Friday, 26 February 2016

February 26, 2016

750 years ago

An army led by Charles, Count of Anjou, defeated a combined German and Sicilian force led by Manfred, King of Sicily in the Battle of Benevento. Manfred, 34 (?) , was killed in the battle, and Pope Clement IV invested Charles as king of Sicily and Naples.

400 years ago

The Roman Catholic Church, led by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, prohibited Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei from teaching or defending heliocentrism--the view that the Earth orbits the Sun.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Herbert Henry Dow
. Canadian-born U.S. chemist and businessman. Mr. Dow, a native of Belleville, Ontario, moved with his American parents back to the United States shortly after his birth. He founded the Midland Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan in 1890 and the Dow Chemical Company in 1897. Mr. Dow died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 64 on October 15, 1930.

140 years ago

Japan and Korea signed a treaty granting Japanese citizens extraterritoriality rights; opening three ports to Japanese trade; and ending Korea's status as a tributary state of Qing dynasty China.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Jackie Gleason
. U.S. actor and musician. Mr. Gleason, nicknamed "The Great One," was best known as host and star of the television variety program originally titled Cavalcade of Stars (1950-1952), and renamed The Jackie Gleason Show, which aired in various forms from 1952-1970. Mr. Gleason created several comic characters, the most memorable being Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden, who with his wife Alice (played by several actresses over the years, most notably Audrey Meadows), were known as the Honeymooners. Mr. Gleason stopped doing his variety show for the 1955-56 season in order to do The Honeymooners as a separate series. He appeared in numerous films, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting performance in The Hustler (1961), while achieving popularity in later years for playing Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and two sequels. Mr. Gleason was also a bandleader, lending his name to best-selling albums in the 1950s with titles such as Music for Lovers Only (1952); Music to Make You Misty (1953); Music, Martinis, and Memories (1954); and Music to Change Her Mind (1956). Mr. Gleason died on June 24, 1987 at the age of 71.

Bills were introduced in the Alberta Legislature to enact prohibition and to give women the right to vote.

90 years ago

Politics and government
Charles Avery Dunning resigned as Premier of Saskatchewan to become Minister of Railways in the federal Liberal Party government of Prime Minister Mackenzie King. He was succeeded as Premier by Jimmy Gardiner.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Takahashi Korekiyo, 81
. Prime Minister of Japan, 1921-1922, 1932. Viscount Korekiyo was Japan's finance minister during the Depression of the early 1930s, and his policy of reducing military expenditures made him a target for disgruntled officers. He was assassinated during the February 26 Incident.

Saitō Makoto, 77. Prime Minister of Japan, 1932-1934. Admiral Makoto, a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, was Governor-General of Korea three times from 1919-1931. He became Prime Minister upon the assassination of Inukai Tsuyoshi, and served until resigning with his cabinet because of the Teijin Incident bribery scandal. Admiral Makoto was assassinated during the February 26 Incident.

World events
In the February 26 Incident, young Japanese military officers attempted to stage a coup against the government.

75 years ago

The United Kingdom announced the first clash between British and German motorized patrols in Libya. Japan presented a "final mediation plan" for settlement of the border dispute between Thailand and French Indochina. U.S. Senator Burton K. Wheeler (Democrat--Montana) challenged the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to let the American people vote on the issue of American entry into the European war.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported that the Congregation of the Holy Office had placed the German book Race, Culture and Christianity by P. Koltz on the list of forbidden works for advocating compulsory sterilization and euthanasia for the unfit.

U.S. Justice Department official Maurice Milligan reported that the special Washington grand jury investigating alleged violations of federal election laws during the 1940 campaign returned no indictments.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials Gerhard Gesell and Ernest Howe reported that the tremendous assets of the insurance companies were available only for big business.

70 years ago

The French cabinet ordered the Franco-Spanish border closed and commercial relations virtually suspended in protest against the execution by the regime of Generalissimo Francisco Franco of 10 Spanish veterans of the French resistance movement.

British troops in Palestine seized 5,000 Jews in a search for terrorists who had wrecked 22 Royal Air Force planes at Quastina, Petah Tikvah, and Lydda the previous night.

Politics and government
With the U.S.S.R. represented for the first time, the Allied Far Eastern Commission met in Washington, D.C. at its permanent headquarters in the Japanese embassy.

U.S. President Harry Truman nominated Julius Krug as Secretary of the Interior.

The United States Congress passed a $100-million national school lunch bill and a $250-million emergency housing bill for military veterans.

The U.S. War and Navy Departments asked Congress for a 20% pay increase for all men in the armed services to meet higher living costs and provide recruitment incentive. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ships sale bill, giving U.S. shipping lines priority in the purchase or leasing of 50 million tons of shipping built during World War II.

Indian independence activist Jawaharlal Nehru told a rally in Bombay that every Indian in the armed forces should refuse to shoot or harm fellow Indians on British orders.

State militia seized 300 weapons in a house-to-house search in Columbia, Tennessee after 10 people were injured in race riots.

Economics and finance
The Canadian government of Prime Minister Mackenzie King named Finance Minister J.L. Ilsley as its representative in the International Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The U.S. Office of Price Administration approved a 1.5% retail price increase for meat after March 11, 1946.

Ford and Congress of Industrial Organizations United Auto Workers signed an agreement calling for an 18c hourly wage increase and stringent action against workers who began wildcat strikes.

The U.S. Wage Stabilization Board orderd a 16c hourly wage increase for packing house workers.

Mediation efforts by Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray and RCA chief David Sarnoff averted a strike by transport workers in New York City.

Finnish observers reported the first of many thousands of sightings of ghost rockets.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, on CBS
Tonight's episode: Place of Shadows, starring Everett Sloane and Sean McClory

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): We Can Work it Out/Day Tripper--The Beatles (7th week at #1)

#1 single in France: Une Mèche de Cheveux--Salvatore Adamo

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Nessuno mi può giudicare--Caterina Caselli (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Yesterday Man--Chris Andrews (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Michelle--The Beatles; The Overlanders (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): 19th Nervous Breakdown--The Rolling Stones (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): These Boots are Made for Walkin'--Nancy Sinatra

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 These Boots are Made for Walkin'--Nancy Sinatra
2 The Ballad of the Green Berets--SSgt Barry Sadler
3 Lightnin' Strikes--Lou Christie
4 Uptight (Everything's Alright)--Stevie Wonder
5 My World is Empty Without You--The Supremes
6 My Love--Petula Clark
7 Listen People--Herman's Hermits
8 California Dreamin'--The Mamas and the Papas
9 Don't Mess with Bill--The Marvelettes
10 Working My Way Back to You--The 4 Seasons

Singles entering the chart were 19th Nervous Breakdown by the Rolling Stones (#24); Daydream by the Lovin' Spoonful (#58); Get Ready by the Temptations (#61); Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.) by Edwin Starr (#73); Shake Hands (And Come Out Crying) by the Newbeats (#78); Time Won't Let Me by the Outsiders (#79); Inside - Looking Out by the Animals (#86); Your P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y by Jackie Lee (#87); The Dedication Song by Freddy Cannon (#89); Keep on Running by the Spencer Davis Group (#92); It's a Funny Situation by Dee Dee Sharp (#96); Superman by Dino, Desi and Billy (#98); Five Card Stud by Lorne Greene (#99); Walkin' My Cat Named Dog by Norma Tanega (#100); Rags to Riches by Lenny Welch (also #100); and Lullaby of Love by the Poppies (also #100).

The United States launched AS-201 from Cape Kennedy, Florida, marking the first test flight of the Saturn IB rocket.

The ROK Capital Division of the South Korean Army massacred 380 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Say You, Say Me--Lionel Richie (8th week at #1)

At the movies
Fellow bad-movie buff Michael Martin and I went to see Revolution, one of the biggest turkeys of the 1980s. The film played in just one theatre in Edmonton for one week. We were two of eight people at the screening we attended. John Dodd went on opening night to review it for the Edmonton Journal, and he was the only person there. So few people went to see Revolution during its Edmonton run that the staff weren’t bothering to clean the theatre afterward. I don’t think more than 50 people saw Revolution during that week (and in its one-weekend second run many months later).

World events
Having accepted U.S. President Ronald Reagan's offer of exile, former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, along with his family and supporters--90 people in all--travelled to Clark Air Force Base and then to Guam, before flying on to Hawaii. Incoming Philippines President Corazon Aquino named a 17-member cabinet. Salvador Laurel, who had been named Premier the previous day, had the foreign ministry added to his duties.

In an address to the nation, U.S. President Ronald Reagan said that his military buildup was threatened "by those who would quit before the job is done." In response, House of Representatives Majority Leader Jim Wright (Democrat--Texas) said that Democrats had always favoured a strong defense, but that they disagreed over "the amount of debt that we are willing to place upon the backs of our children."

Robert Penn Warren was named the first official poet laureate of the United States. Congress had created the honour in 1985, essentially equating it with the former position of poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. Mr. Warren was the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both poetry (1958--Promises: Poems 1954-1956) and fiction (1947--All the King’s Men). He was selected for the position of poet laureate by Daniel Boorstin, the Librarian of Congress.

Economics and finance
Canadian Finance Minister Michael Wilson tabled a budget for 1986-1987 that raised taxes and reduced government spending in an effort to trim the nation’s deficit.

Four NASA managers testified before the presidential commission investigating the January 28 explosion of the U.S. space shuttle Challenger that they had not pressured engineers from rocket parts manufacturer Morton Thiokol Inc. to present a positive launch recommendation, and said they had not considered the assessment by the engineers to be valid.

25 years ago

Kuwait City was liberated by the allies after 208 days of Iraqi occupation. American forces scored a decisive victory over Iraqi forces in the Battle of Al Busayyah. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad radio that he had ordered his forces to withdraw from Kuwait.

Economics and finance
Canadian Finance Minister Michael Wilson tabled the budget for 1991-1992 to the House of Commons, describing it as "the most difficult" of the seven budgets he had presented. Though total government spending was increased by 5.1% from the previous year, the budget would restrain public servant wages; raise cigarette taxes; increase unemployment insurance premiums; and squeeze federal payments to the provinces. Mr. Wilson projected that the federal budget deficit would be limited to $30.5 billion, the same as the previous fiscal year.

Politics and government
Republican Party candidate J. Fife Symington III, 48, defeated Democratic Party candidate Terry Goddard 52%-48% in a runoff election to become Governor of Arizona. Neither candidate had obtained the required majority of votes necessary to win in the November 1990 election.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Children--Robert Miles (2nd week at #1)

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Missing--Everything But the Girl (2nd week at #1)
2 Time--Hootie & the Blowfish
3 One Sweet Day--Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
4 One of Us--Joan Osborne
5 The World I Know--Collective Soul
6 I Want to Come Over--Melissa Etheridge
7 Wonderwall--Oasis
8 Wildest Dreams--Tom Cochrane
9 You'll See--Madonna
10 1979--Smashing Pumpkins

Singles entering the chart were Faithfully by Peter Cetera (#77); You're O.K. by k.d. lang (#78); Right Hand Man by Joan Osborne (#79); I Cry by Bass is Base (#82); A Common Disaster by Cowboy Junkies (#84); Lucky Love by Ace of Base (#87); Aeroplane by Red Hot Chili Peppers (#92); Oh Virgins by Blessid Union of Souls (#94); Glycerine by Bush (#95); and Real Love by the Beatles (#96).

A U.S.-Italian satellite system failed when a 20-kilometre cable snapped and a 1/2-tonne ($443 million) satellite was lost in space.

Outrage over the February 24 downing by Cuba of two American civilian aircraft prompted U.S. President Bill Clinton to support the Helms-Burton law, without the clause allowing lawsuits against citizens of other countries. The Cuban government claimed that the American planes had violated Cuban air space.

Provincial civil servants in Ontario walked off the job to protest the handling of proposed spending cuts by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Mike Harris.

10 years ago

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan accepted the Olympic Flag from International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Vancouver, British Columbia was the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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