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Saturday, May 9, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "The whole nose was pointed down at one point. I thought we were dead."

    -- Dave Ferguson, a passenger aboard an AirTran flight

    Today's events

  • Vice President Al Gore delivers the commencement address at South Carolina State University.

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    On the horizon

  • 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 on whether convicted Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols should pay restitution to bombing survivors and victims' famililies will be held in Denver.

  • On Thursday, May 14, the final episode of "Seinfeld" will air on NBC.

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    On this day

  • In 1386, England and Portugal signed the Treaty of Windsor, pledging permanent alliance and friendship.

  • In 1502, Christopher Columbus set out from Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and last voyage.

  • In 1657, William Bradford, pilgrim father and governor of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts for 30 years, died.

  • In 1671, Thomas Blood, Irish adventurer better known as Captain Blood, stole the crown jewels from the Tower of London.

  • In 1785, British inventor Joseph Bramah patented the beer-pump handle.

  • In 1800, John Brown, militant U.S. anti-slavery campaigner, was born. In 1859, he seized the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to encourage an uprising of slaves. No response came and federal troops recovered the arsenal.

  • In 1805, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German romantic poet and playwright, died.

  • In 1846, Zachary Taylor with 1,700 U.S. troops beat back 5,700 Mexicans under Arista at the battle of Resaca de la Palma and went on to recover Fort Texas in the U.S.-Mexican Wars.

  • In 1850, Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, French chemist and physicist, died. He established that all gases expand equally with heat.

  • In 1873, Howard Carter, British archaeologist, was born; he discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt in 1922.

  • In 1901, Australia opened its first parliament in Melbourne.

  • In 1915, in World War I, the battle of Artois began. When the battle ended on May 27, 216,000 men had been killed or wounded.

  • In 1926, Americans Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first to fly over the North Pole.

  • In 1927, the new city of Canberra replaced Melbourne as Australia's capital.

  • In 1931, Albert Michelson, U.S. physicist who established that light has a constant speed, died. In 1907, he won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

  • In 1936, Italy formally annexed Abyssinia, now Ethiopia.

  • In 1945, Germany's Field Marshal Keitel signed final surrender documents at the end of World War II; the German garrison in the Channel Islands surrendered on the same day.

  • In 1946, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicated and the monarchy was replaced by a republic.

  • In 1949, Prince Louis II of Monaco died shortly after delegating his powers to Prince Rainier, who began his reign on April 11, 1950.

  • In 1960, the United States became the first country to legalize the birth control pill.

  • In 1963, a state of emergency was declared in British Guiana following a three-week general strike.

  • In 1965, Lunar 5, an unmanned Soviet spacecraft, was launched toward the moon from a rocket already in Earth's orbit. It later crashed on the moon rather than making the projected soft landing.

  • In 1967, Dr. Zakir Hussain was elected president of India.

  • In 1976, Ulrike Meinhof, a leader of the West German Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, hanged herself in prison.

  • In 1978, the body of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro was found in the trunk of a car; he had been kidnapped and murdered by the Red Brigades.

  • In 1979, 18 people were killed when troops opened fire on terrorists occupying San Salvador cathedral in El Salvador.

  • In 1980, Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury met for the first time in Ghana.

  • In 1985, Edmund O'Brien, U.S. film actor, died. He won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) and was nominated for another Oscar for "Seven Days in May" (1964).

  • In 1986, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay died; he shared with Edmund Hillary the achievement of being the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

  • In 1991, William Kennedy Smith, nephew of Edward Kennedy, was charged with rape.

  • In 1993, Paraguay held its first presidential and parliamentary elections for nearly 50 years.

  • In 1995, world leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe with three days of emotional Victory Day celebrations and ringing calls for global reconciliation.

  • In 1996, the National Party, which inflicted apartheid on South Africa and later helped break the hated system, decided to quit Nelson Mandela's 2-year-old government of national unity, effective June 30.

  • In 1996, President Yoweri Museveni won a landslide victory in Uganda's first presidential election in 16 years.

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    Graffiti: Art or vandalism? You decide. Check out Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall.


    Holidays and more

  • It is Victory Day in Armenia, Azerbaijan Republic, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

  • Actress Candice Bergen ("Murphy Brown") is 52.

  • Screenwriter and producer James L. Brooks ("As Good As It Gets," "The Simpsons") is 58.

  • Actor Albert Finney ("Shoot the Moon") is 62.

  • Actress Glenda Jackson ("Women in Love") is 61.

  • Singer Billy Joel ("Piano Man") is 49.

  • TV journalist Mike Wallace ("60 Minutes") is 80.

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

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