Thursday, 19 May 2016

May 15, 2016

240 years ago

Politics and government
The Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.

225 years ago

Politics and government
French Revolutionary politician Maximilien de Robespierre proposed the Self-denying Ordinance, barring any member of the Constituent Assembly, elected in 1789, from sitting in its successor, the Legislative Assembly, convened in 1791.

220 years ago

Napoleon Bonaparte led his French troops into Milan in triumph.

180 years ago

English astronomer Francis Baily first observed the phenomenon that came to be known as "Baily's beads" during an annular solar eclipse.

160 years ago

Residents of San Francisco organized a Committee of Vigilance to combat crime in their rapidly growing town.

140 years ago

L'Université de Montréal was founded as a branch of l'Université Laval.

Horse racing
Vagrant, with Bobby Swim aboard, won the 2nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville in a time of 2:38 1/4. Creedmore placed second and Harry Hill finished third.

125 years ago

Pope Leo XIII defended workers' rights and property rights in the encyclical Rerum novarum (Rights and Duties of Capital and Labour), the beginning of modern Roman Catholic social teaching. The encyclical supported the rights of labour to form unions, rejected socialism and unrestricted capitalism, whilst affirming the right to private property.

90 years ago

Horse racing
Bubbling Over, with Albert Johnson aboard, won the 52nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville in a time of 2:03 4/5. Bagenbaggage placed second and Rock Man finished third.

The National Hockey League awarded a franchise to the New York Rangers, to be coached and partly owned by Lester Patrick.

75 years ago

U.K. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons that French authorities were allowing German aircraft to use Syrian airports as staging posts for flights to Iraq.

Vichy French Prime Minister Marshal Philippe Pétain said in a radio address that he had approved Vice Premier François Darlan's May 12 meeting with German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden "in principle;" the Vichy cabinet had reportedly approved a policy of submitting to German demands.

Following Marshal Pétain's speech on collaboration, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned the Vichy regime against any "voluntary alliance" to "deliver up France and its colonial empire...with the menace which that involves to the peace and safety of the Western Hemisphere." The U.S. Coast Guard placed guards on 11 French ships in U.S. ports, including the liner Normandie. The U.S. Senate voted 59-20 in favour of the alien ship seizure bill, and sent it to conference with minor amendments. The Gloster E.28/39--the first British and Allied jet aircraft--made its first flight. Gloster's Chief Test Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gerry Sayer, flew the aircraft under jet power for the first time from RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire, England, in a flight lasting 17 minutes.

A communique from Rome announced that the restoration of the Kingdom of Croatia under the Crown of Zvonimir had been proclaimed in Zagreb on May 14.

Politics and government
Elie Lescot was inaugurated in Port-au-Prince as the 30th President of the Republic of Haiti.

Dr. Henry Poncher of the University of Illinois reported that the discovery of Vitamin K was proving to be of great value in preventing hemorrhages in babies during the first week of life.

The Bolivian government expropriated the German-owned airline Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, which held an exclusive franchise for service within the country.

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board reported that employees of Bethlehem Steel's plant in Lackawanna, New York had voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the Congress of Industrial Organizations' Steel Workers Organizing Committee.

The Chicago White Sox, behind the pitching of Eddie Smith, whipped the New York Yankees 13-1 before 9,040 fans at Yankee Stadium, but Yankees’ center fielder Joe DiMaggio had a single in 4 at bats to begin his major league record 56-game hitting streak. Chicago leadoff hitter Bill Knickerbocker, a former Yankee, batted 4 for 5 with a home run, 3 runs, and 3 runs batted in.

The Philadelphia Phillies rallied for 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning to overcome a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 before 18,814 fans at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

70 years ago

The Council of Foreign Ministers voted to adjouorn their conference in Paris until June 15, 1946 after failing to agree on major issues in the Italian and Balkan peace treaties.

The Arab High Commission demanded dissolution of the Jewish Agency, which it held responsible for illegal immigration to Palestine.

Politics and government
Chinese leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek shuffled his cabinet in an effort to gain leftist support, but the ruling Kuomintang party remained in control.

German Social Democratic Party leader Kurt Schumacher charged that most of the police in the British zone of occupation were former Nazi Party members.

South Carolina lowered the voting age in the coming primaries from 21 to 18.

British Columbia District 1 of the International Woodworkers of America went on strike after coast-wide bargaining rights were won in 1943; 27,000 workers went off the job at coastal and interior industries, with Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL) affiliates. The strike was settled on June 20, 1946.

The American Baseball Guild informed the Pittsburgh Pirates that a majority of their players were union members and wished to discuss collective bargaining.

U.S. soft coal operators "unequivocally" rejected United Mine Workers of America President John L. Lewis's demand for a 7% payroll levy to finance a miners' health and welfare fund.

60 years ago

A Royal Canadian Air Force jet plane based at Ottawa's Uplands Airport crashed into the Grey Nuns' Home for the Aged in Orleans, Ontario, killing 15 people, including a priest, 11 nuns, two airmen, and a workman.

50 years ago

Died on this date
Titien Sumarni, 33
. Indonesian actress. Miss Sumarni appeared in 30 Indonesian movies from 1951-1956, and was reportedly Indonesian President Sukarno's favourite actress. She disappeared from the public eye after her last film, Djandjiku (1956), and died in poverty in a brothel.

The United States launched the Nimbus 2 weather satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

After a policy dispute, Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ of South Vietnam's ruling junta launched a military attack on the forces of General Tôn Thất Đính, forcing him to abandon his command.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Ancora tu--Lucio Battisti (7th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (Veronica Top 40): Baretta's Theme--Sammy Davis, Jr. (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K.: Fernando--ABBA (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Boogie Fever--Sylvers

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Welcome Back--John Sebastian
2 Boogie Fever--Sylvers
3 Silly Love Songs--Wings
4 Fooled Around and Fell in Love--Elvin Bishop
5 Show Me the Way--Peter Frampton
6 Shannon--Henry Gross
7 Love Hangover--Diana Ross
8 Happy Days--Pratt & McClain with Brother Love
9 Misty Blue--Dorothy Moore
10 Get Up and Boogie (That's Right)--Silver Convention

Singles entering the chart were I.O.U. by Jimmy Dean (#56); Today's the Day by America (#79); It Makes Me Giggle by John Denver (#81); The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy (#83); Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk) by Parliament (#86); You're My Everything by Lee Garrett (#92); Yes, Yes, Yes by Bill Cosby (#95); Midnight Love Affair by Tony Orlando and Dawn (#96); You Know the Feelin' by Steve Wightman (#97); Rain, Oh Rain by Fools Gold (#98); and I Wanna Stay with You by Gallagher and Lyle (#100).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Boogie Fever--Sylvers
2 Bohemian Rhapsody--Queen
3 Shout it Out Loud--Kiss
4 Shannon--Henry Gross
5 Love is the Drug--Roxy Music
6 Lorelei--Styx
7 Show Me the Way--Peter Frampton
8 Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)--Fleetwood Mac
9 Young Blood--Bad Company
10 Lonely Night (Angel Face)--Captain and Tennille

Singles entering the chart were Shop Around by Captain & Tennille (#76); Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon (#80); Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore (#84); Movin' by Brass Construction (#85); Union Man by the Case Brothers (#88); I Need a Harbour for My Soul by Tom Middleton (#89); It's Over by Boz Scaggs (#90); Never Gonna Fall in Love Again by Eric Carmen (#91); Kiss and Say Goodbye by the Manhattans (#92); Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet by Thundermug (#93); Turn the Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson (#95); I'll Be Good to You by the Brothers Johnson (#96); Making Our Dreams Come True by Cyndi Grecco (#98); Get Closer by Seals and Crofts (#99); and Could it Be Magic by Donna Summer (#100).

Horse racing
Elocutionist, with John L. Lively aboard, won the 101st running of the Preakness Stakes before 62,256 fans at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in a time of 1:55. Play the Red placed second and Kentucky Derby winner Bold Forbes finished third.

Avco World Trophy
U.S. Championship Semi-Finals
Houston 1 @ New England 6 (Best-of-seven series tied 3-3)

30 years ago

Died on this date
Elio de Angelis, 28
. Italian auto racing driver. Mr. de Angelis was in the Formula One circuit from 1979-1986, winning the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix and the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix. He died 29 hours after crashing while testing a car at the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet, France; his injuries weren't life-threatening, but it took so long to extricate him from the car, that he succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Quebec Member of Parliament Michel Gravel (Progressive Conservative--Gamelin) was charged with 50 counts of influence peddling, bribery and abuse of public trust. He was alleged to have corruptly obtained or sought to obtain over $100,000 from individuals or companies doing business with the government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Quebec Education Minister Claude Ryan introduced Bill 58, which absolved some 1,500 students enrolled illegally in the English schools of Quebec, and allowed them to continue their courses.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Wind of Change--Scorpions (2nd week at #1)

On television tonight
The Wonder Years, on ABC
Tonight’s episode: The Wonder Years

This was the last episode of the season, consisting of clips from earlier episodes.

Died on this date
Ken Jones, 88
. U.S. baseball pitcher. Mr. Jones appeared in 1 game with the Detroit Tigers in 1924 and 8 games with the Boston Braves in 1930, compiling a record of 0-1 with an earned run average of 5.40 in 21 2/3 innings. In seven seasons in the minor leagues he compiled a record of 69-87 in 199 games.

Politics and government
Édith Cresson of the Socialist Party took office as France's first female Prime Minister; she was appointed by President François Mitterrand.

Québec Premier Robert Bourassa put forward legislation for a referendum on Québec sovereignty by October, 1992.

Yves Laforest became the first Quebecer to complete the ascent of Mount Everest, 8,848 metres above sea level.

Stanley Cup
Minnesota 5 @ Pittsburgh 4 (Minnesota led best-of-seven series 1-0)

The Penguins' loss to the North Stars at Civic Arena was their first finals game in their 24-year history.

U.S. President George Bush threw out the first ball, and Queen Elizabeth II was also among the audience of 32,596 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore to see the Baltimore Orioles lose 6-3 to the Oakland Athletics. Winning pitcher Bob Welch gave up 3 home runs, all with the bases empty.

The California Angels scored 6 runs in the 3rd inning and 4 in the 5th as they beat the New York Yankees 10-2 before 16,017 fans at Yankee Stadium.

The Detroit Tigers scored a run in the top of the 12th inning to break a 3-3 tie, but Juan Gonzalez hit a 2-run home run with 1 out in the bottom of the 12th to give the Texas Rangers a 5-4 win before 18,581 fans at Arlington Stadium.

Andy Van Slyke hit a 2-run home run and Don Slaught hit a 3-run triple as a pinch hitter to highlight a 6-run 8th inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates came back from a 5-2 deficit and held on to beat the Houston Astros 8-7 before 9,577 fans at the Astrodome. The Astros scored a run in the bottom of the 9th and had runners on second and third bases with 2 out, but Pittsburgh relief pitcher Bill Landrum retired Ken Oberkfell on a pop fly to third baseman Bobby Bonilla to end the game.

20 years ago

Stanley Cup
Western Conference Semi-Finals
Detroit 4 @ St. Louis 2 (Best-of-seven series tied 3-3)

10 years ago

The album Songs from Here & Back by the Beach Boys, consisting of previously unreleased live recordings from 1989 and 1974, and one new song each from group members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and Mike Love, was released on Hallmark Records. It was available only in Hallmark Gold Crown Stores for two months.

World events
A defiant Saddam Hussein refused to enter a plea at his trial in Iraq for crimes against humanity, insisting he was still the country's president.

The United States removed Libya from its list of terrorist states.

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