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Thursday, December 4, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • Holidays & more
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  • "The American people have a right to know why they have this blanket of secrecy over the White House, and I intend to get to the bottom of it."

    -- Rep. Dan Burton

    Today's events

  • The English National Ballet will hold a special performance of "The Nutcracker" dedicated to patron Diana, Princess of Wales.

  • The United States and Romania hold talks on an open skies treaty in Bucharest.

  • European Union justice, home affairs and health ministers meet in Brussels.

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    On the horizon

  • On Friday, December 5, the 5th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference is set to begin in Beijing.

  • On Saturday, December 6, about 50 heads of state are expected to attend the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in Tehran.

  • On Sunday, December 7, the Eleventh International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa opens.

  • On Monday. December 8, amnesty hearings resume into the death in detention of black consciousness activist Steve Biko in South Africa.

  • On Tuesday, December 9, the Steering Board of Bosnia's Peace Implementation Council meets in Germany.

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    On this day

  • In 963, Holy Roman Emperor Otto deposed Pope John XII for dishonorable conduct and for plotting an armed conspiracy; Leo VIII succeeded as pope.

  • In 1154, Nicolas Breakspear, the first and only Englishman to be elected pope, was crowned as Adrian IV.

  • In 1214, William the Lion, king of Scotland, died and was succeeded by his son Alexander II.

  • In 1334, John XXII, pope from 1316, died. The second Avignon pope, he improved church administration and upheld papal authority against Emperor Louis IV.

  • In 1642, Cardinal de Richelieu, French statesman, died. He was chief minister to King Louis XIII of France and, from 1629, first minister and actual ruler of France.

  • In 1791, Britain's Observer, the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, was first published.

  • In 1816, James Monroe was elected fifth president of the United States; he was the first president who had been a senator.

  • In 1829, Britain abolished the practice of "suttee" in India -- the widow burning herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre.

  • In 1851, two days after a coup d'etat in France, Louis Napoleon used troops to put down a rebellion after bloody rioting.

  • In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed, with Alexander I as prince regent.

  • In 1943, Prime Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt and President Inonu of Turkey met at the second Cairo Conference.

  • In 1943, Bolivia declared war on the Axis countries.

  • In 1947, Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire" premiered in New York.

  • In 1965, the U.S. launched Gemini VII into space for a link-up with Gemini VI.

  • In 1972, Honduran President Ramon Cruz was overthrown in an army coup led by General Oswaldo Lopez Arellano.

  • In 1977, in Malaysia, 100 people were killed when a plane hijacked by the Japanese Red Army crashed near Singapore.

  • In 1977, Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor of the Central African Empire.

  • In 1980, Portuguese Prime Minister Francisco Sa Carneiro was killed in an air crash in Lisbon.

  • In 1990, President Hossain Mohammad Ershad of Bangladesh resigned after eight years in power.

  • In 1991, journalist Terry Anderson, the last American and longest-held Western hostage in Lebanon, was freed by his Islamic Jihad (Holy War) captors after being held for 2,454 days. He was kidnapped on March 16, 1985.

  • In 1992, President George Bush ordered about 28,000 U.S. troops to Somalia to block warring Somali gangs from intercepting food shipments.

  • In 1993, the Angolan government and its UNITA guerrilla foes formally adopted terms for a truce to end a conflict killing an estimated 1,000 people a day.

  • In 1993, the Hubble Space Telescope was secured aboard the shuttle Endeavor in preparation for a series of outside repairs by spacewalking astronauts.

  • In 1995, an advance team of NATO troops landed in Sarajevo to enforce a peace accord ending four years of war in former Yugoslavia.

  • In 1995, a Boeing 737 Cameroon airliner crashed into a swamp as it attempted to land near Douala, killing 72 passengers and crew.

  • In 1996, NASA's first Mars rover was launched from Cape Canaveral; it landed successfully on July 4, 1997.

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    The English National Ballet will hold a special performance today of "The Nutcracker" dedicated to patron Princess Diana. For details on the performance and a close look at the corps, check here.


    Holidays and more

  • It is King Tupou I Day in Tonga.

  • Model Tyra Banks is 24.

  • Actor Jeff Bridges is 48.

  • Tennis player Stan Smith is 51.

  • Actress Marisa Tomei is 33.

  • Actress Patricia Wettig is 46.

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

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