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Friday, May 8, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Notable
  • Almanac archive
  • "If a crime has been committed, the American people have a right to know ... No one is above the law and that includes the president of the United States."

    -- House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaking to joint session of New Hampshire legislature

    Today's events

  • The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Brandeis University as part of his five-state tour of the United States.

  • Americans for Fair Taxation hold the Tax Freedom Day Celebration, marking the day most U.S. citizens have earned enough to pay their taxes.

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    On the horizon

  • On Saturday, May 9, Vice President Al Gore delivers the commencement address at South Carolina State University.

  • On Sunday, May 10, national elections will be held in Hungary.

  • Monday, May 11, is the scheduled deadline for U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to decide whether to seek an independent counsel to investigate Labor Secretary Alexis Herman.

  • On Tuesday, May 12, the Cannes Film Festival opens in France.

  • On Wednesday, May 13, a hearing will be held in Denver on whether convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols should pay restitution to bombing survivors and victims' famililies.

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    On this day

  • In 1429, the siege of Orleans ended when French troops stormed the English forts in the Hundred Years War.

  • In 1559, in England, the Act of Supremacy was passed by which the new Queen Elizabeth I became "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England; the Act of Uniformity was passed and a Common Prayer book was introduced.

  • In 1794, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist who identified oxygen, was guillotined in Paris by the Revolutionary Convention.

  • In 1828, Jean-Henri Dunant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross and co-winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, born.

  • In 1846, General Zachary Taylor and his American troops heavily defeated Mexican forces under General Arista at the Battle of Palo Alto.

  • In 1849, Pearl of Bermuda, beat the U.S. yacht, Brenda, in the first recognized international yacht race.

  • In 1852, the Treaty of London was signed by Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden, guaranteeing the integrity of Denmark.

  • In 1873, John Stuart Mill, British pioneering political economist and exponent of Utilitarianism, died.

  • In 1880, French novelist Gustave Flaubert, whose works included "Madame Bovary," died.

  • In 1884, Harry S Truman, 33rd president of the United States (1945-53), was born.

  • In 1902, Mount Pelee on Martinique erupted and destroyed the town of St Pierre; over 30,000 people died.

  • In 1903, Paul Gauguin, French painter, died in Tahiti.

  • In 1921, Sweden abolished capital punishment.

  • In 1929, Norway annexed Jan Mayen island.

  • In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea ended when a U.S. fleet turned back a Japanese invasion force heading for Port Moresby in New Guinea.

  • In 1944, a Czech-Soviet agreement was signed dealing with possible entry of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia.

  • In 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation as part of V-E (Victory in Europe) Day celebrations; President Truman broadcast to the American people.

  • In 1945, King Leopold of Belgium was freed by the U.S. 7th Army.

  • In 1952, William Fox, U.S. film producer, died; he founded the Fox Film Corp. in 1915 which later became 20th Century Fox.

  • In 1973, the siege of Wounded Knee in South Dakota ended peacefully as militant Indians who occupied a tiny prairie settlement for almost 10 weeks began to file out and surrender to the authorities.

  • In 1977, in Amsterdam, the trial began of Peter Menten, a Dutch art dealer and Nazi collaborator accused of murdering Polish Jews in order to obtain their art collections.

  • In 1984, the Thames Barrier in London, constructed to stem the flow of the tidal river and prevent flooding, was officially opened.

  • In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

  • In 1988, Robert Heinlein, one of America's most prolific writers whose science fiction works included "Stranger in a Strange Land," died.

  • In 1989, Janos Kadar, the architect of modern Hungary, was dropped from from his ceremonial post of Communist Party president and from his post on the policy-making Central Committee of the party.

  • In 1990, Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich, head of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland, died during a pilgrimage to the French shrine of Lourdes.

  • In 1990, the Estonian parliament voted to change the country's name to Republic of Estonia from the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.

  • In 1995, Germans and leaders of the main wartime Allies who defeated them 50 years ago gathered side by side in Berlin to honor the dead of World War II.

  • In 1996, Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel "Dominguin," known as the world's best bullfighter in the 1950s, died aged 69; his exploits inspired writer Ernest Hemingway and he had a string of affairs with Hollywood stars.

  • In 1996, South Africa's Constitutional Assembly adopted the country's permanent post-apartheid constitution.

  • In 1996, Former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke went on trial in Rome. He was charged with involvement in the killing of 335 men and boys in Italy's worst World War II atrocity.

  • In 1997, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi flew to impoverished Niger in apparent defiance of a U.N. ban on flights from Libya.

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    News of the Chrysler Corp. and Daimler-Benz merger has spread faster than fingerprints on a new car. What's all the fuss? Check out the Chrysler site and the Daimler-Benz site.



  • The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic celebrate the Anniversary of the Liberation.

  • It is General Prayer Day in Denmark.

  • It is Armistice Day in France and French Guiana,

  • It is Victory Day in the French West Indies, Monaco and New Caledonia.

  • It is Ascension Day in Tahiti.

  • Author and naturalist David Attenborough ("Trials of LIfe") is 72.

  • Author Peter Benchley is 58.

  • Actress Melissa Gilbert ("Little House on the Prairie") is 34.

  • Actor and director David Keith ("The Great Santini") is 44.

  • Novelist Thomas Pynchon is 61.

  • Comedian Don Rickles is 72.

  • Singer Toni Tennille is 55.

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

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