Return to home1997 Oct 1,
The US Senate approved a $3,100 cost-of-living congressional pay
raise, the first in 5 years, in a 55-45 vote. The inflation related
adjustment was instituted in 1993 but denied until this year.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A13)
1997 Oct 1, US FBI Director
Louis J. Freeh warned that Russian organized crime networks were
growing and that they posed a menace to US national security.
Russian crime syndicates were described to be forging ties with the
Italian mafia and the Colombian drug cartels.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 1, Paula Jones
announced a new legal team from Texas to pursue her suit against
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 1, The Center for
Nonverbal Studies (CNS), a private, nonprofit research center
located in Spokane, Washington, began operations. The Center's
mission is to advance the study of human communication in all its
forms apart from language. The Center's goal is to promote the
scientific study of nonverbal communication, which includes body
movement, gesture, facial expression, adornment and fashion,
architecture, mass media, and consumer-product design.
1997 Oct 1, WorldCom Inc. bid
$30 million to take over MCI Communications.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 1, In Pearl,
Mississippi, Luke Woodham (16) stabbed his mother Mary (50) to death
and went to school and killed his former girlfriend and another
student and wounded 7 others. Later Grant Boyette (18) was
identified as the leader of the Kroth cult, a Satanist group
with a plan of destruction and killing. Woodham was found guilty in
1998 of killing 2 classmates and was sentenced to 2 life sentences
plus 20 years. He was also found guilty in the murder of his mother
in a separate trial and the sentence was raised to 3 life sentences
plus 140 years.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A6)(SFC,
6/2/98, p.A3)(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A3)(AP, 10/1/07)
1997 Oct 1, Asian currencies
dived in foreign exchange markets in part because of comments by
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir: "I would like to suggest that we
do away with trade in currency as a commodity."
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 1, From Angola it was
reported that Unita was demobilizing its soldiers and getting the UN
to return them to Unita-held territory, where they could again be
(WSJ, 10/1/97, p.A16)
1997 Oct 1, In Bosnia NATO
seized 4 key Bosnian Serb television transmitters.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 1, Congo’s Pres.
Kabila ordered troops into the Congo Republic after 2 days of cross
border shelling that killed as many as 31 in Kinshasa.
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 1, Israel under PM
Netanyahu freed Sheik Ahmed Yassin (61), the founder and spiritual
leader of Hamas. The ill Yassin was taken to Jordan and
hospitalized. As part of the deal an antidote for the chemical used
on last week’s Meshaal attack was demanded by Jordan and Israel
requested the release of the Meshaal attackers. This secured the
release of two Mossad agents arrested in Jordan following a botched
assassination attempt against Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A10)(AP, 10/1/98)(Econ,
1997 Oct 1, In Serbia It was
reported that Albanian students in Kosovo planned to demonstrate in
the streets for equal access to the university on par with the Serb
students at Pristina. Some 20,000 students protested and were
attacked by Serb police. At least 30 students were injured. 500
students were attacked by Serbian police.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A10)(SFC, 10/2/97,
1997 Oct 1, In Belgrade,
Serbia, riot police attacked thousands of marchers who protested the
firing of mayor Djindjic and the removal of editors of the
independent TV station.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 1, In Sri Lanka a
government clash with Tamil Tigers left at least 70 combatants dead
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 1, The UN withdrew its
human rights investigators from Congo pending a clarification by the
Kabila government on its policy.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 2, President Clinton
proposed sending inspectors to farms around the world to ensure that
foreign-grown fruits and vegetables are safe for American consumers.
The president also said he would ask Congress to empower the Food
and Drug Administration to ban produce from countries whose safety
precautions do not meet American standards.
1997 Oct 2, A Navy F-14 Tomcat
fighter jet crashed off the coast of N. Carolina. One crew member
was rescued but the pilot was still missing.
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 2, In California some
200 police, FBI, IRS and DEA agents swept over 18 homes and business
in Oakland, Hayward and San Leandro and seized 73 kilograms of
cocaine valued at $70 million. Some 22 people were arrested in the
drug and smuggling ring culminating a 3-month investigation.
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.A19)
1997 Oct 2, In Algeria
attackers killed 20 members of a wedding party in Blida.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A22)
1997 Oct 2, In Azerbaijan a
helicopter with 20 passengers crashed near an offshore oil platform
and no survivors were found.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 2, In Brazil thousands
turned out to greet Pope John Paul II for the start of his 4-day
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.B2)
1997 Oct 2, The EU formally set
up a common foreign and security policy in the Amsterdam Treaty. It
set to adopt key asylum and immigration measures within five years
of the treaty's entry into force, expected in 1999. A protocol to
the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam reclassified animals as sentient
1997 Oct 3, Attorney General
Janet Reno said Justice Department investigators had no evidence
President Clinton violated the law with White House coffees and
overnight stays for big contributors. However, Reno did extend a
probe of Vice President Al Gore's telephone fund-raising.
1997 Oct 3, US Defense Sec.
William Cohen ordered the Nimitz Carrier Battle Group to the Persian
Gulf as a warning to Iran and Iraq to stop incursions into the
US-enforced "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A8)
1997 Oct 3, In Humboldt County,
Ca., 2 protestors attached themselves to bulldozers of the Pacific
Lumber Company. Sheriff’s deputies applied pepper spray directly to
the eyes of the protestors using cotton swabs and Q-tips.
1997 Oct 3, In Idaho the US
Forest Service arranged a land swap with the Riley Creek Lumber Co.
to preserve an ancient cedar grove at Upper Priest Lake. Riley Creek
paid less than $2 million in 1992 for the grove and obtained $8.7
million worth of federal land in exchange.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 3, Alfred Leslie
Rowse, British historian, died at 93.
1997 Oct 3, In Algeria armed
men killed 38 people at the village of Mahelma. Throats of the
victims were slit, heads were cut off and houses were set on fire.
In Blida 10 people were killed and 20 wounded by assailants with
homemade rockets and bombs. Another group of attackers killed 75
others including 34 children. In the village of Ouled Benaissa armed
men killed 37 people including 22 children.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A10)(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A22)
1997 Oct 3, From Brazil it was
reported that tuberculosis has killed at least 27 members of the
Guarani-Kaiowa tribe in the past 15 months.
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.B5)
1997 Oct 3, In Colombia a
paramilitary group hired to protect a cocaine shipment killed 11
judicial officials near the town of San Carlos de Guaroa.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A11)
1997 Oct 3, UN officials
reported that Congo has ordered int’l. refugee agencies to leave
part of eastern Congo and was expelling Rwandans who have fled there
to escape fighting in Rwanda.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 3, In Japan an
experimental magnetically levitated train, the MLX01, set a world
speed record when it reached 279.6 mph on a test track.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.B8)
1997 Oct 3, Turkish jets bombed
escape routes used by Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Over the last
13 days the army reported 415 rebels dead vs. 6 of its own soldiers.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 4, Some 500,000 people
gathered in Washington DC for the Promise Keepers’ "Sacred Assembly
of Men." It was one of the largest religious gatherings in U.S.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A1)(AP, 10/4/98)
1997 Oct 4, US Federal
officials arrested Theresa Marie Squillacote, a former Pentagon
lawyer, her husband Kurt Alan Stand, and James Michael Clark for
espionage that began with the recruitment of Stand in 1972 by the
East Germans. He pleaded guilty to spying for East Germany in 1998.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A14)(WSJ, 6/3/98, p.A1)
1997 Oct 4, The Chicago Field
Museum of Natural History paid $8,362,500 for the T rex skull from
S. Dakota at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A13)
1997 Oct 4, From Bosnia it was
reported that an Egyptian ship loaded with Soviet-made T-55 tanks
was sitting at anchor in the Croatian port of Ploce. The shipment
was registered with officials of the foreign peace force. An error
on the manifest said the tanks were intended for the Bosnian Army.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A8)
1997 Oct 4, From Brazil it was
reported that fires in the Amazon had increased 28% over the past
year and that clouds of smoke were thicker and covered more area
than those due to the burning forests of Indonesia.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 4, In Colombia rebels
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces killed 17 policemen near San Juan
de Arama. The rebels were staging a growing campaign to disrupt
municipal elections. They had already killed 26 candidates and
forced more than 1,500 to withdraw.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 4, It was reported
that France banned 20% of all cars from the streets of Paris for one
day last week due to smog.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 4, It was reported
that Greenpeace had found crabs contaminated with twice Europe’s
allowed radiation level near the La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing
plant near Cherbourg in northwestern France.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 4, In Spain Princess
Christina Federica de Borbon y Grecia (32) married Inaki Urdangarin
(29), a Basque professional handball team player.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 5, The White House
released videotapes of President Clinton greeting supporters at 44
coffee klatches. Republicans claimed the tapes as proof that Clinton
had raised campaign donations at the White House in violation of the
1997 Oct 5, David Scott Ghantt
(27) disappeared with $15-17 million in a Loomis, Fargo & Co.
van in Charlotte, N.C. 21 people, later charged in the heist,
purchased over 1000 items with the money. In 1999 an auction was
held to dispose of the property with the proceeds going to insurer
Lloyds of London.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A7)(SFEC, 2/21/99, p.A2)
1997 Oct 5, In Algeria armed
men attacked a school bus near Blida. The driver attempted to run
their roadblock but crashed and 16 children were killed by the
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A11)
1997 Oct 5, In Montenegro Momir
Bulatovic, a Milosevic ally, led pro-Westerner challenger Milo
Djukanovic but did not receive a 50% majority due to other
candidates. A runoff was scheduled for Oct 19.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 5, In Serbia a runoff
election was held with Zoran Lilic of the Socialist Party facing
Vojislav Seselj of the Radical Party for control of the 25-seat
parliament. Seselj defeated Lilic but the turnout was less than 50%
and a new election was scheduled in 2 months.
(SFC, 9/23/97, p.A10)(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 6, In a blow to both
Democrats and Republicans, President Clinton used his line-item veto
to kill 38 military construction projects that Congress had added to
a spending bill that cost $287 million.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/6/98)
1997 Oct 6, The space shuttle
Atlantis returned to Earth, bringing home American astronaut Michael
Foale after more than four tumultuous months aboard Mir.
1997 Oct 6, Dr. Stanley B.
Prusiner, a neurologist from UC San Francisco, won the Nobel Prize
for his discovery of the new class of proteins called prions
described as "an entirely new genre of disease-causing agents." [see
1982] In 1998 researchers at UCSF developed a sensitive technique
for rapid detection of the infectious proteins.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/30/98, p.A7)(AP,
1997 Oct 6, In Magnum, N.C., 5
migrant workers were shot to death by their housemates Jose Luis
Cruz Osorio (28) and his brother Alonso Cruz Osorio (18). A 6th man
was also shot but escaped and identified the attackers. In 2003
suspects Alonso Cruz Osorio and Jose Luis Cruz Osorio were arrested
in the town of Acolman, Mexico.
1997 Oct 6, Nine Bosnian Croats
surrendered to the int’l. war crimes tribunal in the Hague. Dario
Kordic joined the group when the US promised a speedy trial to
volunteer suspects. Kordic was the leader of the Bosnian branch of
Franjo Tudjman’s Croatian Democratic Union political party, and was
charged with commanding troops who rampaged through 14 towns in the
Lasva Valley torturing and killing hundreds of Muslims and burning
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.A11)
1997 Oct 6, In Vitrolles,
France, the cafe Sous-marin was shut down for criticism of the
National Front, a far-right party in control of the town.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 6, In Kenya the
government refused to legalize the Safina (Swahili for ark) Party
led by Richard Leakey.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A18)
1997 Oct 6, Workers at the Han
Young de Mexico factory in Tijuana voted to be represented by an
independent union, the Metal, Steel and Allied workers Union of the
Authenticated labor Front (FAT). It was the first time that an
existing company-dominated union was ousted in the maquiladora
industry. After weeks the results were still not formalized and 4
workers who voted for the union were fired. On Nov 10 the Tijuana
Labor Board invalidated the vote claiming the union was not
nationally registered. [see Dec 14]
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A8)(SFC,10/30/97,
1997 Oct 6, In Palestine Sheik
Ahmed Yassin (61), the quadriplegic spiritual leader of Hamas,
returned to the Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A14)
1997 Oct 7, Sen. Fred Thompson,
R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
investigating fund-raising abuses, accused the White House of "a
clear pattern of delay, foot-dragging, concealing." Former White
House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes defended using the White
House to raise Democratic money, telling the committee, "We played
by the rules."
1997 Oct 7, PepsiCo Inc. spun
off its restaurant businesses that included Taco Bell, Pizza Hut,
and KFC. The new company under David Novak was called Tricon until
2000, when it changed its name to Yum! Brands. By the end of 2004
growth and expansion in China produced sales of $9 billion. In 2007
Novak with John Boswell authored “The Education of an Accidental
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.B2)(Econ, 8/27/05,
1997 Oct 7, In Colombia leftist
guerrillas killed three villagers near San Jose de Apartado, a pilot
peace community that had declared neutrality in the civil conflicts.
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 7, From Mexico it was
reported that at least 100 people were reported as disappeared in
the state of Chihuahua, mostly around Ciudad Juarez, the base for
Mexico’s largest drug cartel.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 7, In Spain a former
naval officer from Argentina, Adolfo Scilingo, testified that as
many as 1,500 Argentine naval officials had participated in death
flights, during the 1976-1984 "Dirty War," where people were hurled
into the ocean.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D2)
1997 Oct 8, The US House of
Representatives opened its own set of hearings on campaign
1997 Oct 8, Scientists reported
the Mars Pathfinder had yielded what could be the strongest evidence
yet that Mars might once have been hospitable to life.
1997 Oct 8, Gueorgui
Makharadze, a diplomat from the Republic of Georgia, pleaded guilty
in Washington to charges stemming from a car crash that killed
Maryland teen-ager Jovianne Waltrick. Makharadze was sentenced to
seven years in prison; he initially served his term in a US prison,
but was later transferred to Georgia, where he was paroled in 2002.
1997 Oct 8, A jury in South
Carolina ordered Chrysler Corp. to pay $262.5 mil to the
parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in a 1994 accident due to a
defective rear latch. $250 mil was for punitive damages.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.A6)
1997 Oct 8, A single-engine
Cessna-208 was lost in Colorado with 8 employees of the federal
Bureau of Reclamation. The plane was found in the Uncompahgre
Plateau and all nine passengers were killed.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A5)(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A2)
1997 Oct 8, In Belarus Pavel
Sheremet, the TV journalist held for illegally crossing into
Lithuania, was released after a 2-month detention. He still faced
charges and was not allowed to leave the capital.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.C3)
1997 Oct 8, The trial of
Maurice Papon opened in Bordeaux after a court rejected his appeal.
During the trial the judge called 4 historians to explain the
background to the jury. These included Robert O. Paxton, who in 2004
authored The Anatomy of Fascism."
(AP, 9/18/02)(Econ, 3/13/04, p.85)
1997 Oct 8, In France a 36-hour
rail strike disrupted travelers.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.A17)
1997 Oct 8, In Lebanon two
Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush. The total for the year
thus reached 37.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D2)
1997 Oct 8, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il was named General Secretary of the Workers' Party, the
country’s top leadership post.
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.C2)(AP, 12/28/11)
1997 Oct 8, It was reported
that at least 420 people in western New Guinea had died over the
last 23 months from starvation and illness due to the prolonged
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 8, The UN imposed
sanctions on Sierra Leone to pressure for the restoration of
(SFC, 10/9/97, p.C3)
1997 Oct 9, Dario Fo (71), an
Italian playwright and performer, received the Nobel Prize in
literature. The leftist playwright had been prosecuted by Italy,
denounced by Roman Catholic Church leaders and barred from the
United States. His work included: "Archangels Don’t Play Pinball"
(1960), "Mistero Biffo," (Comic Mystery) written in 1969, and
"Accidental Death of an Anarchist" (1970), "We Can’t Pay, We Don’t
Pay" (1974) and "Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo."
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/10/97, p.A20)(SFEC,
8/23/98, DB p.13)(AP, 10/9/98)
1997 Oct 9, Bosnian Muslims won
the municipal elections in Srebrenica when refugee voters returned
to outnumber Serbs who had moved in following mass executions in
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D5)
1997 Oct 9, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi resigned after his Marxist allies refused to accept
welfare cuts. The 17-month old government was the first
leftist-dominated and 55th government since WW II. Pres. Oscar Luigi
Scalfaro asked Prodi to stay on as caretaker while a new government
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D3)
1997 Oct 9, In Mexico Hurricane
Pauline swept through Acapulco and left at least 124 dead. Confirmed
deaths reached 149 with 132 from Acapulco. Hurricane Pauline claimed
more than 230 lives.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A1)(SFC, 10/11/97,
p.A1)(SFC,10/15/97, p.C3)(AP, 10/9/98)
1997 Oct 9, From the Republic
of Congo the UN reported that both sides have signed a cease-fire
pact. Gen’l. Sassou Nguesse signed the document that his opponents,
Pres. Pascal Lissouba and prime minister Bernard Kolelas, agreed to
sign last month.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D5)
1997 Oct 9, In Russia Moscow
police arrested Gennady Konyakhin, mayor of Leninsk-Kuznetsky in
Siberia, on charges of siphoning cash from the public coffers.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.D5)
1997 Oct 10, The Nobel Peace
Prize was awarded to Jody Williams and the Int’l. Campaign to Ban
Land Mines (ICBL). There were an estimated 100 million
anti-personnel mines buried around the world that killed or wounded
some 26,000 people each year.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A9)(AP, 10/10/98)
1997 Oct 10, Bob Dylan was
awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. It consisted of a silver
medallion and a cash stipend.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.E3)
1997 Oct 10, Defying the
Republican Congress a second time, President Clinton vetoed a ban on
certain late-term abortion procedures.
1997 Oct 10, An Argentine DC-9
with 75 people crashed in Uruguay. All 74 were killed when the plane
crashed during a torrential rainstorm.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A10)(SFC, 10/12/97, p.A16)
1997 Oct 10, Bosnian Serb
nationalists won a narrow victory in the Sept. Brcko municipal
elections. A Muslim party coalition won 14 of 24 seats in Mostar. An
int’l. supervisor, US diplomat Robert Farrand, issued an order that
the municipal administration in Brcko must reflect the prewar
multiethnic composition, and that this would extend to the police
and the judiciary.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A9)
1997 Oct 10, In Cuba Fidel
Castro was re-elected president at the close of the 5th national
congress. His brother Raul was re-elected as 2nd in command.
(SFC, 10/12/97, p.A19)
1997 Oct 10, In France Prime
Minister Lionel Jospin proposed a law to cut the workweek to 35
hours from 39 as a means to create jobs by Jan 1, 2000.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A9)
1997 Oct 10, In North Korea Kim
Jong Il was scheduled to be formally named as the general secretary
of the Workers Party.
(SFC, 9/23/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 10, In Kenya riot
police beat up opposition members of parliament while Pres. Moi gave
a speech on "Moi Day," marking 19 years in power.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 10, In South Koreas
the ruling party accused Kim Dae Jung, the leading opposition
contender, of taking $15 million in bribes from some top businesses.
The ruling party was trailing badly in the polls.
(SFC, 10/11/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 10, In Spain Adolfo
Scilingo of Argentina was jailed after appearing to voluntarily
testify on his crimes. He admitted to hurling 30 prisoners from
airplanes during the "dirty war."
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A18)
1997 Oct 11, In Australia a
photograph titled "Piss Christ" at the National Gallery of Victoria
in Melbourne by Andres Serrano (47) was damaged when an attacker
wrenched it from the wall. The photograph depicted Jesus immersed in
urine. The next day an 18-year-old attacked the work with a hammer
while a companion diverted attention by pulling other pieces off the
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.B5)
1997 Oct 11, Authorities
reported no survivors from the overnight crash of an Argentine
jetliner in Uruguay, which killed all 74 people on board.
1997 Oct 12, Pres. Clinton met
Pres. Rafael Caldera of Venezuela on the first stop of his trip to
South America. It was reported that Venezuela handles some 100
metric tons of cocaine and 10 metric tons of heroin from Colombia to
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A14) (HN, 10/12/98)
1997 Oct 12, In SF a rock
concert organized by Chet Helms was planned in Golden Gate Park to
commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the "Be-In." [see 1/14/67] An
estimated 10,000 people gathered for the concert.
(SFC, 8/23/97, p.A20)(SFC, 10/13/97, p.E1)
1997 Oct 12, John Denver (53),
singer and songwriter, died after his Long-EZ aircraft crashed into
the ocean near Monterey, Ca. He was born as Henry John Deutschendorf
Jr. and came to prominence as a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio. He
wrote the song "Leavin’ on a Jet Plane," that became a hit for
Peter, Paul and Mary.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A1)(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A1,13)
1997 Oct 12, In Bosnia
elections were scheduled by Pres. Plavsic.
(SFC, 8/23/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 12, In Jerusalem an
Arab toddler received the heart of a Jewish boy killed in a
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 12, In the Republic of
Congo Angolan troops backed the rebels in an offensive around
southern cities. Rebels surrounded Brazzaville and Gen’l. Jean-Marie
Tiaffou urged government troops to surrender. There were reports
that Angola’s UNITA rebels were backing Pres. Lissouba.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 13, Gary Lee Davis
(b.1944) was executed by lethal injection in Colorado’s first
execution since capital punishment was legalized in 1978. He
had exhausted all appeals and was denied clemency by Gov. Roy Romer
for the 1986 abduction, rape and murder of Virginia May (32).
1997 Oct 13, It was reported
that the California State Fish and Game Dept. planned to use the
piscicide Nusyn-Noxfish, which contains rotenone, to destroy all the
fish in Lake Davis in Plumas County in order to rid the lake of the
non-indigenous pike. The people of the county protested the use of
the poison in particular because of the dispersant,
trichloroethylene (TCE), used to make rotenone mix with water. The
lake was dosed Oct 15 and 7 protestors were arrested. In 1998 trace
amounts of piperonyl butoxide (POB) were still present the planting
of new fish was delayed. In 1998 the state agreed to pay $9 million
to settle claims from the poisoning which devastated tourism. In
1999 2 northern pike were fished from the lake as well as catfish
that had apparently survived the poisoning. From 2000-2007 some
60,500 pike were caught in the lake. In 2007 wildlife officials
planned a new attempt to wipe out the pike.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A1,17)(SFC,10/16/97, p.A1)(SFC,
5/1/98, p.A21)(SFC, 8/20/98, p.A30)(SFC, 5/28/99, p.A21)(SFC,
1997 Oct 13, The Cassini
spacecraft was scheduled to be launched aboard a Titan rocket from
Cape Canaveral for a trip to end in 2004 at Saturn. It will carry
the Huygens probe to be deployed on the Saturn moon Titan. It was
(SFEC, 10/5/97, Z1 p.1)
1997 Oct 13, A British jet car,
Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green of the Royal Air Force set a land
speed record of 764.168 mph in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The
record was not recorded as official because turn around time went
over an hour due to braking problems. Green officially broke the
record two days later.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A1,7)(AP, 10/13/98)
1997 Oct 13, In Quebec, Canada,
a bus with 48 senior citizens overturned into a ravine near St.
Joseph-de-la-Rive and 43 were killed.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A12)(AP, 10/13/98)
1997 Oct 13, In Italy the
Communist Refounding Party reopened talks that were expected to
restore Prodi to power and leave his budget intact.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 13, In Kenya teachers
ended a 12-day strike after the government agreed to a 200% raise.
Their salaries had averaged $35 per month.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 13, In South Korea Kim
Hyun Chul (37), son of Pres. Kim Young Sam, was sentenced to 3 years
in prison for bribery and tax evasion that amounted to about $2.1
million, an amount for which he was also fined.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A11)
1997 Oct 13, Swiss bank
officials said that 4,000 more unclaimed accounts from the Holocaust
era were found containing about $4 million.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 13, In Vietnam
journalist Nguyen Hoang Linh of the business newspaper Enterprise,
was arrested on charges of revealing state secrets. He had been
investigating government corruption.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A12)
1997 Oct 14, The Booker Prize
for literature went to Indian writer Arundhati Roy for her book:
"The God of Small Things."
1997 Oct 14, The nominal world
premiere of the symphonic poem "Standing Stone" by Paul McCartney
was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus at Royal
(WSJ, 11/18/97, p.A20)
1997 Oct 14, The Florida
Marlins won the National League championship, defeating the Atlanta
Braves 7-4 in game six.
1997 Oct 14, Ray Fred Smith
(78) and Perry L. Adkinson (68) were awarded the World Food Prize
for their work on integrated pest management (IPM).
(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 14, Myron Scholes of
Stanford, and Robert Merton of Harvard won the Nobel Prize in
Economics for their work on valuing stock options and other
(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A1)(AP, 10/14/98)
1997 Oct 14, Pres. Clinton met
with Brazil’s Pres. Cardoso. They signed an agreement for a
partnership to improve education cooperation and a $10 million US
contribution to improve conservation in the Amazon.
1997 Oct 14, The US Supreme
Court rejected the appeals of those who sought to block the Oregon
voter approved law on assisted suicide.
(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 14, Harold Robbins,
novelist, died at age 81 in Palm Springs, Calif. He wrote
"adventure" and "desperation" novels that included: "Never Love a
Stranger," "Carpetbaggers," Dreams Die First," "Spellbinder," "Never
Leave Me," "The Raiders," and "The Betsy."
(SFC,10/15/97, p.C4)(AP, 10/14/98)
1997 Oct 14, In Algeria 54
people were massacred near the main oil and gas center. Four leading
human rights organizations called on world leaders to take steps to
halt the crises in Algeria.
1997 Oct 14, In Chile an
earthquake that measured 6.8 left 8 dead and 100 injured.
(SFC,10/15/97, p.C3)(WSJ, 10/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 14, In the Republic of
Congo Pres. Lissouba fled the presidential palace in Brazzaville.
Premier Bernard Kolelas fled the Republic of Congo when militia
fighters loyal to Sassou-Nguesso toppled President Pascal Lissouba.
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A13)(AP, 10/14/05)
1997 Oct 14, Aydin Dikmen (60),
Turkish art dealer, was arrested in Germany for selling antiquities
plundered from Cyprus since 1974.
1997 Oct 14, In Rwanda
assailants killed 37 people and wounded 14 in the Mutura commune
northwest of Kigali.
1997 Oct 14, In Spain a
separatist guerrilla group killed a policeman while trying to bomb
the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Jose Maria Aguirre was killed
when he helped foil the ETA attack. One of three gunmen, Kepa
Arronnategui, was captured.
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A14)(SFC,10/18/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 14, On St. Kitts
legislators from Nevis voted to withdraw from the federation with
1997 Oct 15, The Cleveland
Indians won the American League championship, defeating the
Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in game six.
1997 Oct 15, The Nobel Prize in
Physics was awarded to Steven Chu of Stanford, William D. Phillips
of the Nat’l. Institute of Standards and Technology, and Claude
Cohen-Tannoudji of the France. Their work centered on slowing the
speed of gaseous atoms using lasers. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
was awarded to Paul D. Boyer of UCLA, John E. Walker of Britain, and
Jens C. Skou of Denmark for work on how ATP works to store energy in
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A1,15)(AP, 10/15/98)
1997 Oct 15, The US CIA
disclosed that its annual budget for spy services totaled $26.6
(WSJ, 10/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 15, The US set a
deadline for three Japanese shipping companies to pay some $4
million in fines. The fines were imposed based on discriminatory
Japanese harbor policies. The deadline was missed and the US
threatened to block Japanese shipping from US ports. An agreement
was later reached. The problem was with the Japan Harbor
Transportation Association (JHTA), which was said to have ties with
the Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate. A settlement was approved on Oct 27.
(SFC,10/17/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/21/97, p.A1)(WSJ,
1997 Oct 15, Former Illinois
rep Dan Rostenkowski was released from custody for mail fraud.
1997 Oct 15, A British
jet-powered car driven by pilot Andy Green broke the land speed
record with an average run of 763.035 mph at Gerlach, Nevada. The
Thrust SSC was powered by two 110,000-horse-power Rolls-Royce Spey
205 engines. The vehicle was 54 feet long, 12 feet wide, and weighed
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/15/98)
1997 Oct 15, NASA's
plutonium-powered Cassini spacecraft rocketed flawlessly toward
Saturn. The $3.3 billion Cassini-Huygens Mission was scheduled to
arrive on July 1, 2004.
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/15/98)(SSFC, 6/27/04,
1997 Oct 15, The CD-ROM
computer game "Riven," a sequel to "Myst," was scheduled for
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.E3)(SFEC, 8/10/97, DB p.33)
1997 Oct 15, In Brazil Pres.
Clinton spoke on free trade at the Mangueira school, a multi-use
training facility for some 2,000 children sponsored by Xerox Corp.
1997 Oct 15, Regarding Burma it
was reported that only 2 of the 31 in the elite Junta have
university degrees and that Chinese business people had virtually
taken over in Mandalay, which had been the heart of Burmese culture.
1997 Oct 15, In the Republic of
the Congo rebel forces loyal to the former Marxist dictator Denis
Sassou-Nguesso, backed by as many as 1000 troops from Angola, gained
full control of Brazzaville, the capital and Pointe Noire, the 2nd
(SFC,10/16/97, p.A13)(SFC,12/12/97, p.B4)
1997 Oct 15, In Sri Lanka 18
people were killed in a series of bomb blasts in downtown Colombo
and some 110 were injured. The blasts occurred at the 39-story World
Trade Center. 15-20 youths were said to have taken part in the
attack. The Liberation Tigers were reported to be led by Velupillai
Prabhakaran, the son of a fisherman.
(SFC,10/15/97, p.C4)(SFC,10/17/97, p.A12)(SFC,
1997 Oct 16, Pres. Clinton
designated Argentina a "non-NATO ally" during a speech in Buenos
1997 Oct 16, US doctors
reported that a Georgia woman (39) was first to give birth using a
frozen egg in the US. The egg was supplied by a woman (29) and
had been frozen for 25 months before it was thawed and fertilized.
(SFC,10/17/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/16/98)
1997 Oct 16, In Humboldt
County, Ca., 4 protestors staged a sit-in in the office of
Republican Representative Frank Riggs in Eureka. Sheriff’s deputies
applied pepper spray directly to the eyes of the protestors using
cotton swabs and Q-tips.
1997 Oct 16, James A. Michener,
American novelist, died at 90 in Texas. He wrote some 47 books that
began with "Tales of the South Pacific" in 1947.
(SFC,10/17/97, p.A1,17)(AP, 10/16/98)
1997 Oct 16, It was reported
that the US Agency for Int’l. Development donated $1 million to
Bosnian Serb Pres. Biljana Plavsic for reconstruction in Banja Luka.
1997 Oct 16, Bosnian Serb
hard-liners launched a guerrilla-style TV broadcast and attacked the
West’s efforts to silence them.
1997 Oct 17, The new $180
million New Jersey Performing Arts Center opened in Newark.
(WSJ, 10/21/97, p.A20)
1997 Oct 17, The US Army used a
Miracl (medium infra-red advanced chemical laser developed by TRW)
laser beam to hit the MISTI-3 satellite in orbit. The laser test was
prohibited by Congress in 1985, but the ban expired in 1995. The
test failed to be recorded by sensors on the satellite.
(SFC,10/21/97, p.A2)(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 17, Tosco Corp. asked
the California Air Resources Board to move away from the use of MTBE
as a gasoline fuel additive due to possible contamination of ground
1997 Oct 17, The remains of
revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1928-1967) were laid to rest in
his adopted Cuba in Santa Clara, 30 years after his execution in
(SFC,10/18/97, p.A10)(AP, 10/17/98)
1997 Oct 18, The Florida
Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 in game one of the World
1997 Oct 18, A $21.5 million
memorial to honor the military service of US women was dedicated at
entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
(SFC,10/17/97, p.A3)(AP, 10/18/98)
1997 Oct 18, In California a
10-day strike continued at the Foster Farms chicken slaughterhouse
in Livingston. The plant was the largest in the world and some 2,000
workers refused to accept a pay hike with doubled health insurance
1997 Oct 18, Roberto C.
Goizueta, CEO of Coca-Cola since 1981, died at age 65. Under his
direction Coke’s value increased from $5 billion to $150 billion. He
was replaced by Douglas Ivester.
(SFEC,10/19/97, p.C11)(AP, 10/18/98)(Econ,
1997 Oct 18, Broadcast
journalist Nancy Dickerson died in New York at age 70.
1997 Oct 18, From Bangladesh it
was reported that a tornado during the week killed 22 people and
injured more than 400 at the site of an annual congregation of Biswa
Ijtema, the 2nd largest Muslim gathering after the Hajj pilgrimage
in Saudi Arabia.
1997 Oct 18, In Israel storms
left five people dead. It struck during the 8-day Sukkot festival
and many people were out in nature reserves and national parks.
1997 Oct 18, From Russia it was
reported that the new 500,000-ruble note has a picture of a 15th
century monastery depicted at a time when the site was used as the
Soviet Union’s first real labor camp.
1997 Oct 18, There was an
attempt to assassinate Spain's King Juan Carlos. In 2011 British
officers arrested Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui (44), a suspected
Basque separatist, in connection with the attempted assassination.
1997 Oct 19, The Cleveland
Indians defeated the Florida Marlins 6-1 in game two of the World
Series, evening the series at one game apiece.
1997 Oct 19, Special U.S. envoy
Dennis Ross arrived in Israel for another round of meetings in an
effort to push the Mideast peace process forward.
1997 Oct 19, Hungarian-born
George Soros, American financier and philanthropist, said he would
spend some $500 million over 3 years in Russia to improve health
care, expand educational opportunities, and help retrain the
military for civilian jobs.
1997 Oct 19, It was reported
that British scientists had created a frog embryo without a due by
manipulating genes. It was believed that the technique could be
adopted to grow human organs.
1997 Oct 19, In Colombia
leftist rebels killed Pablo Antonio Hernandez, a mayoral candidate
in Saravena and wounded another in Yumbo.
1997 Oct 19, In Germany Gunter
Grass presented the peace prize of the German book-publishing
industry to Yasar Kemal, a Turkish author. Grass criticized his
compatriots as "closet racists."
1997 Oct 19, In Montenegro Milo
Djukanovic beat pro-Milosevic incumbent Momir Bulatovic for the
1997 Oct 19, In Palestine Sheik
Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas, announced a halt in attacks against
1997 Oct 19, In Spain Pilar
Miro, film director, died in Madrid at age 57. Her films included
"Beltenebros," "Gary Cooper Is in Heaven," "Bird of Happiness," "The
Dog in the Manger," and the 1979 expose "The Cuenca Crime."
1997 Oct 19, From Russia it was
reported that Aman Tuleyev was elected as Communist governor of
Kemerova, also known as Kuzbass, a region in western Siberia.
1997 Oct 19, In Sierra Leone at
least 70 people fleeing air raids in Freetown were killed when their
truck overturned. Nigerian jets were bombing the city and at least
10,000 people had already fled.
1997 Oct 19, In Bilbao, Spain,
the new Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was scheduled to open. The 256,000
sq. ft. titanium, limestone and glass structure was designed by
American architect Frank Gehry and funded entirely by the Basque
regional government under the direction of Thomas Krens, director of
(WSJ, 7/2/96, p.A12)(USAT, 10/8/97, p.1D)(WSJ,
1997 Oct 19, In Sri Lanka Navy
gunboats attacked a convoy of rebel boats and more than 100 Tamil
insurgents were claimed to have been killed.
1997 Oct 20, The US government
alleged that Microsoft’s bundling of its browser into the operating
system violated a 1995 consent decree.
(WSJ, 11/25/98, p.B1)(MC, 10/20/01)
1997 Oct 20, It was reported
that a British firm has proposed a rail tunnel to link Britain and
Ireland. The 56-mile tunnel was estimated to cost $22.6 billion.
1997 Oct 20, Harold Albert,
British writer, died. He created the character of Helen Cathcart as
the writer of royal biographies between 1962 and 1988 that included:
"Her Majesty, the Queen Herself," and "Charles: Man of Destiny."
1997 Oct 20, In Burundi
soldiers of the Tutsi army packed 40 civilians into a rural school
in the region of Kibezi and tossed a grenade inside. All were
killed. Major Andre Nijongabo, an army commander, defended the
incident claiming that the dead were "genocidal terrorists." Hutu
rebels had burned 18 schools a week ago.
1997 Oct 20, Typhoon Ivan with
93 mph winds plowed into the northeastern Philippines.
1997 Oct 20, Because of the
need for spacesuits, Mir cosmonauts performed history's first
"internal spacewalk" to restore power to the damaged Spektr module
of the space station.
1997 Oct 21, The Florida
Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians 14-11 in game three of the World
1997 Oct 21, Reversing months
of strong opposition, the Clinton administration endorsed a revised
Republican bill to restructure the Internal Revenue Service and
shift the burden of proof from the taxpayer to the government in
contested court cases.
1997 Oct 21, It was reported
that the US Energy Dept. and the Arthur D. Little company had
developed a new fuel system for cars that uses fuel cell technology
first developed by NASA. Electricity would be produced by extracting
hydrogen from gasoline and combining it with oxygen.
1997 Oct 21, Pictures of the
Antennae galaxies, two intermeshed colliding galaxies, taken by the
Hubble Space Telescope in 1996, were revealed to the public for the
1997 Oct 22, The Cleveland
Indians tied the World Series at two games apiece as they beat the
Florida Marlins, 10-3, in game four.
1997 Oct 22, President Clinton
presented a modest strategy to combat global warming by gradually
reducing greenhouse gases over the next two decades.
1997 Oct 22, In Detroit the Gem
Theater / 20th Century Club, a 2,750 ton building, was moved 5
blocks through downtown to make room for a new ballpark. It set a
new record as the heaviest building moved.
1997 Oct 22, Larry Flynt sold
Hustler in a non-zoned area of Cincinnati despite a revamped city
ordinance designed to keep stores selling adult materials out of
1997 Oct 22, Compaq testified
that Microsoft had threatened to break a Windows 95 agreement if
they showcased a Netscape icon.
1997 Oct 22, For the first
time, U.S. inspectors discovered E. coli bacteria in imported
Canadian beef, halting shipments of 34,000 pounds.
1997 Oct 22, Two US Air Force
jets collided over Edwards Air Force Base in Ca. and two men in one
of the planes, a T-38 trainer, were killed. The other jet, an F-16,
managed to land safely. It was later determined that one pilot had
attempted to avoid hitting birds.
(WSJ, 10/23/97, p.A1)(SFC, 1/30/98, p.A9)
1997 Oct 22, In Chechnya relief
workers Istvan Olah and Gabor Dunajsky of Hungary were captured and
held as hostages. They were released in July, 1998.
(SFC, 7/27/98, p.A10)
1997 Oct 22-28, Fidel Castro
was hospitalized for hypertensive encephalopathy.
(SFEC, 7/20/98, p.A9)
1997 Oct 23, The Florida
Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in game five of the World
1997 Oct 23, British au pair
Louise Woodward, charged with murdering a baby in her care,
testified at her trial in Cambridge, Mass., that she'd never hurt
8-month-old Matthew Eappen, saying, "I love kids."
1997 Oct 23, The stock market
dropped 186.88 points in a ripple effect from an overnight drop in
the Hong Kong market.
1997 Oct 23, A psychologist at
UC Berkeley, S. Marc Breedlove, found that sexual activity among
rats reduced the size of neurons at the base of the spinal cord.
Smaller neurons are more active and fire more frequently and may
have become "primed for more action."
1997 Oct 23, AIDS researchers
reported a new chemokine molecule that blocks HIV from infecting
(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 23, The International
Whaling Commission opened the way for an American Indian tribe, the
Makah, to resume traditional whale hunts for the first time in seven
1997 Oct 23, Algeria held local
elections. The government claimed a 66% turnout. The winners will
choose 2/3 of the members of the upper house of parliament. Pres.
Zeroual will choose the other third. Opposition parties charged that
the turnout was greatly inflated and that some poll watchers were
roughed up and stopped from observing the tally.
(SFC,10/24/97, p.D2,4)(SFC,10/24/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 23, In Colombia 2
observers from the Organization of American States were kidnapped by
rebels and on candidate of the upcoming elections was killed. Rebels
detonated some 20 bombs across the country and 2 policemen were
killed as they tried to defuse car bombs.
(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.A1)(SFC,10/24/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 23, The UN threatened
a trade ban against Iraq unless Iraq cooperates with weapons
1997 Oct 24, The "Green and
Blue" ballet by Bill T. Jones had its US premiere in Berkeley’s
Zellerbach Hall by the Lyon Opera Ballet of France.
1997 Oct 24, Setting the stage
for an upcoming summit, President Clinton rejected calls for a
confrontational approach to China, arguing that isolating the
Chinese would be "potentially dangerous."
1997 Oct 24, In Arlington, Va.,
former NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was spared a jail sentence after
a grudging courtroom apology to the woman he'd bitten during a
1997 Oct 24, The US stock
market Dow Jones average dropped 132.36 points following the 187
point drop on Oct 23.
1997 Oct 24, The US Lunar
Prospector was scheduled to take off and circle the moon for a year
to look for minerals, ice, and to map the surface.
(USAT, 8/29/97, p.12A)
1997 Oct 24, In Philadelphia a
firebomb killed a grandmother, her daughter and three children in a
blighted neighborhood of crack houses.
1997 Oct 24, A UN director said
that the Taliban of Afghanistan has agreed to enforce a ban on poppy
1997 Oct 24, In Bolivia the
first McDonald’s restaurant opened in La Paz.
1997 Oct 24, Zoran Todorovic
(aka "Rifle Butt"), top manager of Beopetrol and general secretary
of the Yugoslav United Left party (JUL), was shot dead. He was a
close confidante of Mirjana Markovic.
(SFC,10/25/97, p.A10)(SFEC, 4/11/99, p.A23)
1997 Oct 24, The Swiss
government announced plans to sell up to half of its gold reserves.
The announcement sent gold prices to a 12-year low.
1997 Oct 25, The Cleveland
Indians avoided elimination in the World Series by defeating the
Florida Marlins, 4-1, in game six.
1997 Oct 25, The Million Woman
March was in Philadelphia to revitalize black families and
communities drew an estimated 300,000 to one million people.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A3)(SFEC,10/26/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Oct 25, A blizzard hit the
western Plains and dropped up to 3 feet of snow. Colorado Gov. Roy
Romer declared a state of emergency.
1997 Oct 25, Congo’s Pres.
Kabila and the US ambassador to the UN announced an agreement for a
UN investigation into alleged massacres by Kabila’s army.
1997 Oct 25, Israeli soldiers
fired tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians who
were marching for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Some 3,000
Palestinian political prisoners were being held by Israel and a
third have never been tried.
1997 Oct 25, In Norway it was
reported that a new 8-mile tunnel outside of Oslo was draining water
from nearby lakes at the rate of 10,000 gallons a minute. The
sealing compound Rhoca-Gil was supposed to stop the leaks, but its
use in Sweden had already caused water to be contaminated with
acrylamide, an agent that causes nerve damage. In Sweden
construction of a controversial tunnel was halted when water
draining from the tunnel was found to be contaminated by the sealing
1997 Oct 25, In Northern
Ireland a small bomb exploded under the car seat of Glen Greer (28)
in Belfast and killed him as the car burst into flames. It was the
first political killing in three months.
1997 Oct 25, In the Republic of
Congo Gen. Dennis Sassou-Nguesso was sworn in as president.
1997 Oct 25, In Sri Lanka
government troops seized 965 ethnic Tamils for questioning over an
earlier truck bombing. Rebels in the northeast attacked a military
post that left 6 soldiers and three rebels dead.
1997 Oct 26, The Florida
Marlins became the youngest franchise to win the World Series with a
3-2 victory in the eleventh inning over the Cleveland Indians in the
seventh and final game.
(SFC,10/27/97, p.E1)(AP, 10/26/98)
1997 Oct 26, It was reported
that some 50 Southern California doctors and about a dozen laser
surgery centers were under investigation for insurance fraud for
serving mostly Southeast Asian and Latino women seeking beauty
makeovers under false claims.
1997 Oct 26, It was reported
that hundreds of shorebirds washed up dead along the 25-mile stretch
of Monterey Bay beaches. A non-toxic refined-sardine oil had been
spilled into the bay and stuck the birds’ feathers together. The
source of the oil was not yet determined. The substance was later
thought to be a hydrogenated vegetable oil.
(SFEC,10/26/97, p.D2)(SFC,10/29/97, p.A24)
1997 Oct 26, In congressional
elections in Argentina the opposition coalition led the Peronists
46% to 36%. The opposition Alliance, led by Fernandez Maijide, was
composed of the centrist Civic Radical Union and the left-leaning
(SFC,10/27/97, p.A8)(SFC,10/28/97, p.A8)
1997 Oct 26, In China the third
Shanghai International Film Festival opened. 350 films from 40
countries were to be shown over 10 days.
1997 Oct 26, Chinese leader
Jiang Zemin arrived in Honolulu en route to a White House summit
with President Clinton.
1997 Oct 26, China began
blocking the Yellow River for the $4.17 billion Xiaolangdi Dam
1997 Oct 26, In Colombia
municipal elections were scheduled. Leftist guerrilla had forced
nearly 2,000 candidates to withdraw from the elections. Rebels
enforced an election boycott in about 40% of the country, but
affected only a small portion of the population.
(SFC, 10/6/97, p.)(SFC,10/24/97,
1997 Oct 26, In Egypt Pres.
Mubarek opened the new Peace Canal to carry Nile water to the Sinai
Peninsula. The irrigation of 620,000 acres of desert was planned to
support 1.5 million residents.
(SFC,10/27/97, p.A9)(WSJ, 8/22/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 26, From Indonesia it
was reported that 120 orangutans on Borneo were killed or tortured
by villagers after they were forced out of their habitats by
wildfires. The island was home to some 20,000 orangutans.
1997 Oct 26, In Italy the
Northern League party of Umberto Bossi held a symbolic election to
choose a "parliament" for independent Padania.
1997 Oct 27, The Dow Jones
industrial average tumbled 554.26 points, 7.18%, to 7161
forcing the stock market to shut down for the first time since the
1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A1)(AP, 10/27/98)
1997 Oct 27, US released a
redesigned $50 bill.
1997 Oct 27, Authorities in
Chautauqua County, N.Y., said Nushawn Williams (20), an HIV-positive
man who allegedly traded drugs for sex with young women and teens,
had infected a number of them with the AIDS virus. Later 48 partners
were identified and 13 women and girls tested positive.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.A5)(AP, 10/27/98)
1997 Oct 27, Intel Corp bought
the chip manufacturing operations of Digital Equipment for $700
1997 Oct 27, Microsoft argued
it should be "free from government interference."
1997 Oct 27, Researchers from
the Univ. of Mich. reported that they found a hormone to stimulate
the growth of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves.
1997 Oct 27, In Algeria some
15,000 supporters of the Socialist Forces Front marched to protest
fraud in the elections.
1997 Oct 27, Britain concluded
a 54-nation Commonwealth meeting.
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 27, British Defense
Sec. George Robertson announced that women soldiers would be allowed
to serve as engineers and gunners under battle conditions.
1997 Oct 27, In Canada teachers
in Ontario walked out in protest against budget cuts.
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 27, In the Comoros the
island of Anjouan held a referendum to re-unite with France and
voters overwhelmingly approved the measure. France refused to accept
1997 Oct 27, In Zambia there
was a coup attempt by against Pres. Frederick Chiluba.
1997 Oct 28, The NBA announced
that two women were selected to serve as referees. This was the
first time that women would work as officials in any all-male
American professional sport.
1997 Oct 28, A day after
plunging 554 points, the stock market roared back, posting a
337-point recovery, with more than one billion shares traded. The
4.71% point gain was the largest ever.
(WSJ, 10/29/97, p.A1)(AP, 10/28/98)
1997 Oct 28, In England the
Financial Services Authority (FSA) came into being for the oversight
of financial institutions.
(Econ, 10/20/07, SR
1997 Oct 28, In South Africa
the First National Branch in Pretoria was robbed of $2,500. Mzwakhe
Mbuli, a renowned "people's poet," and 2 suspects were arrested
shortly after the robbery. Mbuli was convicted in 1999, but claimed
that he was framed due to his knowledge of government officials
involved in drug smuggling. He was given a 13-year jail term.
(SFC, 3/30/99, p.F3)(SFC, 4/23/99, p.D3)
1997 Oct 29, Pres. Clinton and
China’s Pres. Jiang Zemin engaged in high level talks and publicly
disagreed on Chinese human rights policies, but agreed to end the
diplomatic chill between their countries. Business deals included an
accord to let Westinghouse and other firms develop nuclear power in
China and a $3 billion order from Boeing.
(SFC,10/30/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/30/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Oct 29, The UN put new
sanctions on the Angola UNITA rebels under Jonas Savimbi for not
adhering to the 1994 Lusaka Protocol.
1997 Oct 29, Anton LaVey (67),
founder of the Church of Satan, died in SF. His daughter, Karla
LaVey, and companion, Blanche Barton, promised to carry on his work.
1997 Oct 29, Yaka the killer
whale died at Marine World / Africa USA in Vallejo at the age of 32
after performing for 27 years. The body was stripped and rendered
and the bones were buried without a permit at the Coyote Point
Museum in San Mateo.
1997 Oct 29, From Brazil it was
reported that at least 10% of the 2 million square-mile Amazon basin
was destroyed by fire.
1997 Oct 29, In the Comoros
Islands leaders on Anjouan announced an independent government.
1997 Oct 29, Iraq barred US
personnel from being included in UN inspection teams of weapons
programs, a move that outraged chief weapons inspector Richard
Butler and prompted him to suspend inspections.
(WSJ, 10/30/97, p.A1)(AP, 10/29/98)
1997 Oct 29, South Africa’s
Nelson Mandela arrived in Libya to bestow the Order of Good Hope on
Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
1997 Oct 29, Swiss banks
released findings of an additional $12.4 million in unclaimed funds
from WW II.
1997 Oct 30, A jury in
Cambridge, Mass., convicted British au pair Louise Woodward of
second-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. The
judge, Hiller B. Zobel, later reduced the verdict to manslaughter
and set Woodward free.
1997 Oct 30, Confronting some
of his harshest critics, Chinese President Jiang Zemin defended his
country's human rights record before members of Congress. He also
promised the US to cut its average tariff to 10% by 2005.
(WSJ, 10/31/97, p.A20) (AP, 10/30/98)
1997 Oct 30, In Livermore, CA.,
a shutdown began of the "plutonium building" at the National
Laboratory due to safety violations.
(SFEC, 1/11/98, p.D7)
1997 Oct 30, Movie director
Samuel Fuller died in Hollywood at age 86.
1997 Oct 30, In Algeria some
30,000 marched in Algiers in protest over the elections and called
for the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia.
1997 Oct 30, In Ireland Mary
McAleese, a lawyer and academic from Belfast, was elected as
president to succeed Mary Robinson.
1997 Oct 31, The US announced a
plan to increase spending over the next decade to $1 billion
per year to clear the world of land mines that threaten civilian
populations by 2010.
1997 Oct 31, Chinese President
Jiang Zemin rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to open the
1997 Oct 31, British au pair
Louise Woodward received a mandatory life sentence, a day after a
jury in Cambridge, Mass., convicted her of second-degree murder in
the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. The verdict was later
reduced to manslaughter, and Woodward was set free.
1997 Oct 31, The FBI began an
investigation into the use of pepper spray by law authorities in
Humboldt County, California, after a video tape showed the spray
applied directly to the eyes of protestors.
1997 Oct 31, Indonesia was
awarded a $23 billion economic rescue package by the Int’l. Monetary
Fund. Japan and Singapore promised an additional 5 million each and
the US promised an additional $3 billion in loans to be used in case
the $23 billion was insufficient to stabilize the situation.
(SFC,11/1/97, p.D1)(SFEC,11/2/97, p.A18)
1997 Oct 31, Letsie III (34)
was crowned king of Lesotho, a figurehead position.
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)(SFC, 9/22/98, p.A7)
1997 Oct 31, Jerzy Buzek (57),
a chemical engineering professor, became PM of Poland and served
until Oct 19, 2001.
1997 Oct 31, Russia’s lower
house ratified a global ban on chemical weapons. After the Duma it
goes to the Federation Council for approval. The upper house
approved the ban Nov 5.
(SFC,11/1/97, p.A8)(SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)
1997 Oct, The US purchased 21
MiG-29 aircraft from Moldova for $40-50 million, in order to keep
the planes out of the hands of Iran. In 2005 Moldova arrested
Valeriu Pasat, former defense minister (1997-1999), on suspicion of
pocketing $10 million during the sale of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets.
(SFC,11/5/97, p.A5)(WSJ, 3/14/05, p.A1)
1997 Oct, The US Treasury
issued its newly redesigned $50 bill. It incorporated a larger
picture of Ulysses S. Grant and numerous security features that
included: a vertical polymer thread, a watermark visible on both
sides, color-shifting ink, an 11 digit serial number, concentric
fine lines, micro printing and a new Federal Reserve seal.
(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.C1)
1997 Oct, Red ants, Solenopsis
invicta, were found near Lost Hills in Kern County, Ca. They
apparently came from Texas in beehives shipped in for pollinating
almond blossoms. More ants were found in Fresno county in 1998.
(SFC, 8/6/93, p.A4)
1997 Oct, The US EPA ordered
Rhone Poulenc to build a $21 million dam and pond on a metal-rich
creek near Iron Mountain in northern California to reduce mine
pollution runoff into the Sacramento River to 5%.
1997 Oct, In Nevada a US
district court convicted Jose B. Uribe for attempting to swap world
famous paintings for 110 pounds of cocaine. At least some of the
paintings, that included work by Matisse, Renoir and Dali, were said
to be owned by entertainer Wayne Newton. Newton, embroiled in a
bankruptcy suit, initially denied ownership but later changed his
mind and claimed ownership.
1997 Oct, In Argentina Alberto
Pedroncini filed a suit on behalf of relatives of 13 "disappeared"
people. He argued that the government pardons of military officials
were illegal because forced kidnapping is an ongoing offense since
the victims have never been found.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A14)
1997 Oct, China signed the UN
Int’l. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during pres.
Zemin’s visit to the US.
(SFC, 10/6/98, p.A10)
1997 Oct, In Colombia
paramilitary gunmen killed 6 people in Miraflores.
(SFC, 2/14/98, p.A8)
1997 Oct, Paramilitary gunmen
under Salvatore Mancuso killed 15 people at El Aro in Antioquia
1997 Oct, The Estonian
Philharmonic and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra toured the US and
performed music by composer Arvo Pärt.
(WSJ, 10/14/97, p.A20)
1997 Oct, In Paraguay Lino
Oviedo, a retired army gen’l., accused Pres. Wasmosy of corruption.
Wasmosy ordered his arrest, but Oviedo went into hiding for 44 days.
He turned himself in on Dec 12, and was expected to serve a 30-day
1997 Oct, In Sweden
construction of a controversial tunnel was halted when water
draining from the tunnel was found to be contaminated by the sealing
compound, Rhoca-Gil, which contained acrylamide, an agent known to
cause nerve damage.
1997 Nov 1, Chinese President
Jiang Zemin defended his government during an appearance at Harvard
University, but conceded that China had made mistakes. Meanwhile,
about 2,000 people demonstrated outside both for and against the
1997 Nov 1, Indonesia shut down
16 insolvent banks and planned austerity measures.
1997 Nov 1, Iraq announced that
American weapons inspectors working with the UN would not be allowed
to resume work on Nov 3.
1997 Nov 1, Russia’s Pres.
Boris Yeltsin met with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto at
Krasnoyarsk to discuss economic cooperation.
1997 Nov 2, A labor agreement
between Amtrak and maintenance workers averted a possible national
passenger rail strike.
1997 Nov 2, Iraq barred two
American weapons experts from entering the country, the second such
refusal in a week. The UN decided to send a 3-man delegation to Iraq
remind Sadam of his obligation to comply with council resolutions.
(SFC,11/3/97, p.A1) (AP, 11/2/98)
1997 Nov 2, In France 250,000
union truckers began a strike over pay and work hours. Huge traffic
1997 Nov 2, In Sri Lanka the
military bombed a ship unloading weapons for the Tamil Tigers and 60
people were reported killed.
1997 Nov 3, The Supreme Court
let California’s Prop. 209 stand and ended affirmative action in the
state. It prohibits state and local governments from using race and
gender based preferences in education, contracting and hiring.
(SFC,11/4/97, p.A1)(AP, 11/3/98)(Econ, 12/2/06,
1997 Nov 3, Opening statements
were presented in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols.
1997 Nov 3, The Union Pacific
Railroad was in a log jam in the LA area and shippers were diverting
vessels to other ports.
1997 Nov 3, Chinese President
Jiang Zemin left the United States after an eight-day visit.
1997 Nov 3, In the Cook Islands
some 20 people were missing after a cyclone struck. Typhoon Martin
killed at least 5 people.
(WSJ, 11/4/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/8/97, p.A16)
1997 Nov 3, In Thailand Prime
Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh announced that he would step down
later in the week. Stock and currency markets rallied on the news.
1997 Nov 3, In Vietnam typhoon
Linda swept across the south and left almost 100 people dead. As
many as a thousand were missing in fishing boats. The death toll
reached at least 3,406.
(SFC,11/4/97, p.A8)(SFC,11/5/97, p.A14)(WSJ,
1997 Nov 4, In off-year
elections US Republicans won high profile races: New Jersey Gov.
Christie Whitman won a cliffhanger re-election; New York City Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani won a second term, and James Gilmore won the race
for Virginia governor.
1997 Nov 4, US sanctions
against Sudan were tightened due to the Iran-allied government’s
support for int’l. terrorism and abysmal human-rights record. After
lobbying by US trade associations the sanctions excluded US imports
for gum arabic, a key ingredient for soft drinks, and other goods as
(WSJ, 11/5/97, p.A1)(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A8)
1997 Nov 4, Voters in Oregon
affirmed doctor-assisted suicides with a 60% approval.
1997 Nov 4, In SF Phyllis
Wattis contributed $10 million to the California Academy of
Sciences. Wattis, the 92-year-old great-granddaughter of Brigham
Young, also presented $20 million to the SF Fine Arts Museums, $10
million for the new de Young building fund and $10 million for
acquisitions. The Exploratorium and the SF Arts Institute were each
granted $5 million. Paul Wattis, her husband, was an executive with
Utah Construction and Mining, a family business that built the
(SFC,11/5/97, p.A18)(SFEC,11/30/97, p.C13)
1997 Nov 4, The Emergent Corp.
won a contract with the Internet Council of Registrars to add 7 new
domain names: .arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store, and .web to
make a total of 13 such suffixes along with 29 country codes.
1997 Nov 4, H. Richard
Hornberger (b.1924), surgeon (inspired M*A*S*H), died in Maine. He
authored the novel “M*A*S*H" (1968) under the open name of Richard
1997 Nov 4, Iraq agreed to
postpone the expulsion of American weapons inspectors until after
U.N. envoys finished their mission.
1997 Nov 4, It was reported
that Jordan receives $225 million in annual aid from the US. Voter
turnout reached only 54.5% and tribal leaders loyal to King Hussein
won a majority of parliament, 47 of 80 lower house seats.
(SFC,11/4/97, p.A8)(SFC,11/5/97, p.C2)
1997 Nov 4, In Mexico a convoy
with Bishop Samuel Ruiz was attacked in Crucero in northern Chiapas.
Three church workers were wounded. The Peace and Justice group,
associated with the PRI, was thought to be responsible.
1997 Nov 5, The US House
overwhelmingly approved a bill calling for the most far-reaching
changes at the Internal Revenue Service in 45 years.
1997 Nov 5, The Enron executive
committee approved several hundred million in loan guarantees for a
new partnership named Chewbacca, to be partly owned and run
independently by Enron executive Michael Kopper. This set a pattern
for transactions that inflated earnings and kept debt hidden.
(WSJ, 2/1/02, p.A1)
1997 Nov 5, A UN inspector
claimed that Iraq was taking advantage of the inspection halt and
had moved sensitive machinery out of camera view at certain weapons
(WSJ, 11/6/97, p.A22)
1997 Nov 5, In France trucker
barricades went up in Paris. Unions representing France’s 300,000
truckers demanded pay raises up to 7% and a guaranteed salary 0f
$1,600 for 200 hours work per month plus compensation for downtime
1997 Nov 5, In Germany a court
in Bonn awarded back wages to a Polish-born Jewish woman for 55
weeks of slave labor at the Weichsel Metall Union company during
1943-1945. Rywka Merin was awarded $8,500.
1997 Nov 5, From Haiti it was
reported that falling orders for H.H. Cutler, a contractor for the
Walt Disney Corp., left some 800 employees without jobs. The minimum
wage was quoted as $2.12 per day.
1997 Nov 5, In Mexico relatives
identified the body of Dr. Jaime Godoy Singh (Zinc)(37). He and 2
others were found Nov 2 stuffed into oil drums partly filled with
cement. He was the doctor suspected of operating on Amado Carillo
Fuentes who died under surgery July 4. Dr. Ricardo Reyes was the
other doctor. A third doctor, Carlos Humberto Avila Meljem, was
thought to be the third.
(SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)(SFC,11/8/97, p.A11)
1997 Nov 5, In Russia Pres.
Yeltsin fired Boris Berezovsky from his position as deputy secretary
of the Security Council due to business and political conflicts.
Berezovsky, who brokered the peace agreement in Chechnya, was rated
by Fortune magazine as the 97th richest man in the world.
1997 Nov 6, In Cuba a train-bus
crash killed at least 56 people at Urbano Rey in the eastern sugar
province of Holguin.
(WSJ, 11/7/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 6, It was reported
that the Russian mafia and other East European gangs controlled some
500,000 foreign women as illegal prostitutes in the 15 EU member
countries. Some 15,000 gangs operated in Berlin alone.
1997 Nov 6, In Belgrade former
Serb soldier and convict, Slobodan Misic, was arrested after he told
reporters that he had killed up to 80 Croats and Muslims near
Vukovar in eastern Croatia and in the Bratunac-Srebrenica area of
eastern Bosnia in 1991.
1997 Nov 6, In Mexico
prosecutors announced that 2 of the 3 doctors found dead in oil
drums were being charged with the murder of druglord Amado Carillo
Fuentes. The 3rd doctor was charged last month.
1997 Nov 6, In Spain flooding
of the Guadiana River killed 18 people in Badajoz. A total of 31
died along the Spanish-Portuguese border from the storm induced
1997 Nov 6, In Texas the $83
million George Bush Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated on
the campus of Texas A&M Univ. at College Station.
1997 Nov 7, In a rising war of
words, the Clinton administration warned it was considering military
options, including a cruise missile strike, if Iraq carried out its
threat to shoot down U.N. surveillance planes.
1997 Nov 7, Kenneth Behring, a
California real estate developer, made a formal donation of $20
million to the Smithsonian Institution.
1997 Nov 7, In Concord, Ca.,
the De La Salle High School football team under coach Bob Ladoucer
won their 73rd straight game and broke a 1975 record set by Hudson,
Mich., High School.
1997 Nov 7, In Florida Sheila
Bellush (35) was found dead by her 13-year-old daughter in her home
in Sarasota with her quadruplet toddlers crawling in her blood.
Samuel Gonzales (27) and Daniel Alex Rocha of San Antonio, Tx., were
later arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. Police still
searched for Jose Luis Del Toro (21), the man believed to have done
the shooting. Del Toro was extradited from Mexico in 1999 and faced
trial in Florida. In 2000 Allen Blackthorne (44), the ex-husband of
Bellush, was charged with arranging the killing of Bellush.
Blackthorne was convicted of arranging the murder and faced a
mandatory life sentence.
(SFC,11/18/97, p.A9)(SFC, 7/13/99, p.A3)(SFC,
1/6/00, p.A2)(SFC, 7/7/00, p.A9)
1997 Nov 7, It was reported
that there are 12 blacks among the 594 federal lawmakers of Brazil.
The country is 44% black by government count, and 70% black by a
1997 Nov 7, In France most
truckers ended their strike after the largest signed an agreement
for a 6% raise by year 2000 and a guaranteed $1700 for 200 hours of
work per month.
1997 Nov 7, In Iraq Saddam
Hussein rejected the efforts of UN envoys to resolve the dispute
over weapons inspections.
1997 Nov 7, Shoichiro Toyoda
(72), chairman of Toyota, planned to address the captains of
Japanese industry and urge the severing of ties with the
extortionists known as "sokaiya."
1997 Nov 7, In Kenya Pres.
Daniel arap Moi signed a package of political and constitutional
reforms that make Kenya a multiparty democracy and provide residents
greater freedom of speech.
1997 Nov 8, Pres. Clinton
promised a crusade for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.
1997 Nov 8, Evander Holyfield
won the IBF heavyweight title in a fierce fight against Michael
Moorer in Las Vegas.
1997 Nov 8, In Algeria armed
men raided a government-held village and slaughtered 27 people in
1997 Nov 8, Chinese engineers
diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, the
most ambitious construction project in modern China's history.
1997 Nov 8, The transfer of
Kazakhstan’s capital to Akmola from Almaty was officially
celebrated. The shift was in part made to move the capital away from
the Chinese border.
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.A1)(Econ, 11/13/04, p.47)
1997 Nov 8, From Pakistan it
was reported that thieves had stolen over 2,250 tons of the World
Food Program’s emergency wheat supply in Hairatan, Afghanistan,
since an alliance opposed to the ruling Taliban gained control of
1997 Nov 8, It was reported
that Swiss authorities had evidence that 7 Israeli secret service
agents were involved in a plot to kidnap Athena Roussel, the
12-year-old daughter of Christina Onassis and heir to a $2.4 billion
1997 Nov 9, Poet Anthony Hecht,
74, received the $100,000 1997 Tanning Prize given by the Academy of
American Poets. His works include: "Flight Among the Tombs," The
Transparent Man," "The Venetian Vespers," and "Millions of Strange
1997 Nov 9, A Boeing 707
jetliner carrying First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was forced to
return to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington after a sensor
indicated an engine fire, which turned out to be a false alarm. Mrs.
Clinton left the following day for a tour of Central Asia.
1997 Nov 9, In Alaska a family
of 7 and the pilot of a commuter plane died in a crash in Barrow.
1997 Nov 9, In Lansdowne, Pa.,
some 200 people picketed in front of the home of Jonas Stelmokas
(81) to protest delays to his deportation. He was accused of being a
former member of the Lithuanian police force that helped Nazis kill
Jews during WW II.
1997 Nov 9, In Algeria
attackers disguised as policemen slit the throats of 28 civilians in
2 separate attacks in the northwest.
1997 Nov 9, Carl Hempel
(b.1905), German-born philosopher, died in New Jersey. His work
included “The Function of General Laws in History" (1942). He is
also remembered for formulating the raven paradox, also called
1997 Nov 9, In Thailand former
Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai formed a new government with a
coalition of 8 parties.
1997 Nov 10, Congress chose not
to support the fast track free trade proposal of Pres. Clinton.
1997 Nov 10, Judge Hiller Zobel
in Cambridge, Mass., reduced Louise Woodward's murder conviction to
manslaughter and sentenced the English au pair to the 279 days she'd
already served in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.
(SFC,11/11/97, p.A1) (AP, 11/10/98)
1997 Nov 10, A jury in Fairfax,
Va., convicted Mir Aimal Kasi of one count of capital murder, one
count of first-degree murder and eight additional charges stemming
from a shooting attack outside CIA headquarters in January 1993.
1997 Nov 10, The U-2
surveillance flights over Iraq were resumed by the UN. The plane
flew out of range of Iraqi gunners.
1997 Nov 10, It was reported
that the 1997 Pentagon budget was around $250 billion.
1997 Nov 10, WorldCom Inc. and
MCI Communications Corp. agreed to a $37 billion merger.
1997 Nov 10, It was reported
that IBM has a new 16.8-gigabyte disk drive for $895. It surpassed
the recently unveiled 12-gigabyte drive by Quantum.
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.B6)
1997 Nov 10, It was reported
that US heart researchers had used genetic treatments to help
patients grow blood vessels around blockages in their legs.
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 10, A report on the
Black Sea told of the disappearance of 20 0f 26 commercial fish
species since 1970. Industry, agriculture and fishing practices
caused a collapse of the Black Sea ecosystem in the late 1980s. The
Monk seal was reported near extinction, dolphins and porpoises were
reported down to 250,000 from 1 million in the 1970s, and blue
mussels were in serious decline due to pollution.
(SFEC,11/10/97, p.A12)(SFEC,12/797, p.A22)
1997 Nov 10, In Canada classes
resumed in Ontario following settlement of the teacher’s strike.
1997 Nov 10, In China Pres.
Yeltsin began talks with China’s Pres. Jiang Zemin. They settled a
border dispute and authorized agreements on trade and protection of
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/11/97, p.A12)
1997 Nov 10, In Kenya Pres. Moi
dissolved parliament in preparation for general elections. The
National Convention Assembly denounced the move as illegal.
1997 Nov 10, In Somalia a month
of rains blamed on El Nino caused flooding in the Juba River Valley
and left some 800,000 people homeless and at least 23 dead. The
death toll increased to 564.
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/14/97, p.D3)
1997 Nov 11, Retired Gen. Colin
Powell announced he would not seek the Republican presidential
nomination or any other office in 2000, saying he lacked "the
passion" for political life.
1997 Nov 11, Photography giant
Eastman Kodak announced it was cutting 10,000 jobs because of fierce
competition from Japan's Fuji Photo Film Co.
1997 Nov 11, The EU high court
upheld hiring and promotional preferences for women.
1997 Nov 11, In the Dominican
Republic troops clashed with marchers at the start of a general
strike and one demonstrator was left dead. The strike was called to
protest low wages, power outages, closed schools and closed
(WSJ, 11/12/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 11, In Pakistan 4
American oil company employees and their driver were shot dead in
Karachi. It was believed to be a retaliation for the conviction of
Amil Kasi for the 1993 murder of 2 CIA employees. 2 gunmen were
sentenced to death for the murders in 1999. [see Nov 12]
(SFC,11/12/97, p.C14)(WSJ, 8/23/99, p.A1)
1997 Nov 12, Jury selection
began in Sacramento, Calif., in the trial of accused Unabomber
(WSJ, 11/12/97, p.A20) (AP, 11/12/98)
1997 Nov 12, In Denver
policeman Bruce VanderJagt was killed in a shootout with a member of
the Denver Skins. The suspect then killed himself with the officer’s
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A3)
1997 Nov 12, Ramzi Yousef was
convicted in New York of masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World
1997 Nov 12, In Ohio Rayshawn
Johnson (19) fatally beat Shanon Marks (29) with a baseball bat for
$50. In 2015 Johnson’s death sentence was overturned. Johnson had
suffered from mental illness, addiction and limited intellectual
(http://tinyurl.com/hyk8dkm)(SFC, 12/2/15, p.A8)
1997 Nov 12, From Brazil it was
reported that the government has launched an austerity package that
will raise prices and taxes and lead to the dismissal of some 33,000
(WSJ, 11/12/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 12, In Colombia it was
reported that the high court had recently ruled that the Convivir
associations, right wing vigilante groups promoting security, were
legal. There were an estimated 5,500 employees and 300,000
1997 Nov 12, Four U.S.
businessmen and a Pakistani were killed by gunmen in Karachi,
Pakistan, apparently in retaliation for the murder conviction of Mir
Aimal Kasi in the shooting deaths of two CIA employees.
1997 Nov 12, In Russia
lawmakers in the Saratov region passed the first land-sale law.
(WSJ, 11/13/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 12, The UN resolution
1137 imposed mild new sanctions on Iraq. A travel ban on Iraqi
officials who interfere with weapons inspections was set by a
unanimous Security Council vote.
(WSJ, 11/13/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A12)
1997 Nov 13, "Lion King,"
opened at New Amsterdam Theater, NYC. It was based on the Disney
1997 Nov 13, Hillary Clinton
visited in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
1997 Nov 13, US Congress voted
against a plan to authorize payments to the UN that was linked to an
1997 Nov 13, In Texas Coy
Wesbrook (1958-2016) went on a shooting rampage killing 5 people,
including his ex-wife. Wesbrook was executed in 2016.
1997 Nov 13, In Brazil a judge
ordered 153 police officers and 9 senior officials to stand
trial for the killing of 19 landless peasants in 1966.
1997 Nov 13, In Costa Rica Max
Dalton (78), an American-born rancher, was killed in a confrontation
with squatters on his 10-acre ranch in Golfito. Squatters in the
region have "confiscated" the holdings of more than 2 dozen
Americans in the region.
(WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)
1997 Nov 13, In Germany
parliament amended the 1950 Federal Benefits Law to exclude veterans
of disability rights if they violated "principles of humanity of the
law" during the Third Reich.
1997 Nov 13, Iraq expelled 6
Americans on a UN weapons inspection team. The United Nations
decided to withdraw all weapons inspectors from Iraq after Saddam
Hussein ordered Americans on the U.N. team out.
(SFC,11/14/97, p.A1)(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A9)(AP,
1997 Nov 14, Pres. Clinton
signed a bill containing $250 million to buy 7,500 acres in the
headwaters forest of northern California. The agreement with Charles
Hurwitz was revised in 1998 and protection was tentatively
established for 12 of 13 stands of redwoods and Pacific Lumber was
to be allowed to log one grove.
(SFC,11/15/97, p.A3)(SFC, 2/28/98, p.A1)
1997 Nov 14, A US federal court
ruled that spent reactor fuel must be accepted by the Energy Dept.
beginning no later than Jan 31, even though no disposal site yet
exists. Financial penalties could result.
(WSJ, 11/17/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 14, A jury in Fairfax,
Va., decided that Pakistani national Mir Aimal Kasi should get the
death penalty for gunning down two CIA employees outside agency
headquarters. Kasi was sentenced to death in January 1998. He was
executed Nov 14, 2002.
1997 Nov 14, Sara Lister,
assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs,
resigned in the wake of political pressure after she called Marines
"extremists" and mocked their uniforms as "checkerboard fancy."
1997 Nov 14, In Cameroon Pres.
Paul Biya launched a campaign to fight millions of locusts in the
northern part of the country where crops were already decimated by
drought, animal and birds.
1997 Nov 14, The Hong Kong
stock market was down 30% over the last month.
1997 Nov 14, In Russia Pres.
Yeltsin fired deputy chief of staff Alexander Kazakov due to a
$90,000 advance payment for a book on the history of state owned
property sales. Kazakov presided over relations between the Kremlin
and local governments. He was expected to keep his position as
chairman of the board of Gazprom. The following day he fired 2 more
ministers, privatization chief Maxim Boiko and Federal Bankruptcy
Commission chief Pyotr Mostovoi.
(SFC,11/15/97, p.A12)(SFEC,11/16/97, p.A22)
1997 Nov 14, In Zimbabwe the
dollar, stock market and economy all crashed over concerns about
payoffs to former guerrillas and the consequences of seizing 1,480
mostly white-owned farms. Zimbabwe’s currency plunged a record 72%,
an episode later regarded as the precursor of its subsequent
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A12)(AFP, 11/10/07)
1997 Nov 15, A day after moving
to halt the import of modified assault weapons, President Clinton
defended the action in his weekly radio address, saying such weapons
did nothing but "inspire fear and wreck deadly havoc on our
1997 Nov 15, Washington
University in Missouri announced that the Danforth Foundation,
headed by former Sen. John Danforth, had pledged a gift of $100
million to be delivered over 5 years.
1997 Nov 15, Parliamentary
elections were scheduled under supervision by the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A3)
1997 Nov 15, In Burma the
21-member SLORC was dissolved and a new State Peace and Development
Council headed by 4 top generals and commanders of various regions
1997 Nov 15, This was the
original scheduled date for the damming of the Yangtze River in
China. About 1.2 million people were to be moved due to the rising
waters. The flooded area provides 40% of China’s grain and 70% of
its rice crops.
(SFEC, 1/19/96, p.A14)
1997 Nov 15, In Ethiopia it was
reported that storms over the past three weeks have killed at least
1000 people here and in Somalia and left some 100,000 families
displaced and in competition with crocodiles and hippos for dry
land. The overflowing Juba and the Shabelle Rivers originate in
Ethiopia. The Juba had become 8 miles wide at some points.
(SFC,11/15/97, p.A3)(SFEC,11/16/97, p.A27)
1997 Nov 15, In Israel
8-year-old Ali Jawarish died 4 days after he was shot in the head by
an Israeli soldier in Bethlehem during a stone-throwing
demonstration at the Jewish shrine of Rachel’s Tomb.
1997 Nov 15, In Morocco
elections results split the new legislature into 3 near identical
blocks after a voter turnout of only 58.3 %. King Hassan II was
expected to pick a prime minister in consultation with the parties
1997 Nov 16, Some 600
protestors at Fort Benning, Ga., called for the closing of the
Army’s School of the Americas, which trains Latin American soldiers.
1997 Nov 16, The LA Times
reported that the Utility Dept. of LA was $7.5 billion in debt. $4.8
billion of the debt was off the books.
1997 Nov 16, China's most
prominent pro-democracy campaigner, Wei Jingsheng, arrived in the
United States after being released from a prison where he'd spent
nearly 18 years.
(SFEC,11/16/97, p.A2) (AP, 11/15/98)
1997 Nov 16, In El Salvador it
was reported that 22 murders a day occur. Vehicles in the capital
have increased fivefold in 5 years and the garbage dump in San
Salvador is full. The opposition FNLN now controls 45% of the
1997 Nov 16, In Iraq Deputy
Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said Baghdad would allow US arms
inspectors if Security Council permanent members had equal
representation on the UN teams. The proposal was rejected.
(WSJ, 11/17/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 16, In Italy in
weekend municipal elections center-left parties won a landslide
victory bolstering support for Prime Minister Prodi’s government.
(WSJ, 11/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 16, In Mexico it was
reported that the maquiladora plants along the US border have for
years regularly demanded female employees to provide periodic
evidence of non-pregnancy in order to avoid mandated 3-month
1997 Nov 17, In California
Tyler, the 18 month-old son of Gina Barnett (25) and James Nivette
(54) was found abandoned in San Bruno. The next day Gina’s body was
found in Folsom. James Nivette was the prime suspect and was thought
to have fled the country. He was arrested in France on Nov 20.
(SFC,11/19/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/21/97, p.1)
1997 Nov 17, From LaPlace, La.
it was reported that Daniel Bank, a mechanic, was arrested and
charged on 3 counts of murder. He was said to have confessed to 6
murders committed to feed a gambling habit from Oct 1966 to Jun
1997 Nov 17, In Egypt 6 gunmen
killed 62 people, including 58 foreign tourists, at the Hatshepsut
Temple in Luxor. The assailants, members of the Gamaa al-Islamiya,
were all killed. The attack was meant to force the US to release
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman who was serving a life term for a plot to
bomb NYC landmarks. The assailants, members of the Gamaa
al-Islamiya, were all killed. It was later reported that Mustafa
Hamza ordered the attack and that he was financed by Osama bin
Laden. Mohamed Ali Hassan Mokhlis, a suspected planner of the
attack, was arrested in Uruguay in 1999 and handed over to Egypt in
(SFC,11/18/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/19/97,
p.A1)(SFC,11/22/97, p.C1)(SFC, 5/14/99, p.A15)(AP, 11/17/07)
1997 Nov 17, In Japan
authorities announced that the Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Ltd., the
country’s 11th largest bank, would be dissolved due to bad loans and
that its operations would be transferred to a regional bank. The
news sent the Tokyo stock exchange soaring.
1997 Nov 17, In Rwanda at least
27 civilians were killed by suspected rebels in Mukamara. Nearly 300
people were killed when Hutu rebels attacked a prison in the
northwest at Giciye. 200 rebels, 88 prisoners and 2 soldiers died in
1997 Nov 18, Charles Frazier
won the National Book Award for his novel "Cold Mountain." The
best-seller was about a Confederate soldier trying to return to his
North Carolina home.
(USAT, 11/19/97, p.22A)(SFC, 4/9/02, p.D2)
1997 Nov 18, The FBI officially
pulled out of the probe into the TWA Flight 800 disaster, saying the
explosion that destroyed the Boeing 747, killing all 230 people
aboard, was not caused by a criminal act.
1997 Nov 18, In the US First
Union Corp. announced the purchase of CoreStates Financial Corp. for
1997 Nov 18, The Willem de
Kooning painting, "Two Standing Women," sold for $4,182,500.
1997 Nov 18, In India a school
bus plunged into the Yamuna River in New Delhi and at least 30
children were killed and another 20 missing. The driver was reported
to be racing another bus.
1997 Nov 18, Holocaust
survivors from Latvia received the first checks from a $200 million
fund set up by Swiss banks. Individual survivors were to each
1997 Nov 18, In Russia Tariq
Aziz and Pres. Yeltsin worked on a peaceful resolution to the UN
weapons inspection crises and announced a plan.
1997 Nov 18, In Taiwan Chen
Chin-hsing held a South African embassy official and his family
hostage and demanded the release of his wife and brother-in-law.
1997 Nov 18, In Tajikistan
Karine Mane of France, a UN worker for the High Commissioner for
refugees, was kidnapped along with Franck Janier-Dubry in Dushanbe.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)
1997 Nov 19, In Iowa seamstress
Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to 4 boys and three girls, septuplets,
the 2nd such birth in the US. She had used the fertility drug
(SFC,11/20/97, p.A1)(AP, 11/19/98)
1997 Nov 19, In Denver Oumar
Dia, a black man, was gunned down at a bus stop, and a nurse,
Jeannie Vanvelkinburgh, who tried to help him, was shot in the back
and left paralyzed. One of 2 suspects was arrested and described
himself as a skinhead and said that he shot Dia because he was
black. In 1999 jurors deadlocked in the trial of Nathan Thill over
1st vs. 2nd degree murder charges for the shooting of Dia. Thill
pleaded guilty in Dec and was sentenced to life in prison without
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A3)(SFC, 12/3/99, p.A5)(SFC,
1997 Nov 19, The space shuttle
Columbia zoomed into orbit on a two-week science mission.
(SFC,11/20/97, p.A8)(AP, 11/19/98)
1997 Nov 19, In Texas Michael
Eugene Sharp became the 35th condemned killer to be put to death
this year. He used the Internet to distribute his last words. He had
abducted a woman and her 2 young daughters, sexually abused them,
and fatally stabbed the mother and youngest daughter.
1997 Nov 19, 45,000 Canadian
postal workers went on strike after Canada Post ordered staffing
(WSJ, 11/20/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 19, In India a car
bomb exploded in Hyderabad at a gala kickoff for a new movie and 23
people were killed. Police suspected rivals of producer Paritala
Ravi, who is also a lawmaker in Andhra Pradesh state.
1997 Nov 19, In Israel a Jewish
seminary student was killed and another wounded near the Damascus
Gate in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s walled Old City.
1997 Nov 19, In Mexico members
of the elite Zorro police unit protested the arrest of their
comrades for the Sep 8 killing of 6 youths. They ended their
standoff after 14 hours and allowed the questioning of 14 officers.
(SFC,11/20/97, p.B2)(SFC,11/21/97, p.D6)
1997 Nov 19, Edmundo Tasinnari,
head of the Mexico City anti-kidnapping unit, and Humberto Salgado,
his deputy, were kidnapped with their driver. The driver was later
found beaten and wandering in a daze.
1997 Nov 19, In Taiwan Chen
Chin-hsing surrendered to police after releasing his hostages in
1997 Nov 20, It was reported
that Lucent Tech.’s Bell Labs has developed a new tiny transistor
that is 5 times faster and 1/4th the size of commercially available
(WSJ, 11/20/97, p.B4)
1997 Nov 20, From Ethiopia it
was reported that flooding has killed 297 people and uprooted 65,000
and that heavy rains continued to fall.
1997 Nov 20, In India S.V.
Ramanna Reddy, a former legislator of Andhra Pradesh, surrendered to
police in relation to the previous days bomb blast.
1997 Nov 20, Iraq agreed to
allow US arms inspectors back into the country after Russia agreed
to help work to lift UN Security Council sanctions. Prodded by
Russia, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein agreed to allow U.S. arms
monitors back into his country, ending a three-week crisis that had
raised fears of a military confrontation with the United States.
(SFC,11/20/97, p.A1)(AP, 11/20/98)
1997 Nov 20, In Nigeria the
government of Gen’l. Sani Abacha gave 5 political parties $637,000
each to campaign in elections to restore civilian rule. Opposition
groups called politicians of the 5 parties government stooges. 18
parties had applied for recognition but only 5 were deemed suitable.
(SFC,11/21/97, p.D6)(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A6)
1997 Nov 21, "The Food and Drug
Administration Act of 1997" was signed into law by President
Clinton. The new law was designed to enhance the product development
and review process; streamline the way the Agency regulates medical
devices; simplify enforcement procedures; and move the Agency toward
greater use of national and international standards. The law gave
the FDA new powers to speed the approval of drugs to combat a host
of killer diseases, including cancer and AIDS.
(PR, NPTH, 6/4/98)(AP, 11/21/98)
1997 Nov 21, It was reported
that physicists led by Norman Rostoker (73) had designed a compact,
boron-fueled fusion reactor that used high-speed particles to
1997 Nov 21, In West Virginia a
house fire in Weston left 5 children dead. It was later discovered
that the fire had been intentionally set for an insurance claim. In
1998 parents Janette Ables and Barbara and Ricky Brown were indicted
on 15 counts.
(SFC,12/12/97, p.B10)(SFC, 9/18/98, p.A3)
1997 Nov 21, Wayne Corbitt
(b.1952), black and gay playwright, died of AIDS. His plays and
performance pieces, many performed at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and
Theatre Rhinoceros, included "Blackbirds Boogie in the Morning
Light," "Fish with Frog Eyes" and "The Gospel According to Wayne."
1997 Nov 21, From Brazil it was
reported that new legislation would limit public employees to a
total compensation of $12,000 per month. Also proposed was the
elimination of job protection that could cost 280,000 civil servants
1997 Nov 21, In Bogota,
Colombia, suspected right-wing paramilitaries killed at least 14
people. Later near Urrao a suspected death squad killed 7 people
including a Communist boss.
(WSJ, 11/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 21, U.N. arms
inspectors returned to Iraq after Saddam Hussein's three-week
standoff with the United Nations over the presence of Americans on
1997 Nov 21, In Somalia five UN
and European aid workers were kidnapped by fighters of the Wasangeli
subclan in apparent retaliation for the seizure of a Palestinian
businessman by a rival subclan, the Marjeteen, earlier in the day.
1997 Nov 21, From South Korea
it was reported that 6 people were arrested for spying for North
Korea. Separately the government decided to seek $60 billion from
the IMF to bail out of its economic crises.
1997 Nov 22, A 75 man team of
U.N. weapons experts including 4 Americans returned to work in Iraq,
searching eight sites for signs the Iraqis might have worked on
biological, chemical or other banned arms during a three-week forced
halt in inspections.
(SFC,11/22/97, p.C1) (AP, 11/22/98)
1997 Nov 22, The Miss World
pageant in the Seychelles Islands was won by Diana Hayden (24), Miss
1997 Nov 22, Michael Hutchence
(b.1960), lead singer for the Australian rock band INXS, committed
suicide at a Sydney hotel.
1997 Nov 22, From Ecuador it
was reported that flooding and mudslides have killed 27 people over
the last 3 weeks.
1997 Nov 22, In Mexico Gen’l.
Mauro Enrique Tello was fired and arrested for his suspected role in
the Sep 8 killing of 6 youths. It was reported that the attack was
ordered by Col. Jesus Alonso after thieves robbed him at gunpoint of
a Rolex watch and some money weeks earlier.
1997 Nov 22, In Somalia the
Marjeteen attacked the Wasangeli and 2 fighters on each side were
1997 Nov 22, From Venezuela it
was reported that 18,000 people were infected in an epidemic of
dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and that 34 had died this year.
Heavy rains allowed Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries anyone
of 4 dengue viruses, to breed in water containers left out in the
open. In 2006 over 500,000 cases of dengue were reported in Latin
America including 14,000 cases of DHF.
(SFC,11/22/97, p.A9)(Econ, 4/21/07, p.42)(Econ,
1997 Nov 22-23, In Bosnia the
Serb Democratic Party of Radovan Karadzic won 24 seats vs. 15 seats
for the allied Radical party of Biljana Plavsic. The elections were
organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
1997 Nov 23, Iowa septuplet mom
Bobbi McCaughey left the hospital and returned home while her seven
babies stayed behind in intensive care.
1997 Nov 23, Jorge Mas Canosa,
Cuban exile leader and head of MasTec, died in Miami. He helped
create Radio Marti and TV Marti and served as chairman of the US
Information Agency stations that beamed uncensored news to Cuba.
1997 Nov 23, Artillery shells
fired by Lebanese guerrillas accidentally struck a village near the
Israeli border, killing 9 Lebanese. Israel blamed Hezbollah for
shelling the Shiite village of Beit Lif in an artillery duel.
(WSJ, 11/24/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/25/97, p.A12)(AP,
1997 Nov 23, In Israel Avigdor
Lieberman resigned as director of the prime minister’s office.
1997 Nov 23, Somali villagers
isolated for weeks by flooding finally received aid from boats
traveling down the Juba river.
1997 Nov 24, Pres. Clinton and
APEC Asian leaders in Vancouver discussed ways of calming the Asian
economic crisis and agreed on the rough details of a $68 billion
bailout with loans from the IMF.
(SFC,11/25/97, p.A1) (AP, 11/24/98)
1997 Nov 24, Space-walking
astronauts from the shuttle Columbia grabbed a spinning satellite
with their hands, enabling the cockpit crew to use the shuttle's
robot arm to return it to the cargo bay.
1997 Nov 24, In the SF Bay Area
Thomas Franklin Wheelock (20) murdered his Armored Transport
partner, Rodrigo Cortez (30), and escaped with $300,000. Most of the
money was found in a Sacramento motel. Wheelock was pronounced
guilty in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC,11/26/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/5/01, p.A16)(SFC,
1997 Nov 24, French Singer
Monique Serf, stage-name Barbara, died at 67. She was famous for her
songs "Aigle Noir," "Nantes," "La Solitude," and "Une Petite
1997 Nov 24, It was reported
that Iraq continued to withhold access to 63 weapons sites that
included 47 presidential compounds.
1997 Nov 24, Israeli warplanes
and soldiers attacked supposed guerilla infiltration trails in
southern Lebanon. Three Hezbollah were reported killed.
1997 Nov 24, In Japan the
Yamaichi Securities firm, the nation's 4th largest, announced a
shutdown due to debts totaling $24 billion. It was the third, after
Sanyo Securities and Hokkaido Takushoku Bank, Japanese financial
company to collapse in a month.
(SFC,11/24/97, p.A1)(AP, 11/24/98)(Econ, 7/22/06,
1997 Nov 24, In Somalia all
hostages were released by the rival Marjeteen and Wasangeli
1997 Nov 25, President Clinton
and Pacific Rim leaders meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia,
approved a rescue strategy for Asian economies shaken by plunging
currencies, bank failures and bankruptcies. The 2-day APEC summit in
Vancouver closed and leaders agreed to an IMF bailout plan. Forum
leaders also agreed to admit Russia, Vietnam and Peru into the
organization as of 1998.
(SFC,11/26/97, p.C2)(HN, 11/25/98)
1997 Nov 25, The FERC (Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission) ordered the dismantling of the
160-year-old Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Maine. The
commission refused to reissue a license to Edwards Manufacturing Co.
and ordered Edwards to pay the estimated $6.4 million cost of
removing its dam.
1997 Nov 25, Federal
indictments were brought against 19 people, who included mobsters
from the Genovese and Bonanno families, corporate executives of
HealthTech and stockbrokers of the Wall Street firm Meyers Pollock
Robbins Inc. for racketeering, extortion and securities fraud.
1997 Nov 25, Teamsters
President Ron Carey announced he was taking an unpaid leave of
absence to fight an election overseer's decision barring him from a
rerun. Hours later a federal oversight board accused him of
diverting union money to his 1996 re-election campaign.
(SFC,11/26/97, p.A3) (HN, 11/25/98)
1997 Nov 25, In Washington DC
Police Chief Larry D. Soulsby resigned just hours before a police
lieutenant roommate was charged with extorting money from married
men who frequented gay bars. The chief and his lieutenant shared a
cut-rate luxury apartment obtained under false premises.
1997 Nov 25, In the Congo it
was reported that police flogged 10 journalists for attending a news
conference by politician Z’Ahidi Arthur Ngoma. Ngoma and five
supporters were arrested after the conference.
1997 Nov 25, It was reported
that Iraq’s agency for electronic eavesdropping, known as Project
858, spied on UN weapons inspectors.
1997 Nov 25, Dr. Kamuzu Banda
(99), dictator of Malawi from 1964-1994, died in South Africa
(www.dispatch.co.za/1997/11/27/page%2019.htm). His official birthday
was given as May 14, 1906.
1997 Nov 25, In Mexico two
high-ranking army officers were charged with murder in the Sep 8
killings. It was the first time in modern Mexican history that a
civilian court had brought charges against an army officer.
(WSJ, 11/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 25, In Russia Richard
Bliss (29), an employee of Qualcomm Comm., was arrested for spying
while performing land surveys using satellite receivers in
Rostov-on-Don. Qualcomm was under contract to install a cellular
phone system. Bliss was later released for a Christmas holiday with
some assurance that he would return for trial.
(SFC,12/6/97, p.A8)(SFC,12/24/97, p.A3)
1997 Nov 25, The South Korean
stock market hit a low of 439.59, its lowest point since Jul, 1987.
1997 Nov 26, In the Aleutian
Islands 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, the freighter,
Kuroshima, ran aground off Dutch Harbor in heavy winds. Two crewmen
were reported dead and 10,000 gallons of oil was reported to have
leaked. As much as 240,000 gallons was reported on board. Emergency
workers removed 57,000 gallons on Dec 5 and 30,000 gallons still
(SFC,11/28/97, p.B9)(SFC, 12/1/97,
1997 Nov 26, In Indonesia a
recent visitor reported that some 40,000 Indonesian troops were
stationed in East Timor among a population of 800,000.
1997 Nov 26, In Iraq Sadam
Hussein invited foreign diplomats but not weapons inspectors to
examine his presidential palaces. Under heavy international pressure
Saddam Hussein said he would allow visits to presidential palaces
where U.N. weapons experts suspected he might be hiding chemical and
(SFC,11/27/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/28/97, p.A16)(AP,
1997 Nov 26, In a small but
symbolic step, the United States and North Korea held high-level
discussions at the State Department for the first time.
1997 Nov 26, In Japan Nomura
Securities admitted funneling $2.9 million in profits to Ryuichi
Koike, a suspected racketeer.
1997 Nov 26, It was reported
that gas reserve of 4 trillion cubic feet around Kutubu, in
Papua New Guinea, was planned to be delivered to Australia across a
1,500 mile pipeline by Chevron Corp. by mid-2001.
1997 Nov 26, Pres. Yeltsin
signed a decree to allow Russians to freely buy and sell municipal
land under residential and industrial buildings.
1997 Nov 26, In Sri Lanka
Amnesty Int’l. reported that the military killed 600 people arrested
in the war zone that were reported missing over the last 18 months.
1997 Nov 27, Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York was marred when a wind gust
knocked part of a lamppost onto a 34-year-old woman, fracturing her
skull and leaving her in a coma for almost a month.
1997 Nov 27, In Denver five
skinheads beat up a 26-year-old black woman who was shopping at a
7-Eleven. All 5 were captured and arraigned in court.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A3)
1997 Nov 27, Thomas Wheelock,
wanted for murder and robbery in the Bay Area, was arrested in Utah.
$30,000 was found in his car along with 2 handguns.
(SFC,11/28/97, p.A1)(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A10)
1997 Nov 27, Gold closed below
$300 for the first time since 1985 to $296.
(WSJ, 11/28/97, p.C1)
1997 Nov 27, In Colombia as
many as 14 peasants were killed in Dabeiba in Antioquia Province. A
50-member paramilitary group raided the hamlets of Balsita,
Buenavista and Toconal and riddled the victims with bullets and set
fire to their homes.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)
1997 Nov 27, Japan launched the
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM) in a joint
venture with NASA. Funding ended in 2004 a controlled de-orbit was
(SFC, 7/19/04, p.A4)
1997 Nov 27, A day after saying
it would open its presidential palaces to international observers,
Iraq declared that U.N. weapons monitors were not included in the
1997 Nov 28, The final original
regular installment of MTV's "Beavis & Butt-head," entitled
"Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead," aired on MTV.
1997 Nov 28, In Britain the
House of Commons approved a bill, 411-151, to ban wild animals from
being pursued, injured or killed by the use of dogs (i.e.
foxhunting). It was not supported by the labor government.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 28, In the Congo rival
factions of the army clashed and up to 20 people were killed in
Kinshasa at the offices of Pres. Kabila.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A14)
1997 Nov 28, In Germany
students spent a week protesting the deteriorating quality of their
education and the specter of having to pay for their education.
1997 Nov 28, India’s 4th
government in 2 years collapsed. Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral
resigned and his United Front government fell after the Congress
party withdrew its support. India's powerful Congress Party withdrew
its support from India's ruling coalition, forcing Prime Minister
Inder Kumar Gujral to resign.
(WSJ, 11/29/97, p.A12)(AP, 11/28/98)
1997 Nov 28, In Mexico the new
National Workers Union (UNT) was inaugurated in Mexico City. It will
compete with the 4-million member Congress of Mexican Labor (CTM),
considered a pliant ally of the PRI.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A14)
1997 Nov 28, In Serbia the KLA
emerged in Kosovo with expensive Swiss manufactured uniforms and
purloined Albanian Kalashnikovs.
(SFC, 5/5/99, p.A13)
1997 Nov 29, In Washington DC
some 28,000 couples, according to the church, gathered at Robert F.
Kennedy stadium for "Blessing 97," a marital re-dedication in the
Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han
1997 Nov 29, It was reported
that a 65-foot, 70-ton finback whale died on Spain’s northern coast
from ingesting 30 plastic bags, a rubber glove and several hard
plastic objects that formed into a ball and blocked its digestive
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A20)
1997 Nov 29, Coleman Young (b.
May 24, 1918 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.- d. Nov 29, 1997), former mayor of
Detroit (1973-1993), died. The city's first black mayor held office
for an unprecedented five terms.
(SFEC,11/30/97, p.C10)(AP, 11/29/98)
1997 Nov 29, It was reported
that an earthquake rocked Bangladesh and eastern India and that 21
people were killed in Chittagong.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A14)
1997 Nov 29, From Chile it was
reported that giant rats, fattened from feeding on droppings of
hormone-fattened poultry, were attacking barnyard animals in the
Maipu suburb of Santiago.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A20)
1997 Nov 29, In Colombia at
least 15 people were killed during the night. 7 peasants were found
dead outside the town of Pitalito and another 8, including 2
children, in 2 attacks in Medellin.
1997 Nov 29, In Israel dozens
were injured after a Palestinian march in Bethlehem erupted into a
clash with Israeli troops.
1997 Nov 29, In Mexico some
25,000 demonstrators marched in Mexico City to protest crime,
violence and police corruption.
(WSJ, 12/1/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 29, Taiwan’s
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won 12 of 23 mayoral and county
seats and for the first time received more votes than the
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A12)
1997 Nov 30, It was reported
that the US State Dept. was reminding local and state police that
foreign citizens arrested in the US have a right to contact their
governments under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations
ratified by the US and over 160 other countries.
1997 Nov 30, Composer and
guitarist Michael Hedges (43) died in an auto accident in Mendocino
County, Ca. His albums included "Breakfast in the Field" (1983),
"Aerial Boundaries" (1984), "Taproot" (1990), and "The Road to
Return" (1994). His recordings helped establish the Wyndham Hill
record label co-founded by guitarist Will Ackerman.
1997 Nov 30, Czech Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus handed in his government’s resignation in the
wake of revelations that his party maintained a slush fund in
Switzerland and had received campaign donations from a businessman
buying a state-owned steel mill.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A10)(AP,
1997 Nov 30, In the Congo the
government accused foreign broadcaster of tarnishing its image and
shut down all local FM transmissions of international radio
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)
1997 Nov 30, In Haiti the UN
mandate for peace-keeping forces ended and 1,170 soldiers prepared
1997 Nov 30, In Honduras Carlos
Flores Facusse (47), a newspaper owner, appeared to have won the
presidential elections. He defeated Nora Gunera de Melgar of the
National Party, the widow of a former military president.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A12)
1997 Nov 30, In India two bomb
blasts in a crowded New Delhi market left 3 dead and 62 injured.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)
1997 Nov 30, In Tajikistan
Karine Mane of France and 5 of her suspected abductors were killed
by a grenade during a confrontation with government forces trying to
free her. A companion had been released hours earlier. Faction
leader Rezvon Sadirov was accused of the kidnapping, staged to seek
freedom for his brother, Bakhrom, who was awaiting trial on
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)(AP, 11/30/98)
1997 Nov, The New Yorker
magazine issued its first edition of "the New Yorker Out Loud," in
1997 Nov, Edgar Bronfman,
chairman of the Seagram Co., signed an agreement for a $55 million
joint venture with the Chongqing Three Gorges Construction Group to
develop orange juice production in southwest China.
(WSJ, 1/2/98, p.A1)
1997 Nov, An Interpol report
said that Kosovo Albanians hold the largest share of the heroin
market in Europe.
(SFC, 5/5/99, p.A1)
1997 Nov, A senior Algerian
officer accused the secret service of being responsible for the
Sept. massacre in Beni Messous where over 200 died.
1997 Nov, A meeting of Balkan
nations was planned to improve economic relations. Leaders from
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia
were scheduled to meet in Iraklion, Greece.
1997 Nov, In Brazil the
government began to force gold miners to leave the Yanomani Indian
reservation where the population was much reduced by disease.
(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.A1)
1997 Nov, A new sports
magazine, Lance, began publishing. The $43 million project was
founded by 2 leading investment banks, Bozano Simonsen and Icatu,
and Globo, Brazil’s largest media organization. Stakes were also
held by millionaire Andre Lara Resende, former banker and economic
advisor to Pres. Cardoso, and Mr. de Mattos, a professional manager.
(FT, 3/4/98, p.17)
1997 Nov, In Colombia Carlos
Arturo Quiroz, the mayor-elect of San Jacinto, was killed by a
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A9)
1997 Nov, In Israel a 3-judge
Supreme Court panel ruled that Lebanese men could be held as a
"bargaining card." The ruling was not disclosed for 4 months.
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A12)
1997 Nov, In Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan, Hillary Clinton dedicated a campus building at one of
the country’s 43 universities. Pres. Aska Askaev had earlier
received a financial commitment of $2 million each from the Soros
Foundation and the US.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A12)
1997 Nov, In Nigeria Onome
Osifo-Whiskey, a managing editor of Tell news magazine, was abducted
from his Lagos home. Tell under Kola Ilori has managed to maintain
publication since 1993 on a weekly basis by printing in secret on
presses all over the country.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.A13)
1997 Nov, Nieu, a Polynesian
Island nation, began to register Internet domain web sites with its
country-code letters .nu for $25 after Tonga’s success.
(WSJ, 12/8/97, p.B21E)
1997 Nov-Dec, In Ethiopia
health workers under int’l. financing worked to vaccinate every
child under 5 against polio.
(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A14)
1997 Dec 1, Pres. Clinton
signed the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act into law.
(SFC, 12/20/99, p.E1)
1997 Dec 1, In California
Latrell Sprewell, guard for the Golden State Warriors, choked and
threatened coach P.J. Carlesimo. The Warriors quickly terminated
Sprewell’s multi-million contract and the NBA then banned him from
basketball for one year.
1997 Dec 1, Westinghouse
formally changed its name to CBS.
1997 Dec 1, In Shelbyville,
Tenn., Daryl Keith Holton shot and killed his 3 sons and his
ex-wife’s daughter (ages 4-13), because he could not get custody. He
turned himself in to police.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A8)
1997 Dec 1, Michael Carneal
(14), opened fire on a prayer circle and killed 3 classmates and
wounded five during a shooting spree at Heath High School in West
Paducah, Ky. In 1998 he pleaded guilty but mentally ill in a plea
agreement and was given a life prison term with no parole for 25
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.A3)(WSJ, 10/6/98, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Dec 1, Stephane Grappelli,
jazz violinist, died in Paris. In the mid-30s the Quintet of the Hot
Club of France, with Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, recorded "Tiger
Rag," "Dinah," and "Lady Be Good." His albums included "Live at
Carnegie Hall, "Jazz Round Midnight," "Plays Jerome Kern," "Tivoli
Gardens" (1979), "Satin Doll," ‘’Stardust," ‘For Django," and "Plays
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A22)(SFC, 12/4/97, p.E3)
1997 Dec 1, The Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Russia and the EU came into
force. It was signed in June 1994 to encourage political,
commercial, economic and cultural cooperation.
1997 Dec 1, In Japan
international talks on global warming and reducing greenhouse gases
began in Kyoto.
(WSJ, 12/5/97, p.A1)(AP, 12/1/98)
1997 Dec 1, South Korea reached
a preliminary agreement with the IMF for a $55-60 billion bailout.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A13)(SFC, 1/8/98, p.A7)
1997 Dec 1, Spain’s Supreme
Court convicted 23 leaders of the Herri Batsuna (Unified Country)
Basque separatist coalition. Each was sentenced to 7 years in prison
and fined $3,500. In 1999 the Constitutional Court annulled the
sentences and 22 leaders were released.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A10)(SFC, 7/21/99, p.A12)
1997 Dec 2, Attorney General
Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of
telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Gore,
concluding they did not violate election laws, a decision that drew
jeers from Republicans.
1997 Dec 2, The US promised to
donate $29 million over the next 3 years to an int’l. fund for
Holocaust survivors at a conference in London on Nazi gold. Congress
would have to approve the contribution. Britain pledged $1.7
million. Some 5.5 tons of gold were still held in New York and
London. Over the last 50 years the Tripartite Gold Commission,
established by the Allies, had returned over 300 tons of gold to ten
countries whose treasuries were sacked.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A10)(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C3)
1997 Dec 2, The US FDA approved
irradiation as a safe way to rid meat of bacteria.
(WSJ, 12/3/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 2, In Texas Alberto
Gonzales (b.1955), the general counsel to Gov. George W. Bush, began
serving as the Sec. of State.
1997 Dec 2, It was reported
that the US life expectancy at birth has reached 76.1 years and that
the 1996 infant death rate was 7.2 per 1,000.
(WSJ, 12/2/97, p.A20)
1997 Dec 2, It was reported
that video poker takes in $2 billion a year in South Carolina.
(WSJ, 12/2/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 2, In California
Vanessa Lei Samson (22) was abducted while walking to work in
Pleasanton. Her body was later found off Highway 88 in Alpine Ct.
Michelle Michaud and her boyfriend, James A. Daveggio, were later
picked up by police. The couple had a van converted into a "murder
and abduction chamber." The couple were arrested on a kidnap and
rape charge for a separate attack on a Reno college student in Sep.
and faced charges for raping 12 and 13-year old girls in Sacramento.
Michaud confessed to Samson’s murder. The pair were charged in 1998
for the kidnapping and murder of Samson. In 2001 Robert Scott
authored "Rope Burns," an account of the case. Daveggio and Michaud
went on trial in 2002 and were convicted in June. On Sep 25 they
were sentenced to death.
(SFC,12/11/97, p.A21)(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A18)(SFC,
1/21/02, p.B1)(SFC, 9/26/02, p.A27)
1997 Dec 2, In India lower
caste villagers of Lakshmanpur were attacked by some 300 armed men,
who stabbed, shot and killed 61 people including 4 children under
age 5. The gunmen were thought to be members of the Ranbir Sena
paramilitary force, composed of higher caste landlords.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.A11)
1997 Dec 2, It was reported
that Libya was constructing some 2,000 miles of tunnels with 13-foot
concrete pipes. Libya called it the Great Man-Made River Project and
it stretched from Tunisia to Egypt. Analysts feared it would be used
for military purposes. The primary contractor was Dong Ah, a South
Korean construction conglomerate and much of the equipment used was
of US make.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A11)
1997 Dec 2, In Peru Pres.
Fujimori ended the yearlong ban on visits by the Red Cross to jailed
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 2, In Rwanda Hutu
rebels attacked a prison and released 103 jailed comrades at the
Rwerere prison near the Congo border.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C4)
1997 Dec 2, A mine in the
Kuzbass region of southern Siberia exploded from methane gas and
killed 67 miners.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 2, In Spain the
National Court found journalists Fernando Alonso and Andoni Murga
guilty of weapons possession and membership in the ETA and sentenced
them to 39 years each in prison.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 2, Tajikistan forces
killed Rizvon Sadirov, leader of the group that kidnapped Karine
Mane, and a number of his associates.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 2, In Istanbul,
Turkey, 33 people were sentenced to death for their roles in a 1993
mob attack that left 37 intellectuals dead.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C4)
1997 Dec 3, President Clinton
hosted his first town hall meeting on America's race relations in
1997 Dec 3, It was reported
that former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, Edward J. DeBartolo, owner
of the SF 49ers, and three others were about to be indicted for
alleged fraud. DeBartolo was caught offering to pay the governor as
much as $400,000 for a riverboat casino license.
(SFC, 12/3/97, p.A1)(SFC, 12/4/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 3, Walt Disney
Chairman Michael Eisner exercised stock options for a profit of $565
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 3, In Canada as many
as 120 countries began signing a ban on land mines in Ottawa. The
US, China, Russia, Iraq were among those countries refusing to sign
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 3, South Korea struck
a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a record $55 billion
bailout of its foundering economy.
1997 Dec 3, In Norway Dr.
Christian Sandsdalen was convicted for the mercy killing in Jun 1996
of Bodil Bjerkmann (45), who suffered from multiple sclerosis. He
was the first Norwegian tried for mercy killing.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C4)
1997 Dec 3, In Poland Cardinal
Jozef Glemp chastised Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk for his daily broadcasts
of hate and rage mingled with prayer sessions. Rydzyk began
broadcasting over Radio Maryja in 1991 and has become the 4th most
popular station in Poland with 5 million listeners, mostly among
older, religious observant women.
1997 Dec 3, Pres. Yeltsin
announced that Russia is ready to cut troop strength in the Baltic
region by 20% by Jan 1, 1999.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C4)
1997 Dec 3, In Rwanda Hutu
rebels attacked a prison and released 507 jailed comrades in
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C4)
1997 Dec 4, The National
Basketball Association suspended All-Star Latrell Sprewell of the
Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to
kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, three days earlier. An arbitrator
later reduced the suspension and reinstated Sprewell to the
Warriors, which had terminated his contract.
1997 Dec 4, In Santa Claus,
Ga., Jerry Scott Heidler (20) was arrested for the murder of a
couple and their two children and the kidnapping of three foster
1997 Dec 4, In Washington DC
Eric Butera (31) was robbed and beaten to death while assisting
police in an undercover investigation of a triple murder. In 1999 a
court ruled that the DC police dept. and 4 officers pay Butera's
mother $98 million in damages.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.A3)
1997 Dec 4, In Canada postal
workers ended their strike under threat of heavy fines with a 5.15%
wage increase over 3 years.
1997 Dec 4, The EU banned
tobacco advertising and gave cigarette makers until 2006 to end
sponsorship of major sports and cultural events. Governments get 3
years to enact the ban beginning Oct 1988 on all advertising except
at stores that sell cigarettes.
1997 Dec 4, From France it was
reported that Paul Cezanne graces the new 100 franc bill. He
replaces Eugene Delacroix, who was on the old bill with his painting
depicting the French Revolution and its topless symbol Marianne.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 4, In Indonesia some
2,000 Dole farmworkers on Mindanao went on strike protesting low
(SFC, 2/16/98, p.A10)
1997 Dec 4, In Liberia Samuel
Dokie, an opposition politician, was found slain in Bong County with
his wife and bodyguard. He had been reported missing after being
arrested by security men in Pres. Taylor’s stronghold of Gbarnga.
1997 Dec 4, UNESCO designated
additional places as World Heritage sites at a conference in Naples.
Prior to the addition there were 506 sites designated over the last
1997 Dec 5, Pres. Clinton said
US troops in Haiti will continue their presence. Some 300-500 troops
were posted on a rotating basis for civil affairs work with an
additional 150 US military police for security.
1997 Dec 5, The space shuttle
Columbia returned from a 16-day mission that had been marred by the
bungled release of a satellite.
1997 Dec 5, The World Trade
Organization (WTO) rejected American claims that the Fuji film
company had conspired with the Japanese government to keep Eastman
Kodak products out of Japan.
(SFC,12/5/97, p.C3) (AP, 12/5/98)
1997 Dec 5, In India explosions
on 3 separate passenger trains left at least 10 dead and 64 injured
in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
1997 Dec 5, In Mexico City
Mayor Cuautemoc Cardenas (63) was sworn into office. He named Jesus
Carrola as head of the judicial police.
(SFC,12/6/97, p.A8)(SFC,12/11/97, p.C3)
1997 Dec 5, Pres. Yeltsin
visited the lower house of parliament and prodded the passage of the
new budget with austere spending plans.
1997 Dec 5, In Spain a
politician’s bodyguard was shot to death hours before authorities
arrested 19 of 23 leaders of the pro-Basque independence party,
Herri Batasuna, in San Sebastian. Protestors also commandeered a bus
and burned it.
1997 Dec 5, In northern Sri
Lanka Heavy fighting left some 250 dead. Guerrillas turned over the
bodies of 111 government soldiers and some 150 Tamil rebel were
believed killed in Vavuniya.
1997 Dec 5, Turkish troops
began an offensive against Turkish Kurds in northern Iraq. The
20,000 man force was to be assisted by 8,000 men of the Kurdistan
Democratic party, an Iraqi group.
1997 Dec 5, Mayor Tayyip
Erdogan of Istanbul made statements in Siirt that were later called
inflammatory. He was charged with inciting hatred based on religious
differences. Erdogan had quoted Ziya Gokalp, a poet who had written
the verse to inspire the troops of Ataturk.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.D5)(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.A21)
1997 Dec 6, An asteroid was
discovered by J.V. Scotti at the Univ. of Arizona. It was recognized
as one of 108 potentially hazardous asteroids.
(NH, 10/98, p.88)
1997 Dec 6, At least 69 people
were killed when a Russian Antonov-124 military jet cargo plane
crashed in the Siberian city of Irkutsk seconds after takeoff.
(SFEC,12/797, p.A19)(WSJ, 12/8/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Dec 7, Republicans
threatened Attorney General Janet Reno with contempt of Congress
over her decision to forgo an independent counsel's investigation of
White House campaign fund raising.
1997 Dec 7, Singer Bob Dylan,
actor Charlton Heston, actress Lauren Bacall, opera singer Jessye
Norman and ballet master Edward Villella shared the 20th annual
Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C.
1997 Dec 7, A new Presidential
Decision Directive was reported to replace one put into place by
Pres. Reagan in 1981. It reset the guidelines for the use of nuclear
weapons. Nuclear weapons would still be maintained as a deterrent.
1997 Dec 7, It was reported
that some 19 sperm whales washed up along the Danish and German
North Sea coasts over the last several weeks.
1997 Dec 7, It was reported
that the world’s tiger population was down to 6000, from 100,000 a
century ago. 5 of 8 subspecies are left: Indian (Bengal), Sumatran,
Chinese, Indo-Chinese and Amur (Siberian).
(SFEC,12/797, Par p.12)
1997 Dec 7, Three skydivers, 2
Americans and an Austrian, died while jumping to the South Pole on a
trip organized by Adventure Network Int’l.
1997 Dec 7, In Israel the
Histadrut labor federation declared an end to a 4-day strike by
700,000 public sector workers.
1997 Dec 7, In Serbia elections
failed to elect a president with a 50% majority. Milan Milutinovic,
an ally of Slobodan Milosevic received 42% and Vojislav Seselj, a
former paramilitary leader, had 33%. Vuk Draskovic received 16% and
threatened to call a boycott in a Dec 21 runoff.
(SFC,12/9/97, p.A13)(SFC,12/10/97, p.A13)
1997 Dec 8, LeAnn Rimes (15)
won the artist of the year award at the Billboard Music Awards in
1997 Dec 8, Federal hearings
opened in Baltimore into the TWA Flight 800 disaster that had
claimed 230 lives.
1997 Dec 8, The US HUD
established a new program with a hotline to help the nations
homeless estimated at 600,000 to 1 million people: 800-HUD-1010.
1997 Dec 8, The Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights reported that deaths in Rio, Brazil,
attributed to police links with the military, averaged 20 a month
1997 Dec 8, At the UN
conference on global warming in Kyoto, Japan, US Vice President Al
Gore signaled a willingness on the part of the US to compromise and
perhaps raise the amount of greenhouse gases it is willing to cut.
1997 Dec 8, In Indonesia a fire
gutted the top 3 floors of the central bank in Jakarta and at least
15 people were killed.
1997 Dec 8, In Iran leaders of
the 55-member Organization of the Islamic Conference gathered to
overcome historic divisions and promote Islamic solidarity.
1997 Dec 8, Iraq executed 4
Jordanians accused of smuggling $850 worth of auto parts. King
Hussein of Jordan called and appealed for clemency to no avail.
1997 Dec 8, In Malaysia the
rupiah dropped 10% on rumors that Pres. Suharto had suffered a
(WSJ, 12/10/97, p.A16)
1997 Dec 8, Mexico agreed with
the European Union to negotiate a trade pact.
1997 Dec 8, In Somalia doctors
reported that 31 children had died of cholera in recent days and
that medicine was needed to prevent an epidemic.
1997 Dec 8, In a $25 billion
deal, Swiss Bank and Union Bank of Switzerland announced they would
merge, forming Europe's largest and world's second largest bank.
(SFC,12/897, p.A16)(AP, 12/8/98)
1997 Dec 8, In Thailand the
government announced that it will liquidate 56 of 58 insolvent
finance companies shut down by the Central Bank earlier in the year.
The move was part of the conditions of the $17.2 billion IMF
1997 Dec 8, Leon Poliakov (87),
French-Jewish historian, died. His books included “Harvest of Hate,"
one of the best narratives of the Holocaust.
1997 Dec 9, Confronting her
critics, Attorney General Janet Reno traded testy remarks with House
Republicans on the House committee investigating campaign
fund-raising; she defended her decision not to seek an independent
counsel for fund-raising calls made by President Clinton and Vice
1997 Dec 9, It was reported
that the US had agreed to provide over $500 million towards the
construction of a new atom smasher in Geneva under the direction of
CERN. The large Hadron Collider was expected to be completed for $6
billion by 2005.
1997 Dec 9, In Texas Michael
Lee Lockhart was put to death by lethal injection for the 1988
murder of a Beaumont police officer. He was also wanted by Florida
and Indiana where in 1987 he killed a 14-year old girl and 16
year-old girl. He was the 37th to be executed by Texas this year.
1997 Dec 9, In Virginia Michael
Charles Satche (29) was put to death for the rape and murder of a
woman. It was the state’s 8th execution this year.
1997 Dec 9, The US began an
investigation of Grupo Hank, a large financial empire controlled by
Carlos Hank Gonzales, a former mayor of Mexico City, and his sons
Carlos Hank Rhon and Jorge Hank Rhon. A 1999 report concluded that
the family was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money
(SFC, 6/2/99, p.A1,14)
1997 Dec 9, A former Algerian
diplomat in London said that the government was involved in the
recent massacres of civilians to garner support against the Islamic
1997 Dec 9, Israeli officials
scrambled to stop a Yasser Arafat’s government from conducting a
census of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
1997 Dec 9, North Korean
officials agreed to a 4-nation meeting in Geneva for a permanent
peace treaty to the 1950-1953 Korean War. The talks inaugurated
formal discussion for a permanent peace agreement and a new session
was scheduled for Mar 16.
(SFC,11/22/97, p.C1)(SFC,12/11/97, p.A18)
1997 Dec 9, In Russia 3 armed
hijackers seized an Ilyushin-62 passenger plane from far east city
of Magadan with at least 140 people onboard. They demanded $10
million and a flight to Switzerland.
1997 Dec 9, In Zimbabwe
thousands of protestors, angry over taxes, fought with the police
for 4 hours in Harare during one of the biggest local labor strikes.
The strike was called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions amid
discontent over unemployment, taxes and inflation along with
corruption and lavish spending by politicians.
1997 Dec 10, The US Supreme
Court narrowed double-jeopardy protections for people who face both
civil fines and criminal prosecution for the same conduct, ruling
that three Oklahoma men could be prosecuted in a bank failure case
even though they'd already paid civil fines for their actions. This
overturned a 1989 ruling that said it would be double-jeopardy to
impose both criminal punishment and civil fines.
(SFC,12/11/97, p.A3)(AP, 12/10/98)
1997 Dec 10, Vice Pres. Gore
announced that $425 million would be made available from the
Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help state and local officials
improve teaching and learning with new technology.
1997 Dec 10, Researchers
announced that the genetic blueprint of the microbe that causes Lyme
disease has been deciphered.
(WSJ, 12/11/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 10, Julia Butterfly
(23), nee Julia Hill, climbed into a redwood tree in Humboldt
County, Ca., on Pacific Lumber Co. property and remained there for
over 2 years. She named the tree Luna and in her meditations came up
with the equation: truth + hope = action + change. Julia ended her
protest Dec 18, 1999. A deal was reached to preserve Luna and a
200-foot buffer in exchange for a $50,000 payment to Pacific Lumber,
which would be donated to Humboldt State Univ. for scientific
research. In 2000 Hill published "The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a
Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods."
(SFEC, 12/6/98, Z1p.1)(KPFA, 12/9/99)(SFC,
12/18/99, p.A5)(SFC, 12/20/99, p.A24)(SFEC, 4/2/00, BR p.3)
1997 Dec 10, In Britain the
House of Commons approved a bill to reduce welfare payments to
1997 Dec 10, In Israel the
parliament issued a broad ban on Palestinian political activity in
East Jerusalem in an attempt to block a Palestinian census.
1997 Dec 10, Jordan expelled 7
Iraqi diplomats after Iraq executed 4 Jordanians accused of
smuggling $850 worth of auto parts.
1997 Dec 10, Jesus Carrola, the
new judicial police chief of Mexico City, stepped down amid
allegations of links to torture and drug traffickers.
1997 Dec 10, In Mexico Vincent
Carroza, a hotel manager in Acapulco from New Jersey, was kidnapped
by 9 gunmen dressed as federal police agents. His was the 104th
kidnapping reported in the state in 20 months. He was released
unharmed after 8 days.
(SFC,12/11/97, p.A18)(SFC,12/18/97, p.C12)
1997 Dec 10, In Rwanda Hutu
guerrillas, known as Interhamwe, attacked the Mudende Tutsi refugee
camp and killed at least 231  people and wounded over 200
others just hours before the arrival of US Sec. of State Madeleine
Albright, who came to promote peace.
(SFC,12/12/97, p.B3)(SFC,12/19/97, p.B6)
1997 Dec 10, In Uganda US
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pledged $2.2 million for World
Vision, a center that cares for abducted children, and a $2 million
grant for Lacor Hospital, where many children receive treatment.
1997 Dec 10, In Zimbabwe the
government withdrew key components of a controversial tax package.
1997 Dec 11, Henry Cisneros,
President Clinton's first housing secretary, was indicted for
conspiracy, obstructing justice and making false statements about
payments to former mistress. Cisneros, who later pleaded guilty to a
misdemeanor, was eventually pardoned by President Clinton.
1997 Dec 11, A US federal judge
ordered Microsoft not to bundle IE4 in Windows.
1997 Dec 11, From Austria
scientists reported in Nature that they had demonstrated a form of
tele-transportation. They teleported the physical condition of a
photon using a phenomenon called entanglement.
1997 Dec 11, The 55-member
Organization of the Islamic conference ended their meeting in Iran
with the declaration that "the killing of innocents is strictly
forbidden in Islam." The group also called for full respect for the
dignity and rights of Muslim women and criticized Israel for "state
1997 Dec 11, Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams became the first political ally of the IRA to meet a
British leader in 76 years as he conferred with Prime Minister Tony
Blair in London.
1997 Dec 11, In Kyoto, Japan,
negotiators at the conference on global warming reached a compromise
with a commitment by some 38 industrialized nations to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% from 1990 levels over
the next 10-15 years. Over 160 nations endorsed the treaty that
binds industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gases. It was signed
by 171 nations. Int’l. aviation was excluded from the protocol on
condition that by 2007 countries and airlines of the Int’l. Civil
Aviation Organization (ICOA) come up with a way of reducing
emissions through a trading scheme.
(SFC,12/11/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/11/97, p.A1)(SFC,
5/29/98, p.A2)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.67)
1997 Dec 11, Russia announced
that it would terminate a recently negotiated 10-year contract with
the US on uranium sales, and planned to sell its uranium on the open
market. The decision could bring Russia an extra $500 million.
1997 Dec 11, In Spain Jose Luis
Caso, a former town councilor in Renteria, was killed by two
suspected Basque separatists in Irun.
1997 Dec 11, From Vietnam it
was reported that 56 people have died of dengue fever in southern
Kien Giang province following Typhoon Linda.
1997 Dec 12, SFX Entertainment
negotiated the purchase of Bill Graham Presents for $65 million.
1997 Dec 12, In Orlando, Fla.,
John Armstrong was killed by police after a 4-day hostage crises
during which he held two children captive. He killed a man just
before taking the 2 children hostage. He had been released from
prison in March after serving less than a third of a 12-year
sentence for robbery in 1989.
1997 Dec 12, Negotiators in
Geneva for the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed an accord to
open up the banking and insurance sectors of some 70 member
countries to foreign competition.
1997 Dec 12, The IMF announced
that it would ask members to boost its capital base by $160 billion.
In Sept. a $90 billion increase was approved.
1997 Dec 12, The Cayman Islands
told the Norwegian Cruise Line that a chartered 910-passenger ship
of gay people would not be allowed to dock.
(SFC, 1/7/98, p.A8)
1997 Dec 12, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal,"
went on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French
investigators and a Lebanese national. He was convicted and began
serving a life prison sentence.
1997 Dec 12, Japanese train
builders (Maglev) claimed world speed record at 332 MPH.
1997 Dec 12, In Peru
archeologists announced the finding of a 2nd mummy of a young Inca
sacrificed over 500 years ago near the summit of Mt. Ampato, not far
from Peru’s 2nd city Arequipa.
1997 Dec 12, In South Korea
Dongsuh Securities, the country’s 4th largest brokerage firm, went
bankrupt. Korea’s stock index fell to its lowest level in 10 years.
The central bank said it would pump $6.5 billion in emergency loans
into domestic financial institutions to resuscitate the financial
1997 Dec 12, In South Korea
Pres. candidate Kim Dae Jung set up a teleconference with George
Soros, Michael Jackson and Mickey Kantor.
1997 Dec 12, In Switzerland the
high court told Swiss banks to send some $500 million in assets of
the late Ferdinand Marcos back to the Philippines.
1997 Dec 13, A ribbon-cutting
ceremony was held in Los Angeles for the $1 billion Getty Center,
one of the largest arts centers in the United States.
1997 Dec 13, In SF a fire in a
Bayview-Hunters Point housing project killed 6 people including 5
children. Henry Lee Redmond (60), a live-in boyfriend of Delores
Evans (42), one of the victims, apparently started the fire with a
cigarette while drinking. Redmond escaped and claimed that he tried
to douse the fire and yelled to the people upstairs. The SF Housing
Authority was found negligent for not installing a smoke detector or
fixing a faulty heater in 2008 still owed $13.5 million to relatives
of the victims. The SF Housing Authority finished paying off the
judgment in 2009.
(SFEC,12/14/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/16/97, p.A17)(SFC,
4/24/08, p.B3)(SFC, 4/10/09, p.B3)
1997 Dec 13, Michigan Wolverine
Charles Woodson was named winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first
primarily defensive player so honored.
1997 Dec 13, In Northern
Ireland gangs of Catholic youths attacked police during a protest
march by rival Protestants in the annual Lundy’s Day demonstration
1997 Dec 13, In Spain tens of
thousands marched in San Sebastian to protest the murder of Jose
1997 Dec 13-1997 Dec 14, In
South Korea panic buying hit the supermarkets as people rushed to
hoard staples prior to price increases.
1997 Dec 14, Astronomers
detected the brightest explosion ever detected in a galaxy 12
billion light-years away.
(USAT, 5/7/98, p.1A)
1997 Dec 14, Cuban President
Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure
the success of Pope John Paul II's upcoming visit in Jan.
(SFC,12/15/97, p.B1)(AP, 12/14/98)
1997 Dec 14, From India it was
reported that Bombay film studios churn out 900 features a year in
Hindi and other Indian languages at an average cost of $2.24
(SFEC,12/14/97, DB p.62)
1997 Dec 14, Iran's new
president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people
of the United States -- a nation reviled by his predecessors as "The
1997 Dec 14, In Mexico the
500-seat Chamber of Deputies approved Pres. Zedillo’s $108.9
billion budget for 1988. The secret budget was reduced to $6.25
1997 Dec 14, From Mexico it was
reported that the Korean owners of the Han Young plant in Tijuana
have agreed to cut ties with the government union and recognize the
independent Unidad Obrera (Worker Unity) that was elected on Oct 6.
1997 cDec 15, Pres. Clinton
answered a written discovery posed by Ms. Jones to identify all
women who were state or federal employees since 1986 that he had had
sexual relations with. His response under oath was none.
(SFC, 9/12/98, p.A12)
1997 Dec 15, Over Republican
objections, President Clinton appointed Bill Lann Lee acting
assistant attorney general for civil rights.
1997 Dec 15, US Defense Sec.
Cohen ordered all 1.5 million men and women in uniform to be
inoculated against anthrax.
(WSJ, 12/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 15, It was reported
that the US carried out 74 executions this year.
1997 Dec 15, In Missouri the
nation’s last workable Minuteman II missile silo was destroyed in
Dederick. It was the last of 150 in Missouri aimed at the Soviet
Union. The missiles were deactivated and the silos destroyed due to
the 1995 signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
1997 Dec 15, In Australia a
government report said that at least 1,045 retarded women and girls
have been sterilized since a 1992 law that made it illegal without
1997 Dec 15, In Colombia at
least 26 peasants were killed about this time after paramilitary
groups began to "cleanse" the Riosucio region of leftist guerrillas.
(SFC, 1/5/98, p.A10)
1997 Dec 15, In Egypt a court
sentenced a physician, Dr. Rabie Ibrahim Mahgoub, one year in prison
and a fine of $150 for the April death of a 14-real-old girl, Amina
Abdel-Hamid Abu-Elah, who was undergoing circumcision surgery
(called genital mutilation by opponents).
1997 Dec 15, In Guyana Janet
Jagan (77) won the elections for president.
(SFEC,12/14/97, p.A22)(SFC,12/18/97, p.C14)
1997 Dec 15, In Mexico a gang
of armed masked men raided several homes and seized some 20
teenagers and young adults. Several were tortured and Salvador
Jimenez Lopez (25) was found dead a week later. On Jan 7 authorities
arrested 28 officers and soldiers who were believed to be
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.B10)
1997 Dec 15, In Mexico Peter
Zarate (40), an executive for New York-based Cushman and Wakefield,
was shot and killed in a taxi robbery in a wealthy Mexico City
1997 Dec 15, In Sierra Leone at
least 60 people died in a canoe mishap on the Manor River near the
Liberian border while fleeing renewed violence.
1997 Dec 15, In the UAR a
Russian Tu-154 charter flight from Tajikistan crashed 9 miles from
Sharjah and 85 people were killed.
1997 Dec 16, In Washington
Pres. Clinton awarded 14 scientists the National Medal of Science.
1997 Dec 16, Originally
scheduled for a Fall opening. The new $1 billion Getty Center was
designed by Richard Meier and opened at the 25-acre site in
Brentwood, Ca. It will include a 750,000 volume library, auditorium
and exhibition space. The 110-acre arts and cultural campus was
being built in the Santa Monica Mountains above west Los Angeles.
The old Museum, a villa in Malibu, will be renovated and reopened in
2001 with one of its current 7 collections of Greek and Roman
(SFC, 7/15/96, p.D2)(SFC, 6/24/97,
p.B3)(SFEM,12/797, p.18)(WSJ, 12/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 16, A
Pentagon-appointed panel concluded that the Army, Navy and Air Force
should segregate male and female recruits in their earliest phases
of basic training.
1997 Dec 16, The Galileo
spacecraft flew to within 124 miles of the surface and recorded
images of Europa. Volcanic ice flows implicated a vast ocean below
the surface. Giant lightning bolts on Jupiter, a hundred times more
powerful that those on Earth, were reported via the spacecraft and
it indicated a magnetic field around Ganymede. It also indicated an
atmosphere of hydrogen and carbon dioxide around Callisto. Metallic
cores inside Io, Ganymede and Europa and the lack of a similar core
inside Callisto was also indicated.
1997 Dec 16, Ralph Fasanella
(b.1914), American artist, died. His work focused on 20th century
immigration and labor themes.
1997 Dec 16, In Hong Kong it
was reported that 2 people died of an avian flu. It was the first
known instance of human infection. The flu came from chickens
imported from Guangdon province in China. The first case was
reported in May.
(WSJ, 12/16/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/17/97, p.A2)
1997 Dec 16, U.N. weapons
monitor Richard Butler left Iraq after failing to persuade President
Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to inspections.
1997 Dec 16, In Japan Prime
Minister Hashimoto proposed a one-time cut in the national income
tax of about $15.38 billion.
1997 Dec 16, In Japan, at least
700 mostly young TV viewers suffered nausea and epilepsy-like spasms
after watching an animated cartoon show, "Pokemon" that featured
bright, flashing colors.
(SFC,12/17/97, p.A26) (AP, 12/16/98)
1997 Dec 16, Pres. Mandela
stepped aside as leader of the African National Congress and was
succeeded by Deputy Pres. Thabo Mbeki. In 2005 William Mervin Gumede
authored “Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC."
(SFC,12/17/97, p.A26)(Econ, 3/26/05, p.82)
1997 Dec 17, President
Clinton's panel on race relations met at Annandale High School in
1997 Dec 17, The US and 33
other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating
bribery in international business. Turkey was one of 34 signatories
of the OECD’s anti-corruption convention. By 2008 38 countries had
(AP, 12/17/98)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.14)(Econ,
1997 Dec 17, A new Montana law,
effective today, made the entire state an offshore banking center,
allowing foreign interests to anonymously stash their cash.
Depositors could not be US citizens and a minimum of $200,000 was
(SFC,12/17/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.A18)
1997 Dec 17, In New Jersey a
settlement was reached that allows gay and unmarried couples to
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 17, A US court ordered
Cuba to pay $187.6 million for three men killed when their planes
were shot down in 1996 by MiG fighters.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 17, In France Salima
Ghezali, Algerian human rights campaigner, received the European
Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.
1997 Dec 17, In Chiapas,
Mexico, a young man from an Indian hamlet near Acteal was killed in
an ambush by masked gunmen. Antonio Vazquez Secum summoned a band of
gunmen and dispatched them to Acteal for revenge.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A15)
1997 Dec 17, A Ukrainian
jetliner from Odessa, a Yakoviev 42, was missing as it approached
the Greek city of Salonica with 70-71 people onboard. The wreckage
was located near Fotina, Greece, on Dec 20, as a Greek military
plane, searching for the wreckage, crashed north of Athens. All five
people aboard the C-130 transport plane were killed.
1997 Dec 18, President Clinton
extended indefinitely the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops
helping with the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia.
1997 Dec 18, Festivus, or the
“Festival for the Rest of Us" was made famous by an episode of
Seinfeld. It came to be celebrated on Dec 23.
1997 Dec 18, In California a
fired California highway employee, Arturo Reyes Torres, shot and
killed 4 people at the Caltrans maintenance yard in Orange and was
himself killed by police.
(SFC,12/19/97, p.A14)(AP, 12/18/98)
1997 Dec 18, Chris Farley (33),
comic actor of Saturday Night Live, was found dead in his Chicago
apartment. An overdose of morphine and cocaine was later reported.
(SFC,12/19/97, p.A3)(SFC, 1/3/98, p.A2)(AP,
1997 Dec 18, It was reported
that the death toll in Europe had climbed to 50 due to the vicious
cold as temperatures plunged as low as 19.8 degrees.
(USAT, 12/18/97, p.10A)
1997 Dec 18, In Bosnia NATO
forces seized 2 war crimes suspects. Vlatko Kupreskic was shot when
he fired on Dutch soldiers. Anto Furundzija was arrested without
1997 Dec 18, Richard Tomlinson
(b.1963), a former British MI6 officer, was jailed for a year for
unlawfully disclosing information about his work. He had joined MI6
in 1991 and was dismissed in 1995, after admitting to passing a
synopsis of a proposed book about his experiences in the Secret
Intelligence Service (SIS) to an Australian publisher. He kept
details of his book in secret files on several computers. He had
served for 4 years as an agent in Moscow and Bosnia. In 1999
Tomlinson posted the names of British intelligence officers on a Web
site. His book “The Big Breach" was published in 2001 in Russia.
p.C5)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.34)
1997 Dec 18 ,
In Jamaica In Parliamentary elections 2-term Prime Minister P.J.
Patterson took a big lead over Edward Seaga. The People’s National
Party won an absolute majority in the 60-seat parliament.
(WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/19/97, p.B3)
1997 Dec 18, South Korea held
presidential elections. One time dissident Kim Dae Yung (Kim
Dae-jung) won the elections with 40.3% of the vote.
(SFC, 8/14/97, p.C2)(WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Dec 18, In Lebanon a
foundation stone was laid for the new US consulate in Beirut.
1997 Dec 18, From Saudi Arabia
it was reported the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
was building a 984-foot structure called "The Kingdom Centre" in
central Riyadh at a cost of $427 million.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 18, In Serbia a group
of 12 doctors and medical technicians marched for 3 days from Nis to
Belgrade to protest the lack of medical resources. In Belgrade
health minister Leposava Milicevic said she was too busy to see
1997 Dec 19, B.B. King, blues
guitarist, gave his electric guitar, "Lucille," to Pope John Paul
after the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert.
1997 Dec 19, The $200 million
James Cameron epic film "Titanic" opened in NYC. It went on make box
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.B1)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997 Dec 19, In NYC Reginald
Bannerman died after he was struck by a train. He was fleeing a
beating by 6 NYC narcotics detectives, who had been out drinking. He
was dragged and kicked outside a Crown heights nightclub and was
fired upon when he fled onto the tracks of the Steeling St. subway
1997 Dec 19, In Milwaukee a
postal clerk, Anthony J. De Culit, shot and killed his supervisor, a
co-worker and wounded another and then killed himself.
(SFC,12/20/97, p.A3)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997 Dec 19, In Indonesia a
Singapore SilkAir operated Boeing 737-300 jet crashed by the Musi
River north of Palembang on its flight from Jakarta to Singapore.
All 104 people on board were feared dead. The 10-month-old plane was
later found to have some fasteners missing. Capt. Tsu Way Ming was
later suspected of having committed suicide due to investment
(SFC,12/20/97, p.A10) (WSJ, 1/8/98, p.1)(WSJ,
7/30/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997 Dec 19, Masaru Ibuka
(b.1908), co-founder of Japan’s Sony Corp), died at age 89.
1997 Dec 20, Vincent Ciccone,
candy-maker, died in New Jersey. He invented the "Blow Pop"
lollipop, a lollipop with a bubble-gum center, and a method to
combine hard candies with medicine used in throat lozenges.
1997 Dec 20, Denise Levertov
(74), poet, died in Seattle. Her first book of essays was: "The Poet
in the World."
1997 Dec 20, Pope John Paul II
sent Christmas greetings to the Cuban people in advance of his visit
to the island.
1997 Dec 20, In Cambodia Theng
Bunma, business tycoon and accused drug trafficker, was awarded an
honorary doctorate from Iowa Wesleyan College via the manipulations
of Ted Sioeng, an Indonesia-born businessman. Sioeng is at the heart
of the "donorgate" scandal over China’s attempt to influence the
1996 US elections.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A22)
1997 Dec 20, In Tokyo, Japan,
Juzo Itami (64), film director, jumped in suicide from his 8th story
office, just before a magazine report about an affair. He made 10
films in 13 years that included "Tampopo."
1997 Dec 20, In Nigeria there
was an alleged coup and Gen’l. Donaldson Oladipu Diya and 11 others
1997 Dec 20, President Nelson
Mandela stepped down as leader of South Africa's governing African
1997 Dec 20, In South Korea
Pres. Kim Young Sam and pres.-elect Kim Dae Jung agreed to pardon
two jailed, former military-backed presidents, Chun Doo Hwan and Roh
1997 Dec 21, President Clinton,
accompanied by his wife and daughter, left for Bosnia to spread
holiday cheer -- and to carry the news that he wanted U.S. troops to
remain there indefinitely as the region recovered from its
1997 Dec 21, It was reported
that Andrew S. Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., was named
time magazine’s "Man of the Year."
1997 Dec 21, In Colorado
Susannah Chase (23) was brutally attacked, abducted, sexually
assaulted and beaten in Boulder. She died the following day of
severe head injuries. In 2008 DNA evidence connected Diego Olmos
Alcalde to the slaying, as he served time in Wyoming for a
kidnapping. In 2009 Chilean citizen Diego Olmos Alcalde (39) was
sentenced to life in prison for Chase’s murder.
(SFC, 4/6/98, p.A3)(SFC, 6/30/09,
1997 Dec 21, Johnny Coles (71),
jazz trumpeter, died in Philadelphia. His records included "The Warm
Sound of Johnny Coles" and "Little Johnny C."
1997 Dec 21, In Cameroon Pius
Njawe, the publisher of the leading opposition newspaper Le
Meesager, ran a story that Pres. Paul Biya suffered a heart attack.
On Dec 29 Njawe was reported to have been imprisoned for the story.
1997 Dec 21, In Colombia rebels
overran Patascoy, a small military base in Narino province and
killed 22 soldiers. Some 400 rebels overwhelmed 32 defenders. 3
soldiers survived the attack and were found by rescuers after 2
days. In the northwest weekend fighting between rebels and
right-wing paramilitaries left 6 dead. Later reports said rebels
were holding 18-19 soldiers hostage. Pvt. Libio Jose Martinez was
among those captured. Martinez and 3 others were killed by the FARC
during combat on Nov 26, 2011.
(WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/23/97,
p.D3)(SFC,12/24/97, p.A8)(SFC,12/27/97, p.A13)(AP, 11/27/11)
1997 Dec 21, In Serbia Milan
Milutinovic of the ruling Socialists claimed victory in the runoff
election against Vojislav Seselj, but it wasn’t clear if the turnout
(WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 22, During his visit
to Bosnia, President Clinton thanked American troops and lectured
the nation's three presidents to set aside their differences.
1997 Dec 22, Actress Hunter
Tylo, whose pregnancy got her fired from TV's steamy soap "Melrose
Place," was awarded $4.9 million by jurors who agreed she was
1997 Dec 22, The FDA approved
Merck’s drug Propecia for countering baldness.
(WSJ, 12/23/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 22, A small plane
crashed near Hampshire, Ill., and 4 people were killed.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A6)
1997 Dec 22, In Algeria
attackers stormed Shari hamlet and killed 28 villagers including 15
children and 5 women. The same night 53 villagers, mostly women and
children, died in a massacre in the neighboring Sidi el Antar
hamlet. Another 11 had their throats cut in Algiers in the Bainem
1997 Dec 22, In Colombia a new
wave of paramilitary attacks began in the Riosucio region and some
500 more peasants fled to Pavarando for safety.
(SFC, 1/5/98, p.A10)
1997 Dec 22, In Lithuanian a
vote count showed Arturas Paulauskas led the country’s 2nd
presidential vote since breaking with the Soviet Union. A runoff
with Vladas Adamkus was set for Jan 4. Vytautas Landsbergis, who ran
third, threw his support behind Adamkus.
(SFC,12/22/97, p.A11)(WSJ, 12/23/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 22, In Mexico some 70
pro-government gunmen of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group
killed 45 people, including 21 women 9 men and 15 children, in the
Tzoztzil Indian village of Acteal. Opposition groups called for the
resignation of Gov. Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, who had repeatedly
denied the existence of paramilitary groups in the state. In 1998 12
officials of the state attorney general’s office were arrested for
failing to stop the massacre. The government paid compensation to
families of the victims and to the wounded. In 1999 20 government
supporters were sentenced to 35 years in prison and 81 people were
still scheduled for trial. In Dec 2007 authorities re-arrested
Antonio Santiz, the alleged mastermind of the massacre. Santiz had
been arrested for his alleged involvement in 2000, but a judge threw
out the charges in 2001, ruling there wasn't enough evidence. In
2008 a Mexican judge sentenced brothers Antonio and Mariano Pucuj to
26 years in prison for their participation in the massacre. In
August, 2009, Mexico's Supreme Court ordered freedom for 20 men
convicted in the Acteal massacre and new trials for six more, ruling
that prosecutors used illegally obtained evidence. In November,
2009, the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine more people
convicted in massacre, ruling their convictions were based on
illegally obtained evidence. New trials were ordered for 16 others.
(SFC,12/24/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/26/97, p.B7)(SFC,
7/4/98, p.A9)(SFC, 7/20/99, p.A11)(AP, 12/23/07)(AP, 2/27/08)(AP,
1997 Dec 22, In Somalia leaders
of the rival factions approved a plan to restore national
government. An interim government was planned with power to be
shared among the factions.
1997 Dec 23, Woody Allen
married Soon-Yi Previn in a small ceremony in Venice, Italy.
1997 Dec 23, A jury in Denver
convicted Terry Nichols for conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter
in the Apr 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
in Oklahoma City.
(SFC, 6/3/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/24/97, p.A4)(AP,
1997 Dec 23, The FDA approved
the first inhaled antibiotic, made by PathoGenesis, to help lung
function in patients with cystic fibrosis.
(WSJ, 12/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 23, US Agriculture
Dept estimated that it took $149,820 to raise a child to 18.
1997 Dec 23, In France "Carlos
the Jackal," aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was convicted in the murder
of 2 French agents and a Lebanese informant on Jun 27, 1975. He was
sentenced the next day to life in prison.
1997 Dec 23, In Uganda Renu
Joshi was murdered, allegedly by electrocution, at her home on
Martin Road in Old Kampala. In 2000 Her husband Sharma Kooky, an
Indian businessman, was convicted and sentenced to die for her
torture and murder. In 2009 his sentenced was changed to life in
prison. In 2012 he was set free on humanitarian grounds. An
independent report indicated that he did not murder his wife.
1997 Dec 23, For the 1st time a
Chanukah candle was officially lit in Vatican City.
1997 Dec 24, The world’s first
civilian spy satellite, EarlyBird I, was launched from Russia. It
was built by EarthWatch Inc. of Longmont, Colo.
1997 Dec 24, From California it
was reported that the Air Force agreed to sell McClellan Air Force
Base to Sacramento County for a maximum of $90 million. Payments
would begin in Dec 2008 and continue over 45 years.
1997 Dec 24, A fire in Detroit
killed four children of the Buchanan family.
1997 Dec 24, In Afghanistan the
Taliban launched an offensive at Kotel Toopkhana in Badakhshan
province and by the next day claimed to have driven out the soldiers
of Ahmed Shah Massood.
1997 Dec 24, In Bolivia 2 17th
century colonial paintings, titled "Saint Rose of Viterbo" and
"Saint Augustin," were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of San
Andres de Machaca. They were recovered in 2011 after a US art dealer
reported receiving the paintings on consignment from a collector.
1997 Dec 24, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal," was
sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders
of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.
1997 Dec 24, In Indonesia the
currency hit a record low at 6,300 rupiah to the dollar and closed
at around 5,850.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A6)
1997 Dec 24, It was reported
that Iraq completed a 150-mile canal to supply water to Basra.
(WSJ, 12/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 24, In Japan Toshiro
Mifune (77), actor, died in Mitaka. His career included more than
130 films and television dramas.
(SFC,12/25/97, p.A25)(AP, 12/24/98)
1997 Dec 24, In Pakistan two
trains collided at Rustam Sargana in the eastern Punjab and killed
at least 35 people and injured 100.
1997 Dec 25, Richard Bliss, a
field technician for Qualcomm Inc. accused of spying in Russia,
arrived in San Diego after Russian authorities were persuaded to let
him return home. Russia said its investigation of Bliss continues.
1997 Dec 25, Comedian Jerry
Seinfeld announced plans to fold his highly successful NBC sitcom
"Seinfeld" at the end of the season.
1997 Dec 25, In Algeria
Interior Minister Mustapha Benmansour announced that the ruling
National Democratic Rally won 80 of 96 contested seats.
1997 Dec 25, A gale hit Britain
and Ireland with 100 mph winds and 4 people were killed. A French
fishing vessel was feared to have sunk off Wales.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 25, From the Ivory
Coast it was reported that early marriages in sub-Saharan Africa
were still very common. Islamic law allows the marriage of girls as
soon as they can conceive.
1997 Dec 25, A Russian Proton-K
rocket failed 6 hours after launch and dumped the $100 million
ASIASAT-3 satellite made by Hughes Space and Comm. Int’l. for Asia
Satellite Telecom. into a useless orbit. Engineers in May, 1998,
planned to use gravity assist to send the satellite around the moon
and back to a usable orbit.
(SFC,12/26/97, p.B2)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A7)
1997 Dec 25, In Sri Lanka
fighting erupted in the north and at least 17 people were killed.
1997 Dec 25, In Zambia former
president Kenneth Kaunda was confined to prison for 28 days on
suspicion of being linked to the Oct 27 coup attempt.
1997 Dec 26, It was reported
that the US Centers for Disease Control had begun work on a "Bird
Flu" vaccine in response to the 9 confirmed cases and 4 deaths in
1997 Dec 26, From Texas it was
reported that the Emu market had collapsed and that the 100-pound
birds were roaming the countryside and being slaughtered by
1997 Dec 26, In Japan Ichiro
Ozawa, leader of the opposition Shinshinto, New Freedom Party,
announced that the party would be disbanded.
1997 Dec 26, In Mexico sixteen
Maya Indians were charged with first-degree murder in the Dec 22
massacre in Acteal.
1997 Dec 26, In Peru police
reported that a Peruvian family hacked 2 Japanese students to death.
The students had rowed on the Amazon for hundreds of miles with
plans to reach Manaus.
1997 Dec 26, Badly battered
South Korean financial markets surged after the International
Monetary Fund and the Group of Seven countries agreed on $10 billion
emergency loans to Seoul. The South Korean won closed up at 1,498 to
the US dollar compared with 1,836 on Wednesday.
(SFC,12/27/97, p.D1)(AP, 12/26/98)
1997 Dec 27, Lower level talks
between Turkish and Greek Cypriot officials were suspended by the
Turkish Cypriots to protest the inclusion of the Greek side in EU
1997 Dec 27, In Egypt Hassan
Khalifa was sentenced to death for the 1993-94 murders of 26
policemen and 8 Romanian nationals. Rifaat Zeidan and Abdul-Hamid
Othman, all members of al-Gama’a al-Islamiya, were sentenced to
death in absentia.
1997 Dec 27, In Italy Some 825
illegal immigrants, mostly Kurds, were rescued by Italian tugboats
from the Turkish ship Ararat. They were attempting to smuggle into
Italy from Turkey.
1997 Dec 27, The Laos kip
plunged to about half its value since July when the Thai baht was
1997 Dec 27, In Mexico
authorities charged Jacinto Arias Cruz, the mayor of Chenalho, and
23 supporters with murder of the villagers in Acteal.
1997 Dec 27, In Northern
Ireland inmate Billy Wright (37), aka King Rat and Northern
Ireland's most notorious Protestant militant, was shot and killed by
another inmate of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), an IRA
splinter group at the Maze prison. In 1998 3 Irish extremists,
Christopher McWilliams, John Kennaway and John Glennon, were
sentenced to life in prison for the killing.
(SFEC,12/28/97, p.A1)(SFC, 10/21/98, p.C2)(AP,
1997 Dec 27, In Northern
Ireland masked killers shot and killed Seamus Dillon (45), a
Catholic security guard at the Glengannon Hotel. Two other bouncers
and a 14-year-old bar worker were wounded. The attack was a response
to the killing of Billy Wright.
(SFC, 12/29/97, p.A6)
1997 Dec 28, One woman was
killed, more than 100 other people hurt, when a United Airlines
jumbo jet en route from Tokyo to Honolulu encountered severe
turbulence over the Pacific.
1997 Dec 28, In Medford, Mass.,
a fire in a 3-story building left 6 people dead including 4
1997 Dec 28, In Algeria
assailants cut the heads off a man and his 2 sons in the village of
Djelfa. They then kidnapped his wife and 3 young daughters. At Hassi
Bahbah an armed group killed a mother and 2 children and left the
father in critical condition.
1997 Dec 28, In Brazil inmates
of the prison in Sorocaba took over and held over 600 hostages. They
later dropped escape demands and agreed to be transported to less
1997 Dec 28, James Lees-Milne
(b.1908), British biographer, architectural historian and
watercolorist, died. His work included a biography of British
politician Harold Nicolson. In 2001 Milne’s "Deep Romantic Chasm:
Diaries 1979-1981" was published. The final installment of his
diaries, The Milk of Paradise," was published in 2006. In 2009
Michael Bloch authored “James Lees-Milne: The Life."
(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.63)(WSJ, 7/1/06, p.P6)(Econ,
1997 Dec 28, In Egypt the
Health Ministry banned government certified doctors and health
workers from performing female circumcision.
(SFC, 12/29/97, p.A7)
1997 Dec 29, In Newport,
Indiana, Orville Lynn Majors (36), a former nurse, was arrested for
murder and suspected in the deaths of 130 out of 147 patients that
died while he was on duty between 1993 and 1995. In 1999 Majors was
convicted in the deaths of 6 patients in 1994 at Vermillion County
Hospital and sentenced to 6 consecutive 60-year terms in jail.
(SFC,12/30/97, p.A2)(SFC, 10/18/99, p.A3)(SFC,
1997 Dec 29, Intel cut the
price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268.
1997 Dec 29, In Algeria armed
attackers stopped a bus and killed 14 passengers and the driver near
Mascara. The bodies were then doused in gasoline and set on fire.
1997 Dec 29, In Hong Kong the
government planned to start killing over 1.4 million chickens to
combat the new strain of avian flu. Four people had already died of
(SFC, 12/29/97, p.A1)(AP, 12/29/98)
1997 Dec 29, In Kenya general
elections were scheduled. The law required the winner to receive 25%
of the vote. The elections were extended one day amid widespread
delays and confusion at the polls. Two people were killed during a
riot near Nairobi.
(SFC,11/13/97, p.B2)(SFC,12/26/97, p.B7)(WSJ,
1997 Dec 29, Turkmenistan and
Iran activated a key 125 mile gas pipeline. Plans were to make it
part of a network to Europe but for now the gas was only bound to
1997 Dec 30, In Algeria
marauders slit the throats of 34 people in Ain Boucif. Later reports
raised the number killed near the city of Relizane to over 400 for
this first day of Ramadan. The single deadliest massacre in
Algeria's insurgency began in four mountain villages as armed men
killed 412 men, women and children in an attack that lasted from
dusk until dawn.
(SFC,12/31/97, p.A8)(SFC, 1/3/98, p.A8) (AP,
1997 Dec 30, China adopted new
rules restricting the use of the Internet. Details forbade
defamation of government agencies, the promotion of separatist
movements, and the divulgence of state secrets. Also forbidden was
pornography and prowling by hackers.
1997 Dec 30, In Italy Danilo
Dolci, advocate of nonviolent social reform, died at age 73. His
writings and poetry chronicled Sicily’s beauty and despair. His
books include: "Report From Palermo," "Waste," and "Sicilian
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A25)
1997 Dec 30, Russia signed an
agreement to build a $3B nuclear power plant in China.
1997 Dec 30, In Serbia riot
police dispersed thousands of Albanian students protesting in
Pristina, who demanded the right to study in their own language.
1997 Dec 30, South Africa
established diplomatic ties with China and ended formal ties with
1997 Dec 30, In Spain a judge
accused 36 Argentine military and police officers of involvement in
torture and the disappearance of 600 Spaniards during the dirty war
from 1976-1983. Most of those named served in the ESMA, a torture
center used by the military regime.
1997 Dec 30, In Vietnam
hard-line Gen’l. Le Kha Phieu (66) replaced Do Muoi as the general
secretary of the communist party, the country’s top leader.
1997 Dec 31, A federal judge in
Texas ruled that parts of the 1996 Telecommunications Act are
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A1)
1997 Dec 31, Microsoft bought
the Hotmail E-mail service.
1997 Dec 31, Michael L.
Kennedy, 39-year-old son of the late US Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was
killed in a ski accident at Aspen, Colo.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/31/98)
1997 Dec 31, Pianist Floyd
Cramer died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 64.
1997 Dec 31, In Sorocaba,
Brazil, riot troops stormed a prison where inmates held hundreds of
hostages, quickly ending a three-day rebellion without any deaths.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A14)(AP, 12/31/98)
1997 Dec 31, China banned
leaded gasoline in the whole Beijing area.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A17)
1997 Dec 31, The US State Dept.
reported that Iraq had ordered the summary execution of "hundreds if
not thousands" of political detainees in recent weeks. The exiled
Iraqi Communist party in London said 1,500 prisoners were killed on
Nov 21. The exiled Iraqi National Congress said 800 prisoners were
recently executed. A former Dutch foreign minister and UN Human
Rights investigator said about 200 were reportedly executed. Iraq
denied the charges.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A17)(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A18)
1997 Dec 31, In Kenya projected
counts indicated that Moi would win the elections with about 40% of
the vote. Former vice-president Mwai Kibaki had about 30%.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A17)
1997 Dec 31, Masked gunmen
opened fire at the Clifton Tavern in Belfast and left one man dead
and 5 wounded. The Loyalist Volunteer Force admitted killing Eddie
Trainor (31) and wounding 5 others.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A16)(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A15)
1997 Dec 31, Rafiz Tarar won
the presidential election with 374 votes in the National Assembly.
He faced a Jan 12 court hearing on charges of defaming the judiciary
last month. The Pakistan general election turnout was 34.4%.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A17)(SFC, 10/11/02, p.A10)
1997 Dec 31, In Zambia former
Pres. Kaunda (73) was released from prison and placed under house
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A18)
1997 Dec, In Oakwood, Ill., a
bomb at the Oakwood United Methodist Church killed Brian Plawer
(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A1)
1997 Dec, In Argentina Alfredo
Yabran sold his main businesses to a Cayman Islands-based holding
company known as EXXEL for $600 million. He was believed to be the
head of a powerful mafia empire. Former US ambassador Terence Todman
was a representative of the EXXEL group. Todman was US secretary of
Latin American Affairs in 1990 and called off the US Drug
Enforcement Agency from pressuring Yabran, whose operations included
airport customs operations, duty-free shops, cargo transportation
and armored car services.
(SFC, 2/28/98, p.A1,7)
1997 Dec, In England the
412-foot Britannia royal yacht was scheduled to be decommissioned at
the end of the year.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A8)
1997 Dec, The Caspian
consortium had its funds frozen in the planned pipeline from Tengiz
to the Black Sea after Russian rights of way were found to be far
from completed. Russian fears of competition with its own Urals
blend crude was suspected. The consortium consisted of the
governments of Russia, Kazakstan, Oman and 8 oil companies, with
most of the funding coming from the Western oil companies.
(WSJ, 2/2/98, p.A18)
1997 Dec, In Italy word began
to spread that Dr. Luigi Di Bella (85) had found a cure for cancer,
a cocktail of drugs that stopped tumor growth.
(WSJ, 4/21/98, p.A1)
1997 Dec, Toyota introduced its
new hybrid car, the Prius, in Japan. The $17,000 car sold some 3,500
units in the first few weeks.
(SFEC, 7/21/98, p.A1,9)
1997 Dec, In north-eastern
Kenya large numbers of cattle, goats and sheep began dying in
the Garissa district. A month later people began dying as the Rift
Valley Fever infected some 90,000 people. Hundreds died in 5
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.83)
1997 Dec, In New Caledonia an
outbreak of dengue fever began.
(SFEC, 4/5/98, p.T14)
1997 Dec, An arms deal in
principle between Russia and Yugoslavia was made in Moscow. The deal
was later denied by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow.
(SFC, 3/25/98, p.A10)(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B2)
1997 Dec, In Hargeysa,
Somaliland, a mass grave with some 200 bodies was excavated.
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A12)
1997 Dec, In Sri Lanka Tamil
Tiger rebels detonated a truck bomb that was targeting the navy
commander at the Galle port area.
1997 Dec-2004 Jan, In 2005
Britain’s Guardian newspaper claimed that during this period a
series of payments totaling $2,098,841 were made by BAE Systems PLC
to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
1997 The Dallas Zoo claimed the
largest sculpture in the state with a giant giraffe built by Robert
Cassilly of St. Louis. His piece surpassed the giant statue of Sam
Houston made by sculptor David Adickes.
(WSJ, 1/18/06, p.A6)
1997 Gordon Newell, sculptor
(92), completed his 9-ton granite that depicts the "flowing waters
of the fountain of life" in Darwin, CA. near Death Valley.
(SFEC, 6/8/97, Z1 p.5)
1997 Robert Colescott painted
his aquatint "Pontchartrain."
(SFC, 1/29/98, p.C1)
1997 Frank Stella painted
"Telepilus Laestrygonia II."
(SFC, 3/5/96, p.E5)
1997 "The Complete National
Geographic" was published as a 30-CD set and priced at $199.
(SFEC, 5/25/97, BR p.6)
1997 "Garden Encyclopedia" was
published and priced at $30.
(SFEC, 5/25/97, BR p.9)
1997 "Three Thousand Years of
Chinese Painting" was published by Yale Univ.
(SFEC,12/797, Par p.9)
1997 "The Chocolate Bible," by
Christian Teubner, Karl Schumacher, Leopold Forsthofer, Silvio
Rizzi, Eckart Witzigmann, and Sybil Grafin Schonfeldt was published.
(SFC, 10/8/97, Z1 p.6)
1997 Joseph Albright and Maria
Kunstel authored "Bombshell: The Secret Story of America's Unknown
Spy Conspiracy." The book included the story of physicist Theodore
Alvin Hall (d.1999), the youngest scientist to work on the A-bomb
project at Los Alamos.
(SFC, 11/11/99, p.D2)
1997 Deborah Blum published
"Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and
(SFEC, 9/7/97, BR p.9)
1997 Alain de Botton authored
the best-seller: "How Proust Can Change Your Life." It was the first
literary self help book.
(SFEC, 5/28/00, BR p.3)
1997 Gordon Brook-Shepherd
published "The Austrians."
(WSJ, 4/16/97, p.A16)
1997 Suzanne Brown Butters won
the 1997 Eric Mitchell prize for her book: "The Triumph of Vulcan:
Sculptors’ Tools, Porphyry and the Prince in Ducal Florence."
(WSJ, 2/24/98, p.A20)
1997 Catherine Caufield wrote
"Masters of Illusion: The World Bank and the Poverty of Nations."
(SFEC, 3/2/97, BR p.1)
1997 Iris Chang (1968-2004)
authored "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of WW II."
(SFC, 11/11/04, p.A1)
1997 Chronicle Books released a
series of books on the Paris Jazz club, Aerobleu: "Pilot’s Journey"
by the owner Max Morgan; "Observations from the Bar and Martini
Diaries" by manager Leslie Ann Nash. Also published was "Jazz" by
photographer William Claxton and "Seeing Jazz: Artists and Writers
(SFEM, 10/5/97, p.6)
1997 In France Stephane
Courtois led 11 scholars in the publication of the "Black Book of
Communism." It was called the first global balance sheet of the
"crimes, terror and repression" committed under communism. An
English edition was published in 1999.
(SFEC,11/30/97, p.A19)(WSJ, 10/25/99, p.A50)
1997 Janine Benyus authored
“Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature." She became one of the
1st to describe eco-friendly design ideas.
(SSFC, 11/28/04, p.E3)
1997 Wayne Bert published "The
(WSJ, 8/3/99, p.A20)
1997 Prof. Clayton Christensen
of the Harvard Business School, authored “The Innovator’s Dilemma,"
a look at problems of innovation at large corporations.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.71)
1997 John Cronin and Robert F.
Kennedy Jr. wrote "The Riverkeepers," a work on efforts to fight
pollution on the Hudson River.
1997 Prof. Arthur C. Danto
published "After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of
(SFEC, 2/23/97, BR p.9)
1997 Prof. Norman Davies of the
Univ. of London wrote "Europe: A History."
(Hem., 5/97, p.99)
1997 David Deutsch wrote "The
Fabric of Reality." He says physics "tells us something new and
bizarre about the nature of reality."
(WSJ, 8/7/97, p.A12)
1997 Vincent Di Fate edited
"Infinite Worlds: The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art," a
comprehensive history of otherworldly illustration from the 1840s to
(SFEM, 10/5/97, p.6)
1997 Carl Djerassi, creator of
the pill, published his novel "Menachem's Seed." In 1999 it was
turned into a play titled "An Immaculate Misconception."
(SFEC, 3/28/99, DB p.32)
1997 Kirk Douglas (80) wrote
his book: "Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning."
(SFEC,11/2/97, DB p.52)
1997 Judith Dupre published
"Bridges: A History of the World’s Most Famous and Important Spans."
(SFEC,12/797, Par p.6)
1997 William R. Everdell
published "The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of
Twentieth-Century Thought." It was a group portrait that included
mathematicians Georg Cantor, Richard Dedeking and Gottlob Frege,
physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, and such artists as Georges Seurat, Walt
Whitman, Jules Laforgue and Arthur Rimbaud.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, BR p.8)
1997 Timothy Ferris wrote "The
Whole Shebang: A State-of-the Universe(s) Report."
(SFEC, 6/1/97, BR p.3)
1997 "Disclosing New Worlds"
was written by Fernando Flores, Charles Spinosa and Hubert Dreyfus.
They proclaimed entrepreneurs as the coming leaders of the world.
(WSJ, 5/23/97, p.B1)
1997 Charles R. Geist published
"Wall Street: A History."
(WSJ, 10/9/97, p.A16)
1997 James Gleick authored
(WSJ, 8/25/99, p.A15)
1997 Jim Goad authored "The
Redneck Manifesto." It was about how it feels to grow up as white
(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A21)
1997 Alan Greenspan wrote "The
Future of Money in the Information Age."
(WSJ, 6/12/97, p.A18)
1997 Virologist Jaap Goudsmit
of the Univ. of Amsterdam published "Viral Sex: The Nature of AIDS."
(SFEC, 9/7/97, BR p.9)
1997 "One Man’s America: A
Journalist’s Search for the heart of His Country" by Henry Grunwald,
former managing editor of Time Magazine and former US ambassador to
Austria, was reviewed.
(WSJ, 1/8/97, p.A18)
1997 Sir Alec Guiness, actor,
published "My Name Escapes Me, The Diary of a Retiring Actor," based
on notes from 1995-1996. Earlier he published his memoir: "Blessings
(SFC, 10/3/97, p.C7)
1997 "American Visions: The
Epic History of Art in America" was written by Robert Hughes.
(SFEC, 5/11/97, BR p.1)
1997 "The Clash of
Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order" was written by
Samuel P. Huntington. He asserted that "cultural communities were
replacing Cold War blocs, and that the fault lines between
civilizations were becoming the central lines of conflict in global
(SFEC, 4/6/97, BR p.10)
1997 "The Confession by
Toshihide Iguchi" was published. He was the ex-Daiwa bond trader who
lost some $1.1 billion between 1984-1995. The losses led to the
bank’s expulsion from the US in 1995.
(WSJ, 1/8/97, p.A14)
1997 Jane Holtz Kay authored
"How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back."
(SFEC, 2/6/00, p.C9)
1997 Japanese author Natsuo
Kirino (b.1951) authored her crime novel “Out." The book’s title
clearly conveys the experience of being on the out-side of social
groups. It became a bestseller.
1997 The English translation of
"Making Waves" by Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru was reviewed. The work
is a collection of essays that go back to 1962.
(SFEC, 7/6/97, BR p.5)
1997 J. Anthony Lukas (d.1997)
published "Big Trouble," an account of the labor strife in Idaho in
1905 and the trial of union president Bill Haywood.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, BR p.1,6)
1997 Ernst Mayr wrote "This is
Biology: The Science of the Living World."
(NH, 5/97, p.11)
1997 H.R. McMaster (b.1962)
authored “Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam." In 2017 General
McMaster was named as the 26th national security advisor under Pres.
1997 James Michener wrote "A
Century of Sonnets."
1997 Jerome Mintz (d.1997 at
67), US anthropologist, published "Carnival, Song and Society:
Gossip, Sexuality and Creativity in Andalusia." He had earlier
produced 6 films about tradition and change in Andalusia.
1997 Castellanos Moya (b.1957),
Honduras-born Salvadoran writer, authored “"Revulsion: Thomas
Bernhard in San Salvador" (El asco, Thomas Bernhard en El Salvador),
a barbed monologue against everything Salvadoran.
(SSFC, 5/25/08, Books
1997 Richard Morris wrote
"Achilles in the Quantum Universe," a history of humankind’s
interpretation of infinity.
(SFC, 7/14/97, p.E5)
1997 "The Great Wall and the
Empty Fortress" by Andrew J. Nathan and Robert S. Ross was reviewed.
It was an examination of China’s current political role in int’l.
(WSJ, 5/16/97, p.A16)
1997 Jill Nelson wrote
"Straight, No Chaser: How I became a Grown-Up Black Woman."
(SFEC, 8/24/97, BR p.4)
1997 The adventure book "No
Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo" by Redmond O’Hanlon was
about his journey to the Republic of the Congo. It was compared to
the 1993 adventure book by Rory Nugent.
(SFEC, 5/11/97, BR p.5)(WSJ, 6/23/97, p.A12)
1997 Roger Penrose wrote "the
Large, The Small, and the Human Mind." He takes a "Platonist
position to physics: "the universe depends for its existence on a
perfect world of abstract mathematical ideas that some of us
consciously commune with."
(WSJ, 8/7/97, p.A12)
1997 Joseph Petulla (d.2001 at
68), environmental philosopher and former priest, authored "American
(SFC, 6/21/01, p.C2)
1997 Steven Pinker published
"How the Mind Works," a work on evolutionary psychology. "He asks
how a human trait might have been designed to help propagate the
genes that are presumably behind it."
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A16)
1997 Roy Porter (1946-2002),
British historian, authored “The Greatest Benefit to Mankind," a
survey of the history of medicine.
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.W8)
1997 The book "After Such
Knowledge, What Forgiveness? My Encounters With Kurdistan" by
Jonathan C. Randal was reviewed in the WSJ.
(WSJ, 11/28/97, p.A8)
1997 Chinese author Li Rui had
his novel "Silver City" translated into English.
(WSJ, 11/24/97, p.A20)
1997 Klara Serikbayeva
published a new "History of Kazakstan."
(WSJ, 10/27/97, p.A14)
1997 Simon Singh authored
(WSJ, 10/12/99, p.A24)
1997 Judy Stone, film critic,
published "Eye on the World: Conversations with Int’l. Filmmakers."
(SFEC, 5/25/97, BR p.5)
1997 The book "Endangered
Mexico: An Environment on the Edge" by Joel Simon was reviewed.
(SFEC, 7/13/97, BR p.3)
1997 "Creature Features" by
John Stanley was published. It was a comprehensive catalog of horror
and sci-fi films.
(SFEM, 3/2/97, p.8)
1997 "The Fight in the Fields"
by Susan Ferris and Ricardo Sandoval told the story of Cesar Chavez
and the United Farm Workers (UFW).
(SFEM, 4/13/97, p.35)
1997 The book "Nazi Gold" by
Tom Bower was published in the US.
(WSJ, 4/28/97, p.A17)
1997 Wade Davis in his 1997
book: "One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain
Forest," described the Ika and Kogi tribes in the Amazon rain forest
(SFC, 10/12/97, p.T8)
1997 Harold Geneen (d.1997 at
87), former CEO of ITT Corp., published "The Synergy Myth," in which
he attacked modern business fads.
1997 Anthony Grafton published
""The Footnote: A Curious History."
(WSJ, 12/1/97, p.A20)
1997 John Grisham published
"The Partner," the best-selling hardcover fiction work of the year.
(WSJ, 5/24/99, p.R23)
1997 The book "The Dark Side of
Camelot" by Seymour Hersh was published. Hersh excluded
controversial documents known as the "JFK Papers" that were
reportedly found in the files of the late New York lawyer Lawrence
Cusack. In 1999 Lawrence X. Cusack III was found guilty of selling
forged documents concerning JFK and Marilyn Monroe.
(SFEC,11/9/97, p.A12)(SFEC,11/23/97, p.A8)(SFC,
1997 Peter Kwong published
"Forbidden Workers: Illegal Chinese Immigrants and American Labor."
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A8)
1997 "Power and Virtue: The
Horse in Chinese Art," by Robert E. Harrist, Jr. was published. Also
published was "When Silk Was Gold: Central Asian and Chinese
Textiles," by Anne E. Wardwell and James C.Y. Watt.
(NH, 9/97, p.14)
1997 Bob Johnson (d.1998 at
78), WW II flying ace, published "Thunderbolt."
(SFC, 12/31/98, p.D4)
1997 Peter Lang published
"Communal Organization and Social Transformation." It documented the
counterculture over 30 months at the end of the 60s.
(SFC, 8/10/98, p.A10)
1997 Elmore Leonard published
his novel "Cuba Libre." It was set in Cuba at the outset of the
Spanish American War.
(SFEC, 12/27/98, BR p.6)
1997 Norman Mailer published
his novel "The Gospel According to the Son."
(SFEC, 4/27/97, BR p.5)
1997 J.W. Marriott Jr. authored
his autobiography “The Spirit to Serve: Marriott’s Way."
(Econ, 12/21/13, p.102)
1997 Frank McCourt, a retired
New York schoolteacher, won the Pulitzer Prize for his memoir
"Angela’s Ashes." It was based on his childhood in Limerick from age
14-19. It was the best-selling nonfiction, hardback book of the
(SFEC, 3/15/98, p.T11)(WSJ, 4/24/98, p.W14)
1997 Uri Savir, Israeli
negotiator, authored "The Process: The Story of Oslo from A to Z."
(SFC, 9/8/03, p.A8)
1997 Dr. Laura Schlessinger,
radio show host and physiologist, published "Ten Stupid Things Men
Do to Mess Up Their Lives."
(SFEC, 9/28/97, Z1 p.3)
1997 Michael Shermer authored
"Why People Believe Weird Things."
(SSFC, 4/18/04, p.F4)
1997 Don Tapscott authored
“Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation."
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.98)
1997 The novel "Toward the End
of Time" by John Updike was published and set in the year 2020.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, BR p.5)
1997 Peter Watson authored
“Sotheby’s: The Inside Story."
(WSJ, 10/29/04, p.A15)
1997 "The History of Money" by
Jack Weatherford was published.
(SFEC, 1/19/97, Par p.5)
1997 William C. Taylor and Alan
M. Weber published "Going Global: Four Entrepreneurs Map the New
World Marketplace." In the book venture capitalist John Doerr
divided risk into 4 parts: technical risk, market risk, people risk
and financing. He listed the 5 attributes of great companies as: a
commitment to technical excellence, experienced management,
strategic focus on a growing market, reasonable financings, and a
sense of urgency.
1997 Michael Willis authored
"Islamist Challenge In Algeria; A Political History." Hardcover, 448
pages. In recent years, like many countries caught between the tides
of fundamentalist religion and secular culture, Algeria has been
rocked by social upheaval, protest, spasmodic violence, and
terrorist activity. Middle East scholar Michael Willis here charts
the meteoric rise of one of the largest and most powerful Islamist
movements in the Muslim world. Pub: New York University Press.
1997 "Headline Justice" by Theo
Wilson (c1919-1997) was published. The book tells about her life as
a journalist primarily at the New York Daily News.
(SFC, 1/18/97, p.A16)
1997 Charles Wolfe published
"The Devil’s Box," a definitive work about old time fiddling.
(WSJ, 6/25/98, p.A20)
1997 Eve Ensler won an Obie
award for her play "The Vagina Monologues."
(SFEM, 10/18/98, p.4)
1997 The play "How I Learned to
Drive" by Paula Vogel won all the off-Broadway awards for best play.
(WSJ, 1/13/98, p.A20)
1997 The Broadway production
"Side Show" made its debut. It was written by Bill Russell and
composed by Henry Krieger. It was based on the lives of Daisy and
Violet Hilton (1908-1969), Siamese twins who performed during the
20s, 30s and 40s.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, DB p.35,37)
1997 The Mike Newell film
Donnie Brasco with Al Pucino and Johnny Depp opened. It was based on
a true story of an FBI agent, Joseph D. Pistone, who infiltrated the
mob in 1976 and wrote Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia
(SFC, 1/24/97, p.D4)(SFC, 2/24/97, p.E2)(SFEC,
3/2/97, DB p.48)
1997 Matraca Berg wrote her
song "Strawberry Wine," which became a major hit sung by Deana
(WSJ, 9/23/97, p.A20)
1997 The Buena Vista Social
Club, a Cuban recording group organized by Ry Cooder, released its
debut album. In 1999 the documentary film "Buena Vista Social Club"
was made by Wim Wenders.
(SFC, 5/29/99, p.B1)
1997 Taj Mahal put out his 36th
album, "Senor Blues."
(SFEC, 8/31/97, DB p.9)
1997 The album "Uncommon
Ritual" featured bassist Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck on banjo and Mike
Marshall on mandolin.
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A20)
1997 Peter Schickele, aka
P.D.Q. Bach, composed his Symphony No. 1, "Songlines."
(SFEC,10/26/97, DB p.11)
1997 Rev. Jimmy Creech, a
United Methodist pastor, performed a union ceremony for a lesbian
couple in Omaha. Creech was defrocked in 1999 for marrying 2 men in
North Carolina in violation of Church law.
(SFC, 11/18/99, p.A6)
1997 Construction of a chemical
weapons incinerator at the Oregon Army Umatilla Munitions Depot was
scheduled to begin.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.A18)
1997 Mitchell Wolfson (b.1939)
donated his Wolfsonian Museum, a collection of decorative art and
political propaganda, to Florida Int’l. Univ. He restricted his art
objects to those made between 1880 and 1945 illustrating the
evolution of modern Western design.
1997 In Le Roy, N.Y., the
Jell-O Museum opened.
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.A2)
1997 Eric Prince founded
Blackwater, a private military contractor. He sold the firm in 2010.
(Econ, 11/23/13, p.65)
1997 Netflix, a service
offering online flat rate DVD and Blu-ray disc rental-by-mail and
video streaming in the US, was founded in Scotts Valley, Ca., by
Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together
at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. The Netflix website was
launched in April 1998. As of 2010 it has amassed a collection
of 100,000 titles and approximately 10 million subscribers.
1997 Heidi Kuhn of San Rafael,
Ca., founded Roots of Peace, an anti-land mine organization.
(SSFC, 2/3/02, p.A9)
1997 In Santa Monica,
California, Heidi Lemmon (45) founded the Skatepark Association to
promote skateboard parks.
(WSJ, 7/3/00, p.A1)
1997 The Clinton Foundation was
formed to fund Pres. Clinton’s presidential library. It later
morphed into a sprawling philanthropic conglomerate.
(Econ, 10/1/16, p.25)
1997 Endeavor, a New York-based
non-profit group dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in emerging
economies, was founded. Initial operations began in Argentina and
Chile with seed capital from Stephan Schmidheiny, a Swiss
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.69)
1997 Michael Jordan became the
highest paid athlete with a $31.3 million contract to play
basketball for the Chicago Bulls.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1997 The Los Angeles Dodgers
baseball team was sold to News Corp. for $350 million.
(WSJ, 11/7/97, p.B9)
1997 Ray F. Smith (d.1999 at
71), entomologist, won the annual $250,000 World Food Foundation
prize for his contributions to integrated pest management and
reduced insecticide use.
(SFC, 9/6/99, p.A21)
1997 The US Congress amended a
1930 trade law to explicitly ban the importation of products made
with child labor.
(WSJ, 9/9/98, p.A1)
1997 US Congress established
the federally funded State Children’s Health Insurance Program
(SCHIP) to help children whose families were just above the poverty
1997 The US launched a Cuban
democracy program. It sought to evade the country’s “information
blockade" by sneaking in computers, cell phones, DVD players and
other communications equipment to the island. Since 1997 USAID
grantees have worked with solidarity committees around the world to
call for international support for Cuba's peaceful activists.
1997 The US State Dept.
designated the Iranian National Liberation Army (NLA), the armed
wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a terrorist organization.
(SFC, 5/6/00, p.A14)
1997 The Leahy Amendment was
signed into law. Sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., it
allowed the US to withhold funds to any unit of a country's security
forces that commits human rights violations.
(SFC, 10/22/98, p.A12)
1997 The US Nicaraguan
Adjustment and Central American Relief Act was passed. It required
civil war emigrants of the 1980s to face interviews in 1998 on their
eligibility to stay in the US.
(SFEC, 10/4/98, p.A14)
1997 The Taxpayer Relief Act of
1997 created the Roth IRA, named for William V. Roth (R., Del.). It
allowed after tax contributions to grow tax deferred and to be used
after 5 years for various reasons.
(SFC, 1/12/98, p.B9A)
1997 The Joint Direct Attack
Munkition (JDAM) became operational under a joint US Air Force-Navy
program. It was GPS for guidance and was 1st used in Afghanistan.
(WSJ, 4/8/03, p.A10)
1997 The FBI began Operation
Black Widow to infiltrate the Nuestra Familia gang. This led to
indictments of 22 members in 2001.
(SFC, 11/29/03, p.A15)
1997 A US federal judge allowed
a lawsuit to proceed against Unocal, accusing the oil company of
complicity in human rights abuses on the Yadana project in Myanmar.
The decision opened the door to suing US corporations on their
(SFC, 4/29/08, p.D1)
1997 In Alabama Federal Judge
Ira DeMent ordered public schools in DeKalb County to stop
evangelizing students. Gov. Fob James vowed to resist the order.
Negotiator Charles Haynes was brought in and helped settle the
dispute with a program that taught about religions and their value
systems with no preaching.
(WSJ, 3/23/98, p.A1)
1997 A jury convicted Denny
McLain, former Detroit Tiger pitcher, and his business partner of
stealing $3 million from a pension fund.
1997 Community Newspaper
Holdings was formed in Birmingham, Alabama. By 2006 it published
papers in over 200 US communities.
(SFC, 10/28/06, p.C3)
1997 San Francisco artist Brian
Goggin created his work “Defenstration," featuring furniture hung as
if falling form the Hugo Hotel at Sixth and Howard. The hotel, built
in 1909, had closed in 1988 due to a fire. The project was
deconstructed in 2014 to make way for new housing.
(SFC, 4/4/13, p.D1)(SFC, 6/4/14, p.E1)
1997 The 1982 George Rickey
sculpture “Double L Eccentric Gyratory" was placed outside the new
SF Main Library.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, DB p.37)
1997 Robert Voss wrote the
ballad “The Bridge: Golden Gate." It was later adopted as the
official bridge song.
(SFC, 7/8/02, p.B3)
1997 In San Francisco the 2nd
Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize was awarded to Patrick Smith and his
book “Japan: A Reinterpretation."
(SFEC, 10/18/98, BR p.2)
1997 Ariella Ben-Dov began the
MadCat Woman’s International Film Festival in San Francisco.
(SFC, 9/4/02, p.D1)
1997 In SF the 1860 St. Francis
of Assisi church in North Beach, closed in 1993, was reborn as a
national shrine to St. Francis, the only sanctioned shrine outside
his Italian hometown.
(SSFC, 11/20/05, p.B3)
1997 SF adopted a Waterfront
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A27)
1997 The Alameda Naval Air
Station in Alameda, Ca., closed as part of a wave of military base
(SFC, 8/24/09, p.C4)
1997 The contents of a San
Francisco police promotion exam were leaked and Inspector Henry Kirk
was charged for violating a federal secrecy oath. The charges
against Kirk were dropped in 1999. Sgt. Dan Gardner revealed the
leak with an anonymous call and was charged with misconduct for
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.A17)(SFC, 7/3/99, p.A16)
1997 Bruce Tomb acquired the
former San Francisco Mission Police Station at 23rd and Valencia in
a winning bid against developers who wanted to tear down the
8,000-square-foot precinct headquarters. It had been vacated in 1994
for a new structure at 17th and Valencia.
(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.F1,3)
1997 The new San Francisco
charter school, Leadership High, was scheduled to open for 100 9th
(SFC, 2/7/97, p.A21)
1997 In San Francisco the
transitional high school at 1950 Mission, corner of 16th St., was
renamed Phoenix High.
(SFC, 3/2/02, p.A19)
1997 The Pacific Stock Exchange
in San Francisco was renamed the Pacific Exchange.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.I3)
1997 Global Strategies Group, a
SF brokerage firm under financial pressure to keep afloat, allegedly
established a loan deal with the Gambino family mob for $500,000.
The firm shut down completely in 1998 amidst an FBI investigation.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A14)
1997 Levi Strauss & Co.
abandoned the Saddleman building in downtown SF after 7 employees
developed breast cancer. The reason for the move was not revealed
until 1999 when a study was completed that showed no link between
the building and employee cancers.
(SFC, 1/29/99, p.A17)
1997 Netflix, a service
offering online flat rate DVD and Blu-ray disc rental-by-mail and
video streaming in the US, was founded in Scotts Valley, Ca., by
Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together
at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. The Netflix website was
launched in April 1998. As of 2010 it has amassed a collection
of 100,000 titles and approximately 10 million subscribers.
1997 In Vallejo, Ca., several
areas of the 5,000-acre Mare Island were converted to a film studio
for the shooting of the film "Sphere" by Barry Levinson. The old
Navy shipyard had produced 513 ships and was being closed down.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.E1)
1997 Chuy Campusano, muralist,
died at age 52. His work was nonrepresentational and an example was
at the Bank of America at 23rd and Mission.
(SFC, 8/5/98, p.A13)
1997 Dr. Julio and Amalia
Palmaz purchased the Cedar Knoll winery in Napa, Ca. They then
proceeded to build an 100,000 square-foot underground wine
operation, despite neighbors protests, estimated to cost $20
million. Dr. Palmaz was internationally know for inventing the
balloon-expandable coronary stent. In 2008 Palmaz Vineyards produced
some 6,000 cases of Cabernet and 1,000 cases of white wines costing
from $32 to $150 a bottle.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.W8)
1997 In California a San Mateo
County Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by 195
residents and former residents of Daly City’s Midway Village, who
claimed they deserved compensation from PG&E and the county
housing department. The court said plaintiffs had not established
that exposure to toxic waste had caused their illnesses.
(SFC, 3/2/09, p.B5)
1997 The SF Bay Area Concord
Naval Weapons Station was decommissioned. Arsenic and other
contaminants remained to be cleared following decades’ worth of
(SFC, 3/19/16, p.A1)
1997 Iowa passed a Defense of
Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union between a man and a
(SFC, 12/16/03, p.A9)
1997 In Nebraska a state
trooper pulled over William Arthur Kirkpatrick for doing 7 mph over
the limit and found evidence of bank robbery and $1.8 million in
cash. Kirkpatrick and his partner Ray Lewis Bowman were tried in
1998. The FBI suspected them for some 28 robberies that netted $8
million dating back to 1982.
(SFC, 11/4/98, p.C18)
1997 David Yermack, an
economist at NYU, found that some companies had granted stock
options to executives just before a jump in share prices. In 2006
numerous corporations faced inquiries in a major options backdating
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.56)
1997 In Pennsylvania Ghassan
Saleh escaped from a federal prison near Bradford while working on a
grounds crew. He had been serving a sentence of almost six years
after being convicted of cocaine trafficking in Michigan. In
November, 2017, Saleh (66) was arrested after flying into New York
City from Lebanon, his native country.
1997 Kelli Cox (20), a student
at the Univ. of North Texas, disappeared. She was one of four young
women disappeared in Oklahoma and Texas over a four-month period.
The others included Tiffany Johnson (19), Jessica Cain (17) and
Laura Smither (12). In 2016 William Lewis Reece led police to the
graves of Cox and Cain. In 2017 Reece was indicted for the murder of
(SSFC, 12/17/17, p.A8)
1997 Amazon.com, an online book
seller founded by Jeff Bezos, went public.
(WSJ, 5/24/99, p.R23)(Econ, 6/21/14, p.26)
1997 AOL launched Instant
Messenger (AIM), an instant messaging and presence computer program.
It used the proprietary OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC
protocol to allow registered users to communicate in real time.
1997 Baby Einstein, a maker of
electronic media, was founded. In 2001 it was acquired by the Walt
Disney Co. and expanded to a full line of media including DVDs that
were advertised as educational for babies and toddlers. Disney later
dropped the educational claims. In 2009 Disney, threatened with a
class-action lawsuit, agreed to refund $15.99 apiece for up to four
“Baby Einstein" DVDs per household bought between June 5, 2004, and
Sep 4, 2009.
(SFC, 10/24/09, p.A10)
1997 Cromwell Coulson and other
investors purchased the National Quotation Bureau, which kept track
of US stocks in unlisted companies. The quotes, distributed on pink
colored sheets of paper, had dwindled to 1,500 listings. Coulson
later renamed the company to Pink Sheets LLC.
(WSJ, 12/17/05, p.B1)
1997 Deere & Co. opened a
corporate museum in Moline, Ill.
(WSJ, 4/30/98, p.A1)
1997 Enron Corp. won exemption
from the Investment Company Act of 1940 which allowed it to leave
debt from foreign power plants off its books.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.D1)
1997 Jeffrey Skilling became
Enron’s chief operating officer, reporting to Kenneth Lay, until he
replaced Mr. Lay as CEO in 2001.
(Econ, 1/28/06, p.61)
1997 Enron formed New Power
Holdings to take advantage of the imminent opening to competition of
retail electricity markets around the US.
(WSJ, 3/25/02, p.A1)
1997 Richard Kinder left Enron
and founded Kinder Morgan based on interlocking master limited
partnerships. By 2013 his stake was $9 billion and the company’s
enterprise value reached $109 billion.
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.29)
1997 Equifax Corp. spun off its
ChoicePoint Division, which collected personal data on American
consumers. ChoicePoint had purchased CDB Infotek in 1996 and DBT in
2000. Much of this data was sold to police departments and the FBI.
(WSJ, 4/13/01, p.A6)
1997 GM reintroduced the Malibu
in an effort to regain sales in the midsize sedan market. It had
been discontinued in 1983.
(WSJ, 4/1/09, p.A20)
1997 Mattel’s "Barbie Fashion
Designer," a computer game for girls, became the No.1 children’s
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.W11)
1997 Scott Kurnit founded
About.com, a web site for information originally known as the Mining
Company. The New York Times Company bought About.com in 2005.
(WSJ, 7/7/99, p.A23)(Econ, 8/18/12, p.59)
1997 The Gates Learning
Foundation was announced. The foundation planned to put computers
with Microsoft software into all the public libraries of the country
along with internet access. The donations were a one-time gift with
free software upgrades as long as the hardware lasted.
(SFEC, 2/21/99, p.A10)
1997 Alexander Pircher, a
student in Darmstadt, Germany, created a web site called
Anonymouse.org, which allowed users to type in a Web address in a
box and with a click the Anonymouse server fetches and displays the
page. This allowed anonymous Web searches.
(Econ, 12/2/06, TQ p.3)
1997 Hearst Corp. purchased
WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hearst also entered into an
agreement with Argyle Television to form Hearst-Argyle Television
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1997 Lockheed began rolling out
its new fighter jet, the F/A-22. Production plans were cut to 339
planes. In 2003 the level cut to 276.
(WSJ, 10/22/03, p.A1)
1997 The Knott family sold
their Orange County Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, the oldest
theme amusement park in the US, to Cedar Fair in Ohio.
(SFC, 5/11/02, p.A22)
1997 Ruth Parasol, American
lawyer, founded PartyGaming. The firm took off in 2002 after it
developed proprietary software that allowed play over the Internet.
In 2005 it had a profit of $293 million. In June, 2005, it listed on
the London Stock Exchange.
(Econ, 10/7/06, p.77)
1997 PepsiCo Inc. introduced
Lay’s potato chips in China.
(WSJ, 12/19/05, p.A6)
1997 The online company
Priceline was founded with the idea to let consumers bid for hotel
rooms and flights. In 2005 it acquired Booking.com, a Dutch website
that aggregates hotel inventory. In 2012 it acquired Kayak, an
aggregator of travel listings. In 2017 the market value of Priceline
passed $100 billion.
(Econ 7/29/17, p.53)
1997 Sony Music began to sell
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.67)
1997 Wal-Mart purchased
Wertkauf, a prestigious German chain store. This acquisition was
followed by the purchase of Interspar, another German chain store.
In 2006 Wal-Mart ended its German operations selling its 85 German
stores to Metro.
(Econ, 8/5/06, p.54)
1997 The Zippo Manufacturing
Co. opened a Zippo museum in Bradford, Pa., to celebrate its 65th
(Hem., 10/97, p.78)
1997 Gary Hudson (47) bet
everything he had on the Roton rocket, a reuseable rocket tipped
with rotor blades and some 100 fuel nozzles. It cost over $60
million and never reached over a mile in test flights. In 2002
Elizabeth Weil authored "They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus:
An Incurable Dreamer Builds the First Civilian Spaceship."
(SSFC, 12/1/02, p.M3)
1997 Philippe Kahn, founder of
Borland Software (1983), pioneered the camera phone when he
connected his digital camera to a cell phone.
(SFC, 5/21/07, p.C2)
1997 Darioush Khaledi, a
successful immigrant grocer, started his Darioush Winery in Napa,
Ca. In 2004 a new visitor’s center was opened to evoke the spirit of
his native Iran’s ancient capital of Persepolis.
(SFC, 3/21/08, p.F3)
1997 The Rezulin pill for
diabetes, made by Warner-Lambert, was first found to cause
fatalities due to liver failure in some patients.
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A2)
1997 Snowflakes, the 1st
embryo-adoption program in the US, began matching donor embryos to
(NW, 4/24/03, p.53)
1997 Dr. Johan Hultin (72) of
San Francisco found remnants of the 1918 Spanish flu in the lungs of
a corpse buried in the permafrost of a cemetery in Alaska. An
earlier effort at Brevig Mission in 1951 had failed.
(SFC, 10/6/05, p.A14)
1997 A British team discovered
that pig viruses can infect human cells.
(WSJ, 8/28/00, p.B1)
1997 Prionics AG of Switzerland
developed the 1st efficient test for mad cow disease, bovine
(WSJ, 1/08/00, p.A23)
1997 The last US manufacturer
of cellophane went bankrupt due to the cheaper petroleum-based
(SFC, 10/23/98, p.D7)
1997 In New Jersey Sam Manzie
(15) raped, strangled and killed Eddie Werner (11) after Werner
rebuffed sexual advances during a candy and gift wrap sales pitch.
Manzie pleaded guilty to strangling Werner in 1999.
(SFC, 3/20/99, p.A6)
1997 Kathy Acker (b.1948),
bad-girl writer, died. In 2002 Amy Scholder and Dennis Cooper edited
"Essential Acker: The Selected Writings of Kathy Acker."
(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.M4)
1997 Thomas Mellon Evans
(b.1910), financier, died. In 2000 his story was included in "The
white Sharks of Wall Street" by Diana B. Henriques.
(WSJ, 6/14/00, p.A24)
1997 Elspeth Huxley (b.1907),
English author, died. Her books included "The Flame Trees of Thika."
In 2003 C.S. Nicholls authored "Elspeth Huxley: A Biography."
(SSFC, 8/10/03, p.M2)
1997 Kihoshi Saito (b.1907),
Japanese woodblock artist, died.
1997 In Albania mass disorder
following the collapse of several large Ponzi schemes and the
overthrow of the government left some 2,000 people dead this year.
(Econ, 2/6/15, p.41)
1997 In Argentina the New Order
Party, a fascist political group, was founded by Alejandro Franze.
(SFC, 6/8/98, p.A10)
1997 In Armenia the game of
Bingo was introduced and became a big hit.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.A25)
1997 Armenia’s population was
about 3 mil. The enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan had
(WSJ, 3/31/97, p.A10)
1997 The Australian film "The
Castle" was directed by Rob Sitch.
(SFEC, 9/24/00, DBp.59)
1997 In Australia a national
inquiry said policies removing Aboriginal children from their
parents caused massive trauma to 100,000 children and their
families, and recommended the "stolen generation" be compensated.
The final report, "Bringing Them Home - Report of the National
Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Children from Their Families" was released. PM John Howard refused
an official apology.
1997 Australia’s Macquarie
Island, located about halfway between Australia and Antarctica, was
designated a World Heritage site as the world's only island composed
entirely of oceanic crust. It is known for its wind-swept landscape,
and about 3.5 million seabirds and 80,000 elephant seals migrate
there each year to breed. In 2009 researchers said a 1995 decision
to eradicate cats from Macquarie island allowed the rabbit
population to explode and, in turn, destroy much of its fragile
vegetation that birds depend on for cover.
1997 Australian businessman
Alan Bond was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of fraud.
(Econ, 6/13/15, p.62)
1997 In Belarus inflation for
the year ranged around 63%. The government forced all private
companies to reregister their licenses and didn’t allow many of them
to stay in business. Of an estimated 212,504 private companies and
individual businesses, 123,869 closed up in 1997. Cheap credit and
privileged trade access to Russia kept the "Lukanomics"
economy growing at a 10% rate, but the growth was not expected to be
(WSJ, 2/23/98, p.A19)
1997 The population of
Belize was about 230,000.
(WSJ, 5/10/96, p.B-8)
1997 Bolivia began registering
ships under the Bolivian flag with virtually no restrictions.
(WSJ, 10/23/02, p.A1)
1997 In Bosnia a French
military officer held secret meetings with Radovan Karadzic and
foiled an Allied forces planned attempt to capture Karadzic. US Army
Gen’l. Wesley Clark, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, called
off the plan due to undue risk after he learned about the secret
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A12)
1997 The state of Amazonas,
Brazil, formed the Amazona Filarmonica with a core of musicians from
the former Soviet Union.
(WSJ, 11/23/98, p.A1)
1997 In Sao Paulo, Brazil,
Lourenco "Rambo" Gambra, a policeman, was filmed by an amateur
cameraman stopping cars and extorting money and killing a passenger
in the Naval slum.
(SFC, 9/21/98, p.A14)
1997 Brazil’s government
eliminated export taxes on commodities. Costs fell 10-20% creating a
huge stimulus for agriculture. The Asian crises had reduced
commodity demand and the central bank fought to defend the real,
increasing overnight interest rates to an annual 40% and killing
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.74)(Econ, 11/14/09, SR p.5)
1997 Jose Rainha, a land
reform advocate in the Landless Workers Movement (MST), was
sentenced to 26.5 years in prison for the 1989 killing of Jose
Machado Neto. Rainha argued that he was in another state with
witnesses and that the squatters acted in self defense, but was
still convicted in a 4-3 vote. A retrial was scheduled in 2000.
(SFC, 6/12/97, p.A14)(SFC, 4/4/00, p.A10)
1997 Honda Motors planned to
start producing cars in Brazil by this time.
(WSJ, 11/17/95, p.A-11)
1997 Britain’s Labour party
said it would cut British 20% off greenhouse gas emissions by 2010
as compared to 1990 levels. Emissions between 1999 and 2005 remained
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.59)
1997 Gordon Brown became
chancellor of Britain. Brown staged an infamous pensions tax “grab"
by eliminating the tax credit on dividend payments.
(Econ, 12/13/03, p.53)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.94)
1997 Britain set up the Special
Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to deal with appeals when the
home secretary had directed that a person be deported on national
(Econ, 11/17/12, p.55)
1997 Britain created its
Department for Int’l. Development (DfID). A legally mandated formula
allocated it 0.7% of national income.
(Econ, 4/15/17, p.50)
1997 In England Neil Monroe
Roger (aka Bunny Roger), a dandy, gay couturier, died at age 86. He
maintained a serious pursuit of ancient, medieval and ecclesiastical
history. His wardrobe was auctioned in 1998 with an estimated value
of $2.5 mil.
(SFC, 1/28/98, p.A8)
1997 The Cameroon film
Clandestine (Clando) was made by Jean-Marie Teno.
(SFEM, 9/28/97, p.17)
1997 In Cameroon Eric Atangana,
sent to the country in 1994 by his French employers in connection
with a highway development project, was arrested. This was a little
after the detention of Titus Edzoa, a loyalist-turned-foe of Pres.
Paul Biya. Atangana was Edzoa’s campaign manager. Edzoa and Atangana
were released in late February, 2014.
1997 Ontario’s Premier forced
the municipal merger of Toronto, East York, Scarborough, York,
Etobicoke and North York.
(SFC, 12/8/97, p.A15)
1997 Quebec, Canada, introduced
a highly subsidized, early childhood education program for all.
(Econ, 6/25/16, p.68)
1997 ING Direct, an online
banking service under Dutch parent ING Groep NV, was launched in
Canada. In 2000 it began operations in the US from Wilmington, Del.
By the end of 2007 it had over 7 million customers and $62 billion
in deposits. In 2008 Arkadi Kuhlman, ING’s US chief, and Bruce
Philp, chairman of ING Direct’s marketing partner, authored “The
Orange Code: How ING direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a
(WSJ, 12/10/08, p.A17)
1997 The Central Asia Regional
Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program was initiated. The 8-member
group included Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
1997 Peggy Yu (32) returned to
Beijing from NYC and founded Dangdang.com. By 2003 the company was
China's biggest online bookseller.
(Econ, 8/23/03, p.52)
1997 Shen Qing perfected his
baked pig's head with 30 herbs and spices. He successfully opened
restaurants to serve the dish and registered it with the Chinese
State Patent Bureau.
(WSJ, 5/11/99, p.A1)
1997 China amended its criminal
code. It abolished the crime of being a counter-revolutionary and
made the crime of “inciting subversion of state power" an offence
under Article 105(2).
1997 China established a
national social security system whereby each province managed its
own social security fund.
(WSJ, 2/13/04, p.A10)
1997 Chinese authorities in
Tibet ordered nuns to leave the 800 year-old Rakhor nunnery and
everything except the main assembly hall was destroyed.
(SFC, 1/29/99, p.E9)
1997 China decriminalized
homosexuality. The Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of
Mental Disorders removed homosexuality from its list of mental
illnesses on April 20, 2001.
1997 China began to allow
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.72)
1997 China’s vitamin makers got
a big break following a US Justice Dept. investigation of European
and Japanese companies for price fixing dozens of vitamins. On May
20, 1999, the antitrust case resulted in $750 million in government
fines and several jail terms for executives.
(WSJ, 2/10/06, p.A16)
1997 A study discovered that
the water tables beneath much of northern China were shrinking by
about 5 feet every year.
(SFC, 2/25/99, p.A12)
1997 China began investing in
Sudan following US sanctions there. By 2005 Sudan provided China
with about 5% if its oil imports.
(WSJ, 3/29/05, p.A2)
1997 China declared that a
committee of experts had located Shangri-La in the Diqing Tibetan
Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan province. A 25,000-square-mile area
was set aside to be called the Great Rivers National Park. The site
was selected based on evidence that it was the area originally
described for National Geographic by American ethnologist James Rock
in the 1920s and 1930s.
(SFEC, 11/28/99, p.A22)
1997 In China a freshwater
dolphin in the Yangtze River, known as the Baiji dolphin, was last
reliably sighted. Estimates said only about 17 of the 6-foot
dolphins remained. The white dolphin had been known for centuries in
Chinese legend as the Goddess of the Yangtze.
(WSJ, 12/6/06, p.A1)
1997 Executions in China
totaled about 3,000 for the year. China executed at least 1,876
people in 1977.
(SFC, 9/4/98, p.D4)(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D5)
1997 Colombia’s congress
reinstated extradition with the US under intense US pressure. The
law would was not to be applied retroactively.
(SFC, 10/2/98, p.B3)
1997 Colombia’s constitutional
court decriminalized doctor-assisted dying, but gave no guidance on
when it would be acceptable.
(Econ, 6/27/15, p.17)
1997 Colombia’s FARC commanders
began an urban extortion program. Their demanded payments from
businessmen came to be called la vacuna (vaccine).
(SFC, 11/26/99, p.B8)
1997 In Colombia Chiquita
Brands Int’l. began paying the AUC paramilitaries after it
threatened attacks. In 2001 the US designated the AUC a foreign
terrorist organization. In 2003 Chiquita reported illegal payments
to the AUC to the Justice department, but continued payments to Feb,
(WSJ, 8/2/07, p.A1)
1997 In Congo Laurent Kabila
appointed his son, Joseph Kabila, as head of the army.
(SFC, 1/18/01, p.A14)
1997 The Congolese franc
replaced the hyperinflated zaire.
(Econ, 1/14/17, p.41)
1997 In Corsica the Sampieru
militant group attacked a police station. A stolen Beretta pistol
was used in 1998 to kill Claude Erignac.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.A10)
1997 Intel opened a factory in
the rain forest of Costa Rica. In 2014 Intel announced plans to move
its Costa Rican assembly and test operations to Malaysia, Vietnam
and China. 1,400 employees remained in Costa Rica in centers for
global services as well as design and engineering.
(Econ, 4/19/14, p.33)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.16)
1997 Gunvor, a
Cyprus-registered commodities dealer, was created by Russian oil
trader Gennady Timchenko and Swedish oil trader Torbjorn Tornqvist.
By 2011 its revenues had grown to $80 billion.
1997 In the Czech Rep. Tomas
Harabis, an itinerant photographer, founded the faux kingdom of
Wallachia and crowned Bolek Polivka, an actor and clown, as king of
Wallachia. Polivka had already crowned himself the Wallachian king,
Boleslav I, the Gracious Forever, on his TV show. In 2002 Polivka
went to court over the kingdom’s trademark. In 2008 a court ruled
the Polivka has no right to profit from any association with the
(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A2)
1997 An alleged deal to ship
Czech radar systems to Iraq was stopped following a tip from Turkey.
(WSJ, 12/11/01, p.A15)
1997 Denmark staged a
contest to crown one of its islands as a “renewable energy"
island. Samsoe Island’s entry, led by engineer Aage Johnson, won the
(WSJ, 2/9/06, p.A11)
1997 Eritrea introduced its own
currency, the nakfa, and sought to make it directly exchangeable
with the Ethiopian burr in cross-border transaction. The currency
was named after the site of a major victory over Ethiopian forces in
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.A10)(SSFC, 4/15/12, p.P3)
1997 Ethiopia received over
$100 million in aid from the US and over $700 million in loans from
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A14)
1997 The EU established a
stability pact that included a member limit of 3% on deficits and a
goal of avoiding a national debt bigger than 60% of GDP.
(Econ, 3/26/05, p.55)
1997 The EU made labels
compulsory for genetically modified (GM) food.
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.32)
1997 Fiji drew up a new
multi-racial constitution. It took effect in 1998. Under the
country's constitution, the council of chiefs was charged with
filling nearly half the Senate seats and with appointing the
president and vice president. In 2006 military commander Frank
Bainimarama seized power and suspended those roles.
(Econ, 8/14/04, p.40)(AP, 3/14/12)
1997 Jacques Pepin, gourmet
chef, received the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts from the French
(SFC, 10/20/99, Z1p.4)
1997 France-based Pernod Ricard
SA acquired the Spanish gin Larios.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1997 Mario Sandoval obtained
French citizenship. The Argentine ex-police officer had moved to
France after the fall of Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship
and was later accused by Buenos Aires of over 600 human rights
violations. Argentina began seeking his extradition in 2012.
1997 Francois Furet, French
historian, died. He was the acknowledged pre-eminent historian of
the French Revolution and in 1995 authored "The Passing of an
Illusion." It was translated by his wife into English in 1999.
(WSJ, 5/11/99, p.A20)
1997 Germany got rid of its
(Econ, 11/27/10, p.61)
1997 Germany’s Thysen and Krupp
steel firms joined forces.
(Econ, 7/1/06, p.56)
1997 Germany’s population was
about 83 million people.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A8)(WSJ, 12/22/97,
1997 In Georgia
rocket-propelled grenades slammed the armor-plated Mercedes of Pres.
Shevardnadze and 2 bodyguards were killed.
(SFC, 8/31/98, p.A8)
1997 In Ghana John Atta Mills
rose to prominence when Pres. Rawlings named him vice president, a
position he held until the 2000 elections.
1997 Guatemala divided some 1.2
million acres of forest land into 13 logging concessions that
required sustainable harvesting. 2 concessions were granted to
logging companies and 11 to local communities.
(WSJ, 11/25/05, p.A9)
1997 A large Mayan site was
discovered at the Rio San Pedro Martir drainage in the Peten region
of northern Guatemala.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.19)
1997 The Icelandic
Phallological Museum opened in Reykjavik. It later moved to the
quiet fishing village of Husavik, 480 km (298 miles) northeast of
the capital. Sigurdur Hjartarson began his collection in 1974 with a
single bull's penis that looked something like a riding crop. By
2008 it included 261 preserved members from 90 species.
1997 Phoolan Devi, the Bandit
Queen, was elected to Parliament representing the lower-caste
(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.A14)
1997 In New Delhi, India, the
World Fisheries Forum was founded by a group of owner-operated
fishermen whose aim was to push for human rights and social justice
in the fishing industry. In 1999 they met in Point Montara,
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.A18)
1997 In India Laloo Prasad
Yadav, head of the RJD, stepped down as Bihar’s chief minister after
his arrest on corruption charges. Rabri Devi, Yadav’s wife, took
over as chief minister.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.44)(Econ, 3/12/05, p.45)
1997 Naga tribesmen of
northeastern India agreed to a ceasefire after fighting the Indian
army for five decades.
1997 Mobile phones were
introduced in Kerala, India. By 2000 fisherman were using them to
call coastal markets while at sea to find the best price for their
(Econ, 5/12/07, p.84)
1997 Indonesia’s Bank Harapan
Sentosa (BHS) went under despite a bailout loan of more than $260
million from the Indonesian central bank. In 1998 bank director
Sherny Kojongian Saroha was detained and questioned over her role in
the bank's failure and disappearance of the money. Saroha entered
the US the following year and applied for permanent residency
without disclosing her prior arrest. An Indonesian court in 2002
convicted her in absentia of misusing bank funds and sentenced her
to 20 years in prison. In 2012 she was extradited from the US and
handed over to Indonesia n authorities.
1997 In Indonesia mobs killed
and raped ethnic Chinese residents and looted and destroyed their
(SFC, 6/13/00, p.A12)
1997 Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed
Yassin offered Israel a 30-year truce.
1997 The Italian Parmalat Corp.
acquired Beatrice Foods.
(WSJ, 12/22/03, p.A6)
1997 Jamaica’s population was
about 2.3 million.
(Hem., 12/96, p.30)(SFC, 1/30/97, p.A10)
1997 Japan under Ryutaro
Hashimoto enacted the “big bang" financial reforms, which
deregulated some financial services and introduced more competition
in Japan’s capital markets.
(Econ, 9/17/05, p.23)
1997 Japan under Ryutaro
Hashimoto increased consumption taxes.
(Econ, 9/17/05, p.24)
1997 In Japan the Nippon Kaigi,
a nationalistic lobby group, was formed.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nippon_Kaigi)(Econ, 6/6/15, p.33)
1997 In Japan Hiroshi Mikitani
launched Rakuten, an e-commerce company. By 2012 it was Japan’s
biggest cybermail service.
(SFC, 5/19/12, p.D3)
1997 Safaricom Ltd. was formed
as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. It grew to become the
leading mobile network operator in Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone
group Plc of the United Kingdom acquired a 40% stake and management
responsibility for the company.
1997 In Kiribati the El Nino
weather system caused heavy rains and flooding on Kiritimati
(Econ, 3/12/15, p.38)
1997 Kyrgyzstan’s population
numbered about 4.5 million people.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A10)
1997 In Lesotho Pakalitha
Mosisili defected from the Basutoland Congress Party under leader
Ntsu Mokhehle, to form the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)
1997 Mansour Omar El-Kikhia
published his book “Libya’s Qaddafi: The Politics of Contradiction"
in the US. He was the cousin of Mansour Rashid El-Kikhia, Libya’s
former UN ambassador, who was executed in 1994.
(SSFC, 5/21/06, p.E5)(http://tinyurl.com/lnqr5)
1997 Macquarie Island, located
half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica, became a World Heritage
1997 In Malawi Bakili Muluzi
commuted all death sentences and pledged that there would be no
executions under his presidency.
(SFC, 10/21/98, p.A10)
1997 Malaysia banned the export
of sand hurting Singapore’s efforts to secure supplies for its
booming construction industry and sea-fill plans. Indonesia followed
suit in 2007 and caused a surge in the price of sand.
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.46)
1997 In Malaysia a virus struck
the village of Nipah and killed 105 people, most of whom were
involved in the hog-farming industry. Some 1.2 million hogs were
destroyed and the Nipah virus epidemic ran its course over 7 months.
The epidemic was later related to burning rain forests and bats
seeking new food sources that passed the virus to pigs that passed
it to humans. Most animals recovered but it was lethal to 40% of
(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A9)(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A4)(WSJ,
1997 The Maldives adopted a new
constitution, which enshrined Pres. Gayoom as head of state,
government, judiciary and the security forces.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.54)
1997 Mexico implemented the
Progresa social program. In 2000 it covered some 2 million rural
(Econ, 9/17/05, p.37)(http://tinyurl.com/d7tef)
1997 In Mexico Andres Granier
began serving as mayor of Villahermosa, capital of Tabasco state. He
served to 2000. In 2006 Granier won elections for Tabasco state
governor as a PRI candidate.
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.42)
1997 In Mexico a Health
Ministry Study found that the use of cocaine had quadrupled among
Mexico City teens in 6 years. Marijuana use had doubled.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A12)
1997 Ricardo Salinas Pliego
blocked NBC from taking a 10% stake in Mexico’s TV Azteca as part of
a previous deal to help TV Azteca learn the TV business.
(WSJ, 12/8/05, p.A11)
1997 Mexico’s national census
counted 93.7 million people.
(SFC, 7/9/99, p.A15)
1997 In Myanmar Thein Sein
became had of the Triangle Region Military Command and continued to
(Econ, 4/21/12, p.58)
1997 In Myanmar Sai Leun (Lin
Mingxian), warlord of Mongla, declared his fief an “opium-free
(Econ, 1/29/05, p.42)
1997 In Rangoon talks between
the Karen National Union and Burmese officials broke down when the
Karen refused to disarm. After the talks broke the Burmese army
swept through Karen territory and forced thousands of refugees into
(SFEC, 4/2/00, Z1 p.4)
1997 The Famine Early Warning
Systems Network (FEWS Net) published an inquiry into the world’s
failure to respond to food shortages in Niger and the rest of the
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.10)
1997 Kim Dok Hong, a senior
member of North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, defected through
China to Seoul.
(WSJ, 1/7/03, p.A1)
1997 Norway's King Harald V
publicly apologized on behalf of the nation for its treatment of the
Sami people. An estimated 40,000-60,000 Sami live in northern
Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and have their own language.
1997 Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif
and India’s Inder Kumar Gujral agreed to a process of dialogue, but
relations soured after the BJP came to power in India.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.35)
1997 In Pakistan the government
of Nawaz Sharif quashed an investigation into claims that his he had
used ill-gotten gains from his 1990-1993 term in office to purchase
four flats on London’s Park Lane.
(Econ 7/15/17, p.33)
1997 In Pakistan Mohammed Ali
Rahimi, director of the Iranian cultural center in Multan, was
killed along with other Shiites by Sunni extremists. Shakeel Anwar
(d.2002) was wanted for the killings.
(SFC, 3/12/02, p.A10)
1997 Hafiz Shafiur Rahman was
arrested in Multan in eastern Pakistan weeks after he shot Ijaz
Shah, the district president of Tehrik-e-Jaaferi, a political group
representing minority Shiite Muslims. Rahman was convicted in 1999
and hanged in 2006.
1997 Pakistan’s first motorway
opened under PM Nawaz Sharif. The $1.2 billion 375km toll-road
linked Islamabad and Lahore. The Grand Trunk Road, 90km shorter and
toll-free, already linked the two cities.
(Econ, 1/21/17, p.32)
1997 A study by the Peruvian
government found that the country’s glaciers had shrunk by 22% over
the last 30 years. In the Carabaya range they had receded by 32%.
(WSJ, 6/17/05, p.A1)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.42)
1997 IslamOnline began as a
student project at the Univ. of Qatar with cash from Sheika Mozah, a
wife of Qatar’s emir, and with an endorsement from Egyptian-born
scholar, Yussuf al-Qaradawi.
(Econ, 4/10/10, p.51)
1997 Romanian Orthodox Bishop
Nicolae Corneanu (1924-.2014) confessed he had been an informer
since 1948 and had excommunicated five dissident priests in 1981 who
had accused church leaders of prostituting the church to the demands
of communist rulers.
1997 The Russian Orthodox
church, under Patriarch Alexy II, supported a law the curbed the
activities of non-traditional faiths, like non-Orthodox forms of
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.60)
1997 Russian Pres. Yeltsin’s
annual earnings were reported to be $320,000.
(SFEC, 3/29/98, p.A12)
1997 In Russia scientists
discovered a layer of light blue rock in the Ural Mountains of
Siberia and later christened it "dianite" after Princess Diana.
(SFC, 1/24/98, p.A15)
1997 Martin Klein, Slovak
journalist, wrote a profanity-laced attack on Jan Sokol, the
archbishop of Slovakia, who wanted to ban the Milos Forman film “The
People vs. Larry Flynt" and its poster. Klein was charged with
defaming the Roman Catholic faith and lost his court case. In 2005
the suit moved up to the European Court of Human Rights in
(SSFC, 7/24/05, p.C2)
1997 Aspen Pharmacare, a
generic drug maker, was founded in Durban, South Africa. By 2005 it
was the country’s leading drug-maker with an annual revenue of $467
(Econ, 10/8/05, p.74)
1997 In South Korea a law that
allowed only one umbrella labor group was abolished. Until this time
only the Korea Federation of Trade Unions, with 1.5 million members
in banks and light industry, was recognized.
(SFC, 11/24/99, p.C5)
1997 In South Korea Cho
Choong-pil (20) was stabbed to death at a Burger King restaurant in
Itaewon, an entertainment district near the US military headquarters
in Seoul. US teenagers Edward Lee and Arthur Patterson accused each
other of killing Cho. Lee was later sentenced to life in prison but
an appeals court later reduced that to 20 years. Patterson initially
got an 18-month jail term for destroying evidence and possessing a
dangerous weapon. In 2015 Patterson was extradited to South Korea to
face a new trial. In 2016 Patterson (36) was sentenced to twenty
years in prison.
(AP, 9/23/15)(AP, 1/29/16)
1997 Former Soviet republics
(Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) formed Guuam
to seek cooperation outside Russian influence.
(WSJ, 3/4/05, p.A13)
1997 Goya's 18th-century "The
Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar" and el Greco's 16th-century "The
Annunciation," were stolen after a private exhibition tour. In 2011
Spanish police recovered the stolen masterpieces at a private house
near the southeastern city of Alicante.
1997 Mohamad Kamal Mustafa,
imam of Fuengirola, Spain, authored “Women in Islam," in which he
defended a husband’s right to beat his wife.
(WPR, 3/04, p.11)
1997 Luis Antonio Garcia
Navarro (d.2001) was named music and artistic director at the
long-closed Teatro Real in Madrid.
(SFC, 10/18/01, p.A21)
1997 The Swaziland government
issued a decree naming Ted Reilly, his son, daughter and five aides
as game rangers. Under Swazi law, the rangers were allowed to shoot
and kill poachers caught in the act.
1997 A Swiss federal law made
money laundering and abetting it a criminal offense.
(Econ, 2/14/04, Survey p.12)
1997 In Taiwan the High Tech
Computer company was founded as a designer and manufacturer of
products sold under other brand names. The company was later renamed
HPC and created its own brand name. In 2007 it launched the HTC
Touch, a touch screen device whose sales were boosted by the
appearance of Apple’s first iPhone.
(Econ, 4/7/12, p.73)
1997 Taiwan’s MediaTek was
founded and began making controllers for CD-ROMS. By 2004 the
company was developing chops for mobile phones.
(Econ, 8/24/13, p.60)
1997 The population of
Tajikistan, most of whom followed the Ismaili version of Shia Islam,
was about 5.7 million.
(WSJ, 6/30/97, p.A11)(Econ, 8/20/16, p.33)
1997 Thailand’s King Bhumibol
developed his “sufficiency economy" theory during the Asian economic
crises of this year. In 2007 it was described as a plan for
sustainability, moderation and broadbased development.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.38)
1997 The book "The History of
the Armenia Genocide" appeared in Turkey, but copies were
confiscated and the publisher Aysenur Zarakolu was arrested and
(SFC, 3/6/98, p.A12)
1997 In Uganda the government
Law Reform Commission recommended that the number of wives a man can
marry be limited to 2, and that men prove that they have the
resources to support 2 wives if they choose to marry twice. Muslims,
who comprise 10% of the people, opposed the ruling because Islamic
law allows men to have up to 4 wives.
(SFC, 4/6/98, p.A12)
1997 The UN sent former James
Baker, former US Sec. of State, to negotiate a new agreement between
Morocco and the Polisario Front of Western Sahara, but Morocco
rejected his plan.
(Econ, 9/24/05, p.56)
1997 Between Uzbekistan and
Kazakstan the surface area of the Aral Sea was 30,000 sq. km. and
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A18)
1997 Uzbekistan's Fergana
Valley was hit by a series of slayings of senior police officials.
Authorities blamed the IMU and launched a crackdown on religious
1997 Uzbekistan attracted only
$60 million in foreign investment due to strict economic controls.
(WSJ, 9/8/98, p.A23)
1997 The Vatican’s top diplomat
in Ireland told bishops that their policy of mandatory reporting
suspected of sex abuse cases to police "gives rise to serious
reservations of both a moral and canonical nature." In 2011 the
Vatican insisted the letter had been "deeply misunderstood."
1997 Sidor, Venezuela's largest
steel maker, Sidor, was privatized.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.43)
1997 In Vietnam about 55
million rats were killed this year.
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A10)
1997-1998 Extreme weather due to the El Nino
weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean killed some 23,000 people
worldwide. Damages to the Latin American region were estimated as
$33 billion. Surface temperatures soared in the Pacific Ocean
causing the death of 16% of corals worldwide. This El Nino weather
pattern repeated again in 2010 and again in 2016.
(Econ, 2/13/10, p.42)(Econ, 2/13/15, p.58)(AP,
1997-1998 Fiat SpA of Italy said it would invest
$1 bil over this period in Brazil for new engines, updated models,
and new projects.
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.A11)
1997-1998 In Brazil some 39,000 square km. of
Amazonian forest were burned by wildfires.
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.70)
1997-1998 South Korea’s conglomerates were
battered by a currency crises.
(WSJ, 3/16/05, p.A6)
1997-2001 In the Netherlands Lucia de Berk
murdered 7 people in her care by giving them lethal doses of drugs.
In 2004 a court sentenced her to life in jail and compulsory
psychiatric treatment for killing. A high court ordered a review,
ruling that the woman could not be sentenced to both life in jail
and psychiatric care. In 2006 de Berk was sentenced to life in
1997-2002 In 2004 a Human Rights Watch report said
more than $4 billion in oil revenue disappeared from Angolan state
coffers over this period, even as the country was struggling to
recover from 27 years of civil war.
1997-2002 Thailand and Indonesia were hit the
hardest in an Asian financial crises and suffered a slump in GDP
during this period of around 35%.
(Econ, 6/30/07, p.79)
1997-2004 In 2006 Colombia's nonprofit Association
of Relatives of the Disappeared Detained recorded 7,300 cases of
forced disappearances during this period. Only one-tenth of the
bodies have been found, said the group's secretary general,
Esperanza Merchan. She estimated the total number of disappeared at
1997-2005 Britain’s spending on state education
rose from 4.7% to 5.5%.
(Econ, 10/22/05, Survey p.59)
1997-2006 Housing prices in Britain rose by 175%,
one of the biggest increases among developed economies.
(Econ, 7/1/06, p.51)
1997-2006 Over 2,000 Bushmen and others moved out
of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve and in return were given
livestock, a small plot of land and some money.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.47)