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Tuesday, May 19, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Notable
  • Almanac archive
  • "We want this country to come together, not come apart."

    -- U.S. President Bill Clinton on Indonesia

    Today's events

  • The National Geography Bee finals will be held in Washington.

  • The Library of Congress holds a private dinner to celebrate Bob Hope's 95th birthday.

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    On the horizon

  • 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.

  • On Saturday, May 23, Pope John Paul II visits Turin.

  • On Sunday, May 24, the Indianapolis 500 will be held.

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    On this day

  • In 1536, Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for adultery.

  • In 1588, King Philip II's Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon on its ill-fated attempt to conquer England.

  • In 1611, Pope Innocent XI was born in Italy as Benedetto Odescalchi. His 1676-89 pontificate was marked by continuing quarrels with Louis XIV of France.

  • In 1635, in the Thirty Years War, France declared war on Spain.

  • In 1643, the French under the Duke of Enghien heavily defeated the Spanish at the battle of Rocroi, destroying the Spanish infantry.

  • In 1643, the towns of Connecticut, Plymouth and New Haven formed a Confederation of the United Colonies of New England as protection in the wars with American Indians.

  • In 1795, James Boswell, Scottish diarist, biographer and companion to Dr. Samuel Johnson, died. His "Life of Johnson" was published in 1791.

  • In 1802, in France, Napoleon created the Legion d'Honneur, an order of distinction for civil or military service.

  • In 1849, Irishman William Hamilton was arrested after firing blank shots at Queen Victoria in London.

  • In 1890, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnames communist leader, was born as Nguyen That Thanh. He led the struggle that ended with the French defeat in 1954. He was president of North Vietnam from 1954 until his death in 1969.

  • In 1898, William Ewart Gladstone, British statesman and four-time prime minister, died. An advocate of social and political reform, he tried without success to bring home rule to Ireland.

  • In 1900, Britain officially annexed the Tonga (Friendly) islands in the southwest Pacific.

  • In 1906, the Simplon Tunnel through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland was officially opened by the King of Italy and the president of the Swiss Republic.

  • In 1925, Malcolm X, militant U.S. civil rights leader who advocated race pride and black nationalism, was born as Malcolm Little.

  • In 1934, Bulgaria came under authoritarian rule after General Kimon Gheorgiev and the nationalist organization Zveno seized power in a coup.

  • In 1935, T.E. (Thomas Edward) Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia, died after a motorcycle accident. He described his military exploits during World War I in "Seven Pillars of Wisdom."

  • In 1958, Ronald Colman, English actor of stage and screen, died. He was best known for his roles in "Random Harvest," "The Lost Horizon" and "A Double Life" for which he won an Oscar.

  • In 1974, in France, Valery Giscard d'Estaing defeated Francois Mitterrand for the presidency in a runoff vote.

  • In 1986, South African forces raided what they claimed were ANC bases in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • In 1992, two doctors who performed an autopsy on John F. Kennedy confirmed the U.S. president died from two bullets fired from above and behind.

  • In 1993, the U.S. government recognized the Angolan government after it made democratic reforms and urged UNITA to negotiate peace.

  • In 1994, Malawi's aged, autocratic President Kamuzu Banda conceded victory to opposition leader Bakili Muluzi after more than 30 years of iron-fisted rule.

  • In 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, queen of a long-lost American "Camelot" and a world-wide symbol of jet-set glamour, died. In 1953, she married the future President John F. Kennedy and in 1968, five years after his assassination, wed shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

  • In 1997, a huge cyclone struck Bangladesh, killing 105, damaging 400,000 houses and making more than a million homeless.

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    Curious to know what your phone number spells? Wonder no longer.



  • It is Municipal Day in the Cape Verde Islands.

  • It is Whit Monday in Tahiti.

  • Turkey holds Youth and Sports Day.

  • Writer Nora Ephron ("Heartburn") is 57.

  • Actor James Fox ("The Russia House") is 59.

  • Actor David Hartman ("Hello Dolly") is 61.

  • Singer Grace Jones ("I Need a Man") is 46.

  • Journalist James Lehrer is 64.

  • Musician Pete Townshend is 53.

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

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