Friday, September 12, 1997
The 15th Chinese Communist Party Congress opens in Beijing.
Ireland's President Mary Robinson steps down as head of state nearly three months before the end of her term to take up the post of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
European Union economic and finance ministers hold an informal meeting in Luxembourg.
On the horizon
On Saturday, September 13, the first post-war municipal elections organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are scheduled throughout Bosnia.
On Sunday, September 14, the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Festival of the Dreaming is scheduled to be held.
On Monday, September 15, Oslo, Norway, is scheduled to hold parliamentary and local elections.
On Tuesday, September 16, the United Nations General Assembly's 52nd session opens in New York.
On Wednesday, September 17, the 28th South Pacific Forum is held in Australia's Cook Islands.
On this day
In 1609, Henry Hudson, the English navigator and explorer, entered the river later known as the Hudson, in North America.
In 1683, Vienna, under siege by the Turks for two months, was
relieved by a force led by Polish King Sobieski.
In 1848, Switzerland adopted a new constitution under which it became a federal republic.
In 1878, the obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, originally
cut from the quarries of Aswan in about 1475 BC, was erected in London.
In 1890, white settlers and troops reached the site of
Salisbury (now Harare), which became the capital of Rhodesia.
In 1910, the world's first woman police officer, Alice
Stebbins Wells, was appointed to the Los Angeles Police
In 1913, Jesse Owens, the U.S. athlete who won four gold
medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, is born.
In 1935, U.S. millionaire Howard Hughes flew a plane of his
own design at 352.46 mph to establish the first of his
several aviation records.
In 1940, four teenagers, following their dog when it
disappeared down a hole near Lascaux, France, discovered
17,000-year-old drawings now known as the Lascaux Cave
In 1943, German paratroopers, on the orders of Adolf Hitler,
seized former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini who was being
held prisoner by the government.
In 1953, American politician John F. Kennedy married
In 1953, Nikita Khrushchev was elected first secretary of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR.
In 1960, the post of president was abolished in East Germany
following the death of President Wilhelm Pieck and Walter
Ulbricht became head of an all-powerful new Council of State.
In 1968, Albania announced it was withdrawing from the Warsaw
In 1970, the supersonic airliner Concorde landed for the first time at Heathrow airport in London, causing a barrage of complaints about the noise.
In 1972, an Icelandic gunboat sank two British trawlers in the North Sea in the first hostilities of the "Cod War."
In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed in an
army coup. He had ruled since 1930.
In 1977, South African black civil rights leader Steve Biko
died in police detention.
In 1980, Turkish armed forces, led by General Kenan Evren,
Chief of the General Staff, overthrew the government of Suleyman
Demirel in a bloodless coup.
In 1986, American Joseph Cicippio was kidnapped in Lebanon. He was released in December 1991 after 1,906 days in captivity.
In 1990, East and West Germany and the World War II allies
signed a treaty to restore sovereignty to a united Germany and define its international status.
In 1992, the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour took off with a crew
that included Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple
In 1994, soldiers from NATO states and their former communist
foes joined forces for the first time in a military exercise in
India begins its tribute to Mother Teresa, the revered nun who turned her good works in Calcutta's slums into a worldwide charity. Click here for a CNN tribute to Mother Teresa.
Holidays and more
Cape Verde celebrates its Independence Day.
Actress Linda Gray is 56.
Singer George Jones in 66.
Singer Barry White is 53.
Basketball player Timothy Duane Hardaway is 31.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan