Wednesday, 17 May 2017

May 17, 2017

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Katya Semenova!

225 years ago

A group of 24 brokers and merchants met by a buttonwood tree on what is now Wall Street in New York City and signed the Buttonwood Agreement, creating what became the New York Stock Exchange.

150 years ago

George Bancroft was appointed U.S. Minister to Berlin.

100 years ago

Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden announced the creation of a system of “selective, that is to say gradual conscription, with men being divided into a number of classes called up as needed.”

75 years ago

A special communique from Moscow announced that 12,000 German soldiers had been killed and 300 places liberated from May 12-16 in the Russian drive on Kharkov, which had covered 12-37 miles. U.K. Royal Air Force Spitfires and bombers carried out four sweeps over the French coast, attacking German bases, especially in the Boulogne area. Chinese troops defeated two Japanese columns advancing north of the Burma Road on the west side of the Salween River in western Yunnan Province.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Heartaches--Ted Weems and his Orchestra (10th week at #1)

Died on this date
George Forbes, 78
. Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1930-1935. Mr. Forbes, nicknamed "Honest George," who began his career as a Liberal, represented the riding of Hurunui in Parliament from 1908-1943. He won the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1925, which was renamed the National Party. The NP allied with Reform party dissidents to form the United Party in 1927, and when the UP formed the government after the 1928 election, Mr. Forbes became a cabinet minister, succeeding Joseph Ward as Prime Minister in 1930. Mr. Forbes had the misfortune to be Prime Minister during the Depression, and his government was defeated in the 1935 election, leaving Mr. Forbes as Leader of the Opposition. He briefly led a new United Party in 1936.

Seabiscuit, 13. U.S. racehorse. Seabiscuit was foaled in Kentucky and got off to a poor start in his racing career, but improved under trainer Tom Smith and jockey Red Pollard. He began to achieve success toward the end of 1936, and won 11 of 15 races in 1937, becoming a symbol of Americans struggling against long odds during the Depression. Seabiscuit achieved his greatest success on November 1, 1938, when he won a match race against 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral over 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Seabiscuit ran his last race in 1939 and officially retired in 1940 with 33 wins, 15 places, and 1 show in 89 races. He died of a probable heart attack, six days before his 14th birthday.

World events
Yugoslavian opposition leader and National Presidium member Dragoljub Jovanovic was arrested on espionage charges.

Politics and government
The Japanese Central Screening Committee disqualified three cabinet ministers from public service for promoting militarism and foreign conquest during World War II.

Economics and finance
U.S. Army General Lucius Clay of the U.S. military government in Germany announced the formation of a council for the U.K. and U.S. zones to deal with the food crisis, which had led to strikes and hunger demonstrations through western Germany the previous day.

New York stocks ended a week of heavy selling at the lowest point since January 1945, reflecting a general slackening of business activity and consumer resistance to high prices.

The last striking telephone workers in the United States returned to work as Southwestern Bell, Michigan and Ohio Bell, and Chesapeake and Potomac Bell announced settlements.

The United States regained the Walker Cup in St. Andrews, Scotland.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in France (IFOP): Bambino--Dalida (7th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Rock-A-Billy--Guy Mitchell

Returning from a visit to Libya, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba announced that Tunisia and Libya would seek to arrange truce talks between France and the Algerian nationalist movement.

New York investment broker Earl E.T. Smith was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Cuba.

Politics and government
A Soviet Presidium faction opposed to the policies of Communist Party First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev convened a meeting of the Presidium with seven full members present in an attempt to oust Mr. Khrushchev from party leadership.

7,000 workers in Quebec affiliated with the Confederation of Catholic Workers of Canada (CTCC) began a strike against Aluminum Company in order to improve working conditions in the vat rooms.

50 years ago

Hit parade
Australia's top 10 (Go-Set)
1 Somethin' Stupid--Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra (2nd week at #1)
2 Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever--The Beatles
3 There's a Kind of Hush--Herman's Hermits
4 This is My Song--Petula Clark
5 Dedicated to the One I Love--The Mamas and the Papas
6 Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)--Engelbert Humperdinck
7 All My Loving (EP)--Johnny Young
8 A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me--The Monkees
9 Going Home/I Don't Care--Normie Rowe
10 Ciao Baby--Lynne Randell

Singles entering the chart were Ha! Ha! Said the Clown by Manfred Mann (#22); Minnie the Moocher by the Cherokees (#27); Casino Royale by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (#33); and Western Union by the Five Americans (#34).

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded the dismantling of the peace-keeping United Nations Emergency Force, which had been placed in Egypt following the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956.

40 years ago

Politics and government
The Likud Party, led by Menachem Begin, won 43 of 120 seats in the Israeli general election to defeat the Alignment (mainly composed of the Labor Party, which had dominated Israel since the nation's inception in 1948). Likud gained just 2 seats from the most recent election in 1973, but the Alignment dropped from 51 seats to 32. The Alignment had been dogged by scandal, and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had resigned in April in a financial scandal, leaving Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres as the their prime ministerial candidate. The new Democratic Movement for Change, led by archaeologist and army general Yigal Yadin, won 15 seats.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Lean on Me--Club Nouveau (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Let it Be--Ferry Aid (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France: Viens boire un p'tit coup à la maison--License IV (6th week at #1)

Died on this date
Gunnar Myrdal, 88
. Swedish economist, sociologist, and politician. Dr. Myrdal shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for "their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena." Dr. Myrdal's best-known book was An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. He was a Social Democratic member of the Swedish parliament and served as trade minister from 1945-1947 under Prime Minister Tage Erlander.

37 U.S. sailors, most of them sleeping in their bunks, were killed when a missile from an Iraqi warplane struck the U.S.S. Stark, a guided missile frigate and one of ships in the U.S. Middle East Force in the Persian Gulf. The Stark was in international waters, about 85 miles northeast of Bahrain.

Stanley Cup
Philadelphia 2 @ Edmonton 4 (Edmonton led best-of-seven series 1-0)

Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, and Jari Kurri scored for the Oilers in the 3rd period as they defeated the Flyers at Northlands Coliseum.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Tears in Heaven--Eric Clapton (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): To Be with You--Mr. Big

#1 single in Switzerland: To Be with You--Mr. Big (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Lawrence Welk, 89
. U.S. bandleader and accordionist. Mr. Welk hosted The Lawrence Welk Show on television from 1955-1982. His biggest success as a recording artist came in 1961, when the instrumental Calcutta reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Three days of popular protests against the Thai government of Prime Minister Suchinda Kraprayoon began in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that resulted in 52 officially confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries, many disappearances, and more than 3,500 arrests.

Stanley Cup
Prince of Wales Conference Finals
Boston 3 @ Pittsburgh 4 (OT) (Pittsburgh led best-of-seven series 1-0)

NBA playoffs
Cleveland 122 Boston 104

20 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Blood on the Dance Floor--Michael Jackson (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Love Won't Wait--Gary Barlow

#1 single in France (SNEP): Maria--Ricky Martin (6th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Fired Up--Funky Green Dogs (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Wallonia (Ultratop 40): María--Ricky Martin (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): I Believe I Can Fly--R. Kelly (5th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Chart Information Network): You're Not Alone--Olive

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Hypnotize--The Notorious B.I.G. (3rd week at #1)

World events
The day after President Mobutu Sese Seko had fled Zaire and turned the country over to rebel forces, troops of Laurent Kabila marched into Kinshasa. Zaire was officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Horse racing
Silver Charm, with Gary Stevens up, won the 122nd running of the Preakness Stakes before 102,118 fans at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in a time of 1:54 4/5, a head in front of second-place Free House and third-place Captain Bodgit.

English FA Cup Final @ Wembley Stadium, London
Chelsea 2 Middlesbrough 0

Stanley Cup
Western Conference Finals
Detroit 4 @ Colorado 2 (Best-of-seven series tied 1-1)

10 years ago

Trains from North and South Korea crossed the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed to by both governments. This was the first time that trains had crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.

A Hutterite community in Alberta that believed that willfully being photographed is a sin won the legal right to have a provincial driver's licence without a picture.

The Bank of Montreal revealed that it would incur a $680-million trading loss because of potential irregularities at its natural-gas trading division in the United States. It was the biggest trading loss in Canadian history.

Stanley Cup
Western Conference Finals
Detroit 3 @ Anaheim 5 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)

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