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Tuesday, February 17, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "I luckily escaped without a wound, tho' I had four bullets through my Coat, and two Horses shot under me."

    -- George Washington, in a letter to his mother describing a battle in the French and Indian War

    Today's events

  • The trial of Jonathan Norman, charged with stalking film director Steven Spielberg, is scheduled to start in Santa Monica, California.

  • The U.S. Navy formally ceases its Operation Deep Freeze after 42 years of sailing and flying support missions to Antarctica.

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    On the horizon

  • On Wednesday, February 18, multiparty talks on Northern Ireland's future open in Dublin.

  • On Thursday, February 19, preparatory talks will be held in London for an ASEM leaders summit in April.

  • On Friday, February 20, the start of the "Women of Color and Allies Summit: Linking Arms in Dangerous Times" begins in Arlington, Virginia.

  • On Saturday, February 21, the National Governors Association holds its winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

  • On Sunday, February 22, extradition hearings for Maryland murder suspect Samuel Sheinbein are scheduled to start in Tel Aviv.

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    On this day

  • In 1461, in the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists under Warwick were heavily defeated by Queen Margarets Lancastrians at the battle of St. Albans.

  • In 1600, Giordano Bruno, philosopher and mathematician whose theories anticipated modern science, was betrayed to the Inquisition and burned as a heretic in Rome.

  • In 1673, Moliere, stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, French playwright and actor, died after collapsing on stage on the third night of his play "Le Malade Imaginaire," of "The Imaginary Invalid."

  • In 1859, "Un Ballo in Maschera," an opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and based on the murder of Gustavus, King of Sweden, was first performed in Rome.

  • In 1864, the Confederate hand-propelled submarine Hunley, armed with a ram torpedo, sunk the Union's Houstanic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered the first successful attack by a submarine.

  • In 1880, Tsar Alexander II of Russia survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in the imperial dining room at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

  • In 1897, the Parent-Teacher Association was formed.

  • In 1904, the opera "Madama Butterfly" by Giacomo Puccini was first performed, at La Scala, Milan, Italy.

  • In 1909, Geronimo, last Apache chief to surrender to the American government, died in Fort Sill.

  • In 1919, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian Liberal prime minister from 1896-1911, died. He was the first French Canadian to be prime minister of Canada.

  • In 1934, Albert I, king of the Belgians since 1909, died. He led the Belgian Army during World War I.

  • In 1945, a Soviet offensive forced the rocket expert Wernher von Braun and other scientists to evacuate the V2 rocket site at Peenemunde, East Germany.

  • In 1972, the British House of Commons voted to join the European Community.

  • In 1979, China invaded Vietnam in response to what it called Vietnamese aggression over the previous six months.

  • In 1982, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe sacked Joshua Nkomo from the government for plotting against the ZANU-PF Party.

  • In 1982, Thelonious Monk, U.S. jazz pianist, died. A key figure in the development of bebop, he played with Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.

  • In 1982, Lee Strasberg, U.S. actor and co-founder with Elia Kazan of the Actors Studio in New York, died; the studio developed the "method" technique of acting.

  • In 1990, Czechoslovakia's Communist Party expelled former president Gustav Husak, ex-prime minister Lubomir Strougal and 20 other hardliners who came to power after Soviet tanks crushed the 1968 Prague Spring reform era.

  • In 1992, Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered and cannabalized young men, was sentenced to 15 life terms.

  • In 1994, the decomposing body of former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia was dug up and identified, confirming the end of the republic's first elected leader.

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    The National Parent-Teacher Association was formed on this day in 1897. Visit their official site and you just might learn something.


    Holidays and more

  • Basketball star Michael Jordan is 35.

  • Actor Alan Bates is 64.

  • Actress Brenda Fricker is 53.

  • Composer and pianist Lee Hoiby is 72.

  • Actor Hal Holbrook is 73.

  • Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 36.

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    Sources: Associated Press,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1998, J.P. Morgan

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