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Dateline: Events/Week of December 22, 1996 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

California - Voters lose again as a judge (and a former civil rights lawyer) – issues an injunction – preventing implementation of prop 209 – the affirmative action ban. The measure won in November – but – as seems to be the case, a judge is setting other rules. He is Thelton Henderson. Hopefully, they’ll be a good fight in courts. 

Guatemala ends Latin America’s longest civil war – 35 years worth and signs a peace agreement – with four rebel commanders.

Peru terrorists let go 225 captives from the Japanese ambassador’s residence, but more are still being held. 

The Pentagon shut most of its public access computer web sites over he weekend to repair damage by a hacker.

The CIA says it has evidence+ that Iranian agents secretly delivered at lest $500,000 cash to Bosnian President Alitja Izetbegovic for his campaign.

Pro-democracy protesters clash with police loyal to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Camp Lejeune - President Clinton visits a military base in N. Carolina to offer holiday thanks to the Marines stationed there. He expressed sorrow over the deaths of 12 marines, a navy corpsman and an Army soldier killed in the collision of two helicopters in May.

Ten thousand Serbian opposition supporters, defying a police ban, march in Belgrade after the funeral of activist Predrag Starcevic.

Newt Gingrich – after years of denying he did anything wrong – admits he violated House rules in connection with several tax-exempt charitable organizations.

Republicans say Speaker Newt Gingrich has not intention of relinquishing the gavel involuntarily as the Democrats demand he step down.

President Clinton and family celebrate Christmas at the White House and sent greetings to “all the peacemakers among us, especially to our brave men  and women in uniform who are away from home.

The Rev Jesse Jackson says he is softening his position on San Francisco’s school plan for incorporating Ebonics (black English) into its curriculum.

At a McDonald’s in Vallejo (Ca.) – a man opens fire with a revolver and kills a 17-year-old worker. Three others are injured.

Mike Cito – a children’s dentist in Albuquerque – and his son are sentenced to community service and probation for their roles in a helmet buckle-sharpening incident that let five high school football players with cuts. They admitted to the son wearing a buckle that had been altered – to hurt.

More than 9,000 people watched James Gallagher lead America’s revolutionary forces across the Delaware River for the final time as the former Marine closes out his 12-year run dressing as George Washington. 

Time Magazine names Dr. David Ho - who pioneered a treatment for HIV infection as their man of the year.

Despite strong protests from Britain – Hong Kong and Washington, China forges ahead with its first fundamental change – unveiling a handpicked legislature that will replace Hong Kong’s democratically elected body after the 1997 taker.


Technology news – December 22, 1996

Popular CD-ROM quiz game ‘You Don’t Know Jack” now has volume 2.

The FCC adopts tech standards for digital television.  

So far – retail sales on the Internet practically don’t exist – amounting to 1% of all retail sales.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood news – December 22, 1996

Actor Ken Wahl former star of “Wiseguy” on TV – is arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats after allegedly pulling a knife on a bartender in Beverly Hills.

Marvel Comics, citing an ownership fight – files for chapter 11 BK. Marvel is the home of Spider Man and other super heroes. 

Actor Charlie Sheen is arrested after a woman told police he assaulted her – pushing her to the floor after an argument at his Hollywood home. 


Music news – December 22, 1996

The closest Michael Jackson’s “HIStory” tour will come to the United States is in Honolulu – where Michael is performing this week.

Marry – Lionel Richie to longtime girlfriend – clothing designer Diane Alexander. They have a 2-year-old son. Tom Moffat is the promoter.


Top Popular Hit Singles(top-40) – December 22, 1996

Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton

Don’t Let Go (Love) - En Vogue

Nobody – Keith sweat

I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly

Do Diggity – Blackstreet

Nothin’ But the Cavl Hit – Mack and the Dogg Pound

Never Leave Me Alone – Nate Dogg

Pony – Ginuwine

I’m Still In Love With You – New Edition

I Believe In You and Me – Whitney Houston


Television news – December 22, 1996

On Wednesday, January 1 – Matt Lauer succeeds Bryant Gumbel as co-host of “Today.” Lauer, who has substituted on the “Today” show, likens himself as a “quick study and a cool head.”

Dick Clark Productions now has 700 employees churning out mostly music and awards shows. Clark says he never wants to retire.

On HBO – Comedy Hour – w/Bill Maher.

Bob Dole will guest  on “Suddenly Susan” Jan. 9.

New – “Judge Judy” with Judy Sheindlin presiding on the bench.

Anheuser-Bush has removed beer ads from MTV and will instead, move to sister VH1. The company has an education program to discourage underage drinking and wanted to ensure that its intent isn’t misrepresented.


December 31, 1996 New Year’s Eve television (Tuesday)…

CBS – Football, Dave Letterman

NBC – Mad About You, Something So Right, Frasier, Caroline in the City, Dateline NBC, Jay Leno

ABC – Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Clueless, Home Improvement, Spin City, NYPD Blue, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years’ Eve ’97, Merv Griffin’s New Year’s Eve Special

WB – Second Annual WB New Year’s Eve Jam

PBS – New Year’s Eve With Guy Lombardo

MTV – Top 100 Video countdown

VH1 – Top 50 Countdown of ‘96

Fox – Sinbad’s Dynamic New Year’s Eve


Rockin’ New Year’s Eve – Stacey Dash, Weird Al Yankovic, Donald Adeosun Falson.

Sinbad’s Dynamic New Year’s Eve – Kool and the Gang, Hootie & The Blowfish, Doobie Brothers, Salt-N-Pepa, Cirque du Soleil.

On Jay Leno – Carot Top, Tony! Toni! Tone!. Miss Piggy is in Times Square.

On David Letterman – Kamarr, Tom Arnold.

On Merv Griffin – from Resorts Hotel in Atlantic City – with Aretha Franklin, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Katey Sagal and Jack Sheldon. Merv conducts the Mort Lindsey Orchestra.


Top grossing movies for 1996 (U.S.) –

Independence Day – $306.2 million

Twister - $241.7

Mission: Impossible – 180.0

The Rock – $134.0

The Nutty Professor – $128.8

Ransom – $124.6

The Birdcage - $124

A Time to Kill-  $108.7

Phenomenon - $104.5

First Wives Club - $103.4


Top movies – December 22, 1996


Jerry Maguire

101 Dalmations

Beavis and Butt-head Do America


One Fine Day

The Preacher’s Wife

Mars Attacks!

My Fellow Americans

The Evening Star

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