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Saturday, August 9, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "We finally have a feeling of what it would be like to be on the surface of Mars, now, standing there."

    -- NASA Pathfinder scientist Matt Golombek





    Today's events


  • U.S. special envoy Robert Gelbard and Richard Holbrooke holds a news conference in Belgrade after a four-day tour of former Yugoslavia.

  • The annual parade of the Apprentice Boys takes place in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The parade celebrates the victory over Roman Catholics who besieged the city after 13 apprentice boys shut the gates on the advancing army of King James II.

  • Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres visits Taiwan.

  • The annual, and often spectacular, Perseid meteor showers begin tonight, peaking sometime between the 10th and 12th.

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    On the horizon


  • On Sunday, August 10, hundreds of Rastas from around the world are expected at the 3rd annual Rastafari Gathering in Christiansted, St. Croix.

  • On Monday, August 11, Elvis Week is scheduled to begin in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • On Tuesday, August 12, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is scheduled to visit Finland to meet President Martti Ahtisaari, Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen.

  • On Wednesday, August 13, the crayfish season opens in Sweden, annually the second Wednesday in August.

  • On Thursday, August 14, the parliaments of India and Pakistan meet in their respective capitals to mark the 50th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule.

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    On this day


  • In 480 B.C., after three days' resistance, King Leonidas of Sparta and 1,000 Greeks were finally beaten by the Persians at the battle of Thermopylae.

  • In 378, Roman Emperor Valens attacked the Visigoths in the decisive battle of Adrianople. The Visigoth cavalry routed the Romans, killing over 20,000, including the emperor.

  • In 1757, the French under Montcalm captured Fort William Henry in America from British and colonial troops under Colonel Monro in the Seven Years' War.

  • In 1792, the French Legislative Assembly ended its session with calls for revolution and without debating motions for the removal of King Louis XVI.

  • In 1830, Louis-Philippe formally accepted the crown of France following the abdication of Charles X on August 2.

  • In 1842, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty between the U.S. and Britain was signed. It established the boundary between the United States and Canada from Maine to the Great Lakes..

  • In 1902, Edward VII was crowned King of Great Britain and Ireland at Westminster Abbey.

  • In 1903, following the death of Pope Leo XIII, Giuseppe Sarto was crowned as Pope Pius X before 70,000 people in Rome.

  • In 1942, following the passing of a "quit India" campaign by the All-India Congress, Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others were arrested in Mumbai.

  • In 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki; a wide area of the city was reduced to ashes and an estimated 74,000 people were killed.

  • In 1965, Singapore became an independent republic within the Commonwealth after seceding from Malaysia.

  • In 1969, actress Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski, was found brutally murdered with four others at their house in Beverly Hills, California.

  • In 1974, Gerald Ford was sworn in as 38th president of the United States after the resignation of Richard Nixon became effective.

  • In 1990, China's first airship, 40 meters (130 feet) long, made its maiden flight over the central province of Hubei.

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    Newslink


    The Perseid meteor shower lights up the night sky for the next few days, as it does ever year, in a display of just how empty space really isn't. Check out the Ion Science Perseid page for a rundown on what the shower is and how to view the event. Then go out and watch!


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    Holidays and more


  • Singapore celebrates National Day.

  • South Africa celebrates National Women's Day.

  • Actor Sam Elliott is 53.

  • Actress Melanie Griffith is 40.

  • Singer Whitney Houston is 34.

  • Hockey player Brett Hull is 33.

  • Tennis great Rod Laver is 59.

  • Former boxer Ken Norton is 52.

  • Comedian David Steinberg is 55.

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



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