Click on the link here for Audio Player – NPR – All Things Considered – May 26, 1997 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
This day in 1997 was officially Memorial Day. And so May 26th was given over, mostly in the U.S. to observance of that day.
And even though the news was made up primarily of reports on President Clinton’s visit to Arlington and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Native American Veterans Memorial Day get-together, it was also a day the world kept on going, spinning relentless onward.
In France, first-round election results from Sunday’s vote signaled the end of Alain Jupè’s Prime Ministership and concerns for the future of the Chirac government and dropping public confidence. In the Congo, President Laurent Kabila banned all political activities of all parties in the country as Kabila’s rebel forces took control of the country. Reports surfaced of widespread looting and a breakdown of law enforcement blamed on the outgoing President Mobutu.
Also going through their own drama, in Italy an armed separatist group known as The San Marco 8 took over the St. Marks Square bell tower in Venice. The group, referred to in Italian Press as The Polenta Hezbollah, called attention to the worsening situation in Northern Italy and a desire by many in the region to break away from Italy and form an independent state.
And that was just a taste of what went on this particular Memorial day in 1997, as reported over NPR’s All Things Considered.