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

Wednesday, December 30, 1998


A greater number of law enforcement officers doing a better job than ever before is the major reason for the drop in our nation's crime rate.

-- Craig W. Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial


today's events

  • This is the last trading day of the year at Japan's eight stock exchanges, including Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange.

  • President and Mrs. Clinton are scheduled to leave for Hilton Head, South Carolina to participate in the annual Renaissance Weekend.

  • Dallas school children will read their resolutions for the millennium. The 23,000 resolutions will be unveiled and strung end to end for inclusion in the city's year-end exposition.

on the horizon

  • On Thursday, December 31, the ceremonial ball will drop at midnight in Times Square in New York. Sang Lan, the 17-year-old Chinese gymnast paralyzed at last summer's Goodwill Games, will help Mayor Rudolph Giuliani do the honors.

  • On Friday, January 1, the euro, a single European currency, is scheduled to be launched.

  • On Saturday, January 2, the NFL Wild Card playoffs begin.

  • On Sunday, January 3, Prince Charles and other members of British royal family are scheduled to arrive in Switzerland for a week-long ski holiday.

  • On Monday, January 4, the civil trial for former au pair Louise Woodward is scheduled to begin to determine the amount of damages she must pay for the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.


If you want to learn more about Kwanzaa, click here.

  • Actor and writer Joseph Bologna is 60.
  • Singer and songwriter Bo Diddley is 70.
  • Track athlete Ben Johnson is 37.
  • Actor and singer Davy Jones is 52.
  • Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax is 63.
  • News anchor Matt Lauer is 41.
  • Singer Michael Nesmith is 56.
  • Actor Russ Tamblyn is 63.
  • Actress Tracey Ullman is 39.

on this day

  • In 1803, the United States took formal possession of the territory of Louisiana, an area of 828,000 square miles, nearly doubling the size of the country.

  • In 1873, the American Metrological Society, the first organization to improve the system of weights and measures, was formed.

  • In 1880, the Transvaal, under Paul Kruger, declared itself a republic.

  • In 1903, a fire in the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago killed 588 people; public outrage led to new theater safety codes across America.

  • In 1915, in World War I, a German submarine torpedoed the British P & O liner Persia off Crete. At least 330 people were killed out of the 501 passengers and crew aboard.

  • In 1916, Grigory Rasputin, Siberian peasant, mystic, and favorite of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra was shot, was poisoned and eventually drowned at the house of Prince Feliks Yusupov.

  • In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established through the confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation.

  • In 1933, Romanian Premier Ion Duca was assassinated by a member of the Iron Guard.

  • In 1947, King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate when the Romanian People's Republic was proclaimed.

  • In 1968, Trygve Lie, Norwegian statesman and first secretary-general of the United Nations (1946-52), died.

  • In 1979, U.S. composer Richard Rodgers died; he collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II in the hit musicals "Oklahoma!," "South Pacific," "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music."

  • In 1985, President Zia ul Haq of Pakistan ended martial law, in operation since he came to power in 1977.

  • In 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and President-elect George Bush were subpoenaed to testify at the trial of former White House aide Oliver North on criminal charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair.

  • In 1988, Yury Churbanov, son-in-law of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, was jailed for 12 years for bribery.

  • In 1992, Interim Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was elected head of state for two years in a ballot in which he was the sole candidate.

  • In 1993, Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement on mutual recognition, seeking to put behind them 2,000 years of often bitter Jewish-Christian relations.

  • In 1993, Sudan, angered by the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to the rebel-held south, ordered the British ambassador to leave the country.

  • In 1995, tens of thousands of cheering Palestinians greeted PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in the West Bank after Israeli troops withdrew from the city.

  • In 1995, hundreds of people, many weeping with joy, lined the streets of Gorazde in eastern Bosnia to welcome the first passenger bus into the Muslim enclave for over three years.

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