Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 21, 2010

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Juliette Richard!

390 years ago


The Mayflower arrived at the site of what would become Plymouth in Massachusetts.

70 years ago

Died on this date
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 44
. U.S. author. Mr. Fitzgerald’s novels, such as This Side of Paradise (1920), The Beautiful and Damned (1922), and The Great Gatsby (1925) are among the most famous works of fiction of the era known as "The Jazz Age." His other novels included Tender is the Night (1934) and the unfinished The Last Tycoon (published posthumously in 1941). In his later years, Mr. Fitzgerald went to Hollywood to attempt a career as a screenwriter, but the only screen credit he received was for Three Comrades (1938), and much of that was rewritten. His time in Hollywood inspired him to write a number of short stories, published from 1939-1941, featuring a screenwriter named Pat Hobby. Years of heavy drinking had weakened Mr. Fitzgerald's constitution, and he had two heart attacks in the later months of 1940, the second of which proved fatal.

50 years ago

Chicago Cubs’ owner Philip K. Wrigley announced that his team would no longer use a manager in 1961 but rather a college of coaches: Charlie Grimm, Lou Boudreau, Harry Craft, Bob Kennedy and Charlie Metro. The Cubs had finished in seventh place in the eight-team National League in 1960 with a record of 60-94, 35 games behind the pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1961 they finished seventh again with a 64-90 record, 29 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds.

40 years ago

A U.S. Coast Guard board of inquiry called for the court-martial of Rear Admiral William Ellis, First Coast Guard District commander and Captain Fletcher Brown, his chief of staff, for allowing Soviet sailors to board the Coast Guard cutter Vigilant and forcibly take Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka back to the Russian trawler Sovietskaya on November 23. The ships had been moored next to each other off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Mr. Kudirka had jumped aboard the Vigilant in a desperate bid for U.S. asylum. U.S. Transportation Secretary John Volpe, criticizing the "serious error in judgement," ruled instead that the two Coast Guard officers were to be reprimanded and retired immediately. An official reprimand was also ordered for Ralph Eustis, skipper of the Vigilant, who was relieved of his command.

Popular culture
Elvis Presley met with U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House, where the President made the king of rock and roll a deputy in the war against drugs.

30 years ago

All 68 people aboard a Colombian jetliner were killed when it crashed in a desert north of Bogota. The cause was reported to be an explosion in a rear washroom; an anonymous phone call shortly after the crash informed the airline that a bomb had been placed on board.

Syrian troops battled with Christian militia forces in Zahle, Lebanon. The Syrians’ demand that Lebanese gunmen responsible for killing five Syrian soldiers be turned over to them was ignored.

25 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Say You, Say Me--Lionel Richie
2 Broken Wings--Mr. Mister
3 Party All the Time--Eddie Murphy
4 Alive and Kicking--Simple Minds
5 Separate Lives--Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
6 We Built This City--Starship
7 Election Day--Arcadia
8 Small Town--John Cougar Mellencamp
9 Sleeping Bag--ZZ Top
10 That’s What Friends are For--Dionne and Friends

Dionne Warwick’s friends on this recording included Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder.

20 years ago

World events
The Croatian parliament adopted a new constitution for the republic that provided for a referendum on secession from Yugoslavia within 30 days of a 2/3 majority vote by parliament. The Yugoslav defense secretary, a Serb, warned that the military was prepared to counter the "highly aggressive anti-Yugoslav and anti-socialist forces" that were undermining national unity.

Politics and government
Quebec reached a five-year agreement with the government of Canada to give the province greater control over immigration. Under the agreement, to take effect on April 1, 1991, the federal government guaranteed that Quebec would receive at least 25% and possibly as much as 30% of all immigrants to Canada. Currently, only 16% of immigrants to Canada settled in Quebec. Under the agreement, Quebec would have exclusive responsibility for selecting immigrants and control over language training services for non-French-speaking immigrants, as well as cultural and economic integration services, which were normally provided by the federal government. As a result, the federal government would provide Quebec with $332 million over five years. Federal Immigration Minister Barbara McDougall said that other provinces were negotiating with the federal government on immigration, and that more agreements were forthcoming.

10 years ago

Canadian Alliance leader and former Alberta Treasurer Stockwell Day settled out of court with Red Deer lawyer Lorne Goddard over comments that Mr. Day had made about Mr. Goddard’s defense of a man accused of possession of child pornography. The settlement of the defamation suit came a day after the latest in a series of rulings against Mr. Day’s defense team. Most people are capable of understanding that a lawyer defending a client doesn’t necessarily agree with the views of the client, but Mr. Day didn’t understand that, and his poor judgement ended up costing the Alberta taxpayers $800,000.

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