Thursday, 31 December 2015

December 31, 2015

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Mike Matson and Erica Levine!

240 years ago

Died on this date
Richard Montgomery, 37
. Irish-born American military officer. Major General Montgomery served in the British Army before embracing the Patriot cause and joining the Continental Army. He was killed while leading a Continental Army attack on the Lower Town of Quebec.

British forces led by General Guy Carleton and his aide Colonel Allan Maclean repulsed an attack on the Lower Town of Quebec, after three weeks of bombardment, by Continental Army forces commanded by Major General Richard Montgomery, assisted by General Benedict Arnold. Of the 900 Americans who participated in the attack, 60 were killed and wounded, and over 400 captured; the remaining Patriot forces retreated across the St. Lawrence River.

225 years ago

Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues still survive, was published for the first time.

75 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): The Woodpecker Song--Kate Smith; Glenn Miller and his Orchestra (2nd month at #1)

Married on this date
U.S. actress Bette Davis and Boston businessman Arthur Farnsworth were married at a ranch in Rimrock, Arizona.

In his New Year's proclamation to the German armed forces, German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler declared: "The year 1941 will bring consummation of the greatest victory in our history."

Politics and government
In contrast to Mr. Hitler's message, New Year's messages from the Japanese government were gloomy. Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka said, "I fear the coming year will prove most tragic and unfortunate for all mankind."

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt characterized as "silly" a suggestion that the United States accept British islands in the Atlantic Ocean in exchange for material aid.

Ford Motor Company appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court from a lower court ruling upholding a National Labor Relations Board order that the comapny cease "unfair" labour practices. Ford accused the board of "bias and prejudice."

Howard Hopson, 58, who had obtained control of Associated Gas and Electric Company in 1922 for $48,000 and had built it into a billion-dollar utilities empire, was convicted by a U.S. fedeal jury in New York on 17 counts of defrauding investors of nearly $20 million.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): (Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral) That's an Irish Lullaby--Bing Crosby (1st month at #1)

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

Singles entering the chart were the version of It Might as Well Be Spring by Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra; the version of Symphony by Jo Stafford; Coffee Time, with versions by Kay Kyser and his Orchestra and Shep Fields and his New Music (#20); and You Always Hurt the One You Love by Spike Jones and his City Slickers (#49).

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

New Year's Radio Dancing Party, on USAFRS

16 big bands, playing at various venues across the United States, combined in this salute to victorious American troops around the world. The broadcast was recorded in May 1945, and it went on the air late on the evening of December 31.

U.S. and U.K. intelligence experts declared that they were convinced that German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun had died in the Reichschancellery bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945. 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, U.S. Navy Admiral Harold Stark testified that 11 "specific warnings" of possible hostile Japanese actions had been sent to the Pacific commanders between October 16-December 6, 1941.

The Chinese government in Chungking responded to the Communist truce proposal with a plan of its own, proposing U.S. Army General George Marshall as mediator.

The Soviet press agency TASS reported that the Polish Council in Warsaw had ratified the pact establishing the Russo-Polish border along the old Curzon line, with a few deviations "in Poland's favour."

France officially recognized the Yugoslavian republic.

Politics and government
New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser offered to place the country's mandate of western Samoa under United Nations trusteeship.

Economics and finance
The U.S.S.R. relinquished its rights to original membership in the International Monetary Fund by failing to sign the Bretton Woods agreements on time. Mexico signed the Bretton Woods agreement.

The Bermuda Legislative Council voted to end curbs on the use of automobiles.

U.S. President Harry Truman teminated the National War Labor Board by executive action and created a National Wage Stabilization Board to succeed it.

U.S. President Truman named a three-man fact-finding board to avert the scheduled January 14, 1946 steel strike, and ordered the Office of Price Administration to review ceiling prices for steel.

Arbitrator William Davis announced a 20% wage increase to $1.50 per hour for New York City longshoremen, with a work week reduction to 40 hours, and a week's vacation pay.

Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan General Douglas MacArthur ordered the suspension of all courses in Japanese history, geography, and morals after a survey showed them to be interwoven with state Shinto and militarism.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): The Ballad of Davy Crockett--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford; Fess Parker (4th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Der Mond hält seine Wacht--Peter Alexander (6th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock--Bill Haley and his Comets (8th week at #1)

#1 singles in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Sixteen Tons--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford (Best Seller--6th week at #1; Disc Jockey--6th week at #1; Jukebox--5th week at #1; Top 100--5th week at #1)

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

Singles entering the chart were the version of Nuttin' for Christmas by Joe Ward; Rock and Roll Waltz by Kay Starr (#29); Lullaby of Birdland by the Blue Stars (#44); My Treasure, with versions by the Hilltoppers and Connie Francis (#46); I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life (#48)/Take Me Back to Toyland (#50) by Nat "King" Cole; and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Teresa Brewer (#49).

At the movies
The Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon One Froggy Evening opened in theatres.

On television tonight
The Honeymooners, on CBS
Tonight's episode: The Man from Space

50 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's top 10 (CJCA)
1 Day Tripper/We Can Work it Out--The Beatles (3rd week at #1)
2 The Sounds of Silence--Simon & Garfunkel
3 Flowers on the Wall--The Statler Brothers
4 She's Just My Style--Gary Lewis and the Playboys
5 Over and Over--The Dave Clark Five
6 England Swings--Roger Miller
7 One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)--Barry Young
8 You Didn't Have to Be So Nice--The Lovin' Spoonful
9 Hang on Sloopy--The Ramsey Lewis Trio
10 Sunday and Me--Jay & the Americans
Pick hit of the week: Barbara Ann--The Beach Boys
New this week: Elusive Butterfly--Bob Lind
Everybody Loves Saturday Night--The New Christy Minstrels
A Well Respected Man--The Kinks
Some Sunday Morning--Wayne Newton

At the movies
Moment to Moment, starring Jean Seberg, Honor Blackman, Sean Garrison, and Arthur Hill, received its premiere screening in Finland.

World events
Jean-Bédel Bokassa, leader of the Central African Republic army, and his military officers began a coup d'état against the government of President David Dacko.

40 years ago

Economics and finance
The cost of mailing a letter in the United States increased from 10c to 13c.

Super Series '76
U.S.S.R. Central Red Army (1-0-1) 3 @ Montreal 3

The Canadiens beat the Red Army everywhere but the scoreboard in a memorable game at the Montreal Forum (see video). Steve Shutt and Yvon Lambert scored to give Montreal a 2-0 lead after the 1st period. Boris Mikhailov scored for the Red Army at 3:54 of the 2nd period, but Yvan Cournoyer scored a powerplay goal at 9:39 to make it 3-1, before Valery Kharlamov scored for the CRA at 16:21. Boris Aleksandrov scored the tying goal at 4:04 of the 3rd period. The Canadiens outshot the CRA 38-13, but Montreal goalie Ken Dryden, who was never known for playing well against the Soviets, had a terrible game, allowing 2 goals on just 3 shots in the 2nd period. Central Red Army goalie Vladislav Tretiak made 35 saves.

30 years ago

Died on this date
Rick Nelson, 45
. U.S. musician. The son of bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his wife Harriet Hilliard Nelson, Eric Hilliard Nelson began acting on his parents’ radio show at the age of 9 and remained with the program when it moved to television in 1952. He had his first hit record, the two-sided hit I’m Walkin’/A Teenager’s Romance in 1957. Poor Little Fool reached #1 on the Billboard Best Seller and Hot 100 charts in 1958, and Travelin’ Man (1961) hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. From 1957-1964 Mr. Nelson had 26 top-40 hits on the Billboard pop chart, 17 of which reached the top 10. 11 of his singles were records that had both sides in the top 40. He also showed promise as an actor with fine performances in the movies Rio Bravo (1959) and The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960). After the hits diminished, Mr. Nelson began writing and performing his own songs, and was a pioneer in the genre known as country-rock with albums such as Bright Lights and Country Music (1966). He returned to the top 40 singles chart in late 1969-early 1970 with She Belongs To Me, and had a major comeback hit with Garden Party, which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the RPM 100 Singles chart in Canada in the fall of 1972. Mr. Nelson was on his way to a New Year’s Eve engagement in Dallas when a fire began in the cabin of the vintage DC-3 carrying him and his band, and the plane crashed while making a forced landing in DeKalb, Texas. Mr. Nelson, his fiancee, and five members of his band were killed.

Springbok Radio, South Africa’s first commercial radio station, went off the air for the last time, ending more than 35 years of broadcasting.

Economics and finance
The failure of a bank in Brooklyn, New York brought the number of bank failures for the year in the United States to 120.

The U.S. dollar ended 1985 well below the record levels set in March. The decline against other currencies had been slow during the summer and greater in the fall.

25 years ago

Died on this date
George Allen, 72
. U.S. football coach. After years in the college ranks, Mr. Allen joined the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League as an assistant coach in 1957, moving on to the Chicago Bears in 1958 under head coach George Halas. Mr. Allen masterminded the defense that gave up an average of 10 points per game as the Bears won the NFL championship in 1963. He became head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 1966; from 1966-1970 the Rams compiled a regular season record of 49-17-4, but were unable to get past the first round of the playoffs. Mr. Allen was fired after the 1970 season and was promptly hired to be the head coach of the Washington Redskins, where he served from 1971-1977. Mr. Allen’s teams in Washington were known as the "Over-the-Hill Gang" because of his habit of trading away draft choices for proven veterans. The Redskins’ best season under Mr. Allen was 1972, when they led the National Football Conference with a record of 11-3, and won the NFC championship, only to lose 14-7 to the undefeated Miami Dolphins in the 1973 Super Bowl. Mr. Allen rejoined the Rams as head coach in 1978, but was fired after just two pre-season games. He joined CBS as a commentator on football telecasts. Mr. Allen joined the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League as general manager after the 1981 season, but departed after just a few weeks in which he accomplished nothing except large long-distance telephone bills. In 1983 Mr. Allen was head coach of the Chicago Blitz in the first season of the United States Football League, where he compiled a 12-6 record before losing in the first round of the playoffs. In 1984 he became head coach of the Arizona Wranglers when the owners of the Wranglers and the Blitz swapped the two franchises almost completely. In 1984 the Wranglers were 10-8, and won two playoff games to become Western Conference champions before losing 23-3 to the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL championship game. Mr. Allen left coaching after that, but returned in 1990 as head coach at California State University, Long Beach. He led CSULB to its first winning record in many years, but died six weeks after the last game. CSULB won the game and the players awarded Mr. Allen a Gatorade shower, but he procrastinated in changing out of wet clothes, and his health declined until he died of ventricular fibrillation.

Economics and finance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1990 at 2633.66, down 119.54 points, or 4.3%, for 1990.

Garry Kasparov of the U.S.S.R. retained his world championship against countryman and former world champion Anatoly Karpov. Mr. Kasparov won 4 games to Mr. Karpov’s 3, with 17 draws. The final score of the match was 12.5-11.5 for Mr. Kasparov. Mr. Kasparov’s victory earned him US$1.7 million and a diamond-studded sculpture valued at $1 million. Mr. Karpov took home $1.3 million.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): One Sweet Day--Maria Carey and Boyz II Men (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Gangsta's Paradise--Coolio featuring L.V. (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Earth Song--Michael Jackson (3rd week at #1)

NFC Wild Card Playoff
Atlanta 20 @ Green Bay 37

AFC Wild Card Playoff
Indianapolis 35 @ San Diego 20

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