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Sunday, October 26, 1997

  • Today's Events
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  • "We're getting reports of 200 to 400 stranded cars on I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs."

    -- Jim Carpenter, of Colorado's governor's office

    Today's events

  • China's President Jiang Zemin begins an official visit to the United States.

  • An independence referendum is to be held in the self-declared state of Anjouan which announced its secession form the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros on August 3.

  • Argentina holds mid-term congressional elections. Half of the seats in the lower house of Congress are at stake.

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    On the horizon

  • On Monday, October 27, representatives of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific countries are scheduled to open a joint assembly with European Union representatives in Lome, Togo.

  • On Tuesday, October 28, Britain's Prince Charles and son Prince Harry are scheduled to leave for a week-long visit to Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa.

  • On Wednesday, October 29, Swiss banks will publish the second list of thousands of dormant accounts opened right before World War II in an effort to locate the rightful owners.

  • On Thursday, October 30, Ireland holds a presidential election.

  • On Friday, October 31, U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton expected to deliver an inaugural lecture at the University of Belfast for a chair honoring Joyce McCartan, a voluntary worker she met in Belfast in 1995.

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    On this day

  • In 899, King Alfred the Great, Saxon King of Wessex, southwest England, is believed to have died on this date. A soldier and scholar, he fought against the invading Danes and formed England's first navy.

  • In 1440, Gilles de Rais, French marshal who fought for Joan of Arc, was hanged for Satanism and the murder of 140 children. His crimes inspired the tale of "Bluebeard."

  • In 1825, the Erie Canal opened to traffic. The waterway linked Lake Erie with the Hudson River, enabling traffic to bypass the British-controlled lower St. Lawrence.

  • In 1881, the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, was the scene of an epic gunfight between the feuding Clanton and Earp families. Wyatt Earp, two of his brothers and "Doc" Holliday gunned down two Clantons and two other men.

  • In 1905, Sweden and Norway signed a Treaty of Separation, and Oscar II abdicated as king of Norway.

  • In 1944, the U.S. navy beat the Japanese at Leyte Gulf in the Philippines after three days of what is seen as one of history's great sea battles. More than 30 ships were sunk, most of them Japanese including their last four aircraft carriers.

  • In 1951, Winston Churchill became British prime minister for a second time, following his Conservative Party's narrow victory in general elections the previous day.

  • In 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem proclaimed South Vietnam a republic and declared himself president.

  • In 1956, the International Atomic Energy Agency was formally set up.

  • In 1962, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev sent a note to President John Kennedy offering to withdraw his missiles from Cuba if the United States closed its bases in Turkey. The offer was rejected, and the Cuban missile crisis continued.

  • In 1967, the Shah of Iran was officially crowned on his 48th birthday, having deferred his coronation for 26 years.

  • In 1979, South Korean President Park Chung-Hee was shot and killed by his intelligence chief Kim Jae-kyu.

  • In 1989, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson resigned over policy differences with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. John Major replaced him.

  • In 1990, the Soviet republic of Kirghizia decided to change its official name to the Socialist Republic of Kyrgyzstan, a title recalling the ancient Turkic origins of many of its people.

  • In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in a ceremony at their border attended by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

  • In 1995, radical Palestinian leader Fathi Shqaqi was assassinated in Malta.

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    On this day in 1956 the International Atomic Energy Agency was formally set up. Visit the world body's Web site to see what this important but obscure agency does for the planet.


    Holidays and more

  • Nauru celebrates Angam Day.

  • First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is 50.

  • Actor Cary Elwes is 35.

  • Former football player Chuck Foreman is 47.

  • Actor Bob Hoskins is 55.

  • Filmmaker Ivan Reitman is 51.

  • TV personality Pat Sajak is 51.

  • Actress Jaclyn Smith is 50.

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

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