1997
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

A Liberty Statue in Las Vegas
On January 3, New York-New York Hotel and Casino opens. It will become famous for its skyscrapers, for a copy of the Liberty Statue, as well as for one of the most thrilling rollercoasters of all times.
New York-New York faces the magnificant MGM Grand, the fairy Excalibur, and the Tropicana, that this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
On June 10, another resort opens, the Sunset Station. Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino opens Masquerade Village and a 1,000-room new tower. Also Ceasars Palace opens a new tower.

Size Does not Mean Everything
Two new buildings appear on the Strip. They are ''small'', for Las Vegas' standards, but will attract the attention of tourists for their original style.
One is the Harley Davidson Cafe, headed by a bigger replica of the famous motorcycle. The other is the World of Coca Cola store, shaped as a 100-foot-tall glass Coca Cola bottle.

The Largest Jackpot
On April 14, Sue Henley wins $12,510,549 on a Megabucks slot machine in New York-New York Hotel and Casino. This is the largest slot machine jackpot in history.

The Bite Fight
On June 28, at MGM Grand Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield are fighting for the WBA heavyweight title, when Tyson, after a head-butt by Holyfield, reacts biting his left ear, and the next round bites off part of his right ear.
When referee Mills Lane disqualifies Tyson, he tried to reach him, but he is surrounded by tens of Las Vegas police officers. In this way the fight ends, and a riot begins, and then spreads into the MGM Grand.
Shots are heard in the Casino, while casino customers try to protect themselves behind slot machines and blackjack tables. This will be one of the rare occasions in which the police will close a casino.

Celebrity Weddings
On June 5, Oasis' Noel Gallagher marries Meg Mathews at the Little Church of the West.

A Sad Ending for Princess Diana
The dream of Diana, of having a new life with her boyfriend Dodi al Fayed, suddenly ends in a Paris tunnel. Diana and Dodi die in the crash of their car, launched at high speed to escape paparazzi.
Right after the crash, Diana is still alive, but the paparazzi take photos of the accident instead of helping her. When the ambulance will arrive, it will be too late: Diana will die two hours later, at the hospital.
The world is shocked by her death, and puzzled about the responsibilities of the accident: either a mere fortuity; or cause by a drunken chauffeur, or even (as some people argue) a conspiracy against her.

A Sheep Named Dolly
Embryologist Ian Wilmut and his team, in Edinburgh, announce the birth of the first sheep generated by a single cell of an adult, through a process called clonation.
Before this experiment, only embryonic cells had been cloned successfully, while it was thought impossible to use adult cells. Wilmut finds a procedure to induce differentiation also in adult cells.
The world will be divided into those looking at this experiment as to an important scientific achievement, and those rejecting it for ethical principles, and by the fear that in the future it will be applied to human beings.

The Year of the Comet
In the first months of this year, comet Hale-Bopp is clearly visible in the sky. After comets Kohoutek and Halley, which did not match the expectations, here is finally a spectacular comet.
The comet takes its name after Alan Hale and Tom Bopp that, two years earlier, had independently discovered it, when it was still a very weak nebula. It will return after about 2,400 years.

Mars Pathfinder Has Landed
On July 4, NASA Mars Pathfinder safely lands on the surface of Mars. This event has a relevant impact not only in the scientific world, but also in the public. The day of landing, NASA web site receives 100 million hits.
With the success of this mission, the exploration of the Solar System becomes again very popular, after a dark age following the manned lunar missions.
This spaceship break another record: it is more than ten times cheaper than previous similar missions.

O.J. Simpson Verdict
On February 4, the ex-NFL football star O.J. Simpson is found guilty of the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and of Ron Goldman.
A decisive proof against him is his shoes, which had left bloody prints in the scene of the murder. O.J. first declares that these shoes do not belong to him, but the proofs against will soon become overwhelming.

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