Monday, 31 December 2018

December 31, 2018

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Mike Matson!

280 years ago

Born on this date
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
. U.K. military officer and politician. Lord Cornwallis was one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence. He led his forces to victory in the Battle of Camden in 1780, and recorded a Pyrrhic victory at Guilford Court House in March 1781. Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American forces at Yorktown in October 1781, effectively ending hostilities in the war. Lord Cornwallis then held several vice-regal offices, including Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William (India) (1786-1793, 1805) and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1798-1801). He died of a fever on October 5, 1805 at the age of 66, just over two months into his second term in India.

140 years ago

Born on this date
Elizabeth Arden
. Canadian-born cosmetics magnate. Miss Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham in Woodbridge, Ontario, founded what is now Elizabeth Arden, Inc. in New York City in 1910. She died on October 18, 1966 at the age of 87.

Karl Benz, working in Mannheim, Germany, filed for a patent on his first reliable two-stroke gas engine; he was granted the patent in 1879.

110 years ago

Born on this date
John Kirby
. U.S. musician. Mr. Kirby was a jazz double bassist who led a "chamber jazz" sextet whose popularity peaked from 1938-1941 with recordings of songs such as Loch Lomond and Undecided. The group broke up when two members joined the armed services during World War II, and another died. Mr. Kirby was unable to regain his success after World War II, drank heavily, and suffered from diabetes; he died on June 14, 1952 at the age of 43.

Simon Wiesenthal. Austrian activist. Mr. Wiesenthal spent several years during World War II in Nazi concentration camps, and spent his postwar years hunting fugitive Nazi war criminals. He died on September 20, 2005 at the age of 96.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Ray Graves
. U.S. football player and coach. Mr. Graves was a center with the University of Tennessee Volunteers (1940-1941); Philadelphia Eagles (1942, 1946), and Philadelphia Eagles-Pittsburgh Steelers "Steagles" (1943). He was an assistant coach with the University of Tennessee (1944-1945) and University of Georgia (1951-1959), but was best known as head coach of the University of Florida Gators (1960-1969), compiling a record of 70-31-4. Mr. Graves' last season was his best, as the Gators were 9-1-1 in the regular season, and upset Tennessee 14-13 in the Gator Bowl. Mr. Graves was also largely responsible for the promotion of the drink that became known as Gatorade, volunteering his team to experiment with using the drink in 1965, and witnessing positive results. Mr. Graves was the U of F's director of athletics from 1960-1979. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990, and died on April 10, 2015 at the age of 96.

A total of 3,259 Albertans had died so far in the influenza pandemic.

90 years ago

On the radio
The New Year's Eve performance by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians was broadcast for the first time.

80 years ago

The first breath test for drivers, the "drunkometer," was introduced in Indianapolis.

75 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): I Had the Craziest Dream--Vera Lynn; Harry James and his Music Makers (1st month at #1)

The Royal Canadian Air Force was at its peak, with 215,000 men and women, and 78 squadrons, including 35 overseas and 6 heading there. Canada had produced 11,000 planes so far. The first German V-2 rockets rolled off the assembly line at the Mittelbau-Dora slave labour camp, an underground facility in the Harz Mountains. Production chief Arthur Rudolph later declared that the first rockets had been rejected and sent back underground for rework.

Politics and government
The Allied Military Government ordered the removal from public office in Italy of all members of organizations of a Fascist tinge.

The Argentine government dissolved all political parties.

Louis Kaufman was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment and fined $10,000, and six others with him received 10-year prison terms and $10,000 fines for extortion in the motion picture industry. U.S.S.R. forces recaptured the rail centre of Zhitomir, 87 miles west of Kiev, as Soviet penetration of the German lines reached 200 miles.

70 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Kent Music Report): When You were Sweet Sixteen--Al Jolson; Perry Como (1st month at #1)

Chinese President Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek issued a peace proposal to the Chinese Communists, offering to resign and allow the formation of a coalition government based on the Nationalist constitution. Communist leaders immediately rejected any compromise with the Nationalist regime.

The Dutch government declared its "police action" in Java at an end, with all objectives taken.

Politics and government
The Republican-controlled 80th United States Congress adjourned as Senate Democrats chose Kenneth McKellar (Tennessee) as president pro tempore and Scott Lucas (Illinois) as majority leader for the 81st Congress. Democratic U.S. congressional leaders agreed to the continued operation of the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, but promised that witnesses would have greater protection.

Heavy precipitation followed by floods struck the northeastern United States, causing four deaths and isolating many towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

60 years ago

World events
In the wake of accelerated guerrilla activities throughout Cuba and the capture of Santa Clara by Fidel Castro's forces, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista decided to abandon resistance and leave the country.

United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold arrived in Jerusalem for talks with Middle Eastern leaders on easing Arab-Israeli tension and possible settlement of the Arab refugee problem.

Indonesian President Sukarno and Yugoslavian President Marshal Josip Broz Tito pledged in a joint communique to continue their neutralist foreign policies.

The U.S.A., U.K., and France proposed renewed East-West efforts to settle the Berlin dispute as part of broad negotiations for a reunified Germany, a German peace treaty, and a European security settlement.

Newfoundland loggers struck against the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company for wage increases and for improvements in living conditions at wood camps; Premier Joseph Smallwood intervened to settle the strike on February 12, 1959.

The United States defeated Australia 3-2 to regain the Davis Cup, which had been won by Australian teams since 1954.

50 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade): Eloise--Barry Ryan (3rd week at #1)

Died on this date
Wilfrid Hamel, 73
. Canadian politician. Mr. Hamel, a native of Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, was a Liberal member of the Quebec Legislative Assembly (1939-1948), representing the riding of Saint-Sauveur and serving in the cabinet of Premier Adélard Godbout as Minister of State and Minister of Land and Forests. He was defeated in the 1948 and 1952 provincial elections. Mr. Hamel was Mayor of Quebec City from 1953-1965; he died in Quebec City.

George Lewis, 68. U.S. musician. Mr. Lewis, born Joseph Louis Francois Zenon, was a jazz clarinetist from New Orleans who achieved fame when he toured nationally and internationally in the 1950s and '60s.

The prototype of the Soviet jetliner Tupolev Tu-144, the first civilian supersonic transport in the world, made its first flight, near Moscow, two months before the first flight of the Concorde.

Politics and government
The Legislative Assembly of Québec officially became the Québec National Assembly, and the Legislative Council was abolished.

Bombs exploded near Montreal City Hall and a federal building, with no injuries reported.

40 years ago

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

#1 single in Switzerland: Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord--Boney M. (3rd week at #1)

At the movies
Ice Castles, directed by Donald Wrye, and starring Lynn-Holly Johnson and Robby Benson, received its premiere screening.

On television tonight
The annual New Year's Eve dance at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City was telecast on CBS for the last time. Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, whose New Year's Eve performances had first been broadcast on radio in 1928, and who had performed at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City beginning in 1929, had had their New Year's Eve performances televised since 1956, when they were still at the Roosevelt Hotel. Since 1959, the band had performed at the Waldorf-Astoria. Mr. Lombardo died on November 5, 1977 at the age of 75, and the band played two more New Year's Eves, with 1978-79 being the last; the band broke up shortly thereafter.

Died on this date
Basil Wolverton, 69
. U.S. cartoonist. Mr. Wolverton was known for his grotesque caricatures. His work appeared in such magazines as Life in the 1940s and Mad in the 1950s. Mr. Wolverton was an elder in Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God from 1943 until his death.

World events
The U.S. government recommended that dependents of Americans in Iran should leave that country.

AFC Divisional Playoff
Houston 31 @ New England 14

Dan Pastorini completed touchdown passes of 71 yards to Mike Haynes and 19 and 13 yards to Mike Barber in the 2nd quarter as the Oilers erupted for 21 points to break a 0-0 tie and coasted to victory over the Patriots before 60,881 fans at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

NFC Divisional Playoff
Minnesota 10 @ Los Angeles 34

The Rams scored 24 unanswered points in the 2nd half to break a 10-10 tie and eliminate the Vikings before 69,631 fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton, playing the last game of his 19-year NFL career, completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Rashad with 6 seconds remaining in the 1st half, but produced only 58 yards of offense in the 2nd half.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Italy (FIMI): C'è da spostare una macchina--Francesco Salvi (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Flanders (Ultratop 50): Orinoco Flow--Enya (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in the Netherlands (De Nederlandse Top 40):

#1 single in France (SNEP): Pourvu qu'elles soient douces--Mylène Farmer (5th week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.K. (BMRB): Mistletoe and Wine--Cliff Richard (4th week at #1)

#1 single in the U.S.A. (Billboard): Every Rose Has its Thorn--Poison (2nd week at #1)

U.S.A. top 10 (Cash Box)
1 Every Rose Has its Thorn--Poison (2nd week at #1)
2 My Prerogative--Bobby Brown
3 Two Hearts--Phil Collins
4 Waiting for a Star to Fall--Boy Meets Girl
5 Don't Rush Me--Taylor Dayne
6 Armageddon It--Def Leppard
7 Giving You the Best That I Got--Anita Baker
8 Smooth Criminal--Michael Jackson
9 Look Away--Chicago
10 In Your Room--Bangles

Singles entering the chart were Girl You Know it's True by Milli Vanilli (#81); The Living Years by Mike + the Mechanics (#83); I Beg Your Pardon by Kon Kan (#89); The Great Commandment by Camouflage (#91); Chip Away the Stone by Aerosmith (#93); and Tears Run Rings by Marc Almond (#95).

At least 51 people died when a boat transporting New Year's Eve celebrants sank at the entrance of the bay in Rio de Janeiro.

New Jersey 6 @ Pittsburgh 8

Pittsburgh centre Mario Lemieux scored a goal in each of the five possible ways: even strength, by power play, shorthanded, by penalty shot and into an empty net, in the victory over the Devils at Pittsburgh Civic Arena. He assisted on the 3 Pittsburgh goals that he didn't score.

NFC Divisional Playoff
Philadelphia 12 @ Chicago 20

Mike Tomczak completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Dennis McKinnon in the 1st quarter and handed off to Neal Anderson for a 4-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter to help the Bears defeat the Eagles before 65,534 fans at Soldier Field in a game that was nicknamed the "Fog Bowl." Philadelphia quarterback Randall Cunningham completed 27 of 54 passes for 407 yards, but was unable to produce a touchdown.

AFC Divisional Playoff
Seattle 13 @ Cincinnati 21

Stanley Wilson rushed for a pair of 3-yard touchdowns and Ickey Woods rushed 1 yard for another TD as the Bengals took a 21-0 halftime lead and withstood a 13-point 4th-quarter rally to defeat the Seahawks before 58,560 fans at Riverfront Stadium. David Krieg passed 7 yards to John L. Williams for the first Seattle touchdown and rushed 1 yard for the second, but Norm Johnson missed the convert attempt on Mr. Krieg's TD with 6:04 remaining in regulation time, and the Seahawks were never able to get back into scoring position.

25 years ago

Died on this date
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, 54
. 1st President of Georgia, 1991-1992. Mr. Gamsakhurdia was a philologist and dissident who served as Chairman of the Supreme Council of Georgia from November 14, 1990-April 14, 1991, when he became the independent republic's first president. He faced much opposition and accusations of dictatorial behaviour, and was deposed in a violent coup d'état on January 6, 1992. Mr. Gamsakhurdia was leading a "government in exile" in the western Georgian city of Zugdidi, and died in the western Georgian village of Khibula under circumstances that remain unclear.

Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years, singing to a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

Economics and finance
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 3,754.09, a 13.7% increase for the year.

20 years ago

Economics and finance
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the values of the legacy currencies in the Eurozone, and established the value of the euro currency.

10 years ago

Died on this date
Donald E. Westlake, 75
. U.S. author. Mr. Westlake was best known for his crime novels, especially comic capers, usually set in New York City. He was known for creating the characters Parker and John Dortmunder, each featuring in a series of novels. Mr. Westlake was also a screenwriter, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Grifters (1990). He died of a heart attack while on vacation with his wife in Mexico, on his way to a New Year's Eve dinner.

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