Sunday, 17 February 2019

February 17, 2019

280 years ago

The Battle of Vasai commenced as the Marathas moved to invade Portuguese-occupied territory in India.

The first group of New Brunswick militia were called-up for defense in the Aroostook War with Maine.

200 years ago

Politics and government
In an attempt to deal with the issue of slavery, the United States House of Representatives passed the Missouri Compromise for the first time.

160 years ago

The French Navy captured the Citadel of Saigon, a fortress that was manned by 1,000 Nguyễn dynasty soldiers, en route to conquering Saigon and other regions of southern Vietnam.

150 years ago

The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; today's Humane Society, was founded in Toronto.

110 years ago

Died on this date
Geronimo, 79
. U.S. Indian leader. Geronimo was an Apache leader from New Mexico who carried out numerous raids against U.S. authorities from 1850-1886. He escaped from custody three times, but surrendered for the final time in 1886. Geronimo became a celebrity in his later years but died of pneumonia as a prisoner of war in Oklahoma, reportedly regretting that he had ever surrendered.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Joe Hunt
. U.S. tennis player. Mr. Hunt won the U.S. boys', junior, and collegiate men's singles championships before winning the U.S. men's singles championship in 1943 in his final match, becoming the only man to win all four titles. He became a lieutenant and aviator in the U.S. Navy following the 1943 season. Lt. Hunt was killed on February 2, 1945, 15 days before his 26th birthday, when his plane went into a spin off the coast of Florida and failed to recover. Lt. Hunt was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1966.

Kathleen Freeman. U.S. actress. Miss Freeman had a long career as a character actress in numerous plays, television programs, and movies, usually in comic roles as acerbic maids, secretaries, neighbours, or relatives. She died of lung cancer on August 23, 2001 at the age of 82.

J. M. S. Careless. Canadian historian. Dr. Careless, a native of Toronto, taught at the University of Toronto from 1945-1984, teaching courses in Canadian political, ethnic, urban, and intellectual history. His best known book was Canada: A Story of Challenge (1953). Dr. Careless died on April 6, 2009 at the age of 90.

Died on this date
Wilfrid Laurier, 77
. Prime Minister of Canada, 1896-1911. Sir Wilfrid, a native of Saint-Lin, Canada East, was the sort of person who no longer exists: an honest federal Liberal politician from Quebec. He represented Drummond-Arthabaska in the Quebec Legislative Assembly from 1871-1874, and then moved into federal politics, representing Quebec East in the House of Commons for a record span of almost 45 years. Sir Wilfrid succeeded Edward Blake as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1887, serving as Leader of the Opposition and gradually building up his party's support until they won a majority in the House of Commons in the 1896 federal election. Sir Wilfrid became Canada's first French-Canadian Prime Minister, and went on to serve 15 uninterrupted years as Prime Minister while leading the Liberals to four consecutive electoral majorities--Canadian records that still stand. He served as a conciliator, managing differences between Canada's French-speaking Roman Catholic minority and the English-speaking, mainly Protestant majority. Sir Wilfrid presided over the creation of Yukon Territory in 1898, the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan as provinces in 1905, and the creation of the Naval Service of Canada in 1910. The Liberals supported trade reciprocity with the United States and campaigned on the issue in the 1911 federal election, but the Conservatives, led by Robert Borden, opposed reciprocity, and won the election, ending the Liberals' 15 years in power. Sir Wilfrid continued as Leader of the Opposition, most notably opposing military conscription in World War I. The Liberals were handily defeated by Prime Minister Borden's Unionist coalition of Conservatives and pro-conscription Liberals in the 1917 federal election, but Sir Wilfrid's stand led to Quebec becoming an almost perpetual Liberal stronghold. Sir Wilfrid died of a stroke, ending his Canadian record term of 31 years and 8 months as leader of his party. He was succeeded as Liberal Party leader by Mackenzie King, who went on to lead the Liberals for almost 30 years, and governed as Prime Minister for a record 22 years, although not consecutively.

The Ukrainian People's Republic asked the Entente and the U.S.A. for help in fighting the Bolsheviks.

75 years ago

Soviet troops liquidated the remains of 10 German divisions trapped in Ukraine west of Cherkassy, bringing the totals after two weeks to 52,000 killed and 11,000 captured. Allied planes in Italy engaged in record operations on the Anzio beachhead to aid in braking German counterattacks. The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. Operation Hailstone began as U.S. naval air, surface, and submarines attacked Truk Lagoon, Japan's main base in the central Pacific Ocean, in support of the Eniwetok invasion, destroying 19 ships and 201 planes.

The Dutch government-in-exile in London reported that the Nazis had killed 180,000 Jews in the Netherlands.

Politics and government
Italian Prime Minister Marshal Pietro Badoglio reorganized his cabinet.

Ecuador's dominant Liberal Radical Party named Miguel Angel Albornez as its presidential candidate.

Economics and finance
The U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt a bill extending the life of the Civilian Conservation Corps with a rider ending consumer food subsidies after June 30, 1944. The U.S. Senate passed the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration bill, carrying an appropriation of $1.3 billion, with restrictions on the uses of funds.

U.K. Health Minister Henry Willink presented a White Paper proposing that legislation be enacted providing every Briton with health care.

The Canadian Parliament received an order-in-council providing for compulsory collective bargaining for Canadian workers for the duration of World War II.

70 years ago

Siam declared a state of emergency and closed its Malayan border to hinder the movement of Communist guerrillas.

Egyptian and Israeli negotiators in Rhodes reached a tentative agreement to demilitarize Auja, a transit centre near the Egyptian border.

Politics and government
The Israeli Constituent Assembly adopted an interim constitution limiting presidential authority and making the Prime Minister and his cabinet answerable to the parliament. The Assembly also confirmed President Chaim Weizmann in his office.

The defense of Mildred Gillars, popularly known as "Axis Sally" for her anti-Allied radio propaganda broadcasts from Germany during World War II, opened at her trial in Washington for treason. The defense argued that treason could not be committed by "mere words."

U.S. President Harry Truman asked Congress for $5.4 million to strengthen and rebuild the interior of the White House.

60 years ago

On television tonight
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, on ABC
Tonight's episode: Twelve Hours to Live, starring Paul Richards and Jean Allison

The U.S.A. launched the satellite Vanguard 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the first weather satellite, its mission was to measure cloud-cover distribution.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev warned for the first time that the U.S.S.R. would sign a separate peace agreement with East Germany if the Western powers failed to accept Soviet proposals for a conference to draw up an all-German peace treaty.

Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba warned France to take steps toward "recognition of nationalist aspirations" in Algeria or face liquidation of the Bizerte naval base, the last French military installation in Tunisia.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry announced that Indonesia would pay compensation for nationalized Dutch enterprises only after settlement of the West Irian dispute and other Dutch-Indonesian problems.

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations Executive Council called for a federal minimum wage of $1.25 per hour.

A plane carrying Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes from Gatwick Airport crashed on its way to London Airport, killing 12 of 22 people aboard. Mr. Menderes, who was on his way to London for talks on Cyprus with U.K. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Greek Prime Minister Constantin Karamanlis, survived. At about the time of the accident, the plane carrying Mr. Karamanlis landed safely at Gatwick Airport. The conference scheduled for the next day was cancelled.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Blue Light Yokohama--Ayumi Ishida (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Eloise--Barry Ryan (5th week at #1)

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 Worst that Could Happen--Brooklyn Bridge
2 Everyday People--Sly & the Family Stone
3 Build Me Up Buttercup--The Foundations
4 Touch Me--The Doors
5 Can I Change My Mind--Tyrone Davis
6 You Showed Me--The Turtles
7 This Magic Moment--Jay and the Americans
8 Crimson and Clover--Tommy James and the Shondells
9 Games People Play--Joe South
10 I've Gotta Be Me--Sammy Davis, Jr.

Singles entering the chart were Lovin' Things by the Grassroots (#69); Hot Smoke & Sasafrass by the Bubble Puppy (#70); No Not Much by the Smoke Ring (#71); Tear Drop City by the Monkees (#75); Who's Making Love by Young-Holt Unlimited (#76); Run Away Child, Running Wild by the Temptations (#82); Try a Little Tenderness by Three Dog Night (#83); Am I the Same Girl by Barbara Acklin (#84); It Never Rains on Maple Lane by Five Man Electrical Band (#86); A Lover's Question by Otis Redding (#87); Do Your Thing by Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (#93); I've Got to Have Your Love by Eddie Floyd (#94); Switch it On by Cliff Nobles & Co. (#97); Cloud Nine by Mongo Santamaria (#98); The Letter by the Arbors (#99); and Foolish Fool by Dee Dee Warwick (#100).

U.S. and South Vietnamese forces ended their 24-hour Tet ceasefire. Although the Vietcong had declared a unilateral ceasefire for the period of February 15-22, the Communists initiated 196 incidents during the February 16-17 ceasefire.

A simmering dispute between France and the other five nations of the European Economic Community led the French government to announce that she would stop all participation in the activities of the Western European Union, a consultative body consisting of Great Britain and the six EEC members. France had accused Britain of trying to use the organization as a back door to force entry into the common market. The French action, on the eve of a regular meeting at the EEC's headquarters in London, apparently came after the British had revealed details of a meeting on February 4 between French President Charles de Gaulle and Christopher Soames, British Ambassador to France, to the other five WEU members.

World events
Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan lifted the national state of emergency that had been in place since September 1965.

U.S. Interior Secretary Walter Hickel amended federal oil regulations to make oil companies responsible for pollution caused by their offshore wells, whether or not they were proved responsible. It was the first major government action since the leak began off Santa Barbara, California.

University of Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh warned students that demonstrators would face instant suspension or expulsion.

Economics and finance
Peru signed her first trade agreement with the U.S.S.R., breaking her tradition of economic dependence on the United States.

20 were killed in the collision between a crowded passenger train and a gasoline tanker train near Johannesburg, South Africa.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Rhodesia (Lyons Maid): I Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try)--Leo Sayer (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Mi scappa la pipì, papà--Pippo Franco (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland: Chiquitita--ABBA (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Heart of Glass--Blondie (3rd week at #1)

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 (You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back--Peter Tosh (support vocals: Mick Jagger) (2nd week at #1)
2 Chiquitita--ABBA
3 Le Freak--Chic
4 You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)--Meat Loaf
5 Y.M.C.A.--Village People
6 'k Heb Hele Grote Bloemkoole--André Van Duin (als Meneer De Bok)
7 Now that We Found Love--Third World
8 How You Gonna See Me Now--Alice Cooper
9 I Love the Night Life (Disco Round)--Alicia Bridges
10 Every Time I Think of You--The Babys

Singles entering the chart were Fire! by the Pointer Sisters (#18); Heart of Glass by Blondie (#21); Lay Your Love on Me by Racey (#30); Don't Stop Me Now by Queen (#33); and A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On by Renée (#36).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?--Rod Stewart (2nd week at #1)
2 Y.M.C.A.--Village People
3 A Little More Love--Olivia Newton-John
4 Fire--Pointer Sisters
5 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
6 Every 1's a Winner--Hot Chocolate
7 Le Freak--Chic
8 Lotta Love--Nicolette Larson
9 Somewhere in the Night--Barry Manilow
10 I was Made for Dancin'--Leif Garrett

Singles entering the chart were Sinner Man by Sarah Dash (#81); Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) by the Jacksons (#82); Heart of Glass by Blondie (#84); Keep on Dancin' by Gary's Gang (#85); Wheels of Life by Gino Vannelli (#86); Don't Stop Me Now by Queen (#87); The Man with the Child in his Eyes by Kate Bush (#88); Souvenirs by Voyage (#89); and I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get it Girl) by Instant Funk (#90).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?--Rod Stewart (3rd week at #1)
2 Fire--Pointer Sisters
3 Le Freak--Chic
4 A Little More Love--Olivia Newton-John
5 I Will Survive--Gloria Gaynor
6 Y.M.C.A.--Village People
7 Too Much Heaven--Bee Gees
8 Lotta Love--Nicolette Larson
9 Soul Man--Blues Brothers
10 Shake It--Ian Matthews

Singles entering the chart were Just One Look by Linda Ronstadt (#81); Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) by the Jacksons (#84); Watch Out for Lucy by Eric Clapton and his Band (#85); It Hurts So Bad by Kim Carnes (#86); Keep on Dancin' by Gary's Gang (#87); I'm Not Gonna Cry Anymore by Nancy Brooks (#95); and Souvenirs by Voyage (#99).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Too Much Heaven--Bee Gees (3rd week at #1)
2 Y.M.C.A.--Village People
3 My Life--Billy Joel
4 A Little More Love--Olivia Newton-John
5 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?--Rod Stewart
6 Le Freak--Chic
7 Every 1's a Winner--Hot Chocolate
8 Lotta Love--Nicolette Larson
9 Fire--Pointer Sisters
10 Shake It--Ian Matthews

Singles entering the chart were Tragedy by the Bee Gees (#85); No Time to Cry by Christopher Ward (#86); Dog + Butterfly by Heart (#81); All the Time in the World by Dr. Hook (#93); Big Shot by Billy Joel (#94); You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester (#95); For You and I by 10cc (#96); Wheels of Life by Gino Vannelli (#97); Run Home Girl by Sad Cafe (#99); and Whispering Rain by Murray McLauchlan (#100).

Died on this date
Opal Morrow, 84
. U.S.-born Canadian woman. Mrs. Morrow, a native of Virginia, was the paternal grandmother of this blogger, and is still missed.

William Gargan, 73. U.S. actor. Mr. Gargan was a character actor in numerous films, often playing stereotypical Irish characters, and receiving an Academy Award nomination for his supporting performance in They Knew What They Wanted (1940). He played the title role in the radio and television series Martin Kane, Private Eye (1949-1951) and the subsequent The New Adventures of Martin Kane (1957-1958), and played the title character in the radio series Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator (1951-1955). Mr. Gargan developed throat cancer in 1958 and had his larynx removed in 1960; he learned to speak through an artificial voice box, and warned against the dangers of smoking as a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. Mr. Gargan died aboard a plane flying from New York to San Diego.

The Sino-Vietnamese War began, as Chinese forces invaded Vietnam in response to what the Chinese government called "incessant encroachments" on its territory. In the United Nations General Assembly, Vietnam accused China of aggression, and asked the UN to take steps to force China's withdrawal.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): First Time--Robin Beck (6th week at #1)

Died on this date
Lefty Gomez, 80
. U.S. baseball pitcher. Born Vernon Gomez, "Lefty" pitched with the New York Yankees (1930-1942) and Washington Nationals (1943), compiling a record of 189-102 in 368 games, for an outstanding winning percentage of .649. He led the American League in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts in both 1934 and 1937. Mr. Gomez was a member of 6 World Series championship teams, and was 6-0 in World Series competition. He was the winning pitcher in the first All-Star Game in 1933 and drove in the winning run. Mr. Gomez was a popular speaker after his playing days were over, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Three days after Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa--a legal judgment--against British author Salman Rushdie because his novel The Satanic Verses (1988) was considered disrespectful toward the prophet Muhammad, the Canadian government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney temporarily blocked importation of the novel into Canada.

Economics and finance
The United States Commerce Department reported that the U.S. merchandise trade deficit had declined from $170.32 billion in 1987 to $137.34 billion, the first drop in eight years.

Washington 8 @ Edmonton 2

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Right in the Night--Jam & Spoon (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Randy Shilts, 42
. U.S. journalist. Mr. Shilts was a sodomite activist who was a freelance reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle and the sodomite publication The Advocate. He was best known for his book And the Band Played On (1987), about the early years of the AIDS plague in the United States. Mr. Shilts died of AIDS.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin announced in Bosnia that Serbs in Bosnia had agreed to withdraw in exchange for the deployment of 800 Russian peacekeeping troops.

Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, U.S. Treasurer from 1989-1993, pled guilty to obstructing the investigation of influence peddling in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the 1980s. Ms. Villalpando, the 12th person to be convicted or plead guilty in connection with the HUD scandal, also pled guilty to income tax evasion.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that consumer prices had held steady in January. The Commerce Department reported that he U.S. merchandise trade deficit in 1993 was $115.78 billion, the highest in five years.

10 years ago

Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos said that he wanted United Nations peacekeepers to leave his country, as fighting between Angolan rebels and the government continued.

Ernest Wamba dia Wamba, leader of the rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), said that he was resuming the offensive against the government of President Laurence Kabila. Mr. Wamba complained that Mr. Kabila had not negotiated directly with the rebels. It was reported that the rebels, supported by troops from neighbouring Rwanda, would seek to gain control of the diamond-rich province that provided the government's main source of income.

The United States ordered 51 more planes to Europe for use in possible air strikes on the Serbian province of Kosovo.

World events
Israeli troops killed four Kurds when Kurdish protesters stormed the Israeli consulate in Berlin. The protesters suspected Israel of complicity in the arrest in Turkey two days earlier of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a major group fighting for Kurdish independence.

Toronto 3 Buffalo 2 (OT)

10 years ago

Died on this date
Conchita Cintrón, 86
. Chilean-born Peruvian bullfighter. Miss Cintrón moved to Lima with her parents at the age of 3. She became perhaps the most famous torera (female bullfighter) in history, fighting in various countries and recording 750 kills in a career from 1936-1950. Miss Cintrón and her husband eventually settled in Portugal, where she served as a newspaper correspondent and dog breeder, helping to popularize the Portuguese Water Dog. Miss Cintrón died of cardiac arrest.

Economics and finance
U.S. President Barack Obama signed a $757-billion economic stimulus package into law.

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