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Tuesday, December 10, 1996

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • "For the first time in history, we will be destroying instead of creating weapons-grade plutonium."

    -- Energy Department Secretary Hazel O'Leary

    | AllPolitics Campaignland |

    Today's Events

  • South African President Nelson Mandela addresses an International Human Rights Day commemoration at Sharpeville, where he will sign into law the country's long-awaited new post-apartheid constitution.

  • The presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and East Timor independence activist Jose Ramos-Horta is scheduled to take place in Oslo, Norway.

  • The Nobel prizes in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics are scheduled to be awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, on the birthday of founder Alfred Nobel.

  • The lighting of the U.S. Capitol's Holiday Tree is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C.

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    On the horizon

  • On Wednesday, December 11, the Selection Committee announces Hong Kong's first post-colonial chief executive- designate; Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Hong Kong policy guru Lu Ping are expected in Hong Kong for the meeting.

  • On Thursday, December 12, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is scheduled to spell out his European policies in speech to the Bonn parliament.

  • On Friday, December 13, the International Inquiry Commission on Violation of Human Rights is scheduled to launch its report on alleged widespread human rights abuses in Egypt.

  • On Saturday, December 14, Phillips is scheduled to auction two mummified dinosaur eggs in New York. Discovered in China's Hunan Province, the eggs contain embryos; it is believed they are both well preserved enough to have DNA extracted. Both may sell for up to $300,000.

  • On Sunday, December 15, the Council of Europe is scheduled to hold a symposium in Strasbourg, France, on medically assisted procreation and the protection of the human embryo.

  • On Monday, December 16, Sotheby's in London is scheduled to auction a collection of work by Graham Greene, including his proof copy of "The End of the Affair."

  • On Tuesday, December 17, President Jacques Chirac is scheduled to inaugurate the new French National Library, nicknamed the Very Big Library.

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    On this day

  • In 1508, the League of Cambrai was formed by Pope Julius II, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon to attack Venice.

  • In 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal bull excommunicating him.

  • In 1817, Mississippi became the 20th of the United States.

  • In 1845, the first pneumatic tires were patented by British civil engineer Robert Thompson.

  • In 1851, American librarian Melvil Dewey, who devised the system of classification for library cataloguing, was born.

  • In 1865, Leopold I, the first king of the Belgians and a highly influential in European diplomacy, died.

  • In 1868, the world's first traffic lights, built off London's Parliament Square, began operation.

  • In 1896, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died; he made much of his fortune from his invention of dynamite and used it to found the Nobel prizes, the first of which were handed out on this day in 1901.

  • In 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War.

  • In 1931, Alasara Zamora was chosen as Spain's first constitutionally elected president.

  • In 1941, Japanese planes sank the British battleships "Repulse" and "Prince of Wales" in the South China Sea, killing nearly 800 people.

  • In 1963, Zanzibar, a British protectorate since 1890, became an independent state within the Commonwealth.

  • In 1967, Otis Redding, one of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, was killed in a plane crash in Wisconsin.

  • In 1979, the parliament of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia met for the last time to vote itself out of existence.

  • In 1982, the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed by 119 countries -- but not Britain or the United States.

  • In 1989, Czechoslovakia's first government without a Communist majority since 1948 assumed power.

  • In 1990, Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum, died at the age of 92.

  • In 1995, NASA scientists received the first data from the space probe Galileo -- a message beamed over 2.3 billion miles (3.7 billion km).

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    The death of renowned British archeologist Mary Leakey on Monday marks the end of an era for research into the origins of man. Leakey's field work in east Africa advanced knowledge of our ancient ancestors manyfold. Now, new generations are putting the work of Leakey's generation online for the world to see. The Digital Darwins project is attempting to create a virtual museum with the newest 3-D technology and a dedication to education. Its ambition and execution are breathtaking.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is United Nations Human Rights Day.

  • Thailand celebrates Constitution Day.

  • Former basketball player Mark Aguirre is 37.

  • Actress Susan Dey is 44.

  • Actor Harold Gould is 73.

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    Sources: Reuters,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1996, J.P. Morgan

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