On This Day

1997 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 362

  • Jan 1 The Republic of Zaïre officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Zaïre.
  • Jan 2 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Columbus OH on WBZX 99.7 FM
  • 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

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

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

US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
US Speaker of the House
Newt Gingrich
  • Jan 9 After 5 days missing, Tony Bullimore rescued alive after his boat capsized in Southern Ocean
  • Jan 10 1st Comet of 1997 Discovered: Comet 1997 A1
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 10 Arnoldo Aleman sworn in as president of Nicaragua

President of Nicaragua Arnoldo Aleman
President of Nicaragua
Arnoldo Aleman
  • Jan 11 Telstar 401 Satellite Fails
  • Jan 12 Space Shuttle STS 81 (Atlantis 18), launches into space
  • Jan 13 Radical guerrillas hold 72 hostages and shoot at police outside the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru
  • Jan 15 Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir Space Station

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Princess of Wales Diana Spencer
Princess of Wales
Diana Spencer
  • Jan 16 Anthony Stuart takes ODI hat-trick, Aus v Pakistan, MCG
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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.

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
  • 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 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 26 Brunswick World Bowling Tournament of Champions won by John Gant
  • Jan 30 Minuteman III launches
  • Jan 31 "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation
  • 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 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.

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

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

President of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević
President of Serbia and Yugoslavia
Slobodan Milošević
  • 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 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 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
  • Feb 11 STS 82 (Discovery 22) launches
  • Feb 13 Discovery captures Hubble Space Telescope

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 13 Joseph Stiglitz becomes Chief Economist of the World Bank

Economist Joseph Stiglitz
Joseph Stiglitz
  • Feb 15 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tara Lipinski
  • Feb 15 US male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldridge
  • 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 21 "Empire Strikes Back, special edition" premieres
  • Feb 21 STS 82 (Discovery 22) lands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Paramount Leader of China Deng Xiaoping
Paramount Leader of China
Deng Xiaoping
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Mar 1 5th annual ESPY Awards shown on TV
  • Mar 2 Saudi Arab billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal acquires 5% of Apple
  • Mar 2 Soyuz TM-24 returns to Earth (Russia)
  • 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)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 4 US President Clinton bans federally funded human cloning research

42nd US President Bill Clinton
42nd US President
Bill Clinton
  • Mar 4 Zeya Start-1 launched (Russia)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Painter Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
  • Mar 7 5 sue Japanese PM Ryutaro Hashimoto, because his smoking has violated the country's constitution guaranteeing a wholesome life

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Inventor Jeffrey Hawkins
Jeffrey Hawkins
  • Mar 13 India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader
  • Mar 14 68 year old Gordie Howe signs AHL contract with Syracuse Crunch
  • Mar 14 Iranian military plane crashes, killing 80
  • 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 16 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrest Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.
  • Mar 18 Russian AN-24 plane crashes in Turkey, 50 die
  • Mar 19 Ice Pairs won by Mandy Woetzel & Ingo Steuer (GER)
  • Mar 19 US Supreme Court hears Internet indecency arguments
  • Mar 20 Liggett admits cigarettes are addictive
  • Mar 20 World Mens Figure Skating Championship in Lausanne won by Elvis Stojko of Canada
  • Mar 22 Comet Hale-Bopp Closest Approach to Earth (1.315 AU)
  • Mar 24 Australian parliament overturns world's 1st & only euthanasia law
  • Mar 26 Thirty-nine bodies found in the Heaven's Gate cult suicides

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

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

Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. James Earl Ray
Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.
James Earl Ray
  • Mar 29 PBA National Championship Won by Rick Steelsmith
  • Mar 30 Five (channel) Begins broadcasting in the UK
  • Mar 31 NASA's Pioneer 10 ends its mission
  • 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 3 Thalit massacre begins in Algeria; all but 1 of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas
  • Apr 4 DMSP Titan 2 launched
  • Apr 4 STS 83 (Columbia 22), launches
  • Apr 5 Galileo, 3rd Ganymede Flyby (Orbit 7)
  • Apr 6 Progress M-34 Launch (Russia)
  • Apr 7 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Ft Myers FL on WRXK 96.1 FM
  • Apr 8 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4 Beta
  • Apr 8 STS 83 (Columbia 22) lands
  • Apr 15 America On Line begins service in Japan
  • Apr 15 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Charlotte NC on WXRC 95.7 FM

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 26 Pasaye, twin born 92 days after his brother (Oct 26), born in Palatine, Illinois
  • Feb 13 Michael Jackson Jr., son of Michael Jackson, born in Beverly Hills, California
  • Apr 16 Tayla Harris, Australian rules footballer, born in Australia
  • Apr 30 Ayaan Chawla, Indian entrepreneur

Person of interestMalala Yousafzai

Jul 12 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient, born in Mingora, North-West Frontier Province

Human Rights Activist Malala Yousafzai
Human Rights Activist
Malala Yousafzai
  • Oct 12 Boris, Prince of Bulgaria, born in Madrid, Spain
  • Nov 19 Alexis May McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (2)
  • Nov 19 Brandon James McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (5)
  • Nov 19 Joel Steven McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (7)
  • Nov 19 Kelsey Ann McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (4)
  • Nov 19 Kenneth Robert McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (1)
  • Nov 19 Natalie Sue McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (3)
  • Nov 19 Nathaniel Roy McCaughey, Iowa, septuplets (6)

Weddings in History

  • Jun 21 Princess Zahra Aga Khan (26) weds businessman Mark Boyden at the Chateau de Chantilly in Paris
  • Jul 28 Two-time Grammy Award winner Sheena Easton (38) weds documentary director Timothy Delarm (35) in Las Vegas

LovePerson of Interest

Aug 28 British-Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie (50) weds Elizabeth West

Novelist Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 10 Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel (59) divorces Linda Joan Bork after 38 years of marriage

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Evel Knievel

Deaths in History

Deaths 1 - 100 of 329

  • Jan 1 James B. Pritchard, American theologist & archaeologist, dies at 87
  • Jan 4 Harry B Helmsley, owner (Empire State Building), 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 7 Desmond Flower, English publisher, dies at 89
  • Jan 8 Melvin Calvin, scientist, dies at 85
  • Jan 8 Phyllis Hartnoll, writer/editor, dies at 90
  • Jan 9 Edward Osobka-Morawski, prime minister of Poland (1945-47), dies
  • Jan 9 Junaidu ibn Buhari, scholar, dies at 90
  • Jan 10 Elspeth Huxley, English author (The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard), dies at 89
  • 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 Helen Foster Snow, American journalist (reported from China in the 1930s), 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 13 William Mills, painter, dies at 74
  • 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 Ennis Cosby, son of Bill Cosby, murdered on LA highway at 29
  • 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 Paul Tsongas, American politician (Sen-D-Mass), dies of complications from pneumonia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma at 55
  • 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 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 Mollie Panter-Downes, British writer and columnist (The Shoreless Sea), dies at 90
  • Jan 22 Pilar Barbosa, Puerto Rican historian and political activist, dies at 98
  • Jan 23 Jeremy Stephen Maas, writer/art dealer, dies at 68
  • Jan 23 Laura "Dinky" Patterson, dies bungee jumping at Super Bowl rehearsal at 43
  • Jan 23 Randy Greenawalt, convicted killer, executed by injection at 47
  • Jan 23 Roger John Tayler, British astrophysicist (author of The Origin of the Chemical Elements), dies at 67
  • 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 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 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 31 John Joseph Scanlan, Irish Catholic prelate (b. 1930)
  • Feb 1 Herb Caen, American columnist (SF Chronicle), dies of lung cancer, at 80
  • Feb 1 Mitchell Goodman, American writer, dies at 71
  • Feb 1 Peter Morris, British historian of France, dies at 50
  • Feb 2 Godfrey Baseley, British radio executive, dies at 92
  • Feb 2 Infanta Luisa Fernanda, Duchess of Montpensier, dies at 65
  • Feb 3 Bohumil Hrabal, Czech writer (Closely Observed Trains), dies at 82
  • Feb 3 William Geoffrey Biddle, English bomb disposal expert, dies at 79
  • Feb 4 James Friell, Scottish political cartoonist (Daily Worker), dies at 84
  • Feb 5 John Richard Patterson, businessman, dies at 51
  • Feb 5 Pamela Harriman, US Ambassador (to France), dies of stroke at 76
  • Feb 10 Milton Cato, 1st Prime Minister of San Vincent and the Grenadines (1979-84), dies at 82
  • Feb 10 Matthew Eappen of Newton Massachusetts (b. 1996)
  • Feb 12 Nora Beloff, journalist, dies at 78
  • Feb 12 Walter Ritchie, British sculptor (Man's Struggle), dies at 77
  • Feb 13 Mark Krasnosel'skii, Russian-Ukrainian mathematician (nonlinear functional analysis), dies at 76
  • Feb 16 Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-American experimental physicist (conduced the Wu experiment) dies at 84
  • Feb 17 Zein Isa, Palestinian militant imprisoned in the United States for the honor killing of his daughter
  • Feb 18 Emily Hahn, American writer, dies at 92
  • Feb 18 Enrique Peralta Azurdia, Colonel and military President of Guatemala (1963-66), dies at 88

Person of interestDeng Xiaoping

Feb 19 Deng Xiaoping, Chinese revolutionary and paramount leader of China (1978-92), dies of a lung infection and Parkinson's disease at 92

Paramount Leader of China Deng Xiaoping
Paramount Leader of China
Deng Xiaoping
  • Feb 21 Kenneth Rowntree, painter, dies at 81
  • Feb 21 Michael Hollings, British Catholic priest/crusader, dies at 75
  • Feb 22 Austin Andrew Wright, British sculptor, dies at 85
  • Feb 22 Joseph Aiuppa, American gangster (b. 1907)
  • Feb 22 Albert Shanker, American labor leader (Amer Fed of Teachers), dies at 68
  • Feb 23 Oscar Lewenstein, British impresario, dies at 80
  • Feb 25 Andrei Donatovich Sinyavsky, Russian writer and critic, dies at 71
  • Feb 26 Nuccio Bertone, Italian automobile designer, dies at 82
  • Feb 27 Kingsley Davis, American sociologist and demographer (coined the term "population explosion"), dies at 88
  • Mar 3 Stanislav Shatalin, Russian economist (500 Days), dies
  • Mar 4 Robert H. Dicke, American physicist (b. 1916)
  • Mar 5 Samm Sinclair Baker, American diet author (b. 1909)
  • Mar 6 Anthony Hopkins, English clinical neurologist and Director of the Research Unit at the Royal College of Physicians, dies at 59
  • Mar 6 Cheddi B Jagan, dentist/founder PPP/Guyanese Premier (1953, 1957-64) dies
  • Mar 6 Michael Manley, Jamaican PM (PNP, 1972-80, 89-92), dies
  • Mar 7 Edward Mills Purcell, American physicist (Nobel 1952), dies at 84
  • Mar 7 E. H. Bronner, German-American soap magnate (b. 1908)
  • Mar 7 Geraldine Clinton Little, Irish poet (A Little Bouquet), dies at 73
  • Mar 8 Alexander Salkind, producer (Superman), dies at 75
  • Mar 9 Terry Nation, writer (Dr Who, Blake 7) at 66
  • Mar 11 Lars Ahlin, Swedish writer (My Death is My Own), dies at 81
  • Mar 14 Fred Zinnemann Austrian-American director (From Here to Eternity, Julia), dies of heart attack at 89
  • Mar 14 John Curtis Jr, pres/CEO (Luby's Cafe), commits suicide at 58