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Dateline: Events/Week of September 1, 1997 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Princess Diana Is Killed

(Aug 31) Princess Diana (36) and companion Dodi Fayed are killed after their car crashes in a Paris tunnel, apparently while being chased by photographers. The driver of the car also died. Doctors say death came from a collapsed left lung, head injuries and cardiac arrest.  Divorced from Prince Charles, Diana was said to be “newly in love” with Fayed, a Harrod’s heir.  

The man driving the limousine in which Princess Diana was killed was legally drunk.

Princess Diana is bought home to Britain, welcomed by a nation grieving the loss of its princess.

In Paris – Seven photographers who snapped pictures of the dying Princess are paraded in front of a French magistrate and placed under formal suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and of failing to come to the aid of the mortally wounded Diana and three others. 

More news – September 1, 1997

A federal jury in Phoenix convicts Arizona Gov. Fife Symington of lying to lenders to get millions of dollars for his failing real estate ventures. It’s the state’s second governor to be ousted in less than a decade.

Three suicide bombers blow themselves up in Jerusalem, in an outdoor mall crowded with shoppers and tourists. At least seven are dead with 190 wounded.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright vows to go through with a visit to the Middle East next week – her first time since taking office, despite more terrorist bombings in Jerusalem.

Addressing her people “as a queen and a grandmother” – Queen Elizabeth II paid public tribute to Princess Diana in a televised address. 

Paula Corbin Jones, the former Arkansas state employee who sued President Clinton for sexual harassment, turns down a proposed $700,000 settlement because the offer does not come with an apology.

In Arizona – Bounty hunters wearing black ski masks and looking for a bail jumper, kick in the front door of a house, held several children at gunpoint and shoot a young couple to death in a case of mistaken identity.

Mattel Barbie News – September 1, 1997

Mattel says it has a problem with Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” saying the song portrays young women as sex objects. In the song, the group’s Lene Graford Nystrom assumes the role of Barbie and bandmate Rene Dif is Ken. Mattel also believes the song is a candidate for trademark infringement. It may be hard, - Aqua is a Danish quartet.


Technology news – September 1, 1997

The big boys enter the direct sale of music over the Internet as AOL and Capitol Records join forces. Next week, you’ll be able to purchase and download Duran Duran’s newest single, 4 weeks before the album reaches stores. “Electric Barbarella” in its basic form will sell for 99cents and a longer Internet version will sell for $1.99. Also, AOL is creating a hub to sell more music. Until now, downloadable music was the province of smaller, independent record labels. AOL has 9 million subscribers.

Another first – General Motors says it plans to begin selling cars over the Internet next month. The rollout only covers the West coast, but it’s the first time any major carmaker is turning to the Internet. 

Earthlink Network Inc – a cash-strapped Internet provider, gets a $15 million cash infusion from an investment group headed by billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros. The company has 340,000 subscribers.

The new DVD format will get a boost as Walt Disney Home Video says it plans to release titles on DVD by Christmas. The consumer market has been slow to develop, in part because studios are concerned about piracy. Many say this move is significant. Paramount and 20th-Century Fox are still DVD holdouts. But says Disney, it will hold off on any animated films – as they still continue to sell briskly in videotape format.

DirectTV is being investigated by; 20 state attorney’s general for removing some channels from a pre-sold package of programming and selling them at a higher price.


Medical news – September 1, 1997

(Virus that kills AIDS-infected cells) - Scientists report that they have created the first virus-killing viruses, cleverly crafted microscopic missiles that zero in on AIDS-infected cells and destroy them. 


 Sports news – September 1, 1997

 Look out - Venus Williams (17) is in the U.S. Open finals.


Television news – September 1, 1997

After 17 years as co-host of “Good Morning America” – Joan Lunden bids goodbye.

“Captain Kangaroo” with John McDonough is getting ready to debut in syndication. Look for it later this month.

Princess Diana’s death resulted in at least on TV script change.  A “Diagnosis Murder” episode titled “A Royal Murder” was quickly re-written.

ESPN agrees to purchase Classic Sports Network – a 2-year-old channel that focuses on legendary games and sports figures.

Jerry Lewis’ 32nd annual muscular dystrophy telethon brings-in $50.5 million. 

Top TV Shows/Listings – September 1, 1997  

Seinfeld – 19.68

 3rd Rock From The Sun (Thu.) – 17.05

ER – 16.74

60 Minutes – 15.58

Dateline NBC (Tue.) – 14.72

Friends – 14.70

Home Improvement – 14.39

Dateline NBC (Fri.) – 14.19

Men Behaving Badly – 13.91

Drew Carey Show – 13.30

Movie-The Beast part 2 – 13.16

Dateline NBC (Fri) – 13.14

Touched by an Angel – 12.89

Spin City – 12.55

Dateline NBC (Mon.) – 12.28

Frasier – 11.57

Movie-The Gift of Love – 11.57

PrimeTime Live – 11.25

48 Hours (Wed) - 11.22


Music news – September 1, 1997

Elton John confirms he will play piano and sing a newly written version of “Candle in the Wind” during Princess Diana’s funeral. First few lines read:

“Goodbye England’s Rose; may you ever grow in our hearts. You were the grace that placed itself where lives were torn apart…” 

 Hot in all the teen magazines – Hanson. It’s been a long time since a pop band has appealed to teenyboppers this way – the 12-somethings.

 The Foo Fighters confirm that guitarist Pat Smear has left the band. He’s been replaced by Franz Stahl.

Chris Rock hosts the 1997 MTV Music Video Awards this week.

Yoko Ono says she’s close to an $80 million deal with Columbia Pictures to make a movie about her romance with John Lennon.

The New York Daily News reports that a company called Impulse plans a line of Spice Girl deodorants with five scents – one for each member. They promise the products will bring “girl power confidence all day long.”


Top movies – September 1, 1997

G.I Jane

Money Talks

Air Force One


Conspiracy Theory

Excess Baggage


Cop Land

Kull the Conqueror

Men in Black 

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