CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
In Venezuela, presidential election took place. Luis Herrera Campins, supported by Copei, emerged victorious at the ballots and obtained 46.64 percent of the votes. The candidate whose slogan was "Where did the money go?" was trailed by Luis Piñerúa Ordaz of Acción Democrática, José Vicente Rangel of MAS and Diego Arria. Charismatic television host Renny Ottolina died in March in a strange and dramatic airplane crash. Ottolina had been one of the leading presidential candidates because of his atypical political image
Newly appointed Pope John Paul II greets the crowd from the balcony at the St. Peter Basilica, in the Vatican, on October 16, 1978 File Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation / AP
"Habemus Papam!" The announcement of a new pope was heard from the central balcony of the St. Peter Basilica for the third time this year. After the words of Cardinal Pericle Felici, an archbishop from Cracovia, Karol Wojtyla, was appointed as the new pope and would from that moment on take the name of John Paul II.
Born in Poland, he was named to the highest position of the church on October 16 following the sudden death of Pope John Paul I from a fatal heart attack 33 days after being appointed.
At the age of 58, John Paul II became the youngest pope of the 20th century and the second non-Italian pope, after Adrian VI in 1552.
Twenty-seven years of services as pope was no easy task. He came close to dying in an assassination attempt, denounced apartheid in South Africa and refused to visit that nation until discrimination there was put to an end; he managed to get two Lutheran bishops to pray with him in the St. Peter Basilica, something that had not been done since the Reformation; he asked forgiveness on behalf of the Church for condemning Galileo Galilei for contradicting the geocentric theory.
He was a pope of changes, advances and viewed as a liberal within the Canons of the Catholic Church and considered a saint by many after and even prior to his death.
His Holiness was not the only one to win elections that year. In Venezuela, presidential elections took place. Luis Herrera Campins, supported by Copei, emerged victorious at the ballots and obtained 46.64% of the votes. The candidate whose slogan was "Where did the money go?" was trailed by Luis Piñerúa Ordaz of Acción Democrática, José Vicente Rangel of MAS and Diego Arria.
That was not the electoral panorama of a few months before when charismatic television host Renny Ottolina launched his presidential candidacy. He died, however, in March in a strange and dramatic airplane crash. Ottolina had been one of the leading candidates because of his atypical political image.
The show business and world of politics lost a great character. The artistic life of another star was honored. Lila Morillo, famous for her song Cocotero and for dedicating songs to her ex husband (José Luis Rodríguez) held a memorable television gala commemorating her 20-year career.
A scientific breakthrough also took place in 1978. Louise Brown, the world's first test-tube baby, was born.
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