375 years ago
Born on this date
Johann Christoph Bach. German composer. Mr. Bach, the first cousin once removed of Johann Sebastian Bach, and was as respected as his more famous relative during his lifetime. Johann Christoph was a church organist whose compositions included the cantata Meine Freundin, du bist schön, based on the Song of Solomon. Johann Christoph Bach died on March 31, 1703 at the age of 60.
225 years ago
Born on this date
Willem II. King of the Netherlands; Duke of Luxembourg; Duke of Limburg, 1840-1849. Willem II was the son of Willem I and succeeded to the throne upon his father's abdication. The Netherlands became a parliamentary democracy during Willem II's rule, in 1848. Willem II was accused of being blackmailed for having bisexual relationships. He died on March 17, 1849 at the age of 56 and was succeeded by his son Willem III.
180 years ago
In the Lower Canada Rebellion, militia Colonel Charles Kemp and 300 Canadian militia volunteers ambushed a group of 80 rebels at 8 P.M. coming across the U.S. border at Moore's Corner with newly acquired weapons and 2 cannon in the Battle of Mississquoi Bay. During the 20-minute skirmish, four Patriotes were captured and one killed; the rest retreated across the border when Governor John Colborne dispatched 600 British regulars and three cannons to St-Armand, Lower Canada. In the Upper Canada Rebellion, William Lyon Mackenzie and Samuel Lount held up a stagecoach 3 1/2 miles west of Toronto; they seized money and letters from Governor Francis Bond Head about the planned defenses of Toronto. Militia Colonel Allan MacNab and 60 soldiers arrived from Hamilton on a steamer to help Governor Bond Head deal with Mr. Mackenzie and his rebels. Captain George Maclean also arrived from Scarborough with 100 militiamen. Rebel leader Dr. John Rolph, a last-minute convert to the rebellion, fled Upper Canada for the United States, ending up in Rochester, New York.
140 years ago
The first edition of The Washington Post was published.
125 years ago
Born on this date
Osbert Sitwell. U.K. author. Sir Osbert wrote various works of fiction and non-fiction from the 1920s to the 1960s. His first novel, Before the Bombardment (1926), was acclaimed as a great work of satire. Sir Osbert died on May 4, 1969 at the age of 76 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
Died on this date
Werner von Siemens, 75. German engineer and industrialist. Mr. Siemens was an electrical engineer who built the world's first electric elevator in 1880 and founded the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens in 1847. Mr. Siemens died a week before his 76th birthday.
Politics and government
Alexandre Ribot became Prime Minister of France for the first of four times.
120 years ago
London became the world's first city to host licensed taxicabs.
110 years ago
In Canada's first recorded flight of any heavier-than-air-craft carrying a passenger , U.S. Army Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge flew on board Alexander Graham Bell's giant tetrahedral kite, the Cygnet I, made of 3,393 winged cells; it took him 51 metres in the air above Bras d'Or Lake, Nova Scotia for over seven minutes before crashing, but Lt. Selfridge was not seriously injured. Lt. Selfridge was secretary of Dr. Bell's Aerial Experimentation Association; he designed Red Wing, the AEA's first powered aircraft, and also flew the Silver Dart, built by Canadian engineer Casey Baldwin.
The worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia.
100 years ago
Born on this date
Irv Robbins. Canadian-born U.S. businessman. Mr. Robbins, a native of Winnipeg, moved to the United States in the early 1940s, and combined his ice cream parlours with those of his brother-in-law Burt Baskin in 1948 to form the company that became Baskin-Robbins. Baskin-Robbins, with its 31 flavours--one for each day of the month--was the first food company to franchise its outlets. Mr. Robbins died on May 5, 2008 at the age of 90.
USS Jacob Jones became the first American destroyer to be sunk by enemy action during World War I when it was torpedoed by German submarine SM U-53.
Finland declared independence from Russia.
In the largest manmade explosion prior to the atomic bomb, downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia was blown to pieces after the French munitions freighter SS Mont Blanc, coming through the Narrows bound for Bordeaux carrying 2,300 tons of picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, 35 tons of high octane gasoline, and 10 tons of gun cotton, collided with the Norwegian steamship SS Imo, outbound to New York City, at 8:45 A.M. The Mont Blanc was propelled toward the shore by the collision, its picric acid ablaze, and the crew abandoned ship, after failing to alert the harbour of the peril. Minutes later, the blazing ship brushed by a pier, setting it ablaze, while spectators gathered along the waterfront to witness the spectacle. The Halifax Fire Department responded quickly, and were just positioning their engine up to the nearest hydrant when the Mont Blanc exploded at 9:05 A.M. in a blinding white flash. The blast levelled downtown Halifax, killing 2,000, injuring over 8,000, leaving 10,000 homeless, and doing $50 million damage. The shock wave shattered windows at Truro, over 60 miles away, and the sound could be heard in Charlottetown.
75 years ago
Allied planes attacked France and the Netherlands in one of the biggest daylight raids of World War II. German forces made counterattacks northwest and southwest of Stalingrad nd west of Rzhev on the central front. U.S. Marine raiders destroyed five Japanese bases and killed about 400 enemy soldiers in the mountainous jungle of Guadalcanal.
Called under martial law, U.S. soldiers fired on a pro-Axis mob at a Japanese-American relocation centre in Manzanar, California, killing one person and wounding nine. The anti-American group Kibei had called a Pearl Harbor attack anniversary rally the previous night.
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood, the fifth built in the past year, was launched at Camden, New Jersey.
Politics and government
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Agriculture Secretary Claude Wickard national food administrator, with full responsibility for the nation's food supply, including production and distribution.
70 years ago
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Near You--Francis Craig and his Orchestra (12th week at #1)
U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Near You--Francis Craig and his Orchestra (9th week at #1)
--Larry Green and his Orchestra
--The Andrews Sisters
--Alvino Rey and his Orchestra
--Elliot Lawrence and his Orchestra
2 You Do--Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
--Bing Crosby and Carmen Cavallaro
3 I Wish I Didn't Love You So--Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
4 Ballerina--Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
5 Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)--Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters
--Louis Prima and his Orchestra
--Jack Smith and the Clark Sisters
--Ray McKinley and his Orchestra
6 How Soon (Will I Be Seeing You)--Jack Owens
--Bing Crosby and Carmen Cavallaro
--Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
7 Feudin' and Fightin'--Dorothy Shay
--Bing Crosby and the Jesters
8 So Far--Frank Sinatra
9 --And Mimi--Art Lund
10 Too Fat Polka (I Don’t Want Her) (You Can Have Her) (She’s Too Fat for Me)--Arthur Godfrey
Singles entering the chart were The Whistler by Sam Donahue and his Orchestra (#19); Pass That Peace Pipe, with versions by Margaret Whiting, and Beryl Davis (#20); I'll Dance at Your Wedding (#24)/Those Things Money Can't Buy (#36) by Ray Noble and his Orchestra; The Gentleman is a Dope, with versions by Jo Stafford, and Dinah Shore (#35); and Those Things Money Can't Buy by the King Cole Trio (#36, charting with the version by Ray Noble and his Orchestra).
The Nationalist Chinese Navy began evacuating the trapped 54th Army from the port of Haiyang on the Shantung Peninsula, while Communist forces attacked Shantung railroads between Tsingtao and Tsinan.
The United Nations Balkan Commission, meeting in Salonika, voted to establish observers only on the Greek side of the northern frontier after being denied access to Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria.
Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated.
Economics and finance
The British government introduced rationing of oats, barley, and canned meat products.
The Greek cabinet adopted a decree prohibiting strikes "for the duration of the rebellion;" the measure carried the death penalty.
The Brooklyn Dodgers reinstated Leo Durocher as manager after his one-season suspension and appointed current manager Burt Shotton supervisor of the club's farm system. Mr. Durocher was suspended by Commissioner Happy Chandler just prior to the start of the 1947 season, ostensibly for socializing with gamblers. Mr. Shotton then managed the Dodgers to the National League pennant, losing the World Series to the New York Yankees 4 games to 3.
60 years ago
#1 single in France (IFOP): Only You (And You Alone)--The Platters (4th week at #1)
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Mary's Boy Child--Harry Belafonte (3rd week at #1)
On television tonight
Harbor Command, starring Wendell Corey
Tonight's episode: Final Score
Station KEX in Portland, Oregon announced that disc jockey Al Priddy had been fired for broadcasting Elvis Presley's recording of White Christmas. Station manager Mel Bailey said the recording had been banned by the station because "it is not in the good taste we ascribe to Christmas music. Presley gives it a rhythm and blues interpretation. It doesn't seem to be to be in keeping with the intent of the song." Mr. Priddy said, "The word was passed around the station we weren't supposed to play the record. But I figured the listeners were entitled to hear it. We don't hold back anything else Presley has done. The record is certainly not objectionable."
A launch pad explosion of Vanguard TV3--broadcast live on television--thwarted the first United States attempt to launch a satellite into Earth orbit.
U.S.S.R. Communist Party First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev charged that parts of the third stage of the rocket that had launched the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 on October 4 "fell on the U.S.," which had refused to return the fragments. U.S. State Department and Defense Department spokesmen denied knowledge that the rocket had fallen in the United States or that the Soviet Union had asked for its return.
The prototype for the Lockheed Electra L-188 turboprop plane, a Model 188-A, made its first flight, two months ahead of schedule.
Yugoslavian President Marshal Josip Broz Tito, meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia James Riddleberger, assured the United States that Yugoslavia would remain independent of the U.S.S.R. and would pursue an independent foreign policy.
The United Nations General Assembly's Special Political Committee approved a resolution calling for pledges to meet a proposed $40.7-million budget for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. The resolution also urged Arab states to cooperate in absorbing the refugees now in their territories.
At the dedication of a U.S. Navy nuclear training school in New London, Connecticut, Admiral Hyman Rickover, chief of the Navy's nuclear program, said that U.S. education was "hopelessly outdated" and needed "a complete reorganization...preceded by a revolutionary reversal of educational aims [to] equip us for winning the educational race with the Russians."
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations voted overwhelmingly at its convention in Atlantic City to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on charges that it had failed to purge itself of corrupt leadership.
50 years ago
#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): Hello Goodbye--The Beatles
Australia's top 10 (Go-Set)
1 (The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts--The Bee Gees
2 The Last Waltz--Engelbert Humperdinck
3 Itchycoo Park--Small Faces
4 The Letter--The Box Tops
5 The Two of Us--Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch
6 Homburg--Procol Harum
7 Flowers in the Rain--The Move
8 My Prayer/Don't Let Your Left Hand Know--The Vibrants
9 There's Always Me/Judy--Elvis Presley
10 Gimme Little Sign--Brenton Wood
Singles entering the chart were What's it Gonna Be by Dusty Springfield (#36); Hush by Somebody's Image (#37); and You Keep Me Hangin' On by the Vanilla Fudge (#38).
Died on this date
Oscar Gestido, 66. President of Uruguay, 1967. General Gestido served in the military for 36 years before retiring in 1957. A member of the Colorado Party, he was elected President on November 27, 1966, and took office on March 1, 1967. Mr. Gestido died after just nine months in office, and was succeeded as President by Vice President Jorge Pacheco Areco.
Canadian Secretary of State Judy LaMarsh was among those in Edmonton to attend the official opening of the Provincial Museum and Archives of Alberta with 400 invited guests. Also in attendance were Alberta Premier Ernest Manning and Edmonton Mayor Vincent Dantzer.
The world's largest underground walkway, three miles from Place Bonaventure to Place Ville Marie in Montreal, opened.
A team led by Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz performed the first pediatric heart transplant and the first human heart transplant in the United States, at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. The heart of an anencephalic baby was transplanted into 19-day-old Jamie Scudero, who had two serious heart conditions. The boy lived for only six hours, and at a press conference afterwards, Dr. Kantrowitz stated that he considered the operation to be a failure.
48 years of prohibition against mixed drinks in Tennessee ended in Nashville when restaurant manager John Chiles poured a scotch and soda for a customer. The Tennessee legislature had recently enacted a law allowing residents of the state's four largest counties to vote on the sale of mixed drinks. Nashville residents approved the sale by 10,000 votes.
40 years ago
South Africa granted independence to Bophuthatswana, although it was not recognized by any other country.
United Mine Workers of America went on strike against 130 of the largest U.S. coal companies.
30 years ago
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Faith--George Michael
#1 single in Switzerland: You Win Again--Bee Gees (8th week at #1)
#1 single in France: La Bamba--Los Lobos (8th week at #1)
More than 200,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Washington, and a smaller number in Moscow, to protest the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews.
25 years ago
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Would I Lie to You?--Charles & Eddie
#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Die da--Die Fantastischen Vier
#1 single in Switzerland: Don't You Want Me--Felix (4th week at #1)
More than 2,000 people were killed in two months of rioting resulting from the destruction of a mosque in Ayodhya, India and attacks on other Muslim sites by Hindu militants.
20 years ago
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Barbie Girl--Aqua (8th week at #1)
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Candle in the Wind 1997--Elton John (11th week at #1)
#1 single in France (SNEP): Savoir aimer--Florent Pagny (6th week at #1)
#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Barbie Girl--Aqua (5th week at #1)
#1 single in Wallonia (Ultratop 40): Barbie Girl--Aqua (6th week at #1)
#1 single in the U.K. (Chart Information Network): Perfect Day--Various Artists (2nd week at #1)
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight--Elton John (9th week at #1)
An Antonov An-124 Ruslan cargo jet operated by the Russian Air Force crashed into an apartment complex shortly after takeoff from Irkutsk, Siberia, killing 67 people--all 23 on board and 44 on the ground.
Marker Monday: President Jimmy Carter - To further explore this year’s Georgia History Festival theme, “The United States Constitution: Ensuring Liberty and Justice for All,” October’s #MarkerMon...
13 hours ago