Thursday, 2 December 2010

December 2, 2010

170 years ago

Politics and government

Voting in the U.S. presidential election, which had begun on October 30, concluded. Whig party candidate William Henry Harrison won with 234 electoral votes to 60 for incumbent President and Democratic party candidate Martin Van Buren. In the popular vote, Mr. Harrison received 1,274,624 (53.1%) to 1,127,781 (46.9%) for Mr. Van Buren. Liberty party candidate James G. Birney received 7,069 votes. Mr. Harrison had John Tyler as his vice-presidential candidate, while the Democrats had refused to renominate Vice-President Richard M. Johnson, and Mr. Van Buren had campaigned without a running mate. The electoral votes for the Democratic candidates were split among Mr. Johnson (48); Littleton W. Tazewell (11); and James K. Polk (1).

60 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Harbor Lights--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra (4th week at #1)
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
2 All My Love (Bolero)--Patti Page
--Percy Faith and his Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Bing Crosby
3 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
4 Thinking of You--Don Cherry
--Eddie Fisher
5 A Bushel and a Peck--Perry Como and Betty Hutton
--Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely
6 Goodnight Irene--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra and the Weavers
--Frank Sinatra
7 I’ll Never Be Free--Kay Starr and Tennessee Ernie
8 Mona Lisa--Nat King Cole
--Victor Young and his Orchestra (Don Cherry, vocal)
--Art Lund
9 Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No!)--The Ames Brothers
10 Patricia--Perry Como

Singles entering the chart included The Thing by Phil Harris (#20); If I Were a Bell by Frankie Laine (#32); Mommy, Won’t You Buy a Baby Brother? by Spike Jones and his City Slickers (#37); and Frosty the Snowman by Gene Autry (#38).

50 years ago

On television tonight
The Twilight Zone, on CBS
Tonight’s episode: The Lateness of the Hour, starring Inger Stevens and John Hoyt

This was the first of six episodes to be done on videotape instead of film in order to cut costs. They were transferred to film for broadcast, but shown in the original format when released on VHS and DVD.

The Soviet satellite Sputnik 6 burned up the day after launch after entering Earth’s atmosphere "along a non-calculated trajectory after a signal was given for it to return to earth." The five-ton satellite contained two dogs, other insects, animals, and plants, and its purpose was reportedly one of medical, biological, and physics studies in preparation for manned space flight.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Geoffrey Fisher, met with Pope John XXIII at the Vatican for about an hour; it was the first time in more than 500 years that a head of the Church of England had visited a pope. Spokesmen for both churches stressed the cordiality of the meeting and the potential value of the contacts established. However, a Vatican press service communiqué said that the conversation did not cover the subject of church unity (which I find very hard to believe).

World events
The White House announced that U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had authorized the use of up to $1 million for relief and resettlement of Cuban refugees in Miami and other southern Florida areas. The money was to come from the president’s $150-million special contingency fund under an amendment to the Mutual Security Act providing that any part of the fund could be used "to encourage the hopes and aspiration of peoples who have been enslaved by communism." The move was denounced by Cuban government officials as "a new aggression," and welcomed by authorities in Florida, where refugees were arriving at the rate of 1,000 per week.

40 years ago

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established.

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a 1926 law against the teaching of evolution in the state’s public schools. The last such legislation remaining in the United States, it was similar to the Tennessee law that was the basis for the famous Scopes trial in 1925.

Pope Paul VI continued his visit to Australia with another full day in Sydney, where his activities included an address to the Australian Council of Churches.

Floods from heavy rains left 50 dead and hundreds homeless in Caratinga, Brazil.

30 years ago

Syria presented a list of demands to Jordan, among them the demand that King Hussein of Jordan recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. It was also reported that Syria had begun removing some of its troops from the Jordanian border, allegedly on the advice of the Soviet Union.

Politics and government
The Polish Communist party dismissed four members of the Politburo, consolidating the power of party leader Stanislaw Kania. The U.S. administration of President Jimmy Carter warned that intervention in Poland by any outside power would affect U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations.

Howard Baker of Tennessee was chosen by his fellow Republican party Senators to be the new majority leader in the United States Senate when the new Senate would take office on January 3, 1981. Mr. Baker would be replacing Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

25 years ago

World events
A civilian court in the Philippines acquitted 26 defendants of charges related to the 1983 assassination of political opposition leader Benigno Aquino as he deplaned at Manila airport after returning from exile in the United States. The accused men--the most prominent of whom was General Fabian Ver, chief of staff of the armed forces--were also cleared of any charges in the death of Rolando Galman, who had been shot at the airport by soldiers, allegedly--according to the military--after shooting Mr. Aquino. The judges, who were appointees of President Ferdinand Marcos, had ruled as inadmissible some key testimony that was damaging to the defense. In 1984, an independent fact-finding committee had concluded unanimously that the military had planned and carried out the killings; four of five members of the panel had concluded that Gen. Ver had covered up the crime. The court’s verdict was denounced by opposition leaders and Jaime Cardinal Sin, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila.

General Dynamics Corporation and four of its current and former executives were indicted for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States Army on a weapons contract. The indictment asserted that the company and the individuals had charged to other U.S. accounts $7.5 million in cost overruns on a prototype DIVAD (Division Air Defense) Sergeant York mobile antiaircraft gun. Production of the weapon was subsequently cancelled by the Defense Department. The company and the individuals, who were also accused of submitting false statements to the government, denied any wrongdoing.

Canadian Treasury Board President Robert de Cotret announced that the federal government was selling de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. to the U.S. Boeing Corporation for $155 million.

Chicago 24 @ Miami 38

Dan Marino’s passing led the Dolphins as they handed the Bears their only loss of the season.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Aaron Copland, 90
. U.S. composer.
Mr. Copland’s compositions include Billy the Kid (1938); Quiet City (1940); Rodeo (1942); Lincoln Portrait (1942); and Fanfare for the Common Man (1942). Appalachian Spring, a collaboration with choreographer Martha Graham, won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1945. He also composed scores for several movies, including Our Town (1940) and The Red Pony (1949). His score for The Heiress won the Academy Award for 1949.

Fleetwood Mac performed at the Edmonton Coliseum to good reviews.

World events
Chadian rebel leader General Idris Deby, a French-trained professional soldier, entered the capital city of Ndjamena, the day after President Hissene Habre had fled into exile in Cameroon. Gen. Deby was a former aide to Mr. Habre.

Politics and government
The Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, finished first in the first general election to the Bundestag since the reunification of Germany. Mr. Kohl’s party and its allies would retain their majority in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament. The opposition Social Democratic Party had its poorest showing since 1957. In the area that had been East Germany, the party of Democratic Socialism, the successor to the Communist Party, polled 10% of the vote and captured 17 seats in the Bundestag.

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced that his government would set up a joint Senate-House of Commons committee to study how to reform the process of amending Canada’s constitution. The 17-member committee, made up of 10 Progressive Conservatives, 5 Liberals, and 2 New Democratic Party members, would hold public hearings to study the time-limit and public-involvememt problems in the constitutional amending process. Mr. Mulroney promised that "the legitimate and reasonable aspirations of Quebec or any other province will never again be held hostage to an inadequate and inflexible process," alluding to criticisms of the amending process that were highlighted after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord in June. The committee was expected to work in cooperation with Keith Spicer’s Citizens’ Forum, that was studying broader questions of Canadian national unity.

10 years ago

The U.S. space shuttle Endeavor docked with the International Space Station, and the five-man crew, commanded by Navy Commander Brent Jett, Jr. (and including Canadian space veteran Marc Garneau), subsequently attached large electricity-generating solar panels to the space station.

Politics and government
The day after Vicente Fox had been sworn in as President of Mexico and had ordered federal army troops to begin pulling out of the province of Chiapas, the separatist Zapatista National Liberation Army said that it was ready to resume peace negotiations with the government.

Vanier Cup @ SkyDome, Toronto
Ottawa 42 Regina 39

Quarterback Phill Cote led Ottawa to its first Vanier Cup win since 1975, and won the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy as the game’s most valuable player. The Gee-Gees barely held off a late rally by the Rams, who were making their first Vanier Cup appearance, and had started the season by losing their first 4 games before winning their last 4 to make the playoffs in the West.

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