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Wednesday, October 8, 1997

  • Today's Events
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  • "I know it is customary for witnesses to express their great pleasure to appear before you, but because I am under oath I am unable to say I share that sentiment,"

    -- Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes

    Today's events

  • The trial of Maurice Papon, former official in German-occupied France accused of crimes against humanity, is expected to begin in Bordeaux, France.

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

  • Thai Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh is scheduled to visit Tokyo for talks with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto over bilateral and international issues.

  • The Organization of American States (OAS) conference on naval cooperation to fight illegal drug- trafficking is expected to take place in Lima.

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    On the horizon

  • On Thursday, October 9, the Falkland Islands are scheduled to hold general elections.

  • On Friday, October 10, The 2nd Pusan International Film Festival is scheduled to open in South Korea.

  • On Saturday, October 11, the 23rd General Population Conference is scheduled in Beijing.

  • On Sunday, October 12, U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to begin his visit to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

  • On Monday, October 13, the Czech delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Karel Kovanda, is scheduled to visit NATO for the third round of talks on accession to the alliance.

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    On this day

  • In 1354, Cola di Rienzo, tribune of Rome, was murdered by a mob. He tried to introduce measures for the common good in Rome but earned the hostility of the nobles.

  • In 1806, British forces laying siege to the French port of Boulogne used Congreve rockets, invented by Sir William Congreve, the first British use of rocket-propelled missiles.

  • In 1856, Chinese police boarded the British vessel Arrow, arrested 12 Chinese crewmen on suspicion of piracy and lowered the British flag. The incident led to the second Anglo-Chinese War.

  • In 1871, the Great Fire of Chicago broke out. According to legend, a cow kicked over a lantern in Mrs. O'Leary's barn; at least 300 people were killed and 90,000 were made homeless. Damage was estimated at over $200 million.

  • In 1873, in the United States the first women's prison run by women opened. The Indiana Reformatory Institution for Women and Girls received 17 prisoners.

  • In 1912, Montenegro declared war on Turkey, beginning the First Balkan War.

  • In 1915, the Battle of Loos, one of the fiercest of the First World War, ended with virtually no gains for either side. Almost 430,000 French, British and Germans were killed. The British used poison gas for the first time in the battle.

  • In 1939, the evacuation of Germans from Latvia began following permission by the foreign ministries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania to evacuate Baltic Germans.

  • In 1944, in Finland, the port of Kemi, the last held by German forces, was re-captured.

  • In 1952, 112 people were killed and over 200 injured in a rail crash involving three trains in northwest London.

  • In 1953, Britain and the United States announced they were withdrawing their troops from the Free Territory of Trieste, handing control to the Italians.

  • In 1970, the Nobel Prize for Literature was won by Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

  • In 1982, the Polish parliament dissolved Solidarity, formally ending eastern Europe's first experiment in trade union democracy.

  • In 1990, united Germany signed its first international treaty, agreeing with Czechoslovakia on a program for cleaning up the polluted River Elbe.

  • In 1991, Haiti's parliament formally installed the senior judge of the Supreme Court, Joseph Nerette, as the country's provisional president.

  • In 1993, the U.N. General Assembly lifted almost all its remaining economic sanctions against South Africa, begun in the 1960s and built up in subsequent years because of Pretoria's policy of racial apartheid.

  • In 1996, Pope John Paul had his appendix removed at Rome's Gemelli hospital; no sign of a tumor or other serious illness was found.

  • In 1996, a beaming Palestinian President Yasser Arafat made his first public visit to Israel for talks with Israeli President Ezer Weizman at his private residence in the seaside town of Caesarea in central Israel.

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    Now that the new season of NBC drama ER has begun, check out a searchable database of real emergency room cases from 100 US hospitals, using the latest government data.


    Holidays and more

  • Cuba celebrates the Day of the Heroic Warrior and Fall of Ernesto Che Guevara.

  • Peru marks the Combat of Angamos.

  • Gossip columnist Rona Barrett is 61.

  • Actor David Carradine is 57.

  • Comedian Chevy Chase is 54.

  • Designer Clodagh is 60.

  • Former boxer William Conn Jr. is 80.

  • Actor Paul Hogan is 58.

  • Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson is 56.

  • TV personality Sarah Purcell is 49.

  • Actress Sigourney Weaver is 48.

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

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