Sunday, September 14, 1997
The opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Festival of the Dreaming takes place in Australia.
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets in Saudi Arabia with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
The Belgrade International Theater Festival opens in Serbia.
On the horizon
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 Thursday, September 18, the devolution referendum for Wales takes place, with Wales voting on whether to give the country independent rule within United Kingdom.
On Friday, September 19, a new anti-smoking law takes effect in Taiwan, with fines administered for smoking in public areas.
On this day
In 1262, Cadiz was captured by Alfonso X of Castille, ending a 500-year occupation of the city by the Moors.
In 1515, Francis I of France defeated the Swiss at the Battle
of Marignano, resulting in the French recovery of Milan. This
was also known as the "Battle of Giants."
In 1741, the German-born English composer George Frederick
Handel finished his "Messiah" oratorio, after working on it
non-stop for 23 days.
In 1752, Britain and its colonies adopted the Gregorian
calendar. The error between it and the Julian calendar was
rectified by eliminating 11 days, yesterday being September 2.
In 1812, Napoleon entered Moscow in his disastrous invasion of Russia and the retreating Russians set the city on fire. It burned until September 19 and much of it was destroyed.
In 1814, Francis Scott Key, witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote the words which eventually became "The Star-Spangled Banner." It became the U.S. national anthem in 1931.
In 1829, the Russo-Turkish War ended with the signing of the
Treaty of Adrianople. Czar Nicholas I obtained land south of the Caucasus.
In 1854, allied armies, including those of Britain and France, landed in the Crimea to oppose the Russians, who had sparked the Crimean War by invading Turkey in July 1853.
In 1868, golf's first recorded hole-in-one was scored by
Scotsman Tom Morris at Prestwick's 166-yard 8th hole, during the Open Championships.
In 1901, U.S. President William McKinley died from his wounds
after an assassination attempt September 6. He was succeeded in office by Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1911, Russian premier Peter Stolypin was fatally wounded by an assassin at a theater in Kiev. He died four days later.
In 1914, Gen. Erich von Falkenhayn succeeded Gen. Helmuth von
Moltke as German Chief of Staff.
In 1927, Isadora Duncan, the U.S. ballet dancer, was killed in a car in Nice, France. She was strangled by a long scarf that became caught in the wheel of a car in which she was riding.
In 1930, the National Socialist (Nazi) Party won a
stunning election triumph in Germany, becoming the second largest party in the Reichstag (parliament).
In 1938, the German airship LZ130 Graf Zeppelin, sister ship
of the ill-fated Hindenburg, made its maiden flight.
In 1939, although experiments with hovering aircraft had been
going on since 1900, the first successful helicopter, Igor
Sikorsky's VS-300, made its first flight.
In 1959, the Soviet Union's Luna-2 became the first spacecraft to land on the Moon.
In 1960, representatives of oil-producing countries finished a meeting in Baghdad which led to the formation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
In 1974, giant pandas Chia Chia and Ching Ching, gifts from
China to British Prime Minister Edward Heath when he visited
there in 1973, arrived in London.
In 1975, Rembrandt's priceless painting "The Nightwatch" was slashed by an unemployed teacher with a kitchen knife in Amsterdam.
In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly the American film
actress Grace Kelly, died in the hospital after a car crash the previous day. She appeared in such films as "High Noon,"
"Dial M for Murder" and "High Society."
In 1996, Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk pardoned Khmer Rouge
leader Ieng Sary for his role in the "killing fields" era of
the 1970s when about a million Cambodians were slain.
Sydney 2000, the Olympic Games, is less than three years away. Today the Festival of the Dreaming opens in Sydney, one of the early events celebrating the coming of the games. Visit the official Sydney Olympic Web site for a look at the festival and the games to come.
Holidays and more
Author Allen Bloom is 67.
Actress Zoe Caldwell is 64.
Actress Mary Crosby is 38.
Actress Joey Heatherton is 53.
Actor Walter Koenig is 61.
Writer Kate Millett is 63.
Actor Sam Neill is 50.
Actor Nicol Williamson is 59.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan