September 1997 News and Events

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

1997 News Month-By-Month


  • Boris Yeltsin Bars Re-Election Bid (Sept. 1): First popularly elected Russian president to step aside when four-year term ends in 2000.
  • New NATO Chief Warns Bosnian Mobs (Sept. 3): U.S. Gen. Wesley K. Clark says peacekeeping forces are ready to use “lethal means” to protect themselves against eruption of “trend toward disorder.”
  • Three Suicide Bombers Kill Four in Jerusalem (Sept. 4): Explosions in crowded shopping promenade wound some 200 Israelis and tourists. New attack threatens Israeli-Palestine peace agreement.
  • NATO Troops Defuse Second Uprising in Bosnia (Sept. 9): Disarm dozens of Serb hardliners in Banja Luka in the midst of angry supporters of President Biljana Plavsic, a backer of Dayton peace accords.
  • Palestinians Arrest Islamic Militants (Sept. 9): Hold scores of members of Hamas movement after U.S. and Israeli protests against suicide bombings in Jerusalem. Sweeps are widest in more than a year.
  • Northern Ireland Peace Talks Resume (Sept. 9): Sinn Fein, political wing of Irish Republican Army, commits itself for first time to exclusively peaceful methods in attempt to achieve settlement.
  • Scots Vote for Separate Parliament (Sept. 11): Support legislature of their own for first time since 1707. Nation retains ties with British crown and leaders.
  • Albright Pessimistic About Middle East (Sept. 15): On return from official mission, she reports “crisis of confidence” in peace process.
  • Swiss Plan First Payment to Holocaust Victims (Sept. 17): Nine months after agreement, plan to disburse up to $1,000 to each of 12,000 people in Eastern Europe.
  • Helicopter Crash Kills Envoy and 11 Aides in Bosnia (Sept. 17): Senior German diplomat among victims, including five Americans on election mission.
  • Welsh Vote for Own Elected Assembly (Sept. 18): Approve London's offer by extremely narrow margin.
  • Solidarity Leads in Polish Election (Sept. 21): Right-of-center coalition appears to have defeated government dominated by former Communists.
  • Sudden Attack Kills 85 in Algiers (Sept. 23): At least 67 wounded in unexplained massacre, second-worst in six years of undeclared civil war since army canceled possible election victory by Islamic Salvation Front.
  • New Israeli Housing on West Bank (Sept. 24): Over U.S. objections, Prime Minister Netanyahu pledges 300 new homes for settlers.
  • Israel Frees Hamas Founder (Sept. 30): Flies Islamic Militant leader to Jordan because of ill health.


  • Gore Target of Campaign Finance Inquiry (Sept. 3): Justice Department begins preliminary inquiry into allegations concerning fund solicitation.
  • Senate Repeals Tax Break for Tobacco (Sept. 10): In setback for industry, 95–3 vote removes $50 billion from tax reduction legislation.
  • Army's Leaders Faulted on Sex Abuse (Sept. 11): Panel reports investigation revealed widespread “harassment” crossing gender, rank, and race lines.
  • Memo Links Gore to Fund-Raising (Sept. 11): Top aide said to have listed “talking points” for Vice President to use at 1996 White House meeting.
  • Nation's Health Reported Improved (Sept. 11): Analysis finds increased longevity and record-low infant deaths.
  • Weld Drops Fight for Nomination (Sept. 15): Withdraws as candidate for envoy to Mexico after five-month opposition by Senator Jesse Helms, chairman of House Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Named (Sept. 16): Gen. Henry H. Shelton confirmed by Senate to succeed Gen. John M. Shalikashvili.
  • Top Enlisted Soldier May Face Trial (Sept. 19): Hearing officer recommends court-martial for Sergeant Major Gene C. McKinney on sexual misconduct charges.
  • I.R.S. Head Apologizes for Agents (Sept. 25): Acting commissioner tells Senate inquiry he regrets abuses of taxpayers and pledges immediate reforms.
  • Congress Votes $247.5 Billion Spending Bill (Sept. 25): House and Senate approved measure that will let President extend stay of U.S. troops in Bosnia.


  • Arizona Governor Convicted on Fraud Charges (Sept. 3): Federal jury finds Fife Symington guilty in deals as commercial real estate developer.
  • Royal Family Joins in Mourning Diana (Sept. 3): In response to criticism for not openly sharing the widespread grief over Princess Diana's death, Queen Elizabeth responds that she is “deeply touched”by the overwhelming support and sympathy of English people. Increases cortege route to accommodate millions. (Sept. 5): In TV broadcast, praises Diana as “exceptional and gifted.”
  • Mother Teresa Dead at 87 (Sept. 5): Roman Catholic nun who won 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for work among the world's poorest is mourned by India and the world. Lived in Calcutta; founded order of Missionaries of charity. (Sept. 13): Mother Teresa buried after six-hour ceremonies with military escort and rifle salute.
  • Pageantry Marks Diana's Funeral (Sept. 6): Millions line streets to hear solemn service in Westminster Abbey. Crowds shower hearse with flowers when it carries Princess to burial site at ancestral home in Northamptonshire.
  • Hundreds Die as Haitian Ferry Sinks (Sept. 8): Overcrowded craft capsizes at Monthrouis.
  • Accord Reached in West Coast Transit Strike (Sept. 12): San Francisco officials and union reach tentative agreement to end Bay Area week-long traffic tie-up.
  • Two Diet Drugs Withdrawn (Sept. 15): Two makers heed request of F.D.A. New information reported to show some cases of heart valve damage from Pondimin and Redux, often used in combination with one another and known as fen-phen.
  • Three Plead Guilty in Teamster Election (Sept. 18): Aides to union's president admit illegal contributions to his re-election drive. They say scheme involved officials of the Democratic Party.
  • Contaminated Meat Brings Widespread Recall (Sept. 21): Nebraska processing plant closes after federal investigators find evidence of extensive contamination of ground beef by hazardous bacteria.
  • Wall Street Merger Announced (Sept. 24): Travelers Group to acquire powerful Salomon Brothers for $9 billion to rival major financial institutions.
  • Plane Crash on Sumatra Kills 234 (Sept. 26): All aboard Airbus A-300 perish as airliner hits hilly terrain 30 miles short of Medan, Indonesia, airport. Thick haze from widespread forest fires contributed to crash.
  • At Least Ten Dead in Italian Earthquakes (Sept. 26): Tremors shatter Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, damaging 13th century frescoes in famous shrine.
  • U.S. Space Shuttle Docks With Mir (Sept. 27): Atlantis joins Russian station safely and brings new computer to replace ailing equipment. David A. Wolf, 41, a physician, replaces Michael Foale as U.S. crew member for four-month stay on space station.

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