Today in 1998, President Bill Clinton declares he has ordered air strikes against Iraq since the country declined to collaborate with United Nations (U.N.) weapons inspectors. A development that most of the key congressmen did not welcome because Clinton was in the midst of an impeachment proceedings, and many of them believe the President was just using the air strikes to direct their attention off the case. A day before the announcement, the House of Representatives had issue a 265-page report suggesting the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for " abuse of power and gross misconduct" coupled with the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, which he denied.The order for air strikes on Iraq was the result of the country's attempts to building weapons of mass destruction, which includes nuclear, chemical and biological agents. In 1997, because of Saddam Hussein's violent manners, and the fear that he may tried using those nuclear weapons against his own people, the United Nations sent an envoy to inspect whether the country is building any weapon of mass destruction. After denying the inspectors access to certain sites several times, Clinton was left with no other option than to use the air strikes to force Hussein to cooperate. The majority House leader Trent Lott and many others were of the opinion that the planning of the air strikes was hasty and questionable. They maintained that the president is using the air strikes as a ploy to shift the public eye away from the impeachment proceedings and that Hussein would never agree to comply with the U.N.'s demands. Lott and his partners opined that the best way to end Iraq's weapons program is by immediate seizure of power from Hussein.When Clinton was addressing the press that same day, he stylishly ignored the criticism, saying that Iraq president was wrong if he thought "…the impeachment proceedings going on would disturb or weaken America's interest in Iraq." He maintained that his decision to launch air strikes was because of America's interest in the region and for the world security.At last, the American attention and that of the press maintained focus on the impeachment proceedings that is rocking Clinton's administration. However, the impeachment threat and Iraq air strikes did not yield any meaningful result. In February of 1999, the Senate vindicated Clinton while the air strikes on Iraq hardened the heart of Hussein because he did not allow U.N.'s inspectors full access to Iraq's weapons facilities.
Today, it seems that at least once a month there is a story in the news regarding a shooting at a school or college campus. When the incident happens, the suspect is usually of an age where there is no issue of the accused to be indicted as an adult. Sadly, there are times when a student either brings a gun to a school for show or to fire it at people but the suspect is not an adult. The severity of the event usually determines if the accused should be tried as a youth offender or an adult, in which case any sentencing would become harsher. One example of this occurred at Heath High School located in West Paducah, Kentucky as fourteen-year-old student Michael Carneal is indicted as an adult on December 12th, 1997 on the charges of three counts of murder as well as five counts of attempting to murder. Michael pulled out a gun on December 1st and fired 11 times in the school’s lobby at a group of students.When looking closely at Michael Carneal, he came from a good family and appeared on the surface to be your average teenager. He was considered to be in the middle in regards to he was not a social outcast nor very popular. His older sister, Kelly drove him to school on December 1st in which Michael was said to tell his sister that the bundle that was blanketed on his lap was a prop to be used in a school project; actually, underneath was two shotguns and two rifles. Adding to his arsenal was a .22-caliber gun and all of his weapons had been taken several weeks earlier from the garage of a neighbor. Arriving at school, Michael walked in the direction of a school prayer meeting that had just ended. Carneal proceeded to put earplugs on, loaded his .22-caliber pistol and methodically fired upon eight students 10 feet away from him. During the carnage, a fellow student named Ben Strong persuaded Michael to let go of his gun and restrained him until the principal of the school escorted Carneal away.Carneal began to cry and asked authorities to terminate him when asked what his motivation for his deadly rampage was. Later on, Carneal said the movie The Basketball Diaries that starred Leonardo DiCaprio was his inspiration. For their supposed role in the tragedy, families of those shot submitted a lawsuit for $130 million against the 21 entertainment companies associated with the film; included in those being sued were the creators of the video games Doom and Quake. Michael was educated on how to fire accurately from using these games according to those that were suing them.Michael’s young age voided him from the death penalty even though indicted as an adult. Carneal pleaded guilty due to mental illness and received a life in prison sentence although in 25 years he would be eligible for parole. Remarkably, the Paducah community showed kindness to Michael’s family during this time of tragedy as they offered their condolences as well as Kelly being welcomed back to school after the shooting event.
Today in 1992, in Mogadishu, Somalia, 1,800 United States Marines arrive in the city in an effort to lead the multinational force ordered by the U.N. to reestablish peace and order in the conflict-turn country. Mogadishu became the capital of Somalia in 1960 after several years of being under colonial masters like Portugal, Britain and Italy. However, 10 years later, Major General Said Barre led a military coup that seize control of the government and declared Somalia a communist state. In mid-1970, famine hit the country while an ethnic Somalis living in a province of Ethiopia territory denied many of food. By 1981, nearly 2 million of the country's citizens were displaced. In 1988, the country signed a peace treaty with Ethiopia yet, it did little to curb the internal conflict going on within different Somalia rival clans and in January 1991 Barre fled the capital city. Throughout the following 23 months, the country's civil war killed close to 50,000 people, while another 300,000 died of hunger as United Nations peacekeeping forces effort to reestablish order and help the country did not yield any tangible result. In December of 1992, as part of the peace mission tagged "Operation Restore Hope" President George H.W. ordered the deployment of U.S. Marines to the country, and within few months, the troops were able to restore food distribution and other humanitarian aid operations with the help of international aid workers and the backing of the U.s Army. However, violence was still rampant in the region and this led to the death of 24 United Nations soldiers from Pakistan in 1993. The death of the soldiers made the U.N. ordered for the arrest of General Mohammed Farah Aidid one of the leaders of the rebel group. On October 3, 1993, during the offensive attack, two of the U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and 18 soldiers were killed.The following day, General Mohammed Farah Aidid's followers drag the dead body of one of the U.S. Marines on the street of Mogadishu with joy as viewers from around the world watched the disturbing scene on TV. Immediately, President Bill Clinton ordered all American troops to withdraw from Somalia before March 31, 1994. This new development made other Western Powers follow suit. In 1995, the last U.N. peacekeepers left the country without finishing the mission that had cost more than $2 billion. However, Mogadishu does not have a stable government even though a peace treaty was signed in Kenya in 2002, and a new government was installed in 2004 yet, it failed to stop the violence that has destroyed the country. Until this present day, Somalia is facing war from different factions in several regions of the country, each struggling to seize power of the conflict-ridden country.
Today in 1992, the British Prime Minister John Major announced the formal separation of Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British royal throne, and his wife Diana. According to the Prime Minister, the couple was separating in an amicable manner. Rumors of separation between the royal couple had long been carried by newspaper agencies several years before the time of the announcement alleging that Charles and Diana spent their holidays separately and official visits in different rooms It was a memorable day on July 29, 1981, as almost one billion viewers in some 74 countries across the globe tuned in their TV to watch the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British royal throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English teacher. The marriage was held stylishly at St. Paul's Cathedral in the sight of 2,650 invitees, making the wedding ceremony the talk of the town. A year later, the royal couple welcomed the birth of their first child Prince William, while the second child Prince Henry was born in 1984. It did not take long before the couple grew apart, which was an awful experience in the eyes of those that had expected much from the couple and especially the media who were watching the couple closely. Unfortunately, in 1992, Charles and Diana separated but still kept on doing their royal duties. In addition, Queen Elizabeth II advised the couple to divorce, which they did after reaching a final agreement two months later in August of 1996. In order to relinquish the title of "Her Royal Highness" along with any other future claims to the British throne, Lady Diana received a bourgeois settlement, the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of Princess of Wales.A year after the divorce, on August 31, the popular princess was in France for an event with his friend Dodi Fayed when their car was involved in a ghastly car accident that claimed their lives. Investigation into the incident by the French Police revealed that the driver who also died during the accident was heavily intoxicated and was the cause of the accident while attempting to get away from the paparazzi photographers who were found of following the princess anytime she is at any event.On April 9, 2005, Prince Charles married the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.
On October 3rd of 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of his estranged wife and her friend Ron Goldman, despite overwhelming evidence against him. The trial had lasted 252 days. All anyone in the world could say was “He got away with it... He got away with it...” Nobody existed who thought he hadn't done it. It was a long, sad fall from grace. In the 1970s, O.J. Simpson was a good looking NFL star who played for the Buffalo Bills and later, for the San Francisco 49ers. He even won the Heisman Trophy. He also had a successful career as an actor, even before he retired from football. By all accounts, O.J. Simpson was an American hero. O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown were married in 1985, and had two children. Nicole had called police repeatedly while the couple were married, and there was heaping evidence that O.J. had regularly abused his wife. Nicole filed for divorce in 1992.Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were slashed and stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home on June 12th of 1994. She had left her glasses in a restaurant. Ron, a waiter at the restaurant, decided to drop them off at her house.The legal “dream team” representing O.J. Simpson included Johnny Cochran, Robert Shapiro, and Robert Kardashian. Robert Kardashian was the father of the now famous Kardashian sisters, but Kris Kardashian left Robert when he was sequestered for the O.J. trial and didn't come home for more than a year. So Kris moved on with Bruce Jenner, while watching her now ex-husband defend the man everyone knew was guilty of killing her friend, Nicole. The Kardashian family and the Simpson family had been friends, which is how Robert Kardashian got dragged into it all.Not only was O.J. acquitted, but he also got the two children back that he had with Nicole. They had been staying with one of Nicole's sisters during the trial.O.J. swore that he would not rest until he found the killers. A short while later, he was seen playing golf on several occasions. This gave rise to the joke that O.J. had the suspects narrowed down to Jack Niklaus and Lee Trevino.A civil suit soon followed, and the verdict was just the opposite. O.J. was ordered to pay 33.5 million dollars in damages to the Brown and Goldman families in a wrongful death suit. The years that followed were filled with arrests and legal issues that dragged on and on. O.J. Had trouble staying out of trouble. In fact, the state of California claims that Simpson owes 1.4 million dollars in back taxes.Some years later in 2007, O.J. thought he noticed some of his belongings in a pawn shop. Taking the law into his own hands once again, he went in with several armed men and took whatever he thought was his from the pawn shop. He is now serving about 33 years in prison (with at least nine years without parole) for armed robbery, kidnapping, and various other felonies.
On September 28th of 1991, musician, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 65. Miles Davis was born in 1926, and raised in a wealthy African American family in Alton, Illinois, where his father had worked as a dentist. Miles was given his first musical instrument, a trumpet, for his 13th birthday. After practicing on his trumpet for a while, Miles eventually learned to play the flugelhorn, piano, synthesizer, and organ. By the age of 15, he was a legit member of the local musician’s union in St. Louis. As a young adult, Miles Davis left St. Louis to go to college at the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York City. During his studies at Julliard, Miles began performing in New York City with saxophonist Charlie Parker. Davis soon recorded his first album, The Birth of Cool, which made him a pioneer of cool jazz. He also played on some of the earliest recordings of the style of music that would one day become known as be-bop. His popular albums from the height of his popularity in the fifties include Miles Ahead, Sketches of Spain, MilesTones, and Kind of Blue.In a career that spanned well over 50 years, Miles Davis recorded many dozen albums, and appeared in at least eight movies. He eventually became one of the most acclaimed and influential figures in the entire history of jazz music. No matter which direction his music took, he did not just work individually, but dragged the whole jazz world along with him, creating or influencing new sounds everywhere he went. In his own words, “I have to change. It's like... a curse.”His brilliant innovations continued through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with groundbreaking albums such as Someday My Prince Will Come (1961), Miles Smiles (1967), In a Silent Way (1969), and Bitch's Brew (1970), to name just a few.During the seventies, Miles took a year’s long hiatus due to poor health (or was it heroin addiction?), but recovered, and eventually recorded The Man With the Horn in 1981, You're Under Arrest in 1985, and Tutu in 1986. His best-selling album is Kind of Blue. In fact, Kind of Blue is the best-selling album in the history of jazz music.Miles Davis was right there in the thick of almost every new jazz innovation, and even ventured into punk and new wave. All in all, Miles Davis recorded 48 studio albums and 36 live albums, while also collaborating on other types of albums. In 1986, the New England Conservatory awarded him an honorary doctorate for his astoundingly inventive contributions to music. In 1990, about a year before he died, Miles Davis received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.Miles Davis worked on his music until very near his death on September 28th of 1991. He died from the combined effects of stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. It is suspected that he had AIDS, although his publicist denied it.
On September 24th of 1996, Stephen King released not one, but two novels. The first one, called Desperation, was released under his own name, Stephen King. The second book, called The Regulators, was released under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. He may have arranged this so people would not guess that Stephen King and Richard Bachman were one and the same. Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, in 1947. His father exited the family when Stephen was two years old, under the pretense of going out to buy a pack of cigarettes. From then on, Stephen's mother struggled to support her two sons. The family moved around a lot, first to Wisconsin, then to Indiana, then to Connecticut. At the age of 11, Stephen returned to Maine, where his mother took care of her parents until they died. As a young adult, Stephen studied English at the University of Maine. There, he met a lady named Tabitha, who would eventually become his wife. Their daughter Naomi was born in the same year Stephen graduated college. For a while after King graduated, he and his wife and baby daughter lived in a trailer, as he worked at various jobs to support the family. He taught classes and worked at a laundry, all while writing four novels, all of which were rejected. He considered giving up writing, but his wife encouraged him to continue. So Stephen supplemented his wages by selling short stories to men's magazines.His first big break came in 1973, when Doubleday paid him $2,500 for the book called Carrie. A short while later, he got $420,000 for the paperback rights. The book was a huge bestseller, and was eventually made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek. On the heels of the success of Carrie, King wrote 30 more novels, all of them bestsellers. This has cemented his place in the world of literature as an award winning horror, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer.Stephen King continued writing, as he and his wife raised their three children.At some point, Stephen King, who by that time was already famous, wanted to see if writers would buy his books on the merit of the writing alone. So King created a pseudonym: Richard Bachman. Another pseudonym used by King was John Swithen. King joked that it was not him, but Richard Bachman who wrote under the pseudonym John Swithen.Altogether, the books of Stephen King (and Richard Bachman, and John Swithen) have sold more than 350 million copies. Many of King's books have been adapted into feature films, TV movies, TV mini-series, and comic books. From his most notable works came the movies Carrie, Creepshow, The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Dark Tower, It, and many others.Despite being plagued with drug and alcohol problems for much of his life (one time requiring family intervention), and despite being critically injured when he was hit by a car in 1999, Stephen King continues to write novels and short stories today.
On September 19th of 1995, the Washington Post and the New York Times printed a 35,000-word rant, written by the Unabomber. He had threatened both newspapers with continuing to carry out a series of bombings if they failed to publish the manifesto. The Washington Post and the New York Times, in collaboration with Janet Reno and the FBI, obliged. The manifesto was basically a rant against modern technology and industrialized society. The bomber believed that modern life had led to an “erosion of human freedom.” Since the late 1970s, the Unabomber had carried out a series of bomb attacks across the United States, killing three people and wounding 23, all the while eluding the police and the FBI. It happens that the manifesto was read by the Unabomber's sister in law, who showed it to her husband, the Unabomber's brother, a man named David Kaczynski. David read the manifesto and agreed that the writing style reminded him of his brother, Ted. After checking some of Ted's writings at the home of their mother, David Kaczynski called the FBI. On April 3rd of 1996, Ted Kaczynski was arrested at his isolated cabin near Lincoln, Montana, where evidence was found that identified him as the Unabomber.Theodore Kaczynski was born in a suburb of Chicago called Evergreen Park in 1942. At school, he excelled in math, and entered Harvard University at the age of 16. He eventually received his PhD in math from the University of Michigan. In 1967, at the age of just 25, Ted Kaczynski got a job as an assistant professor for a while at UC Berkeley. In 1969, Ted Kaczynski abruptly quit his job at UC Berkeley.In 1971, he went to live in an isolated cabin near Lincoln, Montana. The cabin had no electricity and no running water. There, he lived the lifestyle of a recluse, and learned survival skills as a means of becoming what he imagined was self-sufficient. Still, he received occasional financial support from his family.Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski carried out sixteen bombings, frustrating the FBI and causing them to stage a nationwide manhunt. The FBI code named him UNABOM, because he was a Bomber who attacked mostly Universities and Airports. This resulted in the media referring to him as the Unabomber. Among his victims were professors, scientists, and corporate entities. Kaczynski was basically staging a nationwide bombing campaign against people who were involved in modern technology. Without an accomplice, he either planted or mailed numerous homemade bombs. The FBI's search for the Unabomber was one of its costliest investigations.On January 22nd of 1998, Ted Kaczynski pleaded guilty as charged, and received four life sentences without the possibility of parole. He had wanted to dismiss his court appointed lawyers, who had planned on pleading insanity to avoid the death penalty. Kaczynski did not believe he was insane. The FBI has labeled him a “domestic terrorist.” He will now spend the rest of his days at the super max federal prison in Florence, Colorado.We hope.