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Thursday, April 2, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "It's smoking today. Tomorrow it will be beer, and the next day liquor. Hopefully they'll rescind the ban and give people freedom of choice."

    -- California bar owner Irwin Held

    Today's events

  • The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland opens a new exhibit -- the "Ultimate Jukebox."

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    On the horizon

  • 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-saving time.

  • On Monday, April 6, the National Association of Broadcasters meets in Las Vegas.

  • On Tuesday, April 7, a special election for Sonny Bono's congressional seat will be held. His widow, Mary Bono, and actor Ralph Waite are the announced candidates.

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    On this day

  • In 742, Charlemagne, king of the Franks, was born. King from 768, with his brother, he conquered most of Europe and was crowned emperor in 800.

  • In 1792, the Coinage Act passed by Congress and signed by George Washington established a mint and regulated the coins of the United States.

  • In 1801, in the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was destroyed by the British under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen. Ordered to withdraw during the battle, Nelson put a telescope to his blind eye and said he could see no such order.

  • In 1805, Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author, was born. Famed for his children's stories, including "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling."

  • In 1838, Leon-Michel Gambetta, French statesman, was born. One of the founders of the French Third Republic, he was also prime minister from 1881.

  • In 1840, Emile Zola, French writer, was born. His works included "Therese Raquin" and "Germinal"; he was also author of the paper "J'Accuse" in defense of Alfred Dreyfus.

  • In 1860, the first Italian parliament met at Turin.

  • In 1872, Samuel F. B. Morse, U.S. painter and inventor, died. He invented the electric telegraph and developed the Morse code in 1938.

  • In 1891, Max Ernst, German sculptor and painter and founder of the Dada movement, was born.

  • In 1905, the Simplon rail tunnel under the Alps linking Switzerland with Italy officially opened.

  • In 1914, Alec Guinness, British actor of stage and screen, was born. Best known for his roles in "Kind Hearts and Coronets" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai," for which he won an Oscar, and "The Ladykillers."

  • In 1926, Sir Jack Brabham, Australian racing driver, was born. He won the world drivers' championship three times in a Grand Prix career which lasted from 1955 to 1970.

  • In 1944, the Soviet Union announced that its troops had crossed the Prut River and entered Romania.

  • In 1947, the U.N. Security Council voted to appoint the U.S. as trustee for former Japanese-held Pacific Islands.

  • In 1951, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower assumed command of all allied armies in Western Mediterranean area and Europe.

  • In 1960, France signed an agreement with Madagascar which proclaimed the country an independent state within the French community.

  • In 1966, Cecil Scott Forester, author of the Captain Hornblower novels, died; he also wrote "The African Queen," which was made into a successful film.

  • In 1966, South Vietnamese troops joined in demonstrations at Hue and Da Nang for an end to military rule.

  • In 1974, Georges Pompidou, French statesman, prime minister and president from 1969, died in office.

  • In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and overthrew the British administration; Britain responded by sending a task force to retake the islands.

  • In 1989, Haiti's military leader, Gen. Prosper Avril, survived a coup attempt apparently sparked off by his U.S.-backed efforts to clamp down on drug trafficking.

  • In 1990, President Saddam Hussein threatened to incinerate half of Israel with advanced chemical weapons if it joined a conspiracy against Iraq.

  • In 1991, price hikes of up to 200 percent on basic goods and public transport went into effect throughout the Soviet Union, sparking widespread popular anger.

  • In 1992, Mafia boss John Gotti, nicknamed "Teflon Don" after emerging unscathed from previous trials, was convicted of murder and racketeering.

  • In 1994, a congress of Russia's extreme nationalist Liberal Democratic Party named Vladimir Zhirinovsky as the party's candidate for future presidential elections.

  • In 1996, Russia and Belarus signed a treaty that created a tight-knit political and economic alliance within the Commonwealth of Independent States.

  • In 1996, Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland's first post-war democratic president, resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard.

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    The Grand National Horseracing meeting, England's premier steeplechase, opens today. For more information, check out the latest news from Aintree .


    Holidays and more

  • Liberia celebrates a National Day of Prayer and Fast.

  • Comedian Dana Carvey ("Saturday Night Live") is 43.

  • Singer Emmylou Harris ("Amarillo") is 51.

  • Actress Linda Hunt ("The Year of Living Dangerously") is 53.

  • Author Camille Paglia is 51.

  • Actress Pamela Reed ("The Right Stuff") is 45.

  • Musician Leon Russell is 57.

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

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