Sunday, 24 December 2017

December 24, 2017

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Hilary Hahn!

240 years ago

Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, was discovered by British Royal Navy Captain James Cook.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Kantarō Suzuki
. Prime Minister of Japan, 1945. Baron Suzuki was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and took office as Prime Minister on April 7, 1945, following the resignation of Kuniaki Koiso after the Battle of Okinawa. Admiral Suzuki resigned on August 17, 1945, after the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II became public, and was succeeded by Prince Higashikuni. Baron Suzuki died of natural causes on April 17, 1948 at the age of 80.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Ruth Chatterton
. U.S. actress. Miss Chatterton achieved success on Broadway before starring in movies such as Madame X (1929); Sarah and Son (1930); and Dodsworth (1936). She retired from films in the late 1930s, continuing to act occasionally on stage and television. Miss Chatterton also wrote three novels and became an aviatrix; she died on November 24, 1961 at the age of 68, three days after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.

90 years ago

Bombs planted by sympathizers of executed U.S. anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti exploded at the National City Bank of New York's branch in Buenos Aires. Several people were injured, and the building was partly destroyed. Bombs were also planted at the Buenos Aires branch of the First National Bank of Boston.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Jean-Francois Darlan, 61
. Prime Minister of France, 1941-1942. Mr. Darlan was Prime Minister from February 9, 1941-April 18, 1942 of the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis. While visiting Algiers in November, he was arrested in a French resistance raid. Mr. Darlan was permitted to remain head of a French administration in Algeria as part of a deal for the cessation of hostilities between resistance and collaborationist forces. He was shot dead in his headquarters in Algiers by Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, 20, a member of a resistance group.

The U.S. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named In Which We Serve as Best English Language Film of 1942.

The Canadian Department of National Defence said that there were now 681,615 volunteers and conscripts in the Canadian forces. A military supply mission headed by General Emile Bethouart, intended for French forces in North Africa, arrived in Washington. Allied forces breached Japanese defenses around the Buna Mission on New Guinea. U.S. planes bombed the Japanese airfield and shore installations at Munda on New Georgia Island. Japanese forces in Burma were repulsed in two attempts to retake two positions in the Chin Hills, 100 miles north of Aykab.

The American Institute of Judaism advocated the establishment of a federation of nations with a court of international justice to try war criminals.

The U.S. National War Labor Board ordered 18,000 workers at Brewster Aeronautical Corporation's plants in Long Island City, New York and other plants to stop their "slowdown" that had begun on December 18.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill extending overtime pay to all government employees, and asked all departments to establish a 6-day, 48-hour work week.

70 years ago

At the movies
The Lady from Shanghai, directed, written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles, opened in theatres in France.

The Burmese government outlawed private military forces.

Politics and government
Communist guerrillas in northern Greece proclaimed a Provisional Democratic Government of Free Greece, with an all-Communist cabinet headed by Major Markos Vafiades.

Communist Party leader Emil Bodnaras took office as Romanian National Defense Minister, giving Communists control of all key cabinet posts.

U.S. President Harry Truman issued an executive order creating the Interdepartmental Committee for Scientific Research and Development to coordinate federal scientific activities.

Economics and finance
The Bulgarian National Assembly nationalized most mines and factories.

The Mexican government announced a record federal budget of 2.3 billion pesos for 1948.

60 years ago

Died on this date
Norma Talmadge, 64
. U.S. actress. Miss Talmadge was one of the biggest stars of the silent movie era, in films such as Smilin' Through (1922); Secrets (1924); and The Lady (1925). She retired from acting in 1930, having accumulated and inherited enough wealth to be comfortable for the rest of her life, which ended as a result of pneumonia after a series of strokes.

Soviet Communist Party First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev indicated that the U.S.S.R. may soon reduce its armed manpower, but would continue its emphasis on modern weapons.

Politics and government
The White House announced the resignation of James Richards as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's envoy to the Middle East.

U.S. President Eisenhower extended the program of voluntary import curbs on crude oil to the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii, asking importers to bring in no more than 220,000 barrels daily during the first half of 1958.

50 years ago

Died on this date
Burt Baskin, 54
. U.S. businessman. Mr. Baskin and his brother-in-law Irv Robbins co-founded the Baskin-Robbins chain of ice cream parlours in 1945. Mr. Baskin died of a heart attack, a week after his 54th birthday.

American troops and their allies in Vietnam began observing a two-day Christmas truce; Viet Cong forces had earlier announced that they would be observing a Christmas truce from December 24-27.

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission announced that the People's Republic of China had conducted its seventh atmospheric nuclear test. This test took place in the Lob Nor area of China, and was "in the low yield range," according to the AEC. It was the first time that China had failed to announce or confirm a nuclear test.

Eastern Conference Championship
Cleveland 14 @ Dallas 52

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Solo Tu--Matia Bazar (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Belfast--Boney M. (6th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (Veronica Top 40): Mull of Kintyre--Wings

#1 single in Ireland: Mull of Kintyre--Wings (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mull of Kintyre/Girls' School--Wings (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): How Deep is Your Love--Bee Gees

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 How Deep is Your Love--Bee Gees (2nd week at #1)
2 Blue Bayou--Linda Ronstadt
3 You Light Up My Life--Debby Boone
4 Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue--Crystal Gayle
5 Sentimental Lady--Bob Welch
6 Baby Come Back--Player
7 You Make Loving Fun--Fleetwood Mac
8 You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)--Rod Stewart
9 We're All Alone--Rita Coolidge
10 (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again--L.T.D.

Singles entering the chart were Theme from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" by John Williams (#76); Theme from Close Encounters by Meco (#79); The Name of the Game by ABBA (#86); Jack and Jill by Raydio (#87); Take Me to the Kaptin by Prism (#90); Belle by Al Green (#91); Always and Forever by Heatwave (#92); Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose by the Controllers (#93); Cocomotion by El Coco (#99); and God Only Knows by Marilyn Scott (#100). Theme from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was the original version of the theme from the movie.

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 How Deep is Your Love--Bee Gees
2 Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue--Crystal Gayle
3 Baby, What a Big Surprise--Chicago
4 You Light Up My Life--Debby Boone
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 Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees (#85); Ooh Boy by Rose Royce (#87); Easy to Love by Leo Sayer (#93); Long, Long Way from Home by Foreigner (#94); Goodbye Girl by David Gates (#96); If You're Not Back in Love by Monday by Millie Jackson (#97); You Make Me Crazy by Sammy Hagar (#99); and Anyway You Want Me by the Sylvers (#100).

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in his home town of Plains, Georgia, met with 1,500 striking members of the American Agricultural Movement and urged them to plant crops, but said that he was unable to meet their demand of 100% parity. The strike had begun on December 14.

AFC Divisional Playoffs
Oakland 37 @ Baltimore 31 (2 OT)

Pittsburgh 21 @ Denver 34

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Never Gonna Give You Up--Rick Astley (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
M. G. Ramachandran, 70
. Ceylonese-born Indian actor and politician. Mr. Ramachandran was the biggest star of Tamil films from the 1940s through the 1970s. He was a member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party before founding the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party in 1972. Mr. Ramachandran led the AIADMK to victory in the 1977 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, and served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu until his death. He was succeeded as Chief Minister by his wife Janaki Ramachandran.

Joop den Uyl, 68. Prime Minister of the Netherlands, 1973-1977. Mr. den Uyl, a member of the Labour Party, sat in the House of Representatives from 1956-1963 and 1967 until his death, leading the Labour Party from 1966-1986. Mr. den Uyl led a minority government, and governed during tough economic times. He led the Labour Party to the greatest number of seats in the 1977 general election, but was unable to form a governing coalition. Mr. den Uyl returned to government as Deputy Prime Minister from 1981-1982; he left politics after the 1986 election, and died of a brain tumour.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): I Will Always Love You--Whitney Houston (4th week at #1)

Died on this date
Peyo, 64
. Belgian cartoonist. Peyo, whose real name was Pierre Culliford, created the comic strip Johan and Peewit in 1947, leading to his most famous creation, The Smurfs. Peyo died of a heart attack.

Bobby LaKind, 47. U.S. musician. Mr. LaKind was a roadie, sideman, and eventual member of the Doobie Brothers as a singer, conga player, and backup drummer. He died of cancer.

U.S. President George Bush pardoned former U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others who had been convicted in the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Toshiro Mifune, 77
. Chinese-born Japanese actor. Mr. Mifune appeared in almost 170 feature films, but was best known for the 16 he made with director Akira Kurosawa, including Rashomon (1950); Seven Samurai (1954); and Yojimbo (1961).

James Komack, 73. U.S. actor and television producer. Mr. Komack had minor success as a comedian and actor, but was best known as the creator and/or producer of television series such as Chico and the Man (1974-1978) and Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979). He died of heart failure.

Pierre Péladeau, 72. Canadian newspaper magnate. Mr. Péladeau, a native of Montreal, founded Le Journal de Montréal in 1964 and Quebecor Media a year later, with Le Journal de Montréal as its flagship paper. He died three weeks after suffering a heart attack and going into a coma.

In the latest massacre by Muslim terrorists in Algeria, 48-117 people were killed in the villages of Sidi El-Antri and Shari, with 11 abducted. 11 more were killed in the Bainem area near Algiers.

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