CNN logo

Infoseek/Big Yellow

Pathfinder/Warner Bros

Barnes and Noble

Almanac Main banner

Saturday, December 13, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "Our work will continue and we will spare no effort to determine exactly what happened to TWA 800."

    -- NTSB Chairman James Hall

    Today's events

  • U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visits South Africa.

  • rule

    On the horizon

  • On Sunday, December 14, the South African Truth Commission is due to expire.

  • On Monday, December 15, Guyana holds presidential and parliamentary elections.

  • On Tuesday, December 16, Nelson Mandela is to step down as South Africa's African National Congress president.

  • On Wednesday, December 17, the undocking of the Progress M-36 cargo ship from the Mir space station is scheduled.

  • On Thursday, December 18, South Korea holds presidential elections.

  • rule

    On this day

  • In 1250, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and Sicily, died and was succeeded by Conrad IV.

  • In 1545, the Council of Trent, summoned by Pope Paul III in May 1542, finally met to discuss doctrinal matters, especially the rise of Protestantism.

  • In 1577, Francis Drake began a voyage from Plymouth, England, in the "Golden Hind" that was to take him around the world.

  • In 1642, New Zealand was discovered by the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. Several of his men were killed in attempting to land when Maoris interpreted an exchange of trumpet fanfares as a prelude to battle.

  • In 1862, in the American Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee with 80,000 Confederates repulsed Gen. Burnside with his 150,000 Federals at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. After hard fighting along the Massaponax River, Burnside lost almost 14,000 troops.

  • In 1884, the first coin-operated weighing machine was patented by Percy Everitt.

  • In 1937, Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). Over the following six weeks, in one of the worst atrocities of World War II, they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."

  • In 1939, in World War II, the battle of the River Plate took place off the coast of South America between the British cruisers Exeter, Ajax and Achilles and the German battleship Graf Spee.

  • In 1941, British forces retreated to Hong Kong island as the invading Japanese army took Kowloon and the New Territories.

  • In 1967, King Constantine of Greece and his family fled the country after a counter-coup failed to topple the military-backed government.

  • In 1979, in Canada, Prime Minister Joe Clark's 7-month-old Progressive Conservative government was defeated in a vote of no confidence in parliament.

  • In 1981, the Polish government imposed martial law and took its strongest step so far to stifle Solidarity's unprecedented challenge against Communist rule.

  • In 1983, civilian Turgut Ozal became prime minister of Turkey after three years of military rule.

  • In 1991, North and South Korea signed a non-aggression accord aimed at improving their often rocky ties.

  • In 1993, the European Community ratified a treaty creating the world's largest trade bloc, the European Economic Area, to come into effect on January 1 1994.

  • In 1995, Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng, a 1995 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was imprisoned for 14 years for subversive acts.

  • In 1996, ministers and officials from 128 countries adopted a wide-ranging final declaration at the end of the five-day World Trade Organization conference in Singapore.

  • rule


    Frank Sinatra, one of the most loved entertainers in the world, turned 82 Friday. Check out A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra for an unusual homage to Ole Blue Eyes.


    Holidays and more

  • Malta celebrates Republic Day.

  • Sri Lanka celebrates Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day and National Day.

  • Comedian TIm Conway is 64.

  • Entertainer John Davidson is 56.

  • Football player Richard Dent is 37.

  • Singer Ted Nugent is 48.

  • Actor Christopher Plummer is 68.

  • Actor Dick Van Dyke is 72.

  • rule

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

    To the top

    © 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Terms under which this service is provided to you.