Jan 15 In the village of Racak, in Kosovo, Serbs murder 45 unarmed ethnic Albanians.
Jan 20 In China, government restrictions are applied on internet use, aimed especially at Internet cafes.
Feb 2 Hugo Chávez becomes President of Venezuela.
Feb 7 King Hussein of Jordan dies from cancer. His son, Abdullah II, inherits the throne.
Feb 15 In Kenya, the Turkish National Intelligence Agency, with assistance from U.S. diplomacy and the CIA, capture the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
Feb 16 Across Europe and in Australia, Kurds protesting the capture of Abullah Ocalan seize consulates, take hostages, set fires, fight police and threaten suicide, to no avail. Ocalan will remain in Turkish custody.
Feb 22 In Iraq, a moderate Shia, the Grand Ayatolah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr and two of his sons are assassinated. An area in Baghdad will be named for him, and one of his sons, Muqtada al-Sadr, will replace him as a Shia leader.
Feb 23 White supremacist John William King is found guilty of kidnapping and killing African-American James Byrd Jr. by dragging him behind a truck for three kilometers.
Mar 12 Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic join NATO.
Mar 20 The violence in Kosovo has continued, and peace talks in France have collapsed. The President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, launches a Serb offensive in Kosovo.
Mar 24-31 In Kosovo, Serb police knock on doors and tell people they must leave, to go where they want but just get out. Homes are set afire. A mass exodus of ethnic Albanians (Kosovars) begins, to be described as ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. In the coming week the long line of Kosovars will be attacked by thieves and rapists. Groups of Kosovars will be moving surreptitiously across mountain paths.
Mar 24 NATO launches air strikes against Yugoslavia (basically Serbia and its capital, Belgrade). It is the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.
Mar 25 Writes William Safire of the New York Times: "Senators Lugar and McCain have expressed reluctance to see us lurch into a combat commitment with no end in sight. He adds: "Henry Kissinger exhibits 'great unease' at NATO's decision to intervene."
Mar 26 A Michigan jury finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man.
Mar 29 In the U.S., for the first time the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10,000 mark, at 10,006.78.
Apr 5 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 are handed over to Scottish authorities for eventual trial in the Netherlands. The United Nations suspends sanctions against Libya.
Apr 9 In Niger, Col. Ibrahim Baré Maînassara, who took power through force and fraud in 1996, is assassinated. A military coup led by Maj. Daouda Malam Wanké establishes a transitional National Reconciliation Council to oversee the drafting of a constitution for a Fifth Republic.
Apr 27 In Algeria, President Liamine Zeroual, who has been opposed to participation in elections by parties that are Islamist, has been pressured by the army high command to step down. In new presidential elections, six of the seven candidates have withdrawn, alleging fraud. The candidate backed by the army, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is elected with 74 percent of the votes. He is to be president at least into March 2008.
Apr 30 In London, David Copeland explodes his third nail bomb this month, aimed at ethnic minorities and gays. It kills three and wounds seventy.
May 3 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time, at 11,014.70.
May 7 In Belgrade, three Chinese embassy workers are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft mistakenly bombs the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. In China claims will be made that it was intentional.
May 9 The Kargil war has begun as fewer than one thousand infiltrators from Pakistan move into India-ruled Kashmir territory.
May 24 From California to New York, small, but growing numbers of protesters are calling for an end to the bombing of Yugoslavia.
May 29 Cathy O'Dowd, a South African mountaineer, becomes the first woman to summit Mount Everest from both the north and south sides.
May 29 Nigeria terminates military rule, and the Nigerian Fourth Republic is established with Olusegun Obasanjo as president.
Jun 2 After decades of resistance, the King of Bhutan allows television transmissions to commence, coinciding with the King's Silver Jubilee (see Bhutan Broadcasting Service).
Jun 5 In Algeria, members of the Islamic Salvation Front had been denied an election victory in 1991. Its leaders had been jailed, and in 1993 its members took to the hills and joined guerrillas groups. Today the armed wing of the Islamic Salvation Front changes course. It agrees in principle to disband.
Jun 10 President Milosovic is convinced that Russia, despite its anti-NATO rhetoric, is not going to intervene to defend Serbia. He accepts conditions offered by a Finnish–Russian mediation team: a military presence in Kosovo headed by the UN, but incorporating NATO troops. NATO suspends air strikes.
Jun 31 In Illinois a white supremacist leader, Matthew Hale, 27, is denied a license to practice law.
Jul 2 In Illinois, Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, 21, a follower of Matthew Hale, begins a three-day killing spree, wounding six orthodox Jews in a drive by shooting and killing an African American former basketball coach as he is walking with his children.
Jul 4 In Bloomington Indiana, Smith kills a 26-year-old Korean doctoral student who is on his way to the Korean United Methodist Church. Following a highspeed chase with police Smith kills himself.
Jul 1-31 In Algeria the government begins releasing from prison Islamic militants not charged with murder.
Jul 11 India forces a retreat of Pakistani Army forces from Kargil and claims victory in that two-month conflict.
Aug 7 Since the peace agreement of 1997, Chechnya has remained economically devastated and suffering from lawlessness. The Islamic militant group, the Islamic International Brigrade, has arisen. They invade neighboring Dagestan, like Chenchnya a republic within the Russian Federation, to support those fighting for independence.
Aug 9 In Russia, President Yeltsin appoints Vladimir Putin prime minister.
Sep 16 In the past eight days apartment buildings have been bombed in major Russian cities, including Moscow. Almost 300 people have been killed.
Sep 23 In the Russian city of Ryazan, a bomb planted in an apartment building is found and defused. Chechens are blamed for the bombings. Yeltsin orders aircraft to bomb the capital of Chechnya: Grozny. The Second Chechen War begins.
Oct 1 Switzerland becomes the 47th nation to have signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty – which bans nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes. China, Russia, Israel and the U.S. have signed but not yet ratified the treaty. India and Pakistan have not signed.
Oct 4 Bolivia becomes the 48th nation to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Oct 5 Mexico and Romania become the 49th and 50th nations to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Oct 12 According to the United Nations, world population reaches six billion – up from four billion in 1974 and three billion in 1959.
Oct 12 Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempts to dismiss Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf. Senior Army generals refuse to accept the dismissal. Musharraf, who was in Sri Lanka, attempts to return in a commercial airliner. Sharif orders the Karachi airport to not allow the plane to land. The army takes over the airport. The plane lands and Musharraf takes control of the government. Sharif is no longer prime minister.
Oct 13 U.S. Senate Republicans defeat ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the first time an arms control treaty has been rejected by the Senate. Senator John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the treaty would be gambling with the nation's nuclear deterrent capability.
Oct 31 The Roman Catholic Church and Lutherans sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, ending a doctrinal dispute over the nature of faith and salvation that arose during the split between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Nov 12 In the U.S., the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act, overturns the 1933 Glass-Steagall banking act of 1933. It is deregulation signed into law by President Clinton. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited a finance institution from acting as more than one kind of finance institution: investment bank, commercial bank or insurance company. Look back on today, some will claim that the new law laid the path to the banking crisis that unfolds in 2007.
Nov 20 The People's Republic of China launches the first spacecraft, Shenzhou One.
Nov 22 In Algeria, a moderate leader of the Islamic Salvation Front, Abdelkader Hachani, is assassinated in the waiting room of a dental clinic. This reduces President Bouteflika's hopes for national reconciliation.
Nov 25 Fishermen rescue a five-year-old boy clinging to an inner-tube three miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is Elián Gonzalez. His mother and eleven others fleeing Cuba had drowned.
Nov 28 Elián Gonzales has been released into the custody of an uncle in Miami. Elián's father, in Cuba, wants custody of his son and files a complaint with the United Nations.
November Jesse Ventura, Govenor of Minnesota, in an interview in this month's issue of Playboy magazine, says, "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business."
Dec 7 President Clinton says that Russia will pay a heavy price for its military offensive in Chechnya.
Dec 9 Russia's president, Boris Yeltsin, is in Beijing, where he has won support for his renewed war against Chechens. He says, "Yesterday, Clinton permitted himself to put pressure on Russia. It seems he has for a minute, for a second, for half a minute, forgotten that Russia has a full arsenal of nuclear weapons. He has forgotten about that."
Dec 10 Relatives in Miami defy the wishes of Elián's father and send lawyers to request political asylum for Elián.
Dec 14 An Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, enters Washington state from Canada. Federal customs agents find explosives in the trunk of his car. He is arrested. It will be learned that he was planning to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve, and nervous officials will cancel the New Year's celebration for Seattle.
Dec 20 Portugal turns over its colony Macau to the People's Republic of China.
Dec 22 In elections promised by the leaders of a military coup in May, the winner, a former army colonel, Mamadou Tandja, takes office as president. He will remain in office as of this writing in 2008.
Dec 29 In his home in England, former Beatle George Harrison is stabbed several times in the chest by an intruder who believes he is on a mission from God. Harrison survives but from now on will rarely be seen in public.
Dec 31 The U.S. turns over complete administration of the Panama Canal to Panama, as stipulated in the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaty.
Dec 31 Yeltsin announces that he is resigning as Russia's president. This leaves leaves Vladimir Putin as "acting president."
Copyright © 2007-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.