Thursday, September 25, 1997
The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to blast off from Florida on a mission to the Russian space station Mir.
Winnie Mandela, President Nelson Mandela's controversial
ex-wife, appears before South Africa's Truth Commission.
French President Jacques Chirac begins a visit to Russia.
London Fashion Week kicks off at the Natural History Museum.
On the horizon
On Friday, September 26, Qufu, China, is scheduled to host a festival celebrating the 2,548th anniversary of Confucius' birth.
On Saturday, September 27, an island-wide protest against the government removal of the base limit of the education, science and cultural affairs budgets is scheduled in Taiwan.
On Sunday, September 28, the International Open Air Theater Festival '97 is scheduled to end in Kwachon, South Korea.
On Monday, September 29, Quebec's Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard is scheduled to visit Paris for
an annual bilateral meeting and is expected to meet with President Jacques Chirac.
On Tuesday, September 30, the opening of sixth annual Iberoamerican Theater festival takes place in Bogota, Colombia.
On this day
In 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, on
his second voyage of discovery to the New World.
In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the
first European to sight the Pacific Ocean after crossing the
Isthmus of Panama.
In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg was promulgated, resolving
bitter disputes between Protestants and Catholics in German
In 1629, the Truce of Altmark was signed, ending the 1625-29
phase of the Polish-Swedish War of Succession. Sweden obtained Livonia and parts of Prussia.
In 1789, the first Congress of the United States offered a
series of 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the
amendments, making up the Bill of Rights, were subsequently
In 1890, the U.S. Congress established the Yosemite National Park in California.
In 1915, the Third Battle of Artois (or Battle of Loos) began
as a British diversion to the Battle of Champagne. It was the
first occasion on which poison gas was used against the Germans.
In 1932, the Spanish region of Catalonia was granted autonomy.
In 1943, Russian troops liberated Smolensk, one of the most
important bastions still left to the Germans in Russia.
In 1956, the first transatlantic telephone cable was put into
service from Oban, Scotland, to Newfoundland in Canada.
In 1957, U.S. National Guardsmen escorted nine black children
into Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.
In 1959, Solomon Bandaranaike, prime minister of Sri Lanka
from 1956, was shot by a disgruntled Buddhist monk in Colombo
and died the following day.
In 1962, Sonny Liston won the world heavyweight boxing title
after knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round in Chicago.
In 1963, the military in the Dominican Republic overthrew the seven-month-old government of President Juan Bosch.
In 1967, Britain, France and West Germany signed an agreement
to co-operate on an "airbus" airliner.
In 1972, the Norwegian government resigned after a national
referendum the previous day voted against joining the European Economic Community.
In 1977, South African black civil rights leader Steve Biko
was buried in King William's Town after dying in police custody.
In 1978, a light aircraft collided with a Pacific Southwest
Airlines Boeing 727 over San Diego. A total of 151 people were killed, including 14 on the ground.
In 1983, 38 prisoners, most of them Irish Republican
Army members, escaped from the high security Maze prison in
Belfast, Northern Ireland.
In 1984, Egypt and Jordan formally resumed diplomatic
In 1990, the U.N. Security Council adopted a stringent air
embargo against Iraq and occupied Kuwait, barring passenger and cargo traffic except in humanitarian circumstances.
In 1991, the U.N. Security Council imposed a mandatory arms
embargo on Yugoslavia and called for an end to the fighting in the fragmented Balkan state.
In 1992, Moscow and Washington swept away one of the last Cold War relics by granting freedom of travel to journalists and business representatives working in each other's countries.
In 1994, Swiss voters approved a government plan to introduce
a law against racism.
Twelve amendments to the U.S. Constitution were offered by Congress on this day in 1789. Ten of them were eventually adopted, to be known as the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court defends the Constitution, but it is the National Archives and Records Administration that cradles the paper on which the country's values were codified.
Holidays and more
Mozambique celebrates Armed Forces Day.
Rwanda celebrates Republic Day.
Actor Michael Douglas is 53.
Actor Mark Hamill is 46.
Actress Heather Locklear is 36.
Basketball player Scottie Pippen is 32.
Dancer Juliet Prowse is 61.
Actor Christopher Reeve is 45.
Actor Robert Walden is 54.
TV personality Barbara Walters is 66.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan