Saturday, 17 December 2016

December 17, 2016

150 years ago

Born on this date
Kazys Grinius
. Prime Minister of Lithuania, 1920-1922; 3rd President of Lithuania, 1926. Dr. Grinius was a physician before entering politics in 1896 as one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (LSDP). He was a member of the Lithuanian Popular Peasants' Union when he was elected to the National Assembly in 1918. Dr. Grinius was elected President by the Third Seimas, but served from just June 7-December 17, 1926, being deposed on his 60th birthday in a coup led by Antanas Smetona. Dr. Grinius fled to the west when German forces invaded Lithuania in 1941, and emigrated to the United States in 1947; he died in Chicago, and his remains were returned to his native land after Lithuania regained her independence in 1990.

125 years ago

Economics and finance
The Canadian Bankers Association was founded in Ottawa.

120 years ago

Schenley Park Casino in Pittsburgh, the first multi-purpose arena with the technology to create an artificial ice surface in North America, was destroyed by a fire.

90 years ago

World events
A military coup led by Antanas Smetona toppled the democratically-elected Lithuanian government of President Kazys Grinius, bringing the Lithuanian Nationalist Union to power. The coup took place on Dr. Grinius' 60th birthday.

80 years ago

On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Louis Hector and Harry West, on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Part 5

75 years ago

The U.S. Roman Catholic National Legion of Decency announced in New York its approval of Two-Faced Woman, starring Greta Garbo, after the elimination of "objectionable scenes."

In the Battle of Hong Kong, Japan repeated her demand for surrender of the colony, but it was summarily refused by Governor Mark Young. The garrison, which included 450 Canadians, had no hope of relief, with the sinking of two British battleships off Singapore, and the crippling of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; invasion came the following day. Chinese troops attacked at Tamshui, Shawan, and Shumchun, to the rear of the Japanese forces besieging Hong Kong. Japanese forces landed in the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo. A Soviet communique reported that Alexin and Zukino, south of Moscow, had been recaptured. The U.S. Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii who were in charge at the time of the December 7 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor were ousted. U.S. Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel was replaced by Admiral Chester Nimitz, while U.S. Army Lieutenant General Walter Short was replaced by Lt. Gen. Delos Emmons. The U.S. House of Representatives amended the Selective Service Act by voice vote to provide for the registration of all men aged 18-64 and to make those aged 21-44 subject to military service. Dr. Fritz Hansgirg, German-born inventor of a new method of manufacturing metallic magnesium, was arrested as an enemy in the offices of Permanente Corporation in Los Altos, California, despite company protests that he was needed for defense work.

The governing board of the Pan American Union set January 15, 1942 as the date of the Pan American Conference in Rio de Janeiro, at which hemispheric defense would be discussed.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Spruille Braden as Ambassador to Cuba to succeed George Messersmith.

U.S. President Roosevelt wrote a letter "to the President of the United States in 1956," urging an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for Colin Kelly III, the 18-month-old son of Colin Kelly, Jr., the U.S. Navy pilot who had been killed at the age of 26 in the successful bombing on December 10 of the Japanese battleship Haruna.

The U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the foreign-born population of New York City on April 1, 1940 totalled 2,080,020, of whom 62.4% were naturalized citizens.

Economics and finance
U.S. Price Administrator Leon Henderson placed all tire sales under a consumer coupon rationing system, effective January 4, 1942.

U.S. President Roosevelt told 24 labour and management representatives that "you must reach an agreement" on war labour policy under which all work stoppages would be eliminated.

Eastman Kodak announced a new film process called Kodacolor, enabling anyone to get full-colour prints from negatives in the shades of the original object. The film was to be offered to the public in six sizes in January 1947.

Japan announced that 319 people had been killed and 437 injured in an earthquake in southern Formosa.

The Associated Press poll of sportswriters named New York Yankees' center fielder Joe DiMaggio as the U.S.A.'s outstanding athlete of 1941. Mr. DiMaggio batted .357 with 30 home runs and 125 home runs in leading the Yankees to the World Series championship, and thrilled the nation by hitting safely in 56 straight games, a major league record that still stands.

70 years ago

A German V-2 rocket set a record altitude of 114 miles at 5,450 feet per second above the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico.

Fighting between French troops and Vietnamese nationalists spread from Tonkin to Annam, as French Minister for Overseas Territories Marious Moutet left Paris for Hanoi to investigate the situation.

The U.S. House of Representatives Military Affairs Committee recommended the creation of an intelligence corps for continuous military espionage abroad, the first such organization in American history.

World events
The Turkish government arrested 44 "Marxists" and suspended two socialist parties--the Union of Istanbul Workers Syndicates and the Istanbul Workers Club--charging them with activities aimed at "reversing the economic and social order."

Politics and government
The Japanese House of Representatives defeated a Socialist motion for immediate dissolution of the Diet, while 150,000 demonstrators in Tokyo demanded the resignation of the cabinet of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida.

Venezuela's new Constituent Assembly officially assumed power.

An electoral commission in Warsaw approved the candidacy of 110 conservative Peasant Party members in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen declared his candidacy for the 1948 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.

The U.S. Antarctic Expedition discovered a submarine mountain range which apparently connected Easter Island with the South American mainland.

German orchestra conductor Wilhelm Furtwaengler was cleared by a denazification tribunal in Berlin and allowed to resume his career.

60 years ago

United Nations Emergency Force Commander E.L.M. Burns said that his forces would follow the returning Israelis "as rapidly as possible up to the armistice line." He denied reports that Egyptian units were entering the Sinai Peninsula behind advancing UN troops.

The Budapest Central Workers Council called off its general strike as the Hungarian government indicated willingness to grant limited concessions to worker demands.

Perry Young of Orangeburg, South Carolina became the first Negro hired as a flight crewman by any U.S. scheduled airline when he began work for New York Airways, a New York City helicopter line.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Ooh La La/Ain't Nobody Home--Normie Rowe

#1 single in France: Les Playboys--Jacques Dutronc (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (FIMI): Bang Bang--Equipe 84 (4th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Bend It--Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (7th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): No Milk Today--Herman's Hermits (5th week at #1)

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

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Winchester Cathedral--The New Vaudeville Band (2nd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Winchester Cathedral--The New Vaudeville Band (3rd week at #1)
2 Good Vibrations--The Beach Boys
3 Mellow Yellow--Donovan
4 Devil with a Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly--Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
5 Lady Godiva--Peter and Gordon
6 You Keep Me Hangin' On--The Supremes
7 Born Free--Roger Williams
8 Stop Stop Stop--The Hollies
9 That's Life--Frank Sinatra
10 I'm a Believer--The Monkees

Singles entering the chart were Standing in the Shadows of Love by the Four Tops (#58); Nashville Cats by the Lovin' Spoonful (#65); Gallant Men by Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen (#81); Mama (When My Dollies Have Babies) by Cher (#82); Look What You've Done by the Pozo-Seco Singers (#85); I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) by the Electric Prunes (#88); Are You Lonely for Me by Freddie Scott (#89); The Shadow of Your Smile by Boots Randolph (#94); Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones (#95); I'm Your Bread Maker, Baby by Slim Harpo (#100); and Wack Wack by the Young Holt Trio (also #100).

The U.S. satellite Biosatellite 1, launched three days earlier, was lost in space when the capsule and cargo of plants and insects became separated from the main spacecraft.

Elaine Tanner, 15, became the youngest winner of the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada's female athlete of the year. Miss Tanner, nicknamed "Mighty Mouse," won four gold medals and three silver medals in swimming at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica in August, 1966.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Dancing Queen--ABBA (4th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Money, Money, Money--ABBA

#1 single in Switzerland: Daddy Cool--Boney M (10th week at #1)

This blogger helped with coat check duties at the Christmas dance at Henry Wise Wood High School in Calgary, thereby gaining free admission.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rejected the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' recommended 15% oil price increase and chose to impose a lower price rise, opting for a 5% increase, while the other 11 countries chose an increase of 10% in January 1977 and a further 5% in July.

International Series (exhibition)
C.S.S.R. (1-3) 2 @ Minnesota 3

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): The Way You Are--Agnetha Fältskog and Ola Håkansson (5th week at #1)

20 years ago

Six Red Cross workers were shot dead as they slept in a hospital in Chechnya, where they were caring for victims of the war between Chechnya and Russia. The dead included Nancy Malloy, 51, from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kofi Annan of Ghana took office as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Politics and government
Rodrigue Biron and Gilles Duceppe announced that they were candidates to lead the Bloc québécois.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Larry Sherry, 71
. U.S. baseball pitcher. Mr. Sherry was a relief pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-1963); Detroit Tigers (1965-1967); Houston Astros (1967); and California Angels (1968), compiling a record of 53-44 with an earned run average of 3.67 with 82 saves in 416 games. He was a member of World Series championship teams in 1959 and 1963, and was the Most Valuable Player of the 1959 World Series, with 2 wins, 2 saves, and a 0.71 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. Mr. Sherry and his brother Norm, a catcher, were teammates from 1959-1962, making them the first all-Jewish battery in major league history. Larry Sherry coached in the Dodgers' organization, and was the pitching coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1977-1978) and California Angels (1979-1980). He died after a long battle with cancer.

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