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Monday, September 15, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • "It's something nobody in their lifetime would ever want to experience. It was horrible, absolutely horrible. It was huge, a total explosion, and then we just kept hearing popping sounds ... the tires or the gas tank."

    -- Eyewitness Sharon Schuchardt

    Today's events

  • Oslo, Norway, is scheduled to hold parliamentary and local elections.

  • All-party talks are scheduled to be launched in Belfast on the future of Northern Ireland.

  • Books of Condolence for Princess Diana at Kensington Palace in London are due to close.

  • Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sting and Dire Straits' frontman Mark Knopfler are scheduled to perform at a benefit concert at London's Royal Albert Hall to raise money for the volcano-ravaged island of Montserrat.

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    On the horizon

  • 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 Saturday, September 20, Czech President Vaclav Havel is scheduled to visit Jordan.

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    On this day

  • In 1776, during the American Revolution, British forces under General William Howe captured New York.

  • In 1789, the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs, created in 1781, changed its name to the Department of State.

  • In 1821, San Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala declared themselves independent of Spain.

  • In 1830, the first railway fatality occurred when British MP William Huskisson was run down by "Stephenson's Rocket."

  • In 1864, John Speke, English explorer in Africa, the first European to reach Lake Victoria, died when he accidentally shot himself while partridge shooting.

  • In 1916, military tanks, originated by Sir Ernest Swinton, were first sent into action as part of the allied offensive at the Battle of the Somme.

  • In 1935, in Germany, the Nazis enacted the Nuremburg Laws, starting off a program of violent religious and racial persecution. All Jews were deprived of their citizenship, ghettos were revived and the Swastika became the national flag.

  • In 1935, Manuel Luis Quezon was elected first president of the Philippine Commonwealth.

  • In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, the first of two meetings to try and avoid the crisis over the Sudetenland.

  • In 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Britain claimed to have shot down 185 German planes; the day has been subsequently celebrated as Battle of Britain day.

  • In 1943, with German support, Benito Mussolini formed a rival fascist government to the Pietro Badoglio administration.

  • In 1949, Konrad Adenauer was elected first chancellor of West Germany and Theodor Heuss first president.

  • In 1950, in the Korean War, the U.N. landing at Inchon proved decisive in driving North Korean troops out of the south.

  • In 1959, Russian Premier Nikita Khruschchev arrived in the U.S. at the start of a 12-day visit.

  • In 1972, Spain and the Soviet Union signed a trade agreement, the first pact between the two since the Spanish Civil War.

  • In 1972, two former White House aides, Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, were added to the five men already charged with the break-in at the Watergate building.

  • In 1982, much to the anger of Israel, Pope John Paul II had a private audience with Yasser Arafat in the Vatican.

  • In 1983, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin, founder of the right-wing Likud party, resigned. He was replaced by Yitzhak Shamir.

  • In 1987, computer hackers in Germany known as the Chaos Computer Club, said they had tapped into NASA's computer system and planted a program called "Trojan Horse."

  • In 1994, Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev signed a decree imposing martial law and a curfew in the breakaway Russian republic.

  • In 1994, the last U.S. marine guards left Somalia after 21 months of American intervention.

  • In 1996, Umberto Bossi, leader of Italy's Northern League, proclaimed the north of the country the Federal Republic of Padania.

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    An Air Force stealth jet broke apart during an air show and crashed into a suburban Baltimore neighborhood Sunday, setting a house on fire and injuring four people on the ground. To find out more about the Air Force and its planes, click here.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is a Local Holiday in Bolivia.

  • It's Independence Day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

  • Today is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan.

  • It's the Korean Thanksgiving Holiday in Korea.

  • Today is Independence Eve in Mexico.

  • It's the Seven Sorrows of Virgin Mary in the Slovak Republic.

  • Today is Knabenschiessen in Switzerland.

  • Actor Jackie Cooper is 75.

  • Prince Harry is 13.

  • Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 51.

  • Actress Carmen Maura is 52.

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Merlin Olsen is 57.

  • Singer Bobby Short is 71.

  • Director Oliver Stone is 51.

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

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