A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   Aug. 17, 2002 at 3:04 AM

This is Aug. 17.

It was on this date in 1998 that President Clinton testified via live closed-circuit television to a federal grand jury investigating whether he'd had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. That evening, Clinton took to the airwaves and admitted a relationship with Lewinsky that was "not appropriate." House Republicans eventually succeeded in bringing impeachment proceedings against Clinton but he was acquitted.

Natural disasters: on this date in 1999, at least 16,000 people were killed and 20,000 more injured when a strong earthquake rocked Turkey. The quake's epicenter was located near a village 55 miles east of Istanbul. And in 1915, a hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing 275 people.

Robert Fulton began the first American steamboat trip between Albany, N.Y., and New York City on this date in 1807. The 150-mile trip aboard what was later called the Clermont took 32 hours. While his efforts were labeled "Fulton's Folly" by his detractors, Fulton's success led to the establishment of commercial service in Sept. 1808.

On this date in 1978, three Americans -- Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman -- completed the first successful crossing of the Atlantic by balloon, landing their helium-filled Double Eagle II near Paris. In all, they'd traveled some 3,200 miles in 137 hours, 18 minutes.

And news headlines on this date in 1992 announced that filmmaker Woody Allen and his leading lady, Mia Farrow, had split up after 12 years together. Allen said he was in love with the actress' adult daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. The breakup sparked a bitter child custody battle that ended with Farrow being granted custody of the couple's three children.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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