- July 1, 1997 - The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong
Kong to the People's Republic of China.
- July 4 - NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of
- July 10 - In London, scientists report their DNA analysis
findings from a Neandertal skeleton which support the "out of
Africa" theory of human evolution, placing an "African Eve" at
100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
- July 13 - The body of Che Guevara is returned to Cuba for
burial alongside some of his comrades.
- July 17 - The F.W. Woolworth Company closes, after 117 years in
- July 25 - K.R. Narayanan is sworn in as India's 10th president
and the first member of the Dalits (so-called "untouchable") caste
to hold this office.
- August 6 - Microsoft buys $150 million worth of shares of
financially troubled Apple Computer.
- August 31 - Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash in
- October 2 - U.K. scientists Moira Bruce and John Collinge and
their colleagues independently show that the new variant form of
the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the same disease as BSE, or
- November 10 - Telecoms WorldCom and MCI announce a $37 billion
merger to form MCI-WorldCom. It is the largest merger in U.S.
- November 12 - Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the
1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- November 16 - The People's Republic of China releases Wei
Jingsheng, a pro-democracy dissident, after nearly 18 years of
incarceration. He is released for medical reasons.
- November 17 - In Luxor, Egypt, 62 people are killed by six
Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut. Police kill the
- November 24 - Following a 554-point drop in the Dow Jones
Industrial Average, officials at the New York Stock Exchange for
the first time invoke the "circuit breaker" rule to stop trading.
This is a very controversial move and prompts a quick change in the
rule. In the future, trading stops will only occur when the DJIA
drops at least 10-20%.
- December 3 - In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121
countries sign a treaty prohibiting the manufacture and deployment
of anti-personnel landmines. The United States, the People's
Republic of China, and Russia do not sign the treaty.
- December 29 - Hong Kong begins to kill all of the 1.25 million
chickens within its territory, in an effort to stop the spread of a
potentially deadly influenza strain.
- December 30 - In Algeria, 400 people are killed in four
villages, the latest tragedy in the civil war that has raged since
January 1992. The death toll by the end of the war will be
estimated as high as 100,000.
- December 30 - Timothy McVeigh is found guilty of the Oklahoma
- December 30, 1997 - The memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird
Sings, by Maya Angelou, is removed from the ninth-grade English
curriculum in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, because it "portrays
white people as being horrible, nasty, stupid people."
1997 - The approximate total worldwide death count from AIDS reaches 6.4 million people. There are now approximately 22 million people worldwide infected with HIV. To put this number in perspective, it is larger than the total population of the continent of Australia. The U.S. government spends $4.5 billion on AIDS/HIV treatment in 1997.
- January 1, 1998 - Smoking is banned in all California bars and
- January 8 - Cosmologists announce that the expansion rate of
the universe is increasing.
- January 12 - Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human
- January 14 - Researchers in Dallas, Texas present findings
about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).
- January 17 - Paula Jones accuses President Bill Clinton of
- January 26 - On American television, President Bill Clinton
denies he had "sexual relations" with former White House intern
- January 29 - In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an
abortion clinic, killing one person and severely wounding another.
Serial bomber Eric Rudolph is suspected as the culprit.
- February 4 - An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale
in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000 people.
- February 6 - Crown Prince Abdullah becomes the ruler of Jordan
by decree of his father, King Hussein.
- February 10 - A college dropout becomes the first person to be
convicted of a hate crime committed in cyberspace.
- February 10 - Voters in Maine repeal a gay rights law passed in
1997, making Maine the first U.S. state to abandon such a
- February 18 - Two white separatists are arrested in Nevada and
accused of plotting a biological attack on New York City
- February 23 - Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa, declaring
jihad against all "Jews and Crusaders."
- February 28 - Serbian police begin to wipe out so-called
"terrorist gangs" in Kosovo.
- March 2 - Data sent from the Galileo probe indicates that
Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of
- March 4 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that federal laws
banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties
are of the same sex.
- March 10 - American troops stationed in the Persian Gulf begin
to receive the first vaccinations against anthrax.
- March 14 - An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale
hits southeastern Iran.
- March 23 - At the Academy Awards ceremony, Titanic wins 11
March - The American Registry for internet Numbers (ARIN) begins handling administration and registration of IP numbers to the geographical areas currently handled by Network Solutions (InterNIC).
April 6 - Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.
April 15 - Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator, dies.
- May 7 - Apple Computer unveils the iMac.
- May 11 - In the Rajasthan Desert, India conducts its second
series of underground nuclear tests (the first were in 1974),
inflaming its rival neighbor Pakistan-which already has nuclear
weapons. Two days later, the U.S. and Japan impose economic
sanctions on India.
- May 18 - The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S.
states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
- May 28 - Pakistan responds to India's nuclear tests with six of
its own in Chaghi (Baluchistan), prompting the United States, Japan
and other nations to impose economic sanctions pn Pakistan. Two
days later, Pakistan conducts two more nuclear explosions.
- May 30 - A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits northern Afghanistan,
killing up to 5,000 people.
- June 2, 1998 - Voters in California approve California Proposition 227, abolishing California's bilingual education program.
- Booker Prize: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
- Nobel Prize for Literature: Dario Fo
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Lisel Mueller: Live Together: New and Selected Poems
- Nobel Peace Prize: International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams
More Technology News 1997-1998
- Technologies of the Year: Push
- Emerging Technologies: Push