Saturday, 16 February 2019

February 16, 2019

Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Veronica Jones!

740 years ago

Died on this date
Afonso III, 68
. King of Portugal, 1248-1279. Afonso III succeeded his older brother Sancho, and enacted political and economic reforms that enable him to enjoy a peaceful internal reign, with military campaigns against the Moors and Castilians. Afonso III was succeeded on the throne by his brother Denis.

440 years ago

Died on this date
Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, 69-83
. Spanish explorer. Mr. Jiménez de Quesada was a conquistador who explored New Granada, the part of northern South America that today is known as Colombia. His first expedition, from 1536-1539, resulted in a high death toll, and in Mr. Jiménez de Quesada serving as Mayor of Bogotá from 1538-1539. After a decade back in Europe, he returned to New Granada in 1550 and settled down to life as a colonist, interrupted by an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the Llanas to the east of the Colombian cordillera from 1569-1572. Mr. Jiménez de Quesada developed leprosy and eventually died from its effects.

120 years ago

Died on this date
Félix Faure, 58
. 7th President of France, 1895-1899. Mr. Faure, a moderate republican, was first elected to the National Assembly in 1881, and held various cabinet posts before being elected President following th resignation of Jean Casimir-Perier. He granted amnesty to anarchist movements, but refused to intervene in the treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, thus attracting criticism from French intellectuals and others. President Faure died in office, 17 days after his 58th birthday, of a fit of apoplexy while having sex with his mistress, sparking much ribald humour. He was succeeded as President by Émile Loubet.

Iceland's first football club, Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur, was founded.

110 years ago

Born on this date
Hugh Beaumont
. U.S. actor. Mr. Beaumont played private eye Michael Shayne in five movies from 1946-1947, but was best known for playing Ward Cleaver, the father in the television comedy series Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963). He died of a heart attack on May 14, 1982 at the age of 73.

Jeffrey Lynn. U.S. actor. Mr. Lynn, born Ragnar Godfrey Lind, played a romantic love interest in Warner Brothers movies such as Four Daughters (1938) and several sequels, and had supporting roles in films such as The Roaring Twenties (1939). He interrupted his career to serve with the U.S. Army in World War II in Italy and Austria, winning a Bronze Star. Mr. Lynn worked mainly in television and on stage in his later years; he died on November 24, 1995 at the age of 86.

Richard McDonald. U.S. restaurateur. Mr. McDonald and his brother Maurice co-founded the first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California. They partnered with Ray Kroc in 1954 and were eventually bought out by him. Richard McDonald died on July 14, 1998 at the age of 89.

100 years ago

Died on this date
Vera Kholodnaya, 25
. Ukrainian actress. Mrs. Kholodnaya, born Vera Levchenko, was the first star of Russian silent cinema, appearing in 50-100 films from 1914-1918. She was at the peak of her popularity when she died, officially a victim of the influenza epidemic, although conspiracy theories abound.

The American Legion was founded at a dinner at the Allied Officers Club in Paris.

75 years ago

Died on this date
Dadasaheb Phalke, 73
. Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter. Mr. Phalke was known as the "Father of Indian cinema," completing 95 feature films and 27 short films from 1913-1937. His first movie, Raja Harishchandra (1913), is officially recognized as the first Indian feature film. Mr. Phalke's last movie, Gangavataran (1937), was his only sound film.

Miller Reese Hutchison, 67. U.S. inventor. Mr. Hutchison was an electrical engineer who helped to develop some of the first portable electric devices, such as the "Acousticon" (a hearing aid), and the Klaxon horn.

Charles Hoey, 29. Canadian military officer. Major Hoey, a resident of Duncan, British Columbia serving with the British Army in Burma, was fatally wounded while capturing a Japanese position, earning the Victoria Cross posthumously.

A report of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities charged the Peace Now movement with seditious and treasonable activities in attempting to persuade U.S. servicemen to lay down their arms. In the heaviest allied attack on Berlin to date, nearly 1,000 U.K. Royal Air Force planes unloaded 2,500 tons of bombs in 30 minutes. U.S. bombers completed two days of raids on the abbey atop Monte Cassino, Italy, which German forces were using as a fortress. Soviet forces occupied more than 35 localities in their advance on the German-held rail centre of Pskov. A statement from U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur said that Japan would be defeated only by ground forces destroying the Imperial Japanese Army as a result of ground, sea, and air cooperation.

The government of Ecuador granted a concession of one million acres to International Petroleum Company. The U.S. Senate committee head by Sen. Harry Truman (Democrat--Missouri) filed a report recommending "a positive vigorous American policy" to assure the United States of a proper share of the world's oil reserves.

Economics and finance
U.S. Army purchases director General Albert Browning said that equipment contracts had been reduced by an average of 20%, resulting in a two-year saving of $9 billion.

The will of Mrs. George Bernard Shaw left an estimated $400,000 trust fund to be used to "teach" the Irish "self-control, deportment, elocution and the art of personal behaviour and social intercourse."

70 years ago

The Canadian Parliament approved a bill admitting Newfoundland to Confederation as a province.

The United Nations Security Council refused to consider North Korea's membership application, after agreeing to consider the application of South Korea.

World events
General Lucius Clay of the U.S. military government in Germany ordered the Soviet refugee repatriation mission to leave the American zone, claiming that it had had enough time to process all refugees who wanted to return to the U.S.S.R.

Politics and government
Following his Democratic Liberal Party's victory in the January 23 general election, Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida named his third cabinet, appointing himself as Foreign Minister.

The Dutch government announced its acceptance "in principle" of the United Nations plan for granting independence to Indonesia.

Leaders from Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland met in Livingston, Northern Rhodesia to plan the creation of a South-Central African federation within the British Commonwealth.

Russia, Ukraine, and White Russia withdrew from the World Health Organization, charging that its work in disease control and dissemination of medical knowledge was unsatisfactory.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Spain (PROMUSICAE): Mariquilla--José Luís y su Guitarra

U.S.A. Top 10 (Billboard)
1 Stagger Lee--Lloyd Price (2nd week at #1)
2 16 Candles--The Crests
3 Donna--Ritchie Valens
4 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters
5 The All American Boy--Bill Parsons
6 My Happiness--Connie Francis
7 Lonely Teardrops--Jackie Wilson
8 Goodbye Baby--Jack Scott
9 Gotta Travel On--Billy Grammer
10 Manhattan Spiritual--Reg Owen and his Orchestra

Singles entering the chart were Anthony Boy by Chuck Berry (#65); Alvin's Harmonica by David Seville and the Chipmunks (#70); Please Mr. Sun by Tommy Edwards (#73); When the Saints Go Marching In (#76)/Telling Lies (#81) by Fats Domino; Miss You by Jaye P. Morgan (#87); Since I Don't Have You by the Skyliners (#94); Pink Shoe Laces by Dodie Stevens (#96); and I Don't Need You Anymore by the Teddy Bears (#98). Miss You was the other side of Are You Lonesome Tonight, charting at #75.

Vancouver's Top 10 (CKWX)
1 The All American Boy--Bill Parsons (2nd week at #1)
2 Goodbye Baby--Jack Scott
3 Petite Fleur (Little Flower)--Chris Barber's Jazz Band
4 Gotta Travel On--Billy Grammer
5 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters
6 Stagger Lee--Lloyd Price
7 My Happiness--Connie Francis
8 The Children's Marching Song (Nick Nack Paddy Whack)--Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra
--Mitch Miller and his Orchestra
9 The Hawaiian Wedding Song--Andy Williams
10 With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair/Good Rockin' Tonight--Pat Boone

Singles entering the chart were Alvin's Harmonica by David Seville and the Chipmunks (#33); When the Saints Go Marching In by Fats Domino (#51); Sea Cruise by Frankie Ford (#55); Frankenstein '59 by Buchanan and Goodman (#57); Midnight Oil by Charlie Blackwell (#59); and Please Mr. Sun by Tommy Edwards (#60).

Politics and government
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro took office as the country's youngest-ever Prime Minister, with his brother Raul becoming commander of the armed forces.

The U.K. House of Commons gave final approval to a bill revoking the Maltese constitution and placing the island under the rule of an appointed governor's council.

Africans demanding self-rule and the linking of Nyasaland with Kenya and Tanganyika began anti-government demonstrations in the Central African Federation.

50 years ago


A 24-hour truce by South Vietnamese and American forces went into effect at 6 P.M., marking the the beginning of Tet, or Lunar New Year, holiday.

World events
In Istanbul, at least two people were killed when about 10,000 right-wing supporters of the Turkish government charged at 10,000 demonstrators protesting a visit by part of the United States Sixth Fleet.

Gene Littler won the Phoenix Open, with first prize money of $20,000.

40 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in West Germany (Media Control): Y.M.C.A.--Village People (10th week at #1)

#1 single in France (IFOP): Tragedy--Bee Gees (3rd week at #1)

World events
Four generals loyal to the Shah of Iran were executed after trial by a "revolutionary Islamic court."

U.S. Ambassador to Iran William H. Sullivan requested a meeting with Iran's new premier, Mehdi Bazargan, implying that the United States would maintain relations with the provisional government.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo agreed to state-to-state negotiations for American purchase of Mexican natural gas, after two days of talks covering trade and immigration problems that had strained U.S.-Mexican relations for the past two years.

A General Accounting Office report to U.S. Senator Alan Cranston's inquiry into the Jonestown massacre on November 18, 1978 revealed that as many as 17 of the children placed in People's temple foster homes by California authorities died in the Guyana commune.

New Orleans police voted to resume a strike that had ended earlier in the month, threatening cancellation of Mardi Gras festivities. A court barred the walkout by 1,350 unionized police officers.

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Finland (Finnish Singles Chart): Like a Yo-Yo--Sabrina (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Belfast Child--Simple Minds

World events
Major anti-apartheid organizations in South Africa formally disowned Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, in the wake of the abduction and murder of four black youths by members of the United Mandela Football Club, who acted as Mrs. Mandela's bodyguards. A doctor who had examined one of the youths while he was being held at Mrs. Mandela's home was himself murdered by unknown assailants shortly thereafter.

Economics and finance
Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez devalued the bolivar in order to satisfy the International Monetary Fund, with which Venezuela had been negotiating on a loan.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Sweden (Topplistan): All for Love--Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting (9th week at #1)

The Parliament of Canada passed legislation amending the original agreement that had brought Prince Edward Island into Confederation in 1873, changing the obligation to provide ferry service to accommodate the proposed bridge from P.E.I. to the New Brunswick mainland, and paving the way for the $840-million project.

Jean-Luc Brassard became the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in freestyle skiing as he edged out Russia's Sergei Shupletsov by 0.34 points for the gold medal in men's moguls, with his sensational Cossack jump, at the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

20 years ago

World events

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced that a fund, calculated at U.S. $1.7 billion would be set aside to compensate Holocaust victims, including those who were forced by the Nazis into slave labour for German companies before and during World War II. The fund would be financed by German companies. A second fund would educate people about the Holocaust.

Kurdish protesters took hostages at Greek and Kenyan diplomatic facilities in reprisal for the previous day's seizure in Nairobi by Turkish agents of Kurdistan Workers' Party leader Abdullah Ocalan. All hostages were freed unharmed.

Politics and government
Northern Ireland's legislature voted 77-29 to approve the structure for a new executive government--a major step in the implementation of a peace agreement reached in 1998. The structure included a Northern Ireland Executive consisting of 10 departments whose heads would constitute a cabinet. These departments would be responsible for taxation, law enforcement, and other local matters. Sinn Fein, the political arm of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, would get the other two cabinet slots.

10 years ago

Canadian border services deployed unmanned "Predator B" drone aircraft to patrol the Manitoba-Minnesota portion of Canada's border to check for the smuggling of drugs, alcohol or people.

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