Sunday, 17 December 2017

December 17, 2017

1,075 years ago

Died on this date
William I "Longsword," 42 (?)
. Count (Duke) of Normandy, 927-942. William was given the fiefdom of Normandy by his father, Robert I (Rollo). William's forces battled for several years with those of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders. A peace conference took place at Picquigny on the Somme; William attended, and was ambushed and killed by followers of Arnulf. He was succeeded as Duke of Normandy by his son Richard the Fearless.

750 years ago

Born on this date
. Emperor of Japan, 1274-1287. Go-Uda, born Yohito, was the second son of Emperor Kameyama, and succeeded his father on the throne upon his abdication. Emperor Go-Uda was forced to abdicate in favour of his cousin Fushimi. Go-Uda died on July 16, 1324 at the age of 58.

240 years ago

France formally recognized the United States.

125 years ago

The first issue of Vogue magazine was published.

110 years ago

Died on this date
William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, 83
. U.K. physicist and engineer. Lord Kelvin did important work on the mathematical analyses of the laws of thermodynamics; was knighted for his work on the transatlantic telegraph project; and worked to improve the reliability of the mariner's compass. The Kelvin scale of absolute temperature is named in his honour.

Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned the first King of Bhutan.

100 years ago

Politics and government
Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden led his Unionist government, formed on October 13, to a majority victory in the first federal election since 1911. The Unionists won 153 seats (114 Conservatives and 39 Liberals) in the House of Commons to 82 for Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals (62 of which were from Québec). Because of their opposition to conscription, the Laurier Liberals won only 2 seats in Western Canada, while the Unionists won only 3 seats in Québec because of their support of conscription. Liberal candidate Samuel Jacobs was elected in the Montreal riding of George-Étienne Cartier, becoming the first Jew elected to the House of Commons.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Rajendra Lahiri, 35
. Indian terrorist. Mr. Lahiri was associated with the Hindustan Republican Association in attempting to end British rule in India. He was involved in a bombing incident in the town of Dakshineswar, and the Kakori train robbery in 1925, and was hanged in the Gonda district jail.

Two days after she was kidnapped from Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles, and almost immediately upon payment of a $1,500 ransom, the body of Marion Parker, 12, was dumped out of the car by the criminal, William Hickman, 19, who drove away. A manhunt led to his arrest in Echo, Oregon on December 22.

Miss Fannie Broyles, who had lain unconscious from a blow on the head by a falling tree limb, was about to be buried in Luray, Virginia when one of her eyelids twitched; she was lifted from the coffin, and revived.

The U.S. Navy submarine S-4 was accidentally rammed and sunk by the Coast Guard destroyer USS Paulding while surfacing off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, resulting in the eventual deaths of all 40 men aboard S-4.

80 years ago

Born on this date
John Kennedy Toole
. U.S. author. Mr. Toole wrote the novel A Confederacy of Dunces, which wasn't published until 1980. Mr. Toole committed suicide on March 26, 1969 at the age of 31.

75 years ago

U.S. bombers pounded Tunis, Gabes, and other Axis bases in Tunisia for the sixth consecutive day. The U.S. War Department announced a plan to contract for facilities of 200-300 colleges and universities to train 250,000 men for the armed services.

British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden informed the House of Commons about the mass executions of Jews being carried out by Nazis in occupied Europe, and read out an Allied declaration condemning the atrocities.

The U.S. Office of War Information announced plans to publish the bimonthly magazine Victory in several languages to counter Axis propaganda.

Economics and finance
U.S. Price Administrator Leon Henderson submitted his resignation for health reasons; U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that he would accept Mr. Henderson's resignation as soon as a replacement was found.

In Quebec City, the Catholic Committee of the Council of Public Instruction recommended compulsory education (not compulsory schooling) for children aged 5-14 years.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Benjamin Talbot, 83
. U.K. engineer. Mr. Talbot originated the continuous basic open-hearth process of manufacturing steel.

Esther Forbes received the $150,000 MGM Novel Award for her forthcoming The Running of the Tide.

Bulgaria and Albania concluded a friendship treaty obliging both countries to boycott the United Nations Balkan Commission.

Prime Ministers of seven Arab League states concluded a secreta conference in Cairo by calling on their peoples to "prepare for a struggle" over Palestine.

The Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber made its first flight, with test pilots Robert Robbins and Scott Osler flying from Boeing Field in Seattle to Moses Lake Air Force Base, Washington in 27 minutes.

U.S. Army General Albert Wedemeyer appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee to urge increased aid for the Nationalist Chinese government.

Politics and government
The new Italian cabinet of Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi won its first test of strength when the National Assembly approved its dismissal of Socialist Mayor Antonio Giovanucci of Pescara, accused of incompetence and of favouring Communists in the municipal administration.

Economics and finance
Representatives of the U.S.A. and U.K. concluded an agreement in Washington whereby the United States undertook to pay for most imports need in the U.S.-U.K. zone of Germany in return for control over their distribution and use.

James Caffrey resigned as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

60 years ago

At the movies
Witness for the Prosecution, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, and Elsa Lanchester, opened in theatres in limited release.

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Ken Thiessen!

Died on this date
Dorothy L. Sayers, 64
. U.K. authoress. Miss Sayers wrote fiction and non-fiction, but was best known for 11 novels and two collections of short stories featuring the detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Miss Sayers was also known for her defense of traditional Anglican doctrine. She died of a heart attack.

The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Jane's All the World's Aircraft reported that missiels were replacing manned warplanes in most air forces.

Politics and government
Alabama voters approved a state constitutional amendment authorizing the state legislature to abolish Macon County, where Negroes outnumbered whites 7-1.

50 years ago

Died (?) on this date
Harold Holt, 59
. Prime Minister of Australia, 1966-1967. Mr. Holt, a member of the United Australia Party and then the Liberal Party, represented Fawkner in the Australian Parliament from 1935-1949 and Higgins from 1949 until his death. He held several cabinet posts, and succeeded the retiring Robert Menzies as party leader and Prime Minister in January 1966. Mr. Holt led the Liberals to victory in the 1966 general election; he pursued liberalization of Australia's immigration policy, and supported U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Mr. Holt disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach, Victoria; his body was never found, leading to several conspiracy theories. Mr. Holt was declared dead in absentia, and John McEwen was named acting Prime Minister.

World events
A 15-man military junta led by Major Maurice Kouandete deposed the Dahomeyan government of President Christophe Soglo. The coup followed a five-day general strike the previous week that had paralyzed the country.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Solo Tu--Matia Bazar (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Belfast--Boney M. (5th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (Veronica Top 40): 't Smurfenlied--Vader Abraham (7th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland: Mull of Kintyre--Wings (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mull of Kintyre/Girls' School--Wings (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): You Light Up My Life--Debby Boone (10th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 How Deep is Your Love--Bee Gees
2 Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue--Crystal Gayle
3 You Light Up My Life--Debby Boone
4 Blue Bayou--Linda Ronstadt
5 We're All Alone--Rita Coolidge
6 Sentimental Lady--Bob Welch
7 You Make Loving Fun--Fleetwood Mac
8 Baby Come Back--Player
9 It's So Easy--Linda Ronstadt
10 Heaven on the 7th Floor--Paul Nicholas

Singles entering the chart were Thunder Island by Jay Ferguson (#86); Curious Mind (Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um) by Johnny Rivers (#88); Sweet Music Man by Kenny Rogers (#89); Too Hot Ta Trot by the Commodores (#98); 25th of Last December by Roberta Flack (#99); and Happy Anniversary by Little River Band (#100).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue--Crystal Gayle (2nd week at #1)
2 How Deep is Your Love--Bee Gees
3 You Light Up My Life--Debby Boone
4 Baby, What a Big Surprise--Chicago
5 We're All Alone--Rita Coolidge
6 Sometimes When We Touch--Dan Hill
7 Blue Bayou--Linda Ronstadt
8 You Make Loving Fun--Fleetwood Mac
9 Isn't it Time--The Babys
10 It's So Easy--Linda Ronstadt

Singles entering the chart were Once Upon a Time by Black Light Orchestra (#90); Never My Love by the Addrisi Brothers (#91); What Would I Do by Hometown Band (#92); Don't Ask My Neighbors by the Emotions (#93); Wrap Your Arms Around Me by K.C. and the Sunshine Band (#94); Here I Go Again by Larry Evoy (#95); Time Bomb by Lake (#96); I Love You by Donna Summer (#97); Don't Let it Show by Alan Parsons Project (#98); (You're My) Soul and Inspiration by Donny and Marie Osmond (#99); and Straight Outa Midnight by Murray McLauchlan (#100).

Died on this date
Sammy Sessions, 42
. racing driver. Mr. Sessions participated in the United States Auto Club Championship Car Series from 1965-1975. He was Sprint Car Series champion in 1972, and finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500 that year. Mr. Sessions was competing in a snowmobile race in Alexandria, Minnesota when he had a heart attack and was decapitated by a tree branch.

Montreal 3 @ Pittsburgh 5
Buffalo 5 @ Vancouver 5

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Soul Survivor--C.C. Catch

Guitarist Ellen McIlwaine performed at The Firehall in downtown London, Ontario. This blogger was one of several students at the University of Western Ontario's School of Library and Information Science in attendance.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): I Will Always Love You--Whitney Houston (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Dana Andrews, 83
. U.S. actor. Mr. Andrews was one of the most prominent, if underrated, actors of the 1940s, appearing in such movies as The Ox-Bow Incident (1943); Laura (1944); State Fair (1945); A Walk in the Sun (1945); The Best Years of Our Lives (1946); Boomerang! (1947); The Iron Curtain (1948); Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950); While the City Sleeps (1956); Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956); Night of the Demon (1957); The Fearmakers (1958); and Hot Rods to Hell (1967). He also starred as Matt Cvetic in the radio series I Was a Communist for the FBI (1952-1953).

Economics and finance
Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in a ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa; U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed in separate ceremonies. The deal still needed to be approved by the legislatures of the three countries.

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