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Tuesday, December 30, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • "I hit my head on the ceiling. It was like something straight out of the movies."

    -- -- United Airlines passenger Yuji Takahashi

    Today's events

  • World Universities' Debating Championships will be held in Athens, Greece.

  • The U.S. Conference Board releases its monthly survey of consumer confidence.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Saturday, January 3, NFL divisional playoffs begin.

  • On Sunday, January 4, the Palestinian Authority is scheduled to announce the results of the first West Bank and Gaza Strip census.

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    On this day

  • In 1460, in the Wars of the Roses, Richard of York with some 5,000 men was heavily defeated by Queen Margaret and the Lancastrians at the battle of Wakefield; nearly 3,000 Yorkists were killed.

  • In 1691, Robert Boyle, British chemist noted for his experiments on the properties of gases, died.

  • In 1803, in the second Maratha War, the ruling Sindhia family member of Gwalior, Daulat Rao, finally surrendered to the British after being defeated in four battles.

  • In 1803, the United States took formal possession of the territory of Louisiana, an area of 828,000 square miles, nearly doubling the size of the country.

  • In 1873, the American Metrological Society, the first organization to improve the system of weights and measures, was formed.

  • In 1879, Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" premiered in Paignton, England.

  • In 1880, the Transvaal, under Paul Kruger, declared itself a republic.

  • In 1894, Amelia Jenks Bloomer, U.S. women's rights campaigner, died. She invented "bloomers" in 1850.

  • In 1903, a fire in the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago killed 588 people; public outrage led to new theater safety codes across America.

  • In 1915, in World War One, a German submarine torpedoed the British P & O liner Persia off Crete. At least 330 people were killed out of the 501 passengers and crew aboard.

  • In 1916, Grigory Rasputin, Siberian peasant, mystic, and favourite of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra was shot, was poisoned and eventually drowned at the house of Prince Feliks Yusupov.

  • In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established through the confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation.

  • In 1933, Romanian Premier Ion Duca was assassinated by a member of the Iron Guard.

  • In 1947, King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate when the Romanian People's Republic was proclaimed.

  • In 1968, Trygve Lie, Norwegian statesman and first secretary-general of the United Nations (1946-52), died.

  • In 1979, U.S. composer Richard Rodgers died; he collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II in the hit musicals "Oklahoma!," "South Pacific," "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music."

  • In 1985, President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan ended martial law, in operation since he came to power in 1977.

  • In 1988, Yugoslav Prime Minister Branko Mikulic and his government resigned in an economic policy showdown with parliament.

  • In 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and President-elect George Bush were subpoenaed to testify at the trial of former White House aide Oliver North on criminal charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair.

    In 1988, Yury Churbanov, son-in-law of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, was jailed for 12 years for bribery.

  • In 1992, Interim Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was elected head of state for two years in a ballot in which he was the sole candidate.

  • In 1993, Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement on mutual recognition, seeking to put behind them 2,000 years of often bitter Jewish-Christian relations.

  • In 1993, Sudan, angered by the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to the rebel-held south, ordered the British ambassador to leave the country.

  • In 1995, tens of thousands of cheering Palestinians greeted PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in the West Bank after Israeli troops withdrew from the city.

  • In 1995, hundreds of people, many weeping with joy, lined the streets of Gorazde in eastern Bosnia to welcome the first passenger bus into the Muslim enclave for over three years.

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    Concerned about reports of new viruses and diseases? Turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all the latest information.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is a National Holiday in Costa Rica.

  • Today in a Bank Holiday in El Salvador.

  • Today in Rizal Day in the Philippines.

  • Actor and writer Joseoh Bologna is 59.

  • Singer and songwriter Bo Diddley is 69.

  • Track athlete Ben Johnson is 36.

  • Actor and singer Davy Jones is 51.

  • Former sportscaster Sandy Koufax is 62.

  • News anchor Matt Lauer is 40.

  • Actor Jack Lord is 67.

  • Singer Michael Nesmith is 55.

  • Actor Russ Tamblyn is 62.

  • Actress Tracey Ullman is 38.

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

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