Thursday, 30 December 2010

December 31, 2010

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Mike Matson!

50 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Are You Lonesome To-Night?--Elvis Presley (6th week at #1)
2 Wonderland By Night--Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
--Louis Prima
--Anita Bryant
3 Exodus--Ferrante and Teicher
--Mantovani and his Orchestra
4 Last Date--Floyd Cramer
5 Will You Love Me Tomorrow--The Shirelles
6 A Thousand Stars--Kathy Young with the Innocents
7 North to Alaska--Johnny Horton
8 Rubber Ball--Bobby Vee
9 You’re Sixteen--Johnny Burnette
10 Many Tears Ago--Connie Francis

Singles entering the chart included All in My Mind by Maxine Brown (#85); Stand By Me by Little Junior Parker (#93); There’s a Moon Out Tonight by the Capris (#94); Please Come Home for Christmas by Charles Brown (#96); Looking Back by Dinah Washington (#97); Is There Something on Your Mind by Jack Scott (#99); C’est Si Bon (It’s So Good) by Conway Twitty (#100); and How to Handle a Woman by Johnny Mathis (also #100).

On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley, on BBC Home Service
Tonight’s episode: The Valley of Fear

Died on this date
C.D. Howe, 74
. U.S.-born Canadian politician. A native of Waltham, Massachusetts, Mr. Howe moved to Halifax as a young man to become a professor at Dalhousie University. He then became wealthy as an engineer, and settled in Port Arthur, Ontario, where he was elected to the House of Commons as a member of the Liberal Party in 1935. Prime Minister Mackenzie King named him to the cabinet as Minister of Railways and Canals and Minister of Marine; eventually, Mr. Howe became Minister of Transport. Upon the beginning of World War II and the re-election of the Liberal government in 1940, Mr. King named Mr. Howe Minister of Munitions and Supply, with the job of mobilizing all Canadian resources toward the war effort. It was in this portfolio that Mr. Howe spearheaded the transformation of the basis of Canada’s economy from agriculture to industry; he’s been credited with paving the way for Canada to have one of the world’s highest standards of living. As the war moved toward its conclusion, Prime Minister King, afraid that Mr. Howe might decide to leave politics, named him Minister of Reconstruction and Supply. When the government, now led by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, decided in 1951 that Canada needed to rearm while participating in the Korean War, Mr. Howe was given a new portfolio, and became Minister of Defence Production. A bitter debate in Parliament in 1955 and 1956 over building a pipeline to transport natural gas from Alberta to the United States turned many people against the Liberals, and they were narrowly defeated in the federal election of 1957. Mr. Howe was among the defeated, losing his seat in Port Arthur to Co-operative Commonwealth Federation candidate Douglas Fisher.

World events
In a statement issued with President Dwight Eisenhower’s approval, the U.S. State Department warned that the United States "would take the most serious view of any intervention in Laos by the Chinese Communists or Viet Minh (North Vietnam) armed forces or others in support of the Communist Pathet Lao, who are in rebellion against the Royal Laotian government." The statement said that the U.S. was consulting its South East Asia Treaty Organization allies about the Laos situation.

40 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's top 10
1 My Sweet Lord/Isn’t it a Pity--George Harrison
2 Knock Three Times--Dawn
3 I Think I Love You--The Partridge Family
4 Sing High, Sing Low--Anne Murray
5 If You Could Read My Mind--Gordon Lightfoot
6 Rose Garden--Lynn Anderson
7 Most of All--B.J. Thomas
8 Domino--Van Morrison
9 For the Good Times--Ray Price
10 Black Magic Woman--Santana

World events
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation reduced the death sentences of two Soviet Jews--who had been convicted of plotting to hijack a plane to escape to Israel--to 15 years in a labour camp. The court reduced the prison sentences of three of the other nine convicted conspirators.

All 90 aboard were reported dead after a Soviet Aeroflot airliner crashed on takeoff from Leningrad.

A chartered French plane carrying 30 members of an Algerian soccer team to Mahon, Spain was lost after sending distress signals 65 miles off Algeria in the Mediterranean Sea.

30 years ago

Died on this date
Marshall McLuhan, 69
. Canadian media scholar. Born in Edmonton, raised in Winnipeg, and resident in Toronto, Mr. McLuhan became famous for his phrase "The medium is the message," and variations thereof. He made a memorable cameo appearance as himself in the movie Annie Hall (1977).

Politics and government
Connecticut Lieutenant Governor William O’Neill was sworn in as the state’s Governor, replacing Ella Grasso, who had been the first woman elected governor of a state without having a politician-husband as predecessor. Ms. Grasso had decided to resign after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Rick Nelson, 45
. U.S. musician. The son of bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his wife Harriet Hilliard Nelson, Eric Hilliard Nelson began acting on his parents’ radio show at the age of 9 and remained with the program when it moved to television in 1952. He had his first hit record, the two-sided hit I’m Walkin’/A Teenager’s Romance in 1957. Poor Little Fool reached #1 on the Billboard Best Seller and Hot 100 charts in 1958, and Travelin’ Man (1961) hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. From 1957-1964 Mr. Nelson had 26 top-40 hits on the Billboard pop chart, 17 of which reached the top 10. 11 of his singles were records that had both sides in the top 40. He also showed promise as an actor with fine performances in the movies Rio Bravo (1959) and The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960). After the hits diminished, Mr. Nelson began writing and performing his own songs, and was a pioneer in the genre known as country-rock with albums such as Bright Lights and Country Music (1966). He returned to the top 40 singles chart in late 1969-early 1970 with She Belongs To Me, and had a major comeback hit with Garden Party, which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the RPM 100 Singles chart in Canada in the fall of 1972. Mr. Nelson was on his way to a New Year’s Eve engagement in Dallas when a fire began in the cabin of the vintage DC-3 carrying him and his band, and the plane crashed while making a forced landing in DeKalb, Texas. Mr. Nelson, his fiancee, and five members of his band were killed.

Springbok Radio, South Africa’s first commercial radio station, went off the air for the last time, ending more than 35 years of broadcasting.

Economics and finance
The failure of a bank in Brooklyn, New York brought the number of bank failures for the year in the United States to 120.

The U.S. dollar ended 1985 well below the record levels set in March. The decline against other currencies had been slow during the summer and greater in the fall.

20 years ago

Died on this date
George Allen, 72
. U.S. football coach. After years in the college ranks, Mr. Allen joined the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League as an assistant coach in 1957, moving on to the Chicago Bears in 1958 under head coach George Halas. Mr. Allen masterminded the defense that gave up an average of 10 points per game as the Bears won the NFL championship in 1963. He became head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 1966; from 1966-1970 the Rams compiled a regular season record of 49-17-4, but were unable to get past the first round of the playoffs. Mr. Allen was fired after the 1970 season and was promptly hired to be the head coach of the Washington Redskins, where he served from 1971-1977. Mr. Allen’s teams in Washington were known as the "Over-the-Hill Gang" because of his habit of trading away draft choices for proven veterans. The Redskins’ best season under Mr. Allen was 1972, when they led the National Football Conference with a record of 11-3, and won the NFC championship, only to lose 14-7 to the undefeated Miami Dolphins in the 1973 Super Bowl. Mr. Allen rejoined the Rams as head coach in 1978, but was fired after just two pre-season games. He joined CBS as a commentator on football telecasts. Mr. Allen joined the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League as general manager after the 1981 season, but departed after just a few weeks in which he accomplished nothing except large long-distance telephone bills. In 1983 Mr. Allen was head coach of the Chicago Blitz in the first season of the United States Football League, where he compiled a 12-6 record before losing in the first round of the playoffs. In 1984 he became head coach of the Arizona Wranglers when the owners of the Wranglers and the Blitz swapped the two franchises almost completely. In 1984 the Wranglers were 10-8, and won two playoff games to become Western Conference champions before losing 23-3 to the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL championship game. Mr. Allen left coaching after that, but returned in 1990 as head coach at California State University, Long Beach. He led CSULB to its first winning record in many years, but died six weeks after the last game. CSULB won the game and the players awarded Mr. Allen a Gatorade shower, but he procrastinated in changing out of wet clothes, and his health declined until he died of ventricular fibrillation.

Economics and finance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1990 at 2,633.66, down 119.54 points, or 4.3%, for 1990.

Gary Kasparov of the U.S.S.R. retained his world championship against countryman and former world champion Anatoly Karpov. Mr. Kasparov won 4 games to Mr. Karpov’s 3, with 17 draws. The final score of the match was 12.5-11.5 for Mr. Kasparov. Mr. Kasparov’s victory earned him US$1.7 million and a diamond-studded sculpture valued at $1 million. Mr. Karpov took home $1.3 million.

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