Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December 16, 2010

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Heather Austin!

240 years ago

Born on this date
Ludwig van Beethoven
. German composer. One of the most famous names in music, the composer of nine symphonies and numerous sonatas (such as "Moonlight" and "Pathetique") was born in Bonn. He died in Vienna in 1827 at the age of 56.

90 years ago

An earthquake measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale struck Gansu province in China, killing approximately 200,000 people.

70 years ago


World heavyweight champion Joe Louis (44-1) retained his title with a technical knockout over Al McCoy (68-18-5) at Boston Garden when referee Johnny Martin stopped the fight at the beginning of the 6th round because the challenger was suffering from a badly-swollen left eye.

60 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 The Thing--Phil Harris
2 Harbor Lights--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
3 The Tennessee Waltz--Patti Page
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Jo Stafford
4 Nevertheless (I’m in Love with You)--Paul Weston and his Orchestra
--The Mills Brothers
--Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
5 All My Love (Bolero)--Patti Page
--Percy Faith and his Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Bing Crosby
6 Thinking of You--Don Cherry
--Eddie Fisher
7 A Bushel and a Peck--Perry Como and Betty Hutton
--Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely
8 Oh, Babe!--Kay Starr
--Louis Prima and Keely Smith
9 Patricia--Perry Como
10 I’ll Never Be Free--Kay Starr and Tennessee Ernie

Singles entering the chart included A Crosby Christmas (Parts 1 and 2) by Gary, Phillip, Dennis, Lindsay and Bing Crosby (#35); Can’t Seem to Laugh Anymore by the Orioles, and also by Bill Lawrence (#36); and My Heart Cries For You (#38), with versions by Guy Mitchell; Dinah Shore; Vic Damone; and Jimmy Wakely.

50 years ago

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: A Most Unusual Camera, starring Fred Clark and Jean Carson

After four days of fighting in Laos, the rightist forces of General Phoumi Nosavan occupied Vientiane and Captain Kong Le’s forces retreated to the north.

Addressing the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ministerial Council in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter said that the United States would be willing to commit to NATO five atomic submarines equipped with 80 Polaris missiles by the end of 1963. The offer was conditional on agreement by the NATO allies on a multilateral system of control of the weapons and on the purchase of 100 additional Polaris missiles by the European NATO states.

A United Air Lines DC-8 jetliner bound from Chicago to New York’s Idlewild Airport and a Trans World Airlines Super-Constellation bound from Toledo and Columbus to New York’s LaGuardia Airport collided over Staten Island in New York City. The final death toll was the greatest in aviation history to that time--all 84 on the jetliner, all 44 on the Super-Constellation, and 6 people on the ground, for a total of 134. Visibility was poor because of snow and rain as both planes approached New York. They collided over Miller Army Air Field on Staten Island at about 10:34 A.M., at an apparent altitude of 5,400 feet. The wreckage of the TWA plane fell at the edge of Miller Field, all 44 passengers and crew dead but with no casualties on the ground. The United jetliner continued for 8 miles in the air before crashing into a thickly-populated section of Brooklyn, hitting an empty church, setting 10 homes ablaze, and killing or fatally injuring 6 people on the ground. Only one of the 84 people on the jet was alive--an 11-year-old boy who died the next day.

40 years ago

On television tonight
Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, on NBC
Tonight’s episode: The Dead Man (starring Carl Betz, Jeff Corey, and Louise Sorel); The Housekeeper (starring Larry Hagman, Jeanette Nolan, and Suzy Parker)

This was the first episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery as a regular series; it had begun as a made-for-television movie broadcast on November 8, 1969. For the 1970-71 season, it was part of a rotating series of programs on NBC titled Four in One. The other three programs were The Psychiatrist; McCloud; and San Francisco International Airport.

U.S. Senator Sam Ervin (Democrat--North Carolina), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, charged that Army intelligence agents had spied on top politicians and 800 civilians in Illinois.

30 years ago

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect Ronald Reagan named two more cabinet appointees: U.S. Army General Alexander Haig (retired) as Secretary of State; and Raymond Donovan as Secretary of Labor.

At the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Denpasar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia raised its crude oil prices by $2 per barrel, bringing the Saudis’ price to the $32 per barrel already charged by the other OPEC nations. Then the oil ministers from the 13 OPEC countries agreed to permit the price to rise as high as $40 per barrel, allowing many members of the group to raise their prices as much as $4 per barrel. It was calculated that this might raise the price of home heating oil in the U.S.A. by 7c per gallon.

Edmonton 3 @ Detroit 4

25 years ago

Died on this date
Paul Castellano, 70
. U.S. gangster. Mr. Castellano, reputed to be one of the leaders of the Gambino crime family, and associate Thomas Bilotti were shot to death in New York City as hey left a car to enter a restaurant in midtown Manhattan. The three gunmen fled a short distance on foot before they entered a waiting car and disappeared. Mr. Castellano and nine other reputed members of the Gambino group had been on trial on charges of operating an auto theft ring. Authorities speculated that other crime figures were unhappy about the publicity generated by the trial and worried that Mr. Castellano might become a source of information damaging to them.

20 years ago

Politics and government
The first conference of the African National Congress to take place in South Africa in 31 years concluded with a resolution warning that the ANC would consider suspending its talks with the South African government unless the government met certain key demands, including the return of all exiles and the repeal of repressive security laws. Delegates also agreed on their commitment to peaceful negotiations. The conference had been characterized by widespread and open criticism of the ANC’s senior leadership.

In Haiti’s first democratic election, nutty Roman Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President with 60%-70% of the vote. Rev. Aristide, who had been the target of three assassination attempts in recent years, had denounced the regime of former President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier from his pulpit and during the campaign. Roger Lafontant, former head of the Tontons Macoute, Mr. Duvalier’s private militia, and who had been barred by election law technicalities from running for the presidency, pledged to remove Rev. Aristide from assuming the presidency.

10 years ago

Politics and government
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush named U.S. Army General Colin Powell (retired) as his choice for Secretary of State. Upon confirmation by the Senate, Mr. Powell would become the first Negro to hold the position.

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