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Dateline: Events/Week of March 22, 1997 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Israeli troops fire at a crowd of Arab protesters in the West Bank and injure about 100 Palestinians.

President Clinton used crutches in public for the first time as he entered church for Palm Sunday services. He underwent surgery march 14 to reconnect a torn tendon in his right knee and used a wheelchair during appearances at last week’s summit in Helsinki. 

Al Gore arrives in Beijing as China thanks the U.S. by signing two major deals with American companies. China will buy five 777 airliners and make 100,000 Buick cars.

 Some 39 men and women are dead – part of a ritualistic suicide near San Diego. The group belonged to W.W. Higher Source which practiced celibacy and abstained from smoking and drinking. The dead were between the ages of 20 and 72. The guru was Marshal Applewhite.

Vice President Al Gore meets with South Korean Prime Minister Koh Kun amid what U.S. officials describe as incremental progress in persuading North Korea to begin peace talks delayed for 44 years.

The FBI finds no conclusive link between China and the Democratic Party – that it illegally solicited foreign campaign donations.

The U.N. Security Council authorizes an Italian-led force to guard deliveries of food and other necessities in Albania for three months and to help the country recover from violence and near-anarchy. 

Arab countries move to freeze relations with Israel after West Bank tank deployment by Israel. 

Mobutu Sese Seko, Africa’s longest-ruling dictator – Zaire leader ends his seclusion.

The Dalai Lama begins his first visit to Taiwan and said he had traveled there to promote “basic human values” and religious harmony. But Beijing condemned the visit by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader as a religious veil for a political meeting of “Splittists.”

House Speaker Newt Gingrich concludes a three-day visit to China with 11 other members of congress. Gingrich, who in the past has been critical of China, leaves in good spirits.

George Bush says he plans to make a parachute jump this week to fulfill a pledge he made to himself after his Navy plane was shot down in WWII. He’ll jump from a civilian aircraft over the Yuma Proving Ground.

The Vatican condemns as barbaric the execution of a convicted murderer whose black leather fact mask erupted in flames when the power was applied to his electric chair. Pedro Medina, a Cuban refugee convicted of stabbing a teacher who had befriended him, was “burned alive like a torch,” said the Vatican.


Economy/Business News – March 22, 1997

The Federal Reserve Board increases interest rates to 5.5% from 5.25

Flop -  Quaker Oats Co agrees to sell Snapple Beverage to Triarc Cos. For $300 million – some 27 months after they bought it for $1.7 billion. 


Technology news  - March 22, 1997

Online bookseller Amazon.com files to sell 2.5 million common share in an IPO - $13 apiece. Amazon.com – was funded in July 1995 to be “earth’s Biggest Bookstore.”

Netcom On Line Communications announces what it will put restrictions on its heavy users and offer better service for customers who are willing to pay more. The company broke ground three years ago when it introduced flat-rate Internet service for $19.95 a month. It now offers premium plans for new customers - $25 a month or $30 a month for those who want access to online research libraries.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Movie News – March 22, 1997

Academy Awards – some winners:

Best picture – “The English Patient”

Best actor – Geoffrey Rush – “Shine”

Best actress – Frances McDormand – “Fargo”

Best director – Anthony Minghella – “The English Patient”

Supporting actor – Cuba Gooding Jr. – “Jerry Maguire”

Supporting actress – Juliette Binoche – “The English Patient


 Billy Crystal hosted the awards show after three years of being away.

Demi Moore and her bomb movie “Striptease” captured six Razzie Awards for the worst in Hollywood for 1996.


Entertainment news – March 22, 1997

Comedian Martin Lawrence is booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery in Hollywood after he hit a man in a nightclub.


Music news – March 22, 1997

Michael Jackson names his infant son Prince Michael Jr. Jackson told the European magazine OK that his grandfather and great-grandfather were both named Prince. “There were shouts of joy when the baby was born, I couldn’t believe the miracle I had just witnessed. It was unbelievable. I have lived in a fish bowl all my life and I want my son to live a normal life,” said  Jackson. Mom Debbie Rowe is said to be OK.

Behind the scenes - - (MAP) – the nonprofit Musicians’ Assistance Program which helps those in the business with drug problems.


Television news – March 22, 1997

CBS gets into the Cable-TV game with the launch of “Eye on People” channel – into 2 million homes. CBS says the channel will feature such shows as “I Remember” with Charles Kuralt, “The Things People Do” with Charles Osgood and “off Tenth – a nightly program on the day’s headlines – hosted by CBS correspondents Thalia Assuras and Richard Schlesinger.   

Top TV Shows/Ratings – March 22, 1997

Seinfeld – 26.77 million viewers

Suddenly Susan – 22.80

Friends – 22.61

Touched by an Angel – 20.38

60 Minutes – 20,12

The Naked Truth – 19.88

Home Improvement – 19.56

X-Files – 18.36

Law & Order – 18.08

20/20 – 17.86

PrimeTime Live – 17.28

Drew Carey Show – 16.81

Spin City – 16.46

Frasier – 16.36


Top Movies – March 22, 1997

Liar Liar


Return of the Jedi: Special Edition

Jungle 2 Jungle

Private Parts

Donnie Brasco

Sling Blade

Love Jones

The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition

The English Patient

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