Friday, 18 December 2015

December 18, 2015

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Ken Thiessen!

150 years ago

U.S. Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United Sttes Constitution:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Howard Armstrong
. U.S. radio engineer. Mr. Armstrong was one of the greatest pioneers of radio; he held 42 patents and was best known as the inventor of frequency modulation (FM) radio. Years of litigation battles with his former employer, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), broke his spirit, and he committed suicide on January 31, 1954 at the age of 63 by jumping out the window of his 13th-floor New York apartment. His wife Marion eventually won all of his legal battles.

100 years ago

Married on this date
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt, a widow since 1908. The ceremony took place at her home in Washington, D.C.

Robert Hedges sold the St. Louis Browns of major league baseball's American League to Phil Ball, millionaire cold-storage unit manufacturer and owner of the St. Louis Terrapins of the Federal League, for $525,000. Mr. Ball's first act as owner was to remove Branch Rickey as manager and promote him to general manager.

80 years ago

Politics and government
The Lanka Sama Samaja Party was founded in Ceylon.

75 years ago

Macleod air base at Fort Macleod, Alberta was officially opened for training British Commonwealth Air Training Program personnel. Canadian Munitions Minister C.D. Howe and 152 other survivors of the torpedoed liner Western Prince arrived safely in England. The British government reported that two Italian Army divisions and thousands of Blackshirt militiamen had been bottled up in Bardia, Libya. British warships sailed through the Strait of Otranto and bombarded Valona.

The U.S. government reported that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had advised British officials to go ahead with their plan to order about $3 million of additional war materiel without waiting for the completion of financial arrangements. U.S. Representative Everett Dirksen (Republican--Illinois) criticized Mr. Roosevelt's plan to lend guns and munitions to Britain as a "plain effort to circumvent" the Neutrality and Johnson Acts. Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray sent U.S. President Roosevelt a plan proposing the creation of a new National Defense Board, with industry-labour-government councils in every basic industry.

Ousted Vichy Vice Prime Minister Pierre Laval was reported to be in Paris with German Ambassador to Vichy France Otto Abetz.

Politics and government
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt vetoed the Walter-Logan bill providing for court review of the rulings of government agencies, stating that the bill was "an invitation to endless...controversies at a moment when we can least afford" it. A motion in the House of Representatives to override the President's veto failed by a vote of 153-127.

Economics and finance
A Japanese delegation headed by Kenkichi Yoshizawa was reported en route to Batavia, Netherlands East Indies to seek an economic accord between the countries.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Jesse Jones announced the Export-Import Bank's approval of a $10-million credit to Peru to cover purchases in the United States.

The U.S. Agriculture Department reported that 1940 crop production was the largest for any year except 1937, due to favourable weather and increased farm labour and improvements.

70 years ago

The first total lunar eclipse since 1942 to be visible in North America occurred at 6:40 P.M. Mountain Standard Time.

The British House of Lords dismissed William "Lord Haw Haw" Joyce's appeal of his death sentence for treason for his radio broadcasts from Germany on behalf of the Nazis during World War II. At the hearings of the United States Senate committee on the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, former U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had agreed with U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill on warning Japan in August 1941 against further aggression in hopes of gaining 30 days' time.

The U.S. State Department admitted that the decision to send British troops to Java was made by the Anglo-American combined chiefs of staff.

Politics and government
The Allied Council approved the new Austrian coaltion cabinet after Chancellor Leopold Figl dropped three members accused by the U.S.S.R. of having fascist connections.

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico was ordered to investigate charges by a Mexican labour leader that certain American companies had smuggled arms to a rival union.

U.S. United Auto Workers rejected a Ford Motor Company offer of a 15c hourly wage increase in return for which the union would have to guarantee elimination of work stoppages; reduction in the number of union committeemen; and other concessions.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, on CBS
Tonight's episode: Santa Claus and the Tenth Avenue Kid, starring Barry Fitzgerald and Virginia Gregg

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): The Carnival is Over--The Seekers (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France: Mon Cœur d'attache--Enrico Macias (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): La festa--Adriano Celentano (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht--Drafi Deutscher (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Yesterday--The Beatles (6th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out--The Beatles (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)--The Byrds (3rd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Taste of Honey--Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
2 Let's Hang On--The 4 Seasons
3 I Got You (I Feel Good)--James Brown and the Famous Flames
4 Over and Over--The Dave Clark Five
5 I Hear a Symphony--The Supremes
6 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)--The Byrds
7 I Can Never Go Home Anymore--Shangri-Las
8 The Sounds of Silence--Simon & Garfunkel
9 Fever--The McCoys
10 Ebb Tide--The Righteous Brothers

Singles entering the chart were We Can Work it Out (#18)/Day Tripper (#76) by the Beatles; A Must to Avoid by Herman's Hermits (#59); Second Hand Rose by Barbra Streisand (#69); It was a Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra (#74); Crying Time by Ray Charles (#81); Jenny Take a Ride! by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (#83); Careless by Bobby Vinton (#86); There Won't Be Any Snow (Christmas in the Jungle) by Derrik Roberts (#88); Mountain of Love by Billy Stewart (#89); Your People by Little Milton (#96); Sweet September by the Lettermen (#97); The Men in My Little Girl's Life by Mike Douglas (#98); My Generation by the Who (#99); and Follow Your Heart by the Manhattans (#100). A Must to Avoid was from the movie Hold On! (1966).

Gemini 7, with the crew of Frank Borman (Command Pilot) and Jim Lovell (Pilot) splashed down, ending the mission after 14 days, a space endurance record at the time (see video here, here, and here).

South Korea and Japan established diplomatic relations, after each ratified the Amity Treaty.

Baltimore (10-3-1) 20 @ Los Angeles (4-10) 17

Reading plays off his wristband, running back Tom Matte, inserted at quarterback by head coach Don Shula after Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo had been injured, led the Colts to a stunning upset over the Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and a share of the Western Conference title.

40 years ago

At the movies
The Man Who Would Be King, co-written and directed by John Huston, and starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and Christopher Plummer, opened in theatres.

Barry Lyndon, produced, directed, and written by Stanley Kubrick, and starring Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, and Hardy Kruger, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
Theodosius Dobzhansky, 75
. Ukrainian-born U.S. geneticist and biologist. Dr. Dobzhansky was an evolutionary biologist who was known for promoting the idea of evolution through genetic mutation. His best-known book was Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937).

Politics and government
The Canadian government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau abolished Information Canada, the Company of Young Canadians, and Opportunities For Youth programs due to cuts in spending.

The Oakland Athletics released infielder Billy Grabarkewitz. Mr. Grabarkewitz played with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969-1972); California Angels (1973); Philadelphia Phillies (1973-1974); Chicago Cubs (1974); and Oakland Athletics (1975), batting .236 with 28 home runs and 141 runs batted in in 466 games. In 1970, his only season as a starter, he batted .289 with 17 home runs and 84 runs batted in in 156 games, and was selected to play for the National League in the All-Star game, where he singled in the bottom of the 12th inning as part of the rally that brought home the winning run. In 1975 Mr. Grabarkewitz batted 0 for 2 in 6 games with Oakland before being sent down to the Tucson Toros of the AAA Pacific Coast League, where he hit .279 with 8 homers and 40 RBIs in 94 games.

30 years ago

The West German government agreed to negotiate a role for West German industry in the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative program.

Australians Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were facing the death penalty in Malaysia after their appeal of a conviction for smuggling heroin was rejected.

A ferry carrying about 200 people from Manila to a southern island of the Philippines sank. 85 people were rescued and all of the 115 remaining were believed drowned.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Anne Revere, 87
. U.S. actress. Miss Revere won the Academy Award for her supporting performance in National Velvet (1944), and was nominated for Oscars for her supporting performances in The Song of Bernadette (1943) and Gentleman's Agreement (1947). She won a Tony Award for her starring performance in Toys in the Attic (1960).

Paul Tortelier, 76. French musician. Mr. Tortelier was a cellist who performed as a member of several orchestras and as a featured soloist in a career that spanned more than 50 years.

U.S. assistant secretary of education for civil rights Michael Williams announced a partial reversal of a policy he had announced six days earlier that the department would prohibit institutions receiving federal funds from awarding scholarships on the basis of race. Mr. Williams now said that he had been "politically naive" in his earlier announcement, and said that the department would allow colleges receiving federal money to give scholarships to minority students if the money came from private donors or from U.S. programs established to aid minority students.

Economics and finance
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board reduced its rate for loans to member institutions from 7% to 6.5%. This cut, an effort to stimulate the economy, was the first in the discount rate since 1986. Meanwhile, the United States Labor Department reported that consumer prices had risen 0.3% in November, and the Commerce Department reported that the merchandise trade deficit in October was $11.61 billion, the highest level since February 1988.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): I Don't Wanna Be a Star--Corona (2nd week at #1)

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Hand in My Pocket--Alanis Morisette (3rd week at #1)
2 Name--Goo Goo Dolls
3 Blessed--Elton John
4 Breakfast at Tiffany's--Deep Blue Something
5 Fantasy--Mariah Carey
6 Back for Good--Take That
7 I Wish You Well--Tom Cochrane
8 Your Little Secret--Melissa Etheridge
9 Runaway--Janet Jackson
10 Exhale (Shoop Shoop)--Whitney Houston

There were no new singles entering the chart.

Auto racing
In a power struggle with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, car owners who hired the drivers to race there announced that they would stage the United States 500 in Michigan opposite the Indy 500 the following May.

10 years ago

The Chadian Civil War began when rebel groups, allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launched an attack in Adré.

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