Sunday, 16 December 2018

December 16, 2018

420 years ago

Naval forces of China and Korea decisively defeated Japanese navies in the Battle of Noryang, the final battle of the Seven-Year War.

180 years ago

Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers defeated Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in the Battle of Blood River in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

175 years ago

The discovery of octonions was announced by John T. Graves, who denoted them with a boldface O, in a letter to his mathematician friend William Hamilton, discoverer of quaternions.

140 years ago

Track and field
British pedestrian Ada Anderson, holder of numerous walking records in the United Kingdom, made her American debut at Mozart Garden in Brooklyn, beginning an attempt to cover 2,700 quarter-miles in 2,700 quarter-hours. She completed the accomplishment of her objective on January 13, 1879.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Aleksandar I
. King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia, 1921-1934. Aleksandar I, the grandson of Prince Aleksandar of Serbia, became heir to the Serbian throne when his older brother George renounced his claim in 1909. Aleksandar became prince regent in 1914, and prince regent of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes when they united on December 1, 1918. He acceded to the throne upon the death of his father King Peter I. On October 9, 1934, King Aleksandar I, 45, was on a state visit to France; he and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou were riding through the streets of Marseilles when they were fatally shot by a Bulgarian revolutionary named Velicko Kerin. The assassination was planned in Rome by Ante Pavelić, head of the Croatian Ustaše. Aleksandar I was succeeded on the throne by his son Peter II.

125 years ago

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World", received its premiere performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Anton Seidl, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

100 years ago

Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declared the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, a puppet state created by Soviet Russia to justify the Lithuanian–Soviet War. The L.S.S.R. was dissolved in 1919.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Elinor Wylie, 43
. U.S. writer. Mrs. Wylie, born Elinor Hoyt, was the daughter of U.S. Solicitor General Henry Hoyt. She admired British Romantic poets, and had several books of poetry published in the 1920s, as well as four novels. Mrs. Wylie had a scandalous private life, which included three marriages. She suffered from high blood pressure, which led to a fatal stroke.

Track and field
Frank Titterton won the 10-mile run at the U.S. Amateur Athletic Union National Championship in New York City in a time of 55 minutes 49 4/5 seconds.

80 years ago

Fuehrer Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honour of the German Mother as an order of merit for German mothers.

75 years ago

Politics and government
Iranian Prime Minister Ali Soheily announced the formation of a new government "adapted to new conditions" prevailing after the recent Tehran Conference of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and U.S.S.R. dictator Josef Stalin.

73 people were killed and more than 100 injured when the Atlantic Coast Line's southbound Tamiami West Coast Champion was derailed near Buei, North Carolina, throwing wreckage across parallel tracks used by northbound trains into which the Tamiami East Coast Champion crashed a half-hour later.

70 years ago

Died on this date
Stratman Armistead
. U.S. soldier and criminal. Private Armistead was hanged by the U.S. Army in Nakano, Tokyo for killing four Japanese people the previous October. He became the first member of the Allied occupation force to be executed for a crime in Japan.

Walter Kaufmann conducted the first performance of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, at the Winnipeg Auditorium.

World events
French authorities destroyed two Soviet radio towers in the French sector of Berlin, claiming they endangered airlift operations.

The Royal Canadian Air Force Survival Training School was founded at Fort Nelson, British Columbia and Cambridge Bay, Northwest Territories.

A 14-member bipartisan committee headed by Ferdinand Eberstadt, part of the Hoover Commission on Reorganization of the Executive Branch, issued a report on the U.S.A.'s military establishment, criticizing the armed forces for inefficiency and overlapping functions. Among the report's recommendations were greater military cost-consciousness; closer coordination between scientific research and strategic planning; an end to interservice rivalries; and greater concentration on methods of "unconventional" warfare such as chemical and biological weapons.

Politics and government
The Swiss Federal Assembly elected Finance Minister Ernst Nobs as President of the Swiss Federation for 1949, becoming the first socialist to hold the office.

U.S. and French military officials in Frankfurt deadlocked on negotiations on an occupation statute for West Germany, with American representatives favouring delegation of most economic controls to the new West German government. The problem was referred to the U.S., U.K., and French governments.

Former U.S. State Department employee Alger Hiss pled not guilty in a U.S. federal court in New York to perjury charges, and was freed on $5,000 bail.

The U.S. Justice Department filed charges in Cleveland against U.S. Rubber Company, Consolidated Rubber, Dunlop, and 13 foreign firms for allegedly operating an international rubber cartel.

60 years ago

On the radio
De tre studentene (The Three Students), starring Knut M. Hansson as Sherlock Holmes and Willie Hoel as Dr. Watson, on Norsk Rikskringkasting (Norwegian State Broadcasting Corporation)

This appears to have been the first Norwegian radio broadcast of a Sherlock Holmes story.

Baghdad radio reported that the Iraq-Iran border had been closed and all communications severed between the two countries.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ministerial Council pledged its support for the maintenance of American, British, and French troops in West Berlin, and expressed readiness to open East-West negotiations on Berlin, German reunification, disarmament, and European security.

U.S. Air Force engineers successfully fired a Thor missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California along a new Pacific missile testing range.

Politics and government
The territorial assemblies of French Polynesia and St. Pierre and Miquelon voted to retain their statuses as territories within the new French Union.

Abdallah Ibrahim, a member of the Istiqlal Party's left wing, was designated as the new Prime Minister of Morocco.

Alabama Circuit Court Judge George Wallace, filing a motion to vacate subpoenas compelling him to produce voter registration records, said that the U.S. Civil Rights Commission had no authority to order him to appear or produce records "on a purely local matter."

84 people perished in a fire in a department store crowded with Christmas shoppers in Bogota.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Ima wa Shiawasekai--Mitsuo Sagawa

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Those were the Days--Mary Hopkin (2nd week at #1)

Canada's Top 10 (RPM)
1 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
2 Chewy Chewy--Ohio Express
3 Stormy--Classics IV
4 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
5 For Once in My Life--Stevie Wonder
6 Shame, Shame--Magic Lanterns
7 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion
8 Promises, Promises--Dionne Warwick
9 I Love How You Love Me--Bobby Vinton
10 Both Sides Now--Judy Collins

Singles entering the chart were I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees (#60); You Got Soul by Johnny Nash (#66); Malinda by Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers (#70); (There's Gonna Be A) Showdown by Archie Bell & the Drells (#71); A Minute of Your Time by Tom Jones (#76); Electric Stories by the 4 Seasons (#82); Build Me Up Buttercup by the Foundations (#83); My Favorite Things by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (#85); Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells (#87); Are You Happy by Jerry Butler (#89); She's a Lady by John Sebastian (#91); Lily the Pink by the Scaffold (#94); The Beginning of My End by the Unifics (#97); Ticket to Ride by Pierre Lalonde (#98); and Tragedy by Brian Hyland (#100).

On television tonight
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock, on BBC 1
Tonight's episode: The Sign of Four

Spain officially revoked the Alhambra Decree--the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain, which had been issued in 1492. The declaration of revocation was read at the opening of a new synagogue, the first to be built in Spain in 600 years.

King Rama IX of Thailand and King Savang Vatthana of Laos met in a red-carpeted raft in the middle of the Meking River to jointly inaugurate the power line between the Ubol Ratana Dam in northern Thailand and the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (Hit Parade Italia): Una donna per amico--Lucio Battisti (9th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland: Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M. (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M. (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): You Don't Bring Me Flowers--Barbra & Neil (2nd week at #1)

Netherlands Top 10 (De Nederlandse Top 40)
1 Trojan Horse--Luv'
2 Paradise by the Dashboard Light--Meat Loaf
3 Get Off--Foxy
4 Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M.
5 Dreadlock Holiday--10 cc
6 Sandy--John Travolta
7 Felicidad--BZN
8 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?--Rod Stewart
9 Giving Up, Giving In--The Three Degrees
10 Y.M.C.A.--Village People

Singles entering the chart were Please Come Home for Christmas by the Eagles (#21); Blame it on the Boogie by the Jacksons (#26); Baby it's You by the Promises (#30); Le Freak by Chic (#31); Een Teken Van Leven by Corry (#37); and Riu Riu by Chorale (#39).

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Le Freak--Chic
2 I Just Wanna Stop--Gino Vannelli
3 You Don't Bring Me Flowers--Barbra & Neil
4 Sharing the Night Together--Dr. Hook
5 Too Much Heaven--Bee Gees
6 I Love the Night Life (Disco 'round)--Alicia Bridges
7 My Life--Billy Joel
8 (Our Love) Don't Throw it All Away--Andy Gibb
9 MacArthur Park--Donna Summer
10 Hold the Line--Toto

Singles entering the chart were Somewhere in the Night by Barry Manilow (#64); Baby I'm Burnin' by Dolly Parton (#83); Shattered by the Rolling Stones (#86); I Don't Wanna Lose You by Daryl Hall and John Oates (#87); Animal House by Stephen Bishop (#90); You Stepped Into My Life by Melba Moore (#95); Who Do Ya Love by K.C. and the Sunshine Band (#96); Dancin' Shoes by the Faith Band (#97); Good Lovin' by the Grateful Dead (#98); What You Won't Do for Love by Bobby Caldwell (#99); and This Moment in Time by Engelbert Humperdinck (#100).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 You Don't Bring Me Flowers--Barbra & Neil (2nd week at #1)
2 How Much I Feel--Ambrosia
3 I Just Wanna Stop--Gino Vannelli
4 Sharing the Night Together--Dr. Hook
5 MacArthur Park--Donna Summer
6 I Love the Night Life (Disco 'round)--Alicia Bridges
7 Ready to Take a Chance Again--Barry Manilow
8 Y.M.C.A.--Village People
9 Whenever I Call You "Friend"--Kenny Loggins
10 Don't Want to Live Without It--Pablo Cruise

Singles entering the chart were Never the Same by Chilliwack (#87); Light the Sky on Fire by Jefferson Starship (#89); You've Really Got a Hold on Me by Eddie Money (#90); Shake It by Ian Matthews (#92); Lotta Love by Nicolette Larson (#93); I Believe You by the Carpenters (#95); You Need a Woman Tonight by Captain and Tennille (#96); Hold Me, Touch Me by Paul Stanley (#98); and Every 1's a Winner by Hot Chocolate (#100).

Economics and finance
Cleveland became the first major American city since the Great Depression to default on its financial obligations when it defaulted on $14 million in debts. Another $1.5 million in notes held by the city treasury were extended, but the six area banks to which were owed the rest of the money were weighing court action. The city, which had a $52-million deficit overall in bond fund accounts, was planning a referendum for February 1979 which would ask for a city income tax increase and a decision whether the city should sell the municipal light plant.

Los Angeles 2 @ Montreal 5
Detroit 2 @ Toronto 4

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Don't Worry Be Happy--Bobby McFerrin (7th week at #1)

At the movies
Rain Man, directed by Barry Levinson, and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, opened in theatres.

Politics and government
U.S. Vice President and President-elect George Bush announced former U.S. Senator John Tower as his nominee for Secretary of Defense in his forthcoming administration. Mr. Bush said he was "totally satisfied" with the results of a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check on Mr. Tower concerning rumours about his personal life.

U.S. diplomat Robert Pelletreau, Jr. met in Tunisia with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Such contact had been banned since 1975 as an agreement with Israel, but U.S. President Ronald Reagan had lifted the ban on December 14, 1988 after PLO leader Yasser Arafat had condemned terrorism and called for peace in the Middle East.

Perennial U.S. presidential candidate and conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche was convicted by a U.S. federal jury in Virginia of conspiracy and mail fraud. Mr. LaRouche and six associates were found guilty on charges relating to $30 million in loans solicited by their organization.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that prices charged by producers of finished goods had risen 0.3% in November.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Maximum Overdrive--2 Unlimited (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Kakuei Tanaka, 75
. Prime Minister of Japan, 1972-1974. Mr. Tanaka, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, sat in the House of Representatives from 1947-1990 and held several cabinet posts before serving as Prime Minister. He had a history of taking bribes, and was convicted in two lower court trials in connection with bribes offered by Lockheed Corporation in 1976. Mr. Tanaka's case was before the Supreme Court at the time of his death.

Moses Gunn, 64. U.S. actor. Mr. Gunn was an acclaimed stage actor who won two Obie Awards. He played Booker T. Washington in the movie Ragtime (1981), and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in the television mini-series Roots (1977). Mr. Gunn died of asthma complications.

Politics and government
U.S. President Bill Clinton announced that Admiral Bobby Ray Inman (retired), who had a broad background in U.S. intelligence services, would be his nominee to succeed Les Aspin as U.S. Defense Secretary. Mr. Aspin had announced the previous day that he would be resigning, effective January 1994.

U.S. Senator Bob Packwood (Republican--Oregon) surrendered his diaries to Federal District Court Judge Thomas Jackson in Washington, D.C., after Judge Jackson had ordered him to turn them over. Judge Jackson would determine whether Sen. Packwood would have to give the diaries to the Senate Ethics Committee, which was investigating allegations of sexual harassment against him. In a deposition, a secretary for Sen. Packwood stated that the senator had altered some of the diary tapes.

Economics and finance
The United States Commerce Department reported that the merchandise trade deficit was $10.46 billion in October.

20 years ago

At the movies
The Prince of Egypt, an animated musical film directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells, received its premiere screening at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles.

The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour returned from the International Space Station and landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida to conclude mission STS-88, with a six-member crew commanded by Robet Cabana.

U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered a sustained series of air strikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of United Nations weapons inspectors.

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky began her testimony before a U.S. congressional hearing about her affair with President Bill Clinton. Conveniently, Mr. Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq the same day, thereby preventing Ms. Lewinsky's testimony from becoming the day's lead news item.

10 years ago

The Newfoundland and Labrador government seized the hydro assets and resources of AbitibiBowater Inc., after the company announced the closure of its money-losing Grand Falls-Windsor newsprint mill.

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