28 June 1997

Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield’s ear.

Mike Tyson’s infamous disqualification for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear took place on June 28, 1997, during their highly anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The incident, known as the “Bite Fight,” remains one of the most memorable and controversial moments in boxing history.

The first fight between Tyson and Holyfield had occurred seven months prior, on November 9, 1996, with Holyfield defeating Tyson by TKO in the 11th round to claim the WBA heavyweight title. The rematch was eagerly awaited, and fans were hoping for an intense battle.

However, the fight quickly turned chaotic in the third round. Tyson, frustrated by Holyfield’s tactics and feeling that he was being headbutted, retaliated by biting Holyfield’s ear. Holyfield recoiled in pain, and referee Mills Lane halted the fight to assess the situation.

Upon resuming the fight, Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear, which prompted Lane to disqualify him and declare Holyfield the winner by disqualification. The crowd erupted in shock and disbelief as chaos ensued inside the ring.

The aftermath of the incident was significant. Tyson faced widespread condemnation and severe consequences for his actions. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him indefinitely, fined him $3 million, and revoked his boxing license, effectively banning him from professional boxing for over a year.

The incident tarnished Tyson’s reputation and exacerbated the controversies surrounding his career. It further solidified Holyfield’s status as a respected fighter who endured an unforgettable ordeal. Despite the shocking nature of the “Bite Fight,” both Tyson and Holyfield eventually reconciled and have since expressed mutual respect and forgiveness.

12 June 1997

Queen Elizabeth II reopens the Globe Theatre in London.

The Globe Theatre in London is an iconic and historic playhouse associated with the works of William Shakespeare. It was originally built in 1599 by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of actors to which Shakespeare belonged. The theater was located in the Bankside district of London, on the southern bank of the River Thames, not far from its current reconstructed site.

The original Globe Theatre was a three-story, open-air amphitheater that could accommodate an audience of around 3,000 people. It was a circular structure with a stage at one end and three tiers of seating surrounding it. The theater was designed to provide an intimate experience for the audience, with the stage jutting out into the crowd, allowing for close interaction between the actors and spectators.

The Globe Theatre quickly became the primary venue for Shakespeare’s plays during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Many of his most famous works, such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Hamlet,” and “Macbeth,” were performed there. The theater also showcased plays by other renowned playwrights of the time.

In 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare’s play “Henry VIII,” a cannon fired as part of the production caused the thatched roof to catch fire. The Globe Theatre burned to the ground within a few hours, but no one was killed in the incident. The theater was subsequently rebuilt on the same site the following year, with some modifications to improve safety.

Unfortunately, the reconstructed Globe Theatre suffered another setback during the English Civil War in 1642 when all theaters were ordered to be closed by the Puritan government. The theater was demolished, and the site was eventually redeveloped for housing.

In the late 20th century, the idea to reconstruct the Globe Theatre emerged, driven by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. The new Globe Theatre, called “Shakespeare’s Globe,” was built near the original site on Bankside. The reconstruction aimed to recreate the theater as faithfully as possible to its Elizabethan predecessor, using traditional materials and construction techniques.

Shakespeare’s Globe officially opened in 1997 and has since become a major tourist attraction in London. The theater features an open-air yard where groundlings (standing spectators) can watch performances, as well as three tiers of seating. The design closely resembles the original Globe Theatre, and it hosts a variety of Shakespearean plays and other productions throughout the year.

29 April 1997

The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an international treaty signed in 1993 that prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The CWC was established to promote global peace and security by eliminating the use of chemical weapons, which have been responsible for causing significant harm and suffering throughout history.

The treaty has been ratified by 193 countries, making it one of the most widely accepted arms control treaties in history. The signatories to the treaty have committed to the destruction of all chemical weapons they possess and to never develop, produce or acquire any in the future.

Under the CWC, each signatory is required to declare all chemical weapons and production facilities it possesses, and to destroy them within a specified period. The treaty also established the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees the implementation of the treaty and monitors compliance by signatories.

The OPCW is responsible for verifying the destruction of chemical weapons and ensuring that signatories are complying with the terms of the treaty. The OPCW conducts regular inspections of chemical production facilities and investigates any allegations of chemical weapons use.

The CWC has been successful in reducing the threat of chemical weapons, and the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles has been ongoing since the treaty’s implementation. However, there have been some concerns about compliance and the potential use of chemical weapons by non-state actors, such as terrorist groups.

26 March 1997

Thirty-nine bodies are found in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicides.

Heaven’s Gate was a religious cult that was founded in the 1970s by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. The group believed in the existence of extraterrestrial beings and that their mission was to prepare for the arrival of these beings. They believed that the only way to do this was to shed their physical bodies and ascend to a higher plane of existence.

On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide in a mass ritual in a rented mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California. The group believed that their souls would be transported to a spacecraft that was following the Hale-Bopp comet, which was then visible in the night sky.

The members of the cult had been preparing for the suicide for months, selling their possessions, and disconnecting from their families and friends. They ingested a lethal cocktail of phenobarbital and vodka and then laid down to die, dressed in matching black clothing and brand new Nike sneakers. The bodies were discovered by the police two days later.

The mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate cult shocked the world and brought attention to the dangers of cults and the influence that charismatic leaders can have over their followers. The tragedy also raised questions about mental health, the search for meaning and purpose, and the role of religion and spirituality in our lives.