Friday, 25 December 2015

December 25, 2015

880 years ago


Stephen was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in London.

200 years ago

The Handel and Haydn Society, the oldest continually performing arts organization in the United States, gave its first performance at King's Chapel in Boston.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Evangeline Booth
. U.K.-born U.S. religious leader. Miss Booth, the seventh of eight children of Salvation Army founders William and Catherine Booth, moved to New York in 1896 and served as the fourth General of The Salvation Army--and the first female General--from 1934-1939. She died on July 17, 1950 at the age of 84.

110 years ago

A workers' uprising occurred in Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), leading to the establishment of the Shuliavka Republic two weeks later.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Pete Rugolo
. Italian-born U.S. composer and arranger. Mr. Rugolo wrote and arranged songs for artists such as Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, and Billy Eckstine, and composed scores for numerous television programs. He died on October 16, 2011 at the age of 95.

75 years ago

General Andrew McNaughton organized the First Canadian Corps with two divisions in Aldershot, England. Reports from Hungary indicated that more than 150,000 German troops had been transported by train through Hungary to Romania in the past two days. British officials estimated that Malta had withstood 203 Italian air attacks, and that 35 Italian bombers had been shot down there since Italy had entered the war in June 1940. Verne Marshall of the U.S. No Foreign Wars Committee said that war would not have broken out in Europe were it not for "unwritten" foreign commitments made by the U.S.A.

Official estimates placed the world's current combatant naval strength at 1,600 units, exceeding 5 million tons, with the United States building 329 craft--more than Germany, Italy, and Japan combined. U.S. Senator Burton K. Wheeler (Democrat--Montana) said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt should make a determined effort to bring peace to Europe before additional aid was granted to the United Kingdom, and criticized plans to send equipment to Britain as "an evasion of our Neutrality Act."

Panamanian President Arnulfo Arias issued a decree abrogating the 1904 constitution, replacing it with the new one adopted by the National Assembly in November 1940 and accepted in a plebiscite on December 15.

American Magnesium Corporation denied that the German I.G. Farbenindustrie A.G. controlled magnesium patents in the United States, and was thus able to restrict production.

Earl "Red" Blaik, head coach at Dartmouth College since 1934, was named head coach at the United States Military Academy.

70 years ago

Nationalist Chinese forces under General Tu Li-ming began a drive to clear the province of Jehol west of Liaconing of Communist troops, and was moving in on Mukden. A U.S. Naval court sentenced 11 Japanese officers to hang for the mass execution of 96 American airmen on Kwajalein in October 1943.

The Chinese government gave its assent to the proposed peace treaties between the Allies and Axis states as agreed upon in Moscow by U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, and U.K. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.

General Damaso Arenas was named commander in chief of the Bolivian Army.

Economics and finance
The French finance ministry announced a devaluation of the franc to 119.107 to the U.S. dollar.

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 (4th week at #1)

#1 single in France: Mon Cœur d'attache--Enrico Macias (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Plip!--Rita Pavone

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht--Drafi Deutscher (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): We Can Work it Out/Day Tripper--The Beatles

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out--The Beatles (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Over and Over--The Dave Clark Five

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Over and Over--The Dave Clark Five
2 I Got You (I Feel Good)--James Brown and the Famous Flames
3 We Can Work It Out--The Beatles
4 Taste of Honey--Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
5 Let's Hang On--The 4 Seasons
6 The Sounds of Silence--Simon & Garfunkel
7 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)--The Byrds
8 Ebb Tide--The Righteous Brothers
9 Fever--The McCoys
10 England Swings--Roger Miller

Singles entering the chart were As Tears Go By by the Rolling Stones (#26); Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys (#76); Spread it on Thick by the Gentrys (#83); Zorba the Greek (#86)/Tijuana Taxi (#100) by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass; Going to a Go-Go by the Miracles (#87); Like a Baby by Len Barry (#88); Where the Sun Has Never Shone by Jonathan King (#90); Some Sunday Morning by Wayne Newton (#97); Yesterday Man by Chris Andrews (#98); and Lightnin' Strikes by Lou Christie (#99).

Politics and government
The Yemeni Nasserist Unionist People's Organisation was founded in Ta'izz.

40 years ago

At the movies
The Hindenburg, starring George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft, opened in theatres.

30 years ago

At the movies
Revolution, directed by Hugh Hudson, and starring Al Pacino, Nastassia Kinski, and Donald Sutherland, opened in theatres. The movie was one of the biggest bombs of the 1980s, and this blogger and fellow bad film buff Michael Martin are among the few people who actually saw the film during its one-week, one-theatre run in Edmonton two months later.

Thieves entered the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City on the night of December 24-25 and stole 140 pre-Columbian artifacts made of gold, jade, obsidian, and turquoise. The unique and priceless objects had been made by Mayas, Aztecs, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs before the arrival of the Spaniards.

25 years ago

At the movies
The Godfather: Part III opened in theatres, 16 years after the opening of The Godfather: Part II. Violent incidents were reported outside several theatres showing the movie on opening night.

Alice, written and directed by Woody Allen and starring Mia Farrow, Joe Mantegna, William Hurt, Blythe Danner, and Keye Luke, opened in theatres. No violence was reported for screenings of this movie; not many viewers, either, as it was one of the five biggest money-losing releases from Hollywood in 1990.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Me and You--Alexia

#1 single in Canada (RPM): Hand in My Pocket--Alanis Morisette (4th week at #1)

Died on this date
Dean Martin, 78
. U.S. singer and actor. Mr. Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti and nicknamed the "King of Cool," was one of the most popular entertainers in the United States from the 1950s through the 1970s. He first became prominent as the straight man in a comedy duo with Jerry Lewis in the late 1940s, and Martin and Lewis became the most popular comedy team of the early 1950s, splitting up in 1956. Mr. Martin achieved success in movies such as The Young Lions (1958); Some Came Running (1958); Rio Bravo (1959); The Sons of Katie Elder (1965); and The Silencers (1966), in addition to several films he co-starred in as part of the Hollywood "Rat Pack." Mr. Martin hosted The Dean Martin Show, a comedy-variety program that had a successful run on NBC from 1965-1974. While he was performing with Mr. Lewis and acting in movies and television, Mr. Martin had a successful career as a recording artist, with hit singles such as That's Amore (1953); Memories are Made of This (1955); and Everybody Loves Somebody (1964).

Dallas 37 @ Arizona 13

Dallas running back Emmitt Smith rushed for his 25th touchdown of the season, breaking the league record set by John Riggins of the Washington Redskins in 1983, as the Cowboys defeated the Cardinals at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Joseph Pararajasingham, 71
. Sri Lankan politician. Mr. Pararajasingham, a member of Parliament with the Tamil National Alliance since 1990, was shot dead as he attended midnight mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Batticaloa. An unknown group calling itself Sennan Padai (Sennan Force) claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was widely believed that the assassination had been ordered by the Sri Lankan government.

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