On This Day

Historical Events in 1997

Events 1 - 200 of 812

  • 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

Sports History

Jan 12 Tiger Woods wins Mercedes Championships

  • 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

Sports History

Feb 1 Future Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque scores a goal and an assist to become the Boston Bruins' all-time scoring leader, with 1,341 points in an 18-year NHL career

  • Feb 2 "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" closes at Gershwin NYC
  • Feb 2 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 26-23 (OT); MVP: Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars, QB

Sports History

Feb 2 Scotty Bowman becomes first coach in NHL history to win 1,000 games

  • Feb 3 Carl Sagan Public Memorial at Ithaca NY
  • Feb 3 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Detroit MI on WKRK 97.1 FM
  • Feb 4 Mario Lemieux is 7th NHL player to score 600 goals

Sports History

Feb 4 O.J. Simpson found liable in the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in a civil court action

  • Feb 4 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announces she just discovered that her grandparents were Jewish
  • Feb 4 En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

Election of Interest

Feb 4 After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

  • Feb 5 Brook Lee from Hawaii, crowned 46th Miss USA (en route to Miss Universe)
  • Feb 5 Japan's Ministry of Finance announces plans to cut import tariffs on crude oil and most petroleum products
  • Feb 6 Diane Blood, 32, in England, won right to use her dead husband's sperm
  • Feb 7 US & Russia announce summit set for Helsinki, March 20-21
  • Feb 8 28th NAACP Image Awards: "A Time to Kill" wins Outstanding Motion Picture
  • Feb 9 11th American Comedy Award: Debbie Reynolds wins
  • Feb 9 47th NBA All-Star Game, Gund Arena, Cleveland, OH: East beats West, 132-120; MVP: Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets, F

Film & TV History

Feb 9 Fox cartoon series "The Simpsons" airs 167th episode; longest-running animated series in cartoon history

  • Feb 10 13th Soap Opera Digest Awards - General Hospital wins
  • Feb 10 5th ESPY Awards: Michael Johnson, Amy Van Dyken Lobo win
  • Feb 10 Comet Shoemaker-Holt 2 Closest Approach to Earth (1.9245 AU)
  • Feb 10 O.J. Simpson jury reaches decision on $25M in punitive damages
  • Feb 10 Soyuz TM-25 launches to the MIR
  • Feb 10 Lemrick Nelson found guilty in the fatal stabbing on Hasidic Jew Yankel Rosenbaum in Crown Heights Brooklyn in 1991

Sports History

Feb 11 Bill Parcells becomes head coach of NY Jets

  • Feb 11 STS 82 (Discovery 22) launches
  • Feb 12 Fred Goldman says he will settle for a signed murder confession from O.J. Simpson in lieu of his $20.5 million judgement
  • Feb 13 "Three Sisters" opens at Criterion Theater NYC
  • Feb 13 Discovery captures Hubble Space Telescope

Berlin Film Festival

Feb 13 47th Berlin International Film Festival: "The People vs. Larry Flynt" wins the Golden Bear

Historic Event

Feb 13 Joseph Stiglitz becomes Chief Economist of the World Bank

  • Feb 15 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tara Lipinski
  • Feb 15 US male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldridge
  • Feb 16 39th Daytona 500: Hendrick Motorsports posts a 1-2-3 finish with Jeff Gordon winning the race, ahead of Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven
  • Feb 17 Weekly Standard shows evidence Larry Flint sexually abused his daughter
  • Feb 19 FCC makes available 311 for non-emergency calls & 711 for hearing or speech-impaired emergency calls
  • Feb 20 "Stanley" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC

Baseball Record

Feb 20 San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds signs record $22.9M 2 year contract

  • Feb 21 "Empire Strikes Back, special edition" premieres
  • Feb 21 STS 82 (Discovery 22) lands

Historic Event

Feb 22 Dolly the Sheep, world's first cloned mammal (from an adult cell) is announced by the Roslin Institute in Scotland

  • Feb 23 Ali Abu Kamal opens fire in Empire State Building & kills 1

Film & TV History

Feb 23 NBC TV shows "Schindler's List" completely uncensored, 65M watch

  • Feb 23 Scientists in Scotland announce they have cloned an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly"

Historic Event

Feb 24 Deng Xiaoping the former paramount leader of China is cremated five days after he passed away

  • Feb 24 South Africa announces it is constructing largest modern day blimp
  • Feb 24 Qatar inaugurates the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting facility and formally launches Qatar Liquefied Gas Co.

Grammy Awards

Feb 26 39th Grammy Awards: Change the World Babyface, Beck & LeAnn Rimes wins

  • Feb 27 "Last Night of Ballyhoo" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC
  • Feb 27 Singer Sade (Helen Folasade) arrested in Jamaica for disobeying a police officer
  • Feb 28 Earthquake in Pakistan kills 45
  • Feb 28 FBI agent Earl Pitts pleads guilty to selling secrets to Russia
  • Feb 28 Purchasers of cigarettes in US must prove they are over 18
  • Feb 28 The North Hollywood shootout takes place.
  • Mar 1 "Mandy Patinkin in Concert" opens at Lyceum Theater NYC
  • Mar 1 5th annual ESPY Awards shown on TV
  • Mar 1 Canadian Elvis Stojko hits the first quad-triple combination jump in the history of figure-skating competition to win the Championship Series final in Hamilton, Ontario

Sports History

Mar 1 Puerto Rican boxer Héctor Camacho stops Sugar Ray Leonard in 5th round in Atlantic City, NJ to retain IBC middleweight title; only time Leonard's is KO'ed and sends him into permanent retirement

  • Mar 2 Saudi Arab billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal acquires 5% of Apple
  • Mar 2 Soyuz TM-24 returns to Earth (Russia)
  • Mar 2 Australians Greg Blewett (214) and Steve Waugh (160) bat for the entire 3rd day of the 1st cricket Test against South Africa in Johannesburg; set up Australian innings and 196 run victory
  • Mar 2 Michael Andretti wins at Homestead in a Swift chassis, marking the first Champ Car victory in an American-built chassis since 1983; first-ever Champ Car start for the Swift
  • Mar 3 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Fayetteville NC on WRCQ 103.5 FM
  • Mar 3 The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, opens after two-and-a-half years of construction.
  • Mar 4 Brazil Senate allows women to wear slacks
  • Mar 4 Comet Hale-Bopp directly above the Sun (1.04 AU)

Historic Event

Mar 4 US President Clinton bans federally funded human cloning research

  • Mar 4 Zeya Start-1 launched (Russia)

Hall of Fame

Mar 5 Tommy Lasorda, Nellie Fox and Willie Wells inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Historic Event

Mar 6 Picasso's painting Tête de Femme is stolen from a London gallery, and is recovered a week later.

  • Mar 7 Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Rome & Stockholm are finalists for 2004 Olympics site
  • Mar 7 5 sue Japanese PM Ryutaro Hashimoto, because his smoking has violated the country's constitution guaranteeing a wholesome life
  • Mar 8 11th Soul Train Music Awards: Curtis Mayfield, and Babyface win
  • Mar 9 44th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: #5 North Carolina beats NC State, 64-54
  • Mar 9 38th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Kentucky beats Georgia, 95-68

Television Premiere

Mar 10 "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Geller premieres on WB Television Network

Historic Event

Mar 10 The PalmPilot, as developed by Jeffrey Hawkins, is released

  • Mar 11 San Francisco Giant J T Snow suffers a fractured eye socket when hit by a pitch
  • Mar 13 India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader
  • Mar 13 Phoenix lights seen at night over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television. Now a hotly debated controversy.
  • Mar 14 68 year old Gordie Howe signs AHL contract with Syracuse Crunch
  • Mar 14 Iranian military plane crashes, killing 80
  • Mar 14 Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson wins 67th James E Sullivan Award
  • Mar 14 President Clinton trips & injures his knee requiring surgery
  • Mar 14 The Chinese city of Chongqing (formerly Chunking) is upgraded to a centrally administered municipality.
  • Mar 15 Pitts Penguins' Joe Mullen, is 1st American to score 500 NHL goals
  • Mar 15 France beats Scotland, 47-20 at Parc des Princes, Paris to claim an 11th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship and 5th Triple Crown; fly-half Christophe Lamaison lands 6 penalties and 3 conversions
  • Mar 16 NJ Devils' Dave Andreychuk is 26th NHL to score 500 goals
  • Mar 16 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrest Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.
  • Mar 17 CNN begin Spanish broadcasts
  • Mar 18 Russian AN-24 plane crashes in Turkey, 50 die
  • Mar 19 Ice Pairs won by Mandy Woetzel & Ingo Steuer (GER)
  • Mar 19 Major League Baseball announces 5 year/$50M deal with Pepsi
  • Mar 19 US Supreme Court hears Internet indecency arguments
  • Mar 20 "Play On!" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theatre NYC for 61 performances
  • Mar 20 Liggett admits cigarettes are addictive
  • Mar 20 World Mens Figure Skating Championship in Lausanne won by Elvis Stojko of Canada
  • Mar 21 Ice Dance Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland won by Oksana Grishuk & Evgeny Platov (Rus)

Film Release

Mar 21 Film "Selena" is released based on the life of singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, starring Jennifer Lopez in her breakthrough role, directed by Gregory Nava

  • Mar 22 "Sunset Boulevard" closes at Minskoff NYC after 977 performances
  • Mar 22 Comet Hale-Bopp Closest Approach to Earth (1.315 AU)
  • Mar 22 Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Lausanne won by Tara Lipinski (USA)
  • Mar 23 "Mandy Patinkin in Concert" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC
  • Mar 23 17th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Striptease" wins
  • Mar 23 WrestleMania XIII, Rosemont Horizon, IL: Undertaker beats Sycho Sid for WWF Heavyweight title
  • Mar 24 Australian parliament overturns world's 1st & only euthanasia law
  • Mar 25 "Barrymore" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 240 performances
  • Mar 25 Indians trade Lofton & Embree to Braves for Grissom & Justice
  • Mar 25 "Life After Death" second studio album by The Notorious B.I.G. is released (Billboard Song of the Year 1997)
  • Mar 26 "Annie" opens at Martin Beck Theater New York City, and runs for 239 performances.
  • Mar 26 NHL announces Anaheim Mighty Ducks & Vancouver Canucks to open 1998 season in Japan
  • Mar 26 Thirty-nine bodies found in the Heaven's Gate cult suicides
  • Mar 27 "Young Man From Atlanta" opens at Longacre NYC for 85 performances

Meeting of Interest

Mar 27 Martin Luther King's son meets James Earl Ray, his father's killer

  • Mar 28 "City" soap opera's final episode on ABC-TV
  • Mar 29 1st game at Turner Field Atlanta, Braves beats Yanks 2-0 (exhibition)
  • Mar 29 PBA National Championship Won by Rick Steelsmith
  • Mar 30 16th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tennessee beats Old Dominion, 68-59; Volunteers 5th national title
  • Mar 30 TV network Channel 5 begins broadcasting in the UK

PGA Players Championship

Mar 30 PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: Steve Elkington of Australia leads wire-to-wire to win his 2nd PC title, a record 7 strokes ahead of runner-up Scott Hoch.

Golf Major

Mar 30 Nabisco Dinah Shore Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: 41-year old Betsy King wins her 3rd title in this event, 2 strokes ahead of Kris Tschetter and Amy Fruhwirth; last of her 6 major titles

  • Mar 31 "Daytime to Remember" a series showing old soaps premieres on ABC-TV
  • Mar 31 NASA's Pioneer 10 ends its mission
  • Mar 31 59th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Arizona beats Kentucky, 84-79 (OT); Wildcats' first title in first title game

Sports History

Mar 31 West Indies cricketers win 3rd Test at Bridgetown, Barbados by 38 runs after setting India a modest 120 run target; tourists dismissed for 81 in Brian Lara's debut as Windies' captain

  • Apr 1 69 year old Gordie Howe begins playing AHL game with Syracuse Crunch
  • Apr 1 Comet Hale-Bopp Perihelion (0.914 AU)
  • Apr 1 Shell Oil confirms it will declare force majeure at its Nigerian Bonny terminal due to local protests which disrupted 210 million barrels per day of the company's oil production
  • Apr 2 "Doll's House" opens at Belasco Theater NYC
  • Apr 3 "Dream-Johnny Mercer Musical" opens at Royale NYC for 109 performance
  • Apr 3 Thalit massacre begins in Algeria; all but 1 of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas
  • Apr 4 Anaheim Ducks clinch their 1st-ever playoff berth