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Wednesday, May 7, 1997

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  • "I'd rather gamble on missing the bus this time than staying on this planet and risk losing my soul."

    -- Chuck Humphrey

    Today's events

    • The 50th Cannes international film festival opens in France.

    • The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia is scheduled to deliver a verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic.

    • The fourth of six games is scheduled to take place in New York in the rematch of chess champion Gary Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer. A $700,000 prize is at stake.


    On the horizon

    • 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 Sunday, May 11, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is scheduled to visit Kazakhstan.

    • On Monday, May 12, U.S. and North Korean senior officials are scheduled to hold talks to discuss U.S. concerns over North Korea's export of missiles, including those to such countries as Iran.


    On this day

    • In 1663, in London, the first Theatre Royal in Drury Lane was opened under a charter granted by King Charles II.

    • In 1765, HMS Victory, the British battleship and flagship of Lord Nelson, was launched at Chatham, Kent.

    • In 1832, Otto of Bavaria was chosen king of Greece by the great powers at the conference of London.

    • In 1915, the British liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine, contributing to the entry of the U.S. into World War I. More than 1,100 passengers and crew perished.

    • In 1918, Romania signed the Treaty of Bucharest with Germany and Austria-Hungary; the treaty was nullified in November when the Central Powers collapsed.

    • In 1928, the age at which women could vote in Britain was lowered from 30 to 21.

    • In 1943, Allied forces liberated Tunis and Bizerte.

    • In 1944, a Russian assault opened on Sevastopol in Crimea.

    • In 1945, the instruments of the surrender of German forces in World War II were signed by General Jodl, the German chief of staff, at General Eisenhower's headquarters in Rheims.

    • In 1954, in North Vietnam, the Vietminh siege of French forces at Dien Bien Phu ended with the surrender of the French.

    • In 1960, Kliment Voroshilov was replaced as president of the Soviet Union by Leonid Brezhnev.

    • In 1980, Paul Geidel, convicted of second-degree murder in 1911, was released from prison Beacon, New York after serving 68 years and 245 days -- the longest-ever time served.

    • In 1990, Latvia elected Ivars Godmanis as prime minister as Moscow sought more information about the republic's bid to leave the Soviet Union.

    • In 1994, South Africa's democratic era started in earnest as new ANC-dominated provincial legislatures met and blacks took political power for the first time in more than three centuries.

    • In 1994, Japan's Justice Minister Shigeto Nagano resigned after his attempts to whitewash past Japanese military aggression provoked a diplomatic row in Asia.

    • In 1994, the stolen masterpiece "The Scream" by Edvard Munch was found undamaged in a hotel in south Norway.

    • In 1995, Jacques Chirac won the French presidential election, beating Socialist opponent Lionel Jospin by a clear margin and ending a 14-year Socialist grip on the presidency.

    • In 1996, a Bosnian Serb defendant faced the first war crimes trial by the U.N. criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Dusan Tadic became the first person to face an international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War Two.



    So 165 pages of crowns, corgis and castles wasn't enough for you? Never fear, the Queen is expanding her Website by adding another 85 pages of royal tidbits. Click here.


    Holidays and more

    • It's Hari Hol Negeri Pahang in Malaysia.

    • Filmmaker Amy Heckerling is 43.

    • Actor Darren McGavin is 75.

    • Moderator Tim Russert is 47.

    • Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas is 64.


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

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