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Sunday, May 17, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Notable
  • Almanac archive
  • "It's like requiring The New York Times to wrap the front section of The Wall Street Journal around the newspaper."

    -- Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray

    Today's events

  • The National Basketball Association draft lottery takes place.

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    On the horizon

  • On Monday, May 18, the Socialist International annual meeting will be held in Norway.

  • On Tuesday, May 19, the National Geography Bee finals will be held in Washington.

  • On Wednesday, May 20, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will unveil a redesigned $20 bill.

  • On Thursday, May 21, the Sons of Italy Foundation will honor the late Frank Sinatra at its 10th annual gala.

  • On Friday, May 22, voter referendums on the Northern Ireland peace agreement are to be held in Belfast and Dublin.

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    On this day

  • In 1198, Frederick II, last of the great medieval emperors, was crowned King of Sicily at the age of three.

  • In 1510, Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, died. One of the greatest of the Florentine painters whose "Birth of Venus" and "Primavera" embodies the Renaissance spirit.

  • In 1673, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette left the Straits of Mackinac and set out to explore the Mississippi. Their journey demonstrated that the Mississippi ran to the Gulf of Mexico.

  • In 1792, 24 New York brokers met in Wall Street and signed an agreement to fix uniform rates of commission in the sale of stocks and bonds, thus establishing the city's first stock exchange.

  • In 1814, Norway declared its independence from Sweden with the adoption of a new constitution.

  • In 1861, the first package holiday for a popular market was arranged by Thomas Cook. The "Whitsuntide Working Men's Excursion" set out on this day from London to Paris on a six-day trip.

  • In 1866, Erik Satie, French composer and pianist, born. Best known for his "Gymnopedies" for piano.

  • In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, won by Aristides.

  • In 1890, Pietro Mascagni's famous opera "Cavalleria Rusticana," set in Sicily, was first performed in Rome.

  • In 1900, Ayatollah Khomeini, Iranian religious leader, born. He returned to Iran from exile when the Shah was overthrown in 1979 and ruled the country until his death in 1989.

  • In 1911, Maureen O'Sullivan, U.S. film actress, born in Ireland. Best known as "Jane" in "Tarzan" films with Johnny Weissmuller, she also starred in "David Copperfield" and "Pride and Prejudice."

  • In 1935, French composer Paul Dukas, whose composition "Sorcerer's Apprentice" featured in the Disney film "Fantasia," died.

  • In 1940, in World War II, the German army entered Brussels.

  • In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an 1896 ruling that education should be "separate but equal," thus outlawing racial segregation in the state school system.

  • In 1956, Sugar Ray Leonard, U.S. boxer and the first man to win a world title in five divisions, born.

  • In 1968, in France, after many days of rioting, students and workers on strike marched in protest over conditions in schools and universities in Paris and many other cities.

  • In 1973, in the United States, the Senate Committee under Senator Sam Ervin investigating Watergate began its proceedings.

  • In 1987, an Iraqi F-I Mirage fighter fired two Exocet missiles at the USS Stark while it was on patrol in the Gulf, killing 37 sailors and wounding 62 others.

  • In 1988, Algeria and Morocco decided to restore diplomatic relations after 12 years of bitter political disputes.

  • In 1994, Kamuzu Banda, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders who ruled Malawi with an iron fist for 30 years, was toppled from power in the country's first multi-party elections.

  • In 1997, Laurent Kabila said he had taken power as head of state in Zaire. His forces took control of the capital Kinshasa. Kabila also renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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    From coast-to-coast, friends, fans and colleagues are mourning the loss of Ol' Blue Eyes. Remember the singer, actor, legend by clicking Frank Sinatra.



  • Norway observes Constitution Day.

  • Cuba marks Agrarian Reform Day.

  • It's Constitution Day in Nauru.

  • US soccer star Mia Hamm is 26.

  • Actor Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) is 62.

  • Sugar Ray Leonard is 42.

  • Actor Bill Paxton (Aliens) is 43.

  • TV host Bob Saget ("America's Funniest Home Videos") is 42.

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

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