Wednesday, 24 February 2016

February 25, 2016

180 years ago

Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.

175 years ago

Died on this date
Philip Pendleton Barbour, 57
. U.S. politician. Mr. Barbour, a member of the Democratic-Republican and Democratic parties, represented Virginia's 11th District in the United States House of Representatives from 1814-1825 and 1827-1830, and served as Speaker of the House from 1821-1823. He was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1836 until his death, which occurred from a coronary thrombosis during arguments presented by former U.S. President John Quincy Adams in the case of the slave ship Amistad. Justice Barbour advocated for a strict reading of the Constitution and limitations on federal government power.

160 years ago

The peace conference known as the Congress of Paris opened, after the Crimean War.

150 years ago

Miners in Calaveras County, California, discovered what is now called the Calaveras Skull--human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed. Miners later claimed to have planted the skull as a hoax.

110 years ago

Died on this date
Anton Arensky, 44
. Russian composer. Mr. Arensky wrote two symphonies and other orchestral and piano works, but is best known for his chamber music. He died of tuberculosis, perhaps exacerbated by heavy drinking.

100 years ago

German forces captured Fort Douaumont during the Battle of Verdun.

75 years ago

British forces in Italian Somaliland captured Mogadishu. U.S. Senator Burton K. Wheeler (Democrat--Montana) declared that the United Kingdom expected the United States to get into the European war between April and June 1941 through the "back door" of the Orient.

Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced that Leighton McCarthy had been appointed as Canada's Ambassador to the United States.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and General Sir John Dill arrived in Turkey for discussions on a possible German attack on Greece.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka said he believed that the white race must cede Oceania to the Asiatics.

The Supreme Soviet voted a 26% increase in Russia's military budget, and doubled the peasants' income tax to pay for arms production and defense measures.

In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that the pending Hobbs bill to permit wiretapping by federal officials in felony cases "goes entirely too far."

The U.S. Protestant Digest Associates awarded citations for combating racial and religious intolerance to U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes; Ralph Ingersoll; Dr. Ruth Benedict; Rev. Samuel Howie; and Lester Granger.

New York Rangers 2 @ Boston 0

The Rangers shutout of the Bruins at Boston Garden ended the Bruins' league record unbeaten streak at 23 games.

70 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Symphony--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra (6th week at #1)
--Bing Crosby
--Jo Stafford
--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
2 Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!--Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
--Woody Herman and his Orchestra
3 I Can't Begin to Tell You--Bing Crosby with Carmen Cavallaro
--Harry James and his Orchestra
--Andy Russell
4 Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief--Betty Hutton
--Les Brown and his Orchestra
5 Personality--Johnny Mercer
6 It Might as Well Be Spring--Dick Haymes
--Paul Weston and his Orchestra with Margaret Whiting
--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra
7 Oh! What it Seemed to Be--Dick Haymes
--Paul Weston and his Orchestra with Margaret Whiting
--Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra
8 I'm Always Chasing Rainbows--Perry Como
--Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest
9 Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba)--Perry Como and the Satisfyers
10 You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)--Les Brown and his Orchestra
--Perry Como

There were no new singles entering the chart.

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

Nigel Bruce was ill and unable to perform in this episode, so Eric Snowden took his place. Mr. Snowden went on to play Dr. Watson during the 1949-50 season of the series, with Ben Wright as Sherlock Holmes.

Pope Pius XII told diplomats and Roman Catholic Church officials that he had refrained from approving the Axis war against the U.S.S.R. in 1941 in the hope that it could be stopped.

A long-debated agreement to unify the Communist and Nationalist Chinese armies was signed in Chungking.

Iranian Prime Minister Ahmad Gavam Saltaneh was told in Moscow that Soviet troops would remain in northwestern Iran "until the situation has been elucidated."

Politics and government
The Japanese cabinet postponed Diet elections to April 10 to enable closer screening of the 2,850 candidates.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that military courts set up under martial law in Hawaii had no power to try civilians.

Dr. Wilhelm Furtwaengler's invitation to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was withdrawn by an Austrian investigating committee on the grounds of possible Nazi affiliation.

Economics and finance
U.S. President Harry Truman issued a directive re-establishing the Office of Economic Stabilization with former Office of Price Administration director Chester Bowles as its head.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Sixteen Tons--"Tennessee" Ernie Ford; Frankie Laine (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Eventuell, eventuell--Peter Alexander & Caterina Valente (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): Zambesi--Lou Busch (2nd week at #1)

#1 singles in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Lisbon Antigua--Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra (Best Seller--1st week at #1); The Great Pretender--The Platters (Disc Jockey--2nd week at #1; Jukebox--1st week at #1; Top 100--2nd week at #1)

On the Billboard Country and Western Best Seller chart, I Forgot to Remember to Forget by Elvis Presley was #1 for the first of two weeks.

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Rock and Roll Waltz--Kay Starr
2 The Great Pretender--The Platters
3 Lisbon Antigua--Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra
4 Memories are Made of This--Dean Martin
5 No, Not Much!--The Four Lads
6 See You Later, Alligator--Bill Haley and his Comets
7 The Poor People of Paris--Les Baxter, his Chorus and Orchestra
8 Band of Gold--Don Cherry
9 Moritat (A Theme from “The Three Penny Opera”)--Dick Hyman Trio
--Richard Hayman and Jan August
10 Tutti Frutti--Pat Boone
--Little Richard

Singles entering the chart were the version of Moritat (A Theme from “The Three Penny Opera”) by Richard Hayman and Jan August; Mr. Wonderful by Teddi King (#31, charting with the version by Sarah Vaughan); A Tear Fell (#33)/Bo Weevil (#36) by Teresa Brewer; Bo Weevil by Fats Domino (#36, charting with the version by Teresa Brewer); Valley Valparaiso by Percy Faith and his Orchestra (#39); Flowers Mean Forgiveness by Frank Sinatra (#41); Innamorata (Sweetheart) with versions by Jerry Vale and Dean Martin (#46); and Forever Darling by the Ames Brothers (#48).

On television tonight
The Honeymooners, on CBS
Tonight's episode: Here Comes the Bride

World events
In his speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, U.S.S.R. leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The "Secret Speech" was delivered to a closed session of Communist Party delegates, the day after the conclusion of public sessions of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

50 years ago

Hit parade
Edmonton's top 10 (CJCA)
1 These Boots are Made for Walkin'--Nancy Sinatra (2nd week at #1)
2 My Love--Petula Clark
3 Just Like Me--Paul Revere and the Raiders
4 Listen People--Herman's Hermits
5 Barbara Ann--The Beach Boys
6 Nowhere Man--The Beatles
7 At the Scene--Dave Clark Five
8 Elusive Butterfly--Bob Lind
9 Batman Theme--The Marketts
10 Michelle--David & Jonathan
Pick hit of the week: Why Can't You Bring Me Home--Jay & the Americans
New this week: Lovely Kravezit--The Everly Brothers
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)--Cher
California Dreamin'--The Mamas and the Papas
Tears--Bobby Vinton
Caroline, No--Brian Wilson

Died on this date
James D. Norris, 59
. U.S. sports executive. Mr. Norris was the son of James E. Norris, who owned the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. James D. Norris was a vice-president of the Red Wings, while also co-owning the Chicago Black Hawks. Mr. Norris was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962. James D. was president of the International Boxing Club of New York from 1949-1958, which controlled boxing in the United States in the 1950s until it was dissolved after being ruled by a court to be an illegal monopoly. Mr. Norris was involved with gangsters and fixed fights. He died of a heart attack, leaving a reported net worth of $250 million.

World events
The coup d'etat in Syria ended with Nur al-Din al-Atasi being named Chief of State and Yusuf Zuayn as Prime Minister.

Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson cut a ribbon opening the 13-kilometre $200-million east-west Toronto subway.

40 years ago

San Diego 2 @ Minnesota 1 (OT)

The Mariners' win before 6,011 fans at St. Paul Civic Center was the last game for the Fighting Saints; although they were second in the West Division with a 30-24-5 record, the team was short of money, and folded three days later.

30 years ago

World events
Corazon Aquino was sworn in as President of the Philippines, while embattled incumbent Ferdinand Marcos held his own inauguration ceremony while preparing to flee the country.

Politics and government
The 27th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party opened in Moscow with 5,000 Soviet delegates and thousands of visitors from 113 countries in attendance. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened the congress with a 5½-hour speech.

During his address to the Soviet Communist Party Congress, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev found some encouragement in U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s arms control plan, but complained that it was swamped with various links and conditions that would prevent disarmament solutions. Mr. Gorbachev hinted that he would not attend another summit conference with Mr. Reagan unless there was some progress on arms control issues.

Economics and finance
Without mentioning former Sovier leader Leonid Brezhnev by name, Mr. Gorbachev, in his address to the Communist party congress in Moscow, charged that extreme economic difficulties had begun to build up under the previous leadership during the 1970s. While declaring that there would be no retreat from the basic tenets of Communism, Mr. Gorbachev called for "radical reform" of economic management, including more autonomy for local farm and plant managers and less interference from central planners.

The United States Labor Department reported that the consumer price index had risen 0.3% in January.

Engineers with rocket parts manufacturer Morton Thiokol Inc. testified before the presidential commission investigating the January 28 explosion of the U.S. space shuttle Challenger that NASA officials had pressured them to present a positive launch recommendation despite their opposition to a launch. One engineer, Brian Russell, said that "we were in the position of having to prove it was unsafe, instead of the other way around."

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): 3 AM Eternal--The KLF (2nd week at #1)

28 soldiers--including three women--were killed and 90 injured when a Scud missile struck a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Hours later, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his forces to withdraw from Kuwait. Roads leading to Basra were jammed with retreating Iraqi forces. U.S. Marines bombed the road north of Kuwait City.

U.K. Director of Public Prosecution Alan Green announced that the Birmingham Six, convicted in 1975 in connection with Irish Republican Army bombings of two pubs in Birmingham in November 1974 that had killed 21 people, could be free within weeks because their convictions could no longer be considered safe and satisfactory.

Harry Ornest sold the Toronto Argos to American rare coin speculator Bruce McNall, hockey star Wayne Gretzky, and entertainer John Candy.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Let's Groove--CDB (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Spaceman--Babylon Zoo (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Children--Robert Miles (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Haing S. Ngor, 55
. Cambodian-born U.S. physician and actor. Dr. Ngor was a gynecologist and surgeon who was imprisoned in a concentration camp after the Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1975. When the regime fell, he made his way to Thailand, and eventually the United States. Dr. Ngor was unable to resume his medical practice, but was cast as Dith Pran in the movie The Killing Fields (1984), for which he won the Academy Award for his supporting performance. Dr. Ngor was shot to death outside his home in Chinatown in Los Angeles by members of a street gang.

Suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem and Ashkelon killed 23 Israelis, 2 American civilians, and 2 Palestinian bombers, and wounded 90 people. Confusion over responsibility for the attacks heightened divisions within the Palestinian community.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Darren McGavin, 83
. U.S. actor. Mr. McGavin, born William Richardson, was known for his many television appearances, including starring roles in the series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1958-1960); Riverboat (1959-1961); and Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975). He's probably best known for playng the father in the movie A Christmas Story (1983).

At the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, Clara Hughes of Canada won the gold medal in the women's 5,000-metre speed skating event, while fellow Canadian Cindy Klassen won the bronze, giving her a total of 5 medals in Turin. Combined with her 2002 bronze from Salt Lake City, Miss Klassen’s six career medals made her Canada’s most decorated Olympian to date. François-Louis Tremblay of Canada won the silver medal in the men's 500-metre short track speed skating event, and also won a silver medal as part of the men's 5,000-metre relay event.

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