On This Day

What Happened in January 1997

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 The Republic of Zaïre officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Zaïre.
  • Jan 1 83rd Rose Bowl: #4 Ohio State beats #2 Arizona State, 20-17
  • Jan 1 26th Fiesta Bowl: #7 Penn State beats #20 Texas, 38-15
  • Jan 2 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Columbus OH on WBZX 99.7 FM
  • Jan 2 63rd Sugar Bowl: #3 Florida beats #1 Florida State, 52-20
  • Jan 3 Bryant Gumbel co-hosted his final "Today" show on NBC-TV
  • Jan 3 Zimbabwe cricket fast bowler Eddo Brandes takes ODI hat-trick as home team scores another upset against England, winning by 131 runs and sweeping series, 3-0 in Harare
  • Jan 3 The People's Republic of China announces it will spend $US27.7 billion to fight erosion and pollution in the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys
  • Jan 3 Texas-El Paso head basketball coach Don Haskins becomes 10th coach in NCAA Division I history to record 700 career wins when the Miners edge SMU, 66-64
  • Jan 4 Hopman Cup Tennis, Perth: Justin Gimelstob & Chanda Rubin clinch first title for the US; beat South African pair Wayne Ferreira & Amanda Coetzer 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 for a 2-1 victory
  • Jan 5 "Juan Darien-Carnival Mass" closes at Vivian Beaumont NYC
  • Jan 5 "Love Thy Neighbor" closes at Booth Theater NYC
  • Jan 5 "Show Boat" closes at Gershwin Theater NYC
  • Jan 6 "It's a Slippery Slope" closes at Vivian Beaumont Theater NYC

Election of Interest

Jan 7 Newt Gingrich narrowly re-elected speaker of the US House of Representatives

Music History

Jan 9 Heart attacks sends singer Frank Sinatra back to hospital

  • Jan 9 After 5 days missing, Tony Bullimore rescued alive after his boat capsized in Southern Ocean
  • Jan 9 Krzysztof Penderecki's choral symphony "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" premieres in Jerusalem, Israel
  • Jan 10 "Rehearsal" closes at Criterion Theater NYC
  • Jan 10 1st Comet of 1997 Discovered: Comet 1997 A1
  • Jan 10 4,000th episode of "Entertainment Tonight"
  • Jan 10 Dow Corning provides $295 billion to settle breast implant suits
  • Jan 10 Italy's new 1,000 lire coin shows divided Germany on map

Historic Event

Jan 10 Arnoldo Aleman sworn in as president of Nicaragua

  • Jan 11 Telstar 401 Satellite Fails

Film and TV Awards

Jan 12 23rd People's Choice Awards: Mel Gibson & Sandra Bullock win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Tim Allen & Oprah Winfrey win (TV)

  • Jan 12 Ladies' figure skating star Oksana Baiul injured slightly while driving intoxicated in Bloomfield, Connecticut
  • Jan 12 Space Shuttle STS 81 (Atlantis 18), launches into space
  • Jan 12 AFC Championship, Foxborough Stadium: New England Patriots beat Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-6
  • Jan 12 NFC Championship, Lambeau Field, Green Bay: Green Bay Packers beat Carolina Panthers, 30-13
  • Jan 13 Radical guerrillas hold 72 hostages and shoot at police outside the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru

Sports History

Jan 15 Controversial Chicago Bulls' forward Dennis Rodman kicks cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during a game against Minnesota Timberwolves; ultimately pays Amos $200,000 settlement, and is suspended for 11 games without pay

  • Jan 15 Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir Space Station

Historic Event

Jan 15 Diana, Princess of Wales, calls for an international ban on landmines, angering ministers in the UK

  • Jan 15 Seattle's Sam Perkins ties Jeff Hornacek's NBA single-game record by connecting on 8 straight 3-point field goals during Sonics' 122-78 win over visiting Toronto; Seattle also sets an NBA steals record with 27
  • Jan 15 San Francisco head coach George Seifert announces his resignation after 8 highly-successful NFL seasons with the 49ers: winningest coach in team history at 108-35; 2 Super Bowl titles
  • Jan 16 Anthony Stuart takes ODI hat-trick, Aus v Pakistan, MCG
  • Jan 17 NBA suspends Dennis Rodman indefinitely for kicking cameraman
  • Jan 18 47th NHL All-Star Game, San Jose Arena, San Jose, CA: East beats West, 11-7; Mark Recchi, Montreal, RW
  • Jan 18 In north west Rwanda, Hutu militia members kill 3 Spanish aid workers, 3 soldiers and seriously wound one other.
  • Jan 18 Boerge Ousland of Norway becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided

Golden Globes

Jan 19 54th Golden Globes: The English Patient, Geoffrey Rush, & Brenda Blethyn win

Historic Event

Jan 19 Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.

  • Jan 20 Comet Hale-Bopp crosses Mars' orbit
  • Jan 20 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in New Orleans LA on KKND 106.7 FM
  • Jan 20 Pakistan defeat West Indies 2-0 to win Aust one-day Series
  • Jan 20 2nd Critics' Choice Movie Awards: Fargo wins Best Film
  • Jan 20 French electronic dance duo Daft Punk release their album "Homework"
  • Jan 21 An inquiry in North Wales names more than 80 child abusers
  • Jan 22 Space shuttle Atlantis successfully returns to Earth
  • Jan 24 The Swiss government and several banks and businesses agree to create a memorial fund for victims of the Holocaust
  • Jan 25 In a high profile NHL trade, San Jose obtain future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Ed Belfour from Chicago in exchange for goaltender Chris Terreri, Ulf Dahlen, Michal Sykora and a conditional pick in 1998 Entry Draft
  • Jan 26 "Ideal Husband" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 308 performances
  • Jan 26 Brunswick World Bowling Tournament of Champions won by John Gant
  • Jan 26 Super Bowl XXXI, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Green Bay Packers beat New England Patriots, 35-21; MVP: Desmond Howard, Green Bay KR

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 26 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Pete Sampras wins his 2nd and last Australian title; beats Carlos Moyá of Spain 6-2, 6-3, 6-3

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Jan 26 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Martina Hingis becomes first Swiss player – male or female – to win a Grand Slam singles title; beats Mary Pierce of France 6-2, 6-2

  • Jan 26 13th Sundance Film Festival: "Sunday" wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic

NHL Record

Jan 26 Mario Lemieux ties NHL record with 4 goals in the 3rd period as Pittsburgh wins, 5-2 at Montreal; 39th career hat trick and 13th 4-goal game, tying NHL record shared by Wayne Gretzky & Mike Bossy

  • Jan 27 "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" opens at Gershwin NYC

Music Awards

Jan 27 24th American Music Awards: Toni Braxton & Alanis Morissette win

  • Jan 30 Minuteman III launches
  • Jan 31 "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation
  • Jan 31 San Antonio forward Dominique Wilkins scores 27 points in the Spurs' 97-95 loss to Minnesota; gives him 26,009 career points; only the 6th NBA player to reach the 26k milestone

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 7 Lamar Jackson Jr., American NFL quarterback (Heisman Trophy 2016, Louisville; Pro Bowl 2019, Baltimore Ravens), born in Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Jan 7 Ozzie Albies, Curaçaoan MLB player (Atlanta Braves), born in Willemstad, Curaçao
  • Jan 9 Lauryn McClain, American actress and singer, born in Decatur, Georgia
  • Jan 13 Connor McDavid, Canadian ice hockey centre (#1 pick 2015 NHL Draft by Edmonton Oilers), born in Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Jan 13 Egan Bernal, Colombian road cyclist (Tour de France 2019; Giro d'Italia 2021), born in Bogotá, Colombia

Jake Paul

Jan 17 Jake Paul, American YouTube personality, born in Cleveland, Ohio

  • Jan 26 Pasaye, twin born 92 days after his brother (Oct 26), born in Palatine, Illinois

Famous Weddings

Václav Havel

Jan 4 Czech Republic's first president Vaclav Havel (60) weds Czech actress Dagmar Havlova (43) in Prague, Czech Republic

  • Jan 4 "Smothers Brothers" actor-singer Dick Smothers (58) weds Denby Franklin (47) in Las Vegas

Famous Divorces

Charlie Sheen

Jan 27 "Wall Street" actor Charlie Sheen (31) divorces model Donna Peele after nearly 5 months of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Joan Rice, British actress (His Majesty O'Keefe, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men), dies at 66
  • Jan 1 John Burgess, English rugby coach & administrator (England coach 1971-75; RFU President 1987-88), dies at 71
  • Jan 1 Townes Van Zandt, American singer-songwriter ("Pancho and Lefty"), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • Jan 1 Hagood Hardy, American-Canadian jazz and easy listening pianist, vibraphonist and film score composer ("The Homecoming"), dies from lymphoma at 59
  • Jan 1 James B. Pritchard, American theologist & archaeologist, dies at 87
  • Jan 2 Randy California, American rock guitarist, dies at 45
  • Jan 3 Burton Lane, composer, dies at 84
  • Jan 3 Roger Goeb, American composer, dies at 82
  • Jan 3 David Kraehenbuehl, American composer (March of the Trolls), pianist, teacher (Yale), and music theorist (Journal of Music Theory), dies of a heart attack at 73
  • Jan 4 Harry B Helmsley, American billionaire real estate developer (purchased Empire State Building, 1961), dies at 87
  • Jan 5 Andre Franquin, cartoonist, dies at 72
  • Jan 6 Ian Peter Leslie Smith, British journalist, dies at 52
  • Jan 6 Litz Pisk, movement teacher, dies at 87
  • Jan 6 Vince Williams, actor (Hamp-Guiding Light), dies of cancer at 39
  • Jan 6 Catherine Scorsese [Cappa], Italian-American actress (The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 84
  • Jan 7 Desmond Flower, English publisher, dies at 89
  • Jan 7 Sándor Végh, Hungarian-French violinist teacher and conductor, dies at 84
  • Jan 8 Carole Carr [Carless], British singer and actress (Down Among the Z Men), dies of cancer at 68
  • Jan 8 Jesse White, American actor (Bedtime for Bonzo, Maytag repairman, Million Dollar Mermaid), dies at 77
  • Jan 8 Melvin Calvin, scientist, dies at 85
  • Jan 8 Phyllis Hartnoll, writer/editor, dies at 90
  • Jan 8 George Handy [Hendleman], American bebop jazz arranger, pianist and composer Handyland, U.S.A.), dies at 76
  • Jan 9 Edward Osobka-Morawski, prime minister of Poland (1945-47), dies
  • Jan 9 Junaidu ibn Buhari, scholar, dies at 90
  • Jan 10 Alvinio Misciano, Italian tenor, killed in a fall from a window
  • Jan 10 Elspeth Huxley, English author (The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard), dies at 89
  • Jan 10 George Young, Scottish football player, dies at 74
  • Jan 10 Hilary Grover Barratt Brown, conservationist, dies at 71
  • Jan 10 Shiv Verma, Indian revolutionary soldier, dies at 88
  • Jan 10 Alexander R. Todd, British chemist (Nobel Prize 1957), dies at 89
  • Jan 10 Darrell A. Amyx, American classical archaeologist (Greek Ceramics), dies at 85
  • Jan 11 Cavan O'Connor, British singer ("I'm Only a Strolling Vagabond"), dies at 97
  • Jan 11 Duncan Wood, television director and producer, dies at 71
  • Jan 11 Helen Foster Snow, American journalist (reported from China in the 1930s), dies at 89
  • Jan 11 Sheldon Leonard, American actor, producer and director (Danny Thomas Show, Big Eddie), dies at 89
  • Jan 12 Charles Huggins, American-Canadian physician and cancer researcher (1966 Nobel Prize), dies at 95
  • Jan 12 Jean Writer-Edern Hallier, dies at 60
  • Jan 12 Jill Summers, actress (Agatha Coronation Street), dies at 86
  • Jan 13 William Mills, painter, dies at 74
  • Jan 14 King Hu, Chinese film director, (wuxia films) dies at 64
  • Jan 14 Dollard Ménard, French Canadian general (b. 1913)
  • Jan 15 Jose Ignacio Domecq, Spanish wine maker, dies at 82
  • Jan 15 Kenneth Thimann, English American botanist (Balzan Prize), dies at 92
  • Jan 16 Charlie Alfred Galbraith, English jazz trombonist, dies at 76
  • Jan 16 Ennis Cosby, son of Bill Cosby, murdered on LA highway at 29
  • Jan 16 Jim Kensil, NFL president (NY Jets), dies of heart failure at 66
  • Jan 16 Stephen Fitz-Simon, entrepreneur, dies at 59
  • Jan 17 Andrea Fisher, American artist, dies at 41
  • Jan 17 Amha Selassie, Crown prince of Ethiopia and son of emperor Haile Selassi, dies at 82
  • Jan 17 Clyde William Tombaugh, discoverer (Pluto), dies at 90
  • Jan 17 Bert Kelly, Australian politician (b. 1912)
  • Jan 18 Myfanwy Piper, British librettist and art critic, dies at 85
  • Jan 18 Neville Crump, British racehorse trainer, dies at 86 [1]
  • Jan 18 Paul Tsongas, American politician (Sen-D-Mass), dies of complications from pneumonia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma at 55
  • Jan 19 Adriana Caselotti, voice of Snow White in Disney's animated film, dies at 70
  • Jan 19 George Armin Goyder, businessman/social philosopher, dies at 88
  • Jan 19 James Dickey, American poet, novelist and lecturer (Deliverance, Buckdancer's Choice), dies at 73
  • Jan 20 Curt Flood, American baseball player (St Louis Cards), dies of throat cancer at 59
  • Jan 20 Edith Haisman, the oldest survivor of Titanic, dies at 100
  • Jan 20 Vladimir Yamnikov, owner (Kristall vodka), dies of cirrhosis at 56
  • Jan 21 Dennis Main-Wilson, British TV and radio producer (Marty, Till Death Us Do Part), dies of lung cancer at 72
  • Jan 21 Michael Duane, British progressive educationalist and author, dies at 81
  • Jan 21 Colonel Tom Parker [Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk], Dutch-born talent manager (Elvis Presley), dies at 87
  • Jan 22 Ian Munro, British medical journalist, humanitarian and cricketer, dies at 73
  • Jan 22 Irwin Levine, composer (Tie a Yellow Ribbon), dies at 58
  • Jan 22 Mollie Panter-Downes, British writer and columnist (The Shoreless Sea), dies at 90
  • Jan 22 Wally Whyton, musician/broadcaster, dies at 66
  • Jan 22 Ron Holden, American singer (b. 1939)
  • Jan 22 Billy MacKenzie, Scottish rock vocalist (The Associates-Affectionate Punch), committed suicide at 39
  • Jan 22 Pilar Barbosa, Puerto Rican historian and political activist, dies at 98
  • Jan 23 Charles Craig, English opera singer, dies at 77
  • Jan 23 Jeremy Maas, British writer/art dealer, dies at 68
  • Jan 23 Laura "Dinky" Patterson, dies bungee jumping at Super Bowl rehearsal at 43
  • Jan 23 Randy Greenawalt, American convicted killer, executed by injection at 47
  • Jan 23 Richard Berry, African-American singer and musician (Louie Louie), dies at 61
  • Jan 23 Roger John Tayler, British astrophysicist (author of The Origin of the Chemical Elements), dies at 67
  • Jan 23 Audie Pitre, American bass guitarist (Acid Bath), killed by a drunk driver at 26
  • Jan 24 Callum Alexander MacDonald, Scottish historian, dies of cancer at 49
  • Jan 25 Jean Dixon, psychic (Gift of Prophecy), dies of a heart attack at 79
  • Jan 25 Seldon Powell, American jazz tenor saxophonist and flautist, dies at 68
  • Jan 26 Margaret Hesse, princess of Hesse/the Rhine, dies at 83
  • Jan 26 Sarah Lucas, theatre administrator, dies at 53
  • Jan 26 Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (b. 1904)
  • Jan 27 Cecil Arthur Lewis, British fighter pilot and writer, dies at 98
  • Jan 27 Gerald Marks, American songwriter ("All of Me"), dies at 96
  • Jan 27 David Townsend, English cricket batsman (3 Tests, HS 36; Durham CCC), dies at 84
  • Jan 28 Colin Welch, British political journalist and critic of Enid Blyton's Noddy series, dies at 72
  • Jan 28 Pietro Cavallero, bandit, dies at 68
  • Jan 28 Vivien Signy, nurse, dies at 80
  • Jan 29 Eric Schneider, murderer of 2 teachers, executed in MO at 35
  • Jan 29 Louis Pauwels, French writer and editor, dies at 76
  • Jan 29 Osvaldo Soriano, writer, dies at 54
  • Jan 30 Frank Tejeda, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas), dies at 51
  • Jan 30 Héctor Campos Parsi, Puerto Rican classical music composer, dies at 75
  • Jan 31 Eve Lister, British film and television actress (No Limit, Hyde Park), dies at 84
  • Jan 31 John Joseph Scanlan, Irish Catholic prelate (b. 1930)