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Thursday, June 4, 1998
"This shakes me to the core. I had to collect body parts, legs and arms of men, women and children."
fireman Walter Stroetmann, rescurer at scene of train crash in Germany
- Terry Nichols is to be sentenced in Denver for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
- On Friday, June 5, U.S. President Bill Clinton is to deliver the commencement address at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- On Saturday, June 6, the Belmont Stakes, the third in racing's Triple Crown, will be held.
- On Sunday, June 7, the Tony Awards will be presented in New York.
- On Monday, June 8, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Kenneth Starr's request for notes taken by White House aide Vincent Foster in 1993.
- On Tuesday, June 9, Vernon Jordan says he's to make his fifth appearance before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Today's the day. The World Pork Expo (yes, there is one) starts today in Des Moines, Iowa. Bone up.
- Actor Gene Barry ("War of the Worlds") is 77.
- Actor Keith David ("Platoon") is 44.
- Singer Eldra DeBarge is 37.
- Actor Bruce Dern ("Coming Home") is 62.
- Singer, actress Michelle Phillips ("Knots Landing") is 53.
- Actor Parker Stevenson ("Melrose Place") is 45.
- Actor Dennis Weaver ("Gunsmoke") is 74.
- Therapist Ruth Westheimer is 69.
- Actor Noah Wyle ("ER") is 27.
- In 1738, King George III of Britain was born.
- In 1783, brothers Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier made the first public demonstration of a hot-air balloon.
- In 1798, Giovanni Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt, Italian adventurer, writer, diplomat and spy, died. His name became synonomous with passion after a series of romantic intrigues across Europe.
- In 1831, the Belgium Congress proclaimed Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as the first monarch of an independent Belgium.
- In 1859, the French defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Magenta, Italy.
- In 1867, Carl Gustav Emil von Mannnerheim, Finnish soldier and statesman, was born. He was responsible for organizing the Mannerheim Line of defense against Russia during World War II and was president of Finland from 1944-1946.
- In 1896, Henry Ford took his first car to the roads of Detroit for a trial run.
- In 1910, Sir Christopher Cockerell, British inventor of the hovercraft, was born.
- In 1913, British suffragette Emily Davison ran in front of the king's horse Anmer during the Derby horse race; she died June 8.
- In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous "We shall fight on the beaches ... we shall never surrender" speech to the House of Commons.
- In 1941, Kaiser Wilhelm II, ninth king of Prussia and third German emperor from 1888-1918, died in exile in the Netherlands.
- In 1942, the Battle of Midway, the turning point in the sea war in the Pacific, began.
- In 1943, President Ramon Castillo was overthrown by an army coup in Argentina.
- In 1944, Rome was liberated by allied troops with the U.S. General Mark Clark leading the way into the city. Historic sites had been left intact.
- In 1946, Gen. Juan Peron was inaugurated as president of Argentina.
- In 1951, conductor Serge Koussevitsky died. Born in Russia, he conducted the State Symphony Orchestra in Petrograd before moving to the United States to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- In 1968, Sir Walter Nash, veteran New Zealand politician and prime minister from 1957-60, died.
- In 1970, the British protectorate of Tonga became independent within the Commonwealth.
- In 1977, the Soviet Union published its new draft constitution, which was approved by the Supreme Soviet the following October.
- In 1979, in South Africa, John Vorster resigned as president after the Erasmus Commission report implicated him in a scandal involving misappropriation of government funds while he was prime minister.
- In 1989, hundreds of student dissidents were killed when the Chinese army moved in to remove them from Tiananmen Square; some estimates put the death toll in the thousands.
- In 1989, gas from a leaking pipeline exploded, engulfing two packed passenger trains on the Trans-Siberian railway; 575 people were killed and more than 600 injured in the second worst rail disaster ever.
- In 1991, after a 20-day general strike, the communist government in Albania under Fatos Nano resigned. In 1993, the U.N. Security Council agreed to send armed troops to Bosnia to protect six "safe havens" -- Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zepa, Srebrenica, Gorazde and Bihac.
- In 1994, Bangladesh ordered the arrest of feminist writer Taslima Nasrin after she told an Indian newpaper the Koran should be "thoroughly revised."
- In 1996, the wife of detained Nigerian presidential claimant Moshood Abiola was shot and killed by unknown gunmen.
- In 1996, Europe's Ariane-5 rocket was blown up by ground controllers after it veered off course 40 seconds into its maiden flight.
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