Monday, 23 May 2016

May 21, 2016

200 years ago

The first steamboat in the Maritimes, the General Smythe, began operating on the Saint John River in New Brusnwick.

190 years ago

The Red River crested after 2 1/2 weeks, reaching a level twice that of the 1950 Winnipeg flood; the greatest known flood of the river, it effectively destroyed the Red River Colony in what is now Manitoba.

160 years ago

Politics and government
Allan MacNab was forced to resign as Premier of Canada when all his cabinet ministers resigned; Deputy Premier Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché officially took office as Premier on May 24.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Harold Robbins
. U.S. author. Mr. Robbins, born Harold Rubin, wrote numerous bestselling novels, selling over 750 million copies. His novels included Never Love a Stranger (1948); The Carpetbaggers (1961); and The Adventurers (1966). Mr. Robbins died on October 14, 1997 at the age of 81.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Ronald Firbank, 40
. U.K. author. Mr. Firbank was a sodomite, drunk, and pothead who was known for eight short novels published from 1915-1926. He died of lung disease.

80 years ago

Prostitute Sada Abe was arrested in Tokyo, three days after murdering her lover, restaurateur Kichizo Ishida. She had strangled him after a session of kinky sex and then cut off his penis and genitals, which she carried in her purse until her arrest.

Outfielder Chuck Klein, who had been a great slugger with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1928-1933 before being traded to the Chicago Cubs, was traded back to the Phillies with pitcher Fabian Kowalik and a reported $50,000 for outfielder Ethan Allen and pitcher Curt Davis. Mr. Klein was hitting .294 with 5 home runs and 18 runs batted in in 29 games with Chicago in 1936, while Mr. Kowalik was 0-2 with an earned run average of 6.75 in 6 games with the Cubs. Mr. Allen was batting .296 with 1 home run and 9 RBIs in 30 games with the Phillies, while Mr. Davis was 2-4 with an ERA of 4.65 in 10 games.

75 years ago

Sharp fighting was reported on Crete as German airborne units continued to pour onto the island. The American freighter Robin Moor was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the South Atlantic Ocean, after its crew was first evacuated in lifeboats. British patrol planes spotted the German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen off the coast of Norway.

U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox said that the Neutrality Act was a blunder and should be repealed. U.S. Office of Production Management Director General William Knudsen revealed plans to increase heavy bomber production to 500 per month by September 1942.

Politics and government
Mary Spargo, an undercover agent with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, claimed that the Coal Division of the Interior Department "is loaded from top to bottom with Communists."

70 years ago

At the Nuremberg trials of accused Nazi war criminals, former German Foreign Office Secretary Baron Ernst von Weizsaecker testified that the 1939 Germany-U.S.S.R. non-aggression pact placed Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, eastern Poland, and parts of Romania within the Soviet sphere.

World events
U.S. troops searched 397 Danube River boats in Bavaria in an effort to break up smuggling and an underground railway for escaping German SS men.

The United States informed the United Nations Security Council subcommittee on Spain that it had no evidence that Spain was working on the atomic bomb or deploying troops for offensive purposes.

Iranian Propgaganda Minister Mouzaffar Firouz reported that there was no evidence of Soviet troops or supplies in Azerbaijan.

The Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress in Atlantic City voted for "immediate dissolution" of Representative Clare Boothe Luce's (Republican--Connecticut) Committee Against Racial Discrimination in Constitution Hall, but Mrs. Luse refused to comply.

Economics and finance
Switzerland agreed informally with 18 Allied nations to give up half the German capital in the country and $58 million in looted gold shipped there by Germany.

U.S. President Harry Truman ordered Interior Secretary Julius Krug to take over operation of soft coal mines at midnight, as the deadlock between mine operators and the Congress of Industrial Organizations United Mine Workers of America continued.

Physicist Louis Slotin, 35, was fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He died nine days later.

60 years ago

Wayne Bethea (10-4-2) won a 10-round unanimous decision over former world heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles (92-18-1) at St. Nicholas Arena in New York.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Hitch Hiker--Bobby and Laurie (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in France: Le Cinéma--Sheila (6th week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Michelle--The Beatles (4th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): These Boots are Made for Walkin'--Nancy Sinatra (6th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Sloop John B--The Beach Boys (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Pretty Flamingo--Manfred Mann (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Monday, Monday--The Mamas and the Papas (3rd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Monday, Monday--The Mamas and the Papas (3rd week at #1)
2 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35--Bob Dylan
3 Good Lovin'--The Young Rascals
4 When a Man Loves a Woman--Percy Sledge
5 A Groovy Kind of Love--The Mindbenders
6 Paint It, Black--The Rolling Stones
7 I Am a Rock--Simon and Garfunkel
8 It's a Man's Man's Man's World--James Brown and the Famous Flames
9 Message to Michael-Dionne Warwick
10 Shapes of Things--The Yardbirds

Singles entering the chart were Red Rubber Ball by the Cyrkle (#66); Good Time Charlie by Bobby Bland (#81); Take Some Time Out for Love by the Isley Brothers (#85); Ain't Too Proud to Beg by the Temptations (#86); Take This Heart of Mine by Marvin Gaye (#88); I Know You Better than That by Bobby Goldsboro (#94); Think of Me by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos (#97); Batman and his Grandmother by Dickie Goodman (#98); Hey Joe by the Leaves (#99); It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom by Walter Jackson (#100); and Count Down by Dave "Baby" Cortez (also #100).

The Ulster Volunteer Force declared war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

Horse racing
Kauai King, with Don Brumfield aboard, won his second straight Triple Crown race, winning the 91st running of the Preakness Stakes before 36,114 fans at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in a time of 1:55 2/5. Stupendous placed second and Amberoid finished third.

Muhammad Ali (24-0) retained his world heavyweight championship with a technical knockout of British, Commonwealth, and European champion Henry Cooper (33-12-1) at 1:38 of the 6th round before 40,000 fans at Arsenal Football Stadium in Highbury, north London. The fight was stopped by referee George Smith because of a 12-stitch gash over Mr. Cooper's left eye. On the undercard, Jimmy Ellis (19-5) scored a 1-round knockout of Leweni Waqa (19-5-1) in a cruiserweight bout.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Mississippi--Pussycat (10th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Fernando--ABBA (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Fernando--ABBA (8th week at #1)

Died on this date
Marjorie Tiemstra, 18
. Canadian murder victim. Miss Tiemstra was a Grade 12 student at Lorne High School in Barrhead, Alberta, and was attending the school's graduation dance. She was outside the school talking with friends when she was shot in the back and killed instantly in a senseless random act. A local farmer, Fred Fisher, apparently wanted to scare the young people by taking some shots at them, and one of his shots proved fatal.

The two-day conference in Oslo of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) foreign ministers charged that the U.S.S.R.'s military buildup might jeopardize detente, and called for continued efforts to relax tensions.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro agreed to withdraw Cuban troops from Angola.

The International Energy Agency agreed to conduct joint experiments in nuclear energy and to share oil reserves in the event of another Arab oil embargo.

Economics and finance
Canadian Postmaster General Bryce Mackasey announced that the federal government would raise first class letter rates from 8c to 10c on September 1, 1976 and 12c on March 1, 1977.

29 people were killed in the Yuba City bus disaster in Martinez, California, making it the deadliest road accident in U.S. history.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Dover-Calais--Style (6th week at #1)

Economics and finance
Canadian negotiator Simon Riesman started Canada-U.S. free trade talks in Washington with his American counterparts.

Keith Alexander, president of Jetco Manufacturing Ltd., was sentenced to jail by a Canadian court for dumping toxic contaminants into Toronto sewers. Mr. Alexander was the first corporate executive sent to jail for pollution-related offenses.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Rajiv Gandhi, 46. Prime Minister of India, 1984-1989. Mr. Gandhi, leader of the Congress (I) Party, became Prime Minister after his mother, Indira Gandhi, had been assassinated by her bodyguards. Voters came to view his government as incompetent and corrupt, leading to his party’s defeat in 1989. Attempting a comeback in an election campaign for seats in the lower house of parliament, Mr. Gandhi had made a campaign stop in Sriperambudur, southwest of Madras, when a woman concealing a bomb approached him, blowing up and killing herself, Mr. Gandhi, and 16 other people.

World events
Mengistu Haile Mariam, President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, fled the country, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.

It was about 85 F in Fredericton, New Brunswick, making it the warmest place in Canada, to the delight of this blogger, who happened to be there.

Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh 5 @ Minnesota 3 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)

The Chicago Cubs, who had started the season with a record of 18-19, fired Don Zimmer as manager. Mr. Zimmer had managed the Cubs since 1988, and had led them to the National League East Division title in 1989. Coach Joe Altobelli managed the Cubs for one game after the firing of Mr. Zimmer before Jim Essian took over as the full-time manager.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Lash LaRue, 78
. U.S. actor. Alfred LaRue starred in numerous low-budget Western movies in the 1940s and '50s. He was known for dressing in black, and got his nickname for his use of a bullwhip.

The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas, eight Roman Catholic monks, were found dead, almost two months after being kidnapped from their monastery during the Algerian Civil War. The Groupe Islamique Army (GIA) claimed responsibility, but it was later alleged that the monks had been accidentally killed by the Algerian Army.

The ferry MV Bukoba sank in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1,000 people.

Stanley Cup
Western Conference Finals
Colorado 3 @ Detroit 0 (Colorado led best-of-seven series 2-0)

Larry Walker drove in a career-high 6 runs, hitting a pair of 2-run home runs, a triple, and a double in the Colorado Rockies' 12-10 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before 48,037 fans at Coors Field in Denver. Mr. Walker's 13 total bases set a club record.

Julio Franco hit a solo home run with 2 out and nobody on base in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Cleveland Indians a 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers before 39,974 fans at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

The Minnesota Twins scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat the Texas Rangers 4-3 before 12,323 fans at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. The winning run was scored by pinch runner Jeff Reboulet on a sacrifice fly to left field by Rich Becker.

10 years ago

Politics and government
The Republic of Montenegro held a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, with 55% of Montenegrins voting for independence.

Stanley Cup
Western Conference Finals
Edmonton 3 @ Anaheim 1 (Edmonton led best-of-seven series 2-0)

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