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Monday, May 5, 1997

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  • "This was not computer chess. This was real chess."

    -- -- Chess grandmaster Joel Benjamin

    Today's events

    • The World Health Organization is scheduled to issue its annual report.

    • The British Navy's Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Sir Percival is scheduled to dock in Hong Kong as part of operations to withdraw British garrison ahead of territory's handover to China.

    • King Carl Gustaf is scheduled to present the annual Polar Prize to this year's winner, rock star Bruce Springsteen, in Stockholm, Sweden.

    • President Clinton departs on trip to Mexico, Costa Rica and Barbados.

    • A hearing is scheduled in Los Angeles in actor Billy Bob Thornton's divorce proceeding.


    On the horizon

    • 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.

    • On Friday, May 9, America's first ambassador to Vietnam, Douglas "Pete" Peterson, takes up his post.

    • On Saturday, May 10, Pope John Paul II is scheduled to visit Lebanon. The trip marks the Pope's first visit to the Middle East.


    On this day

    • In 1760, Earl Ferrers, the last British peer to be executed, was hanged in London for murdering his steward.

    • In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France and conqueror of much of Europe, died a British prisoner on the island of St. Helena.

    • In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi and his "Thousand Redshirts" sailed from Genoa to conquer Sicily and Naples.

    • In 1893, stocks in New York dropped sharply as investors sold at the start of the "panic of 1893."

    • In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British in India after his campaign of disobedience.

    • In 1930, Amy Johnson began the first solo flight by a woman between England and Australia.

    • In 1936, Italian troops under Field Marshal Badoglio took Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (Abyssinia).

    • In 1942, a combined British military and naval forces landed on Madagascar and by the afternoon the town of Diego Suarez was captured.

    • In 1945, in Austria, French politicians Reynaud and Daladier and former Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg, imprisoned by the Nazis, were released; Russian forces captured the town of Peenemunde where V1 and V2 rockets were launched; U.S. forces liberated Austria's Mauthausen concentration camp; poet Ezra Pound was arrested in Italy for treason.

    • In 1950, the coronation of King Phumiphon of Siam took place and he assumed the title of Rama IX.

    • In 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany became a sovereign state again after the Allied High Commissioners met in order to abolish themselves. The republic also joined NATO on this day.

    • In 1961, Alan B. Shepard became the first American into space in a 15-minute sub-orbital flight in a Mercury spacecraft.

    • In 1965, a cease-fire was signed between rebels and the military junta in the Dominican Republic civil war.

    • In 1967, the first all-British satellite Ariel III was launched in California.

    • In 1979, terrorists in El Salvador stormed the French, Venezuelan and Costa Rican embassies demanding the release of political prisoners.

    • In 1980, in London, troops of the SAS stormed the Iranian Embassy killing four of the five gunmen who took over the building and seized hostages.

    • In 1981, Bobby Sands became the first of the 10 IRA hunger strikers to die in the Maze prison, Northern Ireland.

    • In 1983, the West German magazine Stern began publishing the "Hitler Diaries," later proved to be a hoax.

    • In 1994, Singapore carried out a controversial caning sentence imposed for vandalism on U.S. teenager Michael Fay.

    • In 1996, Israel and the PLO opened the last chapter of negotiations towards a permanent peace settlement over the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.



    While Cinco de Mayo means another excuse to drink and eat salsa for much of the U.S., there's some interesting history behind this holiday. To find out more, click here.


    Holidays and more

    • Today is Labor Day in Australia, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis and Zambia.

    • It's Children's Day in Japan and Korea.

    • Today is Constitution Day in Kyrgyzstan.

    • Today is Liberation Day in the Netherlands.

    • Today is Cinco de Mayo.

    • Actress Pat Carroll is 70.

    • Actor Richard E. Grant is 40.

    • Actor Lance Henriksen is 54.

    • Actor Michael Palin is 54.

    • Actor Roger Rees is 53.

    • Actress Tina Yothers is 24.


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

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