Saturday, 15 December 2018

December 15, 2018

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Rahim Jaffer!

240 years ago

British and French fleets clashed in the Battle of St. Lucia in the West Indies.

230 years ago

Politics and government
Voting began in the first U.S. presidential election.

175 years ago

Born on this date
A.B. Simpson
. Canadian evangelist and hymnist. Albert Benjamin Simpson, a native of Bayview, Prince Edward Island, was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Canada, but eventually went out on his own as an evangelist, and founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Nyack, New York in 1887. Rev. Simpson emphasized the "fourfold gospel" of "Jesus our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King." His views had an influence on Pentecostalism. Rev. Simpson also wrote the lyrics to over 120 hymns. He died on October 29, 1919 at the age of 76.

160 years ago

The Nova Scotia Railway opened from Halifax to Truro, covering a distance of about 95 miles.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Maxwell Anderson
. U.S. journalist and playwright. Mr. Anderson worked with various newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a playwright, with his first success being What Price Glory? (1924). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Both Your Houses (1933). Mr. Anderson's other plays included Winterset (1935); High Tor (1937); Key Largo (1939); Anne of the Thousand Days (1948); and The Bad Seed (1954). He died at the age of 70 on February 28, 1959, two days after suffering a stroke.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Jeff Chandler
. U.S. actor. Mr. Chandler, born Ira Grossel, was known for his gray hair and handsome features. He starred in The Adventures of Michael Shayne and played Mr. Boynton in the comedy series Our Miss Brooks (1948-1952) on radio, but was better known for movie roles. Mr. Chandler was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting performance as Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950), and played Cochise again in The Battle at Apache Pass (1952). He injured his back while playing baseball during a break in filming Merrill's Marauders (1962), and later underwent surgery for a spinal disc herniation. Severe hemorrhaging resulted in death at the age of 42 on June 17, 1961 from a blood infection and pneumonia; an investigation ruled that Mr. Chandler's death was the result of malpractice.

80 years ago

Ground was broken for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Fats Waller, 39
. U.S. musician. Thomas Wright Waller was a jazz pianist, organist, singer, and songwriter who became famous for such songs as Ain't Misbehavin'; Honeysuckle Rose; and Your Feet's Too Big. He died of pneumonia aboard the Super Chief train near Kansas City while returning to New York from Los Angeles, where he had filmed the movie Stormy Weather (1943) earlier in the year.

U.S.S.R. troops dislodged German forces from several settlements south of Malin and northwest of Radomysi in the Kiev bulge. The Soviet Red Army established control of a 250-mile stretch of the west bank of the Dnieper River in Ukraine from Nikopol north to Cherkassy. American and Australian forces began the Battle of Arawe as a diversion before a larger landing at Cape Gloucester on New Britain. U.S. and Chinese fliers completed three days of attacks on Kungan, Wuchang, Lichow, Shasi, Yochow, Owchihkow, and Shishow in central China.

A U.S. military mission visited Saudi Arabia upon the invitation of King Ibn Saud.

Economics and finance
Argentina and Paraguay signed a trade treaty giving Paraguay free port facilities at Buenos Aires and setting up a commission to study a possible customs union.

The U.S. War Production Board announced that U.S. war expenditures in November were $7.794 billion, the highest to date, bringing the total since July 1940 to $146 billion.

Sir Alexander Korda announced that he would head a new motion picture production firm to be called Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-London Films Ltd., and would undertake a 10-year, $140-million program.

Leaders of the five U.S. railway unions of operating employees announced that a nationwide strike had been called for December 30 to enforce demands for a 30% wage increase.

70 years ago

Israel broke off local truce talks with her Arab neighbours, demanding negotiations for a comprehensive Palestine peace settlement.

The U.S.S.R. cast its 29th United Nations Security Council veto to prevent Ceylon's admission to the UN.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal introduced a number of efficiency measures in the armed forces, including consolidation of all military sea transport under the Navy and common use of recruiting facilities by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The U.S. Defense Department announced an agreement by the U.S.S.R. to return 28 frigates and 3 icebreakers borrowed under Lend-Lease during World War II.

Politics and government
Poland's Socialist and Communist Parties merged into a United Workers Party.

A U.S. federal grand jury in New York indicted former U.S. State Department employee Alger Hiss on two counts of perjury, charging that he had lied in swearing that he had never given State Department documents to Whittaker Chambers, and had not seen Mr. Chambers after entering State Department service in 1946.

The first known chain reacting uranium pile in a non-English-speaking nation began operation at Fort Chatillon, near Paris.

Economics and finance
The U.S.S.R. and C.S.S.R. announced a $360-million trade agreement for 1949, increasing trade between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia by 45%.

U.S. Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray asked the CIO Amalgamated Clothing Workers union to take responsibility for organizing the field controlled by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, due to factionalism in the latter organization.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): To Know Him, is to Love Him--The Teddy Bears (3rd week at #1)

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKWX)
1 The Chipmunk Song--The Chipmunks with David Seville
2 I Got Stung/One Night--Elvis Presley
3 Queen of the Hop--Bobby Darin
4 To Know Him is to Love Him--The Teddy Bears
5 I Got a Feeling/Lonesome Town--Ricky Nelson
6 Problems/Love of My Life--The Everly Brothers
7 Tom Dooley--The Kingston Trio
8 Treasure of Your Love--Eileen Rodgers
9 Bimbombey--Jimmie Rodgers
10 Gotta Travel On--Billy Grammer

Singles entering the chart were Peek-a-Boo by the Cadillacs (#40); Manhattan Spiritual by Reg Owen and Orchestra (#43); Don't Pity Me by Dion and the Belmonts (#53); Dónde Está Santa Claus? by Augie Rios (#56); Stagger Lee by Lloyd Price (#58); I Cried a Tear by LaVern Baker (#59); and Lucky Ladybug by Billy and Lillie (#60).

Died on this date
Wolfgang Pauli, 58
. Austro-Hungarian-born Swiss physicist. Dr. Pauli was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli principle." The discovery involved spin theory, which is the basis of a theory of the structure of matter. Dr. Pauli also gave his name to the "Pauli effect," due to anecdotes about his ability to break experimental equipment just by being in its vicinity. He was a friend of the biggest figures in physics, including Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg, and was known for expressing his ideas in correspondence rather than in published papers. Dr. Pauli died of pancreatic cancer.

A mob in Baghdad hurled mud, eggs, and stones at U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Rountree as he arrived for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Karim el-Kassem and leaders of the Iraqi military coup.

Economics and finance
The Organization for European Economic Cooperation, meeting in Paris, failed to resolve differences between Common Market members and non-member states on the creation of a 17-nation European free trade zone.

U.S. farmers voted to retain strict marketing quotas on cotton, rice, and tobacco.

Pascual Perez (51-0-1) retained his world flyweight title with a 15-round unanimous decision over Dommy Ursua (19-16-1) at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

50 years ago

Hit Parade
#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Little Arrows--Leapy Lee (5th week at #1)

Died on this date
Jess Willard, 86
. U.S. boxer. Mr. Willard, nicknamed the Pottawatomie Giant, stood 6' 6 1⁄2" and didn't start boxing professionally until he was 29. He knocked out Jack Johnson in the 26th round in Havana on April 5, 1915 to win the world heavyweight title, thereby accomplishing what a host of "White Hopes" had failed to achieve since Mr. Johnson had won the title more than six years earlier. Mr. Willard fought just one title bout after that (a 10-round newspaper decision over Frank Moran in 1916) before being knocked out in 3 rounds by Jack Dempsey in Toledo, Ohio on July 4, 1919. Mr. Willard came out of retirement for two fights in 1923, and then retired permanently after compiling a professional record of 25-7-2. He died two week before his 87th birthday.

Antonio Barrette, 69. Canadian politician and diplomat. Mr. Barrette, a member of the Union Nationale, represented Joliette in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1936-1960, and served as Minister of Labour in the governments of Premiers Maurice Duplessis and Paul Sauvé from 1944-1960. On January 8, 1960, six days after the sudden death in office of Mr. Sauvé, Mr. Barrette succeeded him as Premier of Quebec, holding the office until the UN were defeated by the Liberals, led by Jean Lesage, in the provincial election six months later. Mr. Barrette resigned from politics on September 15, 1960; he served as Canadian Ambassador to Greece from 1963-1966.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, speaking on a television program, blamed South Vietnam for the impasse in the procedural peace talks in Paris, saying that the United States delegation had expressed its willingness to "sit down at any kind of table."

Nino Benvenuti (78-2-1) retained his world middleweight title with a 15-round unanimous decision over Don Fullmer (47-14-3) at Teatro Ariston in San Remo, Italy.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): You're the One that I Want--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (9th week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Summer Nights--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in France (IFOP): You're the One that I Want--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (14th week at #1)

Died on this date
Chill Wills, 76
. U.S. actor. Mr. Wills portrayed the voice of Francis the Talking Mule in seven movies from 1950-1956, and was a character actor in numerous other movies. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting performance in The Alamo (1960), but his aggressive campaign for the award turned off many people, and hurt his career. Mr. Wills died of cancer.

The Telesat Canada television satellite Anik B1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In a nationally-televised speech, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States and the People's Republic of China would establish diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979. He said that Chinese Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping would visit the United States in January as part of the agreement, which was worked out after months of secret negotiations, and was based in large part on the 1972 Shanghai Communique drawn up during President Richard Nixon's visit to China. The agreement also called for the United States to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan on January 1, 1979 and end its 1954 defense treaty with Taiwan by December 31, 1979.

After five days of shuttling between Egypt and Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance was recalled by President Jimmy Carter, with Egypt and Israel still deadlocked on some points of their peace process. Egypt favoured a revision of Article VI of the proposed treaty, which gave the Camp David Accord precedence over any other treaty, because Egypt wanted to be able to honour her mutual defense commitments. Israel opposed the definite setting of a definite date for Gaza Strip and West Bank elections. Mr. Carter expressed dismay at the impasse, warning that further delay could have "far-reaching, adverse effects."

The Edmonton Oilers defeated an all-star team from the U.S.S.R. 5-3 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton in a game that counted in the World Hockey Association standings.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Smooth Criminal--Michael Jackson

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): Bring Me Edelweiss--Edelweiss (5th week at #1)

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down sections of Quebec's Bill 101 requiring that commercial signs be in French only, calling the law an unreasonable violation of freedom of expression.

Former Montreal Canadiens' head coach Jean Perron was named head coach of the Quebec Nordiques. He replaced Ron Lapointe, who had been fired after the team had started the 1988-89 season with a record of 11-20-2.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)--Meat Loaf (6th week at #1)

In London, British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds signed the Joint Declaration for Peace after two years of negotiation to end 15 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

U.S. Vice President Al Gore, during a visit to Moscow, criticized the views of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, which had won 23% of the party preference vote in the December 12 elections for the State Duma. Mr. Gore called Mr. Zhirinovsky's views, including advocacy of the use of nuclear weapons and restoration of the historical boundaries of Russia stretching from Finland to Alaska, "reprehensible and anathema to all freedom-loving people."

Politics and government
Jean Charest became interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, following the resignation of former Prime Minister Kim Campbell. The PCs had been reduced to 2 seats in the House of Commons from 156 in the October 25 federal election, with Mr. Charest retaining his seat in the Quebec riding of Sherbrooke.

Les Aspin announced that he would resign as U.S. Secretary of Defense, effective in January. He had been criticized for declining to reinforce U.S. troops in Somalia just before a bloody clash in which 18 U.S. Army Rangers had been killed. Mr. Aspin had lifted restrictions on women flying combat missions, and he had struggled to reach a compromise under which sodomites could serve in uniform.

Economics and finance
Peter Sutherland, director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), declared that the Uruguay Round of global trade talks had been completed. Seven years of negotiations among GATT's 117 members had resulted in an agreement providing for sweeping reductions in tariffs on a wide range of goods and services, effective July 1995. Under the new agreement, tariffs on most industrial imports were reduced by at least one third, and many were eliminated altogether. Intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights, was protected. Quotas and limitations on imports of textiles and apparel would be phased out over a decade. Subsidies and import quotas on agricultural products would be cut substantially within six years. GATT would have greater authority to resolve disputes over dumping.

A man shot and killed four employees and wounded another at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in Aurora, Colorado. The man had been fired by the restaurant.

In Montreal, synchronized swimmer Sylvie Fréchette finally received her gold medal from the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona that had been awarded to Kristen Babb-Sprague of the United States because of a judge's error.

20 years ago

Kay Stephenson's resignation as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos became effective.

10 years ago

Died on this date
León Febres-Cordero Ribadeneyra, 77
. 46th President of Ecuador, 1984-1988. Mr. Febres-Cordero, a member of the Social Christian Party, was an ally of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and sought to introduce market-oriented economic reforms while cracking down on the left-wing guerrilla organization ¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo!. He was accused of torture and illegal killings, and survived an 11-hour kidnapping in 1987. Mr. Febres-Cordero served two terms as Mayor of Guayaquil from 1992-2000, and was considered to be more successful in this position. He represented Guayas in Congress from 2003-2007, but was forced to retire for health reasons shortly after beginning his second term. Mr. Febres-Cordero was a smoker, and died of lung cancer and emphysema.

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