Wednesday, 5 December 2018

December 5, 2018

170 years ago

Economics and finance
In a message to the United States Congress, U.S. President James K. Polk confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.

150 years ago

Born on this date
Arnold Sommerfeld
. German physicist. Dr. Sommerfeld pioneered developments in atomic and quantum physics, and also educated and mentored many students for the new era of theoretical physics. He died on April 26, 1951 at the age of 82 from injuries suffered when he was hit by a motor vehicle while walking with his grandchildren.

140 years ago

The last spike was driven on the Pembina Branch rail line built between St. Boniface and Emerson, Manitoba, by contractor Joseph Whitehead at St. Boniface.

125 years ago

Frederick Barnard Fetherstonhaugh, a Toronto patent attorney, commissioned the Dickson Carriage Works, builder of horse drawn buggies, to make wood and leather bodies for his "Still" electric car; it could go 15 miles between charges. The Still car was the first built in Toronto, and the second car produced in Canada, as an earlier steamer car was built in Quebec in 1867.

100 years ago

Died on this date
Schalk Willem Burger, 66
. 6th President of South Africa, 1900-1902. Vice President of South Africa, 1900. Commandant Burger served in various wars, including the Second Boer War in 1899. He was S.A. Vice President under President Paul Kruger from March-September 1900, and served as President while Mr. Kruger was in exile in Europe. Mr. Burger left office upon the signing of the Treaty of Vreeninging in 1902, ending the Second Boer War.

90 years ago

Died on this date
Sigmund Weiss
. U.S. criminal. Mr. Weiss, who had been convicted four times of felonies and was facing a life sentence in prison under the Baumes laws, was shot to death in a corridor of the Criminal Courts Building in New York City by Court Attendant J.N. Doyle, after Mr. Weiss had wounded one guard and tried to shoot two others who tried to disarm him. He was on his way to Judge G.l. Donnellan's court for sentencing.

U.S. President-elect Herbert Hoover continued his tour of Latin America with visits to Callao and Lima, Peru. From the time of the arrival of the battleship Maryland off Callao until the scheduled time for his departure, Mr. Hoover was given signal honours by the federal and municipal governments and by ordinary people, thousands of whom turned out to greet him both in the principal port and in the capital city. Mr. Hoover urged air mail linking of the Americas.

Politics and government
Christian Socialist Wilhelm Miklas, President of the National Assembly, was elected by Parliament as President of Austria, succeeding Dr. Michael Hainisch.

U.S. Senator T. Coleman du Pont (Republican--Delaware) resigned because of ill health. He was succeeded, by appointment of Delaware Governor Robinson by Municipal Judge Daniel Hastings (Republican) of Wilmington.

Economics and finance
U.S. President Calvin Coolidge submitted to Congress a budget for the fiscal year 1930 calling for expenditures of $3,780,719,647, leaving the Treasury with an estimated $60,576,182 surplus, which he declared offered no immediate prospect of further tax reduction.

75 years ago

Allied air forces began attacking Germany's secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow. New German attacks in the bulge west of Kiev forced Soviet forces to abandon several populated places. In their first daylight attack and the first raid on Calcutta in 11 months, Japanese bombers inflicted 500 civilian casualties.

70 years ago

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and George Spelvin (Wendell Holmes), on MBS
Tonight's episode: Island of the Dead

Died on this date
Kerry Mills, 79
. U.S. composer and songwriter. Mr. Mills composed ragtime music and wrote the music for songs such as Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis and Any Old Port in a Storm.

Politics and government
Peronist Party candidates took 38 of 55 seats in elections for the Argentine Constituent Assembly. The Peronist Party took 59.1% of the popular vote, followed by the Radical Civic Union (UCR), which won 16 seats (31.0% of the vote). Oner Peronist Assemblyman was elected as a "Labour Party" candidate, resisting the party's switch from Labour to Peronist.

City Assembly elections in the western sectors of Berlin resulted in a large victory for the Social Democrats, who took 64.5% of the popular vote.

Before an Israeli military court, Stern Gang leader Nathan Yellin and his aide Matiyahu Shmulevitz went on trial for terrorist activity.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Hoots Mon--Lord Rockingham's XI (2nd week at #1)

Died on this date
Fred Kennedy, 48
. U.S. stunt man. Mr. Kennedy was known for his work in movies directed by John Ford. While working with Mr. Ford on The Horse Soldiers (1959), Mr. Kennedy was performing a fall from a horse, broke his neck, and died, 17 days before his 49th birthday.

Politics and government
Finland's coalition cabinet headed by Prime Minister Karl August Fagerholm resigned in the wake of deteriorating diplomatic and trade relations with the U.S.S.R.

The Buganda native council voted to ask Queen Elizabeth II to end the United Kingdom's protectorate in Uganda and grant self-government to Buganda, one of four Ugandan provinces.

Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) was inaugurated in the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II when she spoke to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

The Preston By-pass, the U.K.'s first stretch of motorway, opened to traffic for the first time.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters elected composer Samuel Barber, painter Charles Burchfield, poet William Carlos Williams, and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr to membership.

Professor Rolf Sievert of the Royal Caroline Institute in Stockholm reported to the United Nations Scientific Commission on the effects of Atomic Radiation that Swedish scientists had discovered particles "of very high radioactivity" in "short-lived fission products" believed to result from Soviet nuclear tests.

Representatives of the United States and Canada began talks on joint development of the Columbia River.

Economics and finance
Philippine President Carlos Garcia and Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi issued a joint communique in Tokyo pledging Japan to supply long-term credits for Philippine projects worth $8=78.5 million.

Don Jordan (45-11) won the world welterweight title with a 15-round unanimous decision over defending champion Virgil Akins (50-19-1) at Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.

50 years ago

On television tonight
Dragnet 1969, on NBC
Tonight's episode: Narcotics: DR-16

Died on this date
Fred Clark, 54
. U.S. actor. Mr. Clark played ill-tempered characters in such movies as The Unsuspected (1947); Ride the Pink Horse (1948); Flamingo Road (1949); White Heat (1949); Sunset Blvd. (1950); How to Marry a Millionaire (1953); The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956); and Auntie Mame (1958). He was perhaps best known for his regular television role as Harry Morton, the next door neighbour, in The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show from 1951-1953. Mr. Clark died of hepatitis.

The United States launched HEOS-A, the first NASA/ESRO reimbursable mission. The satellite's purpose was the investigation of interplanetary magnetic fields and the study of solar and cosmic ray particles.

At least 50 people drowned when three trucks were swept into the swollen waters of a river south of La Paz, Bolivia.

40 years ago

On television tonight
The Paper Chase, on CBS
Tonight's episode: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The U.S.S.R. signed a "friendship treaty" with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

Economics and finance
After a two-day summit meeting in Brussels, leaders of nine European Economic Community countries approved plans for a new European Monetary System (EMS) to go into effect on January 1, 1979. The new system set up a parity arrangement, whereby the value of currency of each EMS member would be valued against the currencies of other members, allowing only a 2.25% fluctuation above or below that value. If a country's currency fluctuated more in either direction against another country's, the two nations involved would intervene on money markets to bring their values back in line. A fund, equivalent to approximately $32.5 billion, was provided for EMS countries to borrow from if such intervention became necessary. The United Kingdom announced that it would not join the new system, while Ireland and Italy delayed decision.

Boston 5 Toronto 1

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Australian Music Report): Don't Worry Be Happy--Bobby McFerrin (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You--Glenn Medeiros (3rd week at #1)

Soviet diplomats and Afghan rebels concluded three days of talks in Taif, Saudi Arabia regarding the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan scheduled for completion by mid-February 1989. The participants reportedly discussed the transitional government, safe passage for departing Soviet soldiers, prisoner exchanges and war reparations. The talks were believed to be the first such contact between the U.S.S.R. and the anti-Communist Mujahadeen rebels since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.

According to a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration report not made public until December 22, a caller in Helsinki warned the U.S. embassy there that a Pan Am plane flying from Frankfurt to the United States would be the target of a bombing attempt within two weeks. The U.S. State Department alerted its personnel, some of whom changed their travel plans. The U.S. public was not warned of the threat, one of many received by the U.S. government.

At least 60 students in Yaounde, Cameroon were killed when they were trampled or jumped to their deaths after hearing a false alarm that the school was about to collapse.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: It Keeps Rainin' (Tears from My Eyes)--Bitty McLean (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)--Meat Loaf (4th week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)--Meat Loaf (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Stay (Faraway, So Close!)--U2

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that preliminary figures showed a decline of 3% in violent crime during the first six months of 1993.

20 years ago

Died on this date
Albert Gore, Sr., 90
. U.S. politician. Mr. Gore, a Democrat, represented Tennessee's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939-1953 and represented Tennessee in the United States Senate from 1953-1971. He generally supported liberal causes, which eventually led to his defeat in his 1970 re-election bid. Mr. Gore died three weeks before his 91st birthday; he was the father of U.S. Senator and Vice President Al Gore.

Army 34 Navy 30 @ Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

10 years ago

Died on this date
Nina Foch, 84
. Dutch-born U.S. actress. Miss Foch, born Nina Fock, moved with her mother to New York City as a child. She appeared in movies such as An American in Paris (1951); Executive Suite (1954); The Ten Commandments (1956); and Spartacus (1960), as well as in numerous television programs. Miss Foch taught drama at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts for over 40 years.

Beverly Garland, 82. U.S. actress. Mrs. Garland, born Beverly Fessenden, appeared in movies such as It Conquered the World (1956) and The Alligator People (1959). She co-starred in the television series Decoy (1957-1959); played Barbara Harper Douglas, the woman who married widower Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray) in the television comedy series My Three Sons (1969-1972); and made guest appearances in numerous other television programs.

Alexy II, 79. Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', 1990-2008. Alexy II, born Alexey Mikhailovich von Ridiger in Estonia, became a Russian Orthodox priest in 1950 and worked his way up through the church hierarchy, eventually becoming the last Russian Orthodox Church primate to be appointed during the existence of the U.S.S.R., and the first during the post-Soviet period. He was identified by many sources as an agent of the Soviet secret police force KGB, beginning in 1958. Upon becoming Patriarch, Alexy was a stronger advocate for the rights of the church, and pursued ecumenical dialogue, earning some opposition within the church. Patriarch Alexy II died of heart failure; he was succeeded by Kirill.

Anca Parghel, 51. Romanian musician. Mrs. Parghel, born Anca Simion, was a jazz singer, pianist, composer, and arranger. She was a music teacher before turning professional as a recording and performing artist in the 1980s, with a four-octave voice that was compared to that of Yma Sumac. Mrs. Parghel died of breast cancer.

A judge in Las Vegas sentenced former football star and murderer O.J. Simpson to 33 years in prison (with eligibility for parole after 9) for an armed robbery at a hotel room on September 13, 2007. He was released on October 1, 2017.

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