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Monday, December 15, 1997

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  • "I declare my respects to the great people of the United States, and I hope that in the close future I would have a dialogue and talk with the people of America."

    -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami

    Today's event

  • U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is to decide whether to expand an investigation into what role campaign donations to the Democratic Party might have played in the Interior Department's decision to turn down a proposed Indian casino.

  • Guyana holds presidential and parliamentary elections.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Friday, December 19, the verdict in the trial of a 75-year-old German charged with participating in a World War II massacre of Jews in Ukraine is expected in a Cologne courtroom.

  • On Saturday, December 20, the Progress M-37 cargo ship is to launch from Kazakhstan on its way to Mir space station.

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    On this day

  • In 1791, the Bill of Rights -- the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- went into effect.

  • In 1794, in the War of Austrian Succession, the Prussians under Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau heavily defeated the Saxons under Rutowski at the battle of Kesseldorf near Dresden.

  • In 1806, in the Napoleonic Wars, French forces under Napoleon entered Warsaw.

  • In 1840, Napoleon's remains were interred in Les Invalides in Paris, having been brought from St Helena where he died.

  • In 1874, the first reigning king to visit the United States, King David Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), was received by President Ulysses Grant on this day.

  • In 1890, "Sitting Bull" (Tatanka Iyotake), Sioux Indian chief who led the Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn against George Custer, was killed. He died while resisting arrest by Native American police.

  • In 1899, in the second Boer War, the British under Gen. Redvers Buller made a frontal attack in the battle of Colenso aimed at relieving the besieged town of Ladysmith. The action failed and the British lost over 1,100 men.

  • In 1939, in the United States, the epic film "Gone with the Wind" had its world premiere in Atlanta, introduced by its producer David O. Selznick.

  • In 1961, in Israel, Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi SS colonel in World War II, was sentenced to death in Jerusalem for organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.

  • In 1961, the U.N. General Assembly voted against a Soviet proposal to admit Communist China as a member.

  • In 1964, Canada's parliament adopted a new national flag with a red maple leaf on a white background.

  • In 1965, U.S. spacecraft Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 achieved the first space rendezvous, flying side by side for two orbits.

  • In 1966, Walt Disney, American film producer and animator, died. Universally known as the creator of Mickey Mouse, his studio produced numerous world famous cartoons, notably "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinocchio" and "Bambi."

  • In 1970, the unmanned Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 landed on Venus.

  • In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced he would establish diplomatic relations with China from January 1, 1979, and break off relations with Taiwan.

  • In 1992, El Salvador's government and leftist guerrilla leaders formally declared the end of a 12-year civil war.

  • In 1993, delegations from 117 countries approved by consensus a GATT trade treaty aimed at opening up international markets.

  • In 1995, the U.N. Security Council authorized NATO to take over peacekeeping operations in Bosnia in a resolution spelling the end of one of the United Nations' toughest field missions.

  • In 1995, Southeast Asian nations signed a treaty banning the possession, manufacture and acquisition of nuclear weapons and created a nuclear arms-free zone from Burma and Vietnam in the north to Indonesia in the south.

  • In 1995, European Union leaders christened their planned new single currency the "Euro."

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    As 1997 draws to a close, capital gains cuts could save many a bundle. Learn more about the new tax laws at TIME This Week.


    Holidays and more

  • Belgium celebrates the Nuts Fair.

  • Curacao marks Kingdom Day.

  • Actor Don Johnson is 48.

  • Musician Dave Clark is 55.

  • Artist Friedrich Hundertwasser is 69.

  • Author Edna O'Brien is 66.

  • Former football player Daryl Turner is 36.

  • Former football player Nicholas Buoniconti is 57.

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

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