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Tuesday, March 31, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
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  • "Actually I was kind of jealous that the Republicans had appropriated such a nice animal as their symbol."

    -- U.S. President Bill Clinton, when asked his opinion of elephants in Botswana

    Today's events

  • Major League Baseball season opens.

  • The 51st World Association of Newspapers Convention and the 5th World Newspaper Editors Forum convene in Kobe, Japan.

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    On the horizon

  • Wednesday, April 1, is April Fool's Day.

  • On Thursday, April 2, the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland opens a new exhibit -- the "Ultimate Jukebox."

  • On Friday, April 3, People Against Racism is to hold its first annual conference on the elimination of what it deems racist mascots.

  • On Saturday, April 4, Memphis, Tennessee, holds all-day events commemorating the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

  • On Sunday, April 5, most of the United States returns to Daylight Savings Time.

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    On this day

  • In 1084, Clement III, elected antipope in 1080 by a synod convoked by Henry IV, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

  • In 1492, Jews in Spain were given three months to accept Christianity or leave.

  • In 1499, Pope Pius IV was born; he became archbishop of Ragusa in 1545 and was elected pope in December 1559.

  • In 1547, King Francis I of France died and was succeeded by Henry II.

  • In 1621, Philip III of Spain died and was succeeded by his son, Philip IV. He also ruled Portugal as Philip II.

  • In 1631, John Donne, English poet, died; he was also a prominent churchman and preacher.

  • In 1732, Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer of 104 symphonies and numerous chamber and vocal works, was born.

  • In 1811, Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, German physicist and chemist, born. He is credited with inventing the Bunsen burner and the galvanic battery as well as sharing the discovery of spectrum analysis.

  • In 1837, English landscape painter John Constable died. Some of his finest landscapes include the "Valley Farm," "Cornfield" and "Haywain."

  • In 1854, the Treaty of Kanagawa was signed between the United States and Japan, opening up the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to U.S. traders.

  • In 1855, Charlotte Bronte, British author of "Jane Eyre" and the oldest of three literary sisters, died in pregnancy.

  • In 1870, in the United States, Thomas Peterson-Mundy became the first black to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment (passed by Congress in February 1870) which required all Southern states to allow blacks to vote.

  • In 1889, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was inaugurated.

  • In 1917, the U.S. purchase of the Danish West Indies for $25 million, agreed to the previous August, took effect. They called them the Virgin Islands.

  • In 1918, Daylight Saving Time went into effect throughout the United States for the first time.

  • In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain undertook to defend Poland in an Anglo-French alliance if attacked.

  • In 1943, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" premiered in New York City.

  • In 1949, Newfoundland joined the Canadian Federation as the 10th province.

  • In 1954, the Soviet Union offered to join NATO.

  • In 1959, the Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, arrived at the Indian border and was granted political asylum.

  • In 1964, in Brazil, a period of economic crisis, exacerbated by allegations of official corruption, led to a military revolt against the government of President Joao Goulart.

  • In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not stand for re-election.

  • In 1970, Lesotho's prime minister, Leabua Jonathan, announced that King Moshoeshoe II was leaving the country indefinitely and Queen Mamohato would act as regent.

  • In 1971, U.S. Lieutenant William Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment (later reduced to 20 years) for the killings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968.

  • In 1979, the military relationship between Britain and Malta ended after 181 years with the departure of the destroyer HMS London from Valetta Harbour.

  • In 1980, former U.S. olympic athlete Jessie Owens died. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics but Hitler refused to give him the customary winner's handshake because he was black.

  • In 1983, the Colombian city of Popayan was devastated by an earthquake which killed at least 500 people and left more than 3,000 homeless.

  • In 1986, a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed into a mountainside in central Mexico en route from Mexico City to Los Angeles. All 166 people on board were killed.

  • In 1988, Sir William McMahon, Australian prime minister 1971-72, died.

  • In 1990, a rally against a new and unpopular poll tax turned into a violent riot in the heart of London.

  • In 1991, the Warsaw Pact, which held Eastern Europe under tight Kremlin control for 36 years, formally ceased its existence as a military force when Soviet commanders surrendered their powers.

  • In 1992, Israel and Spain celebrated the 500th anniversary of Roman Catholic monarchs banishing Jews from Spain with a visit to King Juan Carlos by President Chaim Herzog.

  • In 1992, the Security Council imposed an air and arms embargo on Libya to force it to hand over suspected airline bombers.

  • In 1993, the Security Council authorized military intervention for the first time in Yugoslavia, approving the use of force to shoot down planes violating a no-fly ban over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • In 1994, President F.W. de Klerk announced a state of emergency to halt spiraling violence in South Africa's Zulu heartland.

  • In 1995, the Paris Appeals Court ruled that maverick French soccer boss-turned-politician Bernard Tapie was bankrupt, clearing a way for him to be stripped of his French and European parliament seats.

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    One hundred and nine years ago, a strange contraption of puddled iron was dedicated in Paris. And ever since, tourists have flocked to the top of the Eiffel Tower for the best view in town. Check out the offical Eiffel Tower site.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Freedom Day in Malta.

  • It is Transfer Day in the Virgin Islands.

  • Musician Herb Alpert (Tijuana Brass) is 63.

  • Author Leo Buscaglia is 73.

  • Actor Richard Chamberlain ("Shogun") is 63.

  • Fashion designer Liz Claiborne is 69.

  • Actor William Daniels ("St. Elsewhere") is 71.

  • Author John Jakes ("California Gold") is 66.

  • Actress Shirley Jones ("The Partridge Family") is 64.

  • Actor Gabe Kaplan ("Welcome Back Kotter") is 52.

  • Actor Ed Marinaro ("Sisters") is 48.

  • Actor Mark McClure ("Back to the Future") is 41.

  • Actress Rhea Perlman ("Cheers") is 50.

  • Actor Christopher Walken ("Batman Returns") is 55.

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

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