March 29, 2011 04:04 PM
One of the more interesting, if not perplexing days in history. News of a cult in San Diego, searching for the Mothership, were all lined up in neat rows, covered in purple sheets and calling themselves Heavens Gate. They had ingested a concoction of poison and vodka and were presumably waiting for the ship to arrive. Their somewhat askew leader, Marshall Applewhite, had somehow convinced them it was the only method they could use to get there and another mass suicide of a religious cult had been discovered. Although they had actually done it earlier, to coincide with the arrival of the Hale-Bopp Comet, the bodies were discovered on the 26th and by the 29th all the lunacy had been revealed. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean, news of the first animal cloning had been announced. Dolly the Sheep made an innocent entrance to the shock, awe and perplexed horror of many who were convinced human cloning was next on the list. Still hasn't happened. In more mundane news, fighting was still going on in the West Bank and hopes for a peace settlement in that region were becoming remote with Palestinians and Israelis making claims and counter-claims of violations in a cease-fire.
And that's what March 29th was all about in 1997. Here is Newshour via the BBC World Service for March 29th, 1997.