Thursday, 11 May 2017

May 12, 2017

250 years ago

Born on this date
Manuel Godoy
. Prime Minister of Spain, 1792-1797, 1801-1808. Generalissimo Godoy came to power as a favourite of King Charles IV and Queen Maria Louisa, and was nicknamed "Prince of the Peace" for negotiating the Peace of Basel with France, but later struggles with France led to his removal from office in 1797. Gen. Godoy was appointed Prime Minister again in 1801, and led a successful war against Portugal that year, but the defeat of French and Spanish forces at the hands of British forces in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 finished Spain as a world power. In 1808, King Charles abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, and went into exile in France with Queen Maria Luisa. King Ferdinand then surrendered his kingdom to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Gen. Godoy joined Charles and Maria Luisa in exile; he died in Paris on October 4, 1851 at the age of 84.

220 years ago

The forces of Napoleon I of France conquered Venice.

175 years ago

Died on this date
Jules Massenet
. French composer. Mr. Massenet was best known for his operas, including Manon (1884); Werther (1892); and Thaïs (1894/1898). The Méditation from Thaïs is his most famous composition. Mr. Massenet died on August 13, 1912 at the age of 70.

125 years ago

A bridge across the Mississippi River was opened at Memphis.

120 years ago

Horse racing
Typhoon II, with F. Garner up, won the 23rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville in a time of 2:12 1/2, a neck ahead of Ornament, and 20 lengths ahead of third-place Dr. Catlett.

100 years ago

Horse racing
Omar Khayyam, with Charles Borel up, won the 43rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville in a time of 2:04 3/5, 2 lengths ahead of Ticket, with Midway third. Omar Khayyam was foaled in England, and became the first foreign-born horse to win the Derby.

Kalitan, with Everett Haynes up, won the 42nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in a time of 1:54 2/5. The Preakness States was then run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles; the present distance of 1 3/16 miles was adopted in 1925. 1917 and 1922 were the only years in which the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes were run on the same day.

80 years ago

King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London. It was the first coronation of a British sovereign to be filmed, and to be filmed in colour. It also marked the British Broadcasting Corporations's first outside broadcast, and the world's first global radio broadcast.

75 years ago

At the movies
This Above All, starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine, opened in theatres (see movie).

The German submarine U-553,commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl Thurmann, torpedoed the British merchant ship SS Nicoya, 10 miles off Quebec's Gaspé coast; this was the first ship sunk by the Germans in the Battle of the St. Lawrence. 6 of the 82 on Nicoya were killed, and 76 people survived and were rescued the following morning. Several hours later, U-553 sank the Dutch steamer Leto, with 12 of Leto’s 43 passengers and crew perishing; the U-boat was seeking calmer waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence after experiencing engine trouble near Halifax. The U.S. tanker SS Virginia was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German submarine U-507. The United States Senate passed and sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt a bill to establish a volunteer Woman' Auxiliary Army Corps of 150,000. As a result of the bombing of five German-occupied hotels and the famous Marguery Restaurant, large sections of Paris were isolated by German and French police. Soviet Red Army forces under Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched a major offensive from the Izium bridgehead in eastern Ukraine. Red Army sources reported that their forces were successfully holding the German assault on Kerch Peninsula at the eastern end of Crimea.

Economics and finance
U.K. Agriculture Minister Lord Woolton announced in the House of Commons that after June 1, restaurants may not charge more than 5 shillings (about $1) or serve more than three courses per meal; music, entertainment, and cover charges would be extra.

Drivers throughout the eastern United States began to register for gasoline ration cards.

70 years ago

Hit parade
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Mam'selle--Art Lund
--Dick Haymes
--Dennis Day
--Pied Pipers
--Frank Sinatra
2 Linda--Ray Noble and his Orchestra with Buddy Clark
--Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra
3 Heartaches--Ted Weems and his Orchestra
--Harry James and his Orchestra
4 Anniversary Song--Al Jolson
--Dinah Shore
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Tex Beneke with the Glenn Miller Orchestra
--Andy Russell
5 My Adobe Hacienda--Eddy Howard and his Orchestra
6 Guilty--Margaret Whiting
--Johnny Desmond
7 How are Things in Glocca Morra--Dick Haymes
--Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
--Buddy Clark
--Martha Tilton
8 Across the Alley from the Alamo--The Mills Brothers
9 Managua, Nicaragua--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
--Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
--Kay Kyser and his Orchestra
10 I'll Close My Eyes--Andy Russell
--Johnny Desmond

Singles entering the chart were That's My Desire, with versions by Sammy Kaye and his "Swing and Sway" Orchestra; and Frankie Laine and Manny Klein's All-Stars (#16); and Stella by Starlight, with versions by Frank Sinatra, and Dick Haymes (#23).

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Tom Conway and Nigel Bruce, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Wisteria Lodge

The Casebook of Gregory Hood, starring Elliott Lewis and Howard McNear, on MBS
Tonight`s episode: A Payoff to Murder

The United Nations General Assembly's Political and Social Committee adopted a Zionist proposal that the proposed Palestine inquiry commission be allowed to visit European refugee camps and asses the need for free immigration to Palestine. The Committee also heard testimony from Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion and Arab Higher Committee representative Emile Ghouri.

Turkish President Ismet Inonu said that Turkey would use the $100-million grant from the United States for military purposes and seek a World Bank loan for economic development. He denied that Turkey would grant a bae in the Dardanelles to any power.

Politics and government
Chinese Communists announced the creation of an Inner Mongolian autonoumous government in Wangyehmiao, Manchuria.

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle was elected chairman of the New York Liberal Party.

Economics and finance
Consumers' boycotts, denounced by business leaders as "Communist-inspired," began in several western Canadian cities to protest high prices.

Investment banker Robert Boylan was named chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, on CBS
Tonight's episode: A Man Greatly Beloved, starring Cedric Hardwicke, Evelyn Rudie, Hugh Marlowe, and Robert Culp

Died on this date
Erich von Stroheim, 71
. Austro-Hungarian-born U.S. film director, screenwriter, and actor. Mr. Stroheim, a native of Vienna, emigrated to the United States in 1909. He directed, wrote, and acted in films such as Blind Husbands (1919); Foolish Wives (1922); and The Wedding March (1928). As a director, Mr. Stroheim was known for his excessive expenses, most notably on Greed (1924), which was heavily cut from its original length of at least eight hours before its release. As an actor, Mr. Stroheim was best known for his appearances in La Grande Illusion (1937) and Sunset Blvd (1950).

Len Eshmont, 39. U.S. football player. Mr. Eshmont was a halfback at Fordham University, and a teammate of future coaching great Vince Lombardi. Mr. Eshmont played professionally with the New York Giants of the National Football League in 1941, and then served in World War II. He played with the San Francisco 49ers of the All-America Football Conference from 1946-1949. In 5 years of professional football, Mr. Eshmont played 57 games, rusheing 282 times for 1,345 yards (4.8 yard average), with 7 touchdowns, and caught 54 passes for 915 yards (16.9 yard average) and 6 touchdowns. He later served as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia, and died of infectious hepatitis. The 49ers created the Len Eshmont Award, presented annually to the 49er player who best exemplifies the "inspirational and courageous play" of Mr. Eshmont.

Alfonso de Portago, 28. Spanish auto racing driver and bobsleigh runner; Edmund Nelson. U.S. auto racing driver. Mr. de Portago drove sports cars and participated in five Formula One races in 1956 and 1957, finishing second in the British Grand Prix in a drive shared with Peter Collins. He comprised half of the first Spanish two-man bobsleigh team to participate in the Winter Olympic Games (1956), and won a bronze medal in the event in the 1957 World Championships. Messrs. de Portago and Nelson were killed in a crash during the 1,000-mile Mille Miglia automobile road race from Brescia, Italy to Rome. The crash also killed nine spectators, including five children.

French chief of staff in Algeria Colonel Noel Massignac estimated that 4,000 French soldiers and European civilians and 8,000 Muslim civilians had been killed in the 30-month nationalist revolt in Algeria.

Politics and government
Rev. A.J. Muste, a leading pacifist, announced the formation of the American Forum for Socialist Education, with Communists, Trotskyites, and non-Communist leftists participating.

The wreckage of the Trans-Canada Airlines plane that had crashed on December 9, 1956 with the loss of all 62 aboard was discovered on Mount Slesse near Vancouver, British Columbia.

Auto racing
Piero Taruffi of Italy won the Mille Miglia in a Ferrari, averaging 94.7 miles per hour.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Matthew and Son--Cat Stevens (2nd week at #1)

Edmonton's top 10 (CJCA)
1 For What it's Worth--Buffalo Springfield (3rd week at #1)
2 No Milk Today--Herman's Hermits
3 Happy Together--The Turtles
4 Diamonds and Gold--Willie and the Walkers
5 Rovin' Heart--The Lords
6 Groovin'--The Young Rascals
7 On a Carousel--The Hollies
8 Western Union--The Five Americans
9 I was Kaiser Bill's Batman--Whistling Jack Smith
10 The Happening--The Supremes
Pick hit of the week: Anyway You Want Me--The Troggs
New this week: I Know (You Don't Want Me No More)--Barry Allen
She's Looking Good--Rodger Collins
Come to the Sunshine--Harpers Bizarre
We Had a Good Thing Goin'--The Cyrkle
Hey Girl--The Preachers

On the radio
Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Langford and Kenneth Baker, on Springbok Radio
Tonight's episode: The Retired Colourman

At the movies
Good Times, directed by William Friedkin and starring Sonny & Cher, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
John Masefield, 88
. U.K. poet. Mr. Masefield was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death from gangrene, 20 days before his 89th birthday. He also wrote novels, plays, and non-fiction works.

40 years ago

At the movies
The Pom Pom Girls, which had opened in theatres in Calgary on May 14, 1976, concluded its run, one day short of a full year, and about two weeks short of The Sound of Music's record (1965-1966) as Calgary's longest-running movie.

Stanley Cup
Montreal 4 @ Boston 2 (Montreal led best-of-seven series 3-0)

Guy Lafleur scored 2 goals and 2 assists to lead the Canadiens over the Bruins at Boston Garden. Mr. Lafleur opened the scoring at 4:08 of the 1st period, and Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire scored to give Montreal a 3-0 lead after the 1st period, with all the goals coming on the powerplay. Gregg Sheppard scored for Boston in the 2nd period, but Mr. Lafleur restored the Canadiens' 3-goal lead with 7:08 remaining in the 3rd period. Peter McNab scored a Boston powerplay goal with 1:26 remaining to close the scoring. The 3rd period was the most boring period this blogger had yet seen.

30 years ago

This blogger attended his first class at the University of Western Ontario’s School of Library and Information Science, beginning a 42-week program.

Stanley Cup
Prince of Wales Conference Finals
Montreal 5 @ Philadelphia 2 (Philadelphia led best-of-seven series 3-2)

25 years ago

Died on this date
Robert Reed, 59
. U.S. actor. Mr. Reed, born John Robert Rietz, Jr., starred in the television series The Defenders (1961-1965) and The Brady Bunch (1969-1974). He led a private homosexual lifestyle, and died of colon cancer complicated by HIV.

Canada's largest charter airline, Montreal-based Nationair, declared bankruptcy.

Stanley Cup
Division Finals
Vancouver 0 @ Edmonton 3 (Edmonton won best-of-seven series 4-2)

20 years ago

Hit parade
Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Staring at the Sun--U2 (2nd week at #1)
2 Elegantly Wasted--INXS
3 I Want You--Savage Garden
4 You were Meant for Me--Jewel
5 One Headlight--The Wallflowers
6 Say You'll Be There--Spice Girls
7 All by Myself--Celine Dion
8 Make You Mad--The Odds
9 Your Woman--White Town
10 Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)--Aerosmith

Singles entering the chart were Hole in My Soul by Aerosmith (#70); Springtime in Vienna by the Tragically Hip (#71); Gone for Good by Big Sugar (#91); Come Down by Toad the Wet Sprocket (#92); and Wayne by Chantal Kreviazuk (#100).

10 years ago

Stanley Cup
Eastern Conference Finals
Ottawa 4 @ Buffalo 3 (2 OT) (Ottawa led best-of-seven series 2-0)

Daniel Briere scored for the Sabres with 6 seconds remaining in regulation time, but Joe Corvo scored 4:58 into the 2nd overtime period to give the Senators the win at HSBC Arena.

Men's World Championships @ Khodynka Arena, Moscow
Finland 2 Russia 1 (OT)
Canada 4 Sweden 1

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