150 years ago
In the U.S. Civil War, Columbia, South Carolina was burned as Confederate forces fled advancing Union forces.
80 years ago
On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Louis Hector and Leigh Lovell, on NBC
75 years ago
Born on this date
Gene Pitney. U.S. singer and songwriter. Mr. Pitney was known for performing songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance (#4, Billboard Hot 100, 1962); Only Love Can Break a Heart (#2, 1962); True Love Never Runs Smooth (#21, 1963); and Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa (#17, 1963). At the time that Only Love Can Break a Heart was the #2 single in the U.S.A., the #1 spot was held by He’s a Rebel by the Crystals, a song written by Mr. Pitney. Mr. Pitney recorded songs in Italian and Spanish, which contributed to his popularity in foreign countries. He had the distinction of being the first rock and roll singer to perform at the Academy Awards ceremony. The title song for Town Without Pity, which he sang and had a hit with (#13, 1962) was a nominee for best original song for 1961. Mr. Pitney died of a heart attack in his hotel room between performances in Cardiff, Wales on April 5, 2006 at the age of 66.
Sweden refused Finland's request for military aid in her war against the U.S.S.R. Chinese military authorities reported the rout of Japanese troops at Nanning. Afghanistan's ambassador to Turkey was recalled to Kabul for military discussions dealing with the possible spread of war to western Asia.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles departed New York for visits to Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to assess the present state of the European war and prospects for peace.
Politics and government
A Gallup Poll indicated that 52% of the American people expected Franklin D. Roosevelt to seek a third term as President of the United States in 1940, and 60% expected him to win the November election.
Track and field
At the Melrose Games in New York, world records were set by John Blozis in the shot put and Allan Tolmich in the 60-yard high hurdles.
70 years ago
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Rum and Coca-Cola--The Andrews Sisters (2nd week at #1)
British and Canadian troops divided the German lines in the west by cutting the Goch-Calcar highway. Soviet troops breached the Germans' Queis River defenses, reaching Rauscha, 60 miles northeast of Dresden. Wernher von Braun and other German rocket scientists evacuated the V-2 rocket site at Peenemunde before advancing Soviet troops arrived. Two days of assaults on the Tokyo area by U.S. planes resulted in the loss of 177 Japanese planes and the sinking of 14 ships, while the Americans lost 49 planes.
The ambassadors of Peru and Ecuador signed an agreement ending the 120-year-old border dispute between the countries.
The World Trade Union Congress in London ended after an 11-day session that failed to establish a world labour organization to replace the International Federation of Trade Unions.
South Dakota Governor M.Q. Sharpe (Republican) signed a bill ending the closed shop in that state.
60 years ago
Mike Souchak set a PGA Tour nine-hole record by shooting 27 on the back side of Bracken Ridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio in the Texas Open. He finished with a 60 for the round and then a 72-hole record total of 257 for the tournament.
50 years ago
The Beatles were at EMI Studios in London, where they recorded the songs You Like Me Too Much and The Night Before.
Patti Page was at Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville, where she recorded Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, a song that originally been performed in the movie Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte by Al Martino. Mr. Martino's version had recently been released as the B-side of My Heart Would Know.
The United States launched the probe Ranger 8 on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions.
Economics and finance
The Canadian government of Prime Minister Lester Pearson reduced the age at which Old Age Pensions would be paid to 65 instead of 70, with the change to be phased in over five years.
40 years ago
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): My Little Angel--William Shakespeare (3rd week at #1)
#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Shitetsu Ensen--Goro Noguchi (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Todo El Tiempo Del Mundo--Manolo Otero (9th week at #1)
The American Film Institute presented its third annual Life Achievement Award to actor and director Orson Welles. Mr. Welles used the occasion to play a clip from his latest--and unfinished--movie, The Other Side of the Wind.
30 years ago
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Do They Know it's Christmas?--Band Aid (5th week at #1)
#1 single in France (SNEP): Ghostbusters--Ray Parker, Jr. (4th week at #1)
#1 single in Switzerland: One Night in Bangkok--Murray Head (5th week at #1)
On the radio
The Stories of Sherlock Holmes, starring Graham Armitage and Kerry Jordan, on Springbok Radio
Tonight's episode: The Bloemhof Diamond
Track and field
At a meet in Auckland, John Walker of New Zealand broke the four-minute mile for the 100th time in his career.
Laffit Pincay, Jr. rode four winners at Santa Anita Park in California, becoming the third jockey, behind Johnny Longden and Bill Shoemaker, to win at least 6,000 thoroughbred races.
25 years ago
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Janie's Got a Gun--Aerosmith
#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Un' Estate Italiana--Edoardo Bennato; Gianna Nannini (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Kōya no Megaroporisu
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): All Around the World--Lisa Stanfield (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Lily Was Here--David A. Stewart and Candy Dulfer
#1 single in France (SNEP): Les Valses de Vienne--François Feldman (4th week at #1)
#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Nothing Compares 2 U--Sinéad O'Connor
#1 single in the U.K.: Nothing Compares 2 U--Sinéad O'Connor (3rd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Opposites Attract--Paula Abdul (with Wild Pair) (2nd week at #1)
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Opposites Attract--Paula Abdul (with Wild Pair) (2nd week at #1)
2 Two to Make it Right--Seduction
3 Janie's Got a Gun--Aerosmith
4 How am I Supposed to Live Without You--Michael Bolton
6 What Kind of Man Would I Be?--Chicago
7 I Remember You--Skid Row
8 Peace in Our Time--Eddie Money
9 Tell Me Why--Expose
10 Downtown Train--Rod Stewart
Singles entering the chart were Heart of Stone by Cher (#69); I'll Be Your Everything by Tommy Page (#72); Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil (#78); Got to Get by Leila K with Rob ’N’ Raz (#85); You're the Voice by John Farnham (#86); I'm Not Satisfied by Fine Young Cannibals (#87); Brother, Don't You Walk Away by the Hooters (#92); If You Leave Me Now by Jaya (#93); and Wild Women Do by Natalie Cole (#95). Wild Women Do was from the movie Pretty Woman (1990).
Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Downtown Train--Rod Stewart (2nd week at #1)
2 Janie's Got a Gun--Aerosmith
3 Peace in Our Time--Eddie Money
4 Opposites Attract--Paula Abdul (with Wild Pair)
5 Just Between You and Me--Lou Gramm
6 Free Fallin'--Tom Petty
7 Escapade--Janet Jackson
8 What Kind of Man Would I Be?--Chicago
10 All or Nothing--Milli Vanilli
Singles entering the chart were Let Your Backbone Slide by Maestro Fresh-Wes (#74); Catch Me in the Act by Paradox (#76); A Face in the Crowd by Tom Petty (#78); Anytime by the McAuley Schenker Group (#80); Dirty Deeds by Joan Jett (#84); I'm Not Satisfied by Fine Young Cannibals (#87); Far Far Cry by Jon Anderson (#89); C'mon and Get My Love by D-Mob (#91); and Love is a Dangerous Weapon by the Works (#93).
Died on this date
Hap Day, 88. Canadian hockey player and coach. Clarence Henry Day was a left wing, and later, a defenceman with the Toronto St. Patricks and Maple Leafs (1924-37) and New York Americans (1937-38), scoring 86 goals and 116 assists in 586 regular season games, and 4 goals and 7 assists in 51 playoff games. He played with the 1931-32 Stanley Cup championship team, and coached the Maple Leafs from 1940-50, winning Stanley Cups in 1942; 1945; and three straight from 1947-49. Mr. Day was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.
Erik Rhodes, 84. U.S. actor. Mr. Rhodes, born Ernest Sharpe, appeared in several Broadway musicals, but was best known for his roles in movies such as The Gay Divorcee (1934); Top Hat (1935); Charlie Chan in Paris (1935); and The Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938). He died a week after his 84th birthday.
In a closed courtroom in Los Angeles, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan concluded two days of videotaped testimony, amounting to eight hours, in the trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter, who was on trial for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.
New Jersey 4 @ Toronto 5
20 years ago
#1 single in Germany (Media Control): Conquest of Paradise--Vangelis (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Tears Don't Lie--Mark 'Oh (2nd week at #1)
At the movies
Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie, starring Billy Warlock and Christopher Lloyd, opened in theatres.
Hostilities in the three-week Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ended with a cease-fire brokered by the United Nations.
A jury in Nassau County, New York convicted Colin Ferguson, an immigrant from Jamaica, of killing 6 passengers and wounding 19 others with a handgun on a commuter train in December 1993.
Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that the trade deficit in 1994 was $108.1 billion, 42% higher than the 1993 figure and the largest for a calendar yer since 1988.
10 years ago
Died on this date
Dan O'Herlihy, 85. Irish-born U.S. actor. Mr. O'Herlihy appeared in many television programs and in such movies as Odd Man Out (1947); Macbeth (1948); The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1954); and Fail Safe (1964).
Politics and government
U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte to be the first national intelligence director.
“Unity Through Sport”: Organizing the first Canada Games in Québec in 1967 - By Normand Laplante Minus 33 degrees Celsius (wind chill: –52)! It was bone-chillingly cold when the competitions started at the first Canada Winter Games,...
21 hours ago