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Dateline: Events/Week of September 8, 1997 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

More than a million people jam the streets of central London to bid farewell to Princess Diana. Her two sons - Prince William (15) and Prince Harry (12) followed as she was carried from Westminster Abbey to her burial site. Before the funeral, Queen Elizabeth II spoke in a live broadcast from Buckingham Palace. “... We have all been trying in our different ways to cope. It is not easy to express a sense of loss, since the initial shock is often succeeded by a mixture of other feelings; disbelief, incomprehension, anger and concern for those who remain ...”  

Three suicide bombers blow themselves up in a crowded outdoor mall in Jerusalem, killing four and injuring 190.

A severely overloaded ferryboat capsizes when passengers rushed to one side as it was entering port on Haiti’s west-central coast, killing as many as 400 people trapped inside. The 60-foot boat was certified to safely carry up to 260 people, but it was jammed with about 700 travelers. 

Technology News

CompuServe - the first company to pioneer Internet service - is broken into several pieces this week. The service will still retain its name, look and customers, but it will become a subsidiary of America Online, which will add CompuServe’s 2.9 million members to its existing base of 9 million. WorldCom will get its Network Services component that provides 1,200 companies with a data network that verifies credit card transactions and tracks packages. 

San Francisco - commuters are hurting as the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) strike continues. Commuters, who use to ride the trains, have to find alternative sources to work such as ferrys. The rush hour in the Bay area is now beginning around 4:30 in the morning.

Princess Diana Funeral news – September 8, 1997

More than 33 million people in the United States watched Princess Diana’s funeral Saturday morning, according to Nielsen. An incredible 86% of the available audience tuned-in. The funeral was broadcast pretty early, especially on the West Coast at 3am.


JonBenet Ramsey Update – September 8, 1997

Denver newspapers report that the piece of wood used to strangle little JonBenet Ramsey was a broken paintbrush, the rest of which was found in her mother’s art supplies. The six-year-old was strangled with a garote - a stick with a cord attached, according to the coroner’s report. The girl was found dead in her family’s basement last December 26. The parents have not been ruled out as suspects.


Mother Teresa Dies – Week of September 8, 1997

Passing - Mother Teresa (87) - beloved nun. For almost 50 years, the order she founded in Calcutta has ministered to the poor, sick and dying. For her work, she won a Noble Peace Prize in 1979. Pope John Paul II was told immediately of her death and announced a celebratory Mass at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence outside of Roma. President Clinton said she “was an incredible person” and the U.S. House of Representatives observed a moment of silence in her honor. 

Entertainment news – September 8, 1997

Passing -  Of Mice and Men -  Burgess Meredith (89) - film and stage veteran. He was nominated twice for an Academy Award (The Day of the Locust and Rocky) but never won. He won an Emmy in 1977 for his portrayal of attorney Joseph Welch in “Tall Gunner Joe” Baby Boomers remember his as “The Penguin” on Batman and who could forget Burgess hosting “Those Amazing Animals” in 1980. He once told a reporter - “I disappear from the public eye and get rediscovered quite often.” His early credits included “Hamlet” and “Macbeth.”

The Bee Gees announce that they will perform at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in November - their first concert in the U.S in more than 5 years.

 Hot artist this week - San Francisco band Third Eye Blind. Their debut album is still moving up Billboard’s album charts after four months and the single “Semi-Charmed Life” is at #4 this week and MTV has the video in their heavy rotation. The group consists of Brad Hargreaves, Kevin Cadogan, Stephan Jenkins and Arion Salazar. 

Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up announce a change of flavor for 7-Up. It will now taste closer to competitor Sprite - crisper and less sweet. Over the years - 7-Up has lost ground to Sprite in the lemon-lime drink category. 7-Up use to lead the category - especially in the late 60’s, early 70’s - when it was hip to drink “the Uncola.”

Played at Princess Diana’s funeral - Elton John’s special version of “Candle In The Wind” is finding airplay on radio stations. It seems copies have been circulating from tapings off television broadcasts of the funeral. There is so much demand for the version, A & M records is rushing a single release this week. More than 2 million U.S. retail orders have already been received. 


Radio news – September 8, 1997

Dr Laura Schlessinger News Update

 Jacor Broadcasting acquires the rights to the syndicated “Dr Laura Schlessinger” show, along with radio sales firm Multiverse Networks for $71.5 million from Synergy Broadcasting. Schlessinger and her husband/ business partner Lew Bishop are equity partners in Synergy, along with John Shanahan. It was Shanahan who made the deal with the couple to bring the show to national syndication several years ago from its perch at KFI-AM in Los Angeles. Jacor owns 153 stations  and this is the biggest deal to come along in radio so far. Dr Laura has been on a hot streak. The radio show is in over 400 markets; she’s had two successful books - “How Could You Do That?” and “Ten Stupid Things Woman Do To Mess Up Their Lives” and her newspaper column is syndicated in 60 markets. John Shanahan created the “Hooked on Phonics” reading program, which uses radio extensively as an advertising tool. 


Best-selling books – September 8, 1997

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier

Unnatural exposure - Patricia Cornwell

Chasing Cezanne - Peter Mayle

Serpent’s Tooth - Faye Kellerman

The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger

Babyhood - Paul Reiser

Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt

Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer

Conversations With God, Book One - Neal Donald Walsch


More Technology news – September 8, 1997

The Nasdaq composite index closes to a record 1,635.77, topping the old high of 1,630.44 set August 6.

Direct sale of music over the internet will now be offered by two big companies  - Beginning next week, Capitol Records and American Online Inc will let you purchase and download music, sometimes before its released to record stores. Until now, smaller record labels and bands offered music this way.  Next week - you’ll be able to download the new Duran Duran single “Electric Barbarella” for just 99 cents and a longer, internet-only remix for $1.99. 

The Digital Video Disc - only six months old, gets a boost as Disney announces it will offer DVD titles by Christmas. Warner Brothers was the first studio to offer movies on DVD’s, quickly followed by Columbia TriStar and Live Entertainment. Top DVD titles so far  - “Twister” (12,000), “Eraser (11,000) and James Bond in “GoldenEye (10,000). DVD’s generally carry a suggested retail price of around $25.00 - $5 to $10 higher than VHS versions.


Music news – September 8, 1997

Look for new albums coming up from these superstars:

Mariah Carey - “Butterfly” - due September 16.

Janet Jackson - “The Velvet Rope” - due October 7 


Television news – September 8, 1997

 Joan Lunden (46) ends 17 years as co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” Charles Gibson, who has been the other host for 10 years said “Joan was the first woman on network television to share her pregnancies with the audience. She helped demonstrate that you can do both: raise a family and have a career.” Says Lunden - “I’ve been offered several scripts. I’m going to take some time off to think about what I want to do next. Lisa McRee, a news anchor from KABC-TV in Los Angeles, takes-over Lunden’s job on Monday.

Debuting this week on television -

 Arthel & Fred - talk/variety show hosted by Arthel Neville and Fred Roggin

Home Team With Terry Bradshaw - daily talk/information show

The People’s Court - now presided by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch

Martha Stewart Living - now daily

The Gayle King Show - Another talk show. This one is hosted by a newswoman in Hartford.

This Friday on “Lifetime-Television for Woman” - a special tribute to Princess Diana with these shows:

Diana - Her True Story. Mini-series from the best-selling book

Official BBC coverage of Diana’s funeral

 “Diana - Legacy of a Princess” - hosted by Elizabeth Vargess

Intimate Portrait: Royal Weddings.


Top TV Shows/Ratings – September 8, 1997

Mon Night Football - 21.64

Seinfeld - 19.94

Dateline NBC (Tue) - 19.27

Dateline NBC (Fri) - 17.81

Home Improvement - 17.65

PrimeTime Live - 16.97

NFL Pregame - 16.89

20/20 - 16.84

3rd Rock From The Sun - 16.83

Movie - Guarding Tess - 16.67

ER - 16.12

Dateline NBC (Fri) - 15.93

Spin City - 15.28

Touched By An Angel -  15.03

Home Improvement - 15.02

Men Behaving Badly - 14.80

 Friends - 14.37

Dateline NBC (Wed) - 14.28

60 Minutes - 13.71

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - 12.26

Law & Order - 12.01

Movie - Lethal Weapon II - 11.85

The Simpson - 11.31

King of the Hill - 11.12

Walker, Texas Ranger - 11.11


Saturday Night Television listings/TV guide – September 8, 1997

CBS - Cosby, Everybody Loves Raymond, Cybill, Murphy Brown, Chicago Hope

NBC - Suddenly Susan, Suddenly Susan, Movie

ABC - I Survived A Disaster 2 Monday Night Football (Reversed on West Coast)

Fox - Melrose Place, Ally McBeal

UPN - In The House, Malcolm & Eddie, Good News, Sparks

PBS - Planet Neighborhood (3 hours)

A & E - Law & Order, Biography, Poirot, Miss Marple


Chicago Hope - a helicopter crashes with a donated heart aboard

Melrose Place (season premiere) - Amanda and Kyle awake in each other’s arms. Craig and Samantha deal with a fatal accident.

A & E Biography - Dutch Schultz: Menace.

Late Show w/David Letterman - Danny DeVito, Tim McGraw, actress Salma Hayek.

The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno - Jason Priestly, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tap Dogs.


Top music albums – September 8, 1997

No Way Out - Puff (The Magic) Daddy & The Family

The Dance - Fleetwood Mac

Men In Black - The Album - Soundtrack

Middle of Nowhere - Hanson

Surfacing - Sarah McLachlan

Pieces of You - Jewel

The Art of War - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Yourself of Someone You Like - Matchbox 20

Spice - The Spice Girls

Greatest Hits Volume III - Billy Joel

The Fat of the Land - Prodigy

Def Jam’s How To Be A Player - soundtrack


Top movies – September 8, 1997

Fire Down Below - Steven Seagal

G.I. Jane - Demi Moore - Viggo Mortensen

Hoodlum - Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams

Kull The Conqueror - Kevin Sorbo, Tia Carrere

Leave It To Beaver - Christopher McDonald, Jahine Turner

 Cop Land - Sylvester Stallone, Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel

Air Force One - Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman

Mimic - Mira Sorvino, Charles S. Dutton

Conspiracy Theory - Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts

Money Talks - Charlie Sheen, Chris Tucker

George of the Jungle - Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann

Event Horizon - Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neil

Excess Baggage - Alicia Silverstone

Men In Black - Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith

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