Sunday, August 17, 1997
The "first-ever Elvis Conference cruise" of the Caribbean leaves port, hosted by the International Conference on Elvis Presley.
Morocco's Chamber of Representatives holds a special session to adopt draft laws related to the new bi-cameral parliament.
On the horizon
On Monday, August 18, the first female cadets are scheduled
to arrive at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington,
On Tuesday, August 19, U.S. President Bill Clinton celebrates his 51st birthday. Second Lady Tipper Gore celebrates her 49th birthday.
On Wednesday, August 20, Morocco's King Hassan addresses the nation ahead of legislative elections scheduled for October.
On Thursday, August 21, the International Stamp Show opens in Beijing, China.
On Friday, August 22, the foreign ministers of the Rio Group meet in Asuncion, Paraguay.
On this day
In 1424, the English defeated the Scots and French at the
Battle of Verneuil during the Hundred Years' War.
In 1585, Spanish forces, led by Duke of Parma, took Antwerp
after a 14-month siege in the Dutch War of Liberation.
In 1743, the Peace of Abo was signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War of 1741-43.
In 1850, Denmark ceded all forts and property rights on the
Gold Coast of Africa to Britain.
In 1896, George Carmack discovered gold in a tributary of the
Klondike River, Canada, precipitating the famous gold rush.
In 1943, U.S. forces under Patton relieved Messina, arriving
just hours ahead of Montgomery's British Eighth Army, signaling the end of the Sicilian campaign.
In 1945, Dr. Sukarno claimed independence for Indonesia from
the Netherlands by setting up the Provisional Indonesian
In 1960, Gabon achieved independence from France.
In 1962, Peter Fechter, 18, was shot by East German guards as he attempted to flee across the Berlin Wall. Left to bleed to death, his case was the most notorious in the history of the Wall. In July 1996 two former guards were charged with his manslaughter.
In 1969, Dr. Philip Blaiberg died in South Africa, 19 months
and 15 days after receiving a heart transplant, a survival
record at the time.
In 1976, a severe earthquake shook the Philippine island of
Mindanao, leaving about 8,000 people dead.
In 1978, three American balloonists, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie
Anderson and Larry Newman, completed the first crossing of the North Atlantic in their balloon, Double Eagle II.
In 1985, 60 people died and 100 were injured in car-bomb
explosion in Christian East Beirut.
In 1987, Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess was found dead in
his cell in Spandau Prison, after hanging himself with an
In 1988, Pakistan President Zia ul-Haq and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel were killed when Zia's plane exploded after takeoff.
In 1990, the former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere bowed out of mainstream politics when he quit as chairman of the ruling CCM party.
In 1994, riots spread through Lesotho after King Letsie III
dissolved the country's first democratically-elected government for 20 years.
In 1995, the first reports emerged that Alison Hargreaves, the first woman to climb Everest without oxygen, had been killed by an avalanche on K-2 four days earlier.
In 1996, Ruth Perry was chosen by a meeting of West African
heads of state to chair Liberia's ruling council, thus becoming Africa's first woman head of state.
With all of the Elvis mania in the air, the eggheads at Princeton University were not to be outdone. Witness: Pelvis, the Princeton for Elvis page. It has pictures, quotes and links no Elvis fan could do without.
Holidays and more
Gabon celebrates National Day.
Indonesia celebrates Independence Day.
Singer Belinda Carlisle is 39.
Actor Robert DeNiro is 54.
Actor Robert Joy is 46.
Actress Maureen O'Hara is 77.
Actor Sean Penn is 37.
Three-time Formula 1 world driving champion Nelson Piquet is 45.
Artist Larry Rivers is 74.
Tennis player Guillermo Vilas is 45.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan