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Saturday, May 3, 1997

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  • "When the curtain falls, it is time to get off the stage."

    -- Former British Prime Minister John Major

    Today's events

  • The Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

  • Ireland hosts the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest.

  • The World Flower Exhibition Koyang Korea 97 opens in Ilsan, Korea.

  • The Mediterranean island of Malta holds it Carnival festival.

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    On the horizon

  • On Sunday, May 4, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is scheduled to visit a guerrilla demobilization camp in Guatemala City as part of the ongoing peace process there.

  • On Monday, May 5, the World Health Organization is scheduled to issue its annual report.

  • On Tuesday, May 6, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel is scheduled to visit Egypt.

  • On Wednesday, May 7, the 50th Cannes international film festival opens in France.

  • On Thursday, May 8, U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attend a regional summit in Costa Rica.

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    On this day

  • In 1494, Christopher Columbus first sighted the island which was later to be named Jamaica.

  • In 1500, the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it for his own country. The land had been visited by Spanish navigator Vicente Yanes Pinzon in January but the discovery was not followed up.

  • In 1660, John II Casimir of Poland abandoned his claim to Sweden and signed the Treaty of Oliva, ending the Polish-Swedish War of Succession.

  • In 1791, a liberal bill of rights reforming gentry-ruled Poland and setting up a constitutional monarchy, was signed by King Stanislaw Augustus. It was only the second written constitution in the world after the United States.

  • In 1841, New Zealand was formally proclaimed as a British colony.

  • In 1895, the territories owned by the British South Africa Company south of the Zambesi were given the name of Rhodesia.

  • In 1939, Maxim Litvinov was removed as Soviet Foreign Minister and replaced by Vyacheslav Molotov.

  • In 1945, the British 14th Army captured Rangoon in Burma; German Admiral Doenitz sent envoys to Lunenburg Heath to discuss possible surrender with Field Marshal Montgomery; U.S. forces meet up with the Russians in the Wismar area; Innsbruck was captured; Trieste was entered by New Zealand troops.

  • In 1965, Cambodia broke off diplomatic relations with the United States after a weekly magazine carried an article felt to be derogatory to the royal family.

  • In 1968, Students and police clashed violently in Paris; it was the start of a month of disturbances and strikes.

  • In 1971, Walter Ulbricht retired as First Secretary of the East German Communist Party and was succeeded by Erich Honecker.

  • In 1993, authorities said they had identified the body of David Koresh from remains found in the siege at Waco in February.

  • In 1996, Liu Gang, one of the most prominent pro-democracy leaders to flee China, was granted permission to stay in the U.S.

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    It's Derby time in Blue Grass Country. Visit the Churchill Downs site on the Web for a virtual look at America's most prestigious racing event.


    Holidays and more

  • Japan observes Constitution Memorial Day.

  • Poland celebrates Constitution Day.

  • Singer James Brown is 64.

  • Musician Christopher Cross is 46.

  • Magician Doug Henning is 50.

  • Basketball player Jeff Hornacek is 34.

  • Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 61.

  • Folksinger Pete Seeger is 78.

  • Singer Frankie Valli is 60.

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

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