Saturday, October 11, 1997
The 23rd General Population Conference opens in Beijing.
An arts and culture festival opens in Islamabad, organized by
the Developing-8 organization of Islamic states in collaboration with Pakistan's Lok Virsa organization.
On the horizon
On Sunday, October 12, U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to begin a visit to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.
On Monday, October 13, a 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.
On Tuesday, October 14, the Booker Prize for literature is announced in London.
On Wednesday, October 15, the winner of the 1997 Physics and Chemistry Nobel Prize is announced at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
On Thursday, October 16, a mass wedding involving both Christians and Muslims takes place in Cairo, Egypt.
On this day
In 1521, Pope Leo X gave King Henry VIII of England the
title of "Defender of the Faith" following the publication of
his book against Martin Luther.
In 1727, the coronation of King George II took place in London.
In 1776, Brigadier General Bendict Arnold, with a force of 15
gunboats, attempted to block the British from New York at the
battle of Valcour Island. The British under Carleton pursued
Arnold over two days after which practically all Arnold's ships were destroyed.
In 1797, the Dutch with 16 ships under Admiral de Winter -
on their way to join the French off Ireland - were defeated by an English fleet under Admiral Duncan at battle of Camperdown. Almost 1,200 Dutch died and their flagship was sunk.
In 1871, the Great Fire of Chicago was finally extinguished
after three days. At least 300 people were killed and 90,000
were made homeless. Damage was estimated at over $200 million.
In 1899, the South African Boer War began between the British
Empire and Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State.
In 1939, Albert Einstein and other U.S scientists informed
President Roosevelt of the possibilities of developing an atomic bomb.
In 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council in
St. Peter's Basilica in Rome -- the first meeting of the council since 1869-70.
In 1970, Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte
was kidnapped and murdered by Quebec separatists. His body was found on October 17.
In 1976, Mao Zedong's widow Jiang Qing and three
others, the "Gang of Four," were arrested in China and charged with plotting a coup.
In 1977, North Yemeni president Colonel Ibrahim al-Hamdi
together with his brother and brother in law were killed by
In 1980, two Soviet cosmonauts concluded longest space mission up to that time, 185 days, aboard Salyut 6.
In 1982, the "Mary Rose," once Henry VIII's flagship, was
raised from the Solent, off southern England.
In 1988, Pope John Paul's speech to the European parliament in Strasbourg was disrupted when hardline Northern Ireland
Protestant the Reverend Ian Paisley began shouting
"Anti-Christ" and waved a red banner reading "John Paul II
In 1990, a crowd of 150,000 packed the May 1 stadium in the
North Korean capital Pyongyang to see North Korea beat South
Korea 2-1 in an historic soccer friendly -- the first sports
competition between the divided nation on home soil.
In 1993, William Nygaard, a Norwegian publisher whose firm
translated "The Satanic Verses" by British author Salman
Rushdie, was shot and seriously wounded in Oslo.
The East Africa nation of Kenya has been beset by off and on anti-government disturbances in recent months. But when the country is not at odds with itself over governance, it is hosting hordes of tourists from around the world at its beautiful beaches and highland retreats. Africa Online's Kenya travel page is a good place to start looking beyond the country's troubled government and seeing its colorful culture.
Holidays and more
Bhutan celebrates Thimphu Tshechu.
Israel observes a Day of Atonement.
Malaysia celebrates Yang DiPertua Negeri's Birthday.
Netherlands Antilles observes Yom Kippur.
Journalist and author Joseph Alsop is 87.
Musician Art Blakey is 78.
Physician Robert Gale is 52.
Singer Daryl Hall is 49.
Actor Ron Leibman is 60.
Actor David Morse is 44.
Actor Luke Perry is 31.
Choreographer Jerome Robbins is 79.
Actor Roy Scheider is 62.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan