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  Daily Almanac
Today's Events | On Horizon | On This Day | Newslink | Notable | Almanac archive

Wednesday, December 16, 1998


We've got to cut down the errors. We've got to cut down the anonymous quotes, which invariably have an ax to grind. We've got to rein in the pundits.

-- Edward Seaton, president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, commenting on results of newspaper credibility study.


today's events

  • The formal sentencing of teen-ager Michael Carneal, who pleaded guilty in the December 1997 shootings at Heath High School, takes place in Paducah, Kentucky. He is expected to be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

  • House Speaker Newt Gingrich has notified lawmakers to return to the Capitol in Washington today, in advance of Thursday's impeachment debate. Republican and Democratic leaders are expected to hold party caucuses today. The House Judiciary Committee report will be released for review by today.

  • NASA is scheduled to hold a news conference in Washington about an upcoming effort to land a robot spacecraft on asteroid 433 Eros. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft's rendezvous with Eros is set for January 10, 1999.

  • A meeting led by U.N. aid chief Sergio Veiera de Mello is scheduled to take place in Geneva with major donors to discuss and coordinate 1999 appeals for relief programs.

  • Ohio's Celebration Homecoming is scheduled in Columbus. A parade and ceremony will be held in honor of Sen. John Glenn for his recent space milestone and lifetime of public service. He'll also address a joint session of the state legislature, visit a science museum and present space artifacts to Ohio State University.

on the horizon

  • On Thursday, December 17, the House of Representatives in Washington is scheduled to begin a debate on four articles of impeachment against President Clinton. They will consider two counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice and one of abuse of power.

  • On Friday, December 18, a hearing for Brandon Wilson, 20, charged with the November 14 murder of a 9-year-old boy in a public restroom, is to be held in Vista, California. The child was in the park attending a family reunion.

  • On Saturday, December 19, the opening of World Jewish Expo '98 is scheduled in New York.

  • On Sunday, December 20, Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer, begins.

  • On Monday, December 21, New York-bound Pan Am 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, ten years ago today, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.


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  • Biochemist Bruce Ames is 70.
  • TV writer Steven Bocho is 55.
  • Author Arthur Clarke is 81.
  • Actress Alison La Placa is 39.
  • Baskeball player Clifford Robinson is 32.
  • Journalist Lesley Stahl is 57.
  • Actress Liv Ullman is 59.

on this day

  • In 1485, Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII of England, was born. Henry divorced her without papal approval, starting the English Reformation.

  • In 1653, Oliver Cromwell, leader of the Parliamentary side in the English civil war, was declared lord protector of England. He went on to establish religious tolerance and allied England with France against Spain.

  • In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place off Griffin's Wharf, a protest against colonists' taxation in Massachusetts.

  • In 1920, one of the worst earthquakes of all time occurred in Kansu province, China, killing 180,000 people.

  • In 1921, French composer Camille Saint-Saens died. Among his best known works were "Carnaval des Animaux" and "Samson et Dalila."

  • In 1944, U.S. bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared in a light plane over the English Channel.

  • In 1944, in World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began when the German forces broke through the allied lines in the rugged Ardennes region, taking U.S. troops by surprise.

  • In 1945, Prince Fumimaro Konoe, twice Japanese prime minister, committed suicide rather than face war crimes charges. In the 1920s, he worked to curb army powers and prevent an expansion of the war with China. He helped engineer the fall of the Tojo government in 1944 but was suspected of war atrocities.

  • In 1949, Indonesian nationalist Sukarno was elected his country's first President after the Netherlands gave up sovereignty.

  • In 1969, the British House of Commons voted by 343-185 to approve the permanent abolition of the death penalty.

  • In 1971, Bangladesh, formerly East Bengal and the Sylhet province of Assam in British India, came into existence after seceding from Pakistan.

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