Monday, 24 December 2018

December 24, 2018

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Hilary Hahn!

200 years ago

Born on this date
James Prescott Joule
. U.K. physicist. Mr. Joule was a full-time brewer who studied physics as a hobby. His research into the nature of heat and its relationship to mechanical work led to the law of conservation of energy and the first law of thermodynamics. The derived unit of energy is named the joule in his honour. Mr. Joule died on October 11, 1889 at the age of 70.

Silent Night, a Christmas carol by Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber, was first performed, at the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

150 years ago

The Greek Presidential Guard was established as the royal escort by King George I.

125 years ago

Born on this date
Harry Warren
. U.S. songwriter. Mr. Warren, born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna, was the first major songwriter to write primarily for cinema. He was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for writing the music for Lullaby of Broadway (Gold Diggers of 1935) (1935); You'll Never Know (Hello, Frisco, Hello) (1943); and On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (The Harvey Girls) (1945). Mr. Warren's other songs are too numerous to mention here; he died on September 22, 1981 at the age of 87.

Died on this date
B.T. Finniss, 86
. Australian politician. Boyle Travers Finniss was born at sea and grew up in India and the United Kingdom. He was a surveyor by trade, and settled in South Australia in 1836. Mr. Finniss held various offices in South Australia, and represented the city of Adelaide in the S.A. Parliament from 1857-1860, serving as the first Premier of South Australia from 1856-1857.

75 years ago

A Motion Picture Herald survey named Betty Grable as the number one box office star, with Bob Hope second.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed General Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces during World War II. In daylight, nearly 3,000 Allied planes engaged in record operations across the English Channel. U.K. units in Italy continued heavy street fighting against German troops in Ortona. The Soviet offensive aimed at Vitebsk, White Russia netted more than 60 inhabited places, including the large fortified centre and rail station of Gorodok. Chinese troops crossed the Sungtze River.

Politics and government
General Georges Catroux, representing the French National Committee of Liberation, turned over Lebanese and Syrian government responsibilities to Lebanese and Syrian administrations.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen called off the strike scheduled for December 31, but the conductors, firemen, and switchmen left their strike call in effect.

U.S. National War Labor Board Director William Davis telegraphed Congress of Industrial Organizations President Philip Murray, offering to reconvene the board and reconsider its vote to reject the demand of the United Steel Workers of America that any new wage contracts carry a retroactive clause.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill extending the Civilian Conservation Corps through February 17, 1944.

70 years ago

At the movies
The Paleface, directed by Norman Z. McLeod, and starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell, opened in theatres.

Egyptian planes attacked Nazareth, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, following the renewal of fighting in the Negev desert.

Greek Communist guerrillas shelled the port of Salonika.

Allied headquarters in Tokyo dismissed war crimes charges against 16 Japanese World War II leaders, ruling that their cases were similar to those of defendants acquitted by the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Canada formally recognized the state of Israel.

The Organization of American States in Washington called on Costa Rica and Nicaragua to refrain from hostile acts against one another after an OAS investigating committee reported that Nicaragua did not aid but could have stopped the invasion of Costa Rica by exiled supporters of former Costa Rican President Rafael Calderon Guardia.

Politics and government
U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark announced the results of a Federal Bureau of Investigation clearing former State Department official Laurence Duggar, who had fallen to his death from his office window four days earlier in an apparent suicide, of any connection with Communist espionage. 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.

60 years ago

Married on this date
U.K. speedboat racing driver Donald Campbell and Belgian television and cabaret singer Tonia Bern were married in London.

The U.S. Air Force reported that its Atlas guided missile would be ready for combat in 1959.

Economics and finance
The U.S.A. and U.A.R. concluded an aid agreement providing for the sale of $24.9 million worth of surplus U.S. wheat and flour for U.A.R. currency.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): Eloise--Barry Ryan (2nd week at #1)

Apollo 8 went into lunar orbit. Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders took one of the most famous photographs in history (an earthrise as seen from the moon), and held the camera for the on-board telecast. Mr. Anders, followed by Mr. Lovell and Mr. Borman, read Genesis 1:1-10 aloud.

The crew of the U.S. spy ship USS Pueblo arrived in San Diego for Christmas reunions with their families. They were accompanied by the body of Seaman Duane Hodges, the only crew member killed when the ship had been seized by North Korea 11 months earlier. Mr. Hodges had been one of 11 crewmen, including Commander Lloyd Bucher, who had been wounded at the time of capture. Commander Bucher, speaking at a homecoming news conference, said that their captors were "completely devoid of humanity, completely devoted to the enslavement of men's minds." The U.S. Defense Department announced that a Naval court of inquiry was being set up, under Vice Admiral Harold S. Bowen, to investigate the circumstances of the ship's seizure and the conduct of the crew during their imprisonment.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand (RIANZ):

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

NFC Wild Card Playoff
Philadelphia 13 @ Atlanta 14

Steve Bartkowski threw touchdown passes to Jim Mitchell and Wallace Francis in the 4th quarter as the Falcons, playing the first playoff game in their 13-year history, overcame a 13-0 deficit to edge the Eagles before 49,447 fans at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The second TD, a 37-yard pass to Mr. Francis, came with 1:37 remaining, and Tim Mazzetti's convert provided the winning margin. Philadelphia quarterback Ron Jaworski marched the Eagles to the Atlanta 16-yard line with 13 seconds remaining, but Mike Michel missed a 34-yard field goal attempt on the last play.

AFC Wild Card Playoff
Houston 17 @ Miami 9

Toni Fritsch kicked a 35-yard field goal and converted Earl Campbell's 1-yard touchdown rush as the Oilers scored 10 points in the 4th quarter to break a 7-7 tie and defeat the Dolphins before 70,036 fans at the Orange Bowl.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (FIMI): C'è da spostare una macchina--Francesco Salvi (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Orinoco Flow--Enya (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Smooth Criminal--Michael Jackson

#1 single in France (SNEP): Pourvu qu'elles soient douces--Mylène Farmer (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (3rd week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard
1 Every Rose Has its Thorn--Poison
2 My Prerogative--Bobby Brown
3 Look Away--Chicago
4 Giving You the Best That I Got--Anita Baker
5 Waiting for a Star to Fall--Boy Meets Girl
6 Two Hearts--Phil Collins
7 Welcome to the Jungle--Guns n' Roses
8 In Your Room--Bangles
9 Walk on Water--Eddie Money
10 Don't Rush Me--Taylor Dayne

Singles entering the chart were Surrender to Me by Ann Wilson and Robin Zander (#80); All She Wants Is by Duran Duran (#85); I Beg Your Pardon by Kon Kan (#87); More than You Know by Martika (#91); and The Great Commandment by Camouflage (#98). Surrender to Me was from the movie Tequila Sunrise (1988).

U.S.A. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Every Rose Has its Thorn--Poison
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 Two Hearts--Phil Collins
6 Look Away--Chicago
7 I Don't Want Your Love--Duran Duran
8 Don't Rush Me--Taylor Dayne
9 Welcome to the Jungle--Guns n' Roses
10 In Your Room--Bangles

Singles entering the chart were Surrender to Me by Ann Wilson and Robin Zander (#80); All She Wants Is by Duran Duran (#82); More than You Know by Martika (#85); Doctorin' the Tardis by the Timelords (#87); Perfect by Fairground Attraction (#88); Madeline by Winger (#90); If Ever a Love There Was by the Four Tops with Aretha Franklin (#95); and Posse' on Broadway by Sir Mix-a-Lot (#97).

Politics and government
U.S. Vice President and President-elect George Bush named Elizabeth Dole, wife of U.S. Senator Bob Dole (Republican--Kansas) and Secretary of Transportation in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, as Secretary of Labor in his forthcoming administration.

Three oil fields in the North Sea were shut down after a giant floating storage vessel broke free of its moorings in gale-force winds.

AFC Wild Card Playoff
Houston 24 @ Cleveland 23

Tony Zendejas' 49-yard field goal with 1:54 remaining in the game provided the winning margin for the Oilers as they edged the Browns before 74,977 fans at Cleveland Stadium. The Browns scored a converted touchdown with 31 seconds remaining to draw within 1 point, but three attempts at a short kickoff resulted in penalties, and the Oilers ran out the clock.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Norman Vincent Peale, 95
. U.S. clergyman. Rev. Peale was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1922, but changed his affiliation to the Reformed Church in America in 1932, serving as pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City from 1932-1984. He hosted the radio program The Art of Living from 1954-1989, and founded Guideposts magazine with his wife Ruth in 1945. Rev. Peale attempted to combine religion with psychiatry, as he and psychiatrist Smiley Blanton operated a religio-psychiatric clinic, which became the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry in 1951. Rev. Peale's most popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, was published in 1952, which led Dr. Blanton to distance himself from Rev. Peale and his views. Rev. Peale's advice was criticized as promoting a form of self-hypnosis, while being advocated by prominent businessmen and politicians. Dr. Peale spoke out on political issues in the 1950s, but he was widely criticized for opposing John F. Kennedy's U.S. presidential candidacy in 1960 on the grounds of Mr. Kennedy's Catholicism; Rev. Peale thereafter withdrew from partisan politics. Rev. Peale was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Freemason, and was much honoured by the world, despite whatever criticism he received.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Syl Apps, 83
. Canadian hockey player and politician. Mr. Apps won the gold medal in the pole vault competition at the 1934 British Empire Games in London and finished sixth in the competition at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin two years later. He played football at McMaster University, but was best known as a hockey player, playing centre with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1936-1943 and 1945-48. Mr. Apps scored 201 goals and 231 assists in 423 regular season NHL games, and 25 goals and 29 assists in 67 playoff games. He helped the Maple Leafs win Stanley Cups in 1942, 1947, and 1948. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Mr. Apps was a Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario as a Progressive Conservative from 1963-1975, and was Minister of Correctional Services from 1971-1974. He died of a heart attack, 25 days before his 84th birthday.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Harold Pinter, 78
. U.K. playwright and screenwriter. Mr. Pinter was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms." His plays included The Birthday Party (1958); The Homecoming (1964); and Betrayal (1978), while his screenplays included The Servant (1963); Accident (1967); and The Trial (1993). Mr. Pinter died after a long battle with cancer, but it would have been more appropriate if he had died of boredom from reading one of his plays.

The Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, began attacks on several villages in Haut-Uele District, Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in at least 400 deaths and numerous atrocities.

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