Neha Patil (Editor)

1997 in the United States

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1997 in the United States

Events from the year 1997 in the United States.


Federal Government

  • President: Bill Clinton (D-Arkansas)
  • Vice President: Al Gore (D-Tennessee)
  • Chief Justice: William Rehnquist (Wisconsin)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives: Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia)
  • Senate Majority Leader: Trent Lott (R-Mississippi)
  • Congress: 104th (until January 3), 105th (starting January 3)
  • January

  • January 17 – A Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload explodes, shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
  • January 20
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton is inaugurated for his second term.
  • January 23
  • Mir Qazi is sentenced to death for a 1993 assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters that killed 2 and wounded 3.
  • January 26 – Super Bowl XXXI: The Green Bay Packers win the NFL Championship for the first time since 1967, defeating the New England Patriots 35–21 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • February

  • February 10 – The United States Army suspends Gene C. McKinney, Sergeant Major of the Army, its top-ranking enlisted soldier, after hearing allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • February 13
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, gaining 60.81 to 7,022.44.
  • STS-82: Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • February 23
  • 1997 Empire State Building shooting
  • FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts pleads guilty to selling secrets to Russia.
  • The North Hollywood shootout takes place between 2 heavily armed bank robbers and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
  • March

  • March 4 – U.S. President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on alien cloning.
  • March 9 – Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. is killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
  • March 13 – The Phoenix Lights are seen over Phoenix, Arizona.
  • March 24 – The 69th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with The English Patient winning Best Picture.
  • March 26 – In San Diego, California, 39 Heaven's Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound.
  • April

  • April 16 – Houston socialite Doris Angleton is murdered, drawing suspicion to her estranged husband, Robert. His brother Roger confesses to the crime and the investigation reveals that Robert had amassed a fortune through illegal betting.
  • 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.
  • May

  • May – For the first time since December 1973, unemployment falls below 5%. It would remain below 5% until September 2001, during the early 2000s recession.
  • May 2 – The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • May 15 – The United States government acknowledges existence of the "Secret War" in Laos, and dedicates the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other "Secret War" veterans.
  • May 16 – 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 22 – Kelly Flinn, the U.S. Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
  • May 25 – Strom Thurmond becomes the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Senate (41 years and 10 months).
  • May 27 – The second-deadliest tornado of the 1990s hits in Jarrell, Texas, killing 27 people.
  • June

  • 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 6 – In Lacey Township, New Jersey, high school senior Melissa Drexler gives birth in a toilet and leaves the newborn for dead in the trash.
  • June 7
  • A computer user known as "_eci" publishes his C source code on a Windows 95 and Windows NT exploit, which later becomes WinNuke. The source code gets wide distribution across the internet, and Microsoft is forced to release a security patch.
  • The Detroit Red Wings win their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 0. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
  • June 8 – A United States Coast Guard helicopter crashes near Humboldt Bay, California; all 4 crew members perish.
  • June 12 – The United States Department of the Treasury unveils a new $50 bill, meant to be more difficult to counterfeit.
  • June 13 – A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
  • June 19 – The fast food chain McDonald's wins a partial victory in its libel trial, known as the McLibel case, against 2 environmental campaigners. The judge decides it was true that McDonald's targeted its advertising at children, who pestered their parents into visiting the company's restaurants.
  • June 28 – During the Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II boxing match in Las Vegas Mike Tyson bites off part of Holyfield's ear.
  • July

  • July 4 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
  • July 15 – Spree killer Andrew Cunanan shoots fashion designer Gianni Versace to death outside Versace's Miami, Florida, residence.
  • July 16 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 63.17 to close at 8,038.88. It is the Dow's first close above 8,000. The Dow has doubled its value in 30 months.
  • July 21 – The fully restored USS Constitution (aka "Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
  • July 23 – Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.
  • August

  • August 1 – Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computer, Inc at Macworld in Boston.
  • August 6 – Microsoft buys a $150 million share of financially troubled Apple Computer.
  • September

  • September 4 – In Lorain, Ohio, the last Ford Thunderbird for 3 years rolls off the assembly line.
  • September 29 – Forced Abortion Condemnation Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress.
  • October

  • October 1 – Luke Woodham walks into Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi and opens fire, killing 2 girls, after killing his mother earlier that morning.
  • October 4
  • One million men gather for Promise Keepers' "Stand in the Gap" event in Washington, DC.
  • 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 15
  • Andy Green sets the first supersonic land speed record for the ThrustSSC team, led by Richard Noble of the UK. ThrustSSC goes through the flying mile course at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, at an average speed of 1,227.985 km/h (763.035 mph).
  • NASA launches the Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn.
  • October 16 – The first color photograph appears on the front page of the New York Times.
  • October 26 – 1997 World Series: The Florida Marlins defeat the Cleveland Indians.
  • October 27 – Stock markets around the world crash because of a global economic crisis scare. The Dow Jones Industrial Average follows suit and plummets 554.26, or 7.18%, to 7,161.15. The points loss exceeds the loss from Black Monday. Officials at the New York Stock Exchange for the first time invoke the "circuit breaker" rule to stop trading.
  • October 28 – In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average gains a record 337.17 points, closing at 7,498.32. One billion shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time ever.
  • October 30 – In Newton, Massachusetts, British au pair Louise Woodward is found guilty of the baby-shaking death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.
  • November

  • November – The Unemployment Rate drops to 4.6%, the lowest since October 1973.
  • November 10
  • Telecom companies WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a US$37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom (the largest merger in U.S. history).
  • A Fairfax, Virginia, jury finds Mir Qazi guilty of murdering 2 CIA employees in 1993.
  • November 12 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
  • November 19 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all 7 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

  • December 1 – Michael Carneal opens fire on a prayer group at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, killing 3 and injuring 5.
  • 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, and Russia do not sign the treaty.
  • December 19 – James Cameron's Titanic, the highest-grossing film of all time until Avatar (2009), premiers in the US.
  • Ongoing

  • Iraqi no-fly zones (1991–2003)
  • Dot-com bubble (c. 1995–c. 2000)
  • Deaths

  • January 1 – Townes Van Zandt, Country-folk music singer-songwriter (b. 1944)
  • January 20 – Curt Flood, baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1938)
  • January 24 – Dr. Jerry Graham, American wrestler and trainer (b. 1921)
  • March 4 – Carey Loftin, actor and stuntman (b. 1914)
  • March 9 – The Notorious B.I.G., rapper and murder victim (b. 1972)
  • April 21 – Thomas H. D. Mahoney, professor and politician (b. 1913)
  • May 17 – James Bennett Griffin, archaeologist and academic (b. 1905)
  • September 9 – Burgess Meredith, actor (b. 1907)
  • September 27 – Adriana Marines, murder victim (b. 1992)
  • November 13 – Dawud M. Mu'Min, murderer (b. 1953)
  • References

    1997 in the United States Wikipedia