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Friday, May 16, 1997

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  • "It is in the interests of the whole continent (that we find a settlement). Zaire has borders with nine different countries and instability has a ripple effect on all,"

    -- South African President Nelson Mandela

    Today's events

  • Three Filipina "comfort women" survivors visit Tokyo to testify before the Tokyo District Court on their experiences as alleged sex slaves of Japanese troops during World War II.

  • Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari follows up a visit to South Africa with a stop in Tanzania.

  • The white, right-wing party Freedom Front makes its submission to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission concerning misdeeds during the apartheid era.

  • The annual Lilac Festival opens at Highland Park in Rochester, New York.

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    On the horizon

  • On Saturday, May 17, Hong Kong's governor is scheduled to visit London to brief Britain's Labour government on the pre-handover situation.

  • On Sunday, May 18, the Hong Kong pro-democracy and pro-dissident movement stages a kite-flying event in remembrance of the crushed Chinese pro-democracy movement.

  • On Monday, May 19, Attorney General Janet Reno is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at Boston College.

  • On Tuesday, May 20, the auction house Christie's holds its Spring jewelry auction in Geneva.

  • On Wednesday, May 21, Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber sells his wine collection of 18,000 bottles at auction in London. Said by Sotheby's to be "undoubtedly the greatest single wine collection ever to appear at auction," the sale is expected to fetch more than $3.3 million.

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    On this day

  • In 1763, Samuel Johnson, the British writer and lexicographer, met his future biographer and traveling companion James Boswell for the first time in Tom Davie's bookshop in London.

  • In 1770, at Versailles, the French Dauphin (who would become Louis XVI) married Marie Antoinette, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.

  • In 1868, in the United States the Senate voted on one count in the impeachment proceedings of President Andrew Johnson. The vote fell one short of the two-thirds majority needed to take action. On May 26 further charges similarly failed and he was acquitted.

  • In 1881, he first electric tram went into public service in Germany, near Berlin.

  • In 1888, Emile Berliner gave the first demonstration of flat disc recording and reproduction before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

  • In 1929, in Hollywood the first Academy Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, went to actress Janet Gaynor and actor Emil Jannings. The best film was "Wings." The awards were named Oscars in 1931.

  • In 1943, in World War II, British Lancaster aircraft succeeded in bombing the Mohne and the Eder dams in Germany's industrial Ruhr basin using a bouncing bomb.

  • In 1963, U.S. astronaut Gordon Cooper in his Mercury-Atlas craft splashed down near Midway in the Pacific after orbiting the Earth 22 times in a mission lasting just over 34 hours - the longest American space mission to that point.

  • In 1969, the Russian spacecraft Venus 5 landed on the planet Venus.

  • In 1974, Helmut Schmidt was sworn in as new chancellor of West Germany, after the resignation of Willy Brandt.

  • In 1975, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Everest.

  • In 1989, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, met in Beijing in the first Sino-Soviet summit in 30 years, formally ending the feud between the two countries.

  • In 1990, Hungarian prime minister-designate Jozsef Antall named a center-right coalition cabinet after 40 years of Communist rule.

  • In 1991, Queen Elizabeth, on a tour of the United States, became the first monarch to address Congress.

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    In 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented in Hollywood. Later named Oscars, the awards practically define pop culture in modern America. Visit the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Web page to see what all the hoopla has been about for the last 65 years or so.


    Holidays and more

  • Iran observes Id-E-Ghadir.

  • Actor Pierce Brosnan is 45.

  • Actress Tracey Gold is 28.

  • Singer Janet Jackson is 31.

  • Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 42.

  • Tennis player Gabriela Sabatini is 27.

  • Basketball player John Salley is 33.

  • Author and journalist Studs Terkel is 85.

  • Actress Debra Winger is 42.

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

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