Wednesday, 17 December 2014

December 17, 2014

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Ken Thiessen!

100 years ago

Born on this date
Raymond Fernandez
. U.S. criminal. Mr. Fernandez and his partner Martha Beck were serial killers who murdered as many as 20 women between 1947-1949, and became known as the "Lonely Hearts Killers" from meeting their victims through "lonely hearts" advertisements. They were both executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York on March 8, 1951. Mr. Fernandez was 36 at the time of his death; Ms. Beck was 30.

90 years ago

The British Columbia Iegislature adopted a resolution opposing continued Oriental immigration.

75 years ago

The first contingents of the Canadian First Division started arriving in England for service in World War II. Canada signed the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a $1.281-billion program to train pilots, navigators, wireless operators and gunners from the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, heavily damaged from the Battle of the River Plate four days earlier and unable to safely depart Montevideo, left Montevideo harbour at 1815 hours and was scuttled by her crew just outside the harbour on orders of Captain Hans Langsdorff in order to avoid risking the lives of the crew in what the captain expected to be a losing battle. Uruguayan authorities had adhered to international treaties and had granted the Admiral Graf Spee a stay of 72 hours beyond the required 24 hours, but had ordered the ship to depart by 2000 hours on December 17 or be interned for the remainder of World War II.

70 years ago

German troops massacred 115 American prisoners of war near Malmedy, Belgium, as 15 escaped to freedom.

The U.S.S.R. and Finland signed an agreement on Finnish deliveries to fulfill Soviet demands for $300 million in war damages, although the Soviets had been the aggressors in the war, attacking Finland in 1939.

German troops moved through Belgium and Luxembourg as they gained ground against the southern flank of U.S. troops. ELAS troops in Greece renewed their shelling of Athens. For the first time since May, U.S. troops were reported active in Burma, fighting against Japanese forces northeast of Mandalay.

U.S. Western Defense Command chief Major General H. Conger Pratt proclaimed that effective January 2, 1945, all persons of Japanese ancestry who had been proved loyal to the United States could return to their former homes on the Pacific coast.

NFL Championship @ Polo Grounds, New York
Green Bay 14 @ New York 7

Ted Fritsch scored 2 touchdowns in the 2nd quarter--the first on a 1-yard rush and the second on a 28-yard pass from Irv Comp--as the Packers held on to defeat the Giants before 46,016 fans. Don Hutson converted both touchdowns. Ward Cuff rushed 1 yard for the New York touchdown in the 4th quarter, converted by Ken Strong.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Let's Have Another Party--Winifred Atwell (3rd week at #1)

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Little Red Rooster--The Rolling Stones

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): I Feel Fine--The Beatles (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Victor Francis Hess, 81
. Austrian-born U.S. physicist. Dr. Hess was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936 "for his discovery of cosmic radiation." Dr. Hess was a Jew who fled Austria in 1938 when the Nazis marched in, and moved to the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1944.

Two days after the Canadian House of Commons had voted to adopt a new national flag of Canada based on a Royal Military College design suggested by George Stanley, the Senate voted its approval. The House of Commons voted to keep flying the Union Jack as a symbol of Canada's membership in the Commonwealth.

Six weeks after the Columbia Broadcasting System had bought controlling interest in the New York Yankees, they fired Mel Allen, who had called Yankees' games on radio, and later, television, since 1939. Mr. Allen had made "How about that!" and the home run call of "Going, going, gone!" familiar to listeners, but he had temporarily lost his voice during the 1963 World Series, and CBS believed that he talked too much on television. The Yankees had won the American League pennant in 19 of the 26 seasons in which Mr. Allen had broadcast their games and had posted a winning record in every season, but the team posted a losing record in their first season without him, and didn't win another pennant until 1976.

40 years ago

Four years after being kidnapped and murdered by FLQ terrorists, Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte was cleared by the Quebec Commission on Organized Crime of charges linking him with organized crime.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Like a Virgin--Madonna (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): ¿Cómo Pudiste Hacerme Esto a Mí?--Alaska y Dinarama

Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins capped the most spectacular single-season passing display in history when he threw 4 touchdown passes in a 28-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Mr. Marino, in his second year as a pro, finished the regular season with a record 48 touchdown passes and 5,084 yards passing.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Switzerland: Girl I'm Gonna Miss You--Milli Vanilli (3rd week at #1)

On television tonight
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, on Fox

This Christmas special marked the beginning of the long-running animated series The Simpsons.

U.S. troops in Panama were placed on high alert. There were already 12,000 military personnel in the country, their primary duty being to guard the Panama Canal.

Romanian Securitate (internal security) troops shot a large number of people to death at a pro-democracy demonstration in Timisoara, Transylvania.

Politics and government
Fernando Collor de Mello defeated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, becoming the first democratically-elected President in almost 30 years.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Zombie--The Cranberries

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Cotton Eye Joe--Rednex (11th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Always--Bon Jovi (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Hypnose--Scorpia (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Here Comes the Hotstepper--Ini Kamoze

U.S.A. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 On Bended Knee--Boyz II Men (3rd week at #1)
2 Another Night--Real McCoy
3 Always--Bon Jovi
4 Here Comes the Hotstepper--Ini Kamoze
5 I'm the Only One--Melissa Etheridge
6 Secret--Madonna
7 I'll Make Love to You--Boyz II Men
8 You Want This/70's Love Groove--Janet Jackson
9 I Wanna Be Down--Brandy
10 Never Lie--Immature

Singles entering the chart were Take a Bow by Madonna (#32); Tootsee Roll by 69 Boyz (#54); Doll Parts by Hole (#71); Buddy Holly by Weezer (#78); I Miss You by N II U (#82); Bring the Pain by Method Man (#86); and Supernova by Liz Phair (#88).

North Korea shot down a U.S. reconnaissance helicopter that was flying over its territory. Chief Warrant Officers David Hilemon and Bobby Hall were the helicopters only occupants; CWO Hilemon died of his injuries, while CWO Hall was taken prisoner. North Korea conducted an investigation, while declining to discuss the matter with the United States.

Two months after a gunman had fired shots froma semiautomatic rifle at the White House, a similar incident occurred. In the early hours of the day, at least four small-calibre bullets were fired at the White House, one of which went through the window of a state dining room. U.S. President Bill Clinton and his family were asleep at the time. No one was injured in the shooting.

10 years ago

U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years.

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