Saturday, 11 February 2017

December 25, 2016

950 years ago

William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy was crowned King William I of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.

240 years ago

General George Washington and his Continental Army troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Taishō, 47. Emperor of Japan, 1912-1926. Taishō, whose personal name was Yoshihito, succeeded his father Meiji. Emperor Taishō died of a heart attack and was succeeded as Emperor by his son Hirohito.

75 years ago

British forces surrendered Hong Kong to invading Japanese forces. Admiral Émile Muselier seized the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which became the first part of France to be liberated by Free French Forces. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

70 years ago

Died on this date
W.C. Fields, 66
. U.S. actor. Mr. Fields, born William Claude Dukenfield, was famous (and beloved by this blogger) for his misanthropic persona, side-of-the-mouth vocal delivery, large nose, juggling skill, and fondness for alcohol. His movies included It's a Gift (1934); You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939); and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). He died as a result of years of heavy drinking.

The first European self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated within the U.S.S.R.'s F-1 nuclear reactor.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Sei forte papà--Gianni Morandi (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (Veronica Top 40): If You Leave Me Now--Chicago (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K (BMRB): When a Child Is Born (Soleado)--Johnny Mathis

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)--Rod Stewart (7th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing--Leo Sayer
2 Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)--Rod Stewart
3 You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)--Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.
4 The Rubberband Man--The Spinners
5 Stand Tall--Burton Cummings
6 Love So Right--Bee Gees
7 After the Lovin'--Engelbert Humperdinck
8 Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word--Elton John
9 Dazz--Brick
10 Livin' Thing--Electric Light Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were Fancy Dancer by the Commodores (#90); Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston (#92); Be My Girl by the Dramatics (#93); In the Mood by Henhouse Five Plus Two (#94); My Pearl by Automatic Man (#96); Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow by Tom Jones (#97); When Love is New by Arthur Prysock (#98); Daddy Cool by Boney M (#99); and Midnight Love Affair by Carol Douglas (#100).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)--Rod Stewart (5th week at #1)
2 Muskrat Love--Captain and Tennille
3 Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word--Elton John
4 Stand Tall--Burton Cummings
5 Love So Right--Bee Gees
6 You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)--Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.
7 The Rubberband Man--The Spinners
8 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing--Leo Sayer
9 Livin' Thing--Electric Light Orchestra
10 I Never Cry--Alice Cooper

Singles entering the chart were New Kid in Town by the Eagles (#91); Shake Your Rump to the Funk by the Bar-Kays (#92); Living Next Door to Alice by Smokie (#93); Save it for a Rainy Day by Stephen Bishop (#94); Fightin' on the Side of Love by the T.H.P. Orchestra (#95); Love Theme from "A Star is Born" (Evergreen) by Barbra Streisand (#96); Dancing Queen by ABBA (#97); Year of the Cat by Al Stewart (#98); Open Sesame by Kool & The Gang (#99); and (She's Just A) Fallen Angel by Starz (#100).

At the movies
The Eagle Has Landed, directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, and Robert Duvall, opened in theatres in Finland and Sweden.

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma 41 Wyoming 7

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Black or White--Michael Jackson (6th week at #1)

Politics and government
As the U.S.S.R. was dissolving, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Bill Hewitt, 68
. Canadian sportscaster. Mr. Hewitt, the son of legendary hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt, began working with his father on Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts in the mid-1950s, and eventually succeeded Foster Hewitt as the television voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs, retiring in 1981. Bill Hewitt died of heart failure 17 days after his 68th birthday.

10 years ago

Died on this date
James Brown, 73
. U.S. musician. Mr. Brown, nicknamed "Soul Brother Number One" and "the hardest-working man in show business," was probably the most successful Negro recording artist in history, placing more than 50 singles in the top 10 of the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart, with 16 singles reaching #1. He was active for more than 50 years, and was about to embark on a concert tour when he died of congestive heart failure. Among the concerts that were cancelled because of Mr. Brown's death was one scheduled for the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton on January 9, 2007. Mr. Brown led a complicated private life, which resulted in lengthy court battles over his estate.

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