Saturday, December 20, 1997
The Progress M-37 cargo ship is to
launch from Kazakhstan on its way to the Mir space station.
A countdown clock for the handover of the Portuguese
colony of Macau back to China will be set up in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
On the horizon
On Sunday, December 21, presidential elections are held in
On Monday, December 22, the Progress M-37 cargo ship is
scheduled to dock with the Mir space station.
On Tuesday, December 23, the National Menorah will be lit in
On Wednesday, December 24, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah
On Thursday, December 25, much of the world celebrates Christmas.
On this day
In 1046, by the Synod at Sutri in Italy, King Henry III
dismissed Pope Gregory VI and four days later Clement II was
elected as pope.
In 1560, the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
In 1699, Peter the Great announced a reorganization of the
Russian calendar, decreeing that the New Year would begin on
January 1 and not September 1.
In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from
the American Union; it was not readmitted until 1868.
In 1914, in World War I, the first battle of Champagne began
with the French attacking German machinegun positions.
In 1945, Karl Renner was elected first president of the new
Second Austrian republic.
In 1970, in Poland, Communist leader Wladyslaw Gomulka
resigned after riots and was replaced by Edward Gierek.
In 1971, Pakistani President Mohammad Yahya Khan resigned and
handed power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
In 1973, in Spain, General Franco's prime minister and
right-hand man, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated as
he rode through a Madrid street.
In 1979, Kim Jae-kyu, head of the Korean Central Intelligence
Agency, was sentenced to death for the assassination of
President Park Chung-hee in Seoul.
In 1981, Romuald Spasowski, Polish ambassador in Washington,
was granted political asylum in the United States.
In 1989, the United States invaded Panama and installed a new
government but initially failed in its key objective of seizing
strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega.
In 1990, Russian Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, a key figure in
five years of Soviet reform that helped end the Cold War,
In 1995, NATO took over peacekeeping from the U.N. in
Yugoslavia and moved quickly to sweep away key roadblocks in
Tired of the same old sugar cookie recipe for the holidays? Check out World in Your Kitchen's Favorite Holiday Recipes and try your hand at Christmas Lizzies and Cranmellow Cheesecake.
Holidays and more
Actress Jenny Agutter is 45.
Psychic Uri Geller is 51.
Actor John Hillerman is 65.
Actor Mark Keyloun is 37.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan