Friday, 10 December 2010

December 11, 2010

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K.: It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (7th week at #1)

World events
Two days after the collapse of the neutralist Laotian government of Premier Souvanna Phouma, a pro-Communist cabinet headed by Quinim Polsena assumed power after a military junta had ruled briefly. Army Captain Kong Le, leader of the 1960 coup that had overthrown Laos’s pro-western government, received reinforcement from Pathet Lao units and prepared to defend the capital city of Vientiane, which his troops had seized on December 9. Soviet planes began to deliver howitzers and ammunition to the leftist forces. The South East Asia Treaty Organization Council denounced the Soviet aid as "outside interference" that would only prolong the crisis.

An Argentine Air Ministry airliner exploded and crashed near San Andres de Giles, Argentina, killing all 32 aboard.

Three separate sports car crashes during the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires resulted in the deaths of 17 spectators.

40 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's top 10
1 My Sweet Lord--George Harrison
2 Gypsy Woman--Brian Hyland
3 He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother--Neil Diamond
4 Silver Moon--Michael Nesmith and the First National Band
5 Fly Little White Dove, Fly--The Bells
6 You Don't Have to Say You Love Me--Elvis Presley
7 Share the Land--The Guess Who
8 I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family
9 See Me, Feel Me--The Who
10 Fire and Rain--James Taylor

On television tonight
The Interns, on CBS
Tonight's episode: The Prisoners

Two days after concluding two days of talks with Jordan’s King Hussein, U.S. President Richard Nixon met with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in Washington for talks.

A train crash in Czechoslovakia killed 31 people.

Kuniaki Shibata of Japan retained his world featherweight title with a 13-round knockout of Vicente Saldivar in Tijuana, Mexico.

George Chuvalo of Canada knocked out Charles Couture in the 2nd round of a heavyweight bout in Youngstown, Ohio.

30 years ago

Iraq predicted that its war against Iran would go on for a long time.

Politics and government
Uganda People’s Party candidate Milton Obote was elected President of Uganda.

U.S. President-elect Ronald Reagan announced his first eight cabinet-level appointments, and they were introduced at a press conference not attended by Mr. Reagan. Those selected were: Donald Regan (Secretary of the Treasury); Caspar Weinberger (Secretary of Defense); William French Smith (Attorney General); Malcolm Baldridge (Secretary of Commerce); Senator Richard Schweiker (Secretary of Health and Human Services); Andrew L. Lewis (Secretary of Transportation); David Stockman (Director of the Office of Management and Budget); and William Casey (Director of the Central Intelligence Agency).

25 years ago

Politics and government
Two months after winning the Progressive Conservative party leadership and becoming Premier of Alberta, Don Getty won a by-election in Edmonton Whitemud to rejoin the legislature after many years away from electoral politics. This blogger voted for him, and it was the last time I voted for that party.

Filipino Senator Salvador Laurel agreed to serve as a vice-presidential candidate on a ticket headed by Corazon Aquino in the election scheduled for February 7, 1986. Mr. Laurel had announced his candidacy for the presidency on December 9, but accepted Mrs. Aquino’s offer in exchange for her agreement to run as a candidate of Mr. Laurel’s party, the United Nationalist Democratic Party (UNIDO). Government corruption, the state of the economy, and the Communist insurgency were expected to be issues in the campaign.

Economics and finance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished above 1500 for the first time.

The governments of Great Britain and Norway disappointed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by saying that they would not reduce their nations’ oil output.

General Electric Company agreed to buy Radio Corporation of America for $6.28 billion in the biggest merger yet to take place outside the oil industry. RCA was the fourth-largest supplier of weapons to the U.S. government, but also led the nation in sales of television sets, and had the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) as part of its empire. GE had helped found RCA in 1919 and the companies had worked together in developing radio technology, but they were separated by a court order in 1933. The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission would have to approve the merger.

20 years ago

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir met with U.S. President George Bush at the White House. Mr. Bush gave assurances that the United States would not tie Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait to any proposal to resolve the issue of Palestinians in the Middle East.

Michael Williams. assistant U.S. secretary of education for civil rights, disclosed that his department regarded college scholarships set aside exclusively for minorities as discriminatory and therefore in violation of federal civil rights law.

The Canadian government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney unveiled its Green Plan, a five-year, $3 billion effort to clean up the nation’s land, air, and water. The plan was based largely on programs already in place, but the $3 billion was "fresh, new money," according to Environment Minister Robert de Cotret. The goals of the program included reducing air pollution by 40% over the next 10 years; cutting federal waste by 50% over the same period; and developing a joint effort with the United States to prevent pollution in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Critics charged that the plan was too vague in its goals and allocations and had been announced solely as an attempt to boost Mr. Mulroney’s sagging popularity.

10 years ago

The U.S. space shuttle Endeavor touched down at Cape Canaveral, Florida after a 10-day mission at the International Space Station. The five-man crew, headed by U.S. Navy Commander Brent Jett, Jr., included Canadian space veteran Marc Garneau.

World events
A four-day meeting of the 15 member nations of the European Union concluded in Nice, France. The conference’s purpose had been to plan for the expansion of the EU to 27 nations, including many former Communist countries. The EU agreed to restructure the commission to include 27 members, one from each country regardless of size. Under a revised formula, the Council of Ministers, the EU’s legislature, would continue to be structured on the basis of proportional representation.

An appeals court in Chile reversed the December 1 order to arrest former dictator General Augusto Pinochet in the kidnapping and murder of political opponents. The appeals court ruled that the lower court judge should have interviewed Gen. Pinochet to determine his fitness to stand trial.

Justice Darlene Acton of Alberta ruled that a law prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana was unconstitutional because it didn’t allow for medical use of the drug. Justice Acton threw out a charge of cultivating marijuana against Grant Krieger, who grew and used marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis.

Shortstop Alex Rodriguez signed the largest contract in sports history, a 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers for $252 million.

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