Thursday, 16 March 2017

March 6, 2017

160 years ago

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 7-2 in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case that Mr. Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court, and that Negroes had no rights that white men were bound to respect.

150 years ago

Died on this date
Charles F. Browne, aka Artemus Ward, 32
. U.S. humourist. Mr. Browne, who wrote under the name Artemus Ward, was regarded as America's first standup comedian, and was President Abraham Lincoln's favourite author. Mr. Browne died of tuberculosis.

The Toronto Globe, in an editorial, criticized a proposal to build a $40-million canal connecting Lake Huron through Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario, terminating in Toronto. The canal's promoters vowed that the canal would generate $4 million per year, as shipments of grain, timber, and other goods from the west would take a much shorter route than going through Lake Erie and the Welland Canal. The Globe declared that "it is amazing that any intelligent man should think of recommending anything of the kind" based on the "wild calculations" from the promoters. The proposal was eventually abandoned.

125 years ago

Died on this date
Edwards Pierrepont, 75
. U.S. politician. Mr. Pierrepont was originally a Democrat, but eventually switched his allegiance to the Republican Party. He was a member of the Committee of Seventy that investigated the corruption of Tammany Hall in New York under Boss William Tweed in 1871, and was Attorney General of the United States in 1875-1876 in the administration of President U.S. Grant. Mr. Pierrepont died two days after his 75th birthday.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Frankie Howerd
. U.K. comedian. Mr. Howerd, born Francis Howard, starred in the television comedy series Up Pompeii! (1969-1970) and The Frankie Howerd Show (1976). He died on April 19, 1992 at the age of 75.

Will Eisner. U.S. cartoonist and writer. Mr. Eisner was a pioneering artist and writer of comic books in a career that spanned more than 70 years, and was still active at the time of his death on January 3, 2005 at the age of 87. He popularized the term "graphic novel. Mr. Eisner's works included The Spirit, a weekly insert in The Chicago Sun from 1940-1952. The annual Eisner Award for achievement in comic books is named in his honour.

75 years ago

Eugene Frechette, 20, a student at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, set a record when he stopped breathing for 20 minutes 5 seconds. The test was made in a laboratory to demonstrate the capacity of human endurance and to prove that reflex action would eventually force a person to breathe even against his wish. The laboratory technique called for the subject to overbreathe for three minutes and then to exhale three deep breaths of pure oxygen. After that the subject, who received no other special chemical aid, sat as quietly as possible without breathing. Mr. Frechette described his sensations as "You feel as if you were dying."

60 years ago

The former British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent nation of Ghana--the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence from British rule. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the new country's first Prime Minister.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Winchester Cathedral--The New Vaudeville Band

Died on this date
John Haden Badley, 102
. U.K. educator. Mr. Badley founded Bedales School near Petersfield, Hampshire in 1893, which claims to have been the first coeducational public boarding school in England. He died 13 days after his 102nd birthday.

Zoltán Kodály, 84. Hungarian composer. Mr. Kodály wrote orchestral, chamber, and choral works, and was a collector of Hungarian folk music. He developed the Kodály Method of music education.

Nelson Eddy, 65. U.S. actor and singer. Mr. Eddy appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and '40s, and was best known for eight in which he co-starred with Jeanette MacDonald, including Naughty Marietta (1935); Maytime (1937); and Sweethearts (1938). He had a recording career from the 1930s through the 1960s, and was performing at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage, and died several hours later.

World events
Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of the late U.S.S.R. dictator Josef Stalin, defected to the United States.

Latin America's longest suspension bridge, the first across the Orinoco River, opened in Vanezuela. The four-lane 5,507-foot span linked Ciudad Bolivar and Soledad.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Cocaine--J.J. Cale

Economics and finance
Australia's Wheat Board signed an agreement to sell 2.2 million short tons (2 million metric tons) of wheat to China by January 1978.

World Junior Men's Championship Final
Canada (Bill Jenkins) 9 Sweden 5

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Reality--Richard Sanderson (5th week at #1)

Died on this date
Edward Zorinsky, 58
. U.S. politician. Mr. Zorinsky, a Republican from 1946-1976 and Mayor of Omaha from 1973-1976, joined the Democratic Party after failing to win the Republican Party nomination for the United States Senate election in Nebraska in 1976. He was elected, and took office as a Senator on December 28, 1976, when incumbent Roman Hruska retired six days before his term was to expire. Mr. Zorinsky served in the Senate until his death from a heart attack at the annual Omaha Press Club Ball. He was the first Jew to be elected to statewide office in Nebraska.

Two days of earthquakes striking the northeastern jungle of Ecuador concluded with the deaths of 300 people, with 4,000 missing and perhaps 20,000 left homeless.

The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise, en route from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Dover, capsized in the English Channel. The death toll was put at 193, and about 350 were rescued.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Germany (Media Control): Das Boot--U96 (7th week at #1)

Canadian Fisheries Minister John Crosbie, citing dwindling stocks and potential loss of the resource, announced a five-year ban on commercial salmon fishing in Newfoundland.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate had risen to 7.3% in February, but that the nation had added 164,000 payroll jobs.

Statistics Canada reported unemployment at 10.6% in February, the highest level in seven years.

The Michelangelo virus began to affect computers.

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): Ring-A-Ling--Tiggy (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Discothèque--U2 (4th week at #1)

Died on this date
Ursula Torday, 85
. U.K. authoress. Miss Torday, using her own name and various pseudonyms, wrote over 60 romance, mystery, and gothic novels from 1935-1982. She died 15 days after her 85th birthday.

Cheddi Jagan, 78. 4th President of Guyana, 1992-1997; Chief Minister of British Guiana, 1953, 1961-1964. Mr. Jagan, a Marxist-Leninist and eventually a democratic socialist, led the People's Progressive Party from its inception in 1950 until his death from a heart attack 16 days before his 79th birthday, and is widely regarded as the "Father of the Nation." His first term as Chief Minister of the then-British colony ended after British military intervention in reaction to his electoral victory. Mr. Jagan led the PPP to victory in 1961, but refused to resign after the opposition People's United Congress and United Force parties formed a coalition to establish a parliamentary majority after the December 1964 general election; Mr. Jagan was removed from office by Governor Richard Luyt.

Michael Manley, 72. Prime Minister of Jamaica, 1972-1980, 1989-1992. Mr. Manley, a democratic socialist, led the People's National Party from 1969-1992. His first term as Prime Minister included sweeping domestic reforms, but the country was afflicted with widespread political violence. In international relations, Mr. Manley was friendly with the U.S.S.R. and pro-Soviet leaders such as Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Mr. Manley moderated his socialist views in the late 1980s, which helped him to lead the PNP back into power in 1989. Mr. Manley resigned in 1992 for health reasons, and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Percival Patterson.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Ernest Gallo, 97
. U.S. vintner. Mr. Gallo and his brother Julio co-founded E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California in 1933; the company remains the largest family-owned winery in the United States. Ernest Gallo died 12 days before his 98th birthday.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of lying and obstructing an investigation into the 2003 leak of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame's identity.

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