Tuesday, February 17, 1998
The trial of Jonathan Norman, charged with stalking film director Steven Spielberg, is scheduled to start in Santa Monica, California.
The U.S. Navy formally ceases its Operation Deep Freeze after 42 years of sailing and flying support missions to Antarctica.
On the horizon
On Wednesday, February 18, multiparty talks on Northern Ireland's future open in Dublin.
On Thursday, February 19, preparatory talks will be held in London for an ASEM leaders summit in April.
On Friday, February 20, the start of the "Women of Color and Allies Summit:
Linking Arms in Dangerous Times" begins in Arlington, Virginia.
On Saturday, February 21, the National Governors Association holds its winter
meeting in Washington, D.C.
On Sunday, February 22, extradition hearings for Maryland murder suspect Samuel Sheinbein are scheduled to start in Tel Aviv.
On this day
In 1461, in the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists under Warwick were heavily defeated by Queen Margarets Lancastrians at the battle of St. Albans.
In 1600, Giordano Bruno, philosopher and mathematician whose
theories anticipated modern science, was betrayed to the
Inquisition and burned as a heretic in Rome.
In 1673, Moliere, stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, French playwright and actor, died after collapsing on stage on the third night of his play "Le Malade Imaginaire," of "The Imaginary Invalid."
In 1859, "Un Ballo in Maschera," an opera by Italian
composer Giuseppe Verdi and based on the murder of Gustavus,
King of Sweden, was first performed in Rome.
In 1864, the Confederate hand-propelled submarine Hunley,
armed with a ram torpedo, sunk the Union's Houstanic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered the first successful attack by a submarine.
In 1880, Tsar Alexander II of Russia survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in the imperial dining room at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
In 1897, the Parent-Teacher Association was formed.
In 1904, the opera "Madama Butterfly" by Giacomo Puccini was
first performed, at La Scala, Milan, Italy.
In 1909, Geronimo, last Apache chief to surrender to the
American government, died in Fort Sill.
In 1919, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian Liberal prime minister from 1896-1911, died. He was the first French Canadian to be prime minister of Canada.
In 1934, Albert I, king of the Belgians since 1909, died. He
led the Belgian Army during World War I.
In 1945, a Soviet offensive forced the rocket expert Wernher
von Braun and other scientists to evacuate the V2 rocket site at Peenemunde, East Germany.
In 1972, the British House of Commons voted to join the
In 1979, China invaded Vietnam in response to what it called Vietnamese aggression over the previous six months.
In 1982, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe sacked Joshua Nkomo from the government for plotting against the ZANU-PF Party.
In 1982, Thelonious Monk, U.S. jazz pianist, died. A key
figure in the development of bebop, he played with Coleman
Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.
In 1982, Lee Strasberg, U.S. actor and co-founder with Elia
Kazan of the Actors Studio in New York, died; the studio
developed the "method" technique of acting.
In 1990, Czechoslovakia's Communist Party expelled former
president Gustav Husak, ex-prime minister Lubomir Strougal and 20 other hardliners who came to power after Soviet tanks crushed the 1968 Prague Spring reform era.
In 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered and cannabalized young
men, was sentenced to 15 life terms.
In 1994, the decomposing body of former Georgian President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia was dug up and identified, confirming the end of the republic's first elected leader.
The National Parent-Teacher Association was formed on this day in 1897. Visit their official site and you just might learn something.
Holidays and more
Basketball star Michael Jordan is 35.
Actor Alan Bates is 64.
Actress Brenda Fricker is 53.
Composer and pianist Lee Hoiby is 72.
Actor Hal Holbrook is 73.
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 36.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1998, J.P. Morgan