Friday, 10 December 2010

December 12, 2010

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Robb Findlay!

140 years ago

Joseph Rainey of South Carolina took his seat as the first Negro member of the United States House of Representatives.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Suspense, on CBS
Tonight's episode: The Mallet, starring Walter Slezak, Michael Shepley, and Cara Williams

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Are You Lonesome To-Night?--Elvis Presley (3rd week at #1)

The Supreme Court of the United States upheld a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana’s anti-integration laws were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court unanimously denied Louisiana’s application for a stay of the lower court order "pending appeals which are being prepared." Louisiana had enacted an interposition law declaring the Supreme Court’s school desegregation rulings ineffective within the state and making it a crime for a federal judge or other official to enforce them. In its appeal from the lower court ruling, Louisiana argued that the state "has interposed itself in the field of public education over which it has exclusive control." The Supreme Court ruled that this stand was "without substance." Meanwhile, a white boycott of two New Orleans elementary schools where integration had started a month earlier remained substantially effective.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K.: I Hear You Knocking--Dave Edmunds (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): The Tears of a Clown--Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 The Tears of a Clown--Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
2 I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family
3 My Sweet Lord--George Harrison
4 Gypsy Woman--Brian Hyland
5 One Less Bell to Answer--The 5th Dimension
6 Share the Land--The Guess Who
7 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love)--The Presidents
8 No Matter What--Badfinger
9 Heaven Help Us All--Stevie Wonder
10 I’ll Be There--The Jackson 5

Singles entering the chart included Stop the War Now by Edwin Starr (#58); Born to Wander by Rare Earth (#60); Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters (#75); God Bless Whoever Sent You by the Originals (#88); Sing High, Sing Low by Anne Murray (#93); and Burning Bridges by The Mike Curb Congregation (#99).

Calgary’s top 10
1 I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family
2 Gypsy Woman--Brian Hyland
3 Burning Bridges--The Mike Curb Congregation
4 Fly Little White Dove, Fly--The Bells
5 No Matter What--Badfinger
6 Share the Land--The Guess Who
7 Be My Baby--Andy Kim
8 So Close--Jake Holmes
10 Sacroiliac Boop--Happy Feeling
Pick hit of the week: My Sweet Lord--George Harrison

Sacroiliac Boop was the B-side of Lord Come; the record was one of the last singles released on the Barry label.

Died on this date
Roy Spencer, 59
. Canadian hockey father. Mr. Spencer was a resident of Fort St. James, British Columbia. His son Brian, who had been drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1969, had been called up from the minors and was to play for the Maple Leafs against the Chicago Black Hawks that night on the national telecast of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC, and was to be interviewed during one of the between-periods intermissions. Brian called his father to give him the news and told him to watch the game. Roy Spencer was infuriated to find that the game on his television set was the regional telecast of a game in Vancouver between the Vancouver Canucks and California Golden Seals. He then drove 84 miles to Prince George, where the closest television, CKPG, was located. He ordered the staff at the station--at gunpoint--to broadcast the game from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto instead. The station complied, but Mr. Spencer was confronted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as he left the station. Mr. Spencer was shot and killed in a brief shootout. According to two of the police officers involved, it took an exceptional length of time for Mr. Spencer to fall. It's been said that the 1989 Tom Cochrane and Red Rider hit single Big League was inspired by this incident,but I don't if that's true.

This blogger attended Robb Findlay’s birthday party, much of which took place outdoors in Yellowknife. A splendid time was had by all.

More than 100 were believed dead after Colombia’s flood-swelled Cauca River caused a landslide.

30 years ago

World events
Jiang Qing, the widow of Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong and one of China’s "Gang of Four" who were on trial on various charges, was expelled from the courtroom after she repeatedly yelled at a witness who was testifying against her.

The Yugoslav delegation to the 35-nation European security conference in Madrid proposed a disarmament plan that covered both nuclear and conventional weapons. Because of deteriorating East-West relations, they suggested that a multinational disarmament conference be held.

The U.S. State Department announced that as a result of the report of a special mission to El Salvador led by former assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs William Rogers, the United States would resume aid to El Salvador only when the military-civilian government was reorganized.

Chrysler Corporation asked for freezes on employee wages and supplier parts in order to save $1.5 billion and thus persuade the U.S. government to guarantee $350 million in loans in addition to $800 million previously guaranteed.

U.S. industrialist Armand Hammer paid $5,126,000 at auction for Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook Of the Nature, Weight, and Movement of Water. This was the highest price ever paid at auction for a manuscript. The 36-page notebook, also known as the Codex of Leicester, was sold in London, and Mr. Hammer planned to exhibit it around the world, beginning with a show at London’s Royal Academy.

25 years ago

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CITV
Tonight’s episode: Her Pilgrim Soul, starring Kristoffer Tabori, Gary Cole, and Anne Twomey; I of Newton, starring Sherman Hemsley and Ron Glass

All 256 people aboard a chartered DC-8 jetliner died when it crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, where it had made a refuelling stop before resuming its flight to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. All 248 passengers were American soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division who were returning from Egypt, where they had served with the Multinational Force and Observers monitoring compliance with the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. The operator of the charter, Arrow Air, had been fined in 1984 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for poor performance. The toll was the highest in any plane crash in Canada or for any crash involving the U.S. military. The accident brought the death toll for air crashes in 1985 to 1,948 the highest ever for a single year.

Politics and government
Nine years of rule by the Parti Quebecois in Quebec ended when the Liberals won 99 of 124 National Assembly seats in the provincial election. The victory climaxed a comeback by Liberal party leader Robert Bourassa, who had been Premier of Quebec from 1970-1976, but had resigned as party leader after losing the 1976 election to the PQ.

20 years ago

On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight’s episode: A Very Cutlip Christmas

U.S. President George Bush announced that the United States would join Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia and other countries in providing help to the U.S.S.R. to ease the Soviet food crisis. The U.S. would provide up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to allow the Soviets to buy U.S. food. Mr. Bush also promised emergency shipments of food and medical supplies. In acting, Mr. Bush waived a legal requirement barring normal trade with countries not having market economies or unrestricted emigration. He also announced that he would hold a summit with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1991.

Politics and government
Polish President-elect Lech Walesa resigned as chairman of the Solidarity trade union movement. The man he defeated in the runoff presidential election, Polish-Canadian businessman Stanislaw Tyminski, returned to Canada after posting a bond of $100,000 to assure his return to face a government charge that he had slandered Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki during the campaign. Mr. Tyminski vowed to continue his political fight "even from a jail cell," and pledged to appeal the runoff results in court, contending that Mr. Walesa’s supporters had intimidated voters. Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s outgoing President, apologized for "each harm, pain and injustice" suffered by Poles during his nine years in office.

U.S. Education Secretary Laura Cavazos resigned. News reports said that President George Bush had felt that Ms. Cavazos, the first Hispanic-American cabinet member, had not been active enough in developing a national education agenda.

The U.S. Education Department announced that it would prohibit institutions receiving federal funds from awarding scholarships on the basis of race. Grants given on the basis of financial need would not be affected.

10 years ago

Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace treaty that formally ended their border war. Fighting had broken out in June 1998, and Ethiopian troops had invaded western Eritrea in May 1990. A cease-fire had been declared on June 18. Both countries agreed to accept a border determined by a neutral commission in Geneva, Switzerland. 4,200 United Nations peackeepers would be deployed along the border.

Politics and government
The United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn the Florida Supreme Court’s order to proceed with a recount of ballots in the presidential election, with seven justices agreeing that it violated the equal protection guarantee. The U.S. Supreme Court technically remanded the decision to the Florida Supreme Court for review, while noting that there was no time for a recount. Florida’s House of Representatives voted to appoint the electors pledged to Republican party presidential candidate George W. Bush.

U.S. President Bill Clinton began a visit to the United Kingdom.

Four U.S. Marines were killed in the crash of a V-22 Osprey aircraft during a training mission near Jacksonville, North Carolina. The Osprey, considered an engineering marvel when first unveiled in 1991, was built with tilt-rotor engines that allow it to take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. However, the crash was the Osprey’s fourth and the second in 2000. The U.S. Marine Corps, which had planned to buy 360 Ospreys to form the backbone of its aviation operations, asked the Defense Department to postpone production of its order, which had been scheduled to begin the following week.

General Motors announced that it would phase out Oldsmobile, the oldest U.S. auto brand, over several years, but that current Oldsmobile models would continue to be built as long as they were economically viable. Oldsmobile sales had declined 18.5% from 1999. GM also announced that it would close a plant in Lansing, Michigan and another in Luton England. 15,000 workers would be laid off as part of a worldwide restructuring plan.

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