Thursday, 24 December 2015

December 24, 2015

1,375 years ago

John IV was consecrated as Roman Catholic Pope, following a vacancy of more than four months after the death of Severinus.

150 years ago

The Ku Klux Klan was founded as a private social club by several Confederate States Army veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee.

90 years ago

The Wrong Sort of Bees, a short story by A.A. Milne featuring Winnie-the-Pooh, was published in the London Evening News.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Alban Berg, 50
. Austrian composer. Mr. Berg wrote two operas and numerous choral and chamber works. He died of blood poisoning apparently origininating from an insect bite a month earlier.

75 years ago

British planes bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli and reported sinking two Italian ships, weighing 3,000 and 6,000 tons. U.S. Senator Millard Tydings (Democrat--Maryland) urged the United States to ask the warring powers for a statement on the conditions under which they would be willing to end the European war.

The Japanese government formally announced the December 6 signing of a pact between Japan and Thailand in which both countries agreed to respect each other's territorial integrity and consult on all questions of common interest.

The government of Ecuador decreed that military and naval forces must learn English in connection with hemispheric defense measures.

A three-judge U.S. Federal Court in Tacoma, Washington ruled the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to be an illegal combination in restraint of trade and in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

70 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 It's Been a Long Long Time--Harry James and his Orchestra (6th week at #1)
--Bing Crosby with Les Paul and his Trio
--Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra
--Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
2 It Might as Well Be Spring--Paul Weston and his Orchestra with Margaret Whiting
--Dick Haymes
3 Chickery Chick--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra
--Evelyn Knight and the Jesters
4 I Can't Begin to Tell You--Bing Crosby with Carmen Cavallaro
--Andy Russell
--Harry James and his Orchestra
5 I'll Buy that Dream--Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Hal McIntyre and his Orchestra
6 Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby
7 That's for Me--Dick Haymes
--Jo Stafford
8 Waitin' for the Train to Come In--Peggy Lee
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Johnny Long and his Orchestra and Dick Robertson
9 Till the End of Time--Perry Como
--Dick Haymes
--Les Brown and his Orchestra
10 Tampico--Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were the version of Symphony by Bing Crosby; Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra (#18); and The Frim Fram Sauce by the King Cole Trio (#26).

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Night Before Christmas

The War Crimes Investigation Commission compiled a list of Japanese atrocities in Java during World War II, resulting in the arrests of 43 people.

U.S. State Secretary James Byrnes, U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, and U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, meeting in Moscow, agreed, subject to French and Chinese approval, on drawing up peace treaties with Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Finland.

Politics and government
New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser told reporters in Washington that the United States should surrender ultimate authority over Japan to a commission representing all nations that fought in the Pacific theatre in World War II.

Economics and finance
The U.S. government reported that per capita income in the United States in 1944 reached a new high of $1,117.

U.S. Conciliation Director Edgar Warren invited representatives of General Electric, Westinghouse, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America to Washington for a post-Christmas conference to avert a threatened strike.

American Federation of Musicians President James Petrillo barred American radio stations from broadcasting musical progrms originating in any foreign country except Canada, beginning December 31, 1945.

Five of the nine children of George and Jenny Sodder were missing after their home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, burned down, and the five were never found.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): The Ballad of Davy Crockett--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford; Fess Parker (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Der Mond hält seine Wacht--Peter Alexander (5th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock--Bill Haley and his Comets (7th week at #1)

#1 singles in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Sixteen Tons--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford (Best Seller--5th week at #1; Disc Jockey--5th week at #1; Jukebox--4th week at #1; Top 100--4th week at #1)

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Sixteen Tons--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford (5th week at #1)
2 Memories are Made of This--Dean Martin
3 Autumn Leaves--Roger Williams
4 I Hear You Knocking--Gale Storm
5 Moments to Remember--The Four Lads
6 He--Al Hibbler
--The McGuire Sisters
7 Only You (And You Alone)--The Platters
--The Hilltoppers
8 It's Almost Tomorrow--The Dream Weavers
9 Nuttin' for Christmas--Art Mooney and his Orchestra with Barry Gordon
--Ricky Zahnd and the Blue Jeaners
10 Love is a Many-Splendored Thing--The Four Aces

Singles entering the chart were Teen Age Prayer by Gale Storm (#18, charting with the version by Gloria Mann); Speedo by the Cadillacs (#44); and Texas Lady by Les Paul and Mary Ford (#47).

On television tonight
The Honeymooners, on CBS
Tonight's episode: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

At the movies
The Court Jester, starring Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, and Basil Rathbone, opened in theatres in Japan.

Popular culture
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracked the progress of Santa Claus for the first time in what has become an annual Christmas Eve tradition.

50 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's top 10 (CJCA)
1 Day Tripper/We Can Work it Out--The Beatles (2nd week at #1)
2 The Sounds of Silence--Simon & Garfunkel
3 Flowers on the Wall--The Statler Brothers
4 One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)--Barry Young
5 Over and Over--The Dave Clark Five
6 She's Just My Style--Gary Lewis and the Playboys
7 England Swings--Roger Miller
8 Hang on Sloopy--The Ramsey Lewis Trio
9 Sunday and Me--Jay & the Americans
10 Taste of Honey--Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Pick hit of the week: As Tears Go By--The Rolling Stones
New this week: A Lover's Question--Buddy Knox
Where the Sun Has Never Shone--Jonathan King
Barbara Ann--The Beach Boys
The Men in My Little Girl's Life--Mike Douglas

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Hilary Hahn!

On television tonight
A Charlie Brown Christmas, on CBC

This was the first Canadian broadcast of the Peanuts special that had first been shown on CBS on December 9. Our family watched it on a black and white Sparton set.

Died on this date
William Branham, 56
. U.S. religious figure. Mr. Branham was generally acknowledged as the founder of the post-World War II healing "revival." He claimed to be the "Elijah" prophet of the time just prior to the return of Jesus to Earth, and became the object of a personality cult. He died six days after suffering serious injuries in a car accident; his followers apparently expected Mr. Branham to rise from the dead, and didn't bury him until April 11, 1966. Other people have done a better job than this blogger ever could of cataloguing Mr. Branham's heresies and false prophecies; for further information, I suggest Seek the Truth.

Hostilities in the Vietnam War halted for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

40 years ago

Died on this date
Bernard Herrmann, 64
. U.S. composer and conductor. Mr. Herrmann, the greatest composer of music for movies was born Max Herman in New York City. A successful conductor on radio broadcasts, he composed music for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater on the Air and accompanied Mr. Welles to Hollywood. Mr. Herrmann's first film score, Citizen Kane (1941), as was his score for The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), for which he won his only Academy Award. He was nominated for Oscars for Anna and the King of Siam (1946), and for his last two films, Obsession and Taxi Driver (both 1976). He wrote all the music for Alfred Hitchcock's films from 1955-1964; his scores for Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960) are among the most famous and influential ever written, but none were nominated for Oscars. My favourite film score is the one that Mr. Herrmann wrote for Fahrenheit 451 (1966), which was also ignored in Oscar nominations. Mr. Herrmann also wrote music for television, including a number of episodes of The Twilight Zone. He composed the opening and closing themes for the first season (1959/60) of that series, and his score for the episode titled Walking Distance (1959) is probably the best score ever written for a single episode of a television series. He died in his sleep, just after completing work on Taxi Driver.

25 years ago

The Montréal Expos traded left fielder Tim Raines to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Ivan Calderon and pitcher Barry Jones. Mr. Raines, who had been with the Expos since 1979 and had won the National League batting title in 1986, batted .287 with 9 home runs, 62 runs batted in, and 49 stolen bases in 130 games with the Expos in 1990. Mr. Calderon hit .273 with 14 homers, 74 RBIs, and 32 stolen bases with the White Sox in 1990, while Mr. Jones was 11-4 with an earned run average of 2.31 and 1 save in 65 games--all in relief--with Chicago.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): One Sweet Day--Maria Carey and Boyz II Men

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Earth Song--Michael Jackson (2nd week at #1)

10 years ago

Chad declared war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

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