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|1997 by topic|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1997th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 997th year of the 2nd millennium, the 97th year of the 20th century, and the 8th year of the 1990s decade.
- January 1 – Emergency Alert System introduced in the United States.
- January 11 – Turkey threatens Cyprus on account of a deal to buy Russian S-300 missiles, prompting the Cypriot Missile Crisis.
- January 17 – A Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload explodes, shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
- January 18 – In northwest Rwanda, Hutu militia members kill 6 Spanish aid workers and three soldiers, and seriously wound another.
- January 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.
- January 20 – Bill Clinton is sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.
- January 23 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State of the United States, after confirmation by the United States Senate.
- February 4
- On their way to Lebanon, two Israeli troop-transport helicopters collide, killing all 73 on board.
- After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
- A magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes North Khorasan province, Iran, killing 88 people and injuring 1,948.
- February 10 – Sandline affair: Australian newspapers publish stories that the government of Papua New Guinea has brought mercenaries onto Bougainville Island.
- February 13 – STS-82: Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
- February 28 – North Hollywood shootout: Two robbers, wearing kevlar body armor, and armed with illegally modified Type 56 S rifles with high-capacity magazines and other weapons, injure 20 police officers and civilians in a gun battle. The incident sparks debate on the appropriate firepower for United States patrol officers to have available in similar situations in the future.[relevant?]
- March 4 – U.S. President Bill Clinton bans federal funding for any research on human cloning.
- March 7 – In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers overrun a military base and kill over 100 Sri Lankan troops.
- March 13
- March 14 – A study of gender reassignment of a boy who lost his penis to a botched circumcision is refuted by a follow-up study. The supposedly successful outcome had been widely cited as proof that gender was determined by nurture, yet the patient, David Reimer, was deeply unhappy and had returned to his original gender by the age of 15, thus indicating the opposite thesis.
- March 16 – Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrest Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.
- March 18 – The tail of a Russian An-24 charter plane breaks off while en route to Turkey, causing the plane to crash, killing all 50 on board, and resulting in the grounding of all An-24s.
- March 21 – In Zaire, Étienne Tshisekedi is appointed prime minister; he ejects supporters of Mobutu Sese Seko from his cabinet.
- March 22 – The Comet Hale–Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth.
- March 24 – The 69th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, with The English Patient winning Best Picture. During the event, the DVD format is launched in the United States.
- March 24–26 – In San Diego, 39 Heaven's Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound.
- March 26 – Julius Chan resigns as prime minister of Papua New Guinea, effectively ending the Sandline affair.
- April 3 – The Thalit massacre in Algeria: all but 1 of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas.
- April 14
- April 18 – The Red River of the North breaks through dikes and floods Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, causing US$2 billion in damage.
- April 21 – A Pegasus rocket carries the remains of 24 people into earth orbit, in the first space burial.
- April 22
- April 23 – 42 villagers are killed in the Omaria massacre in Algeria.
- April 29
- The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), CWC treaty enters into force.
- Two trains crash at Hunan, China; 126 are killed.
- May 1 – Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as the Labour Party wins the 1997 United Kingdom general election and returns to government for the first time in 18 years.
- May 3 – Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 for the United Kingdom with "Love Shine a Light".
- May 9 – The first genetically modified three-parent baby is born.
- May 10 – The 7.3 Mw Qayen earthquake strikes eastern Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). At least 1,567 were killed and 2,300 were injured.
- May 11 – IBM's Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, the first time a computer beats a chess World champion in a match.
- May 12
- May 15 – The United States government acknowledges existence of the "Secret War" in Laos (1953–1975) during the Vietnam War, and dedicates the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other "Secret War" veterans.
- May 16
- President Mobutu Sese Seko is exiled from Zaire.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton issues a formal apology to the surviving victims of the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male and their families.
- May 17 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
- May 23
- May 25 – A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koroma.
- May 27 – The second-deadliest tornado of the 1990s hits in Jarrell, Texas, killing 27 people.
- May 31 – The 13-kilometer Confederation Bridge, the world's longest bridge spanning ice-covered waters, opens between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada.
- June 1
- June 2 – In Denver, Colorado, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
- June 10 – Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot orders the killing of his defense chief, Son Sen, and 11 of Sen's family members, before Pol Pot flees his northern stronghold.
- June 11 – In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons votes for a total ban on handguns.
- June 13 – A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
- June 16 – About 50 people are killed in the Daïat Labguer (M'sila) massacre in Algeria.
- June 21 – The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) plays its first game at The Great Western Forum in Los Angeles.
- June 25
- June 26
- Bertie Ahern is appointed as the 10th Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland and Mary Harney is appointed as the 16th, and first female, Tánaiste, after their parties, Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats respectively, win the 1997 General Election.
- Bloomsbury Publishing publishes J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in London.
- July – The 1997 Central European flood occurs across Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
- July 1 – The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.
- July 2 – The Bank of Thailand floats the baht, triggering the Asian financial crisis.
- July 4 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
- July 5
- July 8 – NATO invites the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.
- July 10 – In London, scientists report their DNA analysis findings from a Neanderthal skeleton, which support the out of Africa theory of human evolution, placing an "African Eve" at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
- July 11 – Thailand's worst hotel fire at Pattaya kills 90.
- July 13 – The remains of Che Guevara are returned to Cuba for burial, alongside some of his comrades. Guevara and his comrades were executed on October 9 1967 in Bolivia.
- July 15 – Spree killer Andrew Cunanan shoots fashion designer Gianni Versace dead outside Versace's Miami Beach residence.
- July 17 – The F. W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business.
- July 25 – K. R. Narayanan is sworn in as India's 10th president and the first member of the Dalit caste to hold this office.
- July 27 – About 50 are killed in the Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria.
- July 30 – 18 people are killed in the Thredbo landslide in the Snowy Mountains resort in Australia.
- August 1 – Boeing and McDonnell Douglas complete a merger.
- August 3 – Between 40 and 76 villagers are killed in the Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria.
- August 3–11 – Two of the three islands of the Union of the Comoros – Anjouan and Mohéli – attempt to revert to colonial rule by France. The plan fails when the French government of President Jacques Chirac refuses to recolonize them, resulting in the two islands being reintegrated into the Comoros over the next two years.
- August 4 – Jeanne Calment, the verified oldest person to have ever lived, dies at 122 years and 164 days.
- August 6 – Korean Air Flight 801 crash lands west of Guam International Airport, resulting in the deaths of 228 people.
- August 13 – Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park aired its first episode on Comedy Central; it would go on to become one of the most infamous and celebrated sitcoms ever made.
- August 20 – More than 60 are killed, 15 kidnapped in the Souhane massacre in Algeria.
- August 26
- 60–100 are killed in the Beni Ali massacre in Algeria.
- The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning is set up in Northern Ireland, as part of a peace process.
- August 29 – Over 98 (and possibly up to 400) are killed in the Rais massacre in Algeria.
- August 31 – Death of Diana, Princess of Wales: Diana, Princess of Wales, is taken to a hospital after a car accident shortly after midnight, in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. She is pronounced dead at 4:00 am.
- September 1 – Dublin Regulation on treatment of applications for right of asylum under European Union law first comes into force.
- September 5
- September 6 – The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, takes place at Westminster Abbey, watched by over two billion people worldwide.
- September 11 – Scotland votes in favour of a devolved Parliament, forming the Scottish Parliament less than two years later
- September 15 – The Norwegian parliamentary election was held in Norway.
- September 17 – Iraq disarmament crisis: While waiting for access to a site, UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape Iraqi guards moving files, burning documents, and dumping waste cans into a nearby river.
- September 18
- September 19 – 53 are killed in the Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria.
- September 21
- September 25 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM inspector Diane Seaman catches several Iraqi men sneaking out the back door of an inspection site, with log books for the creation of prohibited bacteria and chemicals.
- September 26
- Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 crashes while on approach to Medan, North Sumatra, during the 1997 Southeast Asian haze, killing all 234 people on board. This becomes the deadliest aviation accident in Indonesian history.
- An earthquake strikes the Italian regions of Umbria and Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse.
- October 2 – British scientists Moira Bruce and John Collinge, with their colleagues, independently show that the new variant form of the Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease is the same disease as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
- October 3 – The President of Paraguay, Juan Carlos Wasmosy, orders the arrest of political opponent Lino Oviedo.
- October 4 – Loomis Fargo Bank Robbery: The second largest cash robbery in U.S. history ($17.3 million, mostly in small bills) occurs at the Charlotte, North Carolina, office of Wells Fargo. An FBI investigation eventually results in 24 convictions and the recovery of approximately 95% of the stolen cash.
- October 10 – Uruguay's worst air disaster occurs when Austral Líneas Aéreas Flight 2553 crashes near Nuevo Berlín, killing all 74 on board.
- October 12 – Sidi Daoud massacre: 43 are killed at a false roadblock in Algeria.
- October 15
- October 16 – The first color photograph appears on the front page of The New York Times.
- October 17 – The remains of Che Guevara are laid to rest with full military honours in a specially built mausoleum in the city of Santa Clara, Cuba, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution 39 years before.
- October 22 – Danish escaped criminal Steen Christensen robs the Hotel Palace in Helsinki, Finland, killing two police officers while evading capture.
- October 29 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq says it will begin shooting down Lockheed U-2 surveillance planes being used by UNSCOM inspectors.
- November 11 – Telecom companies WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a US$37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom, the largest merger in U.S. history.
- November 12 – Mary McAleese is elected the eighth President of Ireland in succession to Mary Robinson, the first time in the world that one woman has succeeded another as elected head of state.
- November 13 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- November 17 – In Luxor, Egypt, 62 people are killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut.
- November 19 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all seven babies are born alive, and the first in which all survive infancy.
- November 27 – NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission is launched, the start of the satellite component of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System.
- December 1 – In the Indian state of Bihar, Ranvir Sena attacks the CPI(ML) Party Unity stronghold Lakshmanpur-Bathe, killing 63 lower caste people.
- December 3 – In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, representatives from 121 countries sign a treaty prohibiting the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel land mines. However, the United States, the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Korea and 32 other nations do not sign and/or ratify the treaty.
- December 10 – The capital of Kazakhstan is moved from Almaty to Astana.
- December 11 – The Kyoto Protocol is adopted by a United Nations committee.
- December 16 – In Japan, over 700 children suffer epileptic attacks due to an episode of the Pokémon anime.
- December 19
- December 21 – Brazil beats Australia 6–0 in the Confederations Cup final.
- December 24 – 50–100 villagers are killed in the Sid El-Antri massacre in Algeria.
- December 27 – Ulster loyalist paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland, inside Long Kesh prison.
- December 29 – Hong Kong begins to kill all the chickens within its territory (1.25 million) to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
- December 30 – Wilaya of Relizane massacres of December 30, 1997: In the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, 400 are killed from four villages in the wilaya of Relizane.
Births and deaths
- Chemistry – Paul D. Boyer, John E. Walker, Jens C. Skou
- Economics – Bank of Sweden – Robert C. Merton, Myron Scholes
- Literature – Dario Fo
- Peace – International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams
- Physics – Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, William D. Phillips
- Medicine – Stanley B. Prusiner
- "Turkey hints at strike on Cypriot missiles". The Independent. October 23, 2011. Archived from the original on May 1, 2022. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
- "Arafat arrives in Hebron for 'victory' celebration". CNN World News. January 19, 1997. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
- "Biography: Madeleine Korbel Albright". Office of the US Secretary of State. Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Miller, Marjorie (February 5, 1997). "Israeli Helicopters Collide in Midair; 73 Soldiers Killed". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Amir, Noam; Hashavua, Maariv (February 5, 2016). "Israel remembers 73 soldiers who died in helicopter disaster 19 years ago". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): NCEI/WDS Global Significant Earthquake Database. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K Archived March 10, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
- Aeronautics and Space Report of the President ... Activities. National Aeronautics and Space Council. 1996. p. 1.
- Angier, Natalie (March 14, 1997). "Sexual Identity Not Pliable After All, Report Says (Published 1997)". The New York Times.
- "Papua New Guinea Head Steps Down After Mutiny". New York Times. March 26, 1997. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
- Lara Santoro (April 17, 1997). "Ex-Nazi's Trial Opens Up Italy's Fascist Past". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
- "The Election. The Statistics. How the UK voted on May 1st". BBC Politics 97. BBC News. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "DocGuide". DocGuide. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- 130 looters die in fire during Indonesian riot – CNN Archived 2012-04-06 at the Wayback Machine. Articles.cnn.com (1997-05-25). Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
- "Twenty seasons later, a look back at WNBA's first game". ESPN.com. June 16, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
- "Series of Real-Time Reports involving the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales". Emergency. 1997. Archived from the original on May 7, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Longman, Jere (September 6, 1997). "Athens Wins a Vote for Tradition, and the 2004 Olympics". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- "Church of St Olaf". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011.
- Accident description for McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 LV-WEG Nuevo Berlin at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 26 May 2011.
- Higginbotham, Will (October 4, 2018). "When the Gray Lady Started Wearing Color". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
- Larros, Heini; Suhonen, Pete (November 27, 1998). "Steen Christensen: Pyövelin puheenvuoro". City-lehti (in Finnish). Retrieved September 24, 2021.
- Palmén, Tiia (June 19, 2016). "Poliisisurmat järkyttivät Suomea 1997 – kaksi poliisia ammuttiin kadulle". Iltalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved September 24, 2021.