Monday, 19 December 2016

December 19, 2016

240 years ago

Thomas Paine published the first of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal titled The American Crisis; in this one, he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."

170 years ago

The mayors of Toronto and Hamilton exchanged greetings to open Canada's first telegraph service; the line ran between Toronto and Hamilton over lines of the Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and St. Catharines Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company, founded October 22, 1846. The first message was from Hamilton: “Well, advise Mr. Gamble (the President of the company) that Mr. Dawson will speak to him at half-past one.”

125 years ago

Born on this date
Edward Bernard Raczyński
. 4th President-in-exile of Poland, 1979-1986. Count Raczyński was a career diplomat who fled to the United Kingdom early in World War II, and held various positions in the government-in-exile before assuming the presidency at the age of 87. He resigned seven years later, and died in London at the age of 101 on July 30, 1993.

The Canadian Rugby Union was founded.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Roy Ward Baker
. U.K. film director. Mr. Baker, born Roy Horace Baker, was best known for directing A Night to Remember (1958). His other movies included Don't Bother to Knock (1952); Moon Zero Two (1969); and Asylum (1972). Mr. Baker died on October 5, 2010 at the age of 93.

Died on this date
Thibaw Min, 57
. King of Burma, 1878-1885. King Thibaw was the last king in Burmese history. He succeeded his father Mindon on the throne, but he abdicated and surrendered on November 29, 1885, when Burmese forces lost to British forces in the Third Anglo-Burmese War. King Thibaw and his family were exiled to Ratanagiri, India, where he spent the rest of his life.

75 years ago

Died on this date
John Kelburne Lawson, 54
. Canadian military officer. Brigadier Lawson was commander of the West Brigade on the island of Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion; with his headquarters surrounded, he went out to meet the enemy with a pistol, and was fatally shot eight days before his 55th birthday, becoming the highest-ranking Canadian soldier killed during World War II.

John Robert Osborn, 42. U.K.-born Canadian soldier. Company Sergeant Major Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers, leading a bayonet charge against the Japanese on Mount Butler, Hong Kong, threw himself on a Japanese grenade to save his comrades' lives; he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, becoming the first Canadian so honoured during World War II.

Nicaragua declared war on Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler appointed himself as head of the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH), the Supreme High Command of the Wehrmacht; he replaced Feldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch. The U.K. battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant, moored in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt, were severely damaged by the detonation of limpet mines that had been attached to their hulls the previous day by Italian "human torpedoes" who had been launched from a submarine that had penetrated the harbour. The British command announced that the Derma airport, 170 miles inside Libya, had been captured the previous day. British forces abandoned their base on Penang Island as Japanese forces pressed forward. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar demanded that the U.K. and Netherlands withdraw their occupation forces from Portuguese Timor immediately. The entire Philippine Army was inducted into the U.S. Far Eastern Army under Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur. Both houses of the United States Congress quickly passed a conference-approved draft bill requiring all men aged 18-64 to register, and making those aged 20-44 subject to military service. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the Communist Party USA and the German-American Bund to register with the Justice Department as agents of foreign governments.

Politics and government
Cuban President Fulgencio Batista signed a congressional resolution declaring a state of national emergency and granting him special war powers.

National Boxing Association world champion Sammy Angott (65-16-5) won a 15-round unanimous decision over New York State Athletic Commission world champion Lew Jenkins (50-19-5) at Madison Square Garden in New York to win the undisputed world lightweight title.

70 years ago

At the movies
It's A Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, received a preview screening for charity at the Globe Theatre in New York City, a day before its official premiere.

The First Indochina War began when Vietnamese nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh attacked French districts in Hanoi and seized French civilians as hostages.

The U.S.S.R. signed a pact with the U.S.A. to repatriate Japanese prisoners now in Soviet-held areas at the rate of 50,000 per month.

Politics and government
Ricardo Guardo and Silvio Pontieri resigned as President and Vice President, respectively, of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies.

U.S. President Harry Truman announced that he was not satisfied with the execution of his December 1945 directive on refugee immigration, and set aside four ships to transport refugees to the United States.

A U.S. federal grand jury in Atlanta ended a three-week inquiry into the July 25, 1946 murder of four Negroes without being able to identify any of the guilty parties.

In the final session of a U.S. Senate investigation of his conduct, Sen. Theodore Bilbo (Democrat--Mississippi) testified for six hours, and denied all charges of accepting bribes and other wrongdoing.

The U.K. National Coal Board ordered a five-day week for workers in state owned mines, beginning May 5, 1947.

Roland Collier of the Chicago Natural History Museum announced that relics of eight separate Indian civilizations, the oldest dating back almost 2,000 years, had been discovered in the Viru Valley in Peru.

60 years ago

In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, Israeli Ambassador Abba Eban accused Egypt of renewing "deliberate and planned" fedayeen raids against Israel.

Canada and West Germany signed an agreement in Bonn to train 360 West German air crewmen in Canada.

U.N. Secretary-General Hammarskjokd accepted British and French reopening of the Suez Canal on condition that their salvage vessels were manned by "neutral" crews.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that his just-concluded talks with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had convinced him that U.S. foreign policy was "not as rigid as I thought."

Hungarian Premier Janos Kadar said that his government was now in a position to repress "provocations" without calling for help from Soviet troops in Hungary.

Politics and government
The Indian government rejected demands that its political opponents be allowed to use All-India Radio to campaign for upcoming elections.

British physician John Bodkin Adams was arrested in connection with the suspicious deaths from 1946-1956 of more than 160 patients, 132 of whom had left money or items to him in their wills.

At least six people in England died and several others were injured in road accidents in thick fog.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Black is Black--Los Bravos (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Green, Green Grass of Home--Tom Jones (3rd week at #1)

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Stop Stop Stop--The Hollies
2 Mellow Yellow--Donovan
3 Lady Godiva--Peter and Gordon
4 Winchester Cathedral--The New Vaudeville Band
--Dana Rollin
5 I'm Ready for Love--Martha and the Vandellas
6 I've Got the Feeling--Neil Diamond
7 A Place in the Sun--Stevie Wonder
8 That's Life--Frank Sinatra
9 Coming on Strong--Brenda Lee
10 It's Only Love--Tommy James and the Shondells

Singles entering the chart were Snoopy vs. the Red Baron by the Royal Guardsmen (#73); Tell it to the Rain by the 4 Seasons (#82); Where Will the Words Come From by Gary Lewis and the Playboys (#84); Love Hides a Multitude of Sins by the Esquires (#85); (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet by the Blues Magoos (#86); Goodnight My Love by the Happenings (#88); Bad Misunderstanding by the Critters (#90); Communication Breakdown by Roy Orbison (#91); Blue Autumn by Bobby Goldsboro (#92); The Girl that Stood Beside Me by Bobby Darin (#93); A Little Bit of Oh Yeah by Martin Martin (#94); Your Ever Changing Mind by Crispian St. Peters (#95); Tell it Like it Is by Aaron Neville (#96); Poor Old World by Paul Anka (#97); I (Who Have Nothing) by Terry Knight (#98); Any Other Way by Jackie Shane (#99); and Stand by Me by Spyder Turner (#100).

On the radio
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley, on BBC Light Programme
Tonight's episode: The Crooked Man

The United Nations General Assembly approved a treaty banning arms in space. The treaty prohibited orbiting nuclear weapons, and the use of the Moon and other bodies as military bases.

Economics and finance
The Asian Development Bank was inaugurated in Manila, with Takeshi Watanabe as its first president.

40 years ago

AFC Divisional Playoff
Pittsburgh 40 @ Baltimore 14

NFC Divisional Playoff
Los Angeles 14 @ Dallas 12

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Walk Like an Egyptian--Bangles

World events
The U.S.S.R. announced it had freed dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov from internal exile and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are the Days of Our Lives--Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody had previously occupied the #1 position for six weeks from December 1975-January 1976.

Canadian Auto Workers President Bob White announced a merger with the Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers; the merger affected 6,500 aerospace and mining workers in Manitoba and British Columbia.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Breathe--The Prodigy (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Anna mulle piiskaa--Apulanta

Died on this date
Ronald Howard, 78
. U.K. actor. Mr. Howard, the son of actor Leslie Howard, was best known for starring as the title character in the television series Sherlock Holmes (1954-1955). His films included The Browning Version (1951) and The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964).

Marcello Mastroianni, 72. Italian actor. Mr. Mastroianni was a popular leading man in films in Italy and elsewhere for more than 40 years, and won numerous awards. His movies included La Dolce Vita (1960); (1963); Ieri, oggi, domani (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) (1963); and Oci ciornie (Dark Eyes) (1987). Mr. Mastroianni died in Paris of pancreatic cancer.

10 years ago

Politics and government
The Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper fired Canadian Wheat Board head Adrian Measner, who openly disagreed with the government's policy to eliminate the board's monopoly on wheat sales from the Prairie provinces.

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