 players.

  • On Wednesday, April 2, the space shuttle Columbia will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, beginning a 16-day Microgravity Science Laboratory mission.

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    On this day

  • In 1800, the Act of Union with England was passed by the Irish Parliament.

  • In 1849, Frederick William IV of Prussia was elected Emperor of the Germans by the German National Assembly.

  • In 1854, Britain and France declared war on Russia in the Crimean War.

  • In 1862, Aristide Briand, French statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1926, was born.

  • In 1910, the first seaplane took off from Martigues near Marseilles, France, designed by Frenchman Henri Fabre.

  • In 1920, two of Hollywood's greatest stars, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, married.

  • In 1930, the names of Turkey's principal cities, Constantinople and Angora, were changed to Istanbul and Ankara.

  • In 1939, the Spanish Civil war ended as a white flag was hoisted in Madrid and Gen. Franco took over in the city.

  • In 1939, Adolf Hitler denounced Germany's 1934 non-aggression pact with Poland.

  • In 1941, British author and critic Virgina Woolf committed suicide.

  • In 1941, in World War II, the Italian navy was defeated in the Battle of Cape Matapan.

  • In 1942, the drydock at St Nazaire in France was destroyed in a combined raid by the British navy, army and airforce.

  • In 1959, 11 days after an uprising began in Tibet, China dissolved the country's government and installed an autonomous authority under the Panchen Lama.

  • In 1967, U.N. Secretary General U. Thant made public proposals for bringing about peace in Vietnam; President Lyndon Johnson accepted them.

  • In 1969, extensive anti-Soviet demonstrations were held in Prague.

  • In 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army commander, Republican statesman and president from 1953-1961, died. He was commander-in-chief of the allied armies during World War II.

  • In 1970, 1,100 people were killed and 3,000 injured when an earthquake struck the town of Gediz in western Anatolia, nearly destroying the town and surrounding villages.

  • In 1973, Marlon Brando rejected his Oscar for "The Godfather," sending Indian actress Sacheen Littlefeather to the Academy Award's platform to describe the plight of the American Indians.

  • In 1974, Romanian Communist Party leader Nicolae Ceausescu was elected to the newly created post of president of the Socialist Republic of Romania.

  • In 1979, America's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A partial meltdown of one of the reactors forced the evacuation of residents after radioactive gas leaked into the atmosphere.

  • In 1982, in El Salvador, the first free elections for 50 years were held to elect a new constituent assembly. Five right-wing parties jointly won 60 percent of the vote and agreed to form a government of national unity.

  • In 1984, British Council Cultural Affairs Attache Kenneth Whitty was shot dead in Athens.

  • In 1985, Devan Nair resigned as president of Singapore on health grounds.

  • In 1991, tens of thousands of Soviet radicals defied a Kremlin ban and circumvented a huge police and army presence to stage rallies in support of radical Russian leader Boris Yeltsin.

  • In 1993, Somalia's feuding warlords reached agreement to establish the first semblance of government since they wrecked the country in fighting to succeed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

  • In 1994, Russia signed an agreement with Kazakhstan to rent Baikonur launchpad, springboard of the former Soviet Union's space program.

  • In 1994, about 60 people were killed in Johannesburg and surrounding townships when Inkatha supporters marched in support of the Zulu Monarch ahead of the April elections.

  • In 1996, Israel's official inquiry into the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin concluded that security agencies ignored ample intelligence information that a Jewish militant might try to kill the prime minister.

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    What would cause 39 people to take a lethal dose of sedatives and vodka and die in what appears to be a mass suicide? Maybe the Heaven's Gate website will provide some of the answers. Click here.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Good Friday throughout much of the world.

  • It's Teacher's Day in Czechoslovakia.

  • Actress is Conchata Ferrell is 54.

  • Actor Ken Howard is 53.

  • Singer Reba McEntire is 43.

  • Actress Dianne Wiest is 49.

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

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