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Wednesday, December 24, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • "I've already heard from two schools that have accepted me, and it's not even Christmastime yet. It takes a lot of the stress off."

    -- high-school senior Kristin Mitcham

    Today's events

  • The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins.

  • The U.S. Commerce Department releases November personal income records.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Saturday, December 27, National Football League wild-card playoff games are held.

  • On Monday, December 29, Kenya holds presidential and general elections.

  • On Tuesday, December 30, World Universities' Debating Championships will be held in Athens.

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    On this day

  • In 1491, Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), was born.

  • In 1524,Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer and navigator who discovered the sea route to India via the Cape, died.

  • In 1618, Poland agreed to truces in its conflicts with both Sweden and Turkey.

  • In 1800, authorities in Paris uncovered a plot to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • In 1814, the war of 1812 between America and Britain ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

  • In 1863, William Makepeace Thackeray, English author of "Vanity Fair," died.

  • In 1865, the Ku Klux Klan was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee.

  • In 1871, "Aida," an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, was first performed in Cairo, where the story of the opera is set.

  • In 1914, the first air raid on Britain took place when a German monoplane dropped a single bomb on Dover.

  • In 1941, the British Eighth Army recaptured Benghazi, Libya, from the Germans.

  • In 1942, the German research station at Peenemunde successfully tested a new surface-to-surface weapon system. Called the FZG76, it later became better known as the V1 Flying Bomb.

  • In 1942, Francois Darlan, French admiral and a leading figure in the World War II Vichy government, was killed by an anti-Vichy assassin.

  • In 1943, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force preparing for the invasion of France.

  • In 1951, Libya declared its independence and proclaimed a monarchy under King Idriss I.

  • In 1953, in New Zealand, 151 people were killed when an express train crashed into the Whangaehu river.

  • In 1976 - Takeo Fukuda became Japanese prime minister.

  • In 1980, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, commander-in-chief of the German Navy during World War Two, died.

  • In 1986, Aurel Cornea, a French television soundman, was released in Beirut by the clandestine pro-Iranian group which had held him for 291 days.

  • In 1989, deposed Panamanian strongman General Manuel Antonio Noriega turned himself in to the pope's envoy in Panama and asked for political asylum.

  • In 1992, President George Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five other Reagan aides involved in the Iran-contra affair.

  • In 1994, fundamentalist Muslim guerrillas killed two people as they hijacked a French airliner at Algiers airport.

  • In 1995, thousands of Palestinians gathered at Bethlehem's Manger Square to celebrate the city's first Christmas in 28 years free from Israeli occupation.

  • In 1995, Serb and Muslim armies swapped more than 200 prisoners of war in a Christmas Eve gesture symbolising a new era of Bosnian peace under NATO's biggest military operation.

  • In 1995, the first general election victory by an Islamic party in Turkey's 72-year secular history took place when the Welfare Party received 21.32 percent of the vote.

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    Today is the first full day of Hanukkah. Check out our special section to learn more about the traditions and meaning behing the Jewish holiday.


    Holidays and more

  • Isreal celebrates Hanukkah.

  • Actress Jill Bennett is 66.

  • Author, director Nicholas Meyer is 52.

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

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