Monday, 5 February 2018

February 5, 2018

240 years ago

South Carolina became the second state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

230 years ago

Born on this date
Robert Peel
. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1834-1835, 1841-1846. Mr. Peel, leader of the Conservative Party, served as Home Secretary from 1822-1827, and became known for modernizing the London police force, whose constables were nicknamed "Bobbies" in his honour. As Prime Minister, Mr. Peel achieved repeal of the nation's Corn Laws, which had protected Britain's farmers from competition by imports. He died on July 2, 1850 at the age of 62, three days after his horse fell on him.

200 years ago

Died on this date
Karl XIII/Carl II, 69
. King of Sweden, 1809-1818; King of Norway, 1814-1818. Karl XIII was the uncle of King Gustav IV, and acted as regent before his nephew reached the age of majority. Karl accepted the throne after Gustav IV was deposed in a coup. When Sweden and Norway united in 1814, he became King Carl II of Norway. Karl XIII/Carl II died after several years of failing health, and didn't leave a natural heir. Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon Bonaparte's generals, had been chosen by the government as a successor when the king's health began to fail, and took the throne as Karl XIV of Sweden and Carl III of Norway.

100 years ago

U.S. Army Air Service gunner Stephen W. Thompson, flying with a French unit, shot down a German airplane over Saarbrücken, Germany in the first aerial victory by the U.S. military. The U.S. troop ship SS Tuscania, with 384 crewmen and 2,013 U.S. Army personnel aboard, was torpedoed by German U-boat UB-77 and sunk off the coast of Ireland, with the loss of 210 lives; it was the first ship carrying American troops to Europe to be torpedoed and sunk.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Hans Litten, 34
. German lawyer. Mr. Litten was an opponent of the Nazi regime who, in 1931, had called Adolf Hitler as a witness in a trial and had cross-examined him for three hours. Mr. Litten was arrested on February 28, 1933, and was imprisoned and beaten. He hanged himself in the concentration camp at Dachau. Mr. Litten's story was told in the biography Crossing Hitler (2008) by Benjamin Carter Hett, and in the BBC television film The Man Who Crossed Hitler (2011).

75 years ago

Russian troops drove into Ukraine, recapturing Izyum, a railroad centre on the Donets Rivers, 70 miles southeast of Kharkov. U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Tripoli to greet the victorious British 8th Army and to discuss future strategy with General Sir Bernard Montgomery. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress for an additional $4 billion in cash and $210 million in contract authorizations for the Navy.

Politics and government
The Canadian government's British Columbia Security Commission was dissolved, and administration of Enemy Alien internees fell to the Department of Labour.

Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray announced that the CIO, American Federation of Labor, railroad brotherhoods, and the National Farmers Union had united to fight anti-labour legislation.

Jake LaMotta (31-5-2), a 3-1 underdog, upset Sugar Ray Robinson (40-1), winning a unanimous 10-round decision in a middleweight bout before 18,930 fans at Olympia Stadium in Detroit. Mr. Robinson had won a unanimous 10-round decision over Mr. LaMotta four months earlier.

New York State Athletic Commission world lightweight champion Beau Jack (51-6-2) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Fritzie Zivic (126-34-7) in a welterweight bout at Madison Square Garden in New York. Referee Young Otto took the 8th round away from Mr. Zivic because of a low blow, prompting loud and long booing from the fans.

70 years ago

Politics and government
A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Foreign Aid issued a report on occupation policy in Germany, calling for an immediate halt to the dismantling of war plants; a general amnesty for unimportant Nazis; and creation of a West German government in the U.S., U.K., and French zones.

Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark opposed outlawing the Communist Party USA, but urged that Communists be required to register as foreign agents.

Dick Button, a freshman at Harvard University, won the first United States Olympic figure skating gold medal in history at the St. Moritz Winter Games in Switzerland, wowing the judges with the first double axel ever performed in competition.

60 years ago

At the movies
The Quiet American, written, produced, and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and starring Audie Murphy and Michael Redgrave, opened in theatres.

Range safety officers at Cape Canaveral, Florida destroyed a U.S. Navy Vanguard rocket at an altitude of 20,000 feet, 60 seconds after launch, as a result of faulty wiring.

Politics and government
The Egyptian National Assembly and Syrian President Shukri al-Kuwatly, head of the Syrian Parliament, formally nominated Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to become the first President of the new United Arab Republic.

Reports from Argentina said that former dictator Juan Peron had authorized his two million followers to vote for leftist Arturo Frondizi in upcoming presidential elections.

A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the U.S. Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Cállate Niña--Pic-Nic (6th week at #1)

Politics and government
A Federal-Provincial constitutional conference began in Ottawa, attended by Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the ten provincial premiers, for the purpose of revising the Canadian constitution.

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, in a special message to Congress, urged passage of a $3.5-billion education program for 1969, to be administered by the Office of Education. He called his message "The Fifth Freedom," which he said was "freedom from ignorance." Specific bills wer an Educational Opportunity Act of 1968 dealing with student loans; scholarship programs with federal fellowships; and a Network for Knowledge Act to spur the pooling of information by colleges through computer networks.

18 of 19 crew members of the British trawler Ross Cleveland died when it sank during a gale off Iceland.

World welterweight champion Curtis Cokes (48-9-3) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Jean Josselin (46-5-2) in a non-title bout at Palais des Sports in Paris.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: Mull of Kintyre--Wings (2nd week at #1)

On television tonight
The Champions: Part I, on CBC

This was the first of a two-part documentary about Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Quebec Premier Rene Levesque.

Fort Worth 3 @ Tulsa 9

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Always on My Mind--Pet Shop Boys (5th week at #1)

Politics and government
The Arizona House of Representatives voted 46-14 to impeach Governor Evan Mecham, four weeks after he and his brother and campaign finance manager Willard had been indicted by a grand jury for three counts of perjury, two counts of fraud, and one count of failing to report a campaign contribution. Gov. Mecham was later convicted in the state Senate of obstruction of justice and misusing government funds, and was removed from office on April 4.

U.S. federal grand juries in Miami and Tampa returned indictments against Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega, accusing him of protecting and otherwise helping international drug traffickers, and allowing the laundering of drug profits through Panamanian banks. Gen. Noriega denied the charges. He and 15 others were named in the Miami indictments, which charged that he had assisted the Medellin drug cartel, which was linked to 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States. Panama denounced the Florida indictments of Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega. In news interviews, Gen. Noriega said that U.S. national security adviser Rear Admiral John Poindexter had asked him to help topple the Sandanista government of Nicaragua.

25 years ago

At the movies
The Vanishing, directed by George Sluizer and starring Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis, and Sandra Bullock, opened in theatres. The movie was a Hollywood remake of the 1988 Dutch film, which was also directed by Mr. Sluizer. The remake was nowhere near as good as the original.

Died on this date
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 83
. U.S. movie director, writer, and producer. Mr. Mankiewicz won Academy Awards for his screenplay and as Best Director for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). His other films as director included 5 Fingers (1952); Julius Caesar (1953); Cleopatra (1963); and Sleuth (1972).

10 years ago

Died on this date
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 90
. Indian Hindu guru. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, born Mahesh Prasad Varma, was a devotee of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati--better known as Guru Dev--before introducing "deep meditation" in 1955. He made his first global tour in 1958, and his first visit to the United States in 1959, when his movement was incorporated in California as the Spiritual Regeneration Movement Foundation. The Maharishi didn't attract too many followers until he began using Western marketing techniques, appealing to the Western desire for self-improvement while deceptively promoting his movement as scientific and non-religious. By 1966, the Maharishi's movement was known as Transcendental Meditation, which has been aptly described by a Christian pastor as a "trade name for Hinduism." The Maharishi's popularity skyrocketed when he became spiritual adviser to the Beatles, and soon attracted the Beach Boys and other celebrities as followers. TM continued to grow in wealth, membership, and influence, although the movement suffered a setback in 1977 when the Christian anti-cult Spiritual Counterfeits Project initiated a court case in New Jersey over the teaching of TM in public schools, and the court ruled that TM was religious and that teaching it in public schools in New Jersey was a violation of the separation of church and state. The Natural Law Party was founded in 1992 in an effort to achieve political success for TM, but has been overwhelmingly unsuccessful. The Maharishi spent his last two decades in the Netherlands, and died 26 days after his 90th birthday, and a week after announcing his retirement from leadership of the movement he had founded, with leadership then being assumed by several of his nephews. Transcendental Meditation was estimated to have about five million followers at the time of the Maharishi's death. The wealth of the movement is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but because Hindus believe that the material world is just illusory, they're able to accumulate such wealth without any qualms, because it doesn't mean anything to them. TM continues to deceive people around the world, but will be among the works that will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ in the brightness of His coming.

A major tornado outbreak across the southern United States killed 57 people.

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