Tuesday, December 23, 1997
The National Menorah will be lit in Washington, D.C.
A ceremony in Jerusalem kicks off a year of festivities
marking Israel's golden anniversary.
On the horizon
On Wednesday, December 24, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah
On Thursday, December 25, much of the world celebrates
On Friday, December 26, one of the busiest U.S. shopping
days of the year begins with consumers rushing to grab
On this day
In 1588, Henry III of France ordered the assassination of
Henri III Duc de Guise and his brother Louis, cardinal of
Lorraine, at a meeting of the States General at Blois.
In 1861, the Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and
Moldavia were formally united as Romania.
In 1888, in a fit of depression, Dutch painter Vincent van
Gogh cut off his left ear. His "Self-Portrait with Bandaged
Ear" shows the right one bandaged because he painted the
In 1913, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, a
major restructuring of the country's monetary and banking
In 1933, Marinus van der Lubbe was found guilty and
sentenced to death in Germany for setting fire to the
Reichstag earlier in the year.
In 1941, the Japanese captured Wake Island and renamed it
the Island of Birds.
In 1948, Hideki Tojo was hanged as a war criminal. A
Japanese soldier who became prime minister, he was in power
when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII announced that St. Peter's tomb had
been found under the Vatican.
In 1953, Lavrenty Beria, former security police chief who
played a role in Stalin's political purges, was executed for
plotting to succeed him as Soviet leader.
In 1964, a cyclone struck Ceylon, killing at least 2,000
In 1972, Andrei Tupolev, Soviet aircraft designer, died.
Before World War II, he designed bombers and the huge ANT-20
"Maxim Gorky." After the war, he created the world's first
supersonic airliner the TU-144.
In 1972, a massive earthquake struck Managua, Nicaragua,
killing up to 7,000 people.
In 1973, Iran announced that the six main oil producers in
the Gulf would increase the export price of their oil 100
percent from January 1974.
In 1994, in Yugoslavia, U.N. special envoy Yasushi Akashi
clinched a deal and Bosnia's Muslim-led government and rebel
Serbs signed a cease-fire agreement to take effect at noon
the next day.
In 1995, fire swept through a school ceremony at the Rajiv
Marriage Palace in a small north Indian town, killing at
least 400 people, most of them children.
In 1996, four women were ordained as priests in Jamaica, the
first in the 330-year history of the Anglican church in the
Were you one of the thousands who headed to the movie
theater this weekend to take a trip on the "Titanic"? Learn more about the true-life tragedy at Britannica Online.
Holidays and more
Japanese Emperor Akihito is 64.
Author Robert Bly is 71.
Actor Corey Haim is 25.
Actress Susan Lucci is 48.
Actor Gerald O'Loughlin is 76.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan