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1 9 9 6

TWA and ValuJet each suffer massive plane crashes, killing all on board. Israel narrowly picks Benjamin Netanyahu as its new prime minister. Federal officials arrest the man they say is the Unabomber. A bomb in Atlanta's Olympic Park mars the Games and Richard Jewell's name.

  • Du Pont kills Olympic wrestler
  • Internet decency
  • George Burns dies
  • Dunblane massacre
  • Menendez conviction
  • Mir/Atlantis docking
  • Unabomber suspect
  • ValuJet crash
  • Netanyahu elected
  • Saudi blast
  • TWA crash
  • Olympic park bombing
  • Bosnian elections
  • Simpson civil trial
  • Jewell cleared
  • Peru standoff begins
  • JonBenet Ramsey slain


  • John E. du Pont kills Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz -- January 26, 1996

    Heir to the du Pont chemical fortune, John E. du Pont was sentenced in a Pennsylvania court May 13, 1997, to 13 years to 30 years in prison for the January 1996 killing of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz who lived on de Pont's Philadelphia estate, Foxcatcher Farm. A jury had found du Pont guilty of murder but also found him mentally ill. He will serve some of his sentence in a prison and some in a mental hospital. Du Pont, whose fortune is estimated at $250 million, had been described by witnesses as engaging in strange paranoid behavior -- installing razor wire in his attic, complaining that his body was inhabited by insects and claiming to see mechanical trees moving on his property.

    CNN reports on the killing:
    4.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240) 1.6M QuickTime Movie (160x120)


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    Clinton signs Communications Decency Act -- February 7, 1996

    Countless web sites go black to protest President Clinton's signing of the Communications Decency Act, part of the Telecommunications Act that is supposed to outlaw the transmission of sexually explicit material to minors via online computer networks. Later in February, a federal judge in Philadelphia blocks enforcement of the CDA, preventing the prohibition from taking effect until a judicial review of the new policy is completed.

    Two sides of the issue:
    1.8M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 7.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    The FBI cracks down:
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    Burns dies at 100 -- March 9, 1996

    Comedian and actor George Burns dies at his Beverly Hills, California, home, months after celebrating his 100th birthday. Married to comedian Gracie Allen, his partner until her death in 1964, Burns began his career as a vaudeville performer and appeared in numerous films during the 1970s and 1980s, including the "Sunshine Boys" and "Oh, God!"

    A sad day in Hollywood:
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    Friends remember Burns:
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    Gunman kills 16 kindergarteners -- March 13, 1996

    A gunman opened fire on a school kindergarten class in Dunblane, Scotland, killing 16 children, the teacher, then himself. A loner with no apparent motive for the crime, Thomas Hamilton, 43, took two to four minutes to commit the mass murder, one of the worst in modern Britain. Hamilton had been dismissed as leader of a local Boy Scout group for unstable behavior and had repeatedly been denied reinstatement. Although Hamilton's guns were legal, the incident focused attention on Britain's strict gun-licensing laws.

    The shooting:
    1.4M QuickTime Movie 4.8M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    The memorial:
    1.1M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4M QuickTime Movie (320x240)


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    Menendez brothers convicted -- March 20, 1996

    A California jury finds brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez guilty of first-degree murder for the shotgun slayings of their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion on August 20, 1989. The sons maintain they killed their parents out of fear, after years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. However, the prosecution claimed that the brothers were motivated by greed, and sought to cash in on their parents' estate, estimated at $13 million.

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    Mir and Atlantis dock -- March 23, 1996

    The U.S. space shutttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir, for the first time dropping off a U.S. astronaut for an extended stay on the Mir. The linkup was the third in a series of dockings intended as preparation for a planned internationally operated space station. The flight is the 76th in the U.S. shuttle program and the 16th for the Atlantis orbiter, which had performed the two prior Mir dockings.


    (From NASA)
    Docking overview:
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    The hatch opens:
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    Unabomber suspect charged -- April 3, 1996

    Federal agents raid a remote mountain cabin, arresting a former university professor suspected of being a serial bomber. The so-called Unabomber had been linked to a series of bombing incidents over 17 years, and officials the following day charged Theodore J. Kaczynksi with the crime.

    Suspect profile:
    2.2M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 7.4M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    Kaczynski walks through the press:
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