Sunday, October 12, 1997
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh visit India to help commemorate 50 years of independence from British rule.
U.S. President Bill Clinton begins a visit to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.
The 15th World Petroleum Congress opens in Beijing.
Britain's wildly popular Spice Girls hold a concert at the Abdi Ipekci Spor Salonu in Turkey.
On the horizon
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 Friday, October 17, Sao Paulo, Brazil's, 21st International Film Exhibition begins with over 150 films to be screened.
On this day
In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the
New World. His crew landed in the Bahamas after a 33-day voyage from the Canary Islands, initially believing they had found Asia.
In 1518, after proceedings began against Martin Luther for
heresy, he was summoned to the Diet of Augsburg and in
theological discussions on this day with Cardinal Cajetan,
Luther refused to recant his views.
In 1702, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession, Admiral Rooke, with 30 British ships defeated the Spanish at the battle of Vigo Bay and seized 11 ships full of treasure.
In 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The festivities became an annual event and evolved into the present-day Oktoberfest celebration of beer and bratwurst.
In 1811, Paraguay declared its independence from Spain and
In 1822, Brazil formally became independent of Portugal.
In 1915, British nurse Edith Cavell was shot for helping allied soldiers escape from German occupied Brussels during World War I.
In 1928, the first "iron lung" was used at Boston Children's
Hospital, Massachusetts on a patient suffering from poliomyelitis.
In 1940, Tom Mix, a U.S. film actor in the silent era, was
killed in a car crash in Arizona. He had become a huge success and the silent cinema's most popular cowboy star.
In 1960, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, angered during a
debate on colonialism at the U.N. General Assembly, took off his shoe and pounded his desk with it several times.
In 1964, the Soviet Union launched Voskhod-1 into orbit around the Earth. It was the first spaceship to carry a multiple crew.
In 1968, Equatorial Guinea became independent after 190 years
of Spanish rule, its first president being Francisco Macias
In 1973, Juan Peron was inaugurated as Argentine president,
with his wife, Isabel, as vice-president.
In 1976, Chinese Prime Minister Hua Guofeng was appointed
Chairman of the Communist Party.
In 1978, Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty negotiations were
opened in Washington by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
In 1983, former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka was
sentenced to four years' imprisonment for his part in the
Lockheed bribery scandal.
In 1984, five people were killed when an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, during the annual Conservative Party conference.
In 1986, a summit conference between U.S. President Ronald
Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ended in Reykjavik
without reaching any agreement on arms control.
In 1989, Christer Pettersson, sentenced to life imprisonment
for the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, was freed by the Court of Appeal.
In 1990, motorcycle gunmen killed Egyptian parliamentary
speaker Rifaat Mahjoub and three of his bodyguards in a
machine-gun ambush in Cairo.
In 1992, an earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale,
struck Cairo killing 552 people were killed and injuring almost 10,000. The epicenter was not far from the great pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
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
Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Honduras, Uruguay and Venezuela all celebrate the discovery of the Americas by Columbus.
Chile, Costa Rica and Guatemala all celebrate the Day of the Race.
Equatorial Guinea celebrates Independence Day.
Spain celebrates Hispanity Day.
Singer Susan Anton is 47.
Actor Kirk Cameron is 27.
Comedian Dick Gregory is 65.
Sportscaster Tony Kubek is 61.
Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch is 74.
Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti is 62.
Actor Adam Rich is 29.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan