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  Daily Almanac
Today's Events | On Horizon | On This Day | Newslink | Notable | Almanac archive

Sunday, December 13, 1998


What I want the American people to know, what I want the Congress to know is that I am profoundly sorry for all I have done wrong in words and deeds.

-- President Clinton, in an apology at the White House, as Congress considered -- and later approved -- articles of impeachment.


today's events

  • President Clinton is in the Mideast. His tentative schedule includes meetings with Israeli President Ezer Weizman, Prime Minister Netanyahu or both. He's also expected to deliver a major address to the people of Israel.

  • Puerto Ricans are scheduled to vote in San Juan on their future relationship with the United States in a non-binding referendum that offers five options: seeking statehood, maintaining commonwealth status, getting independence, and creating a new "free association" with the U.S.

on the horizon

  • On Monday, December 14, President Clinton is scheduled to travel to Gaza City. His tentative schedule includes a meeting with Yasser Arafat and an address to the Palestinian people.

  • On Tuesday, December 15, President Clinton is tentatively scheduled to visit the grave of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, view the Old City, and travel to Bethlehem.

  • On Wednesday, December 16, the formal sentencing of teen-ager Michael Carneal, who pleaded guilty in the December 1997 shootings at Heath High School, takes place in Paducah, Kentucky. He is expected to be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

  • On Thursday, December 17, the 56th annual Golden Globes nominations are to be held in Beverly Hills, California.


To find out more about the Hanukkah holiday, click here.

  • Comedian Tim Conway is 65.
  • Singer John Davidson is 57.
  • Singer Ted Nugent is 49.
  • Actor Christopher Plummer ("The Sound of Music") is 69.
  • Comedian Dick Van Dyke is 73.

on this day

  • In 1250, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and Sicily, died and was succeeded by Conrad IV.

  • In 1577, Francis Drake began a voyage from Plymouth, England, in the "Golden Hind" that was to take him around the world.

  • In 1642, New Zealand was discovered by the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. Several of his men were killed in attempting to land when Maoris interpreted an exchange of trumpet fanfares as a prelude to battle.

  • In 1862, in the American Civil War, the Battle of Fredericksburg ended in defeat of Union troops by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

  • In 1884, the first coin-operated weighing machine was patented by Percy Everitt.

  • In 1937 , Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). Over the following six weeks, in one of the worst atrocities of World War II they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."

  • In 1939, the Battle of the River Plate took place off the coast of South America, between the British cruisers Exeter, Ajax and Achilles and the German battleship Graf Spee.

  • In 1941, British forces retreated to Hong Kong island as the invading Japanese army took Kowloon and the New Territories.

  • In 1967, King Constantine of Greece and his family fled the country after a counter-coup failed to topple the military- backed government.

  • In 1979, in Canada, Prime Minister Joe Clark's 7-month-old Progressive Conservative government was defeated in a vote of no confidence in parliament.

  • In 1981, the Polish government imposed martial law and took its strongest step so far to stifle Solidarity's unprecedented challenge against Communist rule.

  • In 1982, an earthquake in Yemen killed 3,000 people and injured 2,000; the earthquake devastated Dhamar province
  • 60 miles (100 km) southeast of Sanaa.

  • In 1983, civilian Turgut Ozal became prime minister of Turkey after three years of military rule.

  • In 1991, North and South Korea signed a non-aggression accord intended to open a new chapter in their often fratricidal relations.

  • In 1993, the European Community ratified a treaty creating the world's largest trade bloc, the European Economic Area (EEA), to come into effect on January 1, 1994.

  • In 1995, Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng, a 1995 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was imprisoned for 14 years for subversive acts.

  • In 1995, all 49 passengers and crew were killed when a Romanian charter plane crashed and burst into flames minutes after take-off from Verona airport in northern Italy.

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