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Saturday, December 27, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
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  • "I wanted the end to be from a point of strength. I wanted the end to be graceful."

    -- Jerry Seinfeld, on his decision to end his hit TV show

    Today's events

  • National Football League wild-card playoff games are held.

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    On the horizon

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

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

  • On Wednesday, December 31, Luxembourg relinquishes its six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

  • On Thursday, January 1, Britain assumes presidency of the European Union.

  • On Friday, January 2, World Chess Championship finals begin in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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    On this day

  • In 1703, England and Portugal signed the Methuen Treaty, under which the Portuguese agreed to admit English textiles, which they had previously prohibited, and the English agreed to import wines at a duty rate lower than that imposed on French wines.

  • In 1831, the British Admiralty survey ship HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, set out from Plymouth on its scientific voyage round the globe.

  • In 1927, Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, marking a victory by Stalin in a power struggle.

  • In 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened to the public in New York.

  • In 1945, the International Monetary Fund was established in Washington.

  • In 1945, foreign ministers of Britain, U.S. and U.S.S.R., meeting in Moscow, agreed on a plan to govern Korea for five years.

  • In 1947, children's show "Howdy Doody" premiered on NBC.

  • In 1948, Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, Catholic primate of Hungary, was arrested for anti-Communist statements.

  • In 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands

  • In 1956, after the Suez Crisis between Egypt and Israel, Britain and France, a U.N. fleet began the clearance operation.

  • In 1965, British Petroleum's North Sea oil rig Sea Gem collapsed, killing 13.

  • In 1969, Libya, Sudan and the UAR agreed to form a military, political and economic alliance.

  • In 1972, Belgium became the first NATO country to establish diplomatic relations with East Germany.

  • In 1972, Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff issued an ultimatum demanding withdrawal of British forces. Britain refused.

  • In 1972, Lester Pearson, Canadian statesman and prime minister from 1963-68, died. He won the Nobel Peace Price in 1957 for his efforts to resolve the Suez crisis of 1956.

  • In 1975, more than 400 Indian miners died after being trapped underground following an explosion and flooding in Chasnala Colliery, Bihar State.

  • In 1978, King Juan Carlos ratified Spain's first democratic constitution.

  • In 1978, Algerian President Houari Boumedienne died. He became president after the coup which overthrew Ben Bella in 1965.

  • In 1979, Afghan President Hafizullah Amin was executed following a coup backed by the invading Soviet forces.

  • In 1984, four police officers went on trial in Warsaw for the killing of pro-Solidarity priest Father Popieluszko.

  • In 1985, fifteen people were killed when four Palestinian terrorists attacked the El Al check-in counter at Rome's Fiumicino airport. A similar attack at Vienna's Schwechat airport left four dead, including one gunman.

  • In 1989, Egypt and Syria resumed full diplomatic relations after a 12-year break.

  • In 1990, Gennady Yanayev was elected to the new post of Soviet vice president.

  • In 1991, all 129 passengers and crew survived when a Scandinavian Airlines airliner crash-landed and broke into three pieces minutes after taking off from Stockholm.

  • In 1995, France staged the fifth in a series of bitterly disputed nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

  • In 1995, Israeli troops withdrew from Ramallah, completing the handover of six West Bank towns to the Palestinians.

  • In 1995, Ukraine-born Shura Cherkassky, one of the world's last great romantic pianists, died.

  • In 1996, Rwanda's first genocide trial opened with the accused facing the death penalty for their part in the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis.

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    Radio City Music Hall opened its New York City doors to the public 65 years ago today. Take a peek behind the stage with the official Grand Tour.


    Holidays and more

  • Actor Gerard Depardieu is 49.

  • Actress Tovah Feldshuh is 45.

  • Fashion designer Bernard Lanvin is 62.

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

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