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Wednesday, July 9, 1997

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  • "We sure didn't expect this, but it's very exciting. This is a rock festival."

    -- scientist Hap McSween on the first chemical analysis of a rock from Mars

    Today's events

  • Ecuadorian President Fabian Alarcon meets Colombian President Ernesto Samper on their border to discuss strained bilateral relations.

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    On the horizon

  • On Thursday, July 10, the International Congress on Environmental Law opens at the University of Chile in Santiago.

  • On Friday, July 11, President Bill Clinton is scheduled to make the first U.S. presidential visit to Romania in 20 years.

  • On Saturday, July 12, the Orange Order is scheduled to march across Northern Ireland to commemorate victory in Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

  • On Sunday, July 13, the Great Circus Parade is scheduled in Milwaukee.

  • On Monday, July 14, a U.N. war crimes tribunal sentences Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic who was convicted of war crimes in May.

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    On this day

  • In 1386, in the Swiss-Swabian wars, Leopold III and his 6,000-strong Austrian army was defeated by a force of only 1,600 Swiss pikemen at the battle of Sempach in a display of superior tactics.

  • In 1441, Jan van Eyck, Flemish artist who was famous for his painting of the altarpiece in the cathedral in Ghent, died.

  • In 1686, League of Augsburg was formed with the alliance of the Holy Roman Emperor, Spain, Sweden and Saxony against the French king Louis XIV.

  • In 1755, in the Seven Years War, a force of British and Virginians under General Braddock were heavily defeated by a combined French and Indian attack at the Monogahela River near Fort Duquesne. Braddock himself died in the battle.

  • In 1810, Holland was annexed by Napoleon after Louis Napoleon, his brother, abdicated from the throne.

  • In 1816, Argentina's independence from Spain was declared at the Congress of Tucuman.

  • In 1850, Zachary Taylor, U.S. soldier famous for his battles against the Mexicans, died. He was 12th U.S. President (1848-1850).

  • In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis championships were held.

  • In 1879, Italian modernist composer Ottorino Respighi, was born; he was best known for his songs and descriptive symphonic works "Pini di Roma" and "Fontane di Roma."

  • In 1915, in World War One, South African forces under Louis Botha forced the surrender of German forces in South West Africa.

  • In 1916, Edward Heath, British politician and statesman, was born; he was prime minister from 1970-74 and took Britain into the then European Economic Community.

  • In 1922, Johnny Weissmuller, swimmer and later film actor playing "Tarzan," became the first man to swim 100 meters in under a minute when he clocked 58.6 seconds on this day.

  • In 1932, King Camp Gillette, U.S. inventor and manufacturer of the safety razor, died.

  • In 1944, after fierce bombing raids and a month of fighting, the British and the Canadians finally captured most of the town of Caen in France.

  • In 1960, in a speech, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev warned the United States against intervention in Cuba and said Soviet forces would support the Cuban people.

  • In 1990, leaders of the world's seven largest industrial nations began an economic summit in Houston with a call by U.S. President George Bush to create "a new world of freedom."

  • In 1993, British scientists using DNA genetic fingerprinting tests, identified the bones of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and members of his family.

  • In 1996, thousands of flag-waving children gave Nelson Mandela a hero's welcome to Britain, cheering and chanting his name as the South African president's state visit was launched in a blaze of royal pomp and ceremony.

  • In 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his first visit to Washington to outline his views linking peace in the Middle East to Israel's security needs.

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    Four years ago, DNA testing finally identified the bones of the last Russian emperor. For a look into the life of Tsar Nicholas II, click here.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Independence Day in Argentina.

  • It's Youth Day in Morocco.

  • Actor Brian Dennehy is 59.

  • Actor James Hampton is 61.

  • Actor Tom Hanks is 41.

  • Actress Kelly McGillis is 40.

  • Actor Richard Roundtree is 55.

  • Actor Fred Savage is 21.

  • Former football star O.J. Simpson is 50.

  • Actor Jimmy Smits is 39.

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

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