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Tuesday, September 30, 1997

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  • "What got me the most was that there was so many children killed."

    -- Potential juror in Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols

    Today's events

  • The opening of sixth annual Ibero-american Theater festival is scheduled to take place in Bogota, Colombia.

  • The World Cancer Relief Fund is scheduled to sponsor a conference on Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer in London.

  • Major League Baseball's divisional playoffs are scheduled to begin.

  • The World Transplant Games, an Olympic-style competition for organ transplant recipients is scheduled to begin in Sydney, Australia, with more than 1,000 competitors from 6- to 60-years-old representing 43 countries in 40 different events.

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    On the horizon

  • On Wednesday, October 1, Nigeria marks 37 years of independence, with military ruler Gen. Sani Abacha expected to address the nation by television.

  • On Thursday, October 2, French President Jacques Chirac and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi meet for the two nations' regular summit.

  • On Friday, October 3, Lee Kuan Yew, who formally retired in 1990 as the world's longest-serving prime minister, is scheduled to launch of book "Lee Kuan Yew -- The Man & His Ideas" in Singapore.

  • On Saturday, October 4, the youngest daughter of Spanish King Juan Carlos is scheduled to marry Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin in Barcelona, Spain.

  • On Sunday, October 5, French President Jacques Chirac is scheduled to visit Mexico.

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    On this day

  • In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke succeeded to the English throne after Richard II abdicated the previous day.

  • In 1791, Mozart's opera, "Die Zauberfloete," premiered at the Theater-auf-der-Wieden in Vienna.

  • In 1846, Dr. William Morton, a dentist from Massachusetts, was the first to use anesthesia in extracting a tooth.

  • In 1888, "Jack the Ripper" butchered two more women, Liz Stride and Kate Eddowes, in London.

  • In 1891, Georges Boulanger, French general and leader of an influential political movement which nearly toppled the Third Republic, committed suicide.

  • In 1929, the first rocket-powered aircraft, the Opel-Hatry Rak-1 glider, was tested by its inventor Fritz von Opel.

  • In 1935, "Porgy and Bess," a folk opera by U.S. composer George Gershwin, had its premiere in Boston.

  • In 1938, after signing the Munich agreement with Adolf Hitler in Germany, Neville Chamberlain returned to Britain and declared that there would be "peace in our time."

  • In 1949, the Berlin Airlift, under which the U.S. and Britain kept Berlin supplied against a Russian blockade, came to an end after 277,264 flights which carried 2,323,738 tons of supplies.

  • In 1955, James Dean, American actor, died in a car crash in California, aged 24. Although he made only three major films, "Rebel Without a Cause," "East of Eden" and "Giant," he became a major teenage cult figure.

  • In 1955, the French delegation withdrew from the U.N. Assembly after it had voted to debate the situation in Algeria.

  • In 1962, Riots broke out in Oxford, Mississippi, when black student James Meredith was enrolled into the formerly white-only University of Mississippi in line with a federal court order.

  • In 1965, a failed coup attempt began in Indonesia. Six generals were kidnapped and a "30th September Movement" said it had taken control to foil a plot by the military; the generals were found dead on October 3.

  • In 1966, Bechuanaland gained independence from Britain as the Republic of Botswana; Seretse Khama took office as the country's first President.

  • In 1966, 20 Argentine nationalists who "invaded" the Falkland Islands in a hijacked airliner during a visit by Prince Philip of Britain surrendered to a catholic priest.

  • In 1966, German war criminals Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach were freed at midnight from Spandau prison after serving 20 years imprisonment. The prison, built for 600 inmates, was left with only one, Rudolf Hess.

  • In 1980, Israel took a step back to biblical times with the introduction of the shekel as its currency, replacing the pound.

  • In 1988, a one-hour meeting of the Soviet Union's top Communists approved the retirement of five senior officials, including President Andrei Gromyko.

  • In 1990, the Soviet Union and South Korea agreed to set up diplomatic relations.

  • In 1990, the Soviet Union and Israel formally agreed to establish diplomatic relations, broken after the six-day war in 1967.

  • In 1990, breakaway Liberian rebel leader Prince Johnson declared all-out war on main rebel leader Charles Taylor.

  • In 1991, Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled in a bloody coup which first installed a military junta and later a military-backed civilian regime.

  • In 1992, the presidents of China and South Korea toasted the end of the Cold War hostility after the two countries signed wide-ranging economic accords.

  • In 1993, Queen Elizabeth awarded U.S. General Colin Powell an honorary knighthood in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British-U.S. relations and for his role in the Gulf War.

  • In 1993, a series of earthquakes measuring 6.4 on the open-ended Richter scale in southwestern India devastated 36 villages. Over 10,000 bodies were recovered, but it was estimated that as many as 22,000 may have died.

  • In 1994, Boris Yeltsin failed to get off his plane at Shannon Airport for scheduled talks with Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds.

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    The spectacle of the Oklahoma City bombing trial begins again in earnest. To find out more about the trial and its history, check out CNN Interactive's special section by clicking here.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Botswana Day in Botswana.

  • It's the Half Yearly Bank Closing in India.

  • Singer Deborah Allen is 44.

  • Actress Crystal Bernard is 33.

  • Actress Angie Dickinson is 66.

  • Actress Deborah Kerr is 76.

  • Singer Johnny Mathis is 62.

  • Actress Victoria Tennant is 44.

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

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