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Tuesday, December 23, 1997

  • Today's Events
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  • "I was attacked on every side. People were telling me I would never make it, that I was hurting my career. But I came through all of it."

    -- -- Actress Hunter Tylo after being awarded nearly $5 million for being fired from "Melrose Place" after she became pregnant.

    Today's events

  • 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.

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    On the horizon

  • On Wednesday, December 24, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins.

  • On Thursday, December 25, much of the world celebrates Christmas.

  • On Friday, December 26, one of the busiest U.S. shopping days of the year begins with consumers rushing to grab after-Christmas bargains.

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    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 mirror image.

  • In 1913, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, a major restructuring of the country's monetary and banking system.

  • 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 people.

  • 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 Caribbean.

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    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.

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

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