Saturday, 22 December 2018

December 22, 2018

230 years ago

Nguyễn Huệ proclaimed himself Emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam, in effect abolishing on his own the Lê dynasty.

210 years ago

Ludwig van Beethoven conducted and performed a concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The program included the premieres of his Fifth Symphony; Sixth Symphony; Fourth Piano Concerto; and Choral Fantasy, with Mr. Beethoven at the piano.

160 years ago

Born on this date
Giacomo Puccini
. Italian composer. Mr. Puccini was famous for operas such as La bohème (1896); Tosca (1900); and Madama Butterfly (1904). He died on November 29, 1924, 23 days before his 66th birthday.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Jaan Tõnisson
. Prime Minister of Estonia, 1919-1920; State Elder of Estonia, 1927-1928, 1933. Mr. Tõnisson was an Estonian nationalist and a member of various political parties, serving as Prime Minister from November 1919-October 1920, except for a few days in July. He served as State Elder (head of state) from December 1927-December 1928 and May-October 1933, and was Foreign Minister from 1931-1932. Mr. Tõnisson was arrested after the U.S.S.R. occupied Estonia in 1940, and was believed to have been executed in Tallinn in July 1941, when he was 52.

130 years ago

Born on this date
J. Arthur Rank
. U.K. film producer. Joseph Arthur Rank produced films and bought theatres, consolidating his interests in founding the J. Arthur Rank Organisation in 1939. His movies included The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943); Henry V (1944); and The Red Shoes (1948). Baron Rank died on March 29, 1972 at the age of 83.

Politics and government
The Christmas Meeting of 1888, considered to be the official start of the Faroese independence movement, took place in the house of the Løgting in Tórshavn.

100 years ago

Died on this date
Aristeidis Moraitinis, 27
. Greek military aviator. Lieutenant Moraitinis served with the Hellenic Naval Air Service during the Balkan Wars in 1912-1913, and was under the command of the U.K. Royal Naval Air Service during World War I in 1917-1918, recording nine combat victories. He was killed when his plane crashed en route from Thessaloniki to Athens in bad weather.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Beatrix Potter, 77
. U.K. authoress and naturalist. Miss Potter was a respected amateur mycologist, but was best known for her children's books, beginning with The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902). She died of pneumonia and heart disease.

The Canadian First Division surrounded the Italian town of Ortona, cutting off a German retreat. A Soviet offensive below Nevel, White Russia gained new ground, with more than 20 localities being captured. Chinese troops in northern Hunan Province continued to make progress after clearing Japanese forces from both banks of the Lin River. Five convicted German spies were sentenced in Rio de Janeiro to 30 years' imprisonment.

The U.S. National Academy of Arts and Letters announced the addition of members including Roy Harris, Qunicy Porter, Louis Ayres, Isobel Bishop, Jo Davidson, Charles D. Maginnis, and Benjamin W. Morris III.

A U.S. federal court in New York found seven men guilty of extorting one million dollars from the motion picture industry through strike threats.

70 years ago

Died on this date
John Randall Dunn, 70
. U.S. religious leader and journalist. Mr. Dunn was president of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, and later served as editor of the Herald of Christian Science.

Politics and government
Sjafruddin Prawiranegara established the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia (Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia, PDRI) in West Sumatra.

A U.S. Senate Civil Service subcommittee approved a bill increasing the President's annual salary from $75,000 to $100,000, and giving him a larger expense account. The measure also raised the salaries of the Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and cabinet members.

Economics and finance
The U.S. State Department suspended $14.1 million in Marshall Plan aid for the Netherlands because of the Dutch invasion of Indonesia.

Miners, textile workers, maritime, and electrical workers unions in Japan obeyed a U.S. order to end major strikes, in connection with the newly-proclaimed austerity program.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): The Chipmunk Song--The Chipmunks with David Seville

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

Singles entering the chart were I'll Wait for You by Frankie Avalon (#28); I Talk to the Trees (Cha Cha) by Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra (#45); Green Christmas by Stan Freberg (#54); The Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale (#56); Let's Love by Johnny Mathis (#58); (All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings by Paul Anka (#59); and Blue Hawaii by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra (#60).

The U.S. National Board of Review selected The Old Man and the Sea as the best film of 1958.

Politics and government
New Dutch Prime Minister Louis Beel of the Catholic People's Party named a cabinet that marked the end of the Catholic-Socialist coalition that had been dominant in the Netherlands since the end of World War II.

U.S. industrialist Bernard Goldfine was sentenced to three months in jail for failing to comply with a court order that he produce records in a tax investigation.

Reports from Karachi indicated that 33 people had died in a cholera outbreak there.

Economics and finance
The U.S.S.R. and U.A.R. signed an agreement in Cairo providing for Soviet construction of five airfields in Egypt and factories in the Suez Canal Zone.

The U.S.A. and Yugoslavia signed an aid agreement providing for the sale of $94.8 million worth of U.S. agricultural products for Yugoslavian currency.

50 years ago

Died on this date
Raymond Gram Swing, 81
. U.S. journalist. Mr. Swing worked with various newspapers, and was a foreign correspondent during World War I. He went into radio with the Mutual Broadcasting System in the 1930s and '40s, reporting from the United Kingdom during World War II; he was reportedly America's highest-paid radio commentator. Mr. Swing worked for ABC and BBC before joining Voice of America in 1951, but quit in 1953, angered at VOA's refusal to defend its staff against U.S. Senate investigations of possible Communist sympathies. Mr. Swing returned to VOA from 1959-1964.

Early in the morning, on the second day of the Apollo 8 mission, Commander Frank Borman suddenly became ill with what was diagnosed as 24-hour flu. The mission continued, and that afternoon the astronauts preempted the football games with a telecast of their own. Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders held the camera, and gave viewers a look at the cramped quarters of the spacecraft. The telephoto lens didn't work, preventing a good view of the earth from space.

Commander Lloyd Bucher led the 82 surviving crew members of the American intelligence ship USS Pueblo across the Bridge of No Return at Panmunjom, 11 months after their capture off North Korea. The release concluded 10 months of negotiations between U.S.-North Korean teams.

The Chinese People's Daily published a piece by Chairman Mao Zedong directing that "the intellectual youth must go to the country, and will be educated from living in rural poverty."

Western Conference Championship
Minnesota 14 @ Baltimore 24

Earl Morrall threw touchdown passes to Tom Mitchell and John Mackey, and Mike Curtis returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown, as the Coastal Division champion Colts rolled up a 21-0 third-quarter lead and held on to beat the Central Division champion Vikings before 60,238 fans at Memorial Stadium. Minnesota quarterback Joe Kapp threw touchdown passes to Bill Martin and Bill Brown in an attempt at a 4th-quarter comeback.

Western Division playoff
Kansas City 6 @ Oakland 41

Daryle Lamonica completed just 19 of 39 passes, but for 347 yards and 5 touchdowns, as the Raiders whipped the Chiefs before 53,605 fans at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The teams had recorded identical records of 12-2-0, forcing the playoff. 3 of the touchdown tosses went to Fred Biletnikoff, who finished with 7 receptions for 180 yards. The other 2 scoring passes went to Warren Wells, who caught 4 passes for 93 yards. George Blanda converted all 4 touchdowns and added 2 field goals. Jan Stenerud kicked 2 field goals for the Chiefs.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): You're the One that I Want--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (10th week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France (IFOP): You're the One that I Want--John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (15th week at #1)

Politics and government
The South African government approved a United Nations plan to set up an independent government in Namibia (South-West Africa). South Africa also agreed to a UN peacekeeping force of 1,500 South African and 7,500 UN soldiers in the area, and to hold UN-sponsored elections there in 1979.

The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing the policies of the late Chairman Mao Zedong to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland): Smooth Criminal--Michael Jackson (2nd week at #1)

Edmonton's top 10 (CKRA)
1 Look Away--Chicago
2 Giving You the Best that I Got--Anita Baker
3 My Prerogative--Bobby Brown
4 Waiting for a Star to Fall--Boy Meets Girl
5 Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)--Will to Power
6 In Your Room--Bangles
7 Two Hearts--Phil Collins
8 Wild, Wild West--Escape Club
9 Kokomo--The Beach Boys
10 I Don't Want Your Love--Duran Duran

Died on this date
Chico Mendes, 44
. Brazilian labour and environmental activist. Mr. Mendes was a rubber tapper and union leader who advocated for the preservation of the Amazon jungle and the rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. He was murdered at his Xapuri home by Darci Alves da Silva, the son of a rancher.

A pro-Iranian Islamic group phoned a wire service claiming responsibility for the previous day's bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which had killed 270 people. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said that a caller in Helsinki had warned the U.S. embassy there on December 5 that a Pan Am plane flying from Frankfurt to the United States would be the target of a bombing within two weeks. The U.S. State Department had then alerted its personnel, some of whom changed their travel plans. The U.S. public wasn't warned of the threat, one of many received by the government. Finnish police interrogated the tipster and concluded that he had nothing to do with the bombing.

Politics and government
U.S. Vice President and President-elect George Bush named more nominees to his forthcoming administration: Samuel Skinner--Secretary of Transportation; Manuel Lujan--Secretary of the Interior; Edward Derwinski--Secretary of Veterans Affairs; William Reilly--administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Louis Sullivan--Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mr. Derwinski was to be the first person to hold his post; Dr. Sullivan, the highest-ranking Negro in the administration, had met some criticism from conservatives because of perceived less-than-firm views against abortion.

The Centre for Self-Awareness in Edmonton held its Christmas candlelight service, a silly New Age event led by Rev. Sue Rubin. Songs included those inspirational classics I'll Be Home for Christmas and Frosty the Snowman.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): All for Love--Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting

Died on this date
Don DeFore, 80
. U.S. actor. Mr. DeFore was best known for his supporting roles in the television comedy series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952-1957) and Hazel (1961-1965). He was President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences from 1954-1955, and was instrumental in getting the Emmy Awards telecast for the first time in 1955. Mr. DeFore died of cardiac arrest.

11 Canadian peacekeepers were taken captive by drunken Bosnian Serb militiamen in the eighth such incident since July.

U.S. pop singer Michael Jackson, who had been in seclusion for more than a month, read a four-minute statement that was broadcast live on television by satellite from his ranch near Santa Barbara, California in which he denied molesting a young boy. The "King of Pop" said that officers from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department and the Los Angeles Police Department had photographed his body, an experience he said was "the most humiliating ordeal of my life." The boy who had accused Mr. Jackson of abuse had given a detailed description of his body. Mr. Jackson called the boy's story "disgusting" and "totally false." He faced both a civil suit and a criminal investigation.

Economics and finance
White House Office of Management and Budget director Leon Panetta said that the U.S. budget deficit for the fiscal year of 1995 would be about $190 billion. The figure, lower than any previous projection, was attributed to improvement in the economy.

10 years ago

Politics and government
Broadcasters Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin were among 18 new Canadian Senators appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially named Thomas Cromwell of Nova Scotia to the Supreme Court of Canada.

A dike ruptured at a waste containment area in Roane County, Tennessee, releasing 1.1 billion gallons (4.2 million cubic metres) of coal fly ash slurry into local waterways.

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