Monday, 17 December 2018

December 17, 2018

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Ken Thiessen!

1,110 years ago

Died on this date
al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara'i
. Abbasid vizier. al-Abbas was vizier of the Abbasid Caliphate from 904 until his death. After the death of Calip al-Muktafi on August 13, 908, al-Abbas recommended that al-Muktafi's 13-year-old brother Ja'far--Caliph al-Muqtadir--be installed on the throne as someone who would be easy to manipulate. al-Abbas was killed in a palace revolt led by Hamdanid al-Husayn ibn Hamdan, aiming to install his more mature and experienced uncle, Abdallah ibn al-Mu'tazz as Caliph.

World events
Abbasid poet Abdallah ibn al-Mu'tazz was installed as Abassid Caliph in a palace revolt led by Hamdanid al-Husayn ibn Hamdan, but he was overthrown on the same day, fled the palace in Baghdad, and went into hiding. He was found and strangled on December 29.

480 years ago

Pope Paul III excommunicated King Henry VIII of England.

300 years ago

Great Britain declared war on Spain.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Erwin Piscator
. German theatre director and producer. Mr. Piscator was known for his innovative use of still photographs and cinematic projections as well as complex scaffold stages to present plays which hit audiences over the head with a figurative sledge hammer of Communist propaganda. He died on March 30, 1966 at the age of 72.

Charles C. Banks. U.K. military aviator. Captain Banks was a flying ace with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, recording 13 combat victories, and earned the Military Cross for helping to shoot down a German bomber in 1918. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for a successful engagement with five enemy planes n October 30, 1918. Capt. Banks died on December 21, 1971, four days after his 78th birthday.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Willard Libby
. U.S. chemist. Dr. Libby was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science." He died on September 8, 1980 at the age of 71, from a blood clot in his lung complicated by pneumonia.

100 years ago

About 1,000 demonstrators marched on Government House in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, where they burnt an effigy of Administrator John Gilruth and demanded his resignation. The rebellion was the culmination of seven years of unrest in the Australian Workers' Union.

90 years ago

Died on this date
John P. Saunders
. U.K. police officer; Chanan Singh. Indian police officer. Assistant Superintendent Saunders was working in Lahore, Punjab, India, and was the victim of mistaken identity in an assassination plot by Indian revolutionists Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar, and Chandrashekhar Azad to avenge the death of Hindu independence activist Lala Lajpat Rai, who had died on November 17, 1928, 18 days after being beaten by British police while leading a peaceful protest in Lahore against a British commission--which contained no Indian representation--led by Sir John Simon--investigating India's political situation. Head Constable Chanan Singh, who was chasing the assassins, was also killed, when hit by covering fire from Mr. Azad. The assassins were executed in 1931.

Bolivia and Paraguay began two days of negotiations in an attempt to settle their border dispute.

80 years ago

The third German Antarctic Expedition, led by Kriegsmarine Captain Alfred Ritscher, left Hamburg for Antarctica aboard the MS Schwabenland. There were 33 members in the secret expedition, plus the ship's crew of 24.

Otto Hahn discovered the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and technological basis of nuclear energy.

75 years ago

Army and Navy Register reported that Allied European commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower would be transferred to London to head the Allied invasion of Western Europe. Allied forces made important gains in Italy in their effort to break through the strong German opposition to the important road junction of Cassino.

Brazilian President Getulio Vargas named General Mauricio as Army Chief of Staff.

All Chinese were again permitted to become citizens of the United States, upon the repeal of the Act of 1882 and the introduction of the Magnuson Act.

United Mine Workers of America President John L. Lewis signed a wage contract with operators' associations representing two-thirds of the soft coal industry in terms approximating the contract with U.S. Solid Fuels Administrator Harold Ickes.

Horse racing
Triple Crown winner Count Fleet was named "horse of the year" in a poll conducted by Turf & Sport Digest.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Edward Alexander, 75
. U.S. lawyer. Mr. Alexander was a constitutional lawyer who was prominent in the drive to repeal Prohibition.

The United Nations Security Council voted to reject Israel's application for membership in the United Nations.

Politics and government
A Syrian cabinet crisis caused by public dissatisfaction over events in Palestine ended when former Foreign Minister Khaled el-Azem formed a new cabinet, appointing himself as Foreign Minister and Defense Minister.

Georgia House of Representatives Speaker Fred Hand, a supporter of Governor Herman Talmadge, announced plans to reduce the state's Negro vote by raising educational requirements for registration.

The Finnish Security Police (Supo) was established, effective the beginning of 1949, to remove Communist leadership from its predecessor, the State Police (Valtiollinen poliisi, Valpo).

U.S. President Harry Truman participated in ceremonies marking the formal installation of the Wright brothers' airplane Kitty Hawk in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, five years to the day after the British government pledged to return the plane to the United States, and 45 years to the day since the brothers made the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. President Truman presented the Robert J. Collier Aviation Trophy to aircraft designer Lawrence Bell, research engineer John Stack, and test pilot Chuck Yeager for their contributions to supersonic flight.

Economics and finance
The U.S. State and Army Departments ordered Japan to adopt a new stringent austerity program to stabilize her economy and check inflation, including a balanced budget, improved tax collection, and more effective price controls.

A U.S. presidential emergency board recommended that one million members of 16 non-operating rail unions have their work week cut from 48 hours to 40 hours, with a 7c hourly raise.

Lester Cole, a Hollywood screenwriter fired in 1947 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for refusing to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, won his reinstatement suit in Los Angeles; the ruling was a setback to the movie industry's anti-Communist drive.

The Detroit Vagabond Kings, fourth and last in the Eastern Division, disbanded. They were soon replaced by the Dayton Rens.

60 years ago

Geneva conference delegates accepted a draft treaty article providing for a seven-nation control commission to supervise a nuclear test ban treaty.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Foreign Ministers voted to approve Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Lauris Norstad's recommendations for increased NATO military forces.

Politics and government
The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee announced Chairman Mao Zedong's retirement as head of the government.

A U.S. House of Representatives special committee recommended that the House ask Dale Alford "to stand aside and not be seated" pending an investigation of his write-in election victory over Rep. Brooks Hays (Democrat) in Arkansas' 5th District. Dr. Alford, a Democrat and a member of the Little Rock School board, had launched a last-minute write-in campaign against Rep. Hays, and had won by 1,200 votes (51%-49%). Dr. Alford supported gradual racial desegregation of Little Rock schools, while Rep. Hays endorsed the integration of Little Rock High School.

New York's Guaranty Trust and J.P. Morgan investment banks announced plans for a merger as Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, subject to the approval of government banking agencies and stockholders.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): Eloise--Barry Ryan

Mary Bell, 11, was sentenced to life in detention after being found guilty on two counts of manslaughter at Newcastle Assizes. The body of 4-year-old had been found in a derelict house in Scottswood, in Newcastle, on May 25, while 3-year-old Brian Howe's body was found in Scottswood in July. Mary had strangled the boys "solely for the pleasure and excitement of killing," according to Mr. Justice Cusack, and was a "very grave risk to other children if she is not closely watched." Her 13-year-old accomplice, known only as Norma, was acquitted. Mary was released on license in 1980, and was given a new identity. She now has a daughter. The High Court granted them lifelong anonymity under the Human Rights Act in May 2003 on the grounds that they were entitled to a private and family life.

Barbara Jane Mackle, 20, was abducted from a motel in Atlanta.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Dreadlock Holiday--10cc (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M.

Died on this date
Don Ellis, 44
. U.S. musician. Mr. Ellis was a jazz trumpeter, drummer, composer, and bandleader, known for his experimentation in the area of time signatures. He studied music from various foreign countries such as India and Brazil, and incorporated their musical styles into his own work. Mr. Ellis composed several film scores, including those for The French Connection (1971) and French Connection II (1975). He suffered from heart arrhythmia in his later years, and died of a heart attack at his home after attending a Jon Hendricks concert.

The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meeting in Abu Dhabi, ended an 18-month freeze on the price of crude oil by announcing staggered increases that would boost the price 14.5% by October 1, 1979, raising price from $12.70 to $14.54 per barrel. The first stage of the increase, a 5% hike, was to come on January 1. OPEC cited rising costs and rapidly decreasing profits as the reason for the action.

Toronto 6 @ Washington 7

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (FIMI): C'è da spostare una macchina--Francesco Salvi

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Orinoco Flow--Enya

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Orinoco Flow--Enya (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Pourvu qu'elles soient douces--Mylène Farmer (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Look Away--Chicago (2nd week at #1)

U.S.A. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Look Away--Chicago (2nd week at #1)
2 Giving You the Best That I Got--Anita Baker
3 Every Rose Has its Thorn--Poison
4 I Don't Want Your Love--Duran Duran
5 My Prerogative--Bobby Brown
6 Waiting for a Star to Fall--Boy Meets Girl
7 Walk on Water--Eddie Money
8 Two Hearts--Phil Collins
9 Welcome to the Jungle--Guns N' Roses
10 In Your Room--Bangles

Singles entering the chart were Angel of Harlem by U2 (#70); She Wants to Dance with Me by Rick Astley (#71); Anchorage by Michelle Shocked (#80); Way Cool Jr. by Ratt (#86); The Love You Take by Dan Hartman and Denise Lopez (#88); Wild Again by Starship (#90); and I Wanna Be Loved by House of Lords (#91).

Bryan Murray of the Washington Capitals became the 17th coach to win 300 regular season games.

25 years ago

Economics and finance
Russian President Boris Yeltsin authorized $120 million in cheap subsidized loans to farmers and announced new controls on immigration and employment of non-Russians. The government approved a scaled-back program for privatizing state-owned enterprises.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Sammy Baugh, 94
. U.S. football player and coach. Mr. Baugh was a quarterback, punter, and defensive back with the Washington Redskins from 1937-1952, leading them to NFL championships in 1937 and 1942. At the rime of his retirement he held 13 league records at all three positions that he played. Mr. Baugh was head coach of the New York Titans (1960-1961) and Houston Oilers (1964) of the American Football League, compiling a record of 18-24. He was a member of the charter class of the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Dave Smith, 53. U.S. baseball pitcher. Mr. Smith was a relief pitcher with the Houston Astros (1980-1990) and Chicago Cubs (1991-1992), compiling a record of 53-53 with 216 saves and a 2.67 earned run average in 609 games. He was the Astros' primary closer from 1985-1990, and was selected for the National League team in the All-Star Game in 1986 and 1990. Mr. Smith died of a heart attack.

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