Wednesday, 28 January 2009

February 2, 2009

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Simon O'Byrne!

70 years ago
1939

Disasters

The Japanese submarine I-36 sank in the Bungo Channel, killing 81.

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters

Music
The Winter Dance Party tour continued as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper performed at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Afterward, Mr. Holly chartered a Beechcraft Bonanza to take him and his backup musicians, Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings, to Fargo, North Dakota, en route to the next leg of the tour at the Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota.

40 years ago
1969

Died on this date
Boris Karloff, 81
. British-born U.S. actor. One of the most famous horror actors ever was born William Henry Pratt on November 23, 1887. As a young man he came to Canada to work on the railway, and started his career on stage in Kamloops, B.C., later moving to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Mr. Karloff (he took the surname from a distant relative) eventually moved to Hollywood, and found some work as an extra. His big break came with the role of the monster in Frankenstein in 1931. He reprised the role just twice more: Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). Starting with The Black Cat (1934), Mr. Karloff began teaming up with Bela Lugosi, and the two acted in a number of horror movies together, mainly for Universal studios. The best of the Boris & Bela movies are probably The Black Cat; The Raven (1935); and Son of Frankenstein.

Non-horror movies that featured Mr. Karloff included Scarface (1932); The Lost Patrol (1934); The Black Room (1935); and Unconquered (1947). He also made occasional radio appearances in such series as Suspense and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. On television, Mr. Karloff was the host of the NBC series Thriller, which ran from 1960-1962; he also acted in five episodes. His most memorable role came in 1966 as the narrator of the Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This blogger's favourite television role for Mr. Karloff was in a 1953 episode of Tales of Tomorrow, where he played an amateur scientist who went back in time 40 years and tried to introduce penicillin to people of an earlier time.

Mr. Karloff continued to act in movies to the end. In the early 1960s he appeared in low-budget movies for director Roger Corman such as The Raven (1963) and The Terror (1963). His last big part came in Targets (1968), where he played an aging horror star who's decided to retire from acting because the horror of real life exceeds that on the screen. Mr. Karloff's final movies were four low-budget horror flicks filmed in Mexico, and released after his death (the last one came out in 1971). He also lent his name to a series of Gold Key comic books, which is where I first heard of him (I'd actually seen the Grinch before that, but I didn't know who the narrator was).

Golf
Jack Nicklaus won the Andy Williams-San Diego Open, with a top prize of $30,000.

25 years ago
1984

Religion

On a beautiful sunny Thursday, Christian Awareness Week continued at the University of Alberta. Campus Crusade for Christ speaker Michael Horner delivered his second of three noon hour lectures at SUB Theatre; the title was Who Did Jesus Think He Was, Anyway?. That night, illusionist Andre Kole put on his show at Kinsmen Field House.

February 1, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Snejka!

50 years ago
1959

Music

The Winter Dance Party tour, featuring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, continued with performances in Appleton, Wisconsin, and at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Albatross--Fleetwood Mac
#1 single in the U.S.A.: Crimson and Clover--Tommy James and the Shondells

25 years ago
1984

Religion

As part of Christian Awareness Week at the University of Alberta, Campus Crusade for Christ speaker Michael Horner delivered his first of three noon hour lectures at SUB Theatre. His topic was Faith and the Intellect.

20 years ago
1989


On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Pottery Will Get You Nowhere

January 31, 2009

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Devil's Foot

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: I Got Stung/One Night--Elvis Presley (2nd week at #1)

Music
The Winter Dance Party, featuring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, performed at Duluth National Guard Armory in Duluth, Minnesota. 17-year-old Bob Dylan was in the audience, and years later remembered that Mr. Holly was three feet away from him, and looked at him.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 I Started a Joke--Bee Gees
2 Crimson and Clover--Tommy James and the Shondells
3 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
4 Hooked on a Feeling--B.J. Thomas
5 Electric Stories--The 4 Seasons
6 Stand By Your Man--Tammy Wynette
7 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
8 If I Can Dream--Elvis Presley
9 This Magic Moment--Jay and the Americans
10 Lo Mucho que te Quiero--Rene & Rene

At the movies
The Shakiest Gun in the West, starring Don Knotts, opened at the Capitol Theatre in Yellowknife.

20 years ago
1989

Hockey

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-2, while the Calgary Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings 8-5.

January 30, 2009

50 years ago
1959

Disasters

The Danish passenger-freighter Hans Hedtoft hit an iceberg off Greenland, killing 95.

40 years ago
1969

Music

The Beatles performed live in "public" for the last time, putting on an impromptu performance on a cold day in London on the roof of the Abbey Road recording studio. Puzzled passersby looked up to see the sight, before police ordered the group to bring the concert to an end. The Beatles were in the midst of recording the album that would eventually be released in 1970 under the title Let it Be.

Space
ISIS-1 was launched. A cooperative effort between the United States and Canada, the International Satellite for Ionospheric Studies was the third in a series of five.

Academia
Yale University joined other schools such as Johns Hopkins University, Fordham University, and Boston University in withdrawing academic standing from Reserve Officers Training Corps.

25 years ago
1984

Religion

University of Alberta economics professor Bruce Wilkinson spoke on the first day of Christian Awareness Week at the U of A.

20 years ago
1989

Weather

Edmonton was hit with its biggest one-day snowfall in 104 years, and the temperature dropped from above freezing to about -30 C (approaching -30 F) in a matter of hours on the most miserable day this blogger has ever seen. It was raining at 5 A.M. It was starting to snow by 7 A.M., and the snow was knee-high by noon. I started a new job that day, fortunately within walking distance of home. We were sent home an hour early; people who got stuck working downtown ended up with free hotel accommodation.

January 29, 2009

Born on this date
Happ birthday, Ken Dies!

60 years ago
1949


On the radio
Tales of Fatima, starring Basil Rathbone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: The Frozen Forest

At the movies
Un Homme et Son Peche (A Man and His Sin) was released. The story of a greedy old man and those he influences in rural Quebec in 1889, Un Homme et Son Peche is considered a classic example of French-Canadian cinema.

40 years ago
1969

Personal

I was one of the grade 2 boys invited to Ken Dies' 8th birthday party, and came away with a nickel that had been placed in the cake. A fun time was had by all.

Boxing
Zora Folley knocked out Sonny Moore in the 4th round of a heavyweight bout in Las Vegas, while Jose Gonzalez won a 10-round decision over Tito Marshall in a light heavyweight fight in New York.

25 years ago
1984

On television tonight

The Four Seasons, based on the 1981 movie of the same name, debuted as a series on CBS. Alan Alda, who wrote and directed the film, introduced the first episode of the TV series.

Hockey
The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 7-2 at the Boston Garden in an afternoon game.

20 years ago
1989

Baseball

The game-winning run batted in was dropped as a statistic, after 9 seasons. The career leader in game-winning RBIs was Keith Hernandez, with 129.

Personal
Adelle Mayes was wearing a miniskirt at church, providing a most stimulating view.

January 28, 2009

60 years ago
1949


On television tonight
Your Show Time, hosted and narrated by Arthur Shields, on NBC
Tonight's episode: The Sire de Maletroit's Door, starring Morris Carnovsky, Dan O'Herlihy, and Allene Roberts

25 years ago
1984

Hockey

At the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2, and ended Wayne Gretzky's point-scoring streak at a record 51 games.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

January 27, 2009

60 years ago
1949

Disasters

A collision between the Chinese ship Taiping and a collier off South China killed 600.

40 years ago
1969

World events

Iraq hanged 14 Iraqis (including 9 Jews), who were allegedly spies for Israel, stirring a new crisis in the Middle East. Israel denounced the action, and the United States cautioned Israel against retaliatory military action.

Weather
Nine days of torrential rain in southern California left 91 dead.

Golf
George Archer won the Bing Crosby pro-am at Pebble Beach, California. First prize money was $25,000.

30 years ago
1979

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Le Freak--Chic (5th week at #1)

Religion
Pope John Paul II opened a Latin American bishops' conference, calling for a more traditional direction for the hemisphere's Roman Catholics.

25 years ago
1984

Weather

It was 46 degrees F. in Edmonton, the most beautiful day of the year so far.

20 years ago
1989

Religion

As part of Christian Awareness Week at the University of Alberta, Regent College professor Loren Wilkinson delivered a talk about the environment.

10 years ago
1999

Scandal

The United States Senate voted 56-44 to approve a slimmed-down list of just three witnesses to appear at the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. The three witnesses wee former White House intern Monica Lewinsky; Vernon Jordan, a friend and adviser to Mr. Clinton; and White House advisor Sidney Blumenthal.

Religion
Pope John Paul II concluded a 5-day North American visit with mass at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis, then left for Rome.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

January 26, 2009

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters (2nd week at #1)

40 years ago
1969


Boxing
Jerry Quarry knocked out Aaron Eastling in the 6th round of a heavyweight bout in Canton, Ohio.

30 years ago
1979

Died on this date
Nelson Rockefeller, 70
. U.S. politician. Mr. Rockefeller, a Republican, was Governor of New York from 1958-1973, and Vice President from 1974-1977. In 1970 he signed the most liberal abortion law in the United States; he also gave his name to a report supporting population control.

Mr. Rockefeller's desire to be president was obvious, but despite all his wealth, he was never quite able to achieve his greatest ambition. He accepted the Vice Presidency from Gerald Ford on condition that he not challenge Mr. Ford for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976.

Mr. Rockefeller died under rather embarrassing circumstances. Megan Marshack, his 31-year-old staff assistant, arrived at his brownstone town house at 13 West 54th Street, ostensibly to help him work on his latest book about his art collection. She arrived in a long black evening gown, which seems rather strange if she was there to do work. The authorized account is that Mr. Rockefeller collapsed on the floor with a heart attack at 11:15 P.M. However, family spokesman Hugh Morrow originally stated that death occurred at 10:15 P.M. in the Rockefeller Center office. To add to the confusion, Ponchitta Pierce, a journalist and friend of Miss Marshack, revealed on February 10 that Miss Marshack had phoned her on January 26 between 10:50 and 11:00 P.M. and told her that "Governor Rockefeller had suffered a heart attack." For a detailed account of Mr. Rockefeller's last day, see John Eastman's article on page 609 of The People's Almanac #3 by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace (1981).

20 years ago
1989

Religion

As part of Christian Awareness Week at the University of Alberta, Campus Crusade for Christ speaker Michael Horner delivered a talk about sex.

January 25, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Zlata Antunovic!

250 years ago
1759

Born on this date
Robbie Burns
. Scottish poet. After a life of drinking and fornication, he bade "Auld Lang Syne" to this life at the age of 37 in 1796.

70 years ago
1939


Boxing
Joe Louis retained his world heavyweight title with a 1-round knockout of world light heavyweight champion John Henry Lewis at Madison Square Garden in New York. Mr. Lewis retired from boxing shortly after this fight.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da--Marmalade (3rd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (7th week at #1)

20 years ago
1989

Hockey

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-3.

January 24, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Diana Ganske!

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Bloomsbury Ballad

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: I Got Stung/One Night--Elvis Presley

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
2 I Started a Joke--Bee Gees
3 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion
4 Crimson and Clover--Tommy James and the Shondells
5 Cinnamon--Derek
6 Goin' Up the Country--Canned Heat
7 Bella Linda--The Grassroots
8 Chewy Chewy--Ohio Express
9 If I Can Dream--Elvis Presley
10 Electric Stories--The 4 Seasons

30 years ago
1979

Hockey

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota North Stars tied 2-2. Pierre Hamel, who had played 4 games in goal for the Maple Leafs in November 1974, was called up from the minors.

20 years ago
1989

Died on this date
Ted Bundy, 42
. U.S. serial killer, rapist, and necrophiliac. Mr. Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida at 7:06 A.M. after almost a decade on death row. Mr. Bundy murdered a large number of young women in Washington, Utah, Colorado and Florida between 1973 and 1978. The number of his victims is uncertain, but Mr. Bundy estimated the total as 35. Mr. Bundy claimed to have come to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord shortly before his death, and granted an interview to Focus on the Family president James Dobson the night before his execution. When Mr. Bundy began his spree in Seattle, he was a Republican party activist. After moving from Seattle to Salt Lake City late in 1974, he converted to Mormonism, which didn't prevent him raping and killing.

Religion
As part of the University of Albera's Christian Awareness Week, Campus Crusade for Christ speaker Michael Horner debated U of A professor David Wangler on the subject of humanism. The part I remember is where Mr. Horner argued that such values as love and compassion are Christian values, and that humanists took the values from Christianity, but didn't say "Thank you."

January 23, 2009

100 years ago
1909

Disasters

The Italian ship Florida rammed the White Star liner Republic off Nantucket, but all but 6 of Republic's 1,600 passengers were saved. Jack Binns, Republic's wireless operator, sent a CQD signal (the predecessor of SOS); it was the first time that radio was used in a major sea rescue.

30 years ago
1979

Politics

U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivered his State of the Union address, urging Congress to help his administration build a "new foundation" for the future by controlling inflation and supporting the projected SALT-II pact with the U.S.S.R.

The Republican National Committee chose Detroit as the site for its 1980 convention; chairman Bill Brock said that the choice emphasized the party's effort to win over urban and black voters.

War
Israelis fired on guerrilla bases in Lebanon in the heaviest shelling there since the invasion of March 1978.

25 years ago
1984

Weather

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Edmonton. The snow was melting, and it was nice enough to drive with the windows down--not at all like the weather in Edmonton today.

20 years ago
1989

Crime

The night before he was to be executed, serial killer Ted Bundy granted an interview to psychologist James Dobson, president of the Christian ministry Focus on the Family. Mr. Bundy, who claimed to have trusted in Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord some time before, said that his wrong turn began when he was about 14, when, while walking down a lane on his way home, he found a few "soft-core" pornographic magazines that someone had thrown out. While it wasn't solely to blame for his behaviour, violent pornography fuelled his lusts. Although some questioned Mr. Bundy's sincerity in his last interview, his comments served as a powerful statement on the evils of pornography.

January 22, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Nancy Lear!

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

Tales of Fatima, starring Basil Rathbone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: The Fires at Schuyler Square

40 years ago
1969

Music

Elvis Presley met one of his idols, Roy Hamilton, for the only time. Mr. Presley was recording at Chips Moman's studio in Memphis late at night, and heard that Mr. Hamilton was recording at the same studio in the daytime. Mr. Hamilton, whose popularity had peaked in the mid-1950s, was attempting to revitalize his career by recording at Mr. Moman's studio.

Mr. Presley made sure that he met Mr. Hamilton, and he was so impressed that he offered Mr. Hamilton a song called Angelica that had been written for him by the popular team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Mr. Hamilton did record Angelica, and did an excellent job. Unfortunately, Mr. Hamilton's comeback was not to be. Angelica was one of five songs that he recorded for Mr. Moman's AGP label for an intended album, but he suffered a debilitating stroke three months later, and died on July 20, aged 40. Angelica was the second of three singles by Mr. Hamilton released on AGP, but, like the others, it failed to chart. Meanwhile, Mr. Presley's sessions resulted in Suspicious Minds, one of his most popular songs, and the last to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Space
The United States launched OSO 5, the fifth in the Orbiting Solar Observatory Series. The satellite carried eight experiments aimed at gathering high-resolution spectral data about the sun.

Boxing
Bob Foster retained his world light heavyweight title with a 1-round knockout of Frankie DePaula at Madison Square Garden in New York.

25 years ago
1984

Football

The Los Angeles Raiders whipped the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It was the second Super Bowl win for the Raiders and head coach Tom Flores in four years.

10 years ago
1999

Boxing

38-year-old Isaac Poole, weighing 256½ pounds, picked up his first win as a professional boxer after 14 straight defeats when he took a 4-round majority decision at Milander Auditorium in Hialeah, Florida over 58-year-old Levi Forte, who was coming off a 21-year layoff, and whose six most recent fights from 1969-1977 had ended in defeat. Mr. Forte, who weighed in at 238 pounds (more than 40 lbs. more than when he fought in the 1960s), retired for good after this bout with a career record of 19-28-2. Two of the judges scored the bout in favour of Mr. Poole, while the third scored it a draw. William Conners was the referee. Those who argue for the abolition of professional boxing can use as evidence the fact that this bout was allowed to take place.

January 21, 2009

75 years ago
1934

Disasters

The Chinese ship Weitung burned on the Yangtze River, killing 216.

60 years ago
1949


On television tonight
Your Show Time, hosted and narrated by Arthur Shields, on NBC
Tonight's episode: The Necklace, starring Stanley Andrews and Fay Baker

This was the first episode of the series, which was the first U.S. television series to be shot on film instead of being shown live. The Necklace won an Emmy Award in 1950, making Your Show Time the first series to win an Emmy Award.

50 years ago
1959


Died on this date
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, 31
. U.S. actor. Alfalfa, the kid with the cowlick in the Our Gang comedies, found acting work hard to come by as he got older, and became a skilled hunting and fishing guide. He was shot to death, in what was ruled a justifiable homicide, by an acquaintance in a dispute over $50 that Mr. Switzer said was owed to him. Mr. Switzer was romantically teamed with Elizabeth Taylor in her first movie, There's One Born Every Minute (1942). His last part was a small role in The Defiant Ones (1958).

25 years ago
1984

Died on this date
Jackie Wilson, 49
. U.S. singer. Known as "Mr. Excitement," Mr. Wilson had an impressive string of singles on the U.S. pop and R&B charts from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, beginning with Reet Petite in 1957. 24 of his singles were top 40 hits in the U.S., and 6 of them hit the top 10. His biggest hit was Night, which hit #4 in the spring of 1960. Other notable hits included Lonely Teardrops (#7, 1960); Baby Workout (#5, 1963); and Higher and Higher (#6, 1967). Mr. Wilson's last U.S. top 40 hit was I Get the Sweetest Feeling, which peaked at #32 in the late summer of 1968.

While performing at a Dick Clark oldies show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on September 29, 1975, Mr. Wilson collapsed with a severe heart attack, falling head-first to the stage while singing "Lonely Teardrops". A contributing factor may have been Mr. Wilson's practice of taking salt tablets in order to make him sweat on stage. He suffered serious brain damage, and spent the rest of his life in hospital, where, according to a 1987 report on the ABC-TV newsmagazine program 20/20, he was a victim of neglect. Dick Clark paid his hospital bills.

The Commodores' 1985 hit Nightshift paid tribute to Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye.



20 years ago
1989

Hockey

In the national Hockey Night in Canada game, the Montreal Canadiens edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 7-4.

January 20, 2009

75 years ago
1934

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (Vocal by Bob Lawrence)

50 years ago
1959


On the radio
Gull-lorgnetten (The Golden Pince-Nez), starring Knut M. Hansson as Sherlock Holmes and Willie Hoel as Dr. Watson, on Norsk Rikskringkasting (Norwegian Stae Broadcasting Corporation)

On television tonight
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, on ABC
Tonight's episode: The Bride Possessed, starring Virginia Leith and Skip Homeier

This was the first episode of One Step Beyond, a series about the supernatural, hosted and directed by John Newland.

40 years ago
1969

Politics

Richard Nixon was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States, with Spiro Agnew as his Vice President. 2,000-3,000 well-wishers were at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington to bid goodbye to departing President Lyndon Johnson, who flew home to Texas with his family.

Golf
Miller Barber won the Kaiser International and $13,500 in Napa, California.

30 years ago
1979

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Le Freak--Chic (4th week at #1)

20 years ago
1989

Politics

George H.W. Bush was inaugurated as the 41st President of the United States, with Dan Quayle as his Vice President. Lee Atwater, who had managed Mr. Bush's election campaign, played a starring role on inauguration night as he performed the song Hi Heel Sneakers on stage. A fascinating documentary movie called Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story was released in 2008.

January 19, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Inese!

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters

For Mark Steyn's article about this song, go here.

30 years ago
1979

Hockey

In World Hockey Association action at the Edmonton Coliseum, the Edmonton Oilers whipped the Birmingham Bulls 11-3.

January 18, 2009

125 years ago
1884

Disasters

103 were killed when the ship City of Columbus was wrecked off Massachusetts.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da--Marmalade (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (6th week at #1)

Space
Soyuz 5, with Boris Volyanov, Alexei Yeliseyev, and Yevgeni Khrunov aboard, landed in the Soviet Union after three days in space.

20 years ago
1989


On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Just Between Me and You and Kirk and Paul and Carla and Becky

January 17, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Tanya Sokolova!

90 years ago
1919

Disasters

460 died when the French ship Chaonia was lost in the Straits of Messina.

75 years ago
1934

Crime

Edward Bremer, 37, was kidnapped in St. Paul, Minnesota.



60 years ago
1949

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes)
Tonight's episode: The Fabulous Celebrities

40 years ago
1969

Space

Soyuz 4, with Vladimir Shatalov aboard, landed in the Soviet Union after three days in space.

January 16, 2009

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty (5th week at #1)

40 years ago
1969

World events

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had an audience with Pope Paul VI in Rome, and discussed the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between Canada and the Vatican. However, following the audience, Mr. Trudeau said that the matter would depend on public opinion, since "we do not want to thrust anything down the throats of the Canadian people." This was an odd remark from Mr. Trudeau, given that he didn't mind shoving official bilingualism, multiculturalism, the metric system, legalized abortion and homosexual behaviour, the National Energy Program, and the Orwellian-named Charter of Rights and Freedoms down the throats of the Canadian people.

Space
The Soyuz 5 crew of Boris Volyanov, Alexei Yeliseyev, and Yevgeni Khrunov transferred to the Soyuz 4 spacecraft, joining Vladimir Shatalov. The transfer was possibly a simulation of a rescue in space, as well as an aid inthe development of modular construction techniques for space stations.

Defense
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Defense Planning Committee announced that the alliance's defense ministers had agreed to set up a NATO Mediterranean fleet.

War
American and North Vietnamese delegates agreed to hold expanded peace talks in Paris.

30 years ago
1979

Died on this date
Ted Cassidy, 46
. U.S. actor. Mr. Cassidy, who stood 6' 9", was best known for playing the butler "Lurch" on The Addams Family television comedy series from 1964-1966.

January 15, 2009

450 years ago
1559

Britannica

Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England at Westminster.

80 years ago
1929

Born on this date
Martin Luther King, Jr.
. U.S. clergyman and civil rights activist. "Dr." King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. I'm not going to talk about the facts that his real name was Michael King; that he plagiarized on a grand scale in "earning" his doctorate; that his "non-violent" approach often seemed to produce violence; that he deliberately surrounded himself with Communist aides; and that he liked to have sex with prostitutes and beat up women. Alan Stang does a very good job of talking about these facts here and here.

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

Tales of Fatima, starring Basil Rathbone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: Mystery at Mirador

40 years ago
1969

Space

The U.S.S.R. launched Soyuz 5, with Boris Volyanov, Alexei Yeliseyev, and Yevgeni Khrunov aboard. Soyuz 4, with Vladimir Shatalov aboard, had been launched the previous day.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

January 14, 2009

40 years ago
1969

Died on this date
Roy Henry, 83
. Canadian insurance agent. Mr. Henry, the maternal grandfather of this blogger, ran his own agency in Edmonton (Roy Henry Insurance) for many years. In 1956 he became the team historian of the Edmonton Eskimos. I believe the scrapbooks he compiled were recently donated by the Eskimos to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. He remains very much missed.

Space
The U.S.S.R. launched Soyuz 4, with only Vladimir Shatalov aboard.

January 13, 2009

30 years ago
1979

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Too Much Heaven--Bee Gees (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Donny Hathaway, 33
. U.S. singer and musician. Mr. Hathaway was known for his duets with Roberta Flack. The Grammy Award-winning Where is the Love hit #1 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1972, and #5 on the Hot 100; The Closer I Get to You was a #1 R&B and #2 pop hit in 1978. On January 13, 1979, Mr. Hathaway had dinner at Miss Flack's New York apartment with his manager, David Franklin. He then returned to his room on the 15th floor of the Essex Hotel. His body was found on the ground directly below the window (the safety glass had been removed, and Mr. Hathaway's death was ruled a suicide. He had battled paranoid schizophrenia for much of the 1970s, and was said to be fascinated with suicide.

10 years ago
1999

Football

Don Matthews was named head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, replacing the departed Kay Stephenson. Mr. Matthews had begun his professional coaching career with the Eskimos as an assistant to Hugh Campbell from 1977-1982, winning Grey Cup rings in the last five seasons. He became head coach of the British Columbia Lions in 1983, and won a Western Division title that year, and the Grey Cup in 1985. After being fired late in the 1987 season, Mr. Matthews returned to the Eskimos as an assistant coach under Joe Faragalli in 1989, then became head coach of the Toronto Argonauts in 1990. After that season he was head coach for a season with Orlando in the World League of American Football, then returned to the Canadian Football League as head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, replacing John Gregory midway through 1991.

In 1994 Mr. Matthews became head coach of the expansion Baltimore Football Club, leading them to the Eastern Division title that year, and coaching the team (renamed the Stallions) to a Grey Cup title in 1995. He returned to Toronto in 1996, winning Grey Cups that year and in 1997, thus becoming the only man to coach Grey Cup winners in consecutive years with different teams. When quarterback Doug Flutie left the Argonauts for the NFL in 1998, the Argonauts dropped to 9-9-0, and lost the Eastern semi-final.

The return of Don Matthews to the Eskimos seemed to promise a return to the glory days of 20 years earlier. Unfortunately, such was not to be.

January 12, 2009

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: The Chipmunk Song--David Seville and the Chipmunks (4th week at #1)

40 years ago
1969

Football

Quarterback Joe Namath, who had "guaranteed" a win, made good on his boast as he led his New York Jets to a 16-7 upset win over the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl before 75,377 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Mr. Namath completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards in becoming the only quarterback in Super Bowl history to be chosen as the game's Most Valuable Player without throwing a touchdown pass. However, he surprised the Colts with a ball-control offense. Fullback Matt Snell carried 30 times for 121 yards and rushed 4 yards for the Jets' only touchdown in the second quarter. Mr. Snell also caught 4 passes for 40 yards, while George Sauer led the receivers with 8 for 133.

The Colts dominated the first half, but failed to finish their drives. A 58-yard run by Tom Matte led to an interception, while a fumble recovery on the Jets' 12-yard line resulted in a missed field goal attempt by Lou Michaels. Mr. Snell's touchdown, which culminated an 80-yard, 12-play drive, gave the Jets a 7-0 halftime lead. The Jets continued to grind out the yardage in the second half, settling for three field goals by Jim Turner to stretch the lead to 16-0 early in the fourth quarter.

Earl Morrall, who had quarterbacked the Colts to a 13-1-0 regular season record, had a dismal game, completing just 6 of 17 passes for 71 yards and 3 interceptions. Veteran legend Johnny Unitas, who had played very little during the season because of a sore arm, came off the bench in the fourth quarter. He succeeded in finally getting Baltimore on the scoreboard as Jerry Hill scored on a 1-yard rush, converted by Mr. Michaels, with just 3:19 remaining.

Super Bowl III made history as the first one in which the American Football League champions had defeated the National Football League champions. Weeb Ewbank, who had coached the Colts to the NFL title in 1958 and 1959, triumphed over his old team, who were led by Don Shula. Mr. Matte led the Colts' attack with 11 carries for 116 yards, and 2 receptions for 30. Mr. Unitas completed 11 of 24 passes for 110 yards and 1 interception.

Golf
Charlie Sifford won a playoff to take the $20,000 first-prize purse in winning the Los Angeles Open. Dick Lotz won the Alameda Open, taking home $10,000.

Space
The U.S.S.R. launched Cosmos 263, the first of some 50 satellites launched by the Soviet Union in 1969 as part of their catch-all satellite series, including weather-watchers, weapons tests, scientific probes, and unmanned checkouts of manned spacecraft.

30 years ago
1979

Died on this date
Pete Smith, 86
. U.S. motion picture producer, director, narrator. Mr. Smith was head of the publicity department at Paramount Pictures in the 1920s, then held the same position at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for several years. In the 1930s he began producing, directing, and, in a distinctive voice, narrating short films under the heading of "A Pete Smith Specialty." His movies can be seen today on Turner Classic Movies, usually as filler between features. The reader should frequently check the TCM schedule to see when they'll be shown.

Most of Mr. Smith's films were humourous, and two of them won Academy Awards: Penny Wisdom (1937--Short Subject, Color) and Quicker'n a Wink (1940--Short Subject, one reel). 14 more of Mr. Smith's "specialties" were nominated for Oscars from 1933 to 1950, including the motivational World War II films Army Champions (1941); Marines in the Making (1942); and Seeing Hands (1943).

Mr. Smith was given an honourary Academy Award in 1954 "for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of 'Pete Smith Specialties'". The last Pete Smith specialties were released in 1955. Mr. Smith was plagued by poor health in his later years, and committed suicide by jumping to his death from his ninth-floor hospital room.

January 11, 2009

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Lily the Pink--The Scaffold (4th week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (5th week at #1)

20 years ago
1989


On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Steady as She Goes

January 10, 2009

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes)
Tonight's episode: The Knife of Vengeance

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion
2 Cinnamon--Derek
3 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
4 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
5 Bella Linda--The Grassroots
6 Hey Jude/Revolution--The Beatles
7 If I Can Dream--Elvis Presley
8 Goin' Up the Country--Canned Heat
9 Shame Shame--Magic Lanterns
10 Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)--Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus

The 45 of Bella Linda was issued in the United States in mono, while the Canadian release was in stereo.
The infamous Ozzy Osbourne is said to have been a member of the Magic Lanterns.

Publishing
Martin S. Ackerman, president of The Saturday Evening Post, announced that the publication, which began in 1821, would cease with the February 8 issue. The death knell for the magazine was the loss of a lawsuit filed by University of Georgia football coach Wally Butts. A 1963 article had alleged that Mr. Butts and University of Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant had conspired to fix a game in 1962. Mr. Butts sued for libel, and a 1967 court decision sided with him, awarding the coach $3.06 million, later reduced to $460,000.

The Saturday Evening Post was revived as a quarterly publication in 1971, and is now published bimonthly, with content often dealing with medicine and health.

Space
Five days after launching Venera 5, the U.S.S.R. launched Venera 6, which, like its predecessor, was aimed to descend to the night-side surface of Venus in mid-May.

January 9, 2009

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty (4th week at #1)

January 8, 2009

Born on this date
Happy 74th birthday, Elvis Presley!

60 years ago
1949

On the radio

Tales of Fatima, starring Basil Rathbone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: The Strange Mr. Smith

This was the first episode of this mystery series, which was sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes.

50 years ago
1959

Politics

Charles de Gaulle was proclaimed the first President of the Fifth Republic of France at a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Mr. de Gaulle's first act as president was to appoint Michel Debre as his Prime Minister. The installation of President de Gaulle marked the end of an eight-month transitional period following near civil war when French residents of Algeria protested against independence.

30 years ago
1979

War

Hundreds of Khmer Rouge troops fled Cambodia after being crushed by Vietnamese-led rebel forces. Four years of brutal dictatorship by Pol Pot ended when he and many of his soldiers fled to the countryside, and the capital, Phnom Penh, was seized. Defeated soldiers crossed the border into Thailand, where they were arrested and jailed as illegal immigrants.

Hockey
The Canadian Olympic team defeated Moscow Dynamo Riga 4-1 in an exhibition game at the Stampede Corral in Calgary.

20 years ago
1989

Disasters

46 people were killed when a Boeing 737 crashed onto a highway near East Midlands Airport in England. There were 80 survivors, 10 of them seriously injured. The plane crashed when both engines of the new aircraft failed. The odds of a double engine failure were estimated at 100,000,000 to 1. The flight from London's Heathrow Airport to Belfast was forced to divert to East Midlands 10 minutes after takeoff when one engine caught fire. The remaining engine failed when the plane began its descent. A report by the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch found that the crew had shut down the wrong engine, i.e., the second one that was working, not the first one that had caught fire.

Monday, 19 January 2009

January 7, 2009

20 years ago
1989

Died on this date
Hirohito, Emperor Showa, 87
. 124th Emperor of Japan. Hirohito sat on the chrysanthemum throne from December 25, 1926 until his death. It was for his glory that the Japanese fought in World War II. The reader is invited to conduct his own research on the extent of the emperor's involvement in Japan's war effort. I think "Villainhito" would have been an appropriate name for him. He was given the posthumous name Emperor Showa in reference to his era.

January 6, 2009

Born on this date
Happy 155th birthday, Sherlock Holmes!
Happy birthday, Sheila Hellevang and Johanna Wegner!

90 years ago
1919

Died on this date
Theodore Roosevelt, 60
. U.S. politician, soldier, and historian. A Republican, the 26th President of the United States served as Governor of New York before being selected as William McKinley's running mate in the presidential election of 1900. Mr. Roosevelt had been Vice President for just 6 months before Mr. McKinley was assassinated in September 1901. Mr. Roosevelt became President at the age of 42, the youngest chief executive in American history.

Known as a "trust-buster" and conservationist, Mr. Roosevelt easily won the election of 1904, and left the White House in 1909 after serving nearly two full terms. He was very critical of his successor, fellow Republican William Howard Taft, and ran against the incumbent in 1912. He ran under the label of the Progressive Party, better known as the "Bull Moose" party after Mr. Roosevelt declared that he was as fit as a bull moose. This fitness stood him in good stead when he was hit by a bullet from a would-be assassin during the campaign. The former president survived and continued his campaign, easily polling more votes than Mr. Taft, but not enough to defeat Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson. Mr. Roosevelt was a consistent critic of Mr. Wilson's administration, particularly in the area of foreign affairs and military preparedness. His 1916 book Fear God and Take Your Own Part was an effective critique of what he regarded as the Wilson administration's pacifistic and antipreparedness attitude.

Mr. Roosevelt was a man of many interests. He became famous leading his troops, known as the Rough Riders, in the charge up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War in 1898. His book about the experience, appropriately titled The Rough Riders, was published in 1899, and was an instant hit with the public. It seems hard to believe in this age of professional speechwriters and sound bites, but there was a time when politicians actually wrote their own speeches, and in the case of Theodore Roosevelt, their own books. Mr. Roosevelt's skills as a historian were strong enough to win him another presidency: that of the American Historical Association.

30 years ago
1979

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Too Much Heaven--Bee Gees

Football
The United States defeated Canada 34-14 in the second and last annual Can-Am Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The game pitted stars from Canadian universities against those from NCAA Division II and III schools. Martin Cox of Vanderbilt University, who went on to a Canadian Football League career as a receiver with Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg, was the game's Most Valuable Player. Only about 14,000 were on hand at Tampa Stadium on a sunny afternoon, and the poor attendance helped to kill the event after just two years. Nonetheless, the Can-Am Bowls of 1978 and 1979 helped to showcase a number of players who went on to CFL careers (and a few who played in the NFL).

January 5, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Laura-Belle Robinson and Nadia!

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: The Chipmunk Song--David Seville and the Chipmunks (3rd week at #1)

40 years ago
1969

Space

The U.S.S.R. launched Venera 5, a probe aimed to descend to the night-side surface of Venus in mid-May.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

January 4, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Angela Ieriti!

125 years ago
1884

World events

The Fabian Society, an organization dedicated to bringing in socialism worldwide through gradual and stealthy methods, was created. Judging by conditions in 2009, they seem to have been, and continue to be, rather successful.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da--Marmalade
#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (4th week at #1)

January 3, 2009

70 years ago
1939

Born on this date
Happy 70th birthday, Bobby Hull!


60 years ago
1949

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Malicious Moor

50 years ago
1959

Americana

Alaska was admitted to the union as the 49th state.

40 years ago
1969

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion
2 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
3 Cinnamon--Derek
4 Sunday Sun--Neil Diamond
5 Little Arrows--Leapy Lee
6 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
7 Hey Jude--The Beatles
8 Son of a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
9 If I Can Dream--Elvis Presley
10 Goin' Up the Country--Canned Heat

At the movies
Work is a 4-Letter Word, starring David Warner, opened at the Capitol Theatre in Yellowknife.

30 years ago
1979

Religion

California state officials raided Ambassador College in Pasadena and put the Worldwide Church of God into receivership, much to the displeasure of the church's founder and leader, Herbert W. Armstrong. The raid took place just six weeks after the Jonestown mass suicide, which put alternative religious groups (popularly known as "cults") under closer scrutiny.

January 2, 2009

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Kathy Fincham!

125 years ago
1884

Born on this date
Oscar Micheaux
. U.S. filmmaker and novelist. Mr. Micheaux, who was based in Chicago, was the first Negro American to direct a feature film. The Homesteader (1919) was based on his novel, published two years earlier. Within Our Gates and The Symbol of the Unconquered, both from 1920, seem to be the only films of Mr. Micheaux that still exist. They don't hold up well as films, but they are of historical significance. In 1931 Mr. Micheaux added to his resume when The Exile became the first sound film to be directed by a Negro American. Mr. Micheaux died in 1951 at the age of 67.

80 years ago
1929

Born on this date
Charles Beaumont
. U.S. writer. Mr. Beaumont was a science fiction writer who wrote some of the most memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone, including Perchance to Dream; Shadow Play; and Long Live Walter Jameson. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie Queen of Outer Space (1958). At the age of 34 Mr. Beaumont's health began to decline, and a year later he was diagnosed as having either Alzheimer's Disease or Pick's Disease. He died on February 22, 1967 at the age of 38.

50 years ago
1959

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty (3rd week at #1)

Space
The Soviet Union launched Lunik I.

40 years ago
1969

Boxing

Ken Buchanan won a 10-round decision over Frankie Narvaez in a lightweight bout in London, England.

January 1, 2009

100 years ago
1909

Born on this date
Barry Goldwater
. U.S. politician. Mr. Goldwater, a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953-1965, 1969-1987), was the Republican Party's nominee for President in 1964, when he lost in a landslide to incumbent Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Despite this lopsided defeat, Mr. Goldwater's presidential campaign has been credited with revitalizing the conservative movement in the United States. Although he was often referred to as "Mr. Conservative," Mr. Goldwater tended toward more libertarian views in later years, and spent at least the last 17 years of his life attacking Christians. He died on May 29, 1998 at the age of 89.

Stepan Bandera. Ukrainian nationalist leader. Mr. Bandera was a leader in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) who served time in prison in Poland (which then ruled eastern Ukraine) in the 1930s before being freed after the German invasion in 1939. Mr. Bandera, who believed that a German invasion was the best hope for an independent Ukraine, collaborated with the Nazis. Shortly after declaring Ukrainian independence in June 1941, Mr. Bandera's faction of the OUN participated in pogroms in 1941 which resulted in the murder of 4,000 Jews. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler was less than enthusiastic about Ukrainian independence, and had Mr. Bandera thrown into prison for the next three years. Mr. Bandera moved to Munich after World War II and organized the OUN abroad. On October 15, 1959 he was assassinated on the orders of the KGB at the entrance to his apartment building by Bohdan Stashynsky. On January 22, 2010, outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko formally designated Mr. Bandera a Hero of Ukraine.

90 years ago
1919

Disasters

270 were killed when the British yacht Iolaire sank off Scotland.

50 years ago
1959

World events

Fidel Castro and his followers arrived in Havana and began a dictatorship over Cuba that continues to this day.

40 years ago
1969

Yellowknifiana

The Old Stope Hotel, an Old Town landmark, burned down; the huge cloud of black and gray smoke darkened an otherwise sunny sky in spectacular fashion. It was in the lobby of The Old Stope that Joseph Drybones was found drunk one night in 1967 and charged with a violation of the Indian Act. The subsequent court case resulted in a ruling that the Canadian Bill of Rights took precedence over the Indian Act--the first, and I think, only such ruling regarding the Bill of Rights in history.

December 31, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Mike Matson and Magdalen (Lim) Set!

60 years ago
1948

At the movies

Words and Music, a Hollywoodized biography of the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, premiered. Tom Drake played Mr. Rodgers, with Mickey Rooney as Mr. Hart. The supporting cast included Marshall Thompson, Ann Sothern, Betty Garrett, and Janet Leigh. Guest stars included June Allyson, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, and Mel Torme. A highlight was Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen (in a revealing skirt) dancing to Slaughter on 10th Avenue.

30 years ago
1978

Football

Fran Tarkenton's 19-year NFL playing career ended as his Minnesota Vikings were beaten 34-10 in a National Football Conference playoff game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

25 years ago
1983

Religion

At KC '83, Campus Crusade for Christ's Christmas Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Howard Hendricks concluded his series of morning addresses on the kind of person needed to make an impact on a deteriorating society with a talk about Joseph, a person of conviction. Near the end of his message, Dr. Hendricks issued a warning that unfortunately, CCC is no longer heeding--see the details here.

Alumni of the 1983 Summer Project went out for an an enjoyable dinner at The Rusty Scupper before heading to Bartle Hall. Marvellous Michele Dueck looked more beautiful than I'd ever seen her, in my biased opinion. Evening addresses were delivered by Josh McDowell and--who else?--Bill Bright. This blogger got tired of Mr. Bright's long-windedness, and walked around downtown Kansas City for a brief spell.

December 30, 2008

30 years ago
1978

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Le Freak--Chic (3rd week at #1)

Hockey
In the nationally-televised Hockey Night in Canada game, the Montreal Canadiens recorded an easy 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins at the Montreal Forum. The Bruins' lineup included Mike Walton, trying a comeback with the Bruins after several years in the World Hockey Association and a brief spell with the St. Louis Blues. Mr. Walton had begun his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, then joined the Bruins in a trade, sipping from the Stanley Cup in 1972.
In the other HNIC game, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals tied 5-5 at Maple Leaf Gardens.

25 years ago
1983

Religion

At Campus Crusade for Christ's Christmas Conference, KC '83, Howard Hendricks continued his series of morning addresses on Biblical characters who made an impact on a deteriorating society with a message about Timothy, a person of character. The afternoon was devoted to street evangelism, and this blogger visited a residential neighbourhood in Kansas City in the company of Tammy Kennedy from Nebraska and Daisy Boothe from Virginia. It was a lower middle-class area, mostly unresponsive, until the last house we visited, where we were welcomed most warmly by a Christian family named Garrison. Afterward, a group of us from Alberta had difficulty find a plcae to have dinner, and ended up at the lunch counter of the Skaggs drug store.

Bartle Hall hosted two keynote addresses in the evening. The first was by Dr. Joong Gon Kim of South Korea, and the second by Elisabeth Elliot. Miss Elliot's speech, on endurance, has become something of a classic, and has been replayed a number of times on Focus on the Family. Transcript and audio can be found here.

December 29, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Christine Gotaas!

50 years ago
1958

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: The Chipmunk Song--David Seville and the Chipmunks

40 years ago
1968

Football

Tom Matte rushed 17 times for 88 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Baltimore Colts sent 80,628 fans at Municipal Stadium home unhappy with a 34-0 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League championship game.

62,627 fans were at Shea Stadium to watch the hometown New York Jets, champions of the Eastern Division, edge the Oakland Raiders to win the American Football League championship. Jets' quarterback "Broadway Joe" Namath completed just 19 of 49 passes, but three of his passes went for touchdowns. Don Maynard caught two of Mr. Namath's scoring passes, including a 6-yard play for the winning score in the fourth quarter. Pete Lammons scored the other Jets' touchdown.

Pete Banaszak rushed for one Oakland touchdown, and Fred Biletnikoff scored the other on a 29-yard pass from Daryle Lamonica. George Blanda added three field goals for the Western Division champions, who went into the game as defending AFL champions.

25 years ago
1983

Religion

The Arena in Kansas City was the scene of the infamous junior-senior breakfast, a low point at Campus Crusade for Christ's Christmas Conference, KC '83. Later, next door at Bartle Hall, Howard Hendricks continued his series of messages on Biblical characters who made an impact on a deteriorating society with a talk about Esther, a person of courage. The keynote evening address at Bartle Hall was a forgettable speech (I've all but forgotten it) by Crawford Loritts.

December 28, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Heather (Watson) Pick!

50 years ago
1958

Football

In what many Americans still claim was the greatest professional football game ever played, Alan Ameche rushed 1 yard for a touchdown 8:16 into sudden-death overtime to give the Baltimore Colts a 23-17 win over the New York Giants in the National Football League championship game before 64,185 at Yankee Stadium in New York. For the Colts, champions of the NFL's Western Conference, it was their first NFL title.

After a first-quarter field goal by Pat Summerall gave the Eastern Conference champion Giants a 3-0 lead, the Colts took a 14-3 halftime lead on a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Mr. Ameche and a 15-yard scoring pass from Johnny Unitas to Raymond Berry. Mel Triplett rushed 1 yard for a touchdown late in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14-10, and then Frank Gifford scored on a 15-yard pass from Chuck Conerly early in the fourth quarter to give the Giants a 17-14 lead. With less than two minutes remaining, Mr. Unitas drove the Colts downfield, and Steve Myhra tied the game with a 20-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in regulation time. The Giants got the ball to start the overtime period, but were unable to move it, and Mr. Unitas drove the Colts from their own 20 for the winning score.

This was not only the first NFL championship game to go into overtime, but is considered to be the game that established professional football as a game that could be successfully promoted on television.

40 years ago
1968

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (3rd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.K.: Lily the Pink--The Scaffold (3rd week at #1)

War
It was disclosed that Lloyd Bucher, commander of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo, had signed a false confession of espionage when their North Korean captors threatened to shoot one member of the crew daily until he complied.

25 years ago
1983

Died on this date
Dennis Wilson, 39
. U.S. musician. Mr. Wilson, the drummer with the Beach Boys, drowned while diving in a marina in southern California after several weeks of homelessness. Excessive appetites for drink and sex were his downfall. Mr. Wilson, the group's leading sex symbol, was the only Beach Boy who actually surfed, and in the early 1960s he suggested to older brother Brian that he write a song about surfing. Brian did, and the legend began. Dennis was never considered a great craftsman in terms of drumming ability (session legend Hal Blaine played on most of the records), but his "clubbing" style was well-suited to live appearances. His most notable vocal performance during the Beach Boys' peak years was his lead on Do You Wanna Dance, a hit from the early spring of 1965. His softer side can be heard on the ballad In the Back of My Mind, a cut from the album The Beach Boys Today!, which also included Do You Wanna Dance.

Mr. Wilson was a late bloomer in terms of musical ability, and his compositions began to turn up on Beach Boys albums in 1968. He spent some time in the company of Charles Manson, and the song Never Learn Not to Love, released late in 1968 as the B-side of Bluebirds Over the Mountain, was supposedly written by Mr. Manson, although credited to (and sung by) Mr. Wilson.

Dennis Wilson tried his hand at movie acting, co-starring with James Taylor in Two-Lane Blacktop, released in 1971. It was a good movie, but it fared poorly at the box office, and Mr. Wilson never acted in a movie again. A drunken accident circa 1971 involving a plate glass door resulted in injuries that prevented Mr. Wilson from playing the drums for several years, so he played keyboards on tour instead. A solo album called Pacific Ocean Blue was released in 1977 to generally positive reviews, but a subsequent album went unreleased (at least until 2008, when they were issued as a CD package).

By 1979, years of heavy drinking and smoking had turned Dennis's husky voice into a raspy croak, and he was kicked out of the touring group for a time until he sobered up. His formerly handsome features now bloated and unrecognizable, Dennis Wilson made his last appearance on stage with the Beach Boys in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 4, 1983.

Religion
Billy Graham delivered the keynote evening address at KC '83, Campus Crusade for Christ's Christmas Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The thing he said that made the most impact on me was his comment that the one thing he'd learned about life was how quickly it passes.

The major morning address at Bartle Hall came from Howard Hendricks, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. His first of four talks, on the theme of what kind of person was needed to make an impact on a deteriorating society, was about Daniel, a person of competence.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

December 27, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Marilyn (Wight) Draper!

60 years ago
1948


On the radio
The Adventure of the Speckled Band, starring Howard Marion-Crawford as Sherlock Holmes and Finlay Currie as Dr. Watson, on BBC Home Service

Mr. Marion-Crawford played Dr. Watson in the television series Sherlock Holmes in 1954-1955.

40 years ago
1968

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 Abraham, Martin, and John--Dion
2 Little Arrows--Leapy Lee
3 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
4 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
5 Cinnamon--Derek
6 Hey Jude--The Beatles
7 Chewy Chewy--Ohio Express
8 Son of a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
9 If I Can Dream--Elvis Presley
10 Scarborough Fair--Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66

Space
Apollo 8's lunar orbital mission ended successfully as the crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 7:51 A.M. Pacific Standard Time. The crew set a speed record of 24,530 miles per hour in re-entering the earth's atmosphere.

30 years ago
1978

Hockey

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins played to a 1-1 tie.

25 years ago
1983

Religion

Approximately 20,000 students arrived in Kansas City, Missouri for the beginning of Campus Crusade for Christ's Christmas Conference, KC '83. This was the only time that CCC held one big North American Christmas conference instead of the usual smaller regioanl conferences. Campus Crusade founder and president Bill Bright deleivered the keynote address on opening night.

December 26, 2008

100 years ago
1908

Boxing

Jack Johnson, who had followed Tommy Burns around the world in attempting to get a championship match, finally succeeded in wresting the world title away from his much smaller Canadian opponent in a mismatch in Sydney, Australia that was stopped by police in the 14th round. Mr. Johnson, the first Negro to win the championship belt, continually taunted Mr. Burns throughout the fight as he kept the white man at bay. Mr. Johnson's victory outraged white people, including journalist Jack London, who witnessed the spectacle, and immediately called for former champion Jim Jeffries, who had retired to his farm in 1905, to come back and wipe the "golden smile" from Mr. Johnson's face.

60 years ago
1948

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Blue Carbuncle

50 years ago
1958

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty (2nd week at #1)

30 years ago
1978

Hockey

The New York Islanders defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1.

December 25, 2008

40 years ago
1968

Space

A Service Propulsion System engine burn at 12:34 A.M. Central Standard Time was successful, sending the Apollo 8 spacecraft on a course for home after 10 orbits of the moon.

War
28 were burned to death in a clash between Communist and non-Communist workers in Madrass, India.

December 24, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Hilary Hahn!

40 years ago
1968

Space

Apollo 8 went into lunar orbit. Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders took one of the most famous photographs in history (an earthrise as seen from the moon), and held the camera for the on-board telecast. Mr. Anders, followed by Mr. Lovell and Mr. Borman, read Genesis 1:1-10 aloud.

War
The crew of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo arrived in San Diego for Christmas reunions with their families. They were accompanied by the body of Seaman Duane Hodges, the only crew member killed when the ship had been seized by North Korea 11 months earlier. Mr. Hodges had been one of 11 crewmen, including Commander Lloyd Bucher, who had been wounded at the time of capture. Commander Bucher, speaking at a homecoming news conference, said that their captors were "completely devoid of humanity, completely devoted to the enslavement of men's minds."

The U.S. Defense Department announced that a Naval court of inquiry was being set up, under Vice Admiral Harold S. Bowen, to investigate the circumstances of the ship's seizure and the conduct of the crew during their imprisonment.

December 23, 2008

40 years ago
1968

Space

The Apollo 8 crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders became the first people to leave the earth's gravitational pull and enter that of the moon; they were more than 200,000 miles from earth. In their daily television coverage from the spacecraft, the astronauts showed pictures of the earth, the first time people had seen such views.

War
At a news conference in Seoul, Lloyd Bucher, commander of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo, said that he and the crew members had been brutally beaten during their 11-month imprisonment, and that he had been kept in solitary confinement. "Not once," he said, did his ship violate North Korean waters, but he confessed to such a violation because of "pretty vivid" threats.

On television tonight
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock, on BBC 1
Tonight's episode: The Blue Carbuncle

This was the last of 16 episodes of this series, and the last attempt at a Sherlock Holmes television series until the 1980s. Mr. Cushing played the role of Sherlock Holmes once more, in a 1984 made-for-television movie called Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death. Mr. Stock, who had played Dr. Watson on television opposite Douglas Wilmer in a 1964-1965 BBC series, played the role again in a series of long-playing records released in 1970-1971, with Robert Hardy as Holmes. Mr. Stock made one final appearance as Dr. Watson in a radio broadcast shortly before his death in 1986.

30 years ago
1978

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: Le Freak--Chic (2nd week at #1)

Hockey
The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-1.

December 22, 2008

50 years ago
1958

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: The Chipmunk Song--David Seville and the Chipmunks

David Seville's real name was Ross Bagdasarian. Acting under his real name, he played the songwriter in Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie Rear Window in 1954. Look carefully, and you'll see Mr. Hitchcock make his customary cameo appearance at a party in the songwriter's apartment.

40 years ago
1968

Space

Early in the morning, on the second day of the Apollo 8 mission, Commander Frank Borman suddenly became ill with what was diagnosed as 24-hour flu. The mission continued, and that afternoon the astronauts preempted the football games with a telecast of their own. Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders held the camera, and gave viewers a look at the cramped quarters of the spacecraft. The telephoto lens didn't work, preventing a good view of the earth from space.

War
Commander Lloyd Bucher led the 82 surviving crew members of the American intelligence ship Pueblo across the Bridge of No Return at Panmunjom, 11 months after their capture off North Korea. The release concluded 10 months of negotiations between U.S.-North Korean teams.

Football
In a playoff for the championship of the Western Division of the American Football League, Daryle Lamonica completed just 19 of 39 passes, but for 347 yards and 5 touchdowns, as the Oakland Raiders whipped the Kansas City Chiefs 41-6. The teams had recorded identical records of 12-2-0, forcing the playoff. Three of the touchdown tosses went to Fred Biletnikoff, who finished with 7 receptions for 180 yards. The other two scoring passes went to Warren Wells, who caught 4 passes for 93 yards. George Blanda converted all 4 touchdowns and added 2 field goals. Jan Stenerud kicked 2 field goals for the Chiefs. 53,605 watched the game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

At Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Earl Morrall threw 2 touchdown passes and Mike Curtis returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown as the Baltimore Colts rolled up a 21-0 third-quarter lead and held on for a 24-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in National Football League playoff action. Joe Kapp threw two touchdown passes for the Vikings in an attempt at a fourth-quarter comeback. 60,238 fans watched the champions of the Coastal Division defeat the champions of the Central Division.

20 years ago
1988

Religion

The Centre for Self-Awareness in Edmonton held its Christmas candlelight service, a silly New Age event led by Rev. Sue Rubin. Songs included those inspirational classics I'll Be Home for Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. The one enjoyable moment came at the end, when this blogger and Chris Milner were able to hug an attractive Negro woman named Roxanne.

December 21, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Juliette Richard!

40 years ago
1968

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Lily the Pink--The Scaffold (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye (2nd week at #1)

Space
Apollo 8, the first manned lunar orbiting mission, lifted off from launch pad 39A at Cape Kennedy, Florida at 7:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time. Aboard were U.S. Air Force Colonel Frank Borman (Commander), 40; U.S. Navy Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr. (Command Module Pilot), 40; and U.S. Air Force Major William A. Anders (Lunar Module Pilot), 35. It was the first manned mission to ride atop a Saturn V rocket, a machine 363 ft. tall, weighing 6,218,558 lbs.

War
In an attempt to secure the release of the 82 surviving crewmen aboard the U.S. spy ship Pueblo, seized by North Korea 11 months earlier, Major General Gilbert H. Woodward, acting on behalf of the United States, signed a "confession" of espionage, along with an apology and a promise to not let it happen again. At the same time, and with full knowledge and approval of the North Koreans, he denounced the confession as false, stressing that he was signing the statement "to free the crew, and only to free the crew."

Football
In National Football League playoff action, Century Division champion Cleveland Browns defeated Capitol Division Dallas Cowboys 31-20 before 81,497 at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Leroy Kelly led the Browns' attack with 20 carries for 87 yards and 1 touchdown, and 2 receptions for 46 yards and 1 touchdown. The game was the last for Cowboys' quarterback "Dandy Don" Meredith, who ended his 9-year NFL career by completing just 3 of 9 passes for 42 yards and 3 interceptions. His understudy, Craig Morton, was 9 for 23 and 163 yards and 1 interception. Bill Nelsen of Cleveland was 13 for 26 for 203 yards, 1 interception and 1 touchdown.

December 20, 2008

40 years ago
1968

Hit parade

Edmonton's top 10
1 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion
2 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
3 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
4 Little Arrows--Leapy Lee
5 Chewy Chewy--Ohio Express
6 Sunday Sun--Neil Diamond
7 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
8 Hey Jude/Revolution--The Beatles
9 Son of a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
10 American Boys--Petula Clark

Died on this date
David Faraday, 17
; Bettilou Jensen, 16. U.S. murder victims. Mr. Faraday and Miss Jensen had been sitting in a parked car outside Vallejo, California, near San Francisco. Mr. Faraday was shot in the car, and Miss Jensen was hit by five shots when she tried to flee. The murders were the first to be attributed to the serial killer known as Zodiac, although San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery later traced a 1966 murder to Zodiac. Over the next several years Zodiac taunted the newspapers and police with letters, claiming a constantly increasing body count. Zodiac has never been caught.

Crime
Barbara Jane Mackle, 20, was found unharmed three days after being abducted from a motel in Atlanta, Georgia; she was buried in a coffin-like wooden box 18 inches underground. Her father paid $500,000 ransom, most of which was recovered. Gary Steven Krist was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, while Ruth Eisemann-Schier was also accused.

30 years ago
1978

Hockey

In the regular Wednesday telecast, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 7-2. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated teh Minnesota North Stars 4-2, while the Montreal Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks 5-3.

December 19, 2008

60 years ago
1948

On the radio

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Speckled Band

Football
The Eastern Division champion Philadelphia Eagles won their first National Football League championship with a 7-0 win over the Western Division champion Chicago Cardinals. The win avenged the Eagles' loss to the Cardinals in the 1947 title game. 36,309 were in attendance at Franklin Field in Phildelphia to watch a game played in a heavy snowstorm. The big break in the game came late in the third quarter, when Elmer Angsman of the Cardinals fumbled, recovered by the Eagles on the Chicago 17. Four plays later, Steve Van Buren rushed 5 yards for the touchdown, converted by Cliff Patton at 1:04 of the fourth quarter.

Later in the quarter, the Eagles were backed up with a third down and 16 yards to go on their own 8-yard line, but quarterback Tommy Thompson faked a pitchout to Mr. Van Buren and ran for 17 yards and the first down. The game ended with the Eagles in possession on the Cardinals' 5-yard line. The Eagles outrushed the Cardinals 225 yards to 96, with Mr. Van Buren toting the ball 26 times for 98 yards. Mr. Thompson completed just 2 of 12 passes for 7 yards and 2 interceptions, while Ray Mallouf, Charlie Trippi, and Charley Eikenburg of the Cardinals combined for just 3 completions in 11 pass attempts for 35 yards and one interception.

At Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, 22,981 were on hand to watch the hometown Browns complete a perfect season by whipping the Buffalo Bills 49-7 to win their third All-America Football Conference championship in as many years. The Browns, champions of the Western Division, had won all 14 of their regular season games, while the Bill had won the Eastern Division with a 7-7-0 record. The Browns rushed the ball 40 times for 215 yards; fullback Marion Motley led the attack with 14 carries for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns. Winning quarterback Otto Graham completed 11 of 24 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown pass to Edgar "Special Delivery" Jones.

50 years ago
1958

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty

December 18, 2008

40 years ago
1968

Disasters

At least 25 workers were killed and 150 injured after a cement slab fell during renovation of a Jain temple in Gujerat state, India.

25 years ago
1983

Hockey

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins played to a 3-3 tie.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

December 17, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Ken Thiessen!

75 years ago
1933

Football

In the first official National Football League championship game, the Western Division champion Chicago Bears edged the New York Giants, winners of the Eastern Division, 23-21 before approximately 26,000 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The winning touchdown came with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Chicago fullback Bronko Nagurski passed to Bill Hewitt, who took a few steps and lateralled to Bill Karr, who completed the 36-yard touchdown play, converted by Jack Manders.

Mr. Manders also kicked 2 field goals and converted the Bears' earlier touchdown, also scored by Mr. Karr, on an 8-yard pass from Mr. Nagurski in the third quarter. Harry Newman threw two touchdown passes for the Giants: 29 yards to Red Badgro in the second quarter, and 8 yards to Ken Strong on the first play of the fourth quarter. Max Krause rushed 1 yard in the third quarter for the other Giant major, all of which were converted by Mr. Strong.

40 years ago
1968

Crime

Mary Bell, 11, was sentenced to life in detention after being found guilty on two counts of manslaughter at Newcastle Assizes. The body of 4-year-old had been found in a derelict house in Scottswood, in Newcastle, on May 25, while 3-year-old Brian Howe's body was found in Scottswood in July. Mary had strangled the boys "solely for the pleasure and excitement of killing," according to Mr. Justice Cusack, and was a "very grave risk to other children if she is not closely watched." Her 13-year-old accomplice, known only as Norma, was acquitted.

Mary was released on license in 1980, and was given a new identity. She now has a daughter. The High Court granted them lifelong anonymity under the Human Rights Act in May 2003 on the grounds that they were entitle to a private and family life.

Barbara Jane Mackle, 20, was abducted from a motel in Atlanta, Georgia.

30 years ago
1978

Hockey

The Washington Capitals held on to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-6 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.

25 years ago
1983

Terrorism

Three police officers and three members of the public were killed, and 90 others injured in the explosion of a car bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army near Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, central London. The store reopened three days after the attack.

December 16, 2008

Born on this date
Happy birthday, Heather Austin!

50 years ago
1958

On the radio

De tre studentene (The Three Students), starring Knut M. Hansson as Sherlock Holmes and Willie Hoel as Dr. Watson, on Norsk Rikskringkasting (Norwegian State Broadcasting Corporation)

This appears to have been the first Norwegian radio broadcast of a Sherlock Holmes story.

40 years ago
1968

On television tonight

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock, on BBC 1
Tonight's episode: The Sign of Four

30 years ago
1978

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: You Don't Bring me Flowers--Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond (2nd week at #1)

Hockey
In the two Hockey Night in Canada games, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens, while the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 at the Montreal Forum.

December 15, 2008

50 years ago
1958

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.S.A.: To Know Him is to Love Him--The Teddy Bears

40 years ago
1968

Died on this date
Jess Willard, 86
. U.S. boxer. Mr. Willard, who stood 6'6", knocked out Jack Johnson in the 26th round in Havana on April 5, 1915 to win the world heavyweight title, thereby accomplishing what a host of "White Hopes" had failed to achieve since Mr. Johnson had won the title more than six years earlier. Mr. Willard fought just one title bout afer that (a 10-round no-decision against Frank Moran in 1916) before being knocked out in 3 rounds by Jack Dempsey in Toledo, Ohio on July 4, 1919.

Boxing
Nino Benvenuti retained his world middleweight title with a 15-round decision over Don Fullmer in San Remo, Italy.

War
U.S. Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, speaking on a television program, blamed South Vietnam for the impasse in the procedural peace talks in Paris, saying that the United States delegation had expressed its willingness to "sit down at any kind of table."

30 years ago
1978

Hockey

At the Edmonton Coliseum, the Edmonton Oilers defeated an all-star team from the U.S.S.R. 5-3 in a game that counted in the World Hockey Association standings.

On the radio
CBS Radio Mystery Theater, on CFCN in Calgary
Tonight's episode: Diary of a Madman

10 years ago
1998

Football

Kay Stephenson's resignation as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos became effective.

December 14, 2008

40 years ago
1968

Hit parade

#1 single in the U.K.: Lily the Pink--The Scaffold

One of the members of The Scaffold was Paul McCartney's brother Mike, who performed under the name Mike McGear. The Scaffold originally wanted to call themselves The Hangmen, but that was considered too politically incorrect.

#1 single in the U.S.A.: I Heard it Through the Grapevine--Marvin Gaye

As was typical of Motown Record Corporation in the 1960s, more than one of their artists recorded a particular song. Mr. Gaye's version of I Heard it Through the Grapevine sat in the can for two years before being released in 1968--and becoming his biggest hit. Meanwhile, Motown had released a version by Gladys Knight and the Pips as a single in the fall of 1967, which hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

25 years ago
1983

Died on this date
Johnny Bright, 52
. U.S.-born Canadian football player. Mr. Bright was a star fullback at Drake University, and became famous in 1951 when his jaw was broken in a game by an opposing player named Wilbanks Smith in a racially-motivated attack (Mr. Bright was a Negro). Mr. Bright came to Canada in 1952, joining the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. Despite missing several games because of a mid-season appendectomy, Mr. Bright led the WIFU with 815 yards rushing. Shoulder injuries kept him on the injured list for most of the 1953 season, and he was let go after playing just one game for the Stampeders early in the 1954 season. He was promptly picked up by the Stampeders' provincial rivals, the Edmonton Eskimos, and became a major ingredient in an offense that produced three straight Grey Cup championships and team rushing records that still stand.

Mr. Bright scored two touchdowns in the 1955 Grey Cup, and two more in the 1956 Grey Cup. On one of his touchdown runs in the 1955 game, J.C. Caroline of the Montreal Alouettes attempted to tackle him, and Mr. Bright flattened him on his way over the goal line, finishing Mr. Caroline for the day.

Mr. Bright recorded five straight seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing (1957-1961), and his 1,722 yards in 1958 was a WIFU record at the time (and remains the Eskimos' single-season record). Despite a decline to 1,340 yards in 1959, Mr. Bright won the Schenley Award as Canada's Most Outstanding Player.

Injuries began slowing down Mr. Bright's productivity in 1962, and he was reduced to a backup role by the time his career ended after the 1964 season. His career rushing total of 10,909 yards stood as the CFL record until broken by George Reed in 1971. Mr. Bright scored 71 regular season touchdowns, 69 with the Eskimos (5th best in Eskimo history). His 17 playoff touchdowns remain the Eskimo team record. On November 26, 1970, Johnny Bright became the first former Eskimo player to be elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Johnny Bright remained in Edmonton after his playing career ended, and achieved success as a teacher, especially at Bonnie Doon High School. He also coached amateur football, and served as a colour commentator (when he could get a word in with Bryan Hall) on Eskimos' radio broadcasts in the 1960s. On October 29, 1983, Johnny Bright, along with former backfield mates Jackie Parker, Rollie Miles, and Normie Kwong, was added to the Eskimos' Wall of Honour at a halftime ceremony at Commonwealth Stadium. He died on the operating table at University Hospital while undergoing apparently routine minor knee surgery. An autopsy revealed a seriously enlarged heart.

20 years ago
1988


On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Christmas