Saturday, 11 April 2015

April 11, 2015

850 years ago

Died on this date
Stephen IV, 31 or 32
. King of Hungary and Croatia, 1163. Stephen IV succeeded his brother Ladislaus II as king on January 14, 1163, after his nephew Stephen III had been deposed. Stephen III succeeded in regaining the crown by defeating Stephen IV's forces in the battle of Székesfehérvár on June 19, 1163. Stephen IV He died of poisoning by his nephew's partisans during the siege of Zimony (now Zemun in Serbia).

125 years ago

Died on this date
Joseph Merrick, 27
. U.K. medical patient. Mr. Merrick developed severe physical deformities in childhood, leading him to be exhibited as a sideshow freak known as the "Elephant Man." Because of the size of his head, Mr. Merrick had to sleep sitting up, and according to his physician and friend Frederick Treves, he died of a dislocated neck in an attempt to sleep lying down like normal people. Mr. Merrick was the subject of the play (1979) and movie (1980) The Elephant Man.

75 years ago

U.K. First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill told the House of Commons that German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler "has committed a grave strategic error" by invading Norway and Denmark, and that Britain would seize control of the Norwegian coast.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt isued a proclamation barring all U.S. shipping from the expanded war theatre in Norway and Denmark.

Politics and government
Women were allowed into the chamber of the Quebec National Assembly for the first time, to hear Premier Adélard Godbout's speech asking for the vote for Quebec women.

The United States House of Representatives approved a bill for reapportionment based on the current census.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Civil Aviation Administration and the Air Safety Board and the transfer of the agency to the Commerce Department.

Japan's effort to gain control of the Shanghai Council of International Settlement failed, as election results gave the United Kingdom 5 seats and Japan and the United States 2 seats each.

Dr. Simon Ruskin told the American Chemical Society meeting in Cincinnati that vitamin C was useful in combating allergies.

Dr. Mary Pennington received the American Chemical Society Garvan Medal for 1940 for distinguished work in chemistry.

Stanley Cup
New York Rangers 2 @ Toronto 1 (2 OT) (New York led best-of-seven series 3-2)

Muzz Patrick scored the winning goal for the Rangers at 11:43 of the second overtime period at Maple Leaf Gardens.

70 years ago

Hit parade
Variety reported that the most popular songs in the United States were:
1 My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time
2 A Little on the Lonely Side
3 Rum and Coca-Cola

The Chilean Congress approved the cabinet's decision to enter World War II against Japan. The United States Army Air Force announced that most of its air strength would be redeployed to the Pacific theatre after victory in Europe, with only a small force remaining in Europe. U.S. forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp near the German city of Weimar. In a sweep into saxony, U.S. troops reached the Elbe River at magdeburg, 63 miles from Berlin. British troops crossed the Santerno River and advanced along a 30-mile front toward Bologna. U.S. forces in the Philippines landed on Bohol Island and overcame Japanese resistance.

Economics and finance
The United States War Production Board announced preparatory steps toward providing $50 million in machinery and equipment for auto industry reconversion.

United Mine Workers of America and soft coal operators signed a contract that incrased pay for travel and lunch time by $6.44 for a six-day week and provided time-and-a-half pay for work over 35 hours per week.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Sherlock Holmes, starring Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford
Tonight's episode: The Case of the Night Train Riddle

At the movies
Marty, starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair, received its premiere screening.

The Kashmir Princess, a Lockheed L-749A Constellation plane chartered by Air India, was damaged in midair by a bomb explosion and crashed into the South China Sea while en route from Bombay and Hong Kong to Jakarta for the Bandung Conference of Asian and African leaders. The target of the bombing was Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, but he was not on board, ostensibly because of an appendectomy. 16 of 19 people aboard were killed. Recent evidence points to the Kuomintang, the governing party of mainland China before the Communist takeover in 1949, as being responsible for the bombing.

Former world heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles (85-12-1) knocked out former Canadian heavyweight champion Vern Escoe (30-17) in the 3rd round of a bout at the Edmonton Gardens.

50 years ago

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, providing for $1,307,582,973 of federal aid to education.

51 tornadoes struck six Midwestern U.S. states, killing 256 people.

Jack Nicklaus won his second Masters title in stunning fashion, scoring a 16-under-par 271 and defeating his closest rivals, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, by 9 strokes. The 280 scores of Messrs. Palmer and Player would have won all but 5 of the previous 28 Masters.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Free and Easy--Helen Reddy

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Fox on the Run--Sweet

#1 single in Switzerland: Griechischer Wein--Udo Jürgens (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Hank Stanton, 54
. U.S. football player. Mr. Stanton was a star receiver at the University of Arizona from 1939-1941, setting NCAA records for total receptions and yards receiving. After serving in World War II, he played defensive and offensive end with the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference in 1946 and 1947. Mr. Stanton died of a heart attack.

Stanley Cup
Prekiminary Round
New York Islanders 4 @ New York Rangers 3 (OT) (Islanders won best-of-three series 2-1)
Chicago 6 @ Boston 4 (Chicago won best-of-three series 2-1)
Toronto 2 @ Los Angeles 1 (Toronto won best-of-three series 2-1)

George Ferguson scored at 4:55 of the 1st period and Inge Hammarstrom scored on a breakway with 5:26 remaining in the 2nd period as the Maple Leafs upset the Kings before 16,005 fans at the Forum in Inglewood, California for their first series win since the 1967 finals. Don Kozak scored the only Los Angeles goal with 6:51 remaining in regulation time. Goalies Gord McRae of Toronto and Rogie Vachon of Los Angeles each made 21 saves, but Mr. McRae made the saves when they were most needed. The Maple Leafs spent much of the 3rd period icing the puck at every opportunity. The game was marred by a stick-swinging duel between Toronto forward Tiger Williams and Los Angeles defenceman Dave Hutchison in the first minute of the 3rd period. Both players were given match penalties, and Los Angeles forward Gene Carr was given a game misconduct for being the third man involved. The Kings had finished fourth in the overall NHL standings for 1974-75, with 105 points, 27 points more than the Mape Leafs. During the game, the Forum's public address announcer mentioned that Los Angeles coach Bob Pulford had been named NHL Coach of the Year. The Maple Leafs were coached by Mr. Pulford's former Toronto teammate Red Kelly. The game was telecast nationally on Hockey Night in Canada, and remains fondly remembered by this blogger.

The Bruins outshot the Black Hawks 56-19 before 15,003 fans at Boston Garden, but Tony Esposito made 52 saves for Chicago, including 19 in the 1st period, as the Black Hawks upset the Bruins, ending Don Cherry's first season as Boston's coach. Cliff Koroll and J.-P. Bordeleau each scored 2 goals for Chicago; Keith Magnuson scored on the Black Hawks' first shot of the game at 1:46 of the 1st period, and John Marks scored the eventual winning goal with 1:36 remaining in the 2nd period. Gilles Gilbert was in goal for the Bruins and stopped just 13 of 19 shots. Bobby Schmautz, Hank Nowak, Gregg Sheppard, and Phil Esposito scored the Boston goals. Bobby Orr, playing what turned out to be his last playoff game, assisted on Mr. Sheppard's goal.

J.-P. Parise took a pass from Jude Drouin and scored on Ed Giacomin 11 seconds into overtime--the fastest overtime goal in Stanley Cup history at the time--to give the Islanders the win before 17,500 fans at Madison Square Garden in their first playoff series ever. Clark Gillies scored in the 1st period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead, and Denis Potvin scored twice in the 2nd period to make it 3-0. Bill Fairbairn scored his third and fourth goals of the series in the 3rd period, and Steve Vickers scored the tying goal with 6:19 remaining in regulation time. It was the final playoff game for Mr. Giacomin, coach Emile Francis, and numerous other Rangers. It was the final game as a Ranger for centre Derek Sanderson, who had encouraged the team to grow beards for the playoffs; as far as I know, this was the beginning of the annoying tradition.

Avco World Trophy
Minnesota 2 @ New England 3 (OT) (Best-of-seven series tied 1-1)

Rick Ley's slap shot from the Minnesota blue line beat goalie John Garrett 6:46 into overtime to give the Whalers their win over the Fighting Saints before 9,722 fans at Hartford Civic Center. The game took 3 hours and 47 minutes to play in a game that saw eight WHA penalty records set. Three players were ejected in a brawl in the 2nd period. The teams were assessed 39 penalties for 217 minutes.

Kentucky 93 @ Memphis 107 (Kentucky led best-of-seven series 3-1)
New York 108 @ St. Louis 113 (St. Louis led best-of-seven series 2-1)
Denver 110 @ Utah 132 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)

Stew Johnson scored 25 points and Tom Owens, Chuck Williams, and George Carter each added 24 as the Sounds beat the Colonels before 4,771 fans at Mid-South Coliseum in what turned out to be the last American Basketball Association game played in Memphis.

Marvin Barnes scored 35 points and Freddie Lewis added 30 as the Spirits beat the Nets before 6,199 fans at St. Louis Arena. Julius Erving scored 30 points for the Nets, who mounted a late rally.

Ron Boone scored 30 points as the Stars beat the Nuggets before 9,106 fans at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.

The Atlanta Braves released second baseman and first baseman Dave Johnson. Mr. Johnson played with the Baltimore Orioles from 1966-1972 before being traded to the Braves. He hit a career-hig 43 home runs in 1973, but dropped to 15 homers in 1974. In his only major league appearance of 1975, Mr. Johnson doubled as a pinch hitter. After his release from the Braves, Mr. Johnson signed with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League.

Willie Horton hit a 2-run home run in the 1st inning and Nate Colbert hit a 3-run homer in the 6th inning as the Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees before 26,212 fans at Shea Stadium in New York. Mickey Lolich allowed 9 hits and 3 runs--2 earned--in getting the win over Catfish Hunter, who pitched a complete game in taking the loss in his first game as a Yankee after signing as a free agent.

Carl Yastrzemski hit a solo home run off Doyle Alexander in the top of the 12th inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles before 38,665 fans at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Boston designated hitter Tony Conigliaro hit a solo homer in the 5th inning, his first home run since 1971.

Nolan Ryan pitched a 3-hit shutout and struck out 10 batters for his second straight win as the California Angels blanked the Chicago White Sox 5-0 before 20,028 fans at Anaheim Stadium. Veteran pitcher Claude Osteen, signed by the White Sox earlier in the day, allowed 10 hits and 5 runs--all earned--in 6+ innings in taking the loss.

Johnny Briggs hit a home run to begin a 5-run 6th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cleveland Indians before 48,160 fans at County Stadium in Milwaukee. It was the first home game for Milwaukee designated hitter Hank Aaron, who singled, scored a run, and batted in another. Mr. Aaron had starred with the Milwaukee Braves from 1954-1965 before the team moved to Atlanta.

The Oakland Athletics scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning and 4 in the 7th as they defeated the Texas Rangers 7-5 before 14,979 fans at Arlington Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Rookie umpire Rich Garcia, officiating behind home plate for the first time in the major leagues, ejected both Texas manager Billy Martin and coach Frank Lucchesi.

Rick Monday scored from second base on a sacrifice fly by Pete LaCock in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 2-1 win over the Montreal Expos before 2,109 fans at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Ray Burris won the pitchers' duel over Dennis Blair as both pitched complete games.

Buzz Capra pitched a 3-hit complete game and Darrell Evans and Dusty Baker hit home runs as the Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 before 17,649 fans at Candlestick Park in San Franciscop in the Giants' 1975 home opener. Kathy Krems, 17, daughter of National League business manager Lew Krems, earned rave reviews for her performance of The Star Spangled Banner.

Don Sutton pitched a 4-hitter and Bill Buckner hit a home run and double and drove in 2 runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the Houston Astros 7-0 before 17,851 fans at the Astrodome.

Richie Hebner singled off relief pitcher Mac Scarce with 1 out to drive home Paul Popovich with the winning run as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat the New York Mets before 43,880 fans at Three Rivers Stadium in the Pirates' 1975 home opener. Jerry Koosman pitched the first 8 innings for New York and took a 4-1 lead into the 9th inning, but was removed after allowing singles by Richie Zisk, Dave Parker, and Manny Sanguillen to start the inning. Rick Baldwin relieved and allowed the tying run before Mr. Scarce entered the game and gave up the hit by Mr. Hebner. It was Mr. Scarce's only major league appearance of 1975. Larry Demery, who pitched the final 2 innings in relief of starter Jerry Reuss, was the winning pitcher.

Bake McBride batted 4 for 5 with an inside-the-park home run, 2 runs, and 4 runs batted in, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 before 44,834 fans at Veterans Stadium in the Phillies' 1975 home opener. Greg Luzinski hit 2 solo homers for the Phillies, and Philadelphia catcher Bob Boone batted 3 for 3.

The Syracuse Chiefs routed the Richmond Braves 13-2 in the International League season opener for both teams. Only 1,284 fans attended the game on a cold night in Richmond, the smallest home crowd for the Braves since their entry into the IL in 1954.

Dan Warthen allowed 3 hits in 7 2/3 innings and Bob Gebhard pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief as the Memphis Blues blanked the Pawtucket Red Sox 4-0 before 1,360 fans on a cold night in Memphis in the International League season opener for both teams. First baseman Ed Kurpiel, playing his first game for the Blues since being acquired by the parent Montreal Expos in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, singled in 2 runs.

The Sacramento Solons and Spokane Indians combined to hit 10 home runs, but it was a bases-loaded base on balls in the bottom of the 9th inning that forced in the winning run as the Solons won 13-12 in a Pacific Coast League game at Hughes Stadium. Spokane's Bob Jones hit 2 home runs in the same inning, with other Spokane homers coming from Ron Pruitt, Tommy Cruz, Mike Cubbage, and Vern Wilkins. Bill McNulty, Tom Bianco, Steve Bowling, and Juan Lopez homered for Sacramento.

30 years ago

Died on this date
Bunny Ahearne, 84
. U.K. hockey executive. John Francis Ahearne was President of the International Ice Hockey Federation from 1957-1960; 1963-1966; and 1969-1975, and was Vice President when he wasn't President. He was best known for stiffing Canada at every opportunity, particularly when it came to allowing professionals to play in the world championships. For some reason, Mr. Ahearne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977--the same year as Harold Ballard (see below).

Enver Hoxha, 76. Albanian dictator. Mr. Hoxha was a Communist who ruled Albania as a typical Stalinist dictator from 1944 until his death. He was succeeded as First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania by Ramiz Alia.

Stanley Cup playoffs
Divisional Semi-Finals
Montreal 5 Boston 3 (Best-of-five series tied 1-1)
Los Angeles 2 @ Edmonton 4 (Edmonton led best-of-five series 2-0)

Gorman Thomas hit 3 home runs to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 14-6 win over the Oakland Athletics at the Kingdome in Seattle.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Nothing Compares 2 U--Sinéad O'Connor (8th week at #1)

Died on this date
Harold Ballard, 86
. Canadian hockey and football executive. Mr. Ballard was part of a group that acquired control of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League as well as the junior Toronto Marlboros in 1961, and became the principal owner after the death of his partner, Stafford Smythe, in 1971. Both Mr. Ballard and Mr. Smythe had been stealing from Maple Leaf Gardens’ shareholders, but prosecutors concentrated their efforts on Mr. Smythe, who died from a bleeding ulcer before he could be convicted and sentenced. As a result, Mr. Ballard received a light sentence and served just a few months in prison. In 1978 Mr. Ballard bought the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League; they made the playoffs every year that he owned them, and won the Grey Cup in 1986. Mr. Ballard was a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame (for no observable reason) and Canadian Football Hall of Fame (for buying the Tiger-Cats and keeping the team going when nobody else wanted them). He died after several years of declining health. It was amusing in his last years to see how the value of Maple Leaf Gardens stock increased whenever Mr. Ballard was reported to be ailing, and the value dropped whenever his condition improved.

World events
British customs officers seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun from a ship bound for Iraq.

Stanley Cup playoffs
Divisional Semi-Finals
Buffalo 4 @ Montreal 2 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)
Boston 6 @ Hartford 5 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)
New York Rangers 6 @ New York Islanders 1 (Rangers led best-of-seven series 3-1)
New Jersey 1 @ Washington 3 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)

At Anaheim Stadium, Mark Langston made his first start with the California Angels, and was removed from the game after 7 innings when he was leading and had a no-hitter going against his old team, the Seattle Mariners. Mike Witt, who had pitched a perfect game in 1984, relieved, and finished with 2 hitless innings of his own in a 2-0 win for the Angels before 25,632 fans.

Mike Norris of the Oakland Athletics, making his first major league appearance in 7 years, relieved Mike Moore in the 8th inning, pitched 2 scoreless innings as the Athletics lost to the Minnesota Twins 3-0 before 27,775 fans at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Winning pitcher Kevin Tapani pitched 6 innings. Mike Bordick made his major league debut, playing second base for the Athletics in the 9th inning.

20 years ago

The Palestinian National Authority announced that a Muslim clergyman had been sentenced to life in prison for recruiting young men as suicide bombers.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that prices charged by producers for finished goods had been unchanged in March.

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