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Wednesday, May 27, 1998
- Michael Fortier is scheduled to be sentenced for his role in the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing.
- The National Spelling Bee begins in Washington, D.C.
- The Indian parliament session opens in New Delhi.
- On Thursday, May 28, NATO foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg.
- On Friday, May 29, Adam Pletcher Long Grove, Illinois, is expected to be sentenced in an attempt to extort money from Microsoft head Bill Gates.
- On Saturday, May 30, the MTV Movie Awards will be presented in Santa Monica, California.
- On Sunday, May 31, Pope John Paul II visits Poland.
- On Monday, June 1, the hurricane season begins in the Central Pacific.
San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic on this day 61 years ago. More than 200,000 people crossed it on that day alone. Learn all about it here.
- Actor Louis Gossett Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman") is 62.
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 75.
- Actor Christopher Lee ("Dracula") is 76.
- Actress Lee Meriwether ("Batman") is 63.
- Golfer Sam Snead is 86.
- Actor Bruce Weitz ("Hill Street Blues") is 55.
- In 1679, the English parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act, protecting citizens against false arrest and imprisonment. The main principles of the act were later incorporated into the U.S. Constitution.
- In 1703, Czar Peter the Great founded the city of St. Petersburg as Russia's new capital.
- In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi took Palermo in Sicily in his struggle to unite Italy.
- In 1883, Czar Alexander III was crowned in Moscow.
- In 1905, in the Russo-Japanese war, Japan's fleet destroyed the Russians at the battle of Tsushima Strait. Of the Russian fleet's 45 ships, only 12 reached safety.
- In 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened and 200,000 people crossed it on its first day. It took four years, four months and 22 days to erect.
- In 1941, in World War II, the British ships Dorsetshire, King George V and Rodney, and aircraft from the carrier Ark Royal, sank the German battleship Bismarck in the Atlantic.
- In 1941, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt reacted to the German navy's sinking of the merchant vessel Robin Moor by declaring a state of unlimited national emergency.
- In 1942, top German Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich was shot and mortally wounded in Prague. His death June 4 triggered savage reprisals against the populations of Moravia and Bohemia.
- In 1951, the Chinese Communists forced the Dalai Lama, Tibet's god king, to surrender control of his region's foreign affairs and its army to Beijing.
- In 1963, formerly jailed pro-independence leader Jomo Kenyatta was elected first prime minister of self-governing Kenya, becoming state president on independence from Britain the following year.
- In 1964, Jawalharlal Nehru, Indian statesman and first prime minister of independent India, died at 74.
- In 1974, French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing took office, naming Jacques Chirac as prime minister.
- In 1980, Dr. Milton Obote, deposed as Uganda's president by Idi Amin in 1971, returned home from exile. He regained the presidency, only to be overthrown again in 1985.
- In 1993, a suspected Mafia car bomb killed five people and badly damaged an art collection in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
- In 1994, Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia to an emotional welcome after 20 years in exile. The first action of the former dissident writer on reaching Russian soil was to salute the millions who died in Soviet prison camps.
- In 1995, Ukraine and a consortium of Western firms signed a memorandum to plan by 2000 the closing of the Chernobyl nuclear power station, site of the world's worst nuclear accident nine years before.
- In 1996, Russia signed a deal with the leader of the Chechen rebels to end fighting in the breakaway region from June 1.
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