American Actor Sylvester Stallone speaks at the launch of Planet Hollywood restaurant in Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998 - Sylvester Stallone flew along the red carpet punching the air, elegant Cindy Crawford strode gracefully and Bruce Willis beamed as he made intermittent stops to talk to the crowd pressed against the barriers. The stars arrived in Dubai for the opening of Planet Hollywood, the latest theme restaurant in the city. The crowds flocked to share in the glamour of the occasion.

While Stallone, Willis and Crawford attracted the most attention, others who joined a restricted number of VIP guests in the restaurant were Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, Tia Carrera and Bollywood notable Amitabh Bachchan. With the saturation of theme restaurants in the US and Europe, the net worth of Planet Hollywood has in 12 months dived from $3 billion to little more than $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion). Stallone said, “It is great to be welcomed into another part of the world so openly and warmly. I love you all,” he yelled from the 40-foot stage.

Other important events

1868 US President Andrew Johnson avoids impeachment by one vote.

1887 British East Africa Company is chartered.

1894 Emanuel Lasker becomes world champion chess player.

1906 Vauxhall Bridge is opened in London.

1913 Emily Duncan becomes the first woman magistrate in Britain.

1918 Georgia declares its independence from Russia.

1924 US President Calvin Coolidge signs a bill limiting immigration in United States, completely excluding the Japanese.

1942 German forces begin their drive for Stalingrad and the Caucasus in the Second World War.

1954 The funeral ship of Pharaoh Cheops is discovered in Egypt near the Pyramid of Giza.

1956 A fire on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington in Narragansett Bay, off Rhode Island, kills 103 crew.

1964 China rejects an appeal by Britain to help stop fighting in Laos.

1966 British Guiana becomes the independent nation of Guyana.

1972 President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow.

1979 Israel formally returns the sovereignty of the Sinai capital of Al Arish to Egypt.

1980 The first consignment of Dubai-made aluminium is loaded on to a ship in the Jebel Ali Port.

1981 A bomber crashes during a night landing on the flight deck of the USS Nimitz, killing 14 people.

1989 Chinese Communist Party Chief Zhao Ziyang is put under house arrest.

1990 Boris Yeltsin fails to win a majority in balloting for Russian presidency.

1991 Martial law ends in Kuwait.

1993 Pakistan Supreme Court restores the dissolved National Assembly.

1994 The US renews trade privileges for China.

1999 India joins an elite club of commercial satellite-launching nations.

2007 Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern’s long-dominant party, Fianna Fail, celebrates its sixth straight election win.

2008 Ethiopia’s Supreme Court sentences exiled former president Mengistu Haile Mariam and 18 officials to death.

2010 The space shuttle Atlantis returns from orbit for the last time, ending a 25-year flying stint.

2013 Nico Rosberg wins the Monaco Grand Prix and gives Mercedes its first victory of the season.

2014 Narendra Modi takes his oath as the new Prime Minister of India.

2017 Gunmen attack bus carrying Coptic Christians in Minya, Egypt, killing 23 people.