Thursday, 20 December 2018

December 20, 2018

210 years ago

The Second Siege of Zaragoza by French forces began in Spain.

The original Covent Garden Theatre in London was destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Harvey Firestone
. U.S. industrialist. Mr. Firestone founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in 1900. He was part of a social circle called the "Millionaires' Club," which included Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Mr. Firestone died of a heart attack on February 7, 1938 at the age of 69.

130 years ago

Born on this date
Fred Merkle
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Merkle was a first baseman with the New York Giants (1907-1916); Brooklyn Robins (1916-1917); Chicago Cubs (1917-1920); and New York Yankees (1925-1926), batting .273 with 82 home runs and 733 runs batted in in 1,638 games. Mr. Merkle played with National League pennant-winning teams in 1911-1913, 1916, and 1918, but is best known for "Merkle's boner," a baserunning mistake on September 23, 1908 that helped cost the Giants the pennant. With the Cubs and Giants separated by only percentage points in the Nationl League pennant race and tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning before 20,000 fans at the Polo Grounds in New York, Moose McCormick was at third base and Mr. Merkle at first base, with Al Bridwell at bat. Mr. Bridwell singled home Mr. McCormick with the apparent winning run. Mr. Merkle, however, took off for the clubhouse before touching second base. Chicago manager Frank Chance, playing first base, ran to second base to get a throw in an attempt to have Mr. Merkle forced out on the play, but New York pitcher Joe McGinnity, coaching at first base, was on the field and interfered with the throw, and many fans had swarmed onto the field, thinking the Giants had won. Umpire Hank O'Day called Mr. Merkle out, but ruled that the game could not be resumed because of the large number of fans on the field. National League President Harry Pulliam upheld Mr. O'Day's decision and ruled that the game would have to be replayed. The Cubs won the replayed game 4-2 on October 8 to win the pennant, finishing 1 game ahead of the Giants. Mr. Merkle played 8 seasons in the minor leagues, including 6 years in the International League with the Rochester Colts/Tribe (1921-1925) and Reading Keystones (1927). He was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame in 1953. Mr. Merkle also played a year of professional football as an end with the Toledo Athletic Association of the Ohio League in 1906. He died on March 2, 1956 at the age of 67.

125 years ago

The Chateau Frontenac hotel in Quebec City officially opened.

Politics and government
The Liberal Party won all four seats in Māori electorates for the House of Representatives in the New Zealand general election. The Liberals had won 51 of 70 seats in voting in general electorates on November 28.

120 years ago

Born on this date
Konstantinos Dovas
. Prime Minister of Greece, 1961. General Dovas served in the Greek Civil War in the late 1940s, and was Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff from 1954-1959. He was Prime Minister in a transitional government from September 20-November 4, 1961. Gen. Dovas died in 1973 at the age of 74.

Irene Dunne. U.S. actress. Miss Dunne was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Cimarron (1931); Theodora Goes Wild (1936); The Awful Truth (1937); Love Affair (1939); and I Remember Mama (1948). She died on September 4, 1990 at the age of 91.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Dennis Morgan
. U.S. actor. Mr. Morgan, born Earl Stanley Morner, was a popular romantic lead in the 1940s, appearing in such movies as Kitty Foyle (1940); The Captains of the Clouds (1942); God is My Co-Pilot (1945); and Christmas in Connecticut (1945). He died on September 7, 1994 at the age of 85.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Jean Marchand
. Canadian politician. Mr. Marchand was a Liberal member of the House of Commons from 1965-1976, and held six different cabinet posts in the governments of Prime Ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. He was appointed to the Senate in 1976, and served as Speaker of the Senate from 1980 until his retirement from politics in 1983. Mr. Marchand died on August 28, 1988 at the age of 69.

Politics and government
The League of Indians of Canada, with Fred Loft as president, was founded on the Six Nations Reserve at Brantford, Ontario.

The Canadian cabinet of Prime Minister Robert Borden, with Order in Council P.C. 3122, authorized the use of the collective title Canadian National Railway Company Limited; the line was incorporated by Parliament on June 6, 1919, and the Grand Trunk Pacific was added to the line-up, giving CN two transcontinental networks.

90 years ago

The first international dog sled mail left Minot, Maine for Montréal.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Matilda Howell, 79
. U.S. archeress. Mrs. Howell won the Ohio state championship in 1881, and competed until 1907. She won gold medals in double national round, double Columbia round, and team round at the Summer Olympic Games in St. Louis in 1904.

75 years ago

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, on MBS
Tonight's episode: The Missing Black Dog

Major-General Christopher Vokes and the 1st Canadian Division were ordered to take the medieval Italian seaport of Ortona as part of the advance of General Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army up the Italian Adriatic coast. The Loyal Edmonton Regiment and Seaforth Highlanders of Canada attacked from the south, since the town was flanked by sea cliffs on the north and east and by a deep ravine to the west. U.S. plans bombd Bremen, while U.K. Royal ir Force aircraft attacked northern France. U.A. troops cleared the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain Island of all Japanese troops.

World events
Major Gualbert Villaroel led a coup to depose Bolivian President Enrique Penaranda.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt summoned the leaders of the railroad brotherhoods to the White House, and urged them to accept the carriers' offer of an additional increase of 4c per hour--a total of 8c per hour, as compared with their demands of raises of $3 per day.

70 years ago

On the radio
The Casebook of Gregory Hood, starring Elliott Lewis, on MBS

Died on this date
Laurence Duggan, 43
. U.S. economist and spy. Mr. Duggan headed the South American desk at the United States Department of State during World War II, where he provided intelligence information to the U.S.S.R. He succeeded his father Stephen as director of the Institute of International Education in 1946, and fell 16 floors to his death from his office window in New York in a likely suicide, 10 days after being questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about whether he had had contacts with Soviet intelligence, and shortly before U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities acting Chairman Karl Mundt revealed testimony linking Mr. Duggan with the alleged Communist spy ring in the State Department. Prominent liberals in the United States regarded Mr. Duggan as an innocent victim of persecution, but evidence revealed in the 1990s from the U.S. Army's Venona project of decrypting Soviet telegrams showed that Mr. Duggan had indeed been a spy for the Soviet Union.

Dutch forces captured Yogyakarta, the temporary capital of Indonesia. The United Nations Security Council voted to consider the Indonesian Republic's appeal for help against Dutch attacks, after UN observers in Java reported that the Netherlands had violated the January 1948 truce agreement. Most UN member states condemned the invasion, and demanded the release of interned Indonesian leaders.

Politics and government
In an attempt to assert his authority over Arab Palestine, King Abdullah of Transjordan appointed Sheikh Hussan Meddin Jarallah as Mufti of Jerusalem, displacing Haj Amin el Husseini.

Chinese Premier Sun Fo announced a new Kuomintang cabinet, indicating that the Nationalist government was willing to negotiate with the Communists, but would continue fighting in order to secure an "honourable peace."

Stern Gang leader Nathan Yellin, on trial before an Israeli military court in Acre, denied any connection with the September 17, 1948 assassination of United Nations mediator Folke Bernadotte.

Researchers at several nuclear laboratories in the United States reported that five scientists were going blind from cataracts as a result of their work with cyclotrons.

Economics and finance
The British government of Prime Minister Clement Attlee issued a White Paper calling for four more years of austerity to increase foreign trade and industrial investment.

Officials of the National Football League and All-America Football Conference met in Philadelphia to discuss a possible merger of their leagues, but failed to reach an agreement.

Members of the U.S. Joint Congressional Labor-Management Relations Committee released a series of proposed amendments to the Taft-Hartley Act, including provisions for injunctions against "national emergency" strikes; tightened restrictions against mass picketing; elimination of the union shop election; and requirements for employers to file affidavits attesting that they were not Communists.

17 deaths resulted from a heavy snowstorm passing through the northeastern United States, which left 19 1/2 inches of snow in New York, the third-largest accumulation of record. The snow had fallen heavily in Philadelphia the previous day, affecting the National Football League championship game at Shibe Park.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Tom Dooley--The Kingston Trio

#1 single in Italy: Io--Domenico Modugno

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): La Paloma--Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra (5th week at #1)

#1 single in France (IFOP): When--The Kalin Twins (15th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Record Mirror): Hoots Mon--Lord Rockingham's XI (4th week at #1)

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 The Chipmunk Song--The Chipmunks with David Seville
2 Tom Dooley--The Kingston Trio
3 To Know Him, is to Love Him--The Teddy Bears
4 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters
5 Beep Beep--The Playmates
6 I Got Stung--Elvis Presley
7 One Night--Elvis Presley
8 Problems--The Everly Brothers
9 Lonesome Town--Ricky Nelson
10 It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty

Singles entering the chart were Donde esta Santa Claus? (Where is Santa Claus?) by Augie Rios (#74); Stagger Lee by Lloyd Price (#79); I Cried a Tear by LaVern Baker (#82); Lucky Ladybug by Billy and Lillie (#83); The Bluebird, The Buzzard and the Oriole by Bobby Day (#87); Teach Me Tonight Cha Cha by the DeCastro Sisters (#89); La Bamba by Ritchie Valens (#93); In a Little Spanish Town Cha Cha by Sy Oliver and his Orchestra (#95); Rocka-Conga by the Applejacks (#96); The One Rose (That’s Left in My Heart) by Teresa Brewer (#98); and Mr. Grillon by the Archibald Players (#100).

The first U.S. Air Force attempt to launch a Titan missile failed when the 90-foot test rocket did not rise from its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Politics and government
The Comoros Islands Territorial Assembly, rejecting independence or autonomy within the French Community, voted to retain its status as a French overseas territory.

Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Averoff disclosed in Paris that the United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey had resumed secret negotiations for a Cyprus settlement on the basis of some form of Cypriot independence.

Economics and finance
Venezuela announced a tax reform program raising from 50%-60% the tax paid by foreign oil companies on their profits.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ): Elenore--The Turtles

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKLG)
1 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
2 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
3 Shame, Shame--Magic Lanterns
4 Son-of-a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
5 The Straight Life--Bobby Goldsboro
6 Both Sides Now--The Johnstons
7 Stormy--Classics IV
8 I Love How You Love Me--Bobby Vinton
9 Till--The Vogues
10 Kentucky Woman--Deep Purple

Singles entering the chart were Soulful Strut by Young-Holt Unlimited (#27); Everyday People by Sly & the Family Stone (#28); Bella Linda by the Grass Roots (#29); and Malinda by Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers (#30).

Edmonton's top 10 (CJCA)
1 Abraham, Martin and John--Dion (2nd week at #1)
2 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
3 Wichita Lineman--Glen Campbell
4 Little Arrows--Leapy Lee
5 Chewy Chewy--Ohio Express
6 Sunday Sun--Neil Diamond
7 Magic Carpet Ride--Steppenwolf
8 Hey Jude/Revolution--The Beatles
9 Son-of-a Preacher Man--Dusty Springfield
10 American Boys--Petula Clark

Died on this date
John Steinbeck, 66
. U.S. author. Mr. Steinbeck wrote novels, short stories, and non-fiction, and was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Fiction "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." His novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940. Mr. Steinbeck's other books included Of Mice and Men (1937); East of Eden (1952); and Travels with Charley (1962).

David Faraday, 17; Bettilou Jensen, 16. U.S. crime victims. Mr. Faraday and Miss Jensen had been sitting in a parked car outside Vallejo, California, near San Francisco. Mr. Faraday was shot in the car, and Miss Jensen was hit by five shots when she tried to flee. The murders were the first to be attributed to the serial killer known as Zodiac, although San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery later traced a 1966 murder to Zodiac. Over the next several years Zodiac taunted the newspapers and police with letters, claiming a constantly increasing body count. Zodiac has never been caught.

Barbara Jane Mackle, 20, was found unharmed three days after being abducted from a motel in Atlanta; she was buried in a coffin-like wooden box 18 inches underground. Her father paid $500,000 ransom, most of which was recovered. Gary Steven Krist was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, while Ruth Eisemann-Schier was also accused.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M. (3rd week at #1)

Politics and government
The new constituent assembly in Namibia (South-West Africa) approved a United Nations plan to set up an independent government in Namibia.

Detroit 7 Vancouver 2
Toronto 4 Minnesota 2
Montreal 5 Chicago 3

30 years ago

The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances governing international cooperation against the illegal drug trade was signed in Vienna.

Politics and government
Three anglophones resigned from the Liberal cabinet of Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa to protest passage of Bill 178, mandating the use of only French on outside signs, but permitting bilingual signs inside.

Economics and finance
The United States Labor Department reported that consumer prices had risen 0.3% in November.

Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored his 600th career goal.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Germany (Media Control): I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)--Meat Loaf (5th week at #1)

The U.S. administration of President Bill Clinton confirmed that files on Mr. Clinton and his wife Hillary's involvement with Whitewater Development Company, a defunct real estate firm in Arkansas, had been removed from the office of White House counsel Vince Foster--who had died, allegedly committing suicide in Fort Marcy Park in Washington, D.C. on July 20, 1993--by White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum before U.S. Park Police investigators could visit Mr. Foster's office. The Clintons and James McDougal, a political supporter, had been co-owners of the Whitewater Development Co., and Mr. McDougal had owned Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, which had failed in 1989. The U.S. Justice Department was investigating whether Mr. McDougal had illegally from Madison to the campaigns of Mr. Clinton, who was then Governor of Arkansas, and of other Arkansas political figures. Mr. Foster was the lawyer who had handled the details when the Clintons had sold their Whitewater holdings to Mr. McDougal.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Irene Hervey, 89
. U.S. actress. Miss Hervey, born Irene Herwick, appeared in plays, films, and television programs in a career spanning more than 40 years. Her movies included Destry Rides Again (1939) and Cactus Flower (1969). Miss Hervey was married to actor Allan Jones from 1936-1957, and was the mother of singer Jack Jones.

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, 84. U.K. physiologist. Dr. Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Andrew Huxley and John Eccles "for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane."

10 years ago

Died on this date
Robert Mulligan, 83
. U.S. film director. Mr. Mulligan directed movies such as Fear Strikes Out (1957); To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); and Summer of '42 (1971). He was the elder brother of actor Richard Mulligan, and died of heart failure.

The governments of Canada and Ontario pledged $4 billion in emergency loans for the Canadian subsidiaries of General Motors and Chrysler, a day after U.S. President George W. Bush offered $17.4-billion in emergency loans for the auto sector, to avoid "a catastrophic" collapse of the two companies.

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