Looking forward -- and back -- to Aug. 17

August 17, 1998|By Rob Hiaasen | Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF

The day President Clinton is scheduled to become the first president to testify as the principal target of a criminal investigation. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr is investigating whether Clinton lied under oath when he denied having a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. (1998)

The day a federal grand jury indicted James and Susan McDougal, the Clintons' business partners in the Whitewater land deal. "The investigation is continuing," said prosecutors

from Kenneth Starr's office. (1995)

The day University of Kansas entomologists, while studying the sex lives of fireflies, reported "the flashiest male fireflies score the most with the females." (1996)

The day the annual "Weird Contest Week" begins in Ocean City, N.J. Featured contests include celebrity impersonations and "artistic pie eating (chewing something meaningful out of a TastyKake Pie)." (1998)

The day Miss Ola Marie Imwold of Parkton, "wearing a cotton dress of her own making which accentuated her charms," won the title of the "Most Typical Farm Girl of Baltimore County." The color of the cotton dress was not reported. (1947)

The day singer Belinda Carlisle was born (1958). Carlisle was lead singer for the Go-Go's, which scored a Top 20 hit with "Our Lips Are Sealed."

The day actor Robert De Niro was born (1943). De Niro, starring in this year's "Wag The Dog," played a spin doctor hired to stage a phony war to cover up a presidential sex scandal.

The day Union forces began shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C. (1863). Sumter, the site of the Civil War's first explosive shots two years earlier, eventually returned to Union hands.

The day of the first U.S. moon shot, as the doomed, unmanned rocket exploded at 50,000 feet. (1958)

The day the largest dance hall in the world, Cover Garden, opened in New York. (1922)

The day the largest outdoor musical festival ended, with 400,000 people having descended upon Max Yasgur's farm near Woodstock, N.Y. Much music, mud, drugs, "and cases of nudity" reported. (1969)

The day Pete Best performed his last concert with the Beatles (1961). John Lennon recruits a drummer named Ringo Starr, who would play on such Beatles' classics as "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."

N The day Diet Coke was launched in the United States. (1982)

The day McDonald's signs proclaimed "40 Billion Served." (1982)

The day Davey Crockett was born (1786). "A legendary figure of rather fantastic dimensions," frontiersman and politician Crockett died after taking his stand at the Alamo.

The day lyricist Ira Gershwin died (1983). Along with brother George, Ira wrote such classic songs as "The Man I Love" and "I Got Rhythm."

The day sex goddess Mae West was born (1892). The curvaceous, salacious West riled movie audiences with lines such as, "It's not the man in my life, but the life in my man."

The day Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. was born. (1914)

The day Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. died. (1988)

The day the Democratic Party nominated President Lyndon Johnson for president (1964). A gregarious Southern Democrat, Johnson was considered a master of persuasion and compromise.

The day George Bush was nominated for president at the Republican National Convention (1988). Bush would lose his 1992 re-election bid to a gregarious Southern Democrat considered a master of persuasion and compromise.

The day James Madison, while attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, noted that delegates overwhelmingly chose a plan to allow Congress to "make war." (1787)

The day Allied forces seized Sicily, capturing 130,000 Germans and Italians. (1943)

The day Hurricane Camille seized the Gulf Coast, killing 248. (1969)

The day endurance fliers landed in St. Louis after 647 hours aloft. (1930)

The day Joe McGinniss announced he was not writing a book about O.J. Simpson because the trial "sapped my intellect, my physical strength and my confidence." (1996)

The day President Clinton enjoyed his highest level of popularity to date, a 64 percent approval rating. (1997)

The day a Brazilian pharmaceutical company announced it will make the world's first birth control pill for men. (1996)

The day Alger Hiss was invited to a New York hotel room to discuss his relationship with former communist Whittaker Chambers (1948). Hiss' hotel disclosures led to his indictment by a federal grand jury on two counts of perjury.

Sources: The Sun; the New Shell Book of Firsts; Chase's Calendar of Events; the American Book of Days; American Facts and Dates; Chronicle of the 20th Century; Encyclopaedia

Britannica; the Orlando Sentinel; the Associated Press; Almanac Famous People; the World Almanac; the Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock.

Pub Date: 8/17/98

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