Thursday, 15 December 2016

December 15, 2016

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Rahim Jaffer!

225 years ago

The United States of America ratified the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, popularly known as the Bill of Rights. The ratification took effect when the Virginia General Assembly gave its approval.

125 years ago

James Naismith devised the rules of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, inspired by a childhood game called duck-on-a-rock. He had been asked by staff of the YMCA's Springfield Training College to devise a good indoor physical education activity to keep a group of incorrigible students busy during the winter months.

110 years ago

The London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opened.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Buddy Cole
. U.S. musician. Edwin Lamar Cole was a jazz pianist and organist who led his own band and backed up singers, as well as performing on movie soundtracks. He died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 47 on November 5, 1964 after a six-hour recording session for The Sound of Music (1965).

Maurice Wilkins. N.Z.-born U.K. physicist and biologist. Dr. Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material." Dr. Wilkins also contributed to the development of radar. He died on October 5, 2004 at the age of 87.

Miguel Arraes. Brazilian politician. Mr. Arraes, a member of the Partido Social Trabalhista (PST), served a term as Governor of Pernambuco before the country was taken over by a military dictatorship. He refused to resign, was imprisoned for 11 months, and spent 14 years in exile in Algeria before returning to Brazil under an amnesty. Mr. Arraes joined the Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (MDB) and helped to found its successor, the Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (PDMB) in 1980. The military dicatatorship ended in 1985, and Mr. Arraes was elected to a second term as Governor of Pernambuco in 1986. He switched his allegiance to the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB) in 1990, and was elected to a third term as Governor in 1993. Mr. Arraes held various other offices before and after his gubernatorial terms; he died on August 13, 2005 at the age of 88.

French troops began the final offensive against German forces in the Battle of Verdun.

Canada's first tank school opened at Wolseley Barracks in London, Ontario.

75 years ago

The U.S.S.R. announced that Klin, northwest of Moscow, had been recaptured together with Yasnaya Polyana and Bogoroditsk, south of Tula. A communique from Singapore reported that British forces in northeastern Malaya were retreating slowly, inflicting heavy casualties on Japanese mechanized troops. U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox reported on the losses in the December 7 Japanese attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. He stated that six warshipd had been lost and several others damaged, and that almost 3,000 men had been killed. Mr. Knox said that U.S. forces were "not on the alert against the surprise air attack" and added that "a formal investigation" would be initiated immediately.

The U.S. Congress completed action on the conference-approved $10,000,077,005 supplemental defense appropriation bill and sent it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt reported to Congress that Lend-Lease aid to the Allies during the past nine months had reached $1.202 billion.

German troops murdered over 15,000 Jews at Drobytsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

The American Federation of Labor adopted a no-strike policy in all defense industries.

Yale University President Charles Seymour announced that the university would operate on a year-round basis so that students could complete their studies in less than three years, instead of four.

For the only time in its history, the Rose Bowl game was moved from Pasadena, California to Durham, North Carolina, with the date of January 1, 1942 remaining unchanged. The relocation took place at the request of the United States Army amid fears of a Japanese invasion of the west coast of the United States.

70 years ago

Nationalist Chinese sources reported strong Communist attacks on the fortress city of Yulin in the northern part of the province of Shensi.

Kurdish nationalist leader Ghazi Mohammed surrendered to Iranian forces after the capture of Mehabad, capital of the province of Kurdistan.

The United Nations General Assembly admitted Siam as its 55th member nation.

The executive committee of the World Zionist Congress suspended six members of the Zionist Revisionist Union of America for requesting United Nations discussion of the Palestine problem and appealing for funds to support "underground fighters."

Economics and finance
U.S. officials in Vienna completed a proposed four-year reconstruction plan for Austria.

Telephone wiretaps showed that gambler Alvin Paris had tried to bribe New York Giants' fullback Merle Hapes to fix that day's National Football League championship game against the Chicago Bears. Mr. Hapes rejected the offer, but did mention the contact to his teammate, quarterback Frank Filchock. Mr. Hapes was suspended for the game by NFL Commissioner Bert Bell for not informing team officials, while Mr. Filchock was allowed to play. Both players were soon banned for life from the NFL, and continued their playing careers in Canada. Mr. Filchock's suspension was eventually lifted.

NFL Championship @ Polo Grounds, New York
Chicago Bears 24 New York Giants 14

Sid Luckman rushed 19 yards for a touchdown with 12:15 remaining in regulation time to break a 14-14 tie as the Bears defeated the Giants before 58,436 fans. The Bears had taken a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Mr. Luckman to Ken Kavanaugh and a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown by Dante Magnani, both converted by Frank Maznicki. Frank Filchock then threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Frank Liebel with 1:26 remaining in the 1st quarter, and Ken Strong's convert reduced the deficit to 14-7. The score remained the same until Mr. Filchock completed a 5-yard TD pass to Steve Filipowicz in the 3rd quarter, converted by Mr. Strong. Mr. Maznicki converted Mr. Luckman's touchdown and closed the scoring with a 26-yard field goal with 5:16 remaining.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Just Walking in the Rain--Johnnie Ray (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Smoky--Die Sieben Raben (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): Just Walking in the Rain--Johnnie Ray (6th week at #1)

#1 singles in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Singing the Blues--Guy Mitchell (Best Seller--2nd week at #1; Disc Jockey--2nd week at #1; Jukebox--1st week at #1; Top 100--2nd week at #1);

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Singing the Blues--Guy Mitchell (3rd week at #1)
2 Love Me Tender--Elvis Presley
3 The Green Door--Jim Lowe
4 True Love--Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly
--Jane Powell
5 Blueberry Hill--Fats Domino
6 Just Walking in the Rain--Johnnie Ray
7 A Rose and a Baby Ruth--George Hamilton IV
8 Hey! Jealous Lover--Frank Sinatra
9 Honky Tonk (Parts 1 and 2)--Bill Doggett
10 Cindy, Oh Cindy--Vince Martin with the Tarriers
--Eddie Fisher

Singles entering the chart were Anastasia by Pat Boone (#42); A Thousand Miles Away by the Heartbeats (#45); The Banana Boat Song by the Tarriers (#48); and The Star You Wished Upon Last Night by Gisele MacKenzie (#49). Anastasia was a vocal version of the title theme of the movie.

Married on this date
Princess Shanaz, daughter of Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, married Ardeshir Zahedi, son of General Fazlollah Zahedi, who in 1953 had overthrown the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

Hungarian sources reported continued fighting between anti-Communist guerrillas and Soviet forces in Miskolc and several other cities.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that five million American workers would get a total $1 billion in raises in 1957 under the terms of contracts already in force.

Snow and sleet storms in the northeastern United States downed power lines and caused 18 deaths.

New York (8-3-1) 21 @ Philadelphia (3-8-1) 7

The Giants defeated the Eagles at Connie Mack Stadium to clinch the Eastern Conference title for the first time in 10 years.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Stop Stop Stop--The Hollies

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): Green, Green Grass of Home--Tom Jones (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Walt Disney, 65
. U.S. entertainment magnate. Mr. Disney was a pioneer in the field of animation, creating such memorable characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He eventually produced live-action films, hosted his own television program, and created the Disneyland amusement park, which opened in Anaheim, California in 1955. Mr. Disney was nominated for 59 Academy Awards, and won 22--the greatest number of any single person. He was a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer 10 days after his 65th birthday. Mr. Disney was the first famous person whose death this blogger can remember as a current event.

Saturn's moon Janus was identified by Audouin Dollfus; three days later, its co-orbital moon Epimetheus was discovered by Richard Walker.

John Mecom, Jr. was named majority stockholder and president of the New Orleans Saints, an expansion team that was scheduled to begin play in the National Football League in 1967.

Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks was named Canada's male athlete of the year for the second straight year, in a Canadian Press poll of 121 sportscasters and sportswriters. "The Golden Jet" finished well ahead of runner-up Russ Jackson, quarterback with the Ottawa Rough Riders. Mr. Hull set a single-season NHL record with 54 goals in 1965-66.

40 years ago

At the movies
The Pink Panther Strikes Again, starring Peter Sellers, opened in theatres.

Politics and government
Voters in a Spanish referendum overwhelmingly approved reforms that would see both houses of a parliament to replace the present Cortes elected by universal suffrage. The reforms had been accepted by the Cortes on November 18.

International Series (exhibition)
C.S.S.R. (1-2) 5 @ Calgary 4

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): You're the Voice--John Farnham (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Geronimo's Cadillac--Modern Talking

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Black or White--Michael Jackson (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Let's Talk About Sex--Salt-N-Pepa (5th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Black or White--Michael Jackson (3rd week at #1)

In Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Ronald George led British Columbia Indian chiefs protesting upcoming celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World. The chiefs asked the Spanish consul to apologize for Spanish oppression of natives.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): No Woman, No Cry--The Fugees (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)--Backstreet Boys (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Verpiss' Dich--Tic Tac Toe

10 years ago

Died on this date
Clay Regazzoni, 67
. Swiss auto racing driver. Mr. Regazzoni competed in the Formula One circuit from 1970-1980, winning five Grand Prixs. He was paralyzed from the waist down in a crash at the United States Grand Prix West in 1980, but was able to drive hand-controlled cars in rally and sports car racing. Mr. Regazzoni was killed in a car accident on a highway in Italy.

Research In Motion co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie withdrew his bid to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League; he was told by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that the league would restrict his control over the team.

A strong windstorm with heavy rain and gusts of up to 75 miles per hour (119 kilometres per hour) devastated Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, destroying thousands of trees; the park was forced to close for the first time in 40 years.

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