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Wednesday, December 31, 1997

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
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  • "Since they died, I don't have a life. There's not a day goes by that I don't think of them, don't hear that explosion, don't wish I could reach into heaven and bring them back."

    -- -- Jannie Coverdale, who lost two grandsons in the Oklahoma City bombing

    Today's events

  • Luxembourg relinquishes its six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

  • The ball drops over Times Square in New York City at midnight ET.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Monday, January 5, Iraq faces deadline to submit a new aid distribution plan to be executed under the oil-for-food plan.

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    On this day

  • In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to the "company of merchants of London trading to the East Indies" -- the East India Company.

  • In 1719, John Flamsteed, who became England's first Astronomer Royal, died; the Greenwich Observatory was built for him.

  • In 1851, in Austria, the constitution of 1849 was abolished leading to an increase in imperial power.

  • In 1879, the first public demonstration of an electric incandescent lamp was given by Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey.

  • In 1911, Marie Curie received her second Nobel prize for her work on radioactive elements.

  • In 1923, in London, the chimes of the clock Big Ben were broadcast for the first time by the BBC.

  • In 1938, Dr. R.N. Harger's "drunkometer," the first breath test for car drivers, was officially introduced in Indianapolis.

  • In 1946, in the United States, President Truman formally declared an end to all hostilities in the Second World War.

  • In 1948, British racing driver Sir Malcolm Campbell died. He broke land speed records nine times and in 1935 in Utah he became the first to travel on land at over 300 miles (483 km) per hour.

  • In 1963, the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formally dissolved.

  • In 1968, Russia's TU-144 supersonic airliner made its first flight, several months ahead of the Anglo-French Concorde which it closely resembled.

  • In 1971, Austrian Kurt Waldheim took over as U.N. Secretary-General after U Thant retired.

  • In 1973, a three-day work week was introduced in Britain to conserve energy during a miners' strike.

  • In 1981, in Ghana, President Hilla Limann's civilian government was overthrown in a military coup led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings.

  • In 1994, Bosnia's Muslim-led government signed an agreement for a four-month ceasefire in Bosnia, the 1,000th day of the bitter Serb siege of Sarajevo.

  • In 1995, Algerian President Liamine Zeroual appointed Ahmed Ouyahia as prime minister to replace Mokdad Sifi.

  • In 1995, American tanks and troops rolled into Bosnia to keep the peace after U.S. army engineers beat the Balkan winter and completed a pontoon bridge over the river Sava.

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    Can't get to New York to watch the ball drop in Times Square tonight at midnight? No problem. Put on a party hat, fire up your computer and watch the ball drop live, thanks to AudioNet.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is a bank holiday in Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, El Salvador, Japan, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines and Tahiti.

  • Azerbaijan Republic celebrates Solidarity Day.

  • Costa Rica celebrates a national holiday.

  • Malaysia celebrates Awal Ramadhan.

  • It is a festival day in Montserrat.

  • It is St. Silvester Day in San Marino and the Vatican City State.

  • It is Restoration Day in Switzerland.

  • Singer Rex Allen is 73.

  • Actress Rosalind Cash is 59.

  • Actor Val Kilmer is 38.

  • Actor Ben Kingsley is 54.

  • Actor Tim Matheson is 49.

  • Actress Sarah Miles is 56.

  • Folk singer Odetta is 67.

  • Actor James Remar is 44.

  • Singer Donna Summer is 49.

  • Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 52.

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

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