Tuesday, 25 December 2018

December 25, 2018

260 years ago

Based on predictions by Edmond Halley in 1705, Johann Georg Palitzsch observed a comet that was later named Halley's Comet.

150 years ago

Died on this date
Linus Yale, Jr., 47
. U.S. inventor and businessman. Mr. Yale, the son of a lockmaker, also invented locks, including the pin tumbler safe lock, and co-founded Yale Lock Manufacturing Company in 1868. He died of a heart attack while on a business trip to New York City.

Politics and government
U.S. President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to everyone involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Quentin Crisp
. U.K. actor and raconteur. Mr. Crisp, born Denis Charles Pratt, was an openly effeminate sodomite who worked as a model for 30 years. His experiences provided material for his autobiography The Naked Civil Servant (1968), which was adapted into a made-for-television film in 1975. The success of the film led to a successful career for Mr. Crisp as a raconteur, performing one-man shows in packed theatres. He had small roles in several films, including Orlando (1991). Mr. Crisp died of a heart attack on November 21, 1999 at the age of 90.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Anwar Sadat
. 3rd President of Egypt, 1970-1981; Vice President of Egypt, 1964, 1969-1970; Prime Minister of Egypt, 1973-1974, 1980-1981. Colonel Sadat served in the Egyptian Army from 1938-1952, and participated in the military revolution that overthrew King Farouk in 1952. He held various offices, including Speaker of the National Assembly (1960-1969). Mr. Sadat acceded to the presidency after the death of Gamal Nasser, and made some changes, including allowing more than one political party. Mr. Sadat and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad of Syria initiated the Yom Kippur War against Israel in October 1973; in March 1979, Mr. Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, several months after the Camp David Accords, earning Messrs. Sadat and Begin the Nobel Peace Prize. Although Mr. Sadat was highly regarded internationally as a statesman, he was unpopular with Islamic elements at home. On October 6, 1981, Mr. Sadat, 62, and 11 others were shot to death by a squad led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli during the annual parade celebrating the anniversary of the 1973 crossing of the Suez Canal by Egyptian forces. Vice President Hosni Mubarak, one of 28 people wounded in the attack, succeeded Mr. Sadat as President.

Major General Ants Kurvits, commander of the Estonian Defence League in Tartu County, began forming the Viljandi Volunteer Battalion.

90 years ago

At the movies
In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, received its premiere screening in Los Angeles; it was directed by Irving Cummings, and starred Edmund Lowe, Warner Baxter, and Dorothy Burgess.

Died on this date
Miles Burke, 43
. U.S. boxer. Mr. Burke won the silver medal in the flyweight division at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games in St. Louis, losing the gold medal bout to fellow American George Finnegan by a technical knockout in the 1st round. Mr. Burke was allegedly three pounds over the 105-pound weight limit for flyweights, but was allowed to compete because no other opponent could be found. He died 18 days before his 44th birthday.

80 years ago

Died on this date
Karel Čapek, 48
. Czech author and playwright. Mr. Čapek wrote fiction and non-fiction, in which he expressed his opposition to both Fascism and Communism. He was best known for his science fiction, especially the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) (1921), which introduced the word "robot." Mr. Čapek suffered from fragile health, and died of pneumonia.

75 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Paper Doll--The Mills Brothers (8th week at #1)

Allied forces in Italy captured Mount Sammucro, 6 miles east of Cassino. U.S.S.R. troops captured 200 more inhabited places in their drive on Vitebsk. U.S. Marines made two landings at points east and west of Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island. Chinese troops occupied Kungan, forcing the Japanese across the Hutu River in an eastward retreat.

The Ecuadorian government ordered German and Italian nationals held incommunicado, and notified all Axis subjects to leave the country.

A fire razed the waterfront area of Wildwood, New Jersey, destroying three theatres, an amusement pier, and other buildings, causing $1 million in damage.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard) (Best Seller): Buttons and Bows--Dinah Shore and the Happy Valley Boys (8th week at #1)

U.S.A. Top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Buttons and Bows--Dinah Shore and the Happy Valley Boys (7th week at #1)
--The Dinning Sisters
--Betty Rhodes
2 On a Slow Boat to China--Kay Kyser Orchestra
--Freddy Martin and his Orchestra
--Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
--Eddy Howard and his Orchestra
--Art Lund
3 My Darling, My Darling--Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae with the Starlighters
--Doris Day and Buddy Clark
4 Maybe You'll Be There--Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra
5 Until--Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
6 All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)--Spike Jones and his City Slickers
7 You were Only Fooling (While I was Falling in Love)--Blue Barron and his Orchestra
--The Ink Spots
--Kay Starr
8 Cuanto la Gusta--Carmen Miranda and the Andrews Sisters
9 Twelfth Street Rag--Pee Wee Hunt and his Orchestra
10 Life Gits Tee-jus Don't It--Carson Robison with the Pleasant Valley Boys

Singles entering the chart were Galway Bay by Bing Crosby (#26) and I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm by Les Brown and his Orchestra (#39).

At the movies
Command Decision, directed by Sam Wood, and starring Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson, and others, opened in theatres in Los Angeles.

A Down Beat poll listed Duke Ellington's band as the most popular group in the United States.

Chinese nationals abandoned Changkiakow, one of their few remaining industrial centres in northern China, to the Communists.

The U.S. Federal Security Agency revived the National Advisory Committee on the Education of Negroes, appointing Ambrose Calliver of the U.S. Office of Education to head the agency.

60 years ago

The U.S. Army reported that it had dropped 70,000 men during the past fiscal year as mentally or physically unfit.

Politics and government
Dispatches from Cairo reported the arrest of leading Syrian Communist Party members and the closing of the Syrian Communist daily newspaper Al Nour in an anti-Communist crackdown ordered by U.A.R. President Gamal Nasser.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (Record Retailer): Lily the Pink--The Scaffold (3rd week at #1)

Australia's top 10 (Go-Set)
1 Hey Jude/Revolution--The Beatles (11th week at #1)
2 White Room--Cream
3 Little Arrows--Leapy Lee
4 Love Child--Diana Ross and the Supremes
5 Those were the Days--Mary Hopkin
6 (The Lament of the Cherokee) Indian Reservation--Don Fardon
7 Hold Me Tight--Johnny Nash
8 With a Little Help from My Friends--Joe Cocker
9 Elenore/Surfer Dan--The Turtles
10 All Along the Watchtower--The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Singles entering the chart were The Great Escape by Ray Stevens (#29); Goody Goody Gumdrops by the 1910 Fruitgum Co. (#36); See Saw by Aretha Franklin (#38); and Kentucky Woman/Hush by Deep Purple (#39).

A Service Propulsion System engine burn at 12:34 A.M. Central Standard Time was successful, sending the Apollo 8 spacecraft on a course for home after 10 orbits of the moon.

44 members of families of striking Dalit workers were burned to death by a gang, allegedly led by their landlords, in Tamil Nadu, India.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): Y.M.C.A.--Village People

#1 single in Japan (Oricon Singles Chart): Chameleon Army--Pink Lady (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Tú--Umberto Tozzi (4th week at #1)

The U.S.S.R. probe Venera 11, launched on September 9, 1978, made a soft landing on Venus, four days after the arrival of Venera 12. Venera 11 transmitted information for 95 minutes, until its flight platform flew out of range.

30 years ago

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

#1 single in Switzerland: Orinoco Flow--Enya (3rd week at #1)

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (ARIA): Please Forgive Me--Bryan Adams (5th week at #1)

#1 single in Italy: Penso Positivo--Jovanotti (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Saturday Night--Whigfield

#1 single in Denmark (Nielsen Music Control & IFPI): The Sign--Ace of Base (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (VRT): Please Forgive Me--Bryan Adams (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in France (SNEP): Living on My Own (1993)--Freddie Mercury (12th week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40): Het pizzalied (Effe wachte...)--André van Duin (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (Chart Information Network): Mr Blobby--Mr Blobby (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Hero--Mariah Carey

U.S. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Again--Janet Jackson (2nd week at #1)
2 Hero--Mariah Carey
3 Please Forgive Me--Bryan Adams
4 All That She Wants--Ace of Base
5 Breathe Again--Toni Braxton
6 All for Love--Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
7 I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)--Meat Loaf
8 Can We Talk--Tevin Campbell
9 Said I Loved You...But I Lied--Michael Bolton
10 Shoop--Salt-N-Pepa

Singles entering the chart were Daughter by Pearl Jam (#23) and Stay (Faraway, So Close!) by U2 (#67).

Canada's top 10 (RPM)
1 Please Forgive Me--Bryan Adams (4th week at #1)
2 Both Sides of the Story--Phil Collins
3 Hero--Mariah Carey
4 I'll Always Be There--Roch Voisine
5 Said I Loved You...But I Lied--Michael Bolton
6 All for Love--Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
7 Again--Janet Jackson
8 5 Days in May--Blue Rodeo
9 All That She Wants--Ace of Base
10 All About Soul--Billy Joel

Singles entering the chart were You're Coming Home by the Jeff Healey Band (#71); Tones of Home by Blind Melon (#83); The Bottle by the Christians (#87); Crying in the Rain by Art Garfunkel and James Taylor (#95); Bless the World by David Wilcox (#96); Run Baby Run by Sheryl Crow (#97); Bad Thing by Cry of Love (#98); and I'm in Love by Lisa Keith (#99).

10 years ago

Died on this date
Eartha Kitt, 81
. U.S. singer and actress. Miss Kitt, born Eartha Keith, was known for her distinctive singing style featuring clear enunciation, achieving hit singles in the early 1950s such as C'est Si Bon and Santa Baby. She played Catwoman in the final season of the television series Batman (1967-1968), but her career in the United States was derailed when she made comments critical of the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon in 1968. Miss Kitt made a comeback in stage musicals in the late 1970s, and in later years appeared as a voice actress in animated television series--winning three Daytime Emmy Awards--in addition to appearing in movies, resuming her successful live performing career, and being involved in social activism. Miss Kitt died of colon cancer.

Canada had its first coast-to-coast white Christmas since 1971.

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